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Local Substrates

1286 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  waterismyfriend
I'd like to fill my 55g with some rock from my creek, I know there is farm land up stream so chemicals may pose a problem but with thorough washing and boiling I think it will all come clean.
Does anyone else use local substrates for their aquariums?


(this is posted in substrates too but it's also natural!)
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I use rocks wherever I find them. Here's my 55 gal, which I set up Sept 1 with rocks from a local polluted lake. I just rinsed and scrubbed the rocks before putting them in the tank. However, boiling the rocks you find in lakes/streams that might have diseased fish gives you full-proof protection. Remember, though, that the potential pathogens that come from coldwater ecosystems probably aren't going to do well in a tropical tank, so the risk of bringing something in that multiply and threaten fish is slight, at best.

Then I have used many rocks from my property in various tank setups over the years. Using local rocks is fun. Out of curiosity, I asked the UNC's Geology Department for help to identify the reddish-colored rocks I used for this tank. A kind professor identified them as "rose quartz". The reddish color is due to iron oxides in the quartz. These rocks are totally inert and perfect for the aquarium.


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You don't have to worry about chemical pollution from rocks from local streams or lakes unless the pollution is so bad that nothing lives in them. Just a rinse will be fine. You perhaps should worry about unwanted hair algae or creepy crawlies coming with the rock. Boiling should take care of that.
Simply just rinse the rocks and scrub it down with a course brush..... Also, in general... you should always rinse off anything that comes from a river or stream

Thanks for the replies,
I'll probably just do a rinse on it and see how it does, I also thought of testing water parameters after I
put rock in cycled water.

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