gravel from garden supply store?

SquirrelBallsOO(z6 PA)October 17, 2005

i bought a huge bag of large landscaping decorative rocks/gravel from my local garden/hardware store. i think its a 40 lb bag, and for 5.99 i thought it would be good to use in my new aquarium set up. the rocks are natural not dyed and are about 1 inch in size, but they were quite sandy. i rinsed and rinsed until the water was clear but when i added it to the aquarium and i filled it with water i noticed a slight cloud still coming from the gravel. the filter has cleared it some after a few hours but im wondering now if this is safe for the fish? did i do a boo boo?

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woeisme(z7b NC)

A few comments. If the water wasn't totaly cloudy to the point you couldn't see the fish, they "should" be OK. What type of rock? Some rock leaches alot of carbonate. This will raise your pH and KH keep an eye on a spike in the next week or 2. 1" size is not reccomended (even though I like the look also) because of the gaps between the rock. Too much food/waste gets caught in the gaps and it wont vacuum out as efficiently as a micro-gravel. I would reccomend , if you keep this size, to remove the fish every 2-3 months and totally stir-up the water and a 100% water change. Return the fish afterwards, be careful not to let you filter media dry out before you re-start. Acclimate the fish slowly back in, as if they where new. A way to test the rock to see if it is a pH buffer is to put a few into a cup of white vinegar. After 3 minutes if bubbles/fizzing is not detected they shouldn't effect pH. Also, the type of rock, marble, "river-rock", lava, etc would help. A better alternative was to go to a farm/poultry supply and get Grani-Grit, it is crushed granite and pH inert. White and black with some pink. The "grower" size is optimum size.It vacuums easy like aquarium gravel. Its also called Chick- grits, but the chick size is almost like sand and compacts like sand. It must be rinsed well also. When using the "natural" stuff, rinse a small amount at atime in a 5 gallon bucket. Swirl it arround changing the water until it is clear. Yes this is a major PITA.OOOps just re-read your post. Should be OK, the cloudiness part. Should clear up over night, maybe 2 nights. This happens, even with the high quality, specialty aquarium stuff. Florite is the worse, but is awesome for plants. The Grani-Grit also does this.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 11:09PM
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SquirrelBallsOO(z6 PA)

i think its eggrock?
well everything is clear this morning :O)
if all the rock can do is just raise ph then that is fine.
i just wanted to make sure it wasnt poisonous or something.
i got the large size rocks because i will be adding a baby turtle and i wanted to make sure he couldnt fit the rocks in his mouth. i posted on the aquarium board because there is no reptile board here and the pet board is not free for some reason.
so if its safe for a fish its safe for a baby turtle :O)
in the future when this baby gets a tad bigger and his water can be deepend i would like to add some fish. what species would you recomend? the tank is a 20 gallon long and it will be filled at a later date to about 90 percent full. the turtle is a small species (4" at adulthood) and very slow moving not a fish chaser. right now he is the size of a nickel and its a common musk (stinkpot) turtle.
the water is filtered and i will be doing a 50 percent weekly water change.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 8:18AM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

I am not familiar with turtles/reptiles (except most of the management at my place of work). I'll take a stab and say wait until your turtle is adult sized before adding fish. Research your turtle in a reptile forum, I think I have seen an MSN reptile group reccomended before or might have some info or links. I would guess Goldfish if anything might work. I think the water parameters are close, tropicals need heated water generally 72-82F. Turtles show up in outdoor ponds and co-exist with Goldfish/Koi. The only problem is your tank size, 20L at only 90% full isn't going to cut it. 20L at 100% full wont work either, the goldfish get up to a 1'+ long and the combo of the 2 would put too much bio-load into the little eco-system. I would go no smaller then a 55Gal with only 3 goldfish (not KOI), that may soon be outgrown also. Maybe try the POND forum here, they may have a better idea.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 10:31AM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

The "egg" rock if I am correct is just that round to egg shaped, smooth rock that ranges in the yellow and tan colors. It will buffer pH. This isn't a problem for water supply that is acidic and could use buffering or in a "high" pH aquarium, like African Cichlids. The size thing is probably approprate for the turtle, like I said no experience with them.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 10:36AM
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SquirrelBallsOO(z6 PA)

yellow and tan yep thats it
i added a tutle neutralizer block that says it neutralizes water and adds calcium. it last about a month before it disintegrates. not sure what they mean by "neutralize" does that mean it will make the ph 7.0?
yeah goldfish are a little large and they are quite messy. i was thinking much smaller, something like zebra fish?
the water temp is 80 :O)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 10:57AM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

Zebra Danios ? If the Block adds calcium it may buffer pH, but that could be what turtles need???? Neutralize "usually" refers to pH 7.0 being neutral. Less than 7 acidic, more then 7 base or Alkaline. In aquaria those blocks seldom work the way they are advertised and sometimes use phosphate which causes green water/algae blooms. They have also been known to kill the bio-filter. I would deffinately find out about compatibility with fish and your turtle. Zebra Danios are tropicals. Sometimes just called Zebra fish.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 11:27AM
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I am not going to read thru all the response posts for your question regarding the gravels. I already know the answer. Anything that you buy for your aquarium tank, if its not marked for aquarium use and/or if its not sold in the department for aquarium, then its not good for your tank. This is a grave mistake that people tend to do, buying things from the crafts department, collecting things from outside, or in your case, buying from the garden department. I do not know why you think its cheaper to buy in the garden center... A 40lbs bag of gravels for aquariums is really cheap!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 4:22AM
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If buying materials or supplies for aquariums from any but an aquarium department is no good, then many of the most sucessful and respected breeders of some of truly delicate species, including one who not only sucessfully breeds Discus, but develops new varieties; are all a bunch of ignorant fools.

I guess I am too, because I wouldn't waste money buying a tiny tube of tank silicone from an aquarium department, when I can get 10 X the amount of the identical material in any home center for the same if not less cost, and apply it with a caulking gun.

It isn't where the stuff is bought; it's knowing it's properties and using it properly.

I keep mostly Amazon species, and buy peat from the garden center, not a pet store.

So I guess my spawing Tetras are really all dead, and it's just their ghosts that are proliferating in the tank with a substrate made up of garden dirt and a 50 lb., $1.50 bag of sand from Home Depot, swimming in golden, peaty water, created by simply dropping an old pillowcase filled with garden center peat into a garbage can; filling it with water, and letting it sit for a few days.

As the Catfish said: "It ain't necessarially so."

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 1:10PM
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fish being a food source for your turtle is another thing to consider.... :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 10:40PM
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Hi, Dont think Ive ever posted here before so hello all, I agree with birdwidow, Ive been using HD (HomeDepot) gravel of all sizes for years and have never had a problem? Not to mention that the local pet shops sell gravel for about $5.00 for 2 1/2 pounds! What a rip off! last time I bought 45 pounds of gravel from the pet shop it cost me $15.00! 50 pounds at HD cost me $6.99! I had one 55G set up for almost six years with almost all of the orig fish thriving all that time with gravel from HD, I say almost as some I lost due to short life spans and others to an electric catfish, yeah I know, stupid me!LOL! also, I bought that tank with a cracked front glass, bought the glass and glued it in place with GEII HD silicone! Ive also harvested, pressure cleaned and sun bleached most if not all of the driftwood I use in my aquariums and terrariums! NEVER had a problem with mold, fungus, insects or so on! birdwidow is right,"it's knowing it's properties and using it properly" thats about the truth of it! =)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 8:33PM
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