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Old 11-03-2012, 11:37 PM   #1 
Juicebox
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local rocks and drift wood from the wild?

Hi guys


is there any way of gettin free driftwood and rocks from "the wild" or a local area,some pond or forest or swamp or some place?

im on a strict budget and cant afford right now to buy any rocks or driftwood,im wondering is there any places u can find nice wood and pretty rocks for a tank,ones that would be safe for the fishies. ive been lookin in the yard for nice pretty rocks but have not found any..

how would i even clean rocks to make them safe for the tank??
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:09 AM   #2 
shellieca
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Many people get their DW & rocks from nature. The concern is whether or not there are any chemicals on it. For rocks I believe you put some vinegar on to make it sure it doesn't bubble, if it does don't use it. To "sterilize" extremely hot water, some run the rocks though the dishwasher, water only, a few times then set in the sun to dry out completely. DW can be boiled, if I'm not mistaken. DW will release tannins making the water brown so you can soak it for several days, changing the water regularly, if you don't want that in your tank plus it'll help water log it so it sinks.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:31 AM   #3 
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thank you for the reply.

where is a good place to find some good wood, can it be just taken off regular trees in a park or do i try find it on the bottom of a little stream/lake?
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:54 AM   #4 
Lady Courage
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Driftwood I know nothing about, sorry, but I DID get my rocks from "the wild". There's a stream running nearby here and it was so much fun to climb down the steep banks and gather tons of river rocks. My tank needed little rocks anyway and the selection was beautiful from the dry spot in the low stream.

To clean those, I just washed them in hot water. Due to the area of the stream I wasn't overly worried about chemicals. If I had been though I would have boiled them in my fishy cleaning pot. :P
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:48 PM   #5 
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I collect and use native hardwood from my pasture in all my tanks. I look for hardwoods that are already cured and de-barked if I can. Once I find my piece I want to use-I remove any bark if it still has some on it and then place it in one of my rain barrels to soak. Sometimes it can take a long time for them to become water logged enough so they will sink. Sometimes I have to tie or tape large rocks to the wood. Anyway, after they soak for a week or so-I will give them a good scrub with a stiff brush and use a spoon to dig out any soft spot.

Depending on how cured the wood and what kind of hardwood-It may take a long time for the tannins to leach out. Personally, I don't mind the tannins, however, they can make the water fairly dark and stain everything in the tank. Its not that big of an issue with glass tanks-since you can use a razor blade to clean the tannin stain off the walls-but with acrylic it can be more of a challenge since it scratches so easy.

You can soak the wood and change the water a lot or boil it to help get more tannin out and you can use fresh activated charcoal to help too-but it will need to be changed every couple of days to weekly-depending on the quality of the charcoal, tank size and amount of tannins. I don't recommend using charcoal long term-but it is great short term to remove tannins-among other things.....

As for rocks, I collect and use them too-I just give them a good scrub. You don't want to boil them due to some might explode.

You want to avoid collecting any items to use in the tank that might have been in contact with any pesticides, poisons or any type of chemicals that could be harmful to aquatic life. Usually these things can't be washed off and its not worth the risk.

You want to avoid green wood, vines, pine, cedar type woods since they can be toxic in some cases.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:33 PM   #6 
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thank you for the big reply oldfishlady,very nice information there..

with regards to wood can you give me the name of any wood types that are good to use and i will go try to find them. i really dont know alot about different types of wood or how to identify them but im sure i can ask some people what kind of tress they have on their land and mayb try use that, after the hurricane theres lots of wood to be had out there
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:16 PM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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Wood that I have personally used without any problems...Oak, pecan, hickory, mulberry, maple. You want to avoid black walnut due to the juglone it contains.

What I would recommend-google hardwood and aquarium use. I can't find the link I found once that has a great list of safe wood to use in freshwater aquariums.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:00 PM   #8 
kngiraffe
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Originally Posted by Juicebox View Post
Hi guys


is there any way of gettin free driftwood and rocks from "the wild" or a local area,some pond or forest or swamp or some place?

im on a strict budget and cant afford right now to buy any rocks or driftwood,im wondering is there any places u can find nice wood and pretty rocks for a tank,ones that would be safe for the fishies. ive been lookin in the yard for nice pretty rocks but have not found any..

how would i even clean rocks to make them safe for the tank??
i work at Michael's arts and crafts and we sell river rocks and depending on the poundage the price ranges from 2.99-6.99. if they aren't on sale for $1.00 right now. (sales go from sunday-saturday) you can always print off an online coupon from their website and use it on ONE regular priced bag OR you could print out an AC Moore coupon that is 50% or whatever they have and get them for relatively cheap and you get a good bit. maybe it'll be worth checking out?

the drift wood though, i'm not entirely sure where you could pick it up.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:32 PM   #9 
twolovers101
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I wonder... I know bodark is very hard wood... could it work in a tank?
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:44 AM   #10 
Juicebox
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Originally Posted by kngiraffe View Post
i work at Michael's arts and crafts and we sell river rocks and depending on the poundage the price ranges from 2.99-6.99. if they aren't on sale for $1.00 right now. (sales go from sunday-saturday) you can always print off an online coupon from their website and use it on ONE regular priced bag OR you could print out an AC Moore coupon that is 50% or whatever they have and get them for relatively cheap and you get a good bit. maybe it'll be worth checking out?

the drift wood though, i'm not entirely sure where you could pick it up.
ty for the reply,i think though that even that price is too muchto pay right now,i am goin to a local area thursday or freiday to scavenge for some rocks and wood its a resovoir for the towns drinking water so the items should be pesticide free,ill report back with any findings
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