Hey there everyone, I've been checking out this forum for awhile, but decided I should join today to share some info about my experience. I've seen many people add gravel to an aquarium straight from the bag, just a reminder to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS rinse your gravel, not matter how 'clean' it looks.
Today I bought a new 22lbs bag of gravel, the photo attached is from the second rinse of the product, the first rinse brought many floating dead bugs (not a big surprise). The water was VERY merky so I grabbed a wooden spoon to mix the rocks up to try to release any yucky stuff from the rocks. Annnd up floated a Cigarette Butt. The bag claims this stuff is "non-toxic" and "safe", I'm a smoker myself and I know that there is no way that the **** they have in cigarettes is non-toxic or safe for fish.
So whenever you buy new gravel, even if it's just a small batch, make sure to rinse and rinse and rinse!