Stream Bed Appearance - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Stream Bed Appearance

Ever notice that nice mix of sand, gravel and small stones that fast running streams sometimes get? Is there a commercially available product that duplicates this?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 03:39 AM
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There might be but you can also create it yourself, I had a brown & beige rounded river stone, 1/4 to 3/8 inch that looked very nice and not the normal tiny stone, but if you were to mix the right color sand and look at your local landscape supply for some Hudson Vally river stone you could make a very natural stream bed.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response. I'll check out a landscape supply next. Living in Brooklyn as I do, collecting from the 'wild' is not really possible.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 05:27 PM
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Like that? Nothing commercially packaged but these are generally available and easy enough to find.
Play sand from Home Depot.
River rocks in various sizes and colors from craft, home decor, flower shops, LFS. I can confirm that IKEA, Red Hook and Michael's down there (or is it Queens...) has.

Let me know if you find really big ones! I'm always looking for baseball-sized+ river rocks.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 07:59 PM
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You really have to wash play sand if you buy it though. I still have it incomplete right now. Maybe the bag I bought just had a lot of superfines in it. I found that white sand from Petco worked very well for me. But the rocks that big are going to be expensive at any pet store. Washed rock from a construction supply place (ask for cobbles if it's bigger than 3 1/2" that you want) is gonna be cheaper and maybe even free if they're feeling nice.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 08:30 PM
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The rock yards around here sell such rock in several colors.

Cobbles are rounded rocks from about 1-1/2" up to about 10". Also called River Rocks. The more natural color is Noiyo Cobbles, mixed browns and grey, some cream-white, a few darker, charcoal, not really black. The more garish is Pami Cobbles, with more pink and purple tones. Another color is Yuba or Black and White. This, as the name implies, is a blend of black (or deep charcoal) and white (good, clear white).

Similar smaller rock is available with many colors and sizes. Some names are: Lodi, Yuba, Pami Pebble, Salmon Bay (a very yellow-gold blend, some pink), Red River, Sage Creek and many more.

One of the most expensive is sold as Mexican Beach Pebbles. These come sorted into colors, but are either pure flat black or a sort of rich purple that is not a glaring purple, a nice shade for a rock. These look stunning in ponds and water falls. More often we use them in pondless waterfalls or fountains. At the price, they need to be used in small amounts!

The names that a rock yard uses might be something that someone just made up, I have seen what appears to be the same rock under a couple of names.

Look for Rock, Soil, Brick, Mason, Landscape, Bark, Mulch and similar words to find a store near you. Most of these stores will sell by the pound, by the bag or by the truckload.

For the sand, I would suggest you look into pool filter sand rather than play sand. Pool filter sand is graded so most of the particles are the same size. It does not pack down in the tank like play sand, and needs much less rinsing, since all the fines have been sifted out. Ask at the rock yards, too about bagged sand. There is a company, Lapis Lustre that sells graded sand in many sizes. I would suggest about 30 mesh is probably the finest you might want in an aquarium. (That is the size of the local pool filter sand, and it works pretty well in my tanks.)
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 06:29 PM
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Alright, I did a little digging. I didn't call them, but if I were going to build a house and needed base course soil, I'd probably go to these guys for it. They should have some cobbles-anything bigger than 2.5", gravel - (This is a bit smaller than I learned on the maximum size.) 2.5"-.08", and sands will be smaller than that, but bigger than dust which is fines. You should be able to tell them exactly what particle size you want and grab a shovel full of each. For a 5 gallon footprint, probably a few baseball-softball size; a scoop of 1 1/2"-3/4"; and a scoop of pea gravel (3/8" appx.) would be a good idea; a scoop of sand retained between no. 30 and no. 40 sieves. Just start with the biggest and work your way down to the sand.

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