The Planted Tank Forum banner

bulk aquascaping suppliers OR collect?

476 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  coseal
so as a complete newb I have been watching alot of YT videos on amazing scapes. been watching green aqua and others nature style tanks.

that is the style I am going for.

one theme I see in all there builds is they use alot of material and even have more to choose from. I totally understand this.

So my question is there there bulk suppliers of thinks like manzanita an other woods and hardscape?
one could easly spend a few hundred on hardscaping a small is tank.
is this normal?

any bulk suppliers out there?

OR should I just go collect it? I do like this part one reason that I wanted to start a FW planted vs another reef.
not any hard wood in my area mostly pine but i did collect some fun cotton wood pieces a few years ago when i was thinking of getting in, great shapes and was perfect for what my vision is.

or is it just going to be better to just such it up and buy some wood.

any one that are known to cause problems? I do like the look of dragon stone but buying rocks seems silly I am sure I can find some cool one if I go look + its a labor of love then just buying.

what about quartz or jade. I do like hunting for rocks.

thanks for the feedback I want to do this right from the get go. tank will be high tech and either a 16 gal with the dems of 23.4"×11.8"×14.2" or a 49.1 gals with dims of 35.4"×19.7"×17.7"
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

· Registered
599 Posts
Yes, one could easy spend a lot of money on hardscape.

But that's not the only option. The issue with scavenging for your own material is that you run the risk of adding something that is going to poison your livestock or alter your water chemistry.

There are some methods for testing rocks I would look into as well as some information about what sorts of rocks are likely to be inert or likely to dissolve in the tank, so you may be able to buy rocks meant for landscaping that are more affordable. In my main tank I used landscaping rocks of unknown origin from my yard (free!) that have not caused me any problems. IIRC, limestone-based rocks are likely to increase your pH and water hardness with time (which could be a good thing depending on your stocking), while granite-based rocks are more likely to be inert. I think slate is also inert. You may have to adjust your expectations though, because it might because I don't know there's a cheaper dupe for something as distinctive as dragon stone.

One thing you might also think about is if you can keep a particular rock clean. Quartz looks great on day one, but I had it in a nonplanted tank when I was a kid and it picked up lots of junk and I didn't even have algae to worry about back then.

I am always a little leery about people sourcing their own driftwood. I would do a lot of research and be very careful to prepare everything properly. You need your wood to both not leech toxins and to not start breaking down immediately, so you can't just pick up a neat branch out of the woods and go to town. The species used in aquaria have been tried and tested, and when you go outside of that it can be hard to get good information. But you still have options. Blooms & Branches has sandblasted manzanita that is pretty affordable. You may be able to buy some used driftwood too.

· Registered
416 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the replay!

funny I was just looking at blooms & branches. seem like a good source for manz.
I might just stick with tride and true drift wood as there not many/any hards woods in my area.

the wood is going to be a major part of the scape so was looking for cheaper/other options but like I said I want to do it right from the get go so i dont have to do a restart.

there are tons of granite in my area so that is an option. however we have 6" of snow on the ground might melt away might not so not the easiest for scavenging but still can be done.

anyone know of a resource that list rocks and there effect on aqua?
my tap is hard for sure but I do have an softer that I can use if that is better as well as a 6 stage RODI unit I use for my reefs.

good point on the quartz I guess if I use that expect a monthly scrubbing. still might use it tho.

· Registered
66 Posts
yea i bought a bunch of wedding manzanita pretty cheap, and im not gettin married lol. got some good sticks and some bad ones... one of the branches in about the same size at my lfs was gettin close to double the price. the bad part about wedding wood is they rarely do a what you see is what you get. check etsy as well! nothing beats having the opportunity to hold it in your hand and take time picking your sticks. all the freshwater lfs's around here have very little in the way of aquascaping supplies. monster fishkeeping and cichlids they got ya covered!
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.