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I'm planning out my aquascape, and I was a bit underwhelmed by the stone selection at my LFS. Would there be any problem with just going to home depot and picking out something that I thought looked nice? Could certain types mess with my water hardness? A search suggested I stay away from limestone. Does anyone have any other thoughts?
Thanks
 

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If there are any torn bags, take a rock out of one, or look on the floor around the pallets. Take the sample(s) home and test them.
Put some water in a jar. Prep the water the same way you will when you fill your aquarium (if you are blending RO + tap, or whatever... do that).
Add one sample to each jar.
Test GH, KH, pH and TDS (if you have a meter) when you start, and then the next day. Test every few days for a week or so.
Results:
No change- rock is safe for the set up you have in mind.
Very minor change- Probably safe, but stay on top of water changes to keep the parameters within the right range.
More change- Don't use these rocks for the set up you have in mind.

You can also get rock at places that sell materials for landscape, masonry and similar used. Take some baggies and a sharpie marker and get some samples to test.
 

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Much of the question with what we put in the tank has to go with what water we are already using. If you have soft acidic water and add rocks like limestone, you are likely to see a change. But then if you have hard alkaline water already, the rocks will not make any change you can see. Much of the advise about fish and tanks is written on each coast where the water is prone to being soft and alkaline. That makes much of the written info wrong for people who have different water like much of the center of the US has. But water can vary a lot even a few miles away so it pays to find what you have and that will help determine what some rocks might do.
For price and variety, it is a big plus to shop at landscape or rock shops as they sell by the ton and it will cost you much less for a handful than any fish shop.
 

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I search out some rock from landscaping stores.
I recall one morning while fishing along the river,a fella pull up and proceed to remove stones from the levy along the river onto a rather small trailer.
After the trailer began to sag a bit at the axel's I asked if he thought maybe he had a bit too much?
The guy proceeded to inform me that he did not think the rock was mine,and that he would let me know when he thought he had enough.(mind your own buisness)
I just kicked back, and watched as he loaded the trailer past it's capacity and as he started to pull away from the levy, the axle snapped under the weight.
He looked at the trailer,and then at me.
Suck's to be you I said ,and went back to wettin my worm's.
 

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I search out some rock from landscaping stores.
I recall one morning while fishing along the river,a fella pull up and proceed to remove stones from the levy along the river onto a rather small trailer.
After the trailer began to sag a bit at the axel's I asked if he thought maybe he had a bit too much?
The guy proceeded to inform me that he did not think the rock was mine,and that he would let me know when he thought he had enough.(mind your own buisness)
I just kicked back, and watched as he loaded the trailer past it's capacity and as he started to pull away from the levy, the axle snapped under the weight.
He looked at the trailer,and then at me.
Suck's to be you I said ,and went back to wettin my worm's.
That's funny!
 

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That is one of the folks who make us all look bad. When somebody has placed the rocks, I leave them alone. I wouldn't want somebody coming along to undo what I've done. But then cheap lazy sorts will do it all the time so I'm glad to hear of them having trouble when they are just being lazy.
I look for my own rocks but I do try to be honest and motivated enough to find the stuff nobody is using like out in the creek bed. And for sure I don't take them off the railroad property. One is trespassing and two is that they are far more liable to be contaminated with chemicals from leaking or right of way spraying. Just the oil leaking from bearings is enough to make me choose other places. But then I can use most any rock including limestone as the creeks here are running in it full time.
 

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That is one of the folks who make us all look bad. When somebody has placed the rocks, I leave them alone. I wouldn't want somebody coming along to undo what I've done. But then cheap lazy sorts will do it all the time so I'm glad to hear of them having trouble when they are just being lazy.
I look for my own rocks but I do try to be honest and motivated enough to find the stuff nobody is using like out in the creek bed. And for sure I don't take them off the railroad property. One is trespassing and two is that they are far more liable to be contaminated with chemicals from leaking or right of way spraying. Just the oil leaking from bearings is enough to make me choose other places. But then I can use most any rock including limestone as the creeks here are running in it full time.
Quilty as charged on the railroad trespass, PlantedRich!:wink2:
 

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I've had good luck also at the local landscaping stores. Went with a 5gal bucket told the guy working there what I was using it for, he told me to help myself no charge. Ended up with several medium sized pieces of granite for my cichlid tank.
 

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I used to clean up environmental spills for a living. I was constantly cleaning up all 'rocks' at the railroads. The trains were always leaking either diesel fuel, hydraulic oil or another contaminant. Be careful with them if you do use them. And be careful around railroad tracks. I was lucky enough to not have to clean up the bloodborne spills but others had to.
 

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I've had good luck also at the local landscaping stores. Went with a 5gal bucket told the guy working there what I was using it for, he told me to help myself no charge. Ended up with several medium sized pieces of granite for my cichlid tank.
Me as well. I asked the guy at my local landscaping place how much for 10-15 fist to football size river rocks - he asked me why I only needed so few and when I told him they were for my aquarium, he told me to take what I wanted - no charge
 

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Granite is an igneous rock and should be inert. Though I have heard of some people saying they used granite and it altered the water, must of had some contaminants on it.
I have made some pleco caves out of granite tiles in the past and they didn't alter anything.
 

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Then I'd better make work of it, before the rest of the rains come in and flood them again, and make it harder to get them across the river. Right now it is more of a streamlet.
 
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