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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to aquascape my 30 gallon using just rocks,driftwood, and
java moss, but I don't want to go out to buy some expensive rocks. Where would you find these rocks? If anyone in OC area knows where, I would really appreciate it.
 

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You'd be surprised what you can find outside. I never thought so but this weekend i went down by the lake front in Milwaukee by my house and found at least 5 pieces of awesome driftwood and great rocks
 

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Home Depot/Lowes can be pretty hit or miss with rocks and such. Try checking out some landscaping supply places if you can, or as people said, go for a hike (or several), and pick up something interesting that you happen across.

If you can get up into some chaparral in the hills, you may be able to find manzanita.

Rocks can be kinda tricky though, depending on how touchy your tanks water parameters/critters are.

Maybe take a couple field guides with you, or if you know any geologists/rockhounds, try and tag along on an outing.

Oversimplification:
Igneous is almost always safe/inert/fine, Metamorphic is usually okay, and Sedimentary is best to avoid.
 

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I found native rocks loose in landscaping along roads. Not bought rocks like Mexican beach pebbles or granite cobbles, the same stuff the hills here are made of. I walk one way and find sandstone type rocks and the other way and find purplish volcanic rocks. The dog is very glad I am done collecting them, he hurt his head when he bumped the bag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I went walked around the beach and found some driftwood,
no rocks though. :(
 

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You need to drive a ways to find real nature in southern Ca, but it may be worth it. There are some incredible rock formations out there!
Otherwise you might find a vacant lot or something. I would be suspicious of the rock from that sort of location, though. Herbicide, petroleum, toxic waste... you have no idea what people have dumped in a vacant lot.

There are a lot of landscape stores. Also look up Masonry, Brick, Rock, Soil and similar terms. These stores usually sell by the truckload or by the bag.
Take some sandwich baggies and a Sharpie pen. Get samples of the rock. There are usually broken off bits that they do not mind you taking. Label your samples.
Take the samples home and test to see if they add minerals to the water, or raise the pH. That might be OK for hard water fish, but not for soft water fish. Most rock sold by the pound as landscape material will be a lot cheaper than the same rock sold in a pet store.
 
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