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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
No, not the kind you smoke ;)

Still in planning stages for a 40b, saw this Malaysian piece on eBay and knew it was what I wanted.



Now, I've been scouring the webs for a particular shape/color of rock. Needs to be a contrasting color so something light, like light grey or yellowish or even off white. Just need to know y'all's sources of great tank safe rock. Thanks.
 

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Check landscape supply places first. They don't charge the stupid prices fish places do.

I just got a bucket of rocks from a landscape place... for free. The quantity was too small for them to bother weighing, yet I probably have at least 5 lbs of rock.
 

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Landscape supply places are great places to go and see dozens of types of rocks. One problem that puts some people off is the size of the rocks they stock. Some of the rocks cut for decks and sidewalks may be just what you want but who has a tank for a four foot rock? That's where technique might help!
Rocks are large and heavy but if you can get them home, it isn't really that hard to make small rocks out of big ones. Depends on the type of rock, of course.
But what is sometimes missed is how to go about it to get what we need. The big muscles are NOT what you need. Rock is often super hard and we think we need to crush it. Not so! To get the size/shape you want, a slower much more gradual tapping is needed. If you can find a seam or fault in the rock, that is a great place to start. If not start your own break with some old tool like a screwdriver if a chisel isn't handy. Just keep moving and scoring along this line until you get a pretty nice groove and then try upping the pressure of the blows. Rock is hard but brittle and it will break but getting it to break along the line you choose is a bit more iffy. Good place for gloves, goggles, and lots of persistent effort but it can get that big old rock cut down to fit your tank.
 

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You can rent tools for drilling and cutting rock, too.
There are masonry blades that fit Skil Saws.

Once you have cut or drilled a rock that edge looks artificial. Hit the flat plane several times with a hammer to make it look more natural. Tap the sharp corners to make it safer for the fish.

Ditto the safety precautions! Flying chips of rock can be dangerous.
 

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I'll echo the landscape supply idea. Here in Savannah I found a rock & sand supply wholesaler that had a wide variety of rocks and gravel of different types and sizes. I took a 5 gallon bucket, picked what I wanted, and they gave it to me for free! Just like someone said above, the amount of rocks we look for isn't worth charging for them (this place charged $37 per TON for granite!). And I got exactly what I wanted, too.

David
 

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It took me trips to a few landscape supply companies in town before I hit the jackpot. I found a place called Whiz Q in Ft. Worth, Tx that is perfect for the hobby. So many in the hobby have visited this place from all over, that they even have a catalog that tells you with rocks are aquarium safe. I took some muriatic acid along with me when I first went and all the rocks that interest me I compared it to the catalog and they are described correctly. They also claim to have the largest selection in Texas. After visiting other places, I can vouch for it.

I believe I spent around 60-70 bucks and came away with rocks for (4) 40g breeders. I got 5 rocks per tank ranging from palm size to football size. Some will need to be broken up perhaps but that will be a last minute decision when I start scaping with them. I went to a lfs and picked up 5 sandstone rocks of equal size and it cost me nearly 30-40 bucks just for those.
 
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