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  L# Rocks
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Posts: 147
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Registered: 08-Jun-2007
male usa
Hey ya'll. were is a good place to find rocks or holey rocks. I'm putting a cichlid tank together and here in colorado our fishstores dont have much of anything at all. and to order is pretty expensive. Also whats better play sand or pool filter sand. And were can you find some sand with color (black)
Post InfoPosted 16-Nov-2008 03:41Profile PM Edit Report 
Fish Guru
What is this?
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male usa
I am not sure where you can but I have heard some people using 3M quarts black sand.

55G Planted tank thread
19G Container Pond
Post InfoPosted 16-Nov-2008 04:07Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
*Ultimate Fish Guru*
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male australia au-victoria
If you know exactly the type of rock you are looking for locate a good landscape garden supplies and they will have enough for you to buy a truck load if you want to.

Sand sorry no idea never used it or wanted to too many problems can occur.

Have a look in [link=My Profile][/link] for my tank info
Look here for my
Betta 11Gal Desktop & Placidity 5ft Community Tank Photos


Near enough is not good enough, therefore good enough is not near enough, and only your best will do.
Post InfoPosted 16-Nov-2008 04:29Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Mega Fish
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male usa us-california
sand and ciclids probably would go to well...
cichlids stirr arround substrates too much and this can be a problem with filtrs being torn up...

a black sand i have heard of people using is black tahitian moon sand... someone on here had put it in their tanka while back, had pretty good results. i think play sand is safer as filter sand i finer and has more portenial for becoming compacted and forming anaerobic pockets. if you really want sand go for courser and denser, this will keep your sand on the bed of the tank and not getting sucked into the filter. if you go for colored (black) sand make sure it is the natural sand color and that it hasnt been dyed or coated with colored epoxy or anything...

\\\\\\\"an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure\\\\\\\"
Post InfoPosted 16-Nov-2008 08:27Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Posts: 147
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Registered: 08-Jun-2007
male usa
So for starting out how many pounds of rock would you buy for a 50gal tank? I'm talking rocks to build caves and such. Most are 10"-3". Also is it best to put something under them rocks I mean thats a lot of weight for that tank to hold with rock,sand,water,fish.
Post InfoPosted 17-Nov-2008 21:20Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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male usa us-colorado
EditedEdited by FRANK
You are asking a whole series of questions about the use
of sand as a substrate, and how to set up a tank with sand
and rocks as hard scape.

Pool sand is generally a slightly larger grain size than
play sand. Pool sand is generally a lighter color than
play sand. And, lastly, pool sand is cleaner, out of the
bag, than is play sand which will contain pieces of wood,

When using sand as a substrate, keep the thickness of the
sand layer between a half inch to an inch maximum. Any
thicker and you will develop anaerobic areas within the
substrate that turn black and emit a gas called hydrogen
sulfide. It is toxic to both fish and plants.
Because the grain size is so small the spaces between
the grains are easily clogged with detritus, and there
is no circulation between grains, causing the anaerobic conditions.
Because of the grain size of sand, the grains are easily
drawn up into the water by digging fish, careless addition
of top-off water, and reckless cleaning. These particles
of sand are easily sucked into the filter where they can
destroy the pump section or clog the initial filter
section. Wrapping a piece of sponge around the intake
of the filter (acting as a "prefilter) will keep the
floating grains out of the filter. Adding water and
cleaning carefully so as not to "blow" the grains off the
surface of the substrate will also help keep the sand out
of circulation.

You don't say how big this tank is however, if you are
going to use rocks for caves and to mark out territories,
then you should cushion the tank with a thin layer of
foam between the tank and the tank stand. This will help
prevent warping, cracking, and leaking.

To protect the glass bottom, especially when the rock work
is substantial and heavy, it is best to put a layer of
plastic "Egg crate" down on the bottom, then add the rocks
and arrange them as desired, and then add the sand around
Otherwise, place the rocks, smooth side down, against the
bottom glass and add sand around them.
Cichlids, in particular, love to dig. They dig especially
around the rocks looking for some delicious critter to eat.
This digging can easily upset the balance of the rocks
above them and bring the whole wall or cave down on top of
them. You will need to secure the rocks to each other with
either aquarium silicone or epoxy glue. Assemble the
rock structures outside of the tank, secure them, and when
the "glue" is cured (dried) then set the assembly in the
tank where you want it.

Texas "Holy Rock" is a carbonate, is imported and
is expensive.
However, do not overlook the local landscaping
companies or large hardware stores such as Home Depot,
or Lowe's. They all have huge supplies of various
rocks that are perfect for aquariums.
The best thing is that you only want a few pounds or
a couple of specific rocks. They normally sell
this stuff by truck loads in hundreds of pounds or
even tons. When you walk in looking for a few
small rocks, most of the time they will direct you
to their tailings pile and charge you only penny's
for what you want.

Keep in mind that Carbonate rocks such as limestone,
dolomite and some sandstones, will change your water's
hardness and pH. It will shift into the 8's. If your
fish want water closer to neutral, then purchase only
Silicates (varieties of Quartz), igneous rocks such as
granite, or metamorphic rocks such as slate.

You don't say where in Colorado you live. If you are
anywhere near the mountains then you should be able to
grab your own pieces of granite, such as from the outcrops
along hwy 285, I-70, I-76, or I-25.
Sandstones abound also along the same highways
and throughout the state in road cuts.


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 18-Nov-2008 09:29Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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male usa us-ohio
Excellent post Frank.

Another point to be made, which coincides with Frank's post, is what kind of cichlids you will be putting in your tank. As "cichlids" is a general assumption. As for what types of everything you are looking for, you might as well just use the general assumption of "fish". As many may be diggers and movers in the substrate, many don't. The ph and/or hardness needed for the cichlids you may want, can vary drastically depending on where the cichlids come from. And for this reason, could determine which type of substrate and rock work you should use. Many of the rocks (limestone especially) can leach hard water particals into the water system. And much of the types of sand can as well (Aragonite being the most common known). This leaching effect will increase the hardness as well as the ph, and buffer to keep both elevated. This will be great for Rift Lake cichlids (Rift Lakes are African Lakes Tanganyika, Victoria, and Malawi). And is what needs to be used if keeping fishes from these lakes, or keeping fish from the southern parts of South America. But, for West African fishes, and mid and northern parts of South America, this would not be good. As fish from these areas come from waters that are neutral to lower ph, and mid to lower hardness levels. So prior to setting up your tank, may I suggest you determine the types of cichlids you are wanting to keep in this new tank, and where they come from.


There is always a bigger fish...
Post InfoPosted 18-Nov-2008 17:01Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Registered: 08-Jun-2007
male usa
AWSOME YA"LLLL!!!! I'm So very thankful for the time your taking to help me. I live in Grand Junction,CO. As far as the type of cichlid. All our stores have just to assorted african tanks. Well aside from discus, and jack dempsey.
Post InfoPosted 19-Nov-2008 04:46Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
EditedEdited by FRANK
If you are into doing things yourself, there are all
sorts of rock cuts on the "other side" of the divide
that will give you plenty of sandstones, as well as
igneous rocks. When collecting for your tank,
take freshly broken off rocks. Sandstones, when rubbed
with your fingers will feel as if you are rubbing your
fingers on an emery board (depending upon size of the
grains of sand that make up the stone).

If you are not sure what you have, test them
for compatibility with aquariums.

Take a rock, scrape the surface to get a fresh,
clean area, and put a drop or two of acid on the
surface. If it bubbles, it is a carbonate.
If you put that rock in the tank it will increase
your pH to the 8's and the GH will climb.
Geologists use a dilute Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)
for the test. You can also use vinegar. Some folks
with lead acid car batteries will use a drop of that
acid. Just be careful with the stronger acids and
observe good safety precautions when using acids
(eye protection, etc.).

From your comments, I assume that you are going to
be setting up the tank with the African Rift fish.
They demand harder water with a pH in the 8's.

You will want to sustain that water chemistry as
"painlessly" as possible. By that I mean without
the use of expensive chemicals. The easiest way to do
that is to use crushed limestone, crushed dolomite, or
crushed oyster shells as your substrate. You mentioned
sand in particular, crushed coral (coral sand), Aragonite
would be excellent. Crushed limestone or dolomite are
better because they contain trace elements such as
Magnesium (Mg) that others such as crushed coral do not.

If you want to stick with sand, then you have a
few options. They all involve mixing the sand with
either the crushed limestone, or dolomite or
oyster shells, or coral to maintain your pH.
A tank with a mixture of crushed oyster shells and
sand can look interesting. Again, with sand or sand
mixtures, keep the thickness of the substrate to an
inch or less.

BTW, I live in Park County, near Como.


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 19-Nov-2008 13:17Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Posts: 147
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Registered: 08-Jun-2007
male usa
Ok. Yea Im thinking the poolsand mixed with the crushed coral may look kinda nice. As far as a rift tank im unsure of all the fish they have. most look the same just different color. Yellow,orange,blue,white. as far as the assorted tank
Post InfoPosted 20-Nov-2008 04:55Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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