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Nolegs

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Hey folks, I'm starting to plan a new 55 gallon and wanted to know if it is safe to add wood and stones found in a creek. I want to go with a more natural look and would like something different than what I see at my lfs and at petsmart. I'm open to any suggestions and advise.
Thanks ;D
 

Butterfly

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Yes you certainly can. First the clean dirt, bark and other detritus off of rocks and wood. Then boil, boil, boil them. boil the wood for several hours, empty the water and start over until the water boils clear. The tannins from the wood will color the water in your tank if you don't, also you want to get your wood HOT all the way through to kill any nasties that might be hiding in it.
The rocks are easier, they too need to be boiled. Please be careful taking them out of the water as they can explode if cooled too fast or added to the next pot of cold water while their still hot.
also wood such as cedar, spruce etc, any that have a resinous smell are are unsuitable for wood in the tank.they have substances that can harm your fish if put in the tank. Hope that helps.
Carol
 

Butterfly

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Don't know about hardness but is suppose to lower the pH. BUT I have wood in four tanks and they have the same pH as the other eight(yes I said eight that don't have it. I do sugnificant water changes so don't know if that keeps the pH about the same or not.
Sorry I don't think I answered your question :-\
Carol
 
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Nolegs

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Thanks for that helpful info, I really want to take my time and find some unique peices to add to the new tank, another thing that I was wondering about was PVC, I might want a little tunnel towards the back of the tank, is there any paint that is safe to use that won't eventually wear off and poisen the water?
 

Butterfly

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I don't know of any paint that is aquarium safe but what I have seen that is quite attractive is to spread aquarium grade silicone on the PVC pipe and roll it in gravel or sand or attach java moss to it.
Attach the moss with string or rubber bands not silicone though
Carol
 
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Nolegs

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Butterfly, you are the reason that these boards are so helpfull, thank you. I had thought about burying the pvc a little deeper than I wanted and trying to make a gravel "hill", but had never thought of what you just said. I think that I will use your suggestion when building my tank.
 

Butterfly

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Cool, my son-in-law(Tennhound's husband) rolled his in sand for their loach tank and looked really nice.
Carol
 

Isabella

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Nogels, I guess you could (?) use wood found at the creek if it's boiled and soaked well and for a long time. But I still think it's safer to use driftwood specially prepared for aquaria (it's available at aquatic stores and even at regular pet stores). I am in no way discouraging you from using the wood from the creek - it's totally up to you. Just personally think it's safer to use driftwood. I heard that regular wood may start to rot in your tank. There are some really beautiful pieces of driftwood available. I personally also used stones found in a river, boiled them well, and they're fine. The driftwood in my tank didn't change the pH either - the pH in my tank with wood is the same as the pH in my tank without wood.
 

Isabella

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Chickadee, lol, why? Have I said something funny? Tell me, lol, maybe I'm not seeing it!
 

Isabella

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OH !!! I see it now, lol. Sorry Nolegs, it was a typo (I'm always reading and writing very fast, so sorry if I make typing errors - can't always see everything).
 

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