Aquarium Decoration (Rocks, Plants and Substrates) • Where to Find/collect rocks

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Where to Find/collect rocks

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:25 pm

I am trying to build a real rock aquarium background. I made a separate topic for that. I'm also trying to rescape my tank right now as it has a mix of a whole bunch of different rocks and it looks horrible. There's lava rock, some kind of slate or shale, some kind of sandstone, and some more disgustingness. I would like to replace all of these rocks with one kind/color. Anyone know where I could pick up close to 120 pounds of large, relatively stackable rock or just boulders to fill my 55 gallon? Ideally, it would be free, but I'm fine with paying about $0.20 a pound. Something like limestone would be nice. Is it legal to pick up those boulders/large rocks that fall from bluffs near the sides of roads? If that's illegal, I live within 5 miles of the Missouri River and there's a 230 mile trail that runs along bluffs pretty much the whole time. Am I allowed to pick up the rocks from there? BTW, I'm talking about the KATY trail in Missouri. Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.
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A/collect rocks

Postby DJRansome » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:39 pm

Ideally wild caught rocks come from your own property only. A convenient alternative is a landscape supplier that has piles of boulders for sale who will let you hand pick rocks without buying an entire pallet. This is what most of us recommend and have done.

Usually public land has prohibitions, some states more than others. You would have to get permission from park rangers or officials. And roadside rock could have pollutants.
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Re: Where to Find/collect rocks

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:31 am

Ok thanks DJ!
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Re: Where to Find/collect rocks

Postby Bertdog » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:50 pm

Farmers in my area let you get all you want from a non planted field
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Re: Where to Find/collect rocks

Postby DJRansome » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:58 pm

Organic farmers would be a better choice than farmers who use pesticides.
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Re: Where to Find/collect rocks

Postby Bertdog » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:57 am

do you think boiling in vinegar cleans . I've not had issues doing this. Or will I have a future issue?
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Re: Where to Find/collect rocks

Postby DJRansome » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:55 am

I would worry about the acidic vinegar being absorbed by porous rocks and leaching back into the water over time.

If you start with rocks that are not soaked in pesticides or toxins...just a scrub with a stiff brush and hot water is sufficient.
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Re: Where to Find/collect rocks

Postby JimSparks » Fri May 01, 2020 6:49 am

I've had luck with landscape supply places around me. I've bought enough gravel, mulch and topsoil this year they were like "Go ahead fill up a couple of buckets, as long as you keep coming back to buy mulch". But even at that, the rock wasn't very expensive.
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Re: Where to Find/collect rocks

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Mon May 04, 2020 11:54 am

Will look into farmer fields and landscape stores once they open. Thanks guys.
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