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Re: [APD] Rocks for aquascape -- or - Hard desires

Rocks are expensive to ship due to the concentrated mass.
Even a "small" one suitable as a key element inan aquascape
in a common size aquarium weighs more than most other items
that you might ship -- except, perhaps, substrate.

If there is anywhere "local" you can get to look for rocks?
A place that's not such a hike that you won't regret
lugging a "rock" back home? If so, this will be much less
expensive and quite possibly produce a rock you'll find
suitable. Rocks are much easier to find than, say
driftwood. In fact, there's a good chance you'll find
several rocks "of a piece" or part of a natural formation.
Check out how the rocks are arranged naturally and you can
get some inspiration for a rock arrangement in an aquascape
that will appear natural instead of obviously placed by

It would be hard to get a combination of rocks like that
from an on-line vendor, who probably deals in bulk when it
comes to rocks.

Roger Miller gave a very good talk on rocks for aquarium
use at the 2003 AGA convention [I wonder if rock
hound/hobbyists fly to conventions to hear about water?].
One important point Roger made is that vinegar is not
strong enough to test for carbonates that might leach into
the water. Try pool acid instead -- use with care. If the
rock doesn't fizz in reaction to the stronger acid, you
should be okay as far as carbonates go.

It's best if the rock is not crumbly. Scratch it with
something metal to test.

I'll offer one last comment. Unless you are going to remove
the rock(s) and scrub often, the surface appearance will be
diff in the aquarium -- developing over time a coating of
biofilm and maybe a little algae. So emphasize shape and
arrangement over surface appearance. Just my opinion.

Btw, Although Roger won't be speaker at this year's AGA
convention, Amano will be there to demonstrate and talk
about aquascaping!

Good luck, good fun,
Scott H.
--- Robert Armas <rarmas at bellsouth_net> wrote:

> I'm planning to set up one tank "T. Amano style" ;).
> I have in mind one or three rocks (black if possible) 
> and a carpet of dwarf hair grass, kinda of a ressemblance
> of a zen or japanese garden.
> Does anybody knows where to find this type of rocks
> online?
> Local sources do not carry them.
> Are they inert? I do not need a raise of the PH.

How long can you wait until the good air fares are gone? 
The AGA 2004 Convention is still over two months away. But "last minute" air fares can be pricey. Not to mention the Banquet and Field trip have limited capacity. Take time to make your plans but don't wait too long. Ten Banquet seats were reserved in just the last week.

Convention Details/Registration at aquatic-gardeners.org & gwapa.org
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