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River gravel

In response to a query from William Glaze about River Gravel. . . Yes I
have used sand/gravel that I have collected from a small stream in New
Hampshire in all of my tanks with good results.  I made 1'X 2' frames out
of 2x4's and stapled on hardware cloth, (screen) in smaller dimensions to
get the size gravel that I wanted.  I really like the naturalistic color
of this gravel which I mix with #3 sandblasting grit in all of my set ups.
Two cautions (that I can think of) 1) You will also collect algae, and
small critters that live in the gravel.  If that concerns you then boil
the hell out of it before use. Lobster pots are great for this.  2)
Depending on the make up of the gravel there may be limestone present that
will increase your PH as it dissolves.  In my situation the water of this
stream and adjoining sp? small pond is very soft so I didn't worry about
it and have experienced no such problems.  They don't call it the granite
state for nothing.  Anyway it is a great way to collect cheap gravel that
IMHO looks much better than store bought. YMMV.

Till next time,

Miles Morrissey   Easthampton, MA - USA
mmorriss at sophia_smith.edu