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Re: shells in gravel in the West


>Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 07:01:54 -0700
>From: Wright Huntley <huntley1 at home_com>
>Organization: HOLOGRAF
>To: Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
>Subject: Re: shells in gravel in the West
>Roxanne wrote:
>> Date: Wed, 10 Jun 1998 13:12:29 -0700
>> From: Roxanne Bittman <RBITTMAN at hq_dfg.ca.gov>
>> Bob Dixon challenged my statement that I had trouble
>> locating shell-less gravel in California. 
>> Basically, gravel is only mined from a finite number of
>> places locally.  I'm sure the trucking costs are
>> astronomical, 
>Bingo! Roxanne is right on!
>Our primary source of gravel in N. Calif. is RMC Lonestar (Formerly
>Monterey Sand). The EPA or Coastal Commission, or someone, made them
>stop using gravel from an old Santa Cruz river bed, so they now use
>beach gravel, with shells and all, probably from Davenport. If you want
>"fizzy" chips, buy their "Lapis Lustre" aquarium gravel.
>> And, yes, the little white fragments bubble profusely in
>> acid - I tested it.
>I'm not at all surprised. I raise killies, wild Bettas and Apistos, so
>the extra CaCO3 plays hell with *all* my soft-water tanks. 
>I usually drive clear to Reno to get my gravel from a building-supplies
>place in Sparks, NV. [Well, I may have other business in Reno, at the
>time. ;-)] Otherwise, I sometimes treat the "Lapis Lustre" with pool
>acid to reduce the solubility of the surface of the shell chips. Long
>soak to remove the acid is required, tho.
>Roxanne should find the same stuff I get in NV, locally, easily.
>Basalite is headquartered in or near Sacramento, and they distribute
>"SRI Supreme" aquarium gravels (by Silicon Resources, Inc. out of Yuba
>City), in various screen sizes. It is clean granite, well water-rounded,
>from streams and rivers out of the Sierras. The soft snow runoff
>guarantees no lime-like stuff. Call Basalite to find a retailer.
>It is not quite as pretty as the "Monterey" junk, as it is all black and
>white (=gray) with no brown and yellow-green specks to make it more
>interesting looking. It is packaged better, in 40 lb. heavy plastic
>bags. The problem is finding a retailer that will order pallet-sized
>So far, I have found none in the Bay Area who will. The shipping costs
>and less-attractive appearance are simply prohibitive. I envy folks who
>can buy shell-free gravel without driving 400 miles!
>Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntley1 at home_com