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Re: Aquarium gravel

Janina writes:

> I was hoping people could give me some advice in purchasing gravel. I don't
>  like getting the stuff from the pet store, because it is much too expensive
>  and too coarse. I have tried getting some coarse sand from a gravel place
>  and it was free, but it turned out to have a lot of shells in it which
>  raised the hardness of my RO water too much. Can anybody share where they
>  acquire coarse sand/gravel for a planted tank. I live in southern Ohio, if
>  that is relevant.
>  Thank you

At any hardware store or home center you can get a small bottle of muriatic
acid for under $5.  Take some of that and a glass cup (I like the 2-cup Pyrex
measuring cup, it has a pour spout so you can return it to the bottle) to the
rock quarry or garden center with you.  Pour a little acid into the cup, toss
in some gravel, and watch to see if it bubbles.  If it doesn't it is free of
the calium and magnesium carbonates that cause the hardness in your water.
Any gravel that passes this test is generally considered safe for aquarium

Bob Dixon