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Every so often we beat the gravel issue to death but I would like to add
Niel Frank mentioned red flint gravel. It is the gravel of choice for
many of us in the mid-west. It is available through Wolverton pet
supply company in Lansing Michigan and is sold to them by Pebble Creek
products of Cincinnati, Ohio. The cost to the pet shop is $8.60 for a
50 pound bag. I use fine which is about the size of bb's. Medium is
too coarse for my taste. Retail price in most shops around here is
15-20 bucks a bag.
In my experience it takes about two pounds of gravel per gallon of tank
size. Most of the lfs's don't use enough in their own tanks and do a
poor job of recommending proper amount. That adds up to a lot of gravel
for large tanks which is why, as mentioned many times previously in the
digest, people have learned to use sand blasting grit or get gravel at
the home builders type stores. Clearly, most of the cost is for
shipping and packaging.
If I lived near Cinn, I would try to contact Pebble Creek.
Several years ago I got badly flamed for mentioning a great collection
spot I found in Canada on the shores of Lake Superior. Just south of
Wawa is a place called Old Woman bay. It is granite gravel with a nice
red/black/brown/white mix. Putting it through 1/4 inch screen got rid
of the large pebbles and then a window screen flushed the sand. I have
over a thousand pounds in my tanks. (lots of tanks). I got flamed for
stealing this gravel from the beach. But honestly, I was discreet and
left several million tons.
I have also used gravel collected from Lake Michigan and found the
limestone content too high for being able to change pH. If you use any
personally collected gravel be sure to do the muriatic test.