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substrate, plants, gravel

     I have decided to use a mix of vermiculite and garden soil for the 
bottom layer of my aquarium.  Maybe 3 inches.  Then, I will have a layer 
of sand.  I found the osmacote 14-14-14, and it seems as though this 
will be very good to use.  I have heard of Jobe spikes, but are they 
safe for the aquarium?  I am planning on having a few rocks, so I went 
rock hunting. I found several rocks that I want to use for the aquarium.  
How can one be sure whether to use them or not, will they be safe?  Do 
the rocks have to be prepared?  I remember something being said about an 
acid test, so you do not put in rocks that could release harmful 
chemicals, or lime rocks.  What type of acid is okay?  Vinegar?  Thanks!
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