Jump to content

Treating/cleaning creek sand and rocks


Guest shade
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am setting up a 3ft tank, and thought that a natural substate would be cool. I went to the creek out on my parents property (It flows from a spring not far up into the state forest and is very fast flowing and I asume clean) I collected heaps of creek sand and some gravel and small pebbles, plus a few nice looking rocks for decoration. Apart from rinsing the sand and gravel to remove the silt and organic matter, it there anything else I need to do to treat it? The sand and gravel look great, it is generally dark but has a huge variety of colour, and the gravel looks great as well. I'm really keen to use this so any advise would be most helpful.

I was also thinking of collecting a few plant specimens. Do they need to be de-contaminated?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that two ways of sterilizing sand etc. is in boiling water and cooking it in the oven. I think I read of plants being washed with a salt solution to kill bugs and stuff but I haven't any experience with them. Mabe someone else here is more of an expert.

There must be someone in this forum that knows everything .LOL :eek:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Shade. I collect all of my own substrates and rocks, definitely wouldn't pay for them and it's more fun to look for and gather your own. I cook my gravel/sand in the oven rather than boiling as it will go way over boiling point ,(though either method should steralize them). I usually cook for 30 mins at 150c. Let it cool in the oven if there is a fair mass of it as it will take a while to cool down. Always cover with a cooking tray of some sort as occasionally a rock will go bang and it would make a mess in your oven. Always give rocks the acid test before using them, you don't want a ph runaway. Regarding plants,the issue is a little more complicated (grey). Yes, they will need a strong salt bath preferably with a small amount methylene blue or condie's crystals included as an anti-fungal, then rinse (well) again with straight tap water. (The weed you buy at the LFS usually comes straight from a pond and should really be treated in the same way if you love your fish.) Here's the weird bit...only gather weeds that DO have snails present. No snails is not good, often an indicator of the prescence of pesticide, which is deadly to snails in even the smallest concentrations (and not good for your fish either). Putting snails from a creek or pond into your tank is not good either as they can be carriers of some pretty nasty diseases, so check for snails after bathing/washing your plants and leave the plants in a bucket or tank in straight tap water for a week and then check again for snails before putting them in with your precious fish. Hope this info helps, Iv'e been doing it this way for many years with no problems re disease entry to my tanks. Cheers, Brad.

Edited by Brad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks to you both. I hadn't thought about using an oven to steralize, what a great idea. As for plants, salt bath and condie's sounds good.

one more question, I have washed the sand heaps, and It seems like it never comes clean. there is an almost endless flow of silt coming out of it. It seems most of it has gone though, will that be a problem. should i just set the tank up and leave it to see how well it settles?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Shade, try washing the sand a few cupfulls at a time in a bucket under a running tap while stirring it up. Tip the dirty water out of the bucket while the dirt is still in suspension. Do this until the water is fairly clear, then move on to the next few cupfulls. As you have discovered, it's near impossible to wash out a half full bucket of substrate in one batch. In answer to your question, yes, it will settle out in your tank if you haven't washed it totally clean. It will only take a day or two at the most for the water to be crystal clear. Seeya, -Brad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...