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Thread: Cheap substates - pea gravel?

  1. #1

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    I was looking at my local home improvement store for CHEAP substrates - and found pea gravel in a semi suitable size for $2.22 for 3 cubic feet, which should do 2 inches thich at 3 ft square according to the ad.

    Is there anything wrong with using pea gravel? Does it have rock in it unsuitable for the aquarium that would raise hardness, etc?

    Thanks!
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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    It probably contains different kinds of rock... the term "gravel" is more a designation of rock size than rock type.

    You could do the vinegar test and see if it fizzles... but ideally (and insanely) you would have to test every rock to be sure. If you just test a bunch of it you'll probably get a satisfactory result.

    Also, I assume rocks in pea gravel form have been rounded down pretty well, but if you have bottom-dwelling fish you should probably make sure you don't have sharp edges in there.

  3. #3

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    Hi M,

    Pea gravel is what most natural gravel is. As long as it is clean use it. If it has lime in it then it will raise hardness and pH but for livebearers that is fine. Might be bad for some plants but I don't know.

    Bobby

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    Lauderdale's Avatar
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    Pea gravel or pea rock is a common name used for "pea" sized, 3/8" or smaller aggregate, used in small concrete pumping machines. It does not denote the type of rock used, only the size. Here in Florida it is crushed lime rock...not good for our plants, nor would I think for aquariums.

  5. #5

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    Update!!!!

    I bought some Pea Gravel - 1/2 cubic foot (which is about 3 inches deep in a 29 gal if you use the whole thing) - I did the vinegar test - and only about three rocks gave any kind of bubbling due to reaction - so what the heck! This pea gravel is packaged in Illinois - so its local to my area.

    2.29 per 1/2 cubic foot! Meaning I can put 1.5 inches of gravel in 2 - 29 gal tanks for $2.45 with TAX! It was costing 25.00 for EACH 29 gal tank when I was going with the MEIJER BRAND "fish rock" - YIKES.

    Also have potted some plants using clay pots, with substrate in this order - pea gravel - organic potting soil -plant roots - pea gravel....... working great so far - no leaching.

    Thanks EVERYBODY for your input!!!

    Its always appreciated.


    Dustin
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