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I want to make the cool plant/rock decorations that are so expensive at the store. Anyone know where to get the materials? I want to set up another tank and keep expenses down so I can get more expensive fish. Also, does anyone know how to coat sea shells so they can be used in freshwater tanks?
 

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Some local fish stores carriers tank safe rocks, Depending on the style of rock work you want, I went to home depot and bought a box of broken slate. If you use regular rock, make sure to clean it very good. Also you may have to do a vinegar test to see if it will raise you PH, and hardness. The only plants I found cheaply was at an lfs that was in the reptile section, just have to watch for metals. As for coating seashells, I wouldn't do it, but again depending on the fish, bare shells will raise the hardness. Most coatings will eventually breakdown or leak anyways.
 

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I assumed she meant the resin decorations. I am just setting mine up and since I live about a block from a lake, I got my rocks yesterday. Did the vinegar test, soaked them, then boiled them in a stock pot. Just cut about $100 off my cost.
 

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I assumed she meant the resin decorations. I am just setting mine up and since I live about a block from a lake, I got my rocks yesterday. Did the vinegar test, soaked them, then boiled them in a stock pot. Just cut about $100 off my cost.
Thats what I do. Same for my drift wood.
 

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one of the cheapest, and best ways to to get fake plants for me is to go to home decorating stores i.e. hobby lobby. they have large nice looking plants for a good price. i use a hammer drill to drill through rocks, then use them for anchors.
 

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ya im currently making my own driftwood right now i have bricks holding a very heavy piece soakin in some water that i put salt in i ran a pump in the container to mix the salt and the wood still floats after three days but soon it shuld be good im sure all tiny creatures inside are dead and the water has turned brown that is good im going to change the water and if it doesnt turn brown then most of the tannins and acids are gone
 

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if ur using wood from the woods make sure its thick, heavey, and no bark cause bark will rot and come off in ur tank making a mess i have heard that from people who speak from experience
 

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I bought sea shells in a fish store and used them in my freshwater tank. I do not know about using the ones off the shore I would boil them good but not coat them with anything. You would be more likely to have trouble with the coating than the shell. My fish loved the shell and it did not hurt them.

I also have seen people get PVC pipe and coat it with aquarium gravel after putting a coat of aquarium silicone on it and it makes lovely caves. They are very natural looking and clean very easily and never wear out and are always safe in any aquarium. They make good breeding caves for some of the fish and can be made in many sizes and the color range is only limited by the gravel choice.

Rose
 
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That background is awesome. I'm putting that on my checklist. Only thing I wonder about is whether or not he covered the sides. Is styrofoam not bad for fish?
 

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Hey im in the process of making my own driftwood too. Is it safe to use bleach to kill the bacteria? the only other alternative I can think of is boiling it which would be a pain because of the size of wood I am using any other ideas?
 
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