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FAQs on Collecting Your Own Freshwater Substrates

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Local substrate; FW       9/30/14
Hi, you guys have helped me out before and I have searched through a lot of the FAQ but most of the info seems to be related to ocean sands and I have a freshwater system.
I have always done reef tanks but with family growth I have not had the type of time needed to monitor a reef tank so I have gone back to my teen years and freshwater systems.
<To go is to return (or some such)>
I have a 300 gallon Oscar tank where I obtained substrate from a beautiful large local river without even a second thought and it has worked out wonderfully for 6 years now. But I have just set up a 65 gallon oceanic tank for my youngest and most interested 5 year old. We live in a country wooded area and have a stream with beautiful fine grain sand. It is not a heavily traveled stream. We collected sand from there and a few river stones. I am a female landscaper and used some pieces of slate and an untreated cobble brick that has been used in a different aquarium for years. The tank looks amazing and has been cycling for some time now but not quite ready for fish. I have added beneficial bacteria to help give it all a boost. I want to add live plants and let that work together a while before adding fish. I am looking into puffers as I had a beautiful arrow head for many many years which I loved. But for some reason that made me
consider how he buried in the sand at times. I did not boil my sand thinking the "live" component to it would help it cycle and possibly be healthier.
<I usually suggest at least thoroughly rinsing such wild-collected substrate and rock; sometimes bleaching (rinsing, treating and possibly air-drying) if very concerned re introduction of undesirable organisms>
Now what? Can I add in an antiparasitic?
<Mmm; you can/could... anti-protozoal, anti-worm...>
I hate the idea of having to start over again.
<Well; then don't>
My Oscars in the 300 gallon have never had a single illness or parasite, no gill flukes or worms. They even eat the rocks at times when they move them around to make breeding areas. I have the same type of slate and cobbles in there also. Advice? Or a link to my answer would be helpful, if there is one!
<At this point; I'd likely skip further treatment. Perhaps anything that might cause trouble has gone or left virulence>
Thanks so much guys! Keep doing what you do, it's a huge help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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