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GRADED GRAVELS, INCREASING SIZES - CONTRASTING

Andrew Butler

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Most out there contains to much white silica pebbles
This is the biggest problem I have.
Thanks for the pointers I will try having a Google and see what i can come up with from your suggestion.

I do still wonder what ADA used to provide and also why they stopped like used in the Escape aquarium.

saw these at a local garden centre. I took a photo as I was looking for gravel to use on sand. They had two different sizes.
Thanks Harry; I can find some a little bigger I could pick through but smaller gravels is a struggle and larger stones too. A lot of what I've seen has the orange/speckled type colour hues I don't like too.

I've found some Icelandic boulders which might work but it still misses the gap out.

Am I the only one that looks for a stone that goes from a sand/gravel right upto the larger stones with the same type and maybe that's why ADA stopped the variety?
 

Hufsa

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Am I the only one that looks for a stone that goes from a sand/gravel right upto the larger stones with the same type and maybe that's why ADA stopped the variety?

I guess I should voice my interest in this thread as well. I have been lurking in the background but share your frustration. I love pebbles and round stones and have been hunting for something that matches my beige sand, to no avail. I also have the Dennerle river pebbles, but was disappointed to see that they are quite cold in color and dont match as well as I had hoped with the beige. Im currently going through the bag picking out the brownest pebbles, but only about 2% are close enough.

This still leaves out the smaller sizes as well.

I have been looking at the gravel at https://www.flisbyab.se/produkter-ute/dekorsten-grus/sma-sackar
But these gravels have been reported to have a lot of limestone in them and has raised the PH for several aquarists.
Maybe it can be mitigated by picking out the white stones?
I ordered a bag of the biggest size a while back, but was disappointed. The pebbles are not very round, and they are a bright orange color.

Local gardening centers sell norwegian stone types in their pebble selections, which are very mottled and patterned stone that I find distracting in looks. Also only fairly big cobbles.

I quite like the look of "Scottish" Pebbles that seem to be sold from various retailers in the UK, they come in a variety of sizes and have nice uniform colors. Seems impossible to get them to Norway without paying some serious money for shipping a bunch of rocks though, and my common sense feels like having stones imported at great expense just to match a bit of sand is kind of ridiculous and a waste of money.
These might be too warm in color for your taste Andrew?
 

Andrew Butler

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I also have the Dennerle river pebbles, but was disappointed to see that they are quite cold in color and dont match as well as I had hoped with the beige. Im currently going through the bag picking out the brownest pebbles, but only about 2% are close enough.
It's a shame you're not closer as I don't really like those and prefer the grey tones!
I quite like the look of "Scottish" Pebbles that seem to be sold from various retailers in the UK, they come in a variety of sizes and have nice uniform colors.
You might be surprised with the bigger, and even smaller ones there is also that mottling look from what I've seen.
 

tam

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I quite like the look of "Scottish" Pebbles that seem to be sold from various retailers in the UK, they come in a variety of sizes and have nice uniform colors. Seems impossible to get them to Norway without paying some serious money for shipping a bunch of rocks though, and my common sense feels like having stones imported at great expense just to match a bit of sand is kind of ridiculous and a waste of money.
These might be too warm in color for your taste Andrew?

You have to watch photos - you need to see them wet. Often then look fairly uniform different tones of grey/brown but they can end up very different colours wet! If you get enough you can pick through if you don't want any outliers. The unipac natural gravels match quite well for small stuff, but their idea of 'round' is a bit hit an miss.

Have you tried visiting your local garden/landscaping supplies?
 

Hufsa

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You have to watch photos - you need to see them wet. Often then look fairly uniform different tones of grey/brown but they can end up very different colours wet! If you get enough you can pick through if you don't want any outliers. The unipac natural gravels match quite well for small stuff, but their idea of 'round' is a bit hit an miss.

Have you tried visiting your local garden/landscaping supplies?

The scottish cobbles I have seen online have had wet pictures and look like the colors I want, but getting them shipped over here would be difficult.

My local places all have very mottled stone types in their bags.
 

Andrew Butler

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The scottish cobbles I have seen online have had wet pictures and look like the colors I want
As did all the ones I saw, in reality they're not like that as @tam says and it's even more obvious by a long way when underwater.
They're a whole mixture of different stone types that over the countless years have drifted from various places.

I was unable to find anything that matched throughout size range easily so decided a contrasting look of a lighter coloured sand with darker stones is probably the way forward for me.
The ones I have seen seem to have people sourcing the larger stones from the seaside themselves.
 

Andrew Butler

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Have you looked at the Unipac range
Thanks @jaypeecee I've looked through the gravels before and had a couple of different types to look at, the problem was following that through with something bigger in size increments of the same size. I could get sand/gravel although most of it still contained quite a lot of white unless I went very dark, small stones that matched not so much and working my way upto big stones I just couldn't do so I gave up on this idea in the end.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
And is that for aesthetic or other reasons?
Other reasons really. When I had some higher flow tanks (I had an excursion in Loricariids) <"I used coarser substrates"> and let the current sort them. If I kept Hill Stream loaches etc. I'd return to rounded gravel as a substrate. Have a look at @doylecolmdoyle <"loaches thread">.

IMG_1405.jpg


I've mainly kept Apistogramma and Corydoras in recent years, and they both <"naturally feed from the sand">, and usually occur in <"habitats with fine substrates">.

I also have <"structural" leaf litter"> in the tanks, so sand is just so much easier to manage, with the leaf fragments etc sitting on the top of the sand. I keep Asellus and MTS in the tanks as "tank janitors".

I'm pretty sure that gravel vacuuming isn't good for any substrate and it isn't an activity that I'm going to engage in. If I had gravel I would need to find a new range of organisms that would perform that janitorial role in among the gravel fragments.

cheers Darrel
 

castle

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Gravel is my second favourite substrate (after uncapped dirt), I've always loved how sediment collects within the gravel - always has aided organisms in my tanks to thrive. Only recently moved to sand, and in the next tank I will be using gravel and sand in a 70/30 split. I don't like pure sand tanks.
 

Andrew Butler

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If its from Belgium it's 95% from a quarry situated and diggin at the river Meuse.. :) Sourcing garden centres etc you might find the very same gravel dennerle sells to decorate your home driving lane to the garage etc. :)

Google
maasgrind - Google Search
and select images and you'll find a load of simmular looking products to Dennerle River Gravel.

I live rather close to the Meuse and Belgium and its gravel pits, 20 miles. But stil, i have to admit.. Next to pictures on the internet 9 out of 10 times look more promesing than real time product. It aint easy to find a uniform colored batch of pebbles in small quantities. Most out there contains to much white silica pebbles. Patience and prais the lord for Aufwuchs..
The above information Marcel gives I think is pretty much spot on, cannot seem to find any availability in the UK though.
At present I'm just looking to match the Dennerle Plantahunter river gravel with a few slightly larger pebbles/stones/cobbles - I've the gravel in S (4-8mm) and L (8-12mm) so upwards of there looking to draw focus on the darker and grey tones primarily, avoiding the very pale ones, although I like the way a few have the white veins running through them so that might be even better.

Scottish pebbles/stones/cobbles just don't match the bill and I've been through a few bags hunting!

In my part of the country anything I dig up or have access to either doesn't match and/or isn't suitable so wonder if anyone in other parts of the UK has any smooth pebbles/stones/cobbles they have access to fitting the specifications and would be wiling to help me out, I'd of course pay for the service.
Sizes ranging from 12mm upto 75 or even 100mm depending on shape etc I think sounds about right.

Thanks
Andrew
 

zozo

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You might be lucky with contacting a roofer, a road worker or a garden architect company. :) These all occasionally use river cobbles in their projects. They must know the suppliers, issues you might run into they only supply Big Bags, but you might be lucky to find one with a heart for hobbyists and say come and get a bucket... :)
 

Andrew Butler

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Thanks @zozo - I'm familiar with standard suppliers and supplies, also the one offs and the only way is to get a bulk bag from source as you say at a stupid amount of money.
Garden architects are a good call, will have a talk with some friends to ask their friends.
It's all Scottish cobbles over here as standard in those sizes which unfortunately don't suit what I'm looking for.

In certain parts of the UK I know there is similar, just not close to me or I have access to. Hopefully someone on here will answer my calls with any luck.
 
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Are you talking stuff like this but smaller?
IMG_20210102_1716200.jpg
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
looking to draw focus on the darker and grey tones primarily, avoiding the very pale ones, although I like the way a few have the white veins running through them so that might be even better.
That is trickier, most of the local rounded gravel in SE UK is likely to be flint based and lighter coloured. You need a member from NW UK to go and collect you some from <"a mafic igneous rock source">.

cheers Darrel
 
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You need a member from NW UK
That's what I'm thinking mate, unless we're talking different stuff here the colours @Andrew Butler is looking for is pretty much the norm everywhere. You can buy crusher run stuff from local quarries which grades from 75mm down to dust and the local beaches are covered in the stuff. St Bees in particular.
 

Andrew Butler

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Are you talking stuff like this but smaller?
I'd like to have smooth, rounded pebbles or cobbles.
I'll refer back to the Escape aquarium which will hopefully give you a rough idea only I might want a few more that next size up also.
You need a member from NW UK to go and collect you some
It's what I'm hoping for, I know there are these colour tones and shapes around the lakes - Cumbria would be a good place!
That's what I'm thinking mate, unless we're talking different stuff here the colours @Andrew Butler is looking for is pretty much the norm everywhere. You can buy crusher run stuff from local quarries which grades from 75mm down to dust and the local beaches are covered in the stuff. St Bees in particular.
Crusher Run / MOT type 1 is all ironstone and clay around here from the local quarries.
There's no beaches local to where I am in Banbury - about as far away from the sea as you can get and don't see the opportunity to get to one coming anytime soon.
The colours are certainly ones you could pick out at a beach but you can find almost any colour on the right beach.
 
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