Search
 
 

Display results as :
 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Coral In Stock (Friday, April 25)
Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:27 pm by CanadaCorals

» Coral In Stock (April, 11 2014)
Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:05 pm by CanadaCorals

» Official Canada Corals Introduction
Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:35 pm by CanadaCorals

» Looking for Bubble Tip Anemone
Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:13 pm by Shannon *Admin*

» A big Welcome to our new Sponsor CANADA CORALS!!
Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:14 pm by Shannon *Admin*

» Good News..
Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:26 am by Shannon *Admin*

» BIG ALS MARCH 29-APRIL 4TH
Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:04 am by Shannon *Admin*

» L.E.D Lighting
Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:55 am by Shannon *Admin*

» ELEGANCE
Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:48 am by Shannon *Admin*

Navigation
 Portal
 Index
 Memberlist
 Profile
 FAQ
 Search
Affiliates
free forum
 


FACEBOOK LIKE BUTTON

DIY live rock

View previous topic View next topic Go down

DIY live rock

Post by spankmeister on Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:18 am

I am currently looking around to find the best way to make live rock from regular concrete. I just wanted to put this out there to see if anyone has any personal experience doing so, or any words of caution. I am planning another tank, about 150g and dont want to buy that much rock. Not too interested in killing stuff just to save money either.
Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

spankmeister

Number of posts : 13
Age : 39
Location : Barrie, Ontario
Tank Size- Gallons : 55gal predator tank, 40g + 20g + 2x10g clown breeder setup
Reefer Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-03-08

Back to top Go down

Re: DIY live rock

Post by Shannon *Admin* on Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:55 am

Cement Reef Rock Recipes.



Try this good simple basic recipe to make some of the cheapest porous
cement reef rock around. It costs only about 9 cents a lb using this
recipe! Using a five gallon bucket, add 5 cups of common easy to find
type I/II Portland cement from Home Depot, a hardware store or building
supply store. Add 25 cups of crushed oyster shell from a farm feed
store. Add six cups of water and mix very thoroughly with a small hand
held flower gardening digger. Use rubber gloves to protect your hands
from chemical burning due to extended exposure to the high pH of the
fresh cement - this is like soaking your hands in supersaturated
kalkwasser. Tip the bucket on a 45 degree angle and rotate or roll it
to help tumble and mix the cement well. Use the gardening hand digger
to mix the cement as you tumble it in the bucket. If the mix is too dry
add a little more water (slowly). Karen Holt tries for a final mix with
the consistency of cottage cheese. Others go a bit wetter than this,
but not too slushy. Many sand substitutes can also be used to make your
cement if desired. More on this later. You can get crushed oyster shell
at the farm feed store since it is used as a very common chicken feed
supplement. And that, my friend, is why THIS cement reef rock recipe is
so "cheep, cheep, cheep"!

Do not make the final product too runny or you will not be able to
shape it into nice looking irregular shapes as well. An almost slushy
mixture that will still stand up just a little and take some shape
(just a bit) is just right for molding. In fact, James Wiseman advises
that a wetter mix not only assures that the silicates in the cement mix
get hydrated and bound, but a slightly wetter mix will produce more
micro-pores or capillaries throughout the cement for better bacterial
colonization inside the rocks. On the other hand, this can also weaken
the cement just a bit, but usually not critically so. On the other
hand, don't make it too dry or the cement will have too many large
airspace gaps between sand or crushed oyster shell bits and it will
then be weaker than the mix that is too wet. Maximum hardness is mostly
reached after about a month of curing. Now, using rubber gloves, scoop
handfuls of it into a bed of dampened sand (or substitute) for molding
and shaping your cement into reef rocks.

Beforehand, you need to prepare this waterproof box or container with
sand, crushed coral, aragonite sand or crushed oyster shell. Large
plastic garbage can lids work well too. Dig irregular and creative
shaped molds in the slightly dampened sand. Karen Holt prefers using
the crushed oyster shell cement with about a 1:4 ratio of cement to
crushed oyster shell, and uses damp crushed oyster shell for the sand
molding bed also. She makes some interesting and intricate shapes with
the cement that she calls "lace Rock".

Another alternative box for the sand molding bed that I have used is a
large shallow Rubbermaid or Sterilite semi-clear plastic "under bed"
storage container with a lid. The lid can be used to cover the
container to keep the cement rocks from drying out while they set up
for two days. I found some of these cheap containers for only $4.50 at
Wal-Mart. They are made by Sterilite and are 2' long by 1.5' wide and
about six inches deep. Just right for making four larger rocks or eight
smaller ones at once.

You can dig irregular holes in the damp sand molding bed to form
"molds" for making creative and or artistic concrete rocks. I like to
make holes through some rocks and mound up little heaps of cement on
them in irregular shapes so that they look more natural. This is a
great way to make arches, rocks with caves and long flattish rocks for
creating dramatic overhangs and more caves in your reef aquarium. I
like to make small cement rocks to place the large flatter rocks on in
my reef aquariums. This keeps more of the sand substrate surface
exposed in my reef aquariums. You can easily get up to 90% sand
exposure this way. In HANDY Reefs with plenums and sand, I sink these
hand made cement support or pedestal rocks down to the top screen just
over an inch below the top of the sand. In Berlin style reefs with an
inch or two of sand, sink these base support rocks or pedestal rocks
down into the sand to the bottom of the tank for more solid support of
the rocks above.

Karen Holt made a beautiful hollow lacy thin cave rock for my wife by
burrowing out a deep hole in the sand molding box (she used crushed
oyster shell in place of sand). She fills the hole with a layer of
cement by dropping or dribbling small clumpy amounts of the cement
mixture onto the hollowed out molding bed so that the fresh cement
clumps interconnect for the most part, but it isn't just one solid
layer. It ends up looking just a little holey and porous. She then
fills in over that with barely damp crushed oyster shell to help it
keep its shape as the cement sets up. When it sets up for about two
days you can use a stick to brush the sand (or oyster shell) out and
off of the new rock. The branching rocks that she makes are quite
striking also. The shape variations can be numerous and fun to
experiment with.

Some of Karen Holt's creative cement rocks curing in fresh water.
***

I have used Karen's technique of dribbling cement in layers and also
putting sand or crushed oyster shell placed between parts of layers to
make rocks with interconnecting caves and tunnels running through them.
To do this, dig an irregular bumpy hole in the sand and dribble the
first layer, leaving some holes in it. Then fill the holes you left
with barely damp crushed oyster shell or sand and also cover up a
couple other spots on the cement with thick portions of the damp sand
to help create hollows inside the rock you are making. When you put
more cement over this heap of sand, you build it upward in layers of
cement and separating pockets of sand. Just dribble your next layer of
cement mix over that and keep making holes and tunnels with the
intermittently placed pockets of damp sand. When it is has set up for
two days, use a wire coat hanger or a stick to dig and clean the sand
out of the holes and tunnels it has formed in the cement rocks. This
can make really fun tunnelled cement reefs rock! Get creative and have
fun.


Kids like to help make cement rocks, but like an Easy-Bake Oven, adult supervision required.
***


Last edited by Shannon *Admin* on Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:32 am; edited 1 time in total

_________________
LOW NITRATES?? WHATS THAT?..Cool 

REEFING IS A WAY OF LIFE NOT JUST A HOBBY!!Laughing 

MEMBER OF OVERFEEDERS ANONYMOUS  What a Face 
avatar
Shannon *Admin*
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 251
Age : 41
Location : Fergus, Ontario
Tank Size- Gallons : 38g Display, 12g Nanocube, 8 Gallon nano, 28g JBJ HQI

29g Biocube - Feb 2/14
Reefer Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2008-11-24

http://beyondthereef.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: DIY live rock

Post by Shannon *Admin* on Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:56 am

***** IMPORTANT READ THIS!!! *****
You
need to cure your cement rock WELL before adding it to your aquarium,
or it can easily boost the pH of the aquarium water well up over 9!
Since proper curing is the most critical part of cement reef rock
making, we'll go over the warnings here first, and then right
afterwards we'll cover some curing methods. Improperly cured cement
rock which raises your reef aquarium's pH, is not conducive to growing
algae, fish, invertebrates or anything! Improperly cured cement rock =
death to aquarium. Others and I have lost fish, live rock, live sand,
live coral and more by getting too anxious to introduce cement rock
into aquariums. 12 hours or even a few days with a vinegar curing
process and then a week or two of fresh water curing didn't work with
larger rocks. It lowered the pH but not enough and it can weaken the
more delicate cement rock shapes somewhat and still not completely cure
them or fully lower the pH. When properly curing in fresh water is
complete (five weeks or MORE!) it should no longer raise the pH of
fresh tap water and is now safe to add to an aquarium in any amount.
Before adding your new cement rock to your aquarium, TEST the rock for
high pH.

After you think your new cement rocks have cured enough in water,
change the curing water again and then let them set with a new change
of fresh water covering them for about four days. Do not aerate the
water or even keep it moving during this final curing time before
testing the pH. After four days of this final soaking in stagnant
water, stir the water the cement is in just before you test the pH of
the water. If the pH has risen to 8 or higher then continue curing
another three days (to complete another week of soaking) before
changing the water again, letting it set four more days in the new
water, and then testing the pH of the water again. You can aerate the
water during curing, but not before testing the pH or you will get a
false low pH reading due to the aeration precipitating out the calcium
hydroxide and calcium oxide that causes the high pH.

The object is to find out if the cement is still leaching, not to see
if you can cover up the signs of this final curing and leaching. More
on complete leaching and pH rebound at the end of this article. Once
the cement is fully cured, I no longer detect these pH raising
compounds or silicate leaching. DON'T use cement rock until you KNOW
that it will not raise the pH of your tank to the point of killing
things in it. This high pH will also cause binding and severe clumping
of an aquarium's aragonite sand substrate. So, no matter how you choose
to cure your cement rock, TEST IT for pH before using it in your
aquarium. It makes absolutely wonderful reef aquarium rock if it is
properly cured first. Save a reef, cure your rock!


HOPE THIS HELPS A BIT
SHANNON



Last edited by Shannon *Admin* on Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:31 am; edited 1 time in total

_________________
LOW NITRATES?? WHATS THAT?..Cool 

REEFING IS A WAY OF LIFE NOT JUST A HOBBY!!Laughing 

MEMBER OF OVERFEEDERS ANONYMOUS  What a Face 
avatar
Shannon *Admin*
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 251
Age : 41
Location : Fergus, Ontario
Tank Size- Gallons : 38g Display, 12g Nanocube, 8 Gallon nano, 28g JBJ HQI

29g Biocube - Feb 2/14
Reefer Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2008-11-24

http://beyondthereef.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: DIY live rock

Post by 2Frosty4u on Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:01 am

Awsome information Shannon but you're killing my eye's with the black text on the dark grey background. Shocked
avatar
2Frosty4u

Number of posts : 110
Location : Hamilton, Ont.
Tank Size- Gallons : 120g Reef, 35g fuge, 35g sump, 2X250W MH, 2X110W VHO actinic, Euroreef CS8-4 Skimmer, Blueline 100HD return pump, OM squirt 4 way closed loop.
75g Fowlr tied into reef system.
Reefer Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-04-29

Back to top Go down

Re: DIY live rock

Post by Shannon *Admin* on Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:33 am

Oops...sorry bout that..I didnt even notice..lol

_________________
LOW NITRATES?? WHATS THAT?..Cool 

REEFING IS A WAY OF LIFE NOT JUST A HOBBY!!Laughing 

MEMBER OF OVERFEEDERS ANONYMOUS  What a Face 
avatar
Shannon *Admin*
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 251
Age : 41
Location : Fergus, Ontario
Tank Size- Gallons : 38g Display, 12g Nanocube, 8 Gallon nano, 28g JBJ HQI

29g Biocube - Feb 2/14
Reefer Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2008-11-24

http://beyondthereef.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: DIY live rock

Post by spankmeister on Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:13 am

Thanks for all the great info Shannon. Hopefully if I start making this stuff now, patience shouldn't interfere with curing as the new tank is still at least a month away. (anyone looking to sell a 150+gal tank). I'll let you know how it goes, I'm kinda looking foreward to starting this project. Definately more exciting than buying 300lbs of rock at the lfs. LOL Of course I dont plan on doing this all at once, plus I will have some of my cultured rock in there also for seeding.

Thanks again.

spankmeister

Number of posts : 13
Age : 39
Location : Barrie, Ontario
Tank Size- Gallons : 55gal predator tank, 40g + 20g + 2x10g clown breeder setup
Reefer Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-03-08

Back to top Go down

Re: DIY live rock

Post by 2Frosty4u on Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:46 am

A friend of mine in Burlington is selling a 240g for $600 if you're interested.
avatar
2Frosty4u

Number of posts : 110
Location : Hamilton, Ont.
Tank Size- Gallons : 120g Reef, 35g fuge, 35g sump, 2X250W MH, 2X110W VHO actinic, Euroreef CS8-4 Skimmer, Blueline 100HD return pump, OM squirt 4 way closed loop.
75g Fowlr tied into reef system.
Reefer Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-04-29

Back to top Go down

Re: DIY live rock

Post by spankmeister on Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:22 am

2Frosty4u wrote:A friend of mine in Burlington is selling a 240g for $600 if you're interested.

Sounds fantastic but, still need to work on my wife. I mentioned the other day that my new tank would only cost about $600 or $800, since I intend to build my own stand. I thought that this would be taken as good news however, she looked like she was about to punch me right in the face.
I currently have 13 tanks running so, her patience is running thin. Give me some time, if I can convince her, before your buddy sells the tank, it would be a great deal. I assume that this tank would be drilled.

thanks

spankmeister

Number of posts : 13
Age : 39
Location : Barrie, Ontario
Tank Size- Gallons : 55gal predator tank, 40g + 20g + 2x10g clown breeder setup
Reefer Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-03-08

Back to top Go down

Re: DIY live rock

Post by 2Frosty4u on Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:36 pm

spankmeister wrote:
2Frosty4u wrote:A friend of mine in Burlington is selling a 240g for $600 if you're interested.

Sounds fantastic but, still need to work on my wife. I mentioned the other day that my new tank would only cost about $600 or $800, since I intend to build my own stand. I thought that this would be taken as good news however, she looked like she was about to punch me right in the face.
I currently have 13 tanks running so, her patience is running thin. Give me some time, if I can convince her, before your buddy sells the tank, it would be a great deal. I assume that this tank would be drilled.

thanks
Heres the info he posted on the tank and he has yet to post it's sold:
- L 84" x W 24" x H 28"
- Center overflow with three bulkheads.
- Glass
- Tank only. No stand or canopy.
- Pickup in Burlington
- $600.00

I can arrange a moving crew to help move the tank to your house, at an extra cost.

Greg
905-466-7127
avatar
2Frosty4u

Number of posts : 110
Location : Hamilton, Ont.
Tank Size- Gallons : 120g Reef, 35g fuge, 35g sump, 2X250W MH, 2X110W VHO actinic, Euroreef CS8-4 Skimmer, Blueline 100HD return pump, OM squirt 4 way closed loop.
75g Fowlr tied into reef system.
Reefer Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-04-29

Back to top Go down

Re: DIY live rock

Post by PHYTO4LIFE on Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:35 am

I have used portland cement for 100's of frag plugs they turned out solid for me but I also only used play sand size aroganite which was good for frag plugs

I would suggest experimenting with it on a small scale first to make sure you get that natural look going with the right strength,shape,pore,texture,material added etc I have seen some very natural looking man made rock and the aqua structure possibilities are endless

curing it will take at least a month where you should change the water frequently/weekly or more also use a air stone to move the water around

and add small amounts slowly to your tank after you think it is cured as to not get a raise in phosphate level too much this way you will know if it was cured right
avatar
PHYTO4LIFE

Number of posts : 79
Tank Size- Gallons : 90G DT,30G sump
8-T5/4-20 000k/2-12 000K/2-blue&purple
2-lift sump's in-sump
2-power head's
3 dsb
70lbs LR
Reefer Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-05-18

Back to top Go down

Re: DIY live rock

Post by spankmeister on Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:27 am

I will be proceeding very cautiously with this project. I do expect that it will be the end of summer before I get any useable rocks. Hopefully tonight I will be getting some test ingredients and mixing of the first batch to start soon. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Thanks for all the advice.

spankmeister

Number of posts : 13
Age : 39
Location : Barrie, Ontario
Tank Size- Gallons : 55gal predator tank, 40g + 20g + 2x10g clown breeder setup
Reefer Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2009-03-08

Back to top Go down

Re: DIY live rock

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum