DIY live rock?

DIY live rock?

Postby MadWorld » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:28 pm

I have all the ingredients to make it, but i don't want to waste my time on something that is garbage.

This other forum i am on, said, DIY live rock only has 1/8-10 the power of cleaning the tank (micro/macroganisms/nitrogen cycle) comparing to real live rock, but by examining real live rock porosity, it seems to be in various patterns. Some are very dense, some are very porous, some have very big holes, some have very small holes.

So, how would this different from a DIY Live rock or base rock. I dont know, but i want to experiment. 8)

And, anyone tried or is using DIY live rock or base rock?

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Re: DIY live rock?

Postby Scottt » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:01 pm

Garf has a whole thing about diy live rock. If you were worried about porosity, add a foaming agent.
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Re: DIY live rock?

Postby KathyL » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:04 am

Somewhere someone added rock salt to the mix. While curing, the salt dissolved away, and left a nice porosity.
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Re: DIY live rock?

Postby Scottt » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:56 pm

That is a neet idea, does that work? How would the salt in the middle dissolve? or just the outside stuff? Wouldn't you worry about it leaching? Maybe I'm being to paranoid.
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Re: DIY live rock?

Postby KathyL » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:24 pm

All concrete rocks have to be soaked in many changes of water to stabilize the pH. Any rock salt that is going to dissolve or leach, will do so then.
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Re: DIY live rock?

Postby TheChemist » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:30 am

I made about 300 pounds of DIY rock (aragocrete) and I use it in all my fish tanks. I think the power is virtually equal to true live rock.
I add about 1/3 volume of rock salt, which is then dissolved away during the curing process making aragocrete really porous.
I think the biggest hurdle is the curing part, when you have to make sure you wash away all concrete materials that did not bind. Not doing that will increase alkalinity for some time and up to dangerous levels (pH 10 and above).

My recipe was something like this:
3-5 parts sand (coral sand or just plain limestone sand)
1 part cement
2-3 parts rock salt

Important to note is the fact that I first mix sand and cement with water and make this kinda dry mixture and then add the salt. If you add water after you add the salt you will be dissolving a lot of salt.
Curing: I put hardened rocks into a pond or a small water stream for 1 month.
I put small balloon or an inflated rubber glove to create caves and they all turned out nicely. But the best way to make nice shapes in to take a big plastic container put some sand in it and then add aragocrete mix and shape it. Cover with sand and add more aragocrete. You can make interesting shapes like this.

If the rock is cured it will look like real live rock in a month once placed in a tank. Today I sometimes have a hard time saying which rock is aragocrete and which is the real rock.
Andy

Onyx A. percula, A. ocelaris. P. kauderni, L. wurdemani, L. amboinensis, black ocelaris, E. oceanops, grama loreto, P. aldabraensis
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