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Old 11-10-2017, 12:12 PM
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As for reason why making your own rock is benefitcial there are plenty besides cost for a large system. You can also incorporate spray bars or close loops hidden within the false rock. You can make the rock look anyway you want in the tank from one Long Island shelf to a maze of branches. I think the possibilities are endless, but curing and making rock will take a lot of time and patiances and it's still not the real thing no matter how close you can replicate it. If you build a 5000 gallon tank you can build rock that's like 6ft long in one piece. If you can have tanks with fake coral inserts and all artificially built rocks work like what ATM does on tanks lol, I'm pretty sure cement rocks are ten folds better IMO, aslong as cured correctly.


We just put a deposit on a CO-OP, so I figured I've got about a year to accumulate all the hardware but most of all knowledge for the tank and some time to experiment with the DIY rock before we move. Already found great deals on a used light and skimmer. I think you're right about all those reasons for making your own rock, I just hope I can do it without screwing something up and killing everything in the tank with the DIY rock. I've read where some have added rock salt or water softener salt to the agrocrete mix to create porosity. Anyone have thoughts on this? I think it's suppose to dissolve in the curing process.
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:15 PM
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The main reason for rocks is aesthetics, then benefitcial bacteria. Adding salt into the Rock is a must I believe since it'll creates all the pours and less dense cement, but the problem is finding the right ratio of things, to much salt and you'll get crumbling rocks, not enough and rocks will be dense. Goal is that we want to create the most area for bacterial in the less amount of available space. They already have cultured rocks on the market, so we know it works. The best bet is throught trial and error to find the right ratio, and just cure rocks till they don't mess with water parameters. Making rocks in a co-op also seems like a limited amount of space, unless you don't mind a apt full of tubs, water, rocks. Which also needs to be cured in fresh and salt water for maybe about half a year. If the trade off seem feesiable to you.
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:20 PM
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The salt will eventually dissolve during curing process, but it will take time. Cure in fresh water until you Get proper salinity reading, then cure in salt water and make sure all parameters are stable and you should be fine. Check out the cultured reef rocks, I believe they cure their rocks for about a year?
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Old 11-11-2017, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by samster View Post
The main reason for rocks is aesthetics, then benefitcial bacteria. Adding salt into the Rock is a must I believe since it'll creates all the pours and less dense cement, but the problem is finding the right ratio of things, to much salt and you'll get crumbling rocks, not enough and rocks will be dense. Goal is that we want to create the most area for bacterial in the less amount of available space. They already have cultured rocks on the market, so we know it works. The best bet is throught trial and error to find the right ratio, and just cure rocks till they don't mess with water parameters. Making rocks in a co-op also seems like a limited amount of space, unless you don't mind a apt full of tubs, water, rocks. Which also needs to be cured in fresh and salt water for maybe about half a year. If the trade off seem feesiable to you.
I've got about a year before a CO-OP will be available, that's why I'm going to start on the rock now while I still have a garage and room. I should have the rock done by then and acquired all the equipment from craiglist that I need. I'll get a tank after we move in. I'm going to experiment with the rock salt in the agrocrete mix.
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:47 AM
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My tank is probably half cement rock (the rest I collected myself in the sea) I cure it maybe two weeks in a bucket of water, thats about it. I have been making my rocks for decades and so far, no problems. If I were to start a new tank with all new rock, I would cure it longer and maybe use some acid in the curing process to expediate it.
Here is a before and after of a 3' piece of rock.


You can see that piece here above and to the right of the moorish Idol




This is the backbone of my reef and was built from many discarded pieces of rock and dead coral cemented together.



It's all in here someplace and the entire structure is held off the bottom by hollow, PVC supports.


Last edited by Paul B; 12-02-2017 at 09:50 AM..
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:56 PM
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I start to do some dif, PVC, Marco mortar, water flow thru PVC, try to hide the pump on fake Rock, but i got NO time.
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:55 PM
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Thats cool. If you put sand in an oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then fill the PVC pipe with it, you can bend it like a piece of rope.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:45 PM
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Thats cool. If you put sand in an oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then fill the PVC pipe with it, you can bend it like a piece of rope.
You right, my idea was to eliminate the water flow ( Nano) not to be visible, but i got NO Nano.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:39 PM
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Thats cool. If you put sand in an oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then fill the PVC pipe with it, you can bend it like a piece of rope.
Use to put headlights in the oven and catch a b*tchin from the mother, wonder what my wife would do if I put sand in the oven? Haha
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