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Old 10-27-2017, 11:42 AM
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PVC base for home made rock

Hey all, I'm doing some research before starting a 125 gallon reef. I'm a fan of Paul B and his minimalist approach. I would like your opinions on using PVC for the base structure of my diy rock. I'm planning on using a RUGF and was thinking what if I placed the open end of the base of the PVC directly on the RUGF before adding gravel,so the water would flow up through the PVC. I could leave a small hole at the end of each arm so water would flow through the structure. Does anyone think this would cause problems? Would it be beneficial, creating a space for anerobic bacteria. Do you think it would lower the water flow through the RUGF. Thanks for any input.
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:36 PM
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I don't believe it's a bad idea for raising the rock up, it's more benefitcial in the maintance department. Many frag tanks are raised on PVC and egg creates. Rocks touching the sand is all for eye candy to mimic a natural reef. Rocks sitting directly on sand is also a detritus trap. If you plan to leave all the rocks on a rack or base you'll have better flow also.
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Old 10-27-2017, 06:01 PM
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The plan is to make my own rocks using Paul B's DIY idea using mortar around a PVC armature. If I didn't put holes in the ends of each arm, that would stop the water from flowing through the armature and create an anerobic area, but would the stagnant water create problems?
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider1954 View Post
The plan is to make my own rocks using Paul B's DIY idea using mortar around a PVC armature. If I didn't put holes in the ends of each arm, that would stop the water from flowing through the armature and create an anerobic area, but would the stagnant water create problems?
I'm not particularly sure how Paul B's design is, but the whole base would be exact layout of the tank bottom? Same width and lenght? It still wouldn't be stagnant, just slow flow, but I'm curious as to how you clean the bottom of the tank that way if it's fully blocked out?
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:04 AM
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I apologize for not being able to describe the thought accurately. Let me try to clarify. The pvc would be the armature that is covered in mortar, thus being hollow and lighter. The open pvc ends would sit on the RUGF, the basic pvc structure could be designed with 4 legs that set on the RUGF to hold it a little bit above the substate keeping it from sitting right on the substate. The open ends setting on the RUGF should allow a small amout of water flowing up from the RUGF plates to enter the hollow diy rock. The whole reason would be to make my own rock and create a space for anaerobic bacteria to live while using a RUGF. These are the only pics I could find, they're not exactly what I'm talking about but should give you an idea of a pvc armature covered in mortar. Obviously the pvc structure wouldn't have caps on the ends and the ends would be pointed down.
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Last edited by Strider1954; 10-28-2017 at 09:11 AM..
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:22 AM
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So you're only worried about the hollow cavities inside the rock? I thought you meant you were trying to go for one full lenght, kind of like a DIY background but just rocks covering entire bottom. If your going with DIY rock that's like the picture above kind of like Tonga branch PVC with a motar or cement layer over it you're fine, just make sure you cure the DIY stuff fully.
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Old 10-28-2017, 10:45 AM
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Sorry for the confusion, I'm not great at putting thought to print, thanks for the help! I should thank everyone else out there as I've been reading through these threads and there is so much great info. and people willing to share their knowledge and experiances.
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Old 10-28-2017, 10:51 AM
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just curious on how long of a process this is? I.E making your own rocks and also the benefit of it if there is any?
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Old 10-28-2017, 04:24 PM
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Paul B has an thread somewhere that shows how he does it with PVC and it's in his book. Here's a link to make aragrocrete. You can google DIY live rock and get a few web sites. I believe the trick is to make sure it's fully cured. Sorry I can't post links yet, still a noob. Google aragocrete. The benefits are that it's lighter and cheaper plus you get to DIY and get artistic.

Last edited by Strider1954; 10-28-2017 at 04:26 PM..
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Old 10-28-2017, 05:37 PM
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Paul B is someone with experience and a 40year veteran in the hobby, plus his amusing write ups. I also like his old school mentality. I think their is both good in old technology and new technology, just whatever works best for your system and design. There's really no right or wrong imo, just experience and which routes are easier to maintain vs cost efficiency etc. I'm sure every single one of us thinks our designs for systems are the best we can work with when building just to find we're changing out things just a few weeks or months in and redo stuff.

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.
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