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jimpierce
04-11-2008, 04:34 PM
at least the way I did it. I took many ideas and this is what I did so far. It will be several months before any of these are tank ready.


basic supplies
#1 coarse rock salt
#2 cement This is from Home Depot. The bag said type II - V It was also the only type of just cement there.
#3 I used a mortar pan to lay the work in. It just seemed the most convenient to me.
#4 crushed clam shell, I got it at a local feed store, mixed with left over arogonite from my old tank. The clam shell is real cheap and both can work well by themselves or mixed together as I did.
#5 the mixing bucket. Mine is a two gallon bucket.

jimpierce
04-11-2008, 04:42 PM
#6 I used sand for my base. Some recipes called for the arogonite which was just more then I had to spend. I used 75lbs. A bag and a half.



#7 sand laid out in the pan. Wet the sand thoroughly and completely but leave no standing water. If standing water is left just lay a towel on the sand for a few minutes and it will soak it up. Shake the pan to help bring the water up.


#8 dig out a design. This "V" is a cave base. Smallish. Not shown is a fist sized hole I made for same sized rock from left over mix.

jimpierce
04-11-2008, 04:54 PM
#9 The mix. The mix is not a precision thing. It basically boils down to this:

1 part cement to 5 or 6 parts crushed oyster shell/arogonite mix to 1/2 part water. Mix thoroughly and completely making sure everything is wet and mixed together. When you are sure of the mix, mix for another minute or two to be sure. Then add a little less then 1 part rock salt. Mix it in fully. It is now ready to pour.


after renting a large cement truck......................

#10 pour the cement into your mold. As for the "cave" I fill the "V" then cover the legs only (not where they join) with sand about 3/4 to 1 inch deep then create a rock formation (use your imagination) on top. I kept it pretty simple with this one. I made the one on the upper right out of what was left.



#11 once it is all poured cover it up with a wet towel for 24 to 48 hours. This allows the cement to set.


#12 a few already set pieces soaking in water. This is the longest step in that it can take over two months before the Ph level and alkalinity of the cement comes down to a safe level.



(more coming)

siymdapolio
04-11-2008, 05:00 PM
Well done man! I really like this but would not have the patients right now to wait so long for the cement to stop producing toxic ph levals and other things lol1

I love this tutorial very good :thumb:

angelcakes
04-11-2008, 06:03 PM
wow............good work i have no paitence for this kind of thing:19:

Rue
04-11-2008, 06:14 PM
Cool! Your rock rocks! :19:

jimpierce
04-11-2008, 07:49 PM
I just did a Ph check on the pieces in the water. They have been soaking for over 24 hours already. The tap water has a Ph level of 7.8. The water in the sink (water was changed 3 hours ago) is off the chart over 8.8. I'll do weekly checks so we can see how it goes.

jimpierce
04-12-2008, 11:22 PM
#13 removed from the mold and ready to clean.


#14 yep, looks like a rock!! A very coarse and porous rock.

jimpierce
04-12-2008, 11:25 PM
#15 top view of the cave rock

#16 - #18 different views of the cave rock.

now the rocks are all soaking in fresh water until the Ph levels come down to a healthy range.

Tigerbarb
04-13-2008, 12:51 AM
Nice rocks! i can't wait to see how they turn out when you put them in your tank. thumbs2:

jimpierce
04-13-2008, 06:38 AM
I've been stressing on what to put them in the cure them when the time comes. Sometimes I can be kind of thick headed I think. Did I not just empty out a 30g hex tank? So I get a new heater and a Korella for my tank and use the old heater and the aquapure power head in the hex to cure the rock!! If this works out I maybe on to something eh?

Becikeja
04-13-2008, 10:25 PM
Excellent, rocks. I did something similar, I let them stand in water for 2 weeks changing the water every night. Then I let them sit open air for a month, and then put them in the tank. Everything went great. One suggestion. I added 50% Perlite to the mix. Made them much lighter and easier to handle. Just something you might want to consider in the future. Keep us posted on the progress

jimpierce
05-11-2008, 06:56 PM
the rocks are a month into soaking, daily water changes. The Ph level is finally starting to show signs of coming down.

Rue
05-11-2008, 06:58 PM
Excellent! How do they look?

Algenco
05-12-2008, 01:19 AM
Jim, put the rocks in the toilet tank, WC every time you flush:hmm3grin2orange:

Ellen4God
05-12-2008, 03:29 AM
Jim, put the rocks in the toilet tank, WC every time you flush:hmm3grin2orange:

That's amazing, Algenco! lol


One question - are there any pointy parts on it? Like, would it poke the fish or whatever? Probably a silly question, but I was wondering! :)

jimpierce
05-12-2008, 06:08 PM
Excellent! How do they look?



so far pretty much like cement rocks with arogonite/clam shells in them. I'm really looking forward to being able to cure them. Hopefully in a month or so I can start.



Jim, put the rocks in the toilet tank, WC every time you flush:hmm3grin2orange:


There isn't room!!! lol These dang low flow toilets we have barely put out enough water to flush!




That's amazing, Algenco! lol


One question - are there any pointy parts on it? Like, would it poke the fish or whatever? Probably a silly question, but I was wondering! :)

with crushed clam shell in it I wouldn't want to have to slide across it!!