Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by Electrobes, Nov 21, 2009.
Glad to be of help
? Lowes carries 2 different play sands. One package clearly states it has silicates in it while the other has no info on it at all. They call it Premium Play Sand. Does anyone know if this one has silicates? I will be using it for molding and not inside of the rock mix. Though some will stick to the outside of the rock formations and that is why it's important to know.
Subscribed, want to read but don't have time now too, lol but looking forward to it!
I've seen different ways of curing these rocks and am concerned about not curing them correctly. Basically they need to bake in a damp bag in the sun first? It is 90Â°+ daily here where I live and in the upper 60s - low 70s at night and wet/humid at night. Can't I just put them on the picnic table in the sun for about a week before adding them to a tank of fresh water for a month or so?
Not sure what you mean by "need to bake." The only think that really affects your reef tank is PH. Cement has a higher PH and water help leach it out, reducing it. Which can be done with water changes.
Once you mold it let it sit for a couple days, cement sets stronger the slower it dries.
Not sure if that answers your question.
By let it sit I mean, I let the cement dry inside the sand mild, if it crumbles it's probably not dry enough.
I've read where people call it baking the rock. A few people swear by putting it in a plastic bag, misting it, tieing the bag and sitting it in the sun for 28 days. Misting every few days. Then putting it in water another month or so. I think that might be overkill.
I molded mine in wet (not drenched) sand, let it sit untouched for 24-36 hours depending on how big the piece is. Then let rinse it in a 5g bucket to dissolve the salt (if any was used) then let it sit out at room temperature for 3-4 days. After which I added to a 55g tank with a large filter on it. So far I've had none crumble or break. But after more reading I was worried that I was doing it wrong.
I forgot to mention, I just placed my rock in the water vat tank. Do I change water daily or weekly? And I am using RODI water because Im on a well and that water is horrible. Very high tds, phosphates, iron and sulpher. I really don't want that in my rock.
Could you please provide some text and info on the casting process? For example, how do you make a sand (or other kind of) mold that gives results like the ones displayed?
You need a container with wet sand but not so wet that when you dig in it it pooks water. Then you create your shapes like making sand molds at the beach but in reverse. Instead of building up you dig down at first. 1st, i scatter some chunks of salt in my mold so the finished piece will have outside holes. On a large piece I will also put tight handfuls of sand here and there after adding my first layer of rock mix. But be sure when you do that there is area around it without sand so your next layer has a place to stick to. The sand pockets wash out nicely. Then once I am at the top level of the rock I will add more mix here and there so the rock is not flat. The key is not to make your mix too wet also. I have a few ictures of how I did mine and will post them shortly. And since mine are still in the works I'll try to take some pictures to show the process.
The last image became this piece. It's 19" tall and took 36 hours before it could be carefully removed from the mold
All pieces sat in the garage or open air from 3 days to a week before adding them to the curing water.
You can even add onto or lock together pieces you have already made so I've seen. That's the next thing I'm going to do. I will have to make the individual rocks first (since my others are already curing) so this process will take about a week or so before it can go into the curing tank. I'll take pictures and explain what I'm doing along the way.
Since I have some work around the house to do first I'll start posting tonight.
Thanks for the tute, it is really interesting and has made me want to try my hand at rock making again.
I would like to second the motion for video, especially of the moulding and the mixing/getting the consistancy right.
I got unexpectedly busy tonight. One of my kids is graduating HS next friday. I'll see what I can do tomorrow
Another question, re: kuring.
I use at least 1000 litres (about 250gallons) of ro water every week; so I have a lot of waste water. Currently this goes into ponds and the garden. I am in the process of setting up a rainwater tank to store the waste in to use for washing the car, washing gravel etc etc.
So, what are your thoughts on using waste water for kuring? I have not tested it, but our tap water is always at least 7.8, so I expect the waste water will be higher.
I'm no expert and just doing this for the first time myself. But I have well water and it's terrible. I actually use RO water in my kure tank. Most people won't. I think that is up to you.
This is how I see it. Would I use this waste water in my DT? NO WAY. I want good clean rock. No rock that may have soaked up the contaminants that can cause hair algae or super high iron and sulfer, copper and who knows what else. I personnaly won't take that chance. This is a lot of work, my tank and its contents also a lot of work and money. Most people use tap water. I won't do that either. Tap water caused my tank phospate issues in the begining when I didn't think I needed an ro unit. Ph in my tap, ro and waste water are the same. If you do it outside the ph will be 8.4 without the rock and 8.4 with the rock when it stabilizes. That's what we want.
Someone else may chime in and say different but it makes sense to keep it as clean and pure as possible. IMO
Btw, this is Electrobes thread (Excellent one too I might add! ) and I am in no way trying to hijack it. Just answered some questions when no one else did or I was asked
Here is just one of the rocks I made. Others are still curing.
So how long did it take for yours to cure?
I left this one for about 2 months. Water changes every couple days. I guess I wasn't in a hurry. Lol
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