DIY Rock Tutorial/Info Thread (Rocks, walls, floors, etc.)

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by Electrobes, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    You're welcome :D
     

  2. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    No rock making for 5 days? So the pieces are soaking in a 20 gl with a little maxijet. Day 3 now I changed the water yesterday. It was indeed cloudy with scum on the surface. I got some cheapy ph strips from Wally World and will 1st test in a day or 2. certainly not expecting the ph to even so on these test strips. PRS, Are You familiar with coquina sand? It's common here on the east coast it is mostly finely ground ancient sea shell. That might make good filler. Sea shell is mostly calcium isn't it? Thanks.
     
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  3. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Yes I am to a degree... I understand that it may be high in phosphates and because of that it was used to make fertilizer. So I suggest soaking some in water a day or two and run a po4 test on it. Otherwise I would say you could use it.

    The test strips will be ok. I'd wait a week or 2 to test though as it'll be beyond the tests high numbers most likely.
     
  4. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    You are so right about PH being too high for the test strips. It will take a while .
    Also I didn't know about the high P04 in coquina . I'll run the test sometime . I don't have any of this sand on hand .
    I hope Your not experiencing bad weather Your way. Nothing here Yet we are expected to get a pretty good soaking and strong winds.
     
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  5. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    It's not as bad as they thought it would be, just very wet for us. The worst is from US19 west. I'm inland Citrus Co so it just like a typical very rainy semi - thunderstorm day. Of course it isn't over yet and they're telling us not to get too at ease with it due to overnight possibilities. Lol, I'm not holding my breath! You probably won't get too much either. Just to the east of Tallahassee is where I feel it's going to be bad.

    Yes, definitely check the po4 on that sand, the last thing you want is a sand bed or rock that breeds algae from the start.
     
  6. West1

    West1 Well-Known Member

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    When doing the Portland mix and some dry rock, do you let the diy rock harden before adding the dry rock to cycle a new tank?
     
  7. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    I am a little confused about what you are asking... so I'll answer what I think you're asking.

    Once you make your diy rock, you MUST go through the curing process to leach all the excess alkalinity from it. Once this is completely cured you can either cycle it with your tank or if you have another established tank you can add it to that system to make it live and add it to your new tank later. In any case you absolutely have to put it through the cure process before it can be used in any system.
     
  8. West1

    West1 Well-Known Member

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    I see. I'm starting a tank and im at the diy rock stage (just poured floor, tomorrow I start the walls). I plan to do my last stage of Portland and wait 3 days before curing the walls of Portland. After that, I'm stuck if I should cure the Portland by itself or place the dry rock with the Portland before I start the cycle.
     
  9. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    If you are rocking the inside of the tank (what this sounds like to me) I would use that as the curing tank as basically you have no choice in this case. You can add the other diy rock to it for curing at the same time. You cannot fill it with saltwater and try to cycle a tank with uncured diy rock.
     
  10. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    If you have natural rock do not add it while curing
     
  11. West1

    West1 Well-Known Member

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    Correct. I feel we are missing each other or I am over thinking this.
    I purchased 20lbs of BRS reef saver dry rock and I am currently doing the Portland rock as I await the shipment from bulk reef supply.

    When do I add the reef saver dry rock? before or after I cure the Portland rock?

    Just seen the reply above, Tyvm. I thought that was the way but I still wanted to ask.
     
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  12. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Yes after curing the Portland diy :D ... Reef saver can be pretty dirty rock IME. I would soak and rinse it well before adding to your tank when you're ready to start cycling.
     
  13. Luvs501s

    Luvs501s Well-Known Member

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    Just finished reading this thread end-to-end. Great Thread!! I'm starting a new build soon and I'm in the process of making my own LR. I've made some in the past using Type I/II portland cement, crushed oyster shell from a feed store and water softener crystals. The porosity was excellent but it took forever to cure and even longer to stop leaching phosphate. In regards to the phosphate issue, I was convinced it was the oyster shell until after reading here that it might be the water I was curing with. I don't know what the PO4 levels are in my city water. This time I'm going to try a new mix: Keracolor unsanded grout (made from white portland cement enriched with a polymer for strength. This will give me a shorter "Cure" time, I'll have to see about the "Kure" time, perlite and Carib Sea CORALine, which is a crushed coral and water softener salt. I'll be forming using Carib Sea Aragonite sea sand. Any thoughts or advice from anyone I would be grateful for.
     
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  14. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    I filled my cure tank with Rodi and also when rinsing and disolving the salts out before going into the cure tank. I also had it outside under the overhang of my roof. Summer i feel has the shortest cure length. I allowed rain in also and did big water changes with Rodi. The phosphates I think are coming from your water source. I had none from my diy rock leaching. Also the more you change the high alk water out in the beginning the faster the cure.
     
  15. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    OK, The ph in the curing tank is dropping pretty good now. Just above 8.4 . This actually works , All Ya gotta do is follow instructions and pay attention to detail !
     
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  16. West1

    West1 Well-Known Member

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    It's been about 3 weeks and my water is still cloudy and concrete leaks a white mucus. PH is still through the roof... is this normal?

    filled with tap water, no chemicals
    100% water change twice a week (shop vac dry)
    24/7 150gph pump
     
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  17. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    About the same for me. I just kept changing the water. every other, I'd rinse the stuff out the container and refill.. My Ph is finally starting to drop. At 3 weeks You still have a ways to go. Got a pic of your rock ?
     
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  18. West1

    West1 Well-Known Member

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    I'll get one tonight. Going to do another 100% water change lol
     
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  19. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks west It's no big deal I was just curious what your rock looked like.
     
  20. West1

    West1 Well-Known Member

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    Top view after water change
    [​IMG]

    Stock biocube light (after water change)
    [​IMG]

    Shop vac dry prior to fill
    [​IMG]
    See the white water on the sides of the tank?
    It seems to be coming from the walls, not sure if it's the glue i used (forget the arts n craft glue name) or the concrete. I used the foam wall build from another thread so it must be reef safe. I even let the concrete sit for an extra 3 days (with water in overflow and plastic bag over the tank for humidity).

    We shall see how it goes...
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
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