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

prsnlty

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Sorry, i should have been more specific. I did NOT mean to mix the superbuffer powder into the dry mix of portland etc....

What i ment was, in the Kuring tank, i could dissolve superbuffer into the RO/DI water.

Simple principle of diffusion: the larger the gradient, the greater the diffusion rate. This is also likely why agitation of the water (using a circulation pump in the container) during Kuring is found to be "preferred". The buffer will serve to maintain the liquid's pH to the ideal 8, and the higher pH cement will leech faster because the water isn't being allowed to increase pH (by virtue of the buffer) as leeching occurs, thus maintaining the gradient.
You could try it. I don't believe that anyone has before. However concrete tends to leech for years in the natural environment. What we are doing with DIY Rock is an unnatural thing for concrete and already rushing the process. It will be fine and then sometime down the road it can jack up the alkalinity seemingly out of nowhere. The reason that this would happen is because it wasn't fully leached out during kuring.
 
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prsnlty

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Also, how will you know when your kuring process is complete if it forces the water to maintain 8.4? 8.4 is our goal in testing and must maintain 8.4 for 2 weeks to be sure the rock is safe to use.
 

MarsRover

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So you have to keep adding buffer to stave off the continuing increase in pH. The buffer gets used up. So when i stop having to add buffer, I know we have leeched everything....hummmmm
 

prsnlty

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So you have to keep adding buffer to stave off the continuing increase in pH. The buffer gets used up. So when i stop having to add buffer, I know we have leeched everything....hummmmm
Hmmm, but here is the question I have. Will the buffer soak it up while still allowing the rock to leach it out or stop the rock from leaching and later return to leaching in the tank? There has to be a good reason no one does this.
 

MarsRover

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The buffer shouldn't stop the rock from leeching. Leeching, or diffusion, is based on a concentration gradient. Whatever the compound is that is leaching out, which increases the pH of the water as it does so, will continue to do so until the concentration in the water matches, or exceeds through some other external addition of the compound, the concentration in the concrete. This is why you have to keep changing the water during 'kuring' and why I maintain RO/DI water is better than tap water for the process.

Im going to call it the "stuff" that leeches out of the concrete during kuring, and thereby increases the pH of the water being used.

Diffusion: the RO/DI water is pH of 7, neutral. The concrete "stuff" is higher pH. As the "stuff" leaches out of the concrete, it increases the pH of the water, thus lowering the driving force of diffusion. The buffer serves to maintain the pH of the water. So keep the pH from rising, maintain the driving force....

THIS ALL ASSUMES (so I don't get yelled at by someone later....) that pH is the driving force for diffusion. Now, if there are other compounds that are physically dissolving out of the concrete into the water during Kuring and that is what is the driving factor then buffer won't help.

This is why I was hoping we could convince @Randy Holmes-Farley to come by and bless us with some of his knowledge!
 
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prsnlty

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The buffer shouldn't stop the rock from leeching. Leeching, or diffusion, is based on a concentration gradient. Whatever the compound is that is leaching out, which increases the pH of the water as it does so, will continue to do so until the concentration in the water matches, or exceeds through some other external addition of the compound, the concentration in the concrete. This is why you have to keep changing the water during 'kuring' and why I maintain RO/DI water is better than tap water for the process.

Im going to call it the "stuff" that leeches out of the concrete during kuring, and thereby increases the pH of the water being used.

Diffusion: the RO/DI water is pH of 7, neutral. The concrete "stuff" is higher pH. As the "stuff" leaches out of the concrete, it increases the pH of the water, thus lowering the driving force of diffusion. The buffer serves to maintain the pH of the water. So keep the pH from rising, maintain the driving force....

THIS ALL ASSUMES (so I don't get yelled at by someone later....) that pH is the driving force for diffusion. Now, if there are other compounds that are physically dissolving out of the concrete into the water during Kuring and that is what is the driving factor then buffer won't help.

This is why I was hoping we could convince @Randy Holmes-Farley to come by and bless us with some of his knowledge!
It is the alkalinity that is leaching that raises the PH. We just watch the PH to let us know that it is down to a safe level. Concrete is ver high in alk.
 

Grimreaperz

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I have been curious about trying something along the lines of a Chemical Free Mortor or Cement mix.
Through my google searches i have come across this forum. But am not quite sure what it means.

http://www.mychemicalfreehouse.net/2015/10/non-toxic-grout-and-thinset-mortar.html (Talks about VOC Free Mortors)

List of VOC Free Mortors.
http://www.jamoinc.com/documents/techbulletin/Jamo LEED Certification.pdf

My thoughts to this is to reduce or even eliminate Curing Time. and potentially something that is more readily available then White Portland.

Has anyone done any testing with these types of mortar and can anyone tell me pros and cons of stuff like this?

I had a fellow reefer say he found a "Special Cement" mix that him and his buddy use for all their rock build that doesn't need to be cured and everything grows like weeds on it
He states he will be marketing it eventually but has really sparked the researcher in me to find out what that is he could be using.

Maybe this is a discussion better suited for the Chemistry Forum?
 

MarsRover

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I have been curious about trying something along the lines of a Chemical Free Mortor or Cement mix.
Through my google searches i have come across this forum. But am not quite sure what it means.

http://www.mychemicalfreehouse.net/2015/10/non-toxic-grout-and-thinset-mortar.html (Talks about VOC Free Mortors)

List of VOC Free Mortors.
http://www.jamoinc.com/documents/techbulletin/Jamo LEED Certification.pdf

My thoughts to this is to reduce or even eliminate Curing Time. and potentially something that is more readily available then White Portland.

Has anyone done any testing with these types of mortar and can anyone tell me pros and cons of stuff like this?

I had a fellow reefer say he found a "Special Cement" mix that him and his buddy use for all their rock build that doesn't need to be cured and everything grows like weeds on it
He states he will be marketing it eventually but has really sparked the researcher in me to find out what that is he could be using.

Maybe this is a discussion better suited for the Chemistry Forum?
I'd be very interested in seeing a chemists input. My understanding is that Portland is only minerals from the earth. It doesn't have any chemicals in it. It's concrete and mortar etc... that start getting fancy on top of cement with chemicals.

I wonder if your friend just figured out to mix buffer into the rock so that it looks like it doesn't need curing and stuff grows
Like crazy on it because it is an alkalinity generator so if you can maintain the other compounds/elements in balance with it stuff will naturally be attracted to the source?
 

Grimreaperz

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My thoughts exactly he stated he had "A guy I know do chemical analysis on it to determine it is completely reef safe"

I have 2 plugs that seem to be made of a white powedry substance easy to break with your fingers. it almost reminds me of the consistency of like dry wall or maybe even stucko...

I wish I know someone who could do a rundown on it and tell me what it is....not even sure if people like that exist....
 

MarsRover

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My thoughts exactly he stated he had "A guy I know do chemical analysis on it to determine it is completely reef safe"

I have 2 plugs that seem to be made of a white powedry substance easy to break with your fingers. it almost reminds me of the consistency of like dry wall or maybe even stucko...

I wish I know someone who could do a rundown on it and tell me what it is....not even sure if people like that exist....
what you are looking for is a spectroscopy lab. It exists, they are actually quite common in laboratories etc... just the machines tend to be extremely expensive. If you know someone who works at a lab, they likely have one.

that said, that plug is probably either fired clay or white cement.
 
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Sunshine22

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This is pretty cool, Ill have to try this for my next build, LR is an expensive part of a big tank for sure so any way to DIY and save money helps.
 

Cyricdark

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The buffer shouldn't stop the rock from leeching. Leeching, or diffusion, is based on a concentration gradient. Whatever the compound is that is leaching out, which increases the pH of the water as it does so, will continue to do so until the concentration in the water matches, or exceeds through some other external addition of the compound, the concentration in the concrete. This is why you have to keep changing the water during 'kuring' and why I maintain RO/DI water is better than tap water for the process.

Im going to call it the "stuff" that leeches out of the concrete during kuring, and thereby increases the pH of the water being used.

Diffusion: the RO/DI water is pH of 7, neutral. The concrete "stuff" is higher pH. As the "stuff" leaches out of the concrete, it increases the pH of the water, thus lowering the driving force of diffusion. The buffer serves to maintain the pH of the water. So keep the pH from rising, maintain the driving force....

THIS ALL ASSUMES (so I don't get yelled at by someone later....) that pH is the driving force for diffusion. Now, if there are other compounds that are physically dissolving out of the concrete into the water during Kuring and that is what is the driving factor then buffer won't help.

This is why I was hoping we could convince @Randy Holmes-Farley to come by and bless us with some of his knowledge!
Rather than using a "buffer" you might try a airstone or venturi on your pump with a tank of CO2 just like they use for calcium reactor, just be careful to fine tune it not to drive the PH too low or it could start to melt your rock if you used some kind of aragonite in the mix
 

Bob Bennett

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Very cool thread, just happen to have made 90% of the rocks in my tank, cure time was about 5 years, am very patient , didn't need 5 years just took some time to use, see pictures on my " Ancient Reef Tank " thread. Learned methods from the late Leroy Heady at GARF. Lots of info at GARF website. Advice from a old concrete guy, stick with plain old cement, not a scientist, but additive in fast cure cement could be trouble, also added acrylic shavings in mix to help bind things together, if I were to do it again might use residential fiber from a cement supplier.
 
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