epoxy vs rods vs cement/mortar for aquascaping?

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Devaji, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Devaji

    Devaji Valuable Member

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    Hey all,
    so I will be moving my tank and redoing the aquascape.
    that said what is your thoughts on cement/mortar vs epoxy vs rods?

    in the past i just used good ol JB water weld but this time I will be doing a lot of attaching. I will be breaking up some bigger pieces and hopefully creating a really cool scape.

    1. I can drill and use rods
    2. can just use a few sticks of the tried and true JB water weld
    3. thinking might try the E-marco pink martar
    4. go with a cheaper cement like quickrete?? is it reef safe?
    5. just use a **** ton of super glue gel like Jurassic.
    6. use one of the many reef epoxy out there.

    the rock i am scaping will be real reef rock... no super crazy overhangs with large pieces but I do what to have the option to get a little wild if I can.

    thoughts, feedback and general aquacaping talk very much welcome!
    cheers
    Deva
     
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  2. Ryan420r6

    Ryan420r6 Member

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    I went with rods bc you can take everything apart easily (I just had to do this recently to get a couple Anemones out) and as long as you have the rod in a strong foundation rock it’s not going anywhere.
     
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  3. zach_discus

    zach_discus Active Member

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    Ive used the quickrete before with no problem. Just watch your weight. I ended up with a couple structures that weighed about 75lbs when I was done.
     
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  4. samnaz

    samnaz Earthling R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I used reef epoxy, super glue and that spray stuff that makes it dry in like 2 seconds.
     
  5. samnaz

    samnaz Earthling R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Essentially I did this:
     
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  6. declanisadog

    declanisadog Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I recently set up a new tank and had the same quandary. I ended up ended up going with rods. I like all the crazy overhangs and what not that require the heavy duty stuff, but when I thought about it, most of my favorite tanks have a really basic layout with corals filling in the empty spaces
     
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  7. Nms2156

    Nms2156 Member

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    I used aquaforest stone fix it was very easy to use and very strong hold.
     
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  8. lapin

    lapin Valuable Member

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    Fiberglass driveway rods from the PO. Strong, thin and cheap. Easy to assemble and disassemble if needed. Everyone has their own level of comfort working with materials. What ever you are comfortable with will be the best for you.
     
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  9. Devaji

    Devaji Valuable Member

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    that is a very good point...one defiantly worth being aware of.

    oh so the quickrete is reef safe. I was wondering if the macro 4000 was something along those lines. I am sure its tweaked to make it "better" and worth $42 for 5# eh? haha

    yes I saw that video a few times. one of my fav. aquascaping videos. for some reason that is pretty much what I am going to do as well.
    how much epoxy & super glue did use? how much rock did you scape?
    can you post a pic plz :D

    I have heard of the driveway fiber glass rods. I do hate fiberglass splinters tho..haha but you make a very good point about ones one level of comfort.
     
  10. Sabellafella

    Sabellafella Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Hey so some of the real reef rock pieces are actually very dense and heavy, so maybe you want to drill some half inch acrylic rods into it to keep it sturdy. I just scaped a tank with 1 stick of tlf epoxy and about a foot of acrylic rods. Majority of the epoxy went to the foot of the rocks so they don't scratch the bottom pane, or rattle on the sand. I started this scape last week in sections, keep in mind you'll want to be able to get some rocks out if push came to shove. I'll use the rods to get creative, on spots like overhangs, plates and Tonga branches that put alot of resistance back to the base rock structure. Because the epoxy is a pain getting it to stick, ill use that as more of a support "surface" to make sure the nearby rock has no chance to slip away. IMG_20180711_193230_378.jpg
     
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  11. Devaji

    Devaji Valuable Member

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    @Sabellafella can we get a FTS to see the scape from that angel looks great my friend!
     
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  12. Devaji

    Devaji Valuable Member

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    one reason I am really thinking and taking my time on this is the 1st rock I got was live TBS so I did not spend much time aquascaping in the end I did not love the scape so I never really glued down the frags as I was just so unsure about it. lots a few gorgs and other corals that way so this time I want to spend the time and really love it.
     
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  13. Sabellafella

    Sabellafella Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    20180705_180115.jpg I'll get a better one for you, this is a terrible photo. I had deleted a whole ton of photos and videos off my phone to make room for more lol!. But this was when we first got the rock in. You can see the water line of where we originally filled it due to using live and dry rock that's been curing for 2 months. Had to keep it wet. This is the base of what I've gotten down. 3 portions of base rock have a drilled rod in them. Cut used a half inch drill bit with about 4 inches of acrylic rock keeps "loose ends" nice and sturdy. Now it's time to cherry pick some unique pieces of live rock to fill in some shelving and to apply more real estate for coral.
     
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  14. Sabellafella

    Sabellafella Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Just have to burn ideas into your mind of some appealing looking aquascapes. And just combine that and see what you come up with Lol! It eventually does get covered though. My own DT is completely covered in coral, you can barely see the rock
     
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  15. Zeal

    Zeal Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I have a bunch of medium to small pieces sitting in a bucket with saltwater and I want to add them to the tank what can I use to attach them together? acrylic rocks wont work and since its wet IC Gel kinda takes forever to set
     
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  16. Sabellafella

    Sabellafella Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    This is where something like nyos or Marco quick cement comes in. I rather use smaller rocks all bunched in together then larger pieces.
     
  17. Zeal

    Zeal Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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  18. Devaji

    Devaji Valuable Member

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    in the past I have just used JB water weld and super glue works pretty good but you might see or will see the white of the epoxy. that is why they same up with the pink/purple stuff. if your rocks are white I would just use JB weld but if there LR with colors I would use the epoxy.
    just be mindful you may or may not want to glue the whole scape together. be sure you can get it out if need be with out scratching up your tank...

    yes lots of option out there seems like ever company has there own formula. IF the marco pink was not $42 for 5# bucket I would just go that way. but I can get a 10# bag of quickrete for $15 and have seen ppl use it so its pretty reef safe. @Paul B did a wonderful write up on DIY rock. so I am sure its reef safe just does not look as god as the pink stuff...haha but heck of a lot cheaper...wounder of I could add some pink/purple food coloring??
     
  19. Devaji

    Devaji Valuable Member

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    I personally have not heard of it. might be reef safe the price point is pretty good. but i know for sure JB water weld is and around the same price.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/J-B-Weld-2-oz-Waterweld-8277/202528473

    you can also get a 3 pack from amazion for $17 I have used it alot for smaller rocks and frags I use the sandwich method super glue gel JB water weld the more super glue rock well if your not trying to makes over hangs and such. if you are i would go with one of the cements
     
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  20. Zeal

    Zeal Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I was actually looking for that JB one.

    I wonder if it'll be strong enough to make small overhangs with small medium rocks. Maybe even pillars holding the rock up. I tried to use that IC gel and it takes foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr to set. Would algae/coralline eventually settle over the glue and what not?
     
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