Artificial coral manufacturing

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by marcel, 8 Jan 2016.

  1. marcel

    marcel

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    Hi,

    My marine tank has been down for some time. I had many problems with the livestock and decided if was going to start up again I was going to go for artificial coral and rock. There are many YouTube videos showing how to make your own live rock. I was shocked to see the amount of live rock that’s available from the fish shops just in the Gauteng area ,it makes you wonder how much live rock are being removed from our sea’s in a year for this hobby. Removing corrals might not be a problem but harvesting it might be as most corals grow on the rock so the rocks get destroyed as well when the corals are removed. I looked at the artificial corals that was available and was not impresses one of the problems for me was that they all had a hard plastic base that don’t fit nicely on to the rocks. So I decided I will design my own corals, firstly I had to find a material I looked at the stuff FISH KING and the TANKED guys use but that was not for me. I decided on a thermoplastic called TPE they come in a very soft grade the softest i could get locally of this material was a 20 shore. This material comes in a food grade material but I couldn’t get it in the 20 shore. So I used what was available I placed all by corals in the tank and kept it running for about a month without any livestock this was with freshwater, I took regular water tests and the water was fine. I now have a few Malawians in the tank and everything is fine. Is there any other tests or problems that you experts think I should perform or look for? Getting back to plastics and its problems, just about all plastics got BPA or Triton in it and that is harmful to us in large quantities, we all have some of it in our bodies. All the PVC piping got BPA in it so then the fish must also have BPA in them. If any of you are interested send me a mail to celgo@eject.co.za and I will send you info on how to make your own live rock. Let’s stop taking those rocks out of the sea.

    See pictures of my corals

    TANK1.JPG
     
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  3. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Sort of, ;) If you do some in depth research you will see that Live rock is a fairly sustainable and renewable resource in comparison to man made live rock, but that's a whole other debate. :)

    You've got some good skills there, are the corals painted or is the plastic dyed?
     
  4. flappy

    flappy

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    This might interest you, my show aquarium with a custom made artificial reef

    Artificial Reef 1.jpg
     
  5. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Love that @flappy

    Are those dead tabling Acros real reef as well?
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I think you missed the reason as to way we use live rock. Its not just because its from the sea. Or should look more natural in our artificial tanks.

    Its because of the filtration capabilities that they provide. Deep inside all those little holes and crevices. Hiding places to house all the beneficial worms and copepods. Only after the old reefers in the eighties discovered the real potential from within live rock, only from then were non expert public aquaria guys able to house the simplest of corals. And as we understood more and more about natural filtration, we were able to keep more advanced corals. Nowadays, with descend quality live rock, beginners are able to have a beautiful growing coral display within a year with a stable system.

    Yes, bacteria do grow on anything, on the tank glass, on your pumps, heaters thermometer, anything that is under water. But the sheer numbers provided by the total surface area of good quality live rock vastly outnumbers the population found elsewhere in our systems.

    Plastic rock would provide the same capability as to the surface of your return pump. Even for a fresh water system, this will simply not work in the long run.

    Oh yes, bio balls are plastic. With the big difference being that they are designed to maximized surface area. Trying to replicate the surface area provided by live rock. Although bio balls do not even come close to live rock, they still provide an answer to a lot of systems, be that marine holding tanks, freshwater tanks or big koi dams.
     
    r0ckf1re and linksar like this.
  7. marcel

    marcel Thread Starter

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    The coloring is put in to the material before its injection molded, this prevents the color from fading. It’s not easy to try and copy real corals but you really appreciate their beauty when you are trying to. Problem with most of the artificial corals is that they are only one color. I use different color inserts into my corals to increase color variations. I also use a non toxic marker paint to add color on some places where it’s impossible to use inserts. Many make live rock from normal or white cement with many porous holes in them that allows for all those small sea creatures to live into the rock. A rock like that will have the same end result as that of a real live rock. I use cement and pratliperl for my rocks.

    You can just Google marine life destruction facts

    And see why we shouldn’t take all these things out of our oceans, especially if there is a cheaper alternative to live rock.
     
  8. Dre

    Dre

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    Hi Marcel. What paint do you use to paint the rocks?
     
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