DIY rock. What you think?

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by Bflynn, 12 Jun 2013.

  1. Bflynn

    Bflynn

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    Hey fellow reefers!

    So I made some base rock. It is the best attempt yet, Ive tried three times. All three attempts Ive had different results using different materials.

    First try was with white cement and aquarium gravel in a sand mould. Worked well getting any shape I wanted, but not much going on in the bio filtration department (holes, cracks and tunnels)


    Second try I used same method as the first try and added salt with the intention of creating more of a rock that can filter and house good bacterias as well as provide homes for various critters. It was a bit better than first go, but still not what I had in mind.

    This last method I used has worked the best. There is still some space for improvement though.

    I used broken bottles, aquarium gravel and resin to get the shape I wanted.Once that was set and dry, I rinsed it. Once dry I flicked grey cement all over the "glass rock" till it was covered. I then sprinkled with white cement over the surface to get a more natural look. Flicked some more grey cement, and sprinkled more white.

    I am happy with the way this rock has turned out! I have managed to get a fully functional bio filtering base rock.
    I also estimate that the curing time will be at least cut in half due to only the surface being cement, while the inside is glass.

    Some pics!!

    DSCF8517.jpg

    DSCF8516.jpg

    DSCF8518.jpg

    I dont know why these pics are side ways.

    Anyway! What you think? Feed back would be great.

    DSCF8517.jpg

    DSCF8516.jpg

    DSCF8518.jpg
     
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  3. Easy Tiger

    Easy Tiger Day Dreamer Deluxe

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    I made all the rock in my display in a similar way, but using sand moulds ( so that the final rock product was hollow in the middle ), using pool salt to get a nice natural pitted look. The only thing I can say is that it needs a LOT more leaching time than I thought . I let it leach for 90 days in my pool all winter, and that still wasnt enough. I had some major algae problems as a result until finally all the phosphate leached out. I would definitley do it again though - you get the size, shape and pieces you want... just would need to leach it out for longer. I used white cement, aragonite and pool salt.

    Keep testing PH in whatever vessel you are leaching it in... and then let it leach longer. And longer, and longer ... :)
     
  4. Easy Tiger

    Easy Tiger Day Dreamer Deluxe

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    BTW I used white cement cause I had heard it contained less additives that were potentially harmful - but whether that is a fact or not I don't know. After a couple of months you can't tell that it was once white anyway, it looks just like natural rock.
     
  5. Gary Roebuck

    Gary Roebuck

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    that's a big piece of rock bud...! 'seank' made his own rock (not sure where the thread is), he made flat rocks and then added 1 on top of another in a pyramid type construction, looked really cool and made his scaping much easier because of the large base and the means of building overhangs. just another thought.. i would think about 'drilling holes' in the finished product so as to accept 'coral plugs' in the future...
     
  6. Bflynn

    Bflynn Thread Starter

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    Yes! I have had the same issues with previous rock I made. They are still curing eight months later. This is what ive tried to minimize while maximizing bio filtration. The cement is only on the outside, at most 10mm thick, and none what so ever inside the rock. Its basically a glass rock. I can pour water in the bottom of the rock if I hold it upside down and the water comes streaming out all the gaps, holes and cracks.

    I dont know if curing rock in a swimming pool is going to work? Chlorine and other chems are most prob leaching into the rock.
     
  7. Bflynn

    Bflynn Thread Starter

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    Drilling

    It wont be possible to drill this rock, as inside is glass. But yes! Bigger holes for plugs is most definitely a good option. These rocks need more attention too detail and improvement. The rock in the picture is the first one, and an experiment. I know now what to use and how to build it. I can make any shape I want and know it is going to achieve the same purpose that LR achieves once cured and seeded. As I said before. I have focused more on getting the rock to act as bio filtration and not just a piece of base rock that cant filter or house as many bacteria or critters.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2013
  8. JamesHunter

    JamesHunter

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    Was also wondering
     
  9. Bflynn

    Bflynn Thread Starter

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    White cement.

    I personally prefer the grey. I have a small piece of grey rock in my DT that I made. It didnt look so out of place compared to the LR. But I think using grey as a base, and then the white overtone give a real natural effect.
     
  10. Bflynn

    Bflynn Thread Starter

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    It is about 350L X 300H x 150W and weighs about 4kg maybe 5kg. I dont have a scale.
     
  11. Paul B

    Paul B

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    That is a beautiful piece of rock you made. I like it. I used to build similar rock like this first picture. This piece has been in my reef for over 20 years.
    [​IMG]

    Now I make all my rock like this hollow piece which is still cement but it has a hollow PVC pipe core. My tank is filled with similar pieces and I also use it to hold my main reef structure up above the substrait.

    [​IMG]

    These hold most of my reef off the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    This is what they look like during construction
    [​IMG]

    Some pieces are a meter long like here before and after.

    [​IMG]

    You can see this piece here above the moorish Idol.
    [​IMG]

    About a quarter of these rocks are hollow, home made even thought I collected all my rock, I replaced much of it with home made rock as I like it better. This entire structure is held off the bottom on those pieces.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2013
  12. Bflynn

    Bflynn Thread Starter

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    Hey Paul B! I must admit that I got the inspiration to build this kind of rock from you. I am a big fan of your tank, builds and ideas.
    I still want to do the PVC rocks at some point as well.

    Thanks!
     
  13. Paul B

    Paul B

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    Thank you Bflynn, I didn't know anyone actually read any of the stuff I post :blush:
     
  14. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    you know we do :)

    now about that book :p
     
  15. Bflynn

    Bflynn Thread Starter

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    Funny!

    Ive read your very, very, very long thread on the other forum as well. And I think what you have done is pretty amazing. I think people struggle to keep a tank going for more than three years, then give up and maybe start breeding pigeons......LOL!!

    I will be making more rock when I have time, and most definitely be using more of your tricks.

    Thanks!!
     
  16. Paul B

    Paul B

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    Don't use to many of them or people will think your nuts.
     
  17. Dorry

    Dorry dorry

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    Hi Bflynn, i like you DIY self rock stunning. Nice and big. The one standing up i like the most. My opinion build your live rock make it another hobby, and making a lot , could also become a business. by selling. Just think all LFS start ordering from you. I am first in line.:slayer:
     
  18. Bflynn

    Bflynn Thread Starter

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    Thanks Dorry! I will be making allot more of this rock. If I can sell it, it would be great funding for my own little reef. Im planning on making some nice custom corner pieces as well as table tops, caves and arch typ constructions. It cost me about R30 to make the rock in the pic!
     
  19. seank

    seank

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    Thanks for the thumbs up, but just a correction. I cast the complete rock, never in sections.... Will try find pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. seank

    seank

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    Links to DIY LIVE ROCK , most to be found here: DIY LIVE ROCK
     
  21. seank

    seank

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    Last edited: 13 Jun 2013
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