Home Made Live Rock "Help"

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by vatso, 23 Jul 2012.

  1. vatso

    vatso

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    Hi All

    as you might be aware I am doing a larger tank and need larger rocks.

    I want to make live rock and need some light large pieces - i know the 3-2-1 ratio who here has made such rock and can help or guide me?

    thanks
     
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  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Can ask SeanK. He made a few big pieces.
    Else check out his threads, somewhere he got pictures of how he did it.
     
  4. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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  5. Mewik

    Mewik

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    I saw an article where someone used chicken wire covered in plastic to make a frame then layered the mix onto it and removed the frame and plastic afterwards. The end result was basically a light thin rock with a large inner cave that looked like a solid rock from the front. You can build some nice rocks with inner areas that can hide pumps etc using that method. I dont have a link to the site, as I saw it a couple of years back, I will try find the site later today, I think he put something on the plastic to stop the cement mix setting to it.
     
  6. Wes

    Wes

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    here's my attempt:

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2012
  7. erratiC

    erratiC

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    Wow @wez, that looks pretty darn good actually. What ratio did you use and how much does it weigh?

    My first attempt, a couple months ago, wasn't porous enough so I scrapped it and am planning to start from scratch again soon. I made an almighty mess in my parent's backyard though so I'm not sure they'd be too keen on me doing it again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  8. vatso

    vatso Thread Starter

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    @wez - more info please look great how did you make that?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. Wes

    Wes

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    i played a lot with the ratio's trick is to add the salt in after you have mixed the White Portland Cement and Crushed coral together.

    iirc:

    2 Cups White Portland - not sure where you can buy this, got it from another reefer.
    4 Cups Crushed Coral - Any LFS should have this, it's medium crushed coral
    2 Hand Fulls of Salt - Builders warehouse pool salt

    mix the portland and crushed coral together, do this as fast as possible, cause you *don't want the cement to go into the pores of the crushed coral*, once you have a dryish mix, not slushy, it should still be somewhat wet, quickly mix in the pool salt, so it doesn't start dissolving, then take the mix and drop it into the shaped play sand you got from reggies/builders/wherever best bet is to make about 5 litres of the mix at a time as to not let it sit too long as mentioned *before* you'll notice a pipe, electrical.

    This was placed into the sand before the mix was made, the angles and shapes where created in the play-sand before hand, each of these pieces was made in the evening after work, took me a week to make, and about two months later after letting it sit in fresh water(changed every evening) i was able to drop it into the tank :)
     
  10. Wes

    Wes

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    make small pieces at first so you get the correct ratio, like i said i played a lot with the ratio's.
     
  11. 519franco

    519franco

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    cant do that what if the water gets to the chicken wire then you got rust in your tank
     
  12. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    Think he could be referring to this Article...:blush: Sounds like it's for the "mould" only..:blush:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Easy Tiger

    Easy Tiger Day Dreamer Deluxe

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    Home made works well... fun DIY.
    I used 2 parts white cement ( in hindsight it needn't have been white cement - algae covers it soon enough )
    4 parts crushed coral - for a natural effect/finish
    2 parts aragonite - to bind it all together
    and 2-3 parts pool salt I got from builders warehouse. Nice chunky pieces of salt needed.
    Put the salt into your mix right at the END of mixing so it doesnt disolve into the mix. Once you cure the rock in water you want the salt to dissolve and leave holes and gaps to simulate porous natural rock.
    Moulding - build the shape you want out of sand - any sand, play sand etc. Pour your mix over/into the ,mould and leave it a couple of days to set before removing. Don't "pat" it down too much or you get a very dense solid result. A traffic cone worked out well for me as a very cool mould to get "tower" type structures that you can attached corals too - very nice vertical effect.
    Think about how you want the rocks to join up in the tank before hand- you can leave standard size holes ( i used a pool noodle as a gap hole maker) so that if you need to you can re-enforce pieces together with solid non-porous (no salt added ) concrete pieces to fit pieces together that are going to be stacked.
    Curing : It took months to leach out correctly. I leached it the entire winter in my pool ( 3 months ) and it still wasnt enough time - should have been more. As a result I had major algae problems early on. ( phosphate problems )
    But 8 months later the rock looks pretty much natural in the tank, and I got the shapes and bigger pieces I needed as base rock - it would have cost thousands to BUY live/base rock in these quantities.
    Have fun !
     
  14. Nemeziz_za

    Nemeziz_za

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    The chicken wire was not left in as a reinforcing structure, it was used as a mold and removed.
    @vatso

    I made some DIY rock a few months ago, I needed some large shelves so decided to give it a go. Was remarkably simple, I however chose to use aragonite substrate and not crushed coral. (Only because I had excess aragonite in the garage)

    did the 3:2:1 mix as you will find on most DIY videos, and guides. I added the the coarse salt last as was mentioned here already. and dont overmix when you add the salt, you want to try keep it from dissolving into the mix.

    Ill take some pics tonight of the rock.

    The plastic bag and wire mesh is a pretty good molding idea, Ive seen guides where people used balloons too. I just poured my mix into a a soft sand mold.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. Easy Tiger

    Easy Tiger Day Dreamer Deluxe

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    SOme pics of the rock being made - see the traffic cone and pool noodle for shapes and holes

    DSC03761.jpg

    DSC03770.jpg

    DSC03819.jpg
     
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