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Old 11-27-2012, 12:08 AM   #11
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I give you a lot of credit for making your own rock. Very ambitious especially for your first time setting up a salt tank. You're gonna end up being the guy that makes a lot of progress really fast and has one of those mind numbing reef tanks in under a year.

I can appreciate flat pieces of rock, but maybe try a mold to make more rounded shapes with nooks and holes in it. I'm not sure how to do that, but maybe someone will chime in.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:49 AM   #12
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Thanks Mr. Crabs.

Updates,

1. Toilet tank curing of DIY live rock is a no go. The pieces of rock are too big.

2. Made 2 batches today, did them up in starfish shapes, just for fun. Will have photos tomorrow. Better and more exciting shapes. Still getting used to the DIY mix. Used 1.5 parts white Portland cement instead of 1 part.

I have seen where people make great molds out of sand, the problem is the silicate in sand that I don't want in the tank.

I am not sure if coral sand will hold shape when damp like play sand. Does anyone know?

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:00 AM   #13
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Looks good src. I can't answer your question about the sand but I do know even if you use silicate sand it will eventually get used up .so you might have longer diatom stage but in the end it will be non existent.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:30 PM   #14
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Yesterday's starfish shaped DIY live rock. I dunked one this morning in the curing tote and then quickly pulled it out when I remember that it did not have 24 hours to set up yet. I like the organic shape.

One cool thing I learned is they don't stick to the cardboard that I made them on. I was worried that the cardboard would have to be soaked to come off.

I'm gonna look at some live rock photos and see of there is any shape I can emulate. I need to rule an experiment with mix and plastic wrap. To see if they don't stick. I might be able to make more cylindrical shapes and branches with wrap maybe.

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Old 11-27-2012, 07:58 PM   #15
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Made up two more batches. I have a couple ideas. I don't like the flat, non 3d part of the rock. My current plan, make rocks with similar detail as the starfish on day one. Day two, turn them over and add bulk to the flat side. Day three add a base and stand them on end. Photos to follow tomorrow.

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Old 11-28-2012, 11:39 AM   #16
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Oops, wasn't as patience as I should have been. Broke a new piece before the cement was fully hardened. Not a problem though. Going to cement it again when I do the backside this afternoon.

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Old 11-29-2012, 08:21 PM   #17
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New photos!! It lives! Well, at least it stands. Three days in the making so far. The water bottle to make the cave will be pulled out when cement dries. There will be a cave or tunnel on the taller piece as well. Changed the water in the curing tote. When I get all the pieces in there, I put a HOB filter on it just to stir up the water. I am running out of puka shells and crushed coral. May need to get more. Doesn't seem like near enough rock for a 55.

SRC <><

Thanks to all those that are following the process.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:13 PM   #18
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About 42 pounds of DIY liverock curing. Had a HOB filter moving water. Watching it and saw the cord hissing and burning. Needless to say, not using that any more. Switched to back up HOB filter.

Cure baby cure.

Got API test set so I can tell when the rock has leached out enough to be safe.

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Old 12-05-2012, 08:48 PM   #19
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In my sculpture class I used an empty milk type carton ( I used an extra big goldfish cracker carton) and raw clay around the corners to make organic shapes for poured plaster.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:28 PM   #20
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Help. What sand or coral substrate do I need? I plan to have blennies, and maybe a goby. I don't want too small and have a constant sand storm, or too large that creatures and fish can't dig.

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