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Old 12-15-2010, 02:06 PM   #31
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I might use that tactic on a school tank I'm trying to get started on...
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:21 PM   #32
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My cousin writes grant requests and it amaze me how much the government and corporations give to non-profits.
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:41 PM   #33
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If your still looking for rock i have ordered from marcorocks.com a few times and he has pretty good prices on bulk base rock. I'm not sure what your plan for the student tanks are but if you wanted to get a head start on the cycle of the student tanks you can buy a big 55 gallon trash can and put the base rock in there. It will start cycling in the can and then you can use it for mixing/water changes after you are finished cycling.
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:34 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New Aquatics Teacher View Post
Ok, here's a question I have after looking around. I've seen some posts about making your own base rocks/live rocks by mixing argonite sand and cement. If I were to make some of these rocks along with rock collected from a local beach and/or some bacteria starting aids would these rocks be useful for adding to my aquarium and/or my students aquariums? The reason I'm asking is because this might:

A. be a lot cheaper than purchasing live rock for all of these tanks
B. reduce the amount of rock we would need to collect locally
C. make a good project for my students

If I am understanding this correctly I could have my students make the base rocks for their tanks in class one week, clean them off and set them up in their tanks the next week, and then maybe start the curing process and begin cycling in the tank the third week?

Does this sound ok or am I missing something?

This sounds like a really good plan to me. Saves money, allows you to make rock which will host beneficial bacteria, and proper cycling of the tanks.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:08 PM   #35
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i think you have to cure the concrete longer than a week, otherwise you are going to have ph issues.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:32 PM   #36
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...among other things.

from a google search:
Lava rock - 3reef Forums
yeah, it was more for the shape as an example. Otherwise all of us would run down and buy a bag of lava rocks.
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:33 PM   #37
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Ok, now I've got problems, I'll sum up as best I can.

The class tank still seemed to be doing well on monday, but it looked like the green chromis that I thought was being picked on by the striped guys was getting worse.

That afternoon while digging through drawers in the back storage room I found 10 to 15 pounds of rock that clearly used to be used in aquariums (I have no idea how many YEARS its been sitting in a drawer though). I set up a small tank with an old HOB filter and several bubblers and put the rock in along with the domino's body that I dug out of the other tank, hoping that I could add some live rock from my LFS over the weekend and then add everything to my tank in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday morning the green chromis died so I added him to the tank with the base rock. That afternoon I noticed that the striped damsels had now started picking on another one of the green chromis, but he seemed to be doing all right. Wednesday afternoon one of my students commented that the green chromis was acting funny, I checked and he clearly seemed to be struggling.

Since I've been concerned about my water chemistry without a proper testing kit I decided to do a partial water change which seemed to help for a while, but the second green chromis had died when I got in this morning and one of the striped damsels was also clearly not doing well. I ran to the petco near my school as soon as the day ended and got a testing kit (would have sooner, but paycheck didn't go in until today).

I tested the ammonia levels immediatly, they were at around 3ppm, clearly too high, I did another 20% water change to try and get them down, but unfortunately it wasn't in time for the striped damsel. After everything had settled down from the water change I went through and tested everything and the Nitrate and Nitrite are reading near zero. I'm not sure if this means I don't have ANY bacteria, or if I just don't have ENOUGH bacteria and need to add more surface area.

At this point I am planning on trying to do major tank renovations on Saturday. I was thinking of moving the fish along with their filter to an empty tank and pulling out all the gravel and decorations from my tank (there's not much to begin with so I doubt this would remove much in the way of bacteria). Then I was going to add in argonite sand, the base rock I've been working on in the other tank and about 5-10 pounds of live rock from my LFS, let everything settle down and then move the fish back in.

My biggest concern is that we'll be leaving for christmas break for the next two weeks and I'll only be able to get in to the school on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. I'll come in on those days, test the water and do PWC's as necessary, but is there anything else I can be doing?
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:24 PM   #38
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you don't know anything about that rock that was in the storage room. it could be laden with copper, or worse.
this is no way to start a successful tank.
isn't there any way you can do like the others suggested and try for donations?

besides that, that rock should be in a tank with a heater and a powerhead for a few weeks before you even start testing for ammonia.

where are you located? what is your budget?
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:00 PM   #39
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I think you need to set up a quarantine tank (10g) with bare bottom and one piece of rock or some kind of decor for the fish to hide, temperature match, and transfer all the fish to that tank (after acclimation, drip for 1 hour). Then let the other tank go through a proper cycle and so PWCs on the QT whenever the ammonia goes over 0.5ppm. A 20% PWC with 3ppm ammonia is not sufficient, and the fish will definitely suffer.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:08 PM   #40
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The rocks were a part of all of the equipment that was from the old aquatic science class so they were used in tanks previously. I'm working on establishing connections in my neighborhood, but that takes time. For now I'm more concerned with doing what I can with what I have and trying to fix what I can in the tank, again, not likely to be ideal. I'll put in the time and labor, but for now the equipment is going to be limited.
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