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Old 03-11-2011, 08:24 AM   #81
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yep. good idea.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:59 AM   #82
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My protein skimmer arrived today, but when I went to put it in the sump, I broke one of the baffles for the bubble trap. It was a 20 high, and I'd been wanting to redo my sump and get a 20 long instead. Perfect excuse!

Got the new sump put together, now just gotta wait until the silicone dries before the old one is replaced. But I went ahead and put the skimmer in the sump now to start breaking it in, surprisingly there are no microbubbles in my tank and it is already sucking brown goo out of the water. Pretty gross...

But as far as the first batch of DIY live rock? It crumbled like a cookie when I went to pull it out of the sand. I made another batch, and it's been drying since this afternoon.

On a side note, my brother in law is a plant manager at a concrete/cement company and I was asking him about the pH of the rock, and he said that I could put a cup to a cup and a half of orange juice in 5 gallons of water and it would help to lower the pH faster without making the cement weak. Anybody ever tried this?

One last question. My skunk cleaner shrimp molted, what should I do with the "shell"? Leave it for the CUC or remove it?
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:16 AM   #83
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what did you mix with the portland?
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:40 PM   #84
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Crushed coral. But I went to my county co-op and bought a 50lb bag of crushed oyster shells to try out later. I may try mixing in a bit of sand for the next batch, if this crumbles.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:20 PM   #85
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i have heard the oyster shells are the popular choice. i guess they hold the rock together better. how fine are they crushed? i've never seen a bag of crushed oyster shells in person.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:07 AM   #86
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I haven't even opened the bag yet. Haha. I've been playing in the flower bed all day, and changing sumps.

I'll take a picture of it when I do my next batch. Last 2 have been drying for about 34 hours, may as well wait until tomorrow to take a look.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:20 AM   #87
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The oyster shells definitely hold together better than the coral. The two on the left are oyster shells, and the two on the right were crushed coral. I ended up having to throw the bigger crushed coral rock away. It was still entirely too crumbly, and I don't want to risk it crumbling apart in the aquarium, with "uncured" faces freshly exposed.

Anyway, here are the pictures.



They are more porous than some of the live rock I've bought. When you pour water on them, it just trickles out from the bottom.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:01 PM   #88
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so, they will have a lot of surface area, but not much in the way of anaerobic zones. i wonder if they will be as effective as ocean rock would.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:24 PM   #89
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Good point on the anerobic areas. Next batch I may do it in 2 steps. First step with either no salt, or table salt, and the outer portion I may use the rock salt for pores. I've been thinking about making some without any salt at all, just the portland cement, oyster shells, and water. Mixed to an oatmeal like consistency. That should leave me with a good amount of surface areas, as well as some anerobic areas, wouldn't you think?
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:39 AM   #90
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It's been a while since my last update. And the tang police are going to get me!

Last week I got a yellow tang, but he's only about an inch and a half long, so I'm good to keep him for a while in my 75. My plan is to have a bigger tank by the time he outgrows this one.

I also got another yellow watchman goby, and a tiger pistol shrimp (the other one went MIA never to be seen again. About 99% sure the dog ate him when he made his leap of faith). Made sure the lid had no openings this time!

Lastly, a royal gramma. This should be it for the fish. So my list of livestock is:

2 Clowns (still not sure if they're ocellaris or percula)
1 Kole tang
1 Yellow tang
1 Royal gramma
1 Yellow watchman goby
1 Tiger pistol shrimp
1 Skunk cleaner shrimp
Small colony of zoanthids

Everyone seems to be getting along pretty well, the baby yellow tang has been following the Kole around for a few days, and unless he tries to go into the Kole's "bedroom" there isn't any aggression shown at all. His "bedroom" is under a ledge of LR. He's constantly going under there and fanning sand out. Nobody told me that a kole tang was a burrowing fish! lol
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