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Old 08-08-2004, 12:46 AM   #1
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DIY rock question

I am going to make some Aragocrete like on the GARF website but I cannot fing a cheap source of aragonite sand from where I am. I was wondering if I am able to use silica sand blasting sand instead.

Also if anyone has made there own aragocrete before let me know of any tips or tricks you might have.

Thanks,
Josh
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Old 08-08-2004, 01:12 PM   #2
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Hi,
I just made about 40 lbs of rock and I skipped the sand all together. I simply used one part cement and 4 parts crushed oyster shell, which you can get at feed mill stores for $10/50 lbs. Worked real well for me and the rocks look great. I found the best trick was to make the cement mixture lumpy like cottage cheese.
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Old 08-08-2004, 01:42 PM   #3
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Great tip!
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Old 08-08-2004, 01:48 PM   #4
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I used southdown sand but if that's not in your aread I'd just do as soupy11 said and use all cc or shell. I've also read adding palstic shaving in helps coraline algae and reduces the weight of the rock, but I couldn't find any in my area.
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Old 08-08-2004, 01:52 PM   #5
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Also you can use the same samd that you use in your aquarium. I have made about 125 lbs of rock so far for my new tank that I will be getting soon (I hope). I used Southdown Carribean Playsand as part of the mixture along with crushed coral and crushed shells. I have about 50 lbs curing in one phase and another right now in saltwater ready for coraline to be added into the tank. So far this has worked real well without any major spikes in the pH levels. Water changes are the key. And 1st stage curing of the rock in freash water 24 hours after you make it. Let is set up in the water for about 10-15 days. This will make the rock real hard.

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Old 08-08-2004, 02:00 PM   #6
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Sparky

I have probalby 100-150 lbs curing in vats of water now, how long did your rock take to cure? From what I've read it seem to take 4-8 weeks.
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Old 08-08-2004, 03:04 PM   #7
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Great stuff,

My rock is real hard, has been in water for 6 days now. Daily water changes. I will go 5 weeks and then start testing the PH. Some good ways to build caves that I used are to make your rock in layers. I put sand in the middle of the layers and build up pockets. When I layer the concrete over these "pockets" the mixture sets up and hardens around. I then wash out the sand using a hose and it leaves pretty neat caves/holes in the rock.
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Old 08-08-2004, 08:08 PM   #8
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I found a place that sells 50 pounds of crushed oyster shells for like 5 bucks so I think I am gonna use that with portland # 1 or 2 cement. I am glad that there is an alternative to southdown in making these rocks as southdown is no where to be found in MN.
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Old 08-08-2004, 11:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Sparky

I have probalby 100-150 lbs curing in vats of water now, how long did your rock take to cure? From what I've read it seem to take 4-8 weeks.

The first "cure" was done in freshwater for 14 days. This really makes the rock hard. Then I cleaned them with a vinegar/water solution and rinse with fresh water again. Then I dry them out for a week and put them in the tank with the salt water for the second cure. This is where I intend to introduce the coraline algae to the rocks. This is the water that I am watching closely for pH and other substances.
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Old 08-09-2004, 09:17 AM   #10
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