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Old 12-15-2011, 01:49 PM   #1
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Diy live rock

I have decided to have a shot at making my own DIY live rock. I will keep you posted on my progress.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:53 PM   #2
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I used 4 ingredients...

• Mortons salt crystals (couple handfuls)
• Portland Cement (5 cups)
• Crushed oyster shells (20 cups)
• Water (5 cups)
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:56 PM   #3
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I mixed them all up into a thick texture with the ratios above, I created a mold out of damp play sand, and scooped it in. The salt is purley to make it more porous and to create caves as it dissolves in the curing process.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:03 PM   #4
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Here is what i used and where i got it...

Crushed oyster shells - $18 - 50lb bag - Agway ( or any feed/ farming store)

Portland cement - $8 - 96lb bag - Lowes (any home improvement store)

Morton's Salt crystals - $5 - Home Depot (often called water softener salt)

Now that it's in the mold, I will let it sit / dry for 48 hours. Then begin the curing process...
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:20 PM   #5
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Very cool! Can't wait to see results!
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:47 PM   #6
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Here it is so far, going to give it another day before cleaning it up and starting the curing process.... Looks like it may work! It is very porous, I'd say about the same as the figi rock I have in my reef tank! I may try a little more salt and cement in the next batch just to see the effect.

Now I'm off to start the next batch!

(cd is just to show you the size, it's gonna be a big live rock!)
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:57 PM   #7
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Looks great!
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:46 PM   #8
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Looks great!
Thanks, came out much better than I imagined, second batch is underway!
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:42 PM   #9
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Can't wait to see more!
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:07 PM   #10
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looks amazing, would you be able to put something like this in a cichlid/freshwater tank or would it throw off the water?
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bschowa
looks amazing, would you be able to put something like this in a cichlid/freshwater tank or would it throw off the water?
Thanks, I'm not sure, I know it holds a PH of around 8 when fully cured, I'm a salty so can't tell you about FW, I would imagine it could work in a cichlid tank... Maybe someone else can advise better...
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:31 PM   #12
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Cement will buffer the water. You need to soak it for a few weeks and do frequent water changes.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:32 PM   #13
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Would it be good for cichlids then?
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:33 PM   #14
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How did your second batch come out?
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bschowa
How did your second batch come out?
I went for a slightly wetter mix, I have just uncovered it and although it looks good, I prefer the first batch as it looked more porous and natural, so if you plan on doing this use the water measurement as I originally stated.

I will post a pic of the second batch tomorrow, as I start the long curing process...
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:41 AM   #16
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Would it be good for cichlids then?
If they require a PH of around 8, then you should be good..
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:56 AM   #17
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If they require a PH of around 8, then you should be good..
Yep but if you cure it for 6 weeks it should be good.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:27 PM   #18
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So how did your rock turn out? Is it done curing yet?
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:38 PM   #19
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So how did your rock turn out? Is it done curing yet?
It's come out really well but it's not quite done curing yet, I expect it will only need another week, maybe two. I think it's because I did such big pieces. I will post pics once they are finished curing.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:40 PM   #20
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Cool I will be waiting to take a look at it. I am going to make a bunch of small pieces to add to my sump.
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