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Making your own live rock...
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dabigmandan
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Joined: 19 Jun 2005

PostPosted: 2005.06.27(Mon)21:24    Post subject: Making your own live rock... Reply with quote

I have read numerous articles about making your own live rock and most say it is safe and cost effective. There are however a couple things I would like cleared up.
The first thing is, is there some sort of colored cement that you can use so the rocks don't all turn out grey? I would like to make red rocks if possible.
And the other thing is curing time. One article I read said that 12 hours of curing in (white?) vinegar followed by 5 days of fresh water curing will be enough while another article said 3 or 4 weeks. I even read one article that suggested 6 months!
Anybody here have any experience creating your own live rock?
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MattTVI
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Location: Woodstock, GA

PostPosted: 2005.06.28(Tue)6:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

the 12 hrs in vinegar followed by 5 days in fresh water, imo, is pre curing... you're simply steralizing the rock BEFORE making it into a "live" rock... the other two numbers have to do w/ the seeding and development of pods and other life on the rock, imo, the longer you "cure" it, the better!
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dabigmandan
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PostPosted: 2005.06.28(Tue)10:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for your reply

what about the colored cement, does anyone know if this even exists?
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MattTVI
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 2005.06.28(Tue)12:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

have a look at these two links...

reefcentral thread

article on diy live rock

not that per the article, you need to cure (make aquarium safe) your live rock for a very long time in fresh water w/ frequent water changes... once in the aquarium, it will take months (assuming few natural preditors...) for the pod population to build up... hope those links help!
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dabigmandan
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PostPosted: 2005.06.28(Tue)13:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

THANKS!
great links... although I'm still wondering about different colored cement. Any construction buffs around?
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MattTVI
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 2005.06.29(Wed)6:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

don't worry about the color of cement, use type I or II portland cement w/ the oyster shells and paint the rock, keep in mind that it's going to get covered in all types of organisms and algae, so the initial color doesn't matter too much. I've also read of reefers adding plastic shavings to their LR as they believe it contributes to coraline growth!
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Rambo
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Joined: 29 Aug 2005

PostPosted: 2005.09.01(Thu)8:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may be a stupid question but why do u have to make your own rocks, whats wrong with just sterelising normal rocks. wouldn't this be cheaper. And how much do all the materials cost to make the rocks. Last thing, how do u make them live lol, I am a newbie at marine fish.
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MattTVI
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Location: Woodstock, GA

PostPosted: 2005.09.01(Thu)8:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

you could use normal rocks, but these rocks are very, very porous (sp?) giving them the ability to host a lot more nitrifing bacteria, etc... normal rocks you find laying around are much more dense...

also, by building your own rocks, you can do the exact size and shape you need...

the cost to build is fairly cheap when compared to what it costs to buy lace or base rock at the LFS...

You make them live by adding a few lbs of live rock and giving them about 6 months w/ no predators to let them seed the "live" rock you created... Smile

I'll take some more pics now that mine are in the tank...

Note: It is important to allow a minimum of 1 month to cure rocks made out of Type I/II cement, initially these rocks will be highly alkaline! Soaking in freshwater w/ water changes every 1 to 2 days will help the process, I waited until my rocks were showing a pH of 8.8 in my very soft fresh water after 6 weeks of curing. In my tank w/ aragonite "sand" and saltwater mix, my pH is right around 8.4...
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Rambo
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PostPosted: 2005.09.01(Thu)9:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool it sounds a lot clearer to me now. I will give it a go for the next tank I plan to etablish. Could I add Aquarium chemicals to the soaking rocks to help correct the pH so they are ready sooner or is it to risky and will need to know the right amount to add. Cheers
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http://www.freewebs.com/heinymanrambo/marinefishtankphotos.htm
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MattTVI
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 2005.09.01(Thu)11:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used muriatic acid (available at pool supply stores) during my first week, after that, I soaked in regular water...

take a look at the article on live rock above, it is very helpful and offers some alternative methods to curing your rock...
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