DIY base rock...a la Garf

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by wontonflip, May 12, 2009.

  1. wontonflip

    project5k

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    what you see thats in the tank in the previous pictures are the real rocks that i got when i moved the tank in from its previous owner...

    and drum roll please........

    here are the ones that i made, in the tank... i'm not 100% sure of thier placement yet, but its a start...


    if these dont kill my fish, then i'm definately gonna go into high gear on production.. one of the fish people i talk to on a regular basis said he'd like to try out a few of my creations
     

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    project5k, Jun 17, 2009
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  2. wontonflip

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    Those look good
     
    mng777777, Jun 17, 2009
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  3. wontonflip

    project5k

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    thank you thank you, i know some people might not like the un-natural look of the caves and stuff that i made, but these were my first try at this, and so i said what the heck, worst case scenerio, i decide to either cover them with other rocks, or take them out.... it cost me, what, maybe a buck or 2 to make each one, so its no big loss...

    so now i'm all hot to trot to make more.. so i'll be going back to hd and getting more rock salt.. and i was thinking about calling up the local tractor supply and seeing if they have any of that crushed coral or something of the like in the chicken department... might make for even better looking rocks..

    i also think that this next batch i'm gonna make a pvc frame and make a log shaped one.... but thats just in the thinking stages for now...

    i'm definately happier with the tank now than before cause it has more stuff in it, before it was kinda bare....

    now i need a bigger tank, cause i wanna make some really cool and extreme rocks...

    oh and just as an update, everyone in the tank seemed to be pretty happy this morning, so, so far so good... snowflake even took to burrowing under one of the rocks, which is pretty normal for him, so i guess he approves..
     
    project5k, Jun 17, 2009
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  4. wontonflip

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Looks great! Who cares what other think of the rocks anyway. As long as you like it, it doesn't matter. But it looks good :)

    I was thinking about having some of my larger rocks have 'built in' pvc holes. originally, i was going to drill pvc-sized holes onto base rock that I buy so I can stack them up, but be able to move rocks or remove them as needed and not worry about making my aquascape design permanent by gluing them together. But my lfs gave me the idea of just interconnecting rocks w/ pvc, which is what they do to their clients' tanks for aquascaping. So I figure if I create the large rock already w/ built in pvc holes, I don't have to worry about breaking the rock in the drilling process.
     
    wontonflip, Jun 17, 2009
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  5. wontonflip

    dcantucson

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    Once your rocks are covered with stuff, they'll look even better. Probably won't even be able to tell they're man made! As long as they're extremely porous, that's what's important, I think. A bigger tank, that's even better! :lol:
     
    dcantucson, Jun 17, 2009
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  6. wontonflip

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    Wonton is absolutely right. You should make them the way you want them and not worry about what anybody else thinks. If you had to make it the way everyone else wanted it our tanks would all look the same. I'm glad your eel likes your creative new rock.
    I think that is a good idea. You might just build couplers into each piece and then you can just use short pieces of pipe to connect them. You should be able to build some really neat aquascaping that will be crash proof.

     
    mng777777, Jun 17, 2009
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  7. wontonflip

    project5k

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    yea that was something that i was freting over last night when i was arranging things, do you have your rocks touching the glass or not? as it is now i tried to not have mine touching, i'm just so afraid that the eel is going to move things around, and something is gonna fall and break the tank....
    also, once you get this stuf stacked up, wont crud kinda pile up behind them? how do you keep it clean?
     
    project5k, Jun 17, 2009
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  8. wontonflip

    dcantucson

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    I like leaving space behind the rock and the glass. Rocks against the glass equals more scratches and less flow. Plus less swimming room for the fish! JMO
     
    dcantucson, Jun 17, 2009
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  9. wontonflip

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    Mine is long and narrow, so I have them piled against the back glass but not touching anywhere in the front, or sides. In fact, I intentionally made sure that I have room on the front and sides to get my magnet cleaner through without touching the LR anywhere. If you are stacking very high, you need to make sure that you have them secured so as not to break the glass, also they should be placed directly on the bottom glass so that sand sifters cant get beneath them. The empty space they create can lead to your rocks coming tumbling down.
     
    mng777777, Jun 17, 2009
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  10. wontonflip

    project5k

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    see i can see all that happening... i just got my first sand sifting starfish, so i dont know what all he's gonna do yet.. but i did try and dig the botton layer of rocks down as deep as i could, i mean there was a little sand under them, cuase theres just no way to get it all out, but there might be, oh, i dunno, between 1/16th and 1/8th inch sand under the rocks... precious little, as best i could do...

    i left space behind most of my rock, but the home made ones, looked like they lined up the best when they were leaning back against the back glass...

    no rock slides...
    hehehe oh now i have to make a little contrete sign that sais that...

    yea i know..

    as for how high, well i figured i'd end up with a stack of rocks that is about half the height of the tank, just short of the full length, and something between 1/2 and 3/4 the depth at the bottom, tapering back as it goes up....

    but i'm gonna need more rocks before i'm close to that...

    so, now, what can i do to get my new rocks up to speed? i know that the bacteria will grow as fast as they can and stuff, but what about corraline algie? is there anything i can do to help that get started on the new rocks?

    i have some decent groth on the original LR, i'm just hoping that i can maximize the conditions and get it started on the new rock soon.

    i heard something some time back about something called purple up.. what is it and what are the pros and cons and does it even work?
     
    project5k, Jun 17, 2009
    #70
  11. wontonflip

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    I would just take your time and allow the rocks to grow bacteria and algae as they mature. It may take a few months, but it won't seem that long as you look back on it later. Purple up is basically expensive, repackaged, watered-down, calcium with other trace elements added. I recommend that you skip it as you should just maintain your levels by doing frequent water changes. In other words the salt mix will contain all of the elements that you need for your tank to be healthy and as long as you do frequent water changes, there should be no need to dose anything. As your tank matures, you may find that your livestock is consuming things, like calcium, quicker than you are replacing it with water changes, it's only then that you should start dosing. Also, if/when you do start dosing, it's best to dose each individual element, again like calcium, and avoid anything that is an all-in-one treatment like purple up. If you test for and dose each element individually, you have more control, and are less likely to over dose something that could cause a crash.
     
    mng777777, Jun 17, 2009
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  12. wontonflip

    project5k

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    ahh ok, i didnt know what it was.. i didnt know if it was seeding material for the algae or just the food for it... i agree water changes and using a good salt mix should do most all of it.... untill somethng tells me otherwise..
    thanks for the info on that...

    back on topic, so, i'm thinking about the next batch of rocks i'm gonna make this wekend, and while thinking about the pvc skeletons i'm gonna wanna make, i was thinking, now how the heck am i gonna get the concrete to stick to that slick pipe. i could rough it up with some 80 grit... or, hmmm, i could drill some smallish holes like you do on a body pannell so that the bondo can ooze through and grab hold... hmmm ideas?

    the prupose of doing the pvc is multi fold, one, if i wanted to i could snake some plumbing through it, and its gonna lighten up the rocks. I'm also thinking that i may want to block the ends, to keep too many critters from hiding in there, or letting gunk build up in there... not to mention that the pvc will help keep the long rocks from breaking...

    input?
     
    project5k, Jun 17, 2009
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  13. wontonflip

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    I would probably just rough it up with the 80 grit. I think that it will stay especially if you place couplers at the ends for your fittings. That way you dont have holes in them in case you do want to use it for plumbing. I'm not sure that they need to be plugged. Your critters will find holes to hide in anyways and so will the detritus...
     
    mng777777, Jun 17, 2009
    #73
  14. wontonflip

    project5k

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    i guess i could allways cap the ends by putting the couplers on the pipes, and then using the inside plugs, then that way if i ever wanna take them out i can, but they could stay clean inside if i wanted to use them for whatever later... and that would definately keep everything out... hmm
    its a thought.

    i just had the ultimate crazy idea, cast one large rock, that makes up the entire display, no falling, and could basically be just about hollow... hmmm i wonder what it would weigh....
     
    project5k, Jun 17, 2009
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  15. wontonflip

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    If you ever need to frag a coral, place something in QT, or move stuff around for any reason, you'll regret having everything in one piece. I would stick with your current plan to build it piece by piece.
     
    mng777777, Jun 17, 2009
    #75
  16. wontonflip

    project5k

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    oh yea it would be a nightmare, it was just one of thoes crazy fleeting thoughts...

    anyway, so far so good, everyone seems to be happy, healthy, and hungry, i guess the stress of stirring the tank made everyone extra hungry.. snowflake just wont get full right now...

    the wife seems to think it might be a "growth spirt"
     
    project5k, Jun 18, 2009
    #76
  17. wontonflip

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    "fish" is actually Latin for, Pig that swims...
     
    mng777777, Jun 18, 2009
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  18. wontonflip

    project5k

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    hehehehe for real?

    i just know that when a fish is freaked he wont eat, and mine are eating well, so they must be pretty happy i guess.
     
    project5k, Jun 18, 2009
    #78
  19. wontonflip

    dcantucson

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    A bit far fetched isn't it? :mrgreen:
     
    dcantucson, Jun 19, 2009
    #79
  20. wontonflip

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    I plead the 5th...
     
    mng777777, Jun 19, 2009
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