MY DIY rock

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by Matt Rogers, Jan 6, 2003.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    To start off the new DIY board, I thought I would share some pics of last nights adventure making my own rock for my tank.

    I used Portland I white cement (paying a slight penalty here because the II/III cement is supposed to cure faster), oyster shell from the feed store, shells, sand and rubble all collected at my local beach.

    I mixed a little over 1 cup cement to 5 cups oyster shell with 1 cup water in the first batch. In the 2nd batch I mixed another cup of water (I think this was too much.).

    I threw in a handful of sand in each mix and some shells. I also put some shells in the middle of a couple rocks to make them lighter and more porous.

    I think the pics will explain the rest:

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    [sub]These last two were of critters in that were in the sand I got from the beach! Some of these bugs were the size of jelly beans and they were jumping all over the garage!![/sub]

    WHen I was done, I covered the plastic bins with damp towels to retain the heat while they cure. This is supposed to keep them from drying out too fast and keep them strong.


    So I consider this first batch the trial batch. Even with what I read on the Net, unless you have someone with you that has done it a lot, you are really on your own to figure it out!

    In a couple days I will dig them out and post pics here. Then we can figure out how to refine this!! [smiley=thumbs_up.gif]

    What do you think?
     
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  3. viking

    viking Plankton

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    Matt,
    Looks good. Just wondered if you tried to make them porous in any way? If so how?
    Cheers,
    Viking.
     
  4. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    On a few of the rocks I tried to stab a hole right through them with the wood mixer and twisted it a little bit. Then I filled the hole with sand to support it. Next round I am going to skewer them to death.

    Lots of experimenting to do to get this right...  ;D
     
  5. viking

    viking Plankton

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    Matt,
    I just wondered if during the mixing stage if you used a food mixer on high speed maybe you could introdue enough air that might do something? I suppose the mix would not have to be too wet. Or hows this for a crazy idea ;D A lose ball of suture thread. the kind that disolves in water over time. You could end up with all sorts of holes and small tunnels. Like i said maybe crazy ;D
    Cheers,
    Viking.
     
  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Crazy! I say it's brilliant! I love the thread idea.

    Hell I think I might try that this weekend along with the pasta trick. Thanks Viking! [smiley=2thumbsup.gif]
     
  7. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

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    between u and nowicki with all this rock makin i wanna go out get another tank and make my own HA HA. it would be interesting to do then compare a tank with all lr and a tank with all homade rock and see if there are any differences. that ;be sometin to write up on [smiley=2thumbsup.gif]
     
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  9. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Do it Karla! ;D

    I'd say there would be some big differences for a while. DIY rock would take some time to get a lot of life, but after a few years, who knows!

    You know what?

    I just took a peek under the towels to look at the rock in the garage. There are holes all through the sand from those bugs! THEY ARE STILL ALIVE!! There was one big one sitting right on top of the rock when I looked. As I walked out one was jumping around the garage! I guess they didn't like the light being on. If they are still alive when I am done with this, I will return them to the beach. WOW. :eek:

    The rock felt pretty good, I guess I didn't totally screw them up. I could of taken them out a few days ago, but I work pretty late and I knew if I did that I would be up late making another batch.

    This weekend I will take pics of the bug farm and the first batch. Then I start the next one!

    :)
     
  10. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Ok, today, after a week in the sand, I pulled out the first batch!

    First of all, check out the holes in the sand from the bugs:

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    :eek:

    When I dug the rock out, it looks like clumps of oatmeal with some dark sand on it, but then I grabbed my 6 amp electric drill and the biggest drill bit I could find...

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    These photos are pretty washed out from the flash which is too bad because after an hour with the drill, these really started looking like good rock... the dark and light spots blended better, they became really porous, and over all I am really happy with these!

    Some tips I have learned is wear work gloves when drilling. I cut my hand all over holding the rock and it is really raw now.

    Also the drill was key. Without the drill I wouldn't have pulled this off. You need a serious drill, not a cordless one. It won't last 5 minutes doing this stuff.

    I drilled into and through them where I could and wiggled the drill around to make it more realistic.

    I made another batch, threw pasta in one and a balloon is in another!

    [smiley=2thumbsup.gif]
     
  11. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Here is one without the flash so you can see some of the holes:

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  12. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

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    WOW that pic without the flash looks pretty good it does look pretty close to the real thing especially if you get it goin in a tank with a piece or 2 of lr and critters and corraline start takin over u wont be able to tell the difference
     
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