aragacrete using limestone?
I have decided to get into saltwater aquariums...have been doing freshwater for awhile.
I am interested in making some reef rock to start a nano-reef setup.
I have read online that Play Sand from Lowes etc can be used instead of aragonite sand..is this true?
Also, I live in Indiana and am surrounded by Limestone. can I mix crushed limestone, as opposed to crushed coral?
1 part cement
2 parts Play Sand
3 parts crushed limestone
do you guys think this would work, or is the limestone too soluble?
I have no experience with this topic.
i prob. wouldnt use the play sand. aragonite sand buffers and play sand is dirty IMO even after washing it. im not sure about the limestone.
why not look in your area for a local reefing club so you can pick up rock for cheap. even good dry rock can be found online cheap and you can seed it in a tub yourself with a few pieces of live rock. this prob. wouldnt be much more then the supplies you would need to buy to build your own unless you plan on making alot.
I have looked online for dry rock and it looks good, but it is still pretty expensive for the rock plus the shipping. I like DIY projects and I already have the sand and cement so I figured why not give it a go.
Also I want to make my own rock so that I can really plan my aquascape...arches, tables etc.
I have done a bit more digging around though and apparently the silica in Play Sand is rendered inert once it cures with the cement. So that should be fine. I will use aragonite sand on the bottom of the tank though.
Still not sure about the limestone.
The limestone might throw off the PH of the tank, it contains high amounts of calcium carbonate. It also contains some amount of silica, which can cause a diatom bloom if it dissolves into the water.
I would use Base Rock, and seed it with some Live Rock. I myself like to use rocks and substrate from the natural enviroment of my inhabitants. I have an opinion that there are still trace minerals that are present in even the Base Rock.
Ultimately I want to make my own base rock and seed it with minimal amount of live rock.
Aragonite is calcium carbonate also just with a higher crystalline stability, but the solubility of limestone is not that much lower than aragonite...I don't think. You are right about the silica though, I will have to check the silica content of the rocks I want to crush.
You could try it. The process in which Limestone breaks down naturally is over the course of thousands of years. There is also a lot of back and forth dialogue about silica in the reef aquarium, and I recently read an article about a hobbyist who doses silica into his reef aquarium. I will try to dig it up.
The biggest reason that people such as myself don't deviate from the natural Live and Base rock is because it has been around for years and I know will not cause harm to the inhabitants of my tank. The risk is very minimal, as long as I let the rock properly cure. With DIY rock and other substances, I do not know the outcome, and therefore would NOT try it in my personal aquarium.
Limestone is mineral enriched and that may have some adverse effect, i can't say for sure, but wouldn't recommend you use it. I'd say just order online or there's a mixture that you can use that'll allow you to make rocks and mold them to your hearts desire. can't remember what it's called though, but i hear it's really cheap.
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