Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Glendor 03-22-2007 02:20 PM

DIY Liverock?
Has anybody here tried to make their own live rock? I was reading an article on it, and it sounds easy. The only 'problem' is the amount of time it takes to cure it before you can use it in an aquarium.

I was wondering if anybody here had tried and had success making live rock.

I was also kicking around the idea of curing it in nature. I live on the Gulf Coast of Texas, and I was thinking about putting my DIY Liverock out in a salt water flat where I wade-fish. I would have to place a marker on it of course so I could locate it again when I come back for it weeks later.

I wonder if curing it in saltwater would speed up or slow down the curing process. **Edit** I found the answer: curing in saltwater will weaken the concrete.


musho3210 03-22-2007 04:15 PM

ive heard about it too, but there are lots of algae growth before it becomes live. Also live rock is taken from reefs so it contains reef inhabitants, if you take it from the gulf then i think (just think) you wouldnt get the invertebrate that comes from reefs, you would need to do a bit about local invertebrate and stuff before you know what you put in the tank. Also if you want to cure rock in the ocean, its best to do it a few miles out so you wont get as much pollutants washed in. On top of all that you would need to have a thick tray underneath it to prevent the rock from sinking into the sand. But it is possible and you will get lots of natural sea bacteria for the rock so i dont think its all bad.

i read about all this stuff in the simple guide to marine aquariums, i am disappointed in that book and dont know if this information would be considered correct since the book goes against what some people here say.

Nanoguy 04-03-2007 11:26 AM

When they say "cure" the LR they aren't really talking about adding beneficial bacteria. The DIY LR needs to soak and have the water changed every few days to prevent it from drastically changing the pH when it is put into an aquarium. That means you can use FW when doing this. The actually curing will take place when it is in the aquarium or container with seeding LR. Some people use buckets or ice chest some even put it in the tank of the toilet so the water is changed with every flush. I don't know why you couldn't put it in the gulf but I would soak it in FW for a few days to kill any harmful bacteria and recure it for real in a tank with some LR rubble. Here is a couple of shots at my first try at DIY LR, keep in mind I do nano reef tanks so it's kinda small pieces.

I am going to use is as base rock on my next tank.

BTW where on the coast do you live? I am near Port Arthur.

usmc121581 04-03-2007 11:29 AM

The LFS I work at makes fake live rock out of cement and crushed sea shells. They make shelfs so they can display there SPS corals on.

Nanoguy 04-03-2007 12:03 PM

I used crushed oyster shell from the feed store ($5 for 50lbs) cement ($5 for 40lbs) and some play sand to form it in. A lot of people use it to make plugs for frags and such.

ziggy222 05-18-2007 02:30 AM

i researched alot before doing this and heres what worked for me.portland cement is what the zoos use to make theirs.i mixed it with aragonite sand.most use crushed clam shells but their so sharp that i decided to put salt pellets in it instead.when soaked in water long enough,even the pellets deep in the rock dissolve and only the air pockets have to read the salt label and get the purest kind with no minerals in it.i used morton in the yellow bag used for water filtering.if you put it in your tank that way,it'll mess up your ph bad.soak it for at least a cpl months in water.salt water works fine,fresh water works a little faster and it needs current.i cured small rocks in my toilets tank and large ones in a bucket under the rain spout so it had fresh water every time it can put it in fresh water and check the ph at any time to see if its done.after 6months in my tank beside reel liverock mine has heavy coraline,sea squirts urn sponges,feather dusters,spaghetti worms.but you still need to have some reel liverock to make it all happen.

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