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DYI live rock

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Chocolate Hammer View Drop Down
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Joined: March 18 2019
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    Posted: March 18 2019 at 8:39am
This may not be the right category for this post, but since my question is more chemistry based i decided to post it here.     

I've decided to try my hand at do it yourself live rock.     Rather than just doing the standard brick method I made a pretty elaborate sculpture  an abstract thing with lots of folds and shelves, vaguely Lovecraftain.    Anyway I've made a mold of it and  I'm getting ready to cast it.

When i started researching this a while back the ingredients for the reef were  Aragonite, Portland cement, oystershells, and rock salt[the rock salt is supposed to help with make it more porous].   The guy at the reef store told me that I shouldn't use oysters because they release potassium as they break down.    

What should I use for gravel in this  'concrete' mix.   Also since some of the "shelves" are probably thinner than they should be I was thing that I should add something to the mix to strengthen it like pvc shavings or such.    

So my question to you smart chemistry type people out there is what should I use to make up the "live stone"

Thanks,
Neil.
“Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.”

― Terry Pratchett
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Adam Blundell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2019 at 10:14am
That's tough.
I've made a lot of aragocrete over the years.  I too suggest no oyster shell.  
I'm not sold on the rock salt.  The porosity can be better, but you really risk having it become brittle, especially in thin areas.

I would highly recommend looking at available rock (marco, cerameco, etc) and epoxying them together to make your sculpture.  

Making rock is totally fun, but not nearly as practical in usage as buying those rocks to use.  

Adam 
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