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  1. #1
    Senior Member geekreef_05's Avatar
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    Indoor Liverock (ottawa)

    So this weekend I talked to my LFS who introduced me to what they call indoor rock. I was gonna start my reef with a mix or tonga and fiji rock, but now Im thinking of trying this indoor stuff as well.

    Anyone have any expereince with indoor stuff? The LFS (marinescape in Ottawa) was telling me how good it was...so Im just looking for other opinions.

    TIA,
    happy reefin'
    "Mmmm...Skimmate"

  2. #2
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    I haven't heard of "indoor" rock, if they mean man made rock, many reefers DIY live rock with cement, crushed coral, oyster shells, and aragonite sand.

    It's quite inexpensive to make, but you have to cure the cement for a long time before it can go into your tank (months).

    What were they selling it for? You can get base rock for ~2 lb if you look and reef bones run $140 for a 40lb box.

    Oh another downside to either is they won't become live rock unless you buy some live rock to seed them with. The lower your base / dead rock : live rock ratio, the longer this takes. (Again months)

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  3. #3
    Senior Member boyohboy's Avatar
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    hum perhaps ur LFS mean to say "Indo" rocks, as in Indonesia? I have mostly Indo LR in my tank
    Hardwares: 50G reef tank, 30G sump & ~55lb Indo/Fiji LR. Finnex 36"x4 T5 lights, Coralife Superskimmer 220g, Mag9.5 return and SEIO820+MJ600 PH.
    Corals: zoosss, mushrooms, hammer, torch, fogsprawn, blasto, crocea clam, RBTA
    Fish: Percular clown PJ cardinal, royal gramma, yellow watchman goby, 3x chromis.

  4. #4
    Senior Member geekreef_05's Avatar
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    Nope, definately called Indoor. I have no idea what they exactly mean by it, but I will ask next time Im in.

    Would made made rock work just as well for filteration? Would be cement effect my water params over time?

    Lots of interesting questions arise from Krugar's question. ..

    thanks
    "Mmmm...Skimmate"

  5. #5
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    DIY rock will act like kalk in your water if you don't cure it first. It will leech stuff into your water & your pH is going to go through the roof.

    Unless you cure it first. In a nutshell you make a batch & put it into a bin or a clean garbage pail & fill up with water. Change the water weekly until your pH is stable.

    Then you repeat with salt water.

    Once the DIY rock isn't affecting the pH of saltwater for at least a week (longer is better) you're good to go with that batch of rock.

    This takes *months* 4 to 6 months isn't unheard of.

    But you can't beat the price.

    There's several recipies on the net and on this site. If you search for DIY Live rock it's a pretty common discussion theme on most boards.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  6. #6
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    I'm using man made cement rocks and haven't found any complications in doing so. It took exactly 6 weeks to cure indoors. I started my tank with with this rock along with a new sand bed as well, so everything was cycled from scratch. It does take a bit of patience, but when starting a new tank, waiting a month or two is really standard proceadure anyways. The only 'foreign' rock used for seeding the tank was from the small pieces that my frags were attached to - either frag plugs or small pieces of 'real' rock. I think all in all, I don't even have a total of 1 pound of rock from an outside system, and yet I have pods, various bristleworms, stomatella snails, sponges, vermitid snails etc. Basically, I got everything that everyone else got and the back of my tank was 100% covered in coraline after 6 months. I really wish making our own rocks was the norm in this hobby because I really don't see the absolute need to take reef foundation from nature. Besides, it was really fun watching things develop and mature 'naturally'as if I threw chunks of cement into the ocean and was able to watch nature take over .:thumb:
    George

  7. #7
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Hey George what size rocks did you make? I'm wondering if the cure time varies based on size & recipie...

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wayn496's Avatar
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    yes the cure time varies for a number of reasons. Size of the rock, density, how often you change the water, how much water flow you have them in, temp of the water. I have herd of people putting them in a laundry basket and putting them in a local stream (clean water). That way they are constantly getting fresh water passing through them. It apparently speeds up the curing time considerably.

  9. #9
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    I'm fairly sure Mark and Keith, at Marinescape, are NOT selling man made rock.

    I've spoke with them about it (most recently about a week ago). They know about it and know there can be chemical issues, but, not from personal experience.

    I'll wager a box of doughnuts and a coffee that is Indo-nesian rocks they were selling. They tend to buy live rock, cure it themselves, and bring it to the store.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Originally posted by Krugar
    Hey George what size rocks did you make? I'm wondering if the cure time varies based on size & recipie...

    Cheers!

    I actually made most of my rocks too big! I guess it was hard to keep things in proportion when I made them. They varied from 12" to 18" in various shapes. I made some rocks with a 'plating' look rather than the usual 'square block' type. Those turned out to be the best. After curing, I decided to 'nicely smash' most of them into smaller peices. I made a little more than i needed so I only took the nice looking surfaces to use. Internally, cement looks terrible and does not have the organic looking bumps and lumps as real live rock. I found for my 4' tank that the best sized rocks for stacking were around 2 to 3 fists in size or smaller. The 'plating' rocks were bigger however and i stacked them haphazardly to make an island with lots of ledges and pass through caves. I'm really picky generally, and this arrangement looks natural to me.

    I used quite a high % of cement and it cured right on time. I did water changes once a week with no attempt to lower the water's ph with acid. I read somewhere that it made no difference. I found that I got much better organic looking shapes with using a 'thicker' cement solution. I used the sandbed method and simply cupped a handful of wet cement and let it plop down in small blobs to form interconnecting droplets about an inch or two in size. If you're really good, you can actually make a cement lattice, but I don't know if that's natural looking or not. But it's cool to build 1 intricate layer, and then radomly put some small sand mounds ontop of this and do another layer, and repeat until your rock is tall enough to your liking. Once cured, the sand will wash out leaving a really 3-D structure with caves and tunnels. If you don't like it, just smash it on the ground and some cool pieces will come out of it!
    George

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