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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm ordering 100lbs of base rock next week. I'm thinking about swiss-cheesing it with some masonry bits.

the pros as I see it are:

Less weight on tank/stand
More circulating volume
More flow in structures, less dead spots behind display
More surface area on rock to foster bacteria/small animals

Cons:

Rock more fragile (how much, I don't know)
????????

Anybody ever try this?
 

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Wouldn't drilling holes actually increase the available surface area for bacteria??

I would say one con is that it will look kind of unnatural. I have some coquina rock drilled like that and don't really care for its looks, but especially if it's going to be underneath your show rock you can pull it off.
 

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surface area yes. But if all your rock is small or had hole through it then it would be no different than bio balls. It is the internal area that has no acces to air that anaerobic bacteria can change nitrate into nitrogen gas that can be dissipated out of the system.
 

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I think people have done drilling of rock to mount them on acrylic rods or other ways of stacking and securing them. I know that a hammer drill will infact bust up rocks do to their... um... hammering. Live rock is not so much rock as it is shells and corals stuck togethor by other calcifying organisms. Its really quite soft. So maybe witha gentle touch it can be drilled w/o busting it much
 

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To do that without breaking the rock. You are going to need a serious drill press and drill bits designed for coring asphalt/concrete. Those bits are serious money. I would be very suprised if masonary bits could handle the job.

Don't forget to water cool the bits!
 

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In order to drill rock it is better for the rock to be wet. You can do it by purchasing a masonry drill bit. and a cordless drill. Its actually quite simple really. I do it on alot of my clients tanks and I havnt had any problems drilling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have a set of carbide bits I use for concrete drilling, I'll be using those. I'm thinking 5/8" holes, but maybe as small as 1/4" depending upon how brittle the rock is.

I won't be using water to cool the bits, they are designed to drill concrete dry, so I will be using them dry. You may be thinking of a different application, but I've never heard of anyone using water with an actual concrete bit, holesaws are a different story.

As for being harmful to anaerobic areas, I'm at a loss as to how more surface area would lead to less surface porosity.
 
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