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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have come to the conclusion that my free stacked rock changes every week so I'm going to do the rod thing. But I feel if I am tearing rock out to do this I'm going to lift the rock. I want it to be simple but I want it to be as discrete as possible. I very much like the natural look and want to fight as much as possible to keep anything not rock hidden. I have even considered doing something along the foam wall build only on the rods to disguise them.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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If you rod it, use PVC pipe to rod it with. Before you rod it, scuff the pipe and then coat it with a coat of pvc primer (the purple). Then, it will be a close match to coralline algae. The scuffing is to keep it from being smooth and help hide it.

For the rock lifts, you could do an acrylic one like Aquawolfs or the PVC type we were talking about in the other thread. To me, the advantage of the PVC lifts is flexibility of being able to move them around easily with a sb if you decide to move some rocks around. You simply take 3" or 4" and cut it 1/2-1" longer than the sandbed is deep. Before cutting it, you drill holes in it to allow some water movement through the lifts but it also lets gobies and the likes get inside to house/hide. Again, before putting them in the tank, scuff them up with sandpaper and coat them with a coat of purple PVC primer. It colors them to help "hide" it all and it kills some of the smooth surface to help them blend in.

You could do a foam or epoxy coating on them and them sprinkle them with sand or fine grained breakoffs from the rocks to help hide them also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
part of the problem is going to be knowing how deep the sand bed if w/o all the base rock. I think I'm gonna hafta get more sand. I would say 30% of the bottom 4 inches is actually base rock and not sand.

The person that gave me a bunch of rock gave me sand but I'm not sure I could make it fit for the litter box. the sand was as much grey detritus as it was sand. My whole house stunk. As I understand the tank has not had any light or filtration in like 8 months. this is the tank my occellaris were living in before I took them.

Ok, so I'll have an open mind, give me the rock cook pitch:cool:
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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If you are going to this length, why not simply replace the sandbed? Then, you would know before making the lifts how deep you wanted it. Or, simply decide how deep you want it, plan your rock lifts with that in mind, then add sand if you need to. Then, it doesn't matter how much sand is in the tank.

Rock cooking? You said you thought cooking it was only delaying the inevitability of "rocks absorbing nutrients like phosphates". If the rock is cooked, it will - in theory, but not in reality - be phosphate free. Even if its not, the rock is going to get to a point where it stabilizes the P levels in the rock with the P levels in the water. It isn't a 1-1 ratio but I don't remember what it actually is (Its posted somewhere in TRT).

If the P level in the water exceeds the P level in the rocks then the rocks are definitely going to absorb it to reach an equilibrium state. The idea behind cooking it, to me, is to rid the rocks of as much phosphate as possible to begin with, but, it is also to convert the biological process on the rocks from an algae driven process to a bacteria driven process. If you start off with a bacteria driven system, you stand a better chance, in the long run, of not having issues with it.

Theres a lot more to it than that but thats a start. I will let some other people post opinions and then try to dig up my notes and post some more on it tomorrow night. I think it was in a weekly discussion thread but I don't remember for sure that the rock cooking, P ratios, and such was discussed.

http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f51/

If I don't find it in there tomorrow I will try to find it. It was a good thread about the topic.
 

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spaceman spiff
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You going to thread the rock with rods and build a lift, right? If so, I've had great success with just acrylic rods through the rock, and they're smaller diameter than PVC. Worked well for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First of all, WHere does one get acrylic rods at? how expensive are they? Will I need a special blade to cut them?

Not really looking at replacing the sand bed.

As far as cooking the rock it looks like a 2-4 month process. doing that 1/2 the rock at a time looks like a 4-8 month process. I don't think I want my tank to look half empty for that long. I have as much rock leftovers as I have rock in the tank. I may look into cooking this excess rock so that if I run into algae and phosphate problems in 2 to 4 months I have rock prepared. There is generally very little algae in the system. The only algae one generally notices is on a rock that a zoa came on and the rock it was touching. I forget what that algae is called but it has a fern like structure. This is the same rock that aptasia was introduced on.
 

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spaceman spiff
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First of all, WHere does one get acrylic rods at? how expensive are they? Will I need a special blade to cut them?
eBay is what I've used, it's pretty cheap. You can get 40 feet of 3/8" rod for ~$30, maybe cheaper.

You can cut them easy with a hack saw. I've even scored it and snapped them with pretty good success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've been reeding through Flyguy's build, pretty educational. I'm wondering if I can get it inther w/o taking out the sand. its really just getting the base in that seems difficult if its made out of strips of acrylic.

I may have to set up the QT and move all the livestock for a couple of hours, this looks like it may take a litte trial and error :nuts:
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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I am with Chris. Getting an acrylic rock lift in there without taking the sb out would be a very impressive feat. As much as you would have to stir it up to get it in, you would be better off in the end just taking it out and putting it back when done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was conteplating instead of the flat bracers being at the bottom of the rods them being and inch up so that it was stilted. This way I am not trying to get wedge these bracing strips all the way to the bottom. We'll see how feasibel that is when I actually get all the mats. But I'm going home for 9 days for Xmas so it will be a awhile b4 I get into this :)
 

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The Watcher
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Jeremy, I used a pvc pipe cutter to cut my acrylic rods, it worked very well.
 

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Learn something every day
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I drilled smaller holes in my rock 3/8" and then glued in pieces of plastic coat hangers cut to the proper length. This leaves very little area for detrius to get caught, and is pretty easy to hide. I used three pieces on the rocks (three is easier to level than four) the small diameter makes it easy to hide and poke in existing holes, the coat hangers come in several colors ( dark green )
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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::making self note on potential uses for the plastic coat hangers when they get broken::

Thats an awesome idea. Cheap, easy, and readily available.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Just sit it out for a few days and let it dry. I am considering trying it on my rocks for time considerations but knowing what it does with live rock would be interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
something tells me its not going to be very live after a dip in acid ;) I just wondered if besides not being livre anymore if there was any other reason for concern. I know this going to have to be a outside project. The missus doesn't really like these kinds of projects in the kitchen LOL.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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No, it won't be live anymore :) I think the reason its said not to do it on Live Rock is that you kill everything on the rock. Not sure of any other reason other than maybe something "live" reacting strangely with the vinegar or acid.

It got me interested because most of my rocks are covered up and basically base rock anyway. I want to cook them but if a vinegar bath will do in a few days what it would take 4-6 months of cooking to do, it has my attention :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
the question is I'm not sure I will even know if it worked or not. Even if it was still packed with PO4 how would I test for it. I mean I could put it in water reading 0 and wait a month ot see if it registered but that sounds like more work than I wanna do. I need to get the acrylic ordered for the lift, I got like 200 drill bits for Xmas and need an excuse to use them ;)
 
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