30 gallon Saltwater

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rileyrk190

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I'm starting this thread to track the progress of my 30 gallon fish tank that i I have had sitting around for way, way too long. I am trying to save money, without sacrificing quality, so there will be some DIY's along the way. I have read GARF.org's site thoroughly and really like the idea of making my own rock for two reasons: One its cheaper, and two but most importantly its not depleting the live rock in the ocean. Hopefully this will be a fun learning experience, as much fun as keeping a 10 gallon nano has been.

I'm going to start from the stand up. I bought this stand at the salvation army store for 9 dollars. It's solid wood, but unfortunately hot pink. I think with a little refurbishing and reinforcement this could potentially make a great stand to hold a 30 gallon tank, with a 10 gallon sump/refugium.

I worked on the stand all day today. I decided that i wanted a natural wood top and the rest to be black. I removed the shelf and haven't reinforced it yet, but so far i am pretty happy with the way it turned out. I need to wait for the top to dry so i can finish the base.
 

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rileyrk190

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I also tried making my first live rock today. I consider these test pieces because i have a ton of materials. I have read that I am supposed use aragonite sand, but i had regular sand laying around from lowes so i figured i would use that just to see. For now i tried 1 part crushed oyster shell from abuchon hardware, and 2 parts portland type I-II cement. I am pretty happy with the turn out, but i definitely want to try the other methods such as adding plastic shavings to promote coraline growth, rock salt to make it much more porous, or even putting straws through the batch to make it more holey. In the future I think i will use the crushed oyster shells as the bedding because i have a ton of it. Here are the materials used:
 

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Step by Step instructions:

1. Fill container about half way with sand
2. moisten the sand with spray bottle ( I used my iguanas mister)
3. Carve the desired shapes into the sand
4. Mix 1 part oyster shell to 2 parts cement
5. add water until the mixture is wet, but not soupy
6. Pour into the molds, and then top with sand being gentle not to flatten the rocks.
7. let sit for 24 hours in the box, then pull out and rinse.


I haven't started the curing process yet in water but here are the results:
 

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lorabell

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Very cool!!!!! I can't wait to see your progress
 
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