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Has anyone tried making rocks or backgrounds using peat moss and concrete? Its called Hypertufa... people make traoughs and rocks for gardens out of it... Light weight but still rock.
 

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I remember seeing that on one of the home improvement channels a few years ago, they were using it for making planter boxes with a wooden mold. I never thought about using it for anything else. I don't see why you couldn't use it for a background, the peat may soften the water initially.
 

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It would probably work but I would not use it in a african cichlid tank. The peat moss will lower your ph drastically.
 

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Good idea! :thumb: I wonder if it would break down at all? That's an interesting one....a person could get quite creative with that stuff :)
 

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I dont think I would worry about softening the water anymore than concrete hardens the water. This problem would only be temporary, like curing the crete. Water changes would eventually even this out. But peat is an organic compound. Therefor it would eventually decay. Prolly weakening the whole structure. IMO :?
 

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Peat may eventually decay but sealed into rock, I wouldn't hold my breath. Even fully exposed to water when used for dwarf cichlids or killifish, it lasts in the aquarium for years and years.

But if you still worry about the peat moss, the alternative to peat is perlite. There is a lot of discussion on some saltwater/reef boards about "perlcrete".
 

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Been thinking about rocks a lot lately. When I searched hypertufa, I found this old bit. Has anyone been trying it that can give us firm answers?? With the craze for holey rock, it seems a workable manmade rock would be a winner. I've done the hypertufa bit for a number of garden items but never put them in a tank. Changing hobbies and changing"needs" you know. Seems on the surface that one could work out a recipe that would fit the bill. As mentioned peat isn't required. Any concrete is just a mix of cement, small aggregate( sand) and large aggregate (rock) to do provide whatever strength is needed. If one built hypertufa in a block and placed styro blocks to later form tunnels through the rock, could he not make a quite nice holey rock? Seems to be quite a lot quicker and easier than hunting cheap holey. At least if you are doing it on the back patio, you know where to find it. Cement, sand, and ground up white beadboard should give enough strength without too much weight.

You try it, guys. I'll be over here watching. :zz:
 

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Peat lowers the pH and concrete raises it. Sounds like it would be fine for most anything. I would not worry about the strength of the mix. It's not like a sidewalk or driveway which needs all the concrete strength it can get. No one is going to walk on or drive over your aquarium are they?
 

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why not try mixing, small styrofoam balls with your concrete. I used to work in a garden statue factory and we used this method to lessen the weight of concrete pillars. If you mix your concrete thick the balls will not float to the top.

Another option for cheap holy rock is to get block lime stone and sand blast holes in it .
 

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I think we used vermiculite mixed with concret in art class when I was in high school..

You could crave it like wood....
 

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Vermiculite, perlite and styro? If I remember they are all pretty much the same? The one big question I might have is that the perlite I used for hypertufa always wound up with a certain amount of it on the outside edge where I was scraping to shape the pots to make them look eroded and old. I'm not sure how much of that I would want showing or even worse, coming loose to float around and be everywhere but where I wanted. For cement to work it onlu uses the aggregate to bulk up and strengthen the product. Maybe we don't need any of those three? It would seem to only add a bit to the weight of the item as we don't really need it strong.

Interesting idea on the sandblasting holes in limestone. Little experience with sandblasting but it would seem to take forever. Drilling and grinding take longer than my mind will handle. How quickly would one get a hole about two inches across??? I've got lots of time and certainly lots of rocks.
 
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