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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished my DIY background on my 75 and i have to leave for 20 days and go back to base. I was wondering if I should just let it sit or if I should fill it with salt water and let it sit for 20 days. I don't really want to put the burden of all the water changes on someone else. What do you all think I should do. The cement will have had a little over 48 hours to dry by the time I need to leave if I filled it at the last possible second before leaving. Let me know what you all think. I'm still unpacking but I'll try and get some pictures up before long and explain how I did everything.
-Shawn
 

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what i would personally do is wait till it cures more then 48 hours, I cured mine for more then two weeks, and then I just had to do 4 good water changes, but it's up to you, let;s see what other people has to say about it, it seems to be interesting topic.
 

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You are lucky to have this break time for curing your background. Wrap it loosely in plastic with just a spritz of water to moisten the surface. By the time you come back, most of the "high pH' will have chemically bonded into the cement, and it takes a rediculously high temperature to release it.

Dropping the background in water before 30 days have passed for the 'crete to cure properly is a short cut that can end up taking longer or destroying the usefulness of the background one way or another. It interferes with this chemical bonding that is the best way to permanently neutralize excess alkalinity. For centuries professionals have been trying to find effective and economical ways to achieve quick but useful results. If they had found them, they would be on the cement bag.... do you see them???? If you receive free advice that runs counter to the science and technology of cement and concrete, consider it a bad buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mcdaphnia said:
You are lucky to have this break time for curing your background. Wrap it loosely in plastic with just a spritz of water to moisten the surface. By the time you come back, most of the "high pH' will have chemically bonded into the cement, and it takes a rediculously high temperature to release it.

Dropping the background in water before 30 days have passed for the 'crete to cure properly is a short cut that can end up taking longer or destroying the usefulness of the background one way or another. It interferes with this chemical bonding that is the best way to permanently neutralize excess alkalinity. For centuries professionals have been trying to find effective and economical ways to achieve quick but useful results. If they had found them, they would be on the cement bag.... do you see them???? If you receive free advice that runs counter to the science and technology of cement and concrete, consider it a bad buy.
ok thanks too the both of you. my background was built into my 75gal so i cant just wrap it in plastic wrap. the last two days i have been spraying it with water and when it dries i spray it again. been doiing it about 3-4 times a day maybe more. i can just let it sit. i thought the glue and the quickcrete would be cured in a few days with such a small amount. i had no idea that it would take 30 days. please keep the info and ideas coming. i can leave it be and then when i get back start doing water changes and while i'm gone i can just ask my parents to mist it witha spray bottle when they think about it. thanks
 

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SpeedFreak said:
ok thanks too the both of you. my background was built into my 75gal so i cant just wrap it in plastic wrap.
You could probably seal the top of the tank with plastic wrap though?

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah but i figured that wouldnt make to much of a difference. i'm just going to have my parent squirt it a couple times a day and they recommended to do it 6 times a day for the first 3 days so if they do it over the next 20 days i'm sure it will be way better and ready for me to start doing water changes. do you still think the first water change should be with salt?????
 

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SpeedFreak said:
yeah but i figured that wouldnt make to much of a difference. i'm just going to have my parent squirt it a couple times a day and they recommended to do it 6 times a day for the first 3 days so if they do it over the next 20 days i'm sure it will be way better and ready for me to start doing water changes. do you still think the first water change should be with salt?????
Is this going to be a salt water tank?? The principal behind using saltwater is that beneficial denitrifying bacteria coat the rock surface, sealing in any unbound alkalinity. If the tank is going to be saltwater, then the bacteria that grow are the ones adapted to ocean water. Unfortunately this principal is a little faulty since salt interferes with the curing of the concrete and creates a lot of alkalinity that would have become neutralized by chemically bonding with the rock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mcdaphnia said:
SpeedFreak said:
yeah but i figured that wouldnt make to much of a difference. i'm just going to have my parent squirt it a couple times a day and they recommended to do it 6 times a day for the first 3 days so if they do it over the next 20 days i'm sure it will be way better and ready for me to start doing water changes. do you still think the first water change should be with salt?????
Is this going to be a salt water tank?? The principal behind using saltwater is that beneficial denitrifying bacteria coat the rock surface, sealing in any unbound alkalinity. If the tank is going to be saltwater, then the bacteria that grow are the ones adapted to ocean water. Unfortunately this principal is a little faulty since salt interferes with the curing of the concrete and creates a lot of alkalinity that would have become neutralized by chemically bonding with the rock.
sorry it took so long to reply hopefully you still can reply. the tank is going to be fresh water. so far it has just been misted and has sat for a month. i'll be cycling water through it when i get back home before i put in the fish
 

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SpeedFreak said:
sorry it took so long to reply hopefully you still can reply. the tank is going to be fresh water. so far it has just been misted and has sat for a month. i'll be cycling water through it when i get back home before i put in the fish
If it's going to be freshwater, then you should not use salt. Use water close in pH and hardness to what you plan to run the tank with. That way the biofilm that seals the rocks will be preadapted to the water in the final set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ok thanks. i'm going to add the sand too unless someone things thats a bad idea. i figured with all the water changes it will get several good rinses. its blaster sand so its fairly clean to begin with.
 
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