Bio-film and chemical transfer ? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Bio-film and chemical transfer ?

Does the normal bio-film, once it gets this covering anything in a tank, stop the release of chemicals from whatever it's on into the tank ?
I want to use concrete without any sealer on it in my tank for a coating of "Great Stuff" so it will look more like rock and perhaps have a surface that is easier for algae to cling to.
Concrete has limestone in it. This may increase the PH if left unsealed ?
Thoughts, experience on this...

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 04:59 PM
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I don't have any experience with cement in a tank. Tho I do work with concrete semi often, I would likely use an acrylic fortifier with my mix and soak the final product in distilled water for a good month or so doing a handful of water changes to remove the calcium deposits and such. You could monitor to water and note changes in ph to see if a difference has been made over the soaking period.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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I'm thinking that it will raise it at first but then go back down after the tank gets more mature. I'm trying to avoid any added stuff to the cement as I have yet to see one that doesn't have a glare from it/w the added sealer etc. Makes the cement look plastic or plastic coated.
All those on here who have these cement backgrounds should know if it will leach something to raise the PH or not. But likely most have it coated.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 08:50 PM
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Concrete will effect the water chemistry for awhile, which is why most people will cure the concrete before using it. I've made a concrete background years ago and cured it for a month or so (don't remember exactly) after the curing process I had no issues with water parameters. I covered styrofoam with concrete mix. No sealer used. Make your rock pile, do water changes regularly until the parameters are stable, then add your livestock. As far as the biofilm it won't act as a sealant.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 11:00 PM
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I bet you can speed up concrete curing by soaking it in vinegar & water. When the pH is stable, it's cured.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 11:04 PM
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This may help your research a little more http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/MF10296


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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Appreciate these responses guys. Getting closer to starting this project.
Been collecting needed "things" for a while. Like a new stand for this tank.
The more info I get the less likely for me to goof it up.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 11:38 PM
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why not skip the concrete and just go with an epoxy/sand mix? you don't have to worry about pH issues, and it's going to be stronger then a thin layer of concrete. I've done a few/couple paludariums like this, and thought it turned out pretty well.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 01:56 AM
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I wonder if polymer grout would work.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
why not skip the concrete and just go with an epoxy/sand mix? you don't have to worry about pH issues, and it's going to be stronger then a thin layer of concrete. I've done a few/couple paludariums like this, and thought it turned out pretty well.
Because basically you need to use rock if you want it to look like rock ?
I have a site bookmarked that has a couple dozen fake rock backgrounds
and if you look from across the room at them it doesn't look bad.
But that sealer on them makes it look like plastic to me.
Perhaps I just have not seen the right one yet.
But I can see the fiberglass being much stronger, no doubt.
Do you have to use the mat thing or cloth I think it's also called
or can you just use the jell part and maybe mix some sand into it ?

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 10:40 PM
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When I've made backgrounds/paludariums before, i just straight up mixed sand into a cup of epoxy, and then stuck it on the styrofoam. I thought it looked sufficiently rock-like, but it is somewhat glossy from the epoxy. On the above-water portions, I would sprinkly sand over the epoxy, and then brush off/vacuum off the excess once the epoxy cured. I didn't bother with the underwater portions, because it wasn't really noticeable.

I've heard of people using chinchilla dust for this, but I haven't tried that myself, I just used whatever sand I was mixing in with it to begin with.

If you were really concerned about structural strength, you could use fiberglass mats, or even just old rags or paper or something, but just the epoxy/sand mix is fairly strong itself.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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I've heard of cement pealing off after a year or so(quicker if not put on well) and
I do tend to keep tanks over that amount of time, but I doubt strength is that important.
If it will stick well to the "Great Stuff" is more important here I think.
I put shale rock on one wall before and apparently I didn't clean the dirt off a couple of pieces all that well because a couple of the pieces fell off later and now there is a couple of places, small though they are, which have a blob of silicone showing in the tank.
I hope this comes out better. It's a lot of work to just remove it after a couple of months
have passed since you set up the tank. Filter pick up tubes, heaters etc are not that great when visible in the tank. I'm just trying to be creative about hiding them
along/w decorating a bit.

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