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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '13, 10:46 
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jono81 wrote:
Great setup dude

I would love to build a fish tank like that.. do you mix up your own ferrocement mix, or buy it from somewhere? or is plain cement ok



The mix I used is just quikrete mortar, it worked pretty good, but was not super cheap when you have to buy 30 or 40 bags. Mixing your own might better in that regard, I'm not sure


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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '13, 23:08 
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Hey LITA, love all the pictures, is the ferrocement tank and sump sealed using Drylok?

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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '13, 23:10 
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Haha nevermind I found evidence :smile:


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PostPosted: Dec 16th, '13, 01:37 
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Awesome :notworthy:

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PostPosted: Dec 16th, '13, 01:42 
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Dave Donley wrote:
Haha nevermind I found evidence :smile:



Haha, good eye


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PostPosted: Dec 16th, '13, 01:44 
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Great job LTA! Way to represent the 510! Mixing the ferrocement is a breeze. A cheap 90 pound bag of Portland cement will make 360 pounds of mix, as it is mostly sand. Beautiful ferro work btw.

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PostPosted: Dec 17th, '13, 04:18 
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Looks as though your 4 legged friend is adding ammonia for you. :D

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PostPosted: Dec 27th, '13, 14:03 
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I've just pushed through the most hellish gravel experience. I made the mistake of searching for a really cheap price on some gravel and I bought 4 cubic yards of the filthiest, unscreened drain rock. I asked for a sample and it passed the vinegar test but what I ultimately got was totally covered in mud like it was dug out of a hole and full of small bits of broken crushed rock that got to be like muck, like rocky sand. I washed and screened the 4 yards down to about 3, bucket by bucket and bought the rest at full price, wishing I would have done that in the first place. But done now and lesson learned.

About 10% to 15% of the rocks had a very slight reaction to the vinegar, one small stream of tiny bubbles from one end of each rock I tested. I decided to leave them in, initial ph testing is 7.6 for the water that's been cycling for a few days. The water out of the tap was 8.6 which surprised me and seemed pretty high.


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PostPosted: Dec 27th, '13, 14:07 
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I'm going to be looking closely at how these raft beds do, I'm pretty sure I'll have to get an air pump and put some air stones under the rafts but I'm going to try it first without. An experiment that agrees with my wallet for the moment.


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PostPosted: Dec 27th, '13, 14:10 
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PostPosted: Dec 27th, '13, 14:49 
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Great build, I missed this one somehow. Im quite fond of the ferocement work.

p.s. I wouldnt bother with the Cloram-x. If you have high levels of chlorine in your source water it will quickly off gass by running your system as per normal before you add fish then any top up water additions are fine without intervention. If chloramines are an issue you can use absorbic acid or a granulated activated charcoal, charge it with some sodium hypochlorite bleach or pool sanitizer. Remember to only treat top up water.

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PostPosted: Dec 27th, '13, 15:38 
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Hey thank you, and thanks for the tip. Chloramines is what I've got according to my local utility's website, hmmm, I'll have to look into both of those. Interesting. Would you recommend not using the Cloram-x for some reason or is it more that the alternatives you mention are simpler, cheaper, more available?

I should definitely get another barrel for top off water thanks for reminding me.


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PostPosted: Dec 27th, '13, 21:34 
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Your masonry skills leave me a bit embarrassed.

For the grow media, i dont think you should be worried. Rinse it a bit in the grow bed and let it drain onto the ground... then run the system... Some of the gunk will settle on the bottom of your fish tank and sump and you can vacuum it up... also the grow bed will "Set" and start filtering all the gunk out. your water will clear up in a week or two.

I wouldnt add fish until your water chemistry is right.

Chlorine will off gas quickly but chloramines can take 3-4 weeks. I would not use fish store chemicals on fish and plants i plan on eating... Look into ascorbic acid (vitamin c) which is water soluble and "safe". I just crush up 500 mg vitamin C pills and treat 500mg per 50 gallons of water.


also a little ph buffer isnt the end of the world.. my media has a lot of alkalinity and buffers around 8 ph.. it's not ideal and I have to worry more about ammonia levels than most people but it grow plants with great success. My system is about a year old and i never see ammonia spikes. I dont even test the water for ph or ammonia anymore, nothing changes.

remember that the nitrification process will lower ph over time.

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PostPosted: Dec 28th, '13, 05:58 
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bcotton the only coat that has to look nice is the last one, as far as looks goes it looks like you omitted the finish coat. Mine didn't look very much different, I actually did two finish coats because I wasn't happy with the first one. I got some tips from somebody who had just come from New Mexico, where they love the stucco finish and so I felt obligated to make it look all shiny and nice or risk loosing face.

Thanks for the vitamin c info.


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PostPosted: Dec 28th, '13, 11:51 
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Trader Joes has 100% vitamin c powder for cheap. I use it for a million things outside of AP. It takes sunburn away almost instantly. Also, the gravel you got sounds like "Crush and Run" basically all the fines in it helps it pack better for driveways and road work.

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