Originally Posted by pandragon
Holy crap Batman! I can't believe that is pvc, looks almost like petrified wood. Your fish is beautiful as well. Does the cement alter carbonates at all (kh)? I had some cap material that ended up making kh skyrocket and ph stabilize around 8.5-9 at the top of the chart. All these posts make me want to make some kind of sculpture covered in epiphytes, as long as the material won't ruin the balance of the tank.
Cement. I keep hearing a lot of doubts about using it. Still waiting for some data to support the doubts, especially the harsher ones… But then again, everyone does what they think is right. Not aiming at educating anyone here.
To cut the long story short, with water changes I make I see very little affect in KH, let alone pH in tanks with hardscapes I make. I could be a bit cautious with tanks going for very low pH, since all buffering with carbonates makes efforts for lowering pH a drag.
"Affecting balance of the tank" is an interesting concept. Pretty much everything you dump in the tank, does. Hardscapes do. Plants do. Most sands do. Plastic does, light does, replacement water does, all inhabitants do.
Needless to say, any tank finds a balance, when you know what you're doing. Avoiding extremities.
Water change schedule is mostly to maintain the balance of the tank, not so much creating a balance?
Naturally, I let all cement cure thoroughly before taking them to action, so fresh cement affect is long gone by that.
Knowing all water I use comes from chambers made of concrete (a concrete-ring well or huge water towers), I see all replacement water being affected by cement already. Whether I'd be worried about using that water in my tanks, well… as I said, you choose.
Many, many of the puplic aquariums I've visited are using tanks made mostly of concrete. Some treated with stuff like epoxies, some untreated. To my knowledge they don't seem to be suffering any long-term problems with it.
Pretty much everything leeches something in water. All plastics we use do (as you know, food grade plastics are no exception), all stones we use do, all wood we use does. I do use some acrylic polymers mixed into the grout I smudge on the scapes and rely on them reducing leeching of cement to an extent, but don't have actual data on this.
That's why I'm a bit cautious giving specific brands or proportions I tend to use. Along with the fact that composition of these chemicals vary depending on the country they are sold. Even same brands do.
Poison is not a substance. Poison is a dosage…
That being said, I'm really just trying to inspire people to go for trying what suits them. I hope someone does. At least I find this very rewarding.
I would also like to thank a wide range of people for sharing their work and inspiring me on different angles of the hobby!
Not sure if using a 3D printer deliveres satisfaction, but I understand that it needs some kind of a model to make a copy? If you find a nice piece of wood, why not use the original…? Unless, of course, you want many of the same kind.
Molding is another fine way of duplicating what you find and like. Many suppliers doing it around. Great stuff.
I go for carving and individual pieces instead, 'cause I like it better. But again, I hope everyone finds a way to satisfy their inner doityourselfer. And I'm sure you do!
Thanks for your words and many good moments hardscaping, regardless of your methods!