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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was in a Home Depot today and saw this great looking artificial rock for walls. It is made of concrete and comes in a box, but piece by piece. So it is like individual rocks that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Kinda hard to explain, but very natural and in about 15 different styles and colors. Looks like it could be easily siliconed to the wall of a tank. So has anyone ever tried this stuff out and with what sucess? I would assume it would need a sealer on it but I plan on talking to the manufacturer tomorrow.
 

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I think I know what you are talking about. I haven't used it, but I'm not sure if I would use it. I could be wrong, but from what I've heard - cement leaches out chemicals at first.

If you want a rock wall, check a landscaping supply store and they should be able to hook you up with just about anything you want. Or you could make your own fake rocks with some pink styrofoam, silicone, and sand.

Good Luck, let us know how it turns out. :D
 

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Oh, that's not what I thought it was. You're right, it really does look like stone. I think I'd still be careful though. I'd check into getting some real stone from a landscaping store first. If the real stone is a lot more expensive, I would try this stuff out on some fish or something cheep and see if they get sick or die. If they do alright I might consider putting it into my dart viv.

I know that there are people who make their entire background out of a cement/coco fiber mixture, but it looks like this stuff is meant more for outdoor use.

Anyone else agree? Or maybe someone else thinks it's safe?

I guess my general judgement is that it might work, but I'd test it first.
 

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You would probably be better off using real stone. Interesting stuff though. After wading through the Material Safety Data Sheet (link below), I find the 30-40% of unindentified non-hazardous material to be curious but not surprising for this type of product. Obviously they key in on the hazards of dust generated during any type of machining of the product...

http://www.culturedstone.com/technical/ ... 7_01_C.pdf

Use in a frog viv is somewhat off their intended utility profile :lol: Good luck and let us know how it turns out if you decide to use it.

Bill
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am sure an epoxy of some sort would seal it but idk what kind.

This is a topic for Steve B to fill for us.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
See I've done the whole fake rock background before and it can look nice but I am wanting a different look. I know real rock would be a better alternative but you can't get the uniformity, ability to cut and overall apperance I am looking for. So anyway, I bought the material today. Now I just need to figure out how to seal it without getting a high gloss look or losing the already very natural apperance. Keep up the comments and suggestions please. I will fill in details as I progress.
 

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If you are concerned about leaching for pH reasons, I would stick the stuff in a non-reactive bucket (plastic) filled with neutral pH water (7.0) and leave it overnight and see what the pH is. The components mentioned in the MSDS that give off dust look like the chemicals in High-Alumina Cement. Sealing it probably would keep most of that stuff from turning into dust and ending up in the vivarium. Looks like pretty stable stuff based on a quick internet search. The only other thing I can think of is that these are heavy metal and heavy metal poisoning is a very real, documented thing at least in humans. That is the only thing that makes me more wary of these Alumina Cements vs regular portland cement.
 

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The concrete could be sealed with epoxy or even fiberglass resin. To avoid the gloss finish you can sand/buff off the gloss with fine sand paper or coarse steal wool. If you really want all the detail from the original concrete stone, you could take a latex mold of the concrete, then apply a nice layer of epoxy to the concrete and place the latex mold on top of the epoxy layer. Once the epoxy has cured, remove the latex mold and you will have all the detail of the original concrete in the epoxy layer (which should be thin enough for the color of the concrete to show through) and there will be no gloss. Experiment to find the right thickness of epoxy to keep it sealed while avoiding an ice-layer look. I think if you keep the epoxy about 2-3 mm thick, it would work well. This may be too complicated and time consuming….maybe too expensive. Perhaps real rock would be the best way to go; the concrete is probably just as heavy.
 
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