Portland cement/Stone Fix

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Hey so I’ve read a lot online of people using Portland cement for aquarium décor, etc. and I see Aquaforest do a product ‘Stone Fix’ which says contains Portland cement. So I’m just going to buy Portland cement from a builders supply shop. Is there anything i should look out for on the packaging?


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ajm83

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Reply #1

Hi @Livvie

No idea on getting real portland cement.  However I've been trying to use this Aquaforest stuff to make some rockwork and I must say I didn't find it easy to work with. 

What are you hoping to join with it?
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Livvie

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Reply #2

Hi @Livvie

No idea on getting real portland cement.  However I've been trying to use this Aquaforest stuff to make some rockwork and I must say I didn't find it easy to work with. 

What are you hoping to join with it?

I want to make faux rock work for my Malawi community as real rocks are too heavy and awkward for me to manage. I also would like to attach together some zoas i have which are currently frags on small rocks, to make a large rock piece covered with different zoas.
Thanks.
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Mike

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Reply #3

As a landscape gardener in recent years, I use cement all the time. It's massively alkaline to the point of being dangerous if handled by the skin for too long. You can get chemical burns. But I wouldn't worry too much, I'm covered in it most days. You'd want to mix it with sand or it'll be brittle, but that's for construction use, strength isn't an issue if just used in a Malawi tank. Add sand also as its around half the price of cement. £2.50 for a 20kg bag of sand vs £4.65 for a bag of cement. Normally you'd want a ratio of 5 bags of sand to 1 bag of cement for mortar mix, or 3 bags of gravel, 2 bags of sand and 1 bag of cement, that'll make you concrete, which is stronger still.

Concrete takes around 28 days to fully cure, but never stops curing after that, it simply increases in hardness over time/years. Depending on your mixture ratios and how much water you add, you'll have a working time with it of between 1 and 3 hours, then it'll start firming up. It sets from the inside out, so once it starts to firm up, you won't be able to push your finger into it more than half a fingernail's depth, but the surface will still be workable. If you wet the surface at that point, you can smooth it if you wanted a smooth surface.

Get Blue Circle general purpose cement, don't get any fast set, you need to be pretty experienced to use that as you don't get much working time. Postcrete for instance goes firm in seconds and is solid in a couple of minutes.

If you want any other info let me know.
Last Edit: Sep 20, 2021 9:26:59 pm by Mike
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ajm83

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Reply #4

@Mike do you happen to know if off the shelf cement (as opposed to the AquaForest stuff) is reef safe?
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TheJag77

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Reply #5

If using cement, will that not leak phosphates etc? Or have an effect on KH for a long time? Would you need to soak in RO and/or salt water for a while?

Livvie

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Reply #6

@Mike do you happen to know if off the shelf cement (as opposed to the AquaForest stuff) is reef safe?
I’m pretty sure they’re the same thing tbf. Aquaforest may have aggregate already mixed in?
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Livvie

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Reply #7

As a landscape gardener in recent years, I use cement all the time. It's massively alkaline to the point of being dangerous if handled by the skin for too long. You can get chemical burns. But I wouldn't worry too much, I'm covered in it most days. You'd want to mix it with sand or it'll be brittle, but that's for construction use, strength isn't an issue if just used in a Malawi tank. Add sand also as its around half the price of cement. £2.50 for a 20kg bag of sand vs £4.65 for a bag of cement. Normally you'd want a ratio of 5 bags of sand to 1 bag of cement for mortar mix, or 3 bags of gravel, 2 bags of sand and 1 bag of cement, that'll make you concrete, which is stronger still.

Concrete takes around 28 days to fully cure, but never stops curing after that, it simply increases in hardness over time/years. Depending on your mixture ratios and how much water you add, you'll have a working time with it of between 1 and 3 hours, then it'll start firming up. It sets from the inside out, so once it starts to firm up, you won't be able to push your finger into it more than half a fingernail's depth, but the surface will still be workable. If you wet the surface at that point, you can smooth it if you wanted a smooth surface.

Get Blue Circle general purpose cement, don't get any fast set, you need to be pretty experienced to use that as you don't get much working time. Postcrete for instance goes firm in seconds and is solid in a couple of minutes.

If you want any other info let me know.

Thank you!!!!
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Livvie

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Reply #8

I just realised this is in the wrong category. I def clicked on the right one but as I’m having probs with Tapatalk I’m not surprised. Sorry.
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ajm83

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Reply #9

I just realised this is in the wrong category. I def clicked on the right one but as I’m having probs with Tapatalk I’m not surprised. Sorry.

Oh yeah, i didn't notice that.  I've moved it into general reef discussions. 

Can you use the normal page okay until we fix the Tapatalk thing?
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