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Concrete raise pH?

Discussion in 'General Freshwater' started by ejmeier, Aug 24, 2003.

  1. ejmeier

    ejmeier AC Members

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    I have been checking out a european site on ideas for backgrounds, and one of them caught my interest.

    You carve a background out of styrofoam and then paint on a layer of concrete and let it dry. It looks pretty cool, the only thing is that the concrete contains limestone (I think?:confused: ) and raises the pH of the tank a decent amount.

    Can anyone affirm this pH raise, and if so, by how much? I looked into the pH range tolerances of my fish, and they look like they could handle an increase from 7 to about 8. Anything above 8 would be pushing it...

    Inhabitants are:
    1 x Tiger Oscar
    2 x Gold Gouramis
    3 x Clown Loaches

    Thanks
     
  2. ChilDawg

    ChilDawg Math is sexy.

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    I'm not so sure that Clown Loaches could take a 10-fold increase in pH that well.
     
  3. ejmeier

    ejmeier AC Members

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    It's not like it's gonna be an overnight change from 7 to 8 in the tank. I would acclimate them to the new water conditions slowly.

    Anyway, my source for this is wetwebmedia.com , which lists the clown loach as having a tolerance range from 5 - 8. Pretty wide margin of error for pH IMO.:)
     
  4. ChilDawg

    ChilDawg Math is sexy.

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    I thought that you were talking about an overnight change...if it's gradual, they'll be okay!
     
  5. wetmanNY

    wetmanNY AC Members

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    What if you painted it with epoxy, grayish streaked with tan, then scattered dry sand on it while it was still tacky? Wouldn't you get a similar look?
     
  6. momopoms

    momopoms AC Members

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    Is styrofoam safe?

    If you could get away with the concrete, is the styrofoam safe for tanks? also, isn't lime in the mix too? just wondering.
     
  7. ChilDawg

    ChilDawg Math is sexy.

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    Styrofoam is safe...many foam backings are sold commercially for just such a purpose.
     
  8. Hebdizzle

    Hebdizzle playswithsquirrels

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    concrete CANNOT BE PUT INTO A TANK until it is cured. It can cause a PH of over 9! It must be cured in freshwater for 5 to 6 weeks, with water changes every week. It contains a high amount of lime which easily leach into your aquarium!

    I will find a link to prove.

    Aaron
     
  9. Matak

    Matak Out of the blue!

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    Don't do it!

    Concrete, like brick mortar has many more additives than just portland cement, lime, sand and stone that can leach out and are poisonous to fish. Last winter (before I learned about proper fishkeeping) I put in a brick & mortar cave for decoration. My fish began to really get stressed & sick. I lost a couple before I pinned down the source of the problem.

    Styrofoam is OK and using a hot knife creatively can give you some really neat effects. You'l have to find a paint that isn't harmfull to fish or styrofoam.

    Good luck :)
     
  10. ejmeier

    ejmeier AC Members

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    Sorry abuot the confusion guys, I was intending to use PORTLAND CEMENT. I know that concrete is probably bad for the tank, but the portland cement is practically harmless.

    It DOES need to be cured however. It contains something:confused: that I think is limestone-type that raises your pH.

    You see, I have a reef background, and I have read all about make rocks out of sand, crushed coral and portland cement. It works great, but you do have to cure it to prevent pH swings...

    Hebdizzle: here is one such link of probably dozens if not hundreds more that are out there showing the pH raise in cement: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=60515

    wetmanNY - epoxy is too expensive for my budget.:( A $5 sheet of styrofoam and a $5 bag of portland cement, and I'm ready!:)
     

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