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Drilling Live Rock


kveekx

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How do I drill rock for acrylic rods & frag plugs?
A 1/2" masonry drill bit should allow you to insert a frag plug. Use the appropriately sized bit for your threaded rod. You might need a fairly long bit to drill all the way through a rock, but they make them.

 

Will the rock break?
It might. However, the less pressure you put on it while drilling, the less chance of it breaking.
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A 1/2" masonry drill bit should allow you to insert a frag plug. Use the appropriately sized bit for your threaded rod. You might need a fairly long bit to drill all the way through a rock, but they make them.

 

It might. However, the less pressure you put on it while drilling, the less chance of it breaking.

 

Im going for something similar to MedReds TOTM.. Could I totally ruin my scape forever? Or will it look diecent and then when corals fill in it will be awesome?

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if its a real porous rock u may break it if you put too much preasure on it as your drilling. ive drilled tons of rock and most times it drills fine but once in a while you get one that breaks. just go for it. its not that hard,

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if its a real porous rock u may break it if you put too much preasure on it as your drilling. ive drilled tons of rock and most times it drills fine but once in a while you get one that breaks. just go for it. its not that hard,

Will there be lots of die off from the rock? How long will it take? No coral perminantly attatched yet.

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It all depends on the rock. If its real porous then just take it easy and if it's hard as a fiji then go to town. Just take your time and you should be fine and it shouldn't take you no longer then 5 minutes or 15 at the most and there is no way your a going to kill the rock and get decaying matter!

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Will there be lots of die off from the rock? How long will it take? No coral perminantly attatched yet.

 

 

I will have to say that you should wash off the rock if you can, i kept a small tub of the tank water ( i did it during a water change... ) and i use it to dunk it in and keep it wet till i needed it, the main part about doing this is to get the small peice that might break off or just 'flake' off, get them off of the rock they can turn into nitrate factories... always remove thesmall rubble in the tank and dont let it get back in! just my

 

 

0.02

 

:happy:

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I will have to say that you should wash off the rock if you can, i kept a small tub of the tank water ( i did it during a water change... ) and i use it to dunk it in and keep it wet till i needed it, the main part about doing this is to get the small peice that might break off or just 'flake' off, get them off of the rock they can turn into nitrate factories... always remove thesmall rubble in the tank and dont let it get back in! just my

 

 

0.02

 

:happy:

 

Cant I jam rubble between rock to look seamless?

 

It all depends on the rock. If its real porous then just take it easy and if it's hard as a fiji then go to town. Just take your time and you should be fine and it shouldn't take you no longer then 5 minutes or 15 at the most and there is no way your a going to kill the rock and get decaying matter!

 

Haha thats a tough part its about 1/3 fiji 1/3 dry 1/3 live from some where(ill ask lfs)! Thanks for that tip though!

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Islandoftiki

Something to note. If you do break a favorite piece of rock, it can be glued back together with super glue gel and water weld epoxy.

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I did what you're looking to do - turned out great!

Use a masonry bit....but use rotation only on your drill, don't use the hammer mode. I drilled the rock after it cycled for a month. The bit went right through most of it. Just have a basic idea of the shape you want in the end and the pieces you will use before you begin to minimize the time out of water. Flush the rocks after you drill them to help reduce clouding the tank when you put the final structure back in.

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For porous rock just use a regular titanium bit, anything heavy and dense that a regular bit wont go through use a hammer drill...

 

Also use titanium bits to keep the regular type from leaving shreds behind... Specially if they they are lower end brand type.

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I did what you're looking to do - turned out great!

Use a masonry bit....but use rotation only on your drill, don't use the hammer mode. I drilled the rock after it cycled for a month. The bit went right through most of it. Just have a basic idea of the shape you want in the end and the pieces you will use before you begin to minimize the time out of water. Flush the rocks after you drill them to help reduce clouding the tank when you put the final structure back in.

 

Do I absolutely have to rinse? I dont have anythig good for rinsing..

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Do I absolutely have to rinse? I dont have anythig good for rinsing..

like apgfeb14 said, do it during a water change and transport/rinse in the bucket of old tank water. that's what I did when I busted up my LR.. a few dunks and it'll be clean..

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Do I absolutely have to rinse? I dont have anythig good for rinsing..

 

No, you don't have to. I didn't the first time...but I was surprised at how must rock dust came out when I put it back in the tank. Second time....I rinsed.

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No, you don't have to. I didn't the first time...but I was surprised at how must rock dust came out when I put it back in the tank. Second time....I rinsed.

 

So the plan is....

[Day 1]

5G water change

Save drained water

Buy large dry rock for base of structure

Buy 3/4 bit

Buy 3/4 acrylic rods

Get 2 rods set in base rock

[Day 2]

Turn off return (leave mp10 on)

Put corals in front sand bed

Take out all but top rocks(for wrasse to hide)

Draft stack

Drill rocks

Dip in water change water

Slide onto rods

Put put top rocks on

Put in tank and final touches

 

Will this work good?

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Sounds good. I used 1/4" threaded nylon rod and nuts/washers. The 1/4" was plenty strong and still flexible enough to make arches and overhangs.

3/4" seems a little big.....running a bit big enough to clear that rod may break your rock. The 3/8" bit I used broke a few pieces in the process. Don't over think it too much, it's only rock. Don't stress on it, have fun with and it'll look great when you're done!

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Sounds good. I used 1/4" threaded nylon rod and nuts/washers. The 1/4" was plenty strong and still flexible enough to make arches and overhangs.

3/4" seems a little big.....running a bit big enough to clear that rod may break your rock. The 3/8" bit I used broke a few pieces in the process. Don't over think it too much, it's only rock. Don't stress on it, have fun with and it'll look great when you're done!

Oh what was I thinking haha I meant 3/8! But Ill do 1/4 now if it will work better! Thanks for the tip also do the nuts and washers rust or are they acrylic too?

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nanolutionary
1/4" threaded nylon rod and nuts/washers...still flexible enough to make arches and overhangs.

 

Hey there i'm considering doing the same thing once I get my tank up and running.

 

Could you explain the process of the nylon being flexible enabling arches and overhangs please?

 

i.e. are you suggesting here using one or two real long pieces of nylon threaded through each rock kinda like string through a bracelet and then bent into shape like a metal wire...does nylon even bend and stay?

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i.e. are you suggesting here using one or two real long pieces of nylon threaded through each rock kinda like string through a bracelet and then bent into shape like a metal wire...does nylon even bend and stay?
Yeah, you just drill holes through the rock and string the rod through it like a bead. The rods are flexible, and do not stay in the shape that you bend them. This method is more of a way to hold two or more rocks together, as opposed to building curved, unsupported structures.
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And what would you suggest for building a curved/unsupported structure?
The reason you normally don't see these kind of aquascapes, is because they are riskier and harder to build. While nylon rod can't be bent like a Gumby doll, I'd probably still use the nylon rods to hold the rocks together (depending on the structure).

 

Try using a chisel to form the rocks into the shape you want. Then use the rod to hold the rock in place. You might use some bonding mortar to help build the structure.

 

It's best to still have the structure mostly supported. Imagine a large ledge that is being held up by rod (epoxy, mortar, etc) breaking and crashing to the bottom of your glass tank. :o

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The reason you normally don't see these kind of aquascapes, is because they are riskier and harder to build. While nylon rod can't be bent like a Gumby doll, I'd probably still use the nylon rods to hold the rocks together (depending on the structure).

 

Try using a chisel to form the rocks into the shape you want. Then use the rod to hold the rock in place. You might use some bonding mortar to help build the structure.

 

It's best to still have the structure mostly supported. Imagine a large ledge that is being held up by rod (epoxy, mortar, etc) breaking and crashing to the bottom of your glass tank. :o

 

All this sounds far too risky thats why Im doing two up right piles :D

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nanolutionary

It's the way MedRed has perfectly balanced his rocks in the TOTM July from the centre of the tank curving towards the sides and up - incredible!

 

Wonder how he did it - probably using the mortar Seabass.

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