The test rocks were basic arch designs, consisting of exacting amounts of sand, osytershells and cement.
2 of these cotainers were 40qt plastic rubbermaid buckets, 1 container is a 100 gallon plastic kiddie pool and the last is a 500 gallon plastic preformed garden pond like used for koi and goldfish.
Bucket 1 ; This first bucket is the 40qt rubbermaid bucket with just plain water in it.
Bucket 2 ;This second bucket is the 40 qt rubbermaid bucket with a circulation pump added to run 24 hours a day.
Bucket 3 ;This 3rd bucket is the 100g kiddie pool, with just plain water.
Bucket 4 ;This fourth bucket is the 500g preformed pond with just plain water in it.
Bucket 1; This bucket took approximately 8 weeks for the ph to drop from the initial 13 to 8.2. There was no agitation, no water changes and no other items added to the water during this time frame. Rock was tested by removing from the bucket bath and adding into a small inert container of water to have a known ph of 7.1. This test was done every 3 days untill the rock had reached its target ph of 8.2 or below.
Bucket 2 ; This bucket was utilized with a 200gph aquarium pum running 24hrs a day 7 days a week. This controlled test bucket took 7 weeks and 2 days to reach a ph of 8.1. The same testing methods was used as in bucket 1 above.
Bucket 3 ; This bucket took approximatly 5 weeks and 1 day to reach the desired ph of 8.2. Testing methods were the same as bucket 1.
Bucket 4; This bucket took 5 weeks to cure out to the desired ph level of 8.2 utilizing the same test methods as bucket 1.
Final Analysis: With a single controlled rock being inserted into the containers for testing, there were no significant time changes or durations needed to cure the rocks to an acceptable level of 8.2ph or below.
The circulation pump did seem to lower the cure time by a few days, but not substantial enough to cover the additional power bill for running the pump.
Overall assumption, even though the later two cured a couple of weeks quicker, it was purely due to the volume of water used in the test. The more water, or open water, or moving water will produce quicker cure times. Still looking at 5.5 to 8 weeks plus to cure in bucket in your backyard.
This time can be shortened by doing water changes every other day, or as you see a film appear on your water, simply change the water at that time.
Additional Test Ran during this time frame; We also ran a couple of other comparison test from myths found abound on the internet and the results are below…
Acid Bath; Putting various amounts of muriatic acid into the water bath did not show any significant time savings for curing the test rock. Only a couple of days difference, plus the added steps of having to neutralize the acid once completed. NOT WORTHWHILE AND NOT SHOWN TO WORK
Vinager; Another commonly found myth. We used two methods a vinager wash and soak. We took one test rock and gave it a washing before soaking, and we used another rocks and soaked it in a ratio of 1qt vinager to 4qt water. Neither test showed any faster cure times than just plain water soaking.
Baking; Another common myth is baking the rocks in an oven. This simply does not work, and in fact makes the rocks more fragile. Time frame for curing was still around the 6-8 week mark.
Final Findings… There just is no shortcuts for curing either aragocrete or oystercrete! Think of it like this, if there was a shortcut for properly curing and aging concrete or cement the multi-million dollar companies that invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in testing would have found it and it would be in widespread use today.
Its a basic principle that cement takes a certain amount of time to cure and harden and have acceptable leeching amounts. There are no shortcuts known or available and if your trying them for manmade rocks your just in for added expense and dissapointments.
There will always be variations in cure time based on the rocks size, mix ratio of cement to aggragates, water hardness, moisture content, type of cement and any other additives that may have been used. This is the primary reasoning behind most variations in time frames for curing rocks, but it finally just comes down to one thing…………
Cement cures as cement cures, no way to hasten it artificially.number of view: 649