View Full Version : Sustainable Cement

03/18/2016, 01:52 PM
Hello everyone,

I believe live rock consumption plays an important role on the sustainability of reef aquarium hobby. I was wondering if there are any environmentally sustainable cement brands that we can use to make DIY live rocks. I tried to Google but haven't found much results. If there are anyone who has knowledge about this topic, it is greatly appreciated.


03/18/2016, 06:03 PM
CaribSea Life Rock (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBJrieY5s4Y)...
I am not sure what this is made of, but my guess would be, it's made from their substrate somehow... Like coral frag plugs... It even come with dormant bacteria to help cycle tanks faster, but it is on the more expensive side...

03/20/2016, 07:42 AM
Cement is made from baking limestone and you need sand. Both may have environmental issues attached. Check out the problems with sand here: http://sand-wars.com/synopsis.html

03/21/2016, 05:23 AM
Exactly, but I was wondering which one is less damaging to Earth; DIY liverock (cement + sand) or real liverock?

03/21/2016, 08:40 AM
I'd vote real live rock. Fundamentally, cement requires a great deal of energy input to turn crushed limestone into calcium oxide (slaked lime), and the physical chemistry of the process means that energy input cannot be avoided.

Moreover, the man-made rock that's sold as "RealReefRock" is also aquacultured in a closed system, and that also requires enormous energy input.

03/21/2016, 08:50 AM
There are in fact many factors that effect environmental and social sustainability. Using rocks are part of this hobby and there are several alternatives;

- Real live rock taken from the tropical reefs and shipped overseas
- Local live rock from the sea
- Homemade DIY liverock (cement + sand)
- Artificial rocks (cement, porcelain, etc.)

It is quite difficult to estimate which of the options are the most sustainable considering manufacturing, shipping and recycling processes. Cement itself is not a very sustainable product, thus I would like to find sustainable alternatives.

03/21/2016, 11:15 AM
I have went the route of making my own "aragocrete" rock. I have tried it out on some small scale to see how it would go with success and now I am about to try it on a larger scale for my 180gal build. I went with a 5:2:1 ratio of oystershell, aragonite sand, and portland cement. I formed it and let it cure for 2 week. Then I soaked it in RO water with a current pump for about a month changing the water 2 times a week and then let it sit out in the sun for about another month. I then give it a acid soak in vinegar and RO water for a day or 2 and then let it sit in just RO water for another week. Its been a long drawn out process but I believe it is going to be well worth it. I know it doesn't eliminate our impact on the oceans, reefs and beaches completely but its a start.345628

03/21/2016, 01:14 PM
Limestone is one of the more common rocks on Earth, a product of, yes, old corals, and it is ideal for use. THere is at least one company submerging rock in a little rock-farm in the sea, which turns into live rock in a matter of weeks. You can do the same thing in your tank. Just submerge it in salt water and deal with the phosphate, and, if you have a friend in the hobby, ask for just a small rock from his tank. In about 12 weeks, you have nice live rock with a lot of oceanic things starting to spread to it.