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Sealing Seiryu Stone for Shrimpsss


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After bungling my most recent TB tank set-up with some seiryu, I got an interesting off-hand suggestion from @Memphis118 about sealing my rocks to prevent kH creep.
At that point, I was resigned to ripping up my entire setup and finding new stones so I figured "why not?"

 

Well, I did it! The results are pretty alright and my kH has been stable overall. In a couple days, I'll move some neo culls over to test the waters (pun intended) and then I'll finally make this a TB breeder tank.

 

Tools:
- 1-2 toothbrushes

- 1-2 disposable paintbrushes (for deeper cracks)

- gloves (epoxy gets horribly sticky and you don't want it on your hands)

- mixing containers (I used plastic bags wrapped around little bowls, plastic cups would have been good)

 

Materials:

- rocks (...duh)

- slow-setting epoxy (I used 2-Ton Devcon)

 

1. Get your stuff ready:
Prepare your work surface (now you know where I shop).

Lay out your dry stones (I took mine out of the tank and let them dry for 3 days).

 

IMG_7404.JPG.2d2336218f0412f489af16c09199df86.JPG

 

2. Start scrubbing:

Mix a small amount of epoxy in your mixing container and apply. Work quickly as the epoxy will start to set after a couple minutes.

Use the toothbrush to apply thin layers, thick layers trap bubbles and look gross.
It's better to work with many small amounts so you don't get caught with a bunch of half-cured epoxy. It will look bad when you apply it and end up wasted. I have no experience thinning my epoxy with mineral spirits but I've heard it's a good way of getting nice thin layers.


No pictures here because my hands were covered in epoxy.

 

3. Finishing touches:

Come back with a longer paintbrush to fill in hard-to-reach cracks.

4. Let cure for at least 24h.

 

IMG_7405.JPG.b2244c65be408c039d756e3e57529bfd.JPG

5. Get them back in your tank and monitor your kH.

You can see the difference in the pictures, the epoxied seiryu has a much higher contrast between the white veins and the dark stone. Overall, it's also a little shinier looking. I'm hoping that won't be noticeable once algae starts growing everywhere.

 

Before:

IMG_7347.JPG.bee301a30c33947d9ad42793a93b57a7.JPG


After:

 

IMG_7408.JPG.7798675198a954da457bc1346385feb3.JPG

 

Epoxy shine (I chose the worst one to illustrate my point):

IMG_7409.JPG.7e79ff135dab0a9618e1f6bace338da6.JPG

 

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Very cool.  I wonder if there is some sort of spray sealer that would be safe.  Seems like the epoxy is pretty messy but the results look good.  

 

Did you put the rocks in a small bowl for a few days to see if they were still leeching or have you just been testing them in the tank?

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1 hour ago, OblongShrimp said:

Very cool.  I wonder if there is some sort of spray sealer that would be safe.  Seems like the epoxy is pretty messy but the results look good.  

 

Did you put the rocks in a small bowl for a few days to see if they were still leeching or have you just been testing them in the tank?

 

I thought about a spray-on sealer but I was pretty confident that epoxy would be water safe and would be thick enough to prevent any leeching so that's what I went with. Somebody with more experience could probably suggest a spray-on that could work well (getting nooks and crannies is hard though).

I got impatient and put them in the main tank, I just want this thing to be ready for shrimp ASAP. Unfortunately, I caused a mini-cycle so I'm waiting for that to resolve itself but I'm hoping to put some livestock in it this week.

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  • 4 years later...

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