Anyone here making your own frag plugs?

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Elite, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. Elite

    Elite Guest

    Sound good... I volunteer to be tester :D ..
     
  2. Qwiv

    Qwiv Guest

    I ran out of the frag plugs I made, thinking about making more. I am now using a new method that I like. I am using the schells from clams/mussles/oysters, etc. What I do is:

    Make dinner and save the shells
    Soak them in bleach
    Rinse
    Throw them in the sump for a while

    When I use them, I glue a drywall plug to it so it sits in egg crate, then glue the frag to it. I use the small ones for SPS and the big ones for zoos.

    I can pop the drywall anchor off for reuse.

    It works great, is free (if you eat see food) and looks natural in a reef tank.
     
  3. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    IIRC< the shell has a load of phosphates in it, as it's part of the forming process. If your alk/PH drops, it could release it into your tank.
     
  4. Qwiv

    Qwiv Guest

    Thanks for the tip, but there so small that I don't really feel the need to worry. I have been lucky and never had a PO4 problem in my tanks. So what happens to all those people who make liverock from crushed oyster shell?

    We should make frag plugs at a BAR workshop, that would really be in line with the mission statement. They are very easy to hand shape.
     
  5. magma01

    magma01 Guest

    Gresham, any updates on those frag plugs?
     
  6. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Well, I bought a 2'x1'x1.5" piece of ABS to have the master mold CNC milled out. Friend did the CAD work. And I moved onto making a injection mold for plastic ones instead :lol: I didn't want to do the major curing that goes along with concrete based ones :D I should have these is a matter of a month or so. .
     
  7. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    Just made these a few minutes ago.

    Branch rock + Tile Saw + 5 minutes = Frag Plugs

    They're ok, if you don't need them to be all the same. I like the kinda natural look too.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    One of the frags I got from Frank had an interesting looking frag disc, it looked like it was a porous material, solid white, almost like it was a chop out of a bone or something. I wonder if that aids in encrusting or something.
     
  9. Raddogz

    Raddogz Guest

    Yeah, Frank said he slices up branch rock for frag plugs.

    I think he does it because you don't have to wait on curing the diy cement-type frag plugs.

    Norman just sliced up one tonga branch which yielded 20+ frag plugs, and they are usable the same day.
     
  10. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    yeah I basically do that too with the branch except instead of slicing, I just break little nubs off :) I wonder how he got it so white though, even leaving it out in the sun won't whiten it that much.
     
  11. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    Well, you could probably soak in bleach until they whiten up. I used a few of mine already, but probably a good idea to bleach. That way, any organics will get oxidized and not be a source of nutrients for nuisance algae.

    You'd have to rinse, and probably soak in some dechlorinator, and rinse again before using.

    Been wanting to slice up that rock for a while, and after seeing frag discs that looked like sliced rock from Frank and others, I finally dragged the tile saw out from the garage and gave it a go.
     
  12. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well after that whole dialog with Nicolas about cleaning out a tank, I would think frank would be way against bleaching anything.
     
  13. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    Heh, maybe :)

    Well, I dumped a bunch of bleach on mine this morning. I'll be happy to see my nice clean organics-free frag discs when I get home tonight :)

    I ran across the bleach/dechlor method as a way that fish breeders produce sterile water for hatching larvae. Good enough for fish larvae, good enough for frags, I figure.

    If you're really paranoid, you can just let the bleached discs dry out. The chlorine will disassociate from the NaOH:

    2 NaOCl + H20 -> 2 NaOH + Cl2

    This is basically what happens, though technically I should show the OCl as ions, but I'm too lazy to figure out how to post the superscripts.

    Anyway, after the chlorine has evaporated, you can just rinse to get rid of any residual alkali (NaOH) since it's readily soluble in water.
     
  14. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    Btw, Bookfish bleached and cleaned a bunch of the tanks at NAA to get them all nice. So, good enough for Bookfish, more than good enough for me :)
     
  15. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I guess, but Jim was in Tonga.. maybe he got a little heat stroke ;)
     
  16. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    [quote author=Mr. Ugly link=topic=843.msg11024#msg11024 date=1155753169]
    Btw, Bookfish bleached and cleaned a bunch of the tanks at NAA to get them all nice. So, good enough for Bookfish, more than good enough for me :)
    [/quote]

    How about we use 55g drums of bleach eery few weeks :) If it's good enough for a billion dollar industry, it should be suffice for a mear 200 million dollar industry :lol: FWIW, most commercial hatcheries, public aquariums and research facilities all rely on bleach. Some use T.S. to ride themselves of the bleach, and I've seen talk about ascorbic acid (several papers on it) being used.
     
  17. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    WHAT no :lol: code on this site, ::)
     
  18. Elite

    Elite Guest

    We got this .. :D
    [move] :) ;) :D ;D >:( :( :eek: 8) ??? ::) :p :-[ :-X :- :-* :'([/move]
     
  19. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Yah, but no :lol: :(
     
  20. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    [quote author=GreshamH link=topic=843.msg12535#msg12535 date=1161970175]
    [quote author=Mr. Ugly link=topic=843.msg11024#msg11024 date=1155753169]
    Btw, Bookfish bleached and cleaned a bunch of the tanks at NAA to get them all nice. So, good enough for Bookfish, more than good enough for me :)
    [/quote]

    How about we use 55g drums of bleach eery few weeks :) If it's good enough for a billion dollar industry, it should be suffice for a mear 200 million dollar industry :lol: FWIW, most commercial hatcheries, public aquariums and research facilities all rely on bleach. Some use T.S. to ride themselves of the bleach, and I've seen talk about ascorbic acid (several papers on it) being used.
    [/quote]
    Yup, I've used a lot of bleach before and it works great. But you knew that....
    What I think Gresham is referring to is that Sodium Thiosulphate "dechlorinates" chlorine bleach.
    Sodium Thiosulphate is the active ingredient in aquarium dechlorination products. It's also either hypo or fixer in the photo hobby world. You could prob buy enough ST crystals at a photo store to dechlorinate 5000 gallons of water for a buck or 2. But then you wouldn't get the therapeutic aloe vera gel.LOL!!!
    So if you're ever worried if you washed something well enough to neutralize the bleach, throw some dechlor at the problem.
     

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