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Making Aragocretetm Arches :)

Here is a 59 second Mpeg movie that shows how GARF'S famous sculpture Eddie Postma teaches a class to make Aragocretetm Cave Arches.

AragocreteArch.mpg  DOWN LOAD THE MOVIE   FIND THE AVERAGE TIME IT TAKES TO DOWN LOAD VIDEO

SEE THE FINISHED PROJECT

Below are frames that show how the movie is layed out.

Individual frames

The beginning , mold making

To start this project you will need the following;
  • Box 1/2 full of aragonite sand
  • White cement one part by volume.
  • CaribSea aragonite Gravel 5 parts by volume.
  • Fresh water
Mix of five parts CaribSea aragonite Gravel with fresh water until it is damp but not wet. Dig hole in sand box the shape of the arch. Moisten the sand but do not saturate it with water.

Starting the Arch

Fill the arch shaped depression in the moist sand with enough Aragocrete mix to make the main body of your arch. Dig a trough shaped depression in the Aragocrete mix using your small shovel. This depression will create the inside of your arch cave and you want to leave the walls thick enough that they will be strong.

Remember that every place that you have sand filling the sculpture will be hollow. This is the same technique that we use to create caves and cave tables.

Filling the center of the arch

You can get very interesting effects by using different grades of CaribSea aragonite to fill the hollow parts of your sculpture. Be careful that you do not put dry gravel on the parts of the sculpture that you want to attach to the wet Aragocrete mix. This is a good time to place small sea shells and broken pieces of coral skeletons so that the part you want to show later is buried in the sand.
This link will show you a more detailed picture of the process used to create sand filled hollow spaces
More Details

Leaving plenty of holes for the good guy bacteria

It is very important to remember that for the new Aragocrete stick to the Aragocrete already in the mold there cannot be any dry sand on the surface. Each of these sculptures is completed by Eddie in a few minutes. It is important that you apply the new Aragocrete mix to the existing Aragocrete next while it is still wet so that the two will blend together. be sure to leave several openings in which you can see dry sand. These openings will become caves after the sand is dumped out and the rock is cured.
More Details

 

Covering the arch

When you finish making that a arch cave the state that you want then you cover it with moist CaribSea aragonite Gravel. The gravel that used to cover the arch will be the surface of the front of the arch we often use a different type of gravel for the bottom and the top. The effect you will achieve by using two different types of gravel on the surface is the same as you find on collected rock that has been formed in sedimentary deposits. the gravel in the beach box should be uniformly moist but not soaking wet this will allow the sculpture to begin curing. You can remove the sculpture from the damp gravel in two days. It is important that you soak the sculpture in clean fresh water for five or six weeks. We often give our sculptures of bath in rock salt water before replace them in a reef.

The finished product

These archs are the ones that Eddie Postma and the students made during this class. These Arche Caves are perfect for a 55 gallon or larger reef aquarium because they allow you to put your light loving corals closer to the bulbs. These are my very favorite live rock sculptures to add to existing aquariums because they can be placed at the back of the aquarium and they do not cast a shadow on the corals in front of them. I often place two of these Arch Cave sculptures in the back of the reef with one sculpture, that you can see through, the standing in front of them. Arch caves are very good for reef aquariums because they do not stop the water flow very much, and they do not cover much of the gravel bottom of the aquarium.
 

     
Q.  HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT CORALS FROM GARF?
YOU HAVE SO MANY I WANT TO GET THE RIGHT ONES.
We will help you each step of the way.
We have done this many times and we can assist you so you will get the right corals for YOUR system.

Our favorite coral mix for a newer aquarium - under 6 months old - has two Mixed Zoanthid plugs, one Gold crown Leather coral from Palau, one bright green Green Star, and one encrusting Gorgonian. This mix of corals all grow fast and they are very hardy. We plant the Zoanthids on each leg of the sculpture near the base. We put the Gold crown on the top slightly off center. The Green star goes in the middle of one leg with the Gorgonian on the other leg. We cut the Green star in half in one month so we can grow two.

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PLEASE SEND ME
Red Leg Hermit Crabs for -- $2.98 each, plus shipping and handling
algae eating snails for -- $2.98 each, plus shipping and handling
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30 GALLON REEF Forty five reef janitors for only $1.00 each.
-- $45.00, plus shipping and handling
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For us to fill your order, please enter your name, E-mail and phone numbers and we will call you to take down the size of your aquarium so we can help you order the proper mixture of reef janitors and Garf Grunge. We will ask for your mailing address and payment information. Thank you!! Alternatively, you may also print out and either mail or fax your order to 208-344-6189





 

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Many of the rare corals are offered to our members for 2 years before they are put on sale. We will soon have an E-mail list that will list the rarest color forms of sps corals and soft corals such as Xenia and Mushrooms.

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PLEASE VISIT THESE PICTURES OF THE WEEK

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