GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION

This Tour's project is going to be fun. I am going to show you how to make some great CAVE ROCKS using rubber gloves to make the hollow caves.

I have been making these rocks all week and I enjoy digging them up more than any other type of AragocreteTM live rock that I have made. Last week as we were finishing the 600 lbs. of 'TONGA BRANCHES®' and starting the 600 lbs. of Baja Arches® I made my first Glove Caves®. These rock weigh from 4 lbs. to 7 lbs. and they are 7 inches to 12 inches wide. They are very thin walled with 1 large hole and 3 to 5 small holes in each one. No one who has seen the finished caves in the lab has been able to figure out how I made them.


You start this project by blowing up the rubber glove. You can make some very interesting flat Glove Caves® by only blowing the glove up with a small amount of air. We use rubber bands to tie the glove closed , and we have been able to reuse several of the gloves.

We make a round pancake shaped base of AragocreteTM in the beach box about 1/2 inch thick and place the inflated glove on it to start each cave.
It is important to make this base as thin as possible because the desired final effect is a cave with as thin of walls as possible.
We often put broken shells and small aragocrete rocks in the beach box before we put in the AragocreteTM for the base. These shells and rocks will then be on the surface of the cave base when it is dug up.
We then add some AragocreteTM around each finger keeping the end of the finger free of AragocreteTM .

MATERIALS:

CaribSea Aragonite SandTM for Beach Box
CaribSea Aragonite gravelTM for AragocreteTM
# 1 - 2 Portland cement - #3 is Better , but it is hard to find.
Several old sea shells to put in base of cave
One rubber glove for each cave


The hardest thing to do in this project is keeping the AragocreteTM you use for the walls of the cave from flowing down into a pile on the base.
You can solve this problem by pushing dry gravel from the beach box up against the side of the cave as you build the walls.

When you have added enough AragocreteTM to cover the sides of the cave rock it will be 3/4 buried in gravel.
We have been leaving a hole about 3 inches wide on the top of the cave. This opening looks natual because you can make the walls very thin around it.

We use CaribSea Aruba shells on the surface of some of the caves and it makes them very bright and interesing.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Mix 5 parts - by volume - of CaribSea Aragonite gravelTM with 1 part Portland cement to make the AragocreteTM
2. Make a thin base of AragocreteTM in the sand by pressing the AragocreteTM with your hand.
3. Place the inflated glove on the base.
4. Put some AragocreteTM around each finger leaving the ends exposed.
5. Build the walls of the cave by adding AragocreteTM and push the sand up around the cave to hold the walls up.
6. Leave a small hole in the top of the cave, and cover the cave with gravel.
7. Let the cave set for 48 hrs.
8. Dig up the cave and wash it.
9. Amaze your friends, and have fun!!


By making the beach box out of fine aragonite sand and then covering the top of the cave with aragonite gravel you can make a live rock cave that looks like it was formed in a natural way.
We have been placing small Mushroom rocks inside of these caves in our grow - out systems. We will move the rocks to new caves as soon as the Mushrooms start to grow inside of the caves. I am certain that there is a market for 4 lb. caves full of purple, blue, and red Mushrooms. I soak all of my AragocreteTM Living Sculptures® in fresh water for 4 weeks and I have not had any problems with pH. Be sure to soak the rocks in vinegar or cure them in fresh water before adding them to your systems.