Hardscaping- Rock Work

Andrew Butler

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Looking at the stone closely, do you think they grind the faces before they glue them? How thick are some of the glue joints, I'm guessing the glue is a similar colour to the rock?
-Grinding, I'm not sure but I'd lean towards no if I had to guess as they have a whole lotta stone to pick from, it naturally has flat spots, irregular shapes, angles etc. *I didn't buy a pre-assembled piece from them.
-Joint thickness, I think the only way to look at glue joints is by examining their photos but some look quite close and others not so flat-flat and tight.
-Glue, I know they use a superglue of some description which is clear although they describe it as cyanoacrylate glue which is just a quick drying superglue.

'Ancient stone' they told me was a stone which they had exclusive access to from somewhere in Poland but I cannot remember where if they did tell me, someone with Geological knowledge might be able to assist further here and help you find a stone with similar properties.

From experience I know choosing a stone with quite an even colour will help you transition between stones without sticking out so much which is something maybe worth baring in mind too.

The type of stone Aquaman uses I don't think lends itself to shaping anything like the Cotswold stone you mentioned earlier but the Cotswold stone would need to be sealed in my opinion, maybe other people have thoughts on using softer stones which could be shaped and sealing them afterwards? - Opens up a whole new world and a very different method.

I'd also guess if you're buying that much that a cheaper way of doing it could be buying direct from a distributor and just getting a bulk bag plonked on your driveway, something worth looking into maybe?

I'm going for more of a stone jungle using a whole range of plants to get a range of colours and textures
I'm still working out a plan.
As ever I'm intrigued. :pompus:
 
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This is worth watching for some inspiration - The Aquaman stuff, nice rock, but it's not being used to it's potential.

I'm sure they grind or chisel bits off to get the stones to sit neatly together.
There's probably more than 1 option for glue. I have used superglue with cigarette filters. I think Balazs uses some kind of epoxy in the video posted above, probably because he needs so much of it.
You can always crumble some soil on to the bits of glue you can see.

This seems like such a huge project, I would be tempted to see if you can achieve something similar in 30cm cube or a 60p.
It'll hone your skills and probably inform you of what you want to build in the bigger tank.

I wish I had made my small tank before the big one.
 

tiger15

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There is a trick to use cigarette filter with Superglue to make strong bonding between rock. It’s an exothermal reaction so make sure to wear glove to prevent burning of skin.

 
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Does anyone know if anything similar to 3560 SUPER ANCORA VERTICALE is available in the UK,
Looks like an aquarium based polyester based glue


I've used plenty of superglue with without cigarette butt's and it's not amazing.. Messy and brittle.
 

david boden

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Hi Barbara----I bet I'm the only person on here who knows where Ashby is,--- without looking it up !

Until 14 years ago, I lived in Burton, and bought my dogs over to Ashby for Virginia Birch to groom-----is she still around there ?
 

david boden

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It doesn't matter Barbara, but she used to be on RHS just after the sharp bend out or town centre ,and up the hill towards Burton.

A little commercial estate down a stony track.

Anyway, I was 0nly reminiscing .....57 happy years up there !
 

Andrew Butler

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I do think the best method of joining could still be down to your stone choice and the layout or shapes you want. You may choose a stone which is more porous than others, some pieces may need dowels or reinforcing adding to support the structure which could also effect things.

Does anyone know if anything similar to 3560 SUPER ANCORA VERTICALE is available in the UK
I think the short answer is yes, finding the exact product is the challenge as if you read the datasheet it says:
'To stick on materials often in contact with water, it is recommended the use of our epoxy mastic CANOVA VERTICALE PAGLIERINO code 3564 4142'
Which to me suggests that 3560 may not be the correct choice although searching 3564 on manufacturers website shows no results either :crazy:
https://www.impa.it/en/prodotti/edilizia/super-ancora-verticale

Reading the product description below makes it sound like a product used quite widely in construction; Polyester resin. Although it comes in many different forms I wonder whether the widely available types where you simply slide it into a mastic gun and the spiral nozzle mixes the 2 parts would be simple enough. I also wonder if it is a styrene free version would be more suitable in aquatics?
'Two-component putty based on unsaturated polyester resins, suitable for application on vertical surfaces without sagging; it allows repairing or reconstruction of stone items. After hardening it has the aspect and hardness of marble, and may be worked and polished as stone.'

I've used plenty of superglue with without cigarette butt's and it's not amazing
That all depends on what type of superglue you use; there's loads of different types, consistencies, setting times and even accelerants you can add.
Not saying any are the right product for you though.

Have you written the option of using a softer stone and sealing the whole structure off?
If this would work for you then stones that keep a more consistent colour would be easier and use flat cuts to join them, dowel them, shape them after it's all together which isn't as daunting as it might sound before sealing. Sounds very different I know but I think worth a think over or even a trial.
 

tiger15

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There are only two type of Superglue I am aware of. Gel type that is good for gluing plants and rock or wood already having good contact. Liquid type is best to use with cigarette filter or other matrix to improve contact. The gel type has already incorporated matrix but it's uneconomical if you need to use a lot to fill gaps.

I am comfortable to glue porous rock such as larva and lace rock that are light and interlock naturally by their rough surfaces but very cautious to attempt on heavier rock.
 
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That all depends on what type of superglue you use; there's loads of different types, consistencies, setting times and even accelerants you can add.
Not saying any are the right product for you though.
Activator is great, I have a can of the stuff, but I wouldn't use it in the same room as the fish tank.
Ideally, I would like a paste that's a similar cover to the rock that will fill up gaps with a cure time of about 5 minutes.
There are only two type of Superglue I am aware of. Gel type that is good for gluing plants and rock or wood already having good contact. Liquid type is best to use with cigarette filter or other matrix to improve contact. The gel type has already incorporated matrix but it's uneconomical if you need to use a lot to fill gaps.

I am comfortable to glue porous rock such as larva and lace rock that are light and interlock naturally by their rough surfaces but very cautious to attempt on heavier rock.
Some of the two part epoxies are incredibly strong, a lot of anchor bolts for climbing are now glues in. Challange is finding one that's not going to poison the fish.

Have you written the option of using a softer stone and sealing the whole structure off?
I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, I'm not happy with my photoshop plan, unsure if to carry on with it, or scrap it and start again.
 

Andrew Butler

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I would like a paste that's a similar cover to the rock that will fill up gaps with a cure time of about 5 minutes
Here lies part of my previous comment about having your rock choice before answers can be made.
I used Nyos reef cement on my marine aquarium a few years back and found it good. If it's not the right colour then I guess somehow adding ground up pieces of your rock choice over the joints after they are structural would be an option.
https://www.nyos.info/en/watercare-salts/reef-cement
There are other reef putties etc out there which are meant for this kind of thing too.

Some of the two part epoxies are incredibly strong, a lot of anchor bolts for climbing are now glues in
That's exactly what I was referring to earlier, only in a different packaging; I know some you have a capsule you push into the hole drilled then as you hit the anchor in it will make the capsule 'explode' and mix together which is what the Polyester resin is only the way I showed it was in a mastic gun type form with a spiraling nozzle which mixes them.
 
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For me, it needs to be a lot more of a jungle. Maybe push the rocks back and get rid of the tree. add some twisted roots around the stone spikes.
 

Andrew Butler

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Please criticise
Looks pretty impressive to me! - unsure what you've been so shy about ;)

Time for questions again then.......
What size is the aquarium, I don't think you said before but it looks very deep in the picture.
If you want to carry a shadowed illusion further back, include the clouds - maybe even the tree then I found a way of getting a vinyl picture printed off and applied it to my last attempt which didn't get very far but I think the backlit picture looked interesting, despite it only being sky.
Are all of the smaller features further back to be stone and include the tree?
 
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The tank is 120 long x 60 deep x 53 high.

The Clouds in the background as you say would be vinyl printed on a light board,

All the rocks and tree would be real.. I'm not sure how I get the rocks in the background to be lighter. I should be able to select rocks with a finer texture.
 

Andrew Butler

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All just my opinion so I hope I don't offend you, it's just as I see it..............
My main input is I'm unsure you will create such a sense of depth with only 600mm as your picture shows. I'd imagine you will lose at least 50mm to plants at the very front and if you're thinking of pushing it back would make it even harder. The picture shows a really interesting looking almost eerie sense which I think looks great.
I'd agree the tree isn't needed

I'm not sure I understand what you mean about jungle sense and the look you have, they sound very different to me

The first thing your picture said to me to make things easier was to consider two structures leaning towards each other in opposite directions, one going over the top of the other and poking out the water if that suits your desires. That would make the whole thing far more self supporting and would equally lend itself to budget friendly slate and the main structure could be made up of 2 pieces if you were to find ones that suit - if only the tons and tons of slag laying on the welsh hillsides was free! The pieces would weigh quite a bit though which has its pros and cons as they could also be in one piece.
 
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That’s some serious overhang you’ve got there!
It’s got a similar feel to this by Balazs at GreenAqua.

The tree in the middle is messing with your proportions and perspective. That tree would be enormous.

The bases of the overhangs don’t seem substantial enough. I like how the top right ‘drawn’ overhang in the background has an almost vertical section.

I’ve got lots of other suggestions, but I would be making suggestions to make it look how ‘I‘ would want it to look. At the end of the day it’s your tank, so it’s more about what you want to achieve.
 

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