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[AGA Member] Re: Portland Cement and aquatic structures

I assume many public aquariums build many displays with cement
structures. I remember the last time I was at the Monterey Aquarium
and seeing a view of some wire mesh and pipes where the coating,
whatever it was, had fallen off in a couple of tanks.  Sort of
ruined the presentation for me.  There's also a site that sells -
and gives instructions for making - some amalgamate structures that
are glued together for marine systems..

Just me, but I can't get behind this approach. The aesthetics..
well, no need to go there. The colateral from wire mesh and cement
is enough. But I tend to have extreme views on these things.. Far
more natural for me would be structures made from crushed igneous
rocks and some good old wattles and 'potters' clay. You'd only need
to oven cure it, wouldn't be necessary to actually fire it.  No
colateral downside this way and you get a nice softer medium that to
me is better for plant roots, far more natural looking, and has the
added benefit of eroding over time giving you new textures.  A reed
mesh will give you pretty much the same framework as wire mesh. The
crushed rock will also contribute something. Plus, you get to play
like a kid with clay and rock and not like a building contractor
with wire and cement.

And, if you're Martha, you can embed some nice pebble and stone
sized rock on top of the clay to make a mosaic of the Sistine Chapel
or something.. Or clays come in various colors so you could just
paint a mural like the wall of some ancient building in Alexandria
that got submerged.  (Don't blame me for this.  Karen started it
with that cherub that pees bubbles.)


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