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Thread: DIY Project: Calcium block / weekend feeders

  1. #1
    swords's Avatar
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    DIY Project: Calcium block / weekend feeders

    Well I was in need of getting my mystery snails a good source of calcium and I ran across a technique on the applesnail.net forum for this DIY calcium brick / weekend feeder for snails (or fish) that anyone can do in a few minutes. So I played mad scientist tonight and took pics along the way.

    Our goal is to create these but for way cheaper:



    And all we need is this stuff:
    The bag of plaster of paris is from home depot's paint dept for $10
    The ice cube trays are brand new from the dollar store $1
    The bag of fish food is MINI goldfish pellets by wardley, 100 grams for $4.50 look for low fat pellets high fat inhibits the plaster hardening so no Cichlid pellets or Koi fattening pellets. These pellets are 5% fat. do not use flakes, algae disks or ground fish meal powders apparently these all rot. Pro feeder block all use mini pellets.
    The cup is a 320z disposable and a plastic fork from the lunchroom at work
    The only other thing I didn't show is the measuring cup for water. You need to do 2 to 1 powder to water ratio.




    To start with mix 1.5 cups of water to 1.5 cups of powder and mix until all the lumps are gone, then mix in another 1.5 cups of powder into the cup until all those lumps are gone.



    Now I dumped in about 1/3 of the bag of pellets and after mixing it looks like this you can't really see the pellets.



    Fill up the cells in your new ice cube trays with the mix - here you can see the pellets.


    Now you wait 24-48 hours for them to cure fully, then pop them out and let them air dry for a week or two before they are ready for use. You can put them in a food dehydrator set at 95*F for a faster dry. They must be completely dry or they will cloud your tank. But with a $10 sack of Plaster you have a more than lifetime supply of base for calcium bricks & weekend feeders.

    I hope you enjoyed following along with this little project!

    ---------- Post added at 10:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:23 PM ----------

    I can ship out some gallon bags of this plaster if anyone wants some but postage will run about 1/2 the price of your own huge sack so...
    Last edited by swords; 11-30-2010 at 09:12 PM.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    interesting!
    but for only a weekend, fish dont really need to be fed at all..
    so IMO "weekend feeders" are really completely unnecessary..
    (unless maybe for fry or something..but not for adult fish)

    if you are going away for a week or more, these could be useful..
    but I wouldnt use one at all if you are only away for 2 or 3 days..
    the fish will survive just fine..

    Scot

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    swords's Avatar
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    I'm using these not for fish or as an actual "feeder" but rather just for my snails to get a good steady source of calcium to keep their shells nice and keep them from eroding. I will still be giving them fresh veggies. These should also help buffer my water since I use RO due to my tap water being nasty for inverts. I will be putting a new "calcium brick" in whenever they finish one - according to the snail forum these will last a few weeks each so these two ice cube trays could be six months worth! LOL Some people put a Caltrate pill in their snail tank everyday for them to nibble on but I like doing projects so I had to try this. I put the food in the bricks so it's got an extra bit of nutrition/treat in it for them and if I ever get a few fish apparently they like these bricks too. I've never used these blocks when I had killifish I liked to use frozen or live foods.
    Last edited by swords; 12-01-2010 at 08:05 AM.

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