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    Thread: Concrete sealant

    1. #1
      FRK's Avatar
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      Concrete sealant

      I am going to be building several concrete holding tanks for a breeding project. The cost of coatings are very high and so I kept looking for alternative methods. I am primarily concerned with the alkali leaching in and high PH. I found a product that is a penatrating sealer. "Raydon Seal". From what I have read of reviews i think it will work. Have any of you had experience with this product? Was also told I could just fill the ponds and let them set for a year and this would cure them. What are your thoughts.

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      I think most in this community really like something that goes IN the concrete not ON it. Xypex is favored by many. When I built last year I could not get Xypex in a ready mix. But they could get a product that if I recall correctly was named Penetrol. Penetrol seemed like a 2nd generation product similar to Xypex. A product using crystalline formula that will actively repair any hairline cracks that may happen as the concrete ages- from within.
      I assume in due time there will be many crystalline based concrete additives. Radon seal may be one of them. But do some reading on Xypex and Penetrol to get an understanding of how they are different than a coating or sealant.

    3. #3
      tbullard is online now Senior Member
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      See these threads or any one of his other build threads. Uses Xypex in the cement as waterproofer then paints using standard pool paint but just for aesthetic reasons.

      http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...Eco-RDF/page15

      http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...rntown-Indiana

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      (I moved your thread to the Construction forum as opposed to DIY for more traffic)

      I've been pleased with the Xypex I used on my concrete block pond.
      I found too that all the concrete made the pH pretty high initially but seemed to go back down to normal
      after just a few weeks. I've not had any issues after that.
      --Steve
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    5. #5
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      Posting a link to RadonSeal FYI. This looks to be a much easyier application than the Xypex and I think more affordable. If it will work like manufaturer claims I should be fine. I'm probly going to go for it and will keep you posted.

      https://www.radonseal.com/concrete-sealers.htm
      Last edited by FRK; 02-28-2018 at 06:45 PM. Reason: adding link

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      They claim it can be used for koi ponds so maybe it will work. I still believe xypex would be superior as it is mixed in with the concrete making the entire wall thickness waterproof. Radonseal appears to be a sealer that is applied to the surface of the concrete. A crack in the surface would lead to a leak vs xypex.

      RadonSeal concrete sealer is ideal for koi ponds and fish ponds, kennel floors, and stables because in addition to waterproofing and preserving the concrete, it also neutralizes alkalis and surfaces caustic to animals.

    7. #7
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      My concrete is being poored by a contractor and comming in by the truck load. Don't believe I can mix it in. Plus, the article I read said it could be brushed on but you had to mist it with water several times over 48 hours to cure it properly. The whole prossess seemed pretty complicated and involved to get it right.

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      It is actually added into the mix by the concrete plant. http://www.xypex.com/products/additi...-c-1000-c-2000

      Xypex Admix Xypex Admix is blended into the concrete mix at the time of batching to waterproof and protect concrete from the start. It outperforms other methods because of its unique ability to become a truly integral part of the concrete matrix.
      They also have a product that you can apply if it admix wasn't used but if your pouring the walls it isn't what you would need.
      Xypex Concentrate Xypex Concentrate is applied as a cementitious slurry to the surface of existing above-or-below-grade structures to waterproof and protect the concrete against high hydrostatic pressure

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by FRK View Post
      Posting a link to RadonSeal FYI. This looks to be a much easyier application than the Xypex and I think more affordable. If it will work like manufaturer claims I should be fine. I'm probly going to go for it and will keep you posted.

      https://www.radonseal.com/concrete-sealers.htm
      You obviously did not look at the links that tbullard provided. Nothing can be easier than telling the mixing plant to include Xypex in the mix at the plant and then do nothing except pay for the the admixture.

    10. #10
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      If the only reason for using the sealant is to keep the pH from going high, then it is not needed. The high pH comes from the migration of calcium hydroxide, a chemical byproduct of the hydration process of the cement in the concrete. The hydroxide has a pH of 14 and will increase the pH of the water, if there is inadequate buffering with the water to prevent the pH shift. The typical buffer that you will find being used in ponds is baking soda, which has a pH of about 8.3 and will keep the pH from falling below that level. It will also split to make carbonate and hydrogen ions. The hydrogen ions will react with the hydroxide to make water. The carbonates ions are also high pH, but can be removed by calcium within the water column. The calcium hydroxide has one calcium and two hydroxide ions, so the reactions will deplete the calcium leaving a surplus of the carbonates. Adding calcium chloride, swimming pool hardness increaser or some deicers, will provide the calcium ions needed to react with the carbonates, Calcium carbonate is a mineral like limestone and unless the pond were to go acid will remain as a solid precipitate. With all of the hydroxide reacted and the carbonates reacted there is nothing affecting the pH. Over time the migration of the calcium hydroxide will diminish until effectively stopping.

      Maintain a KH level of at least 150 with the baking soda, and watch the GH to see what the minimum is in the first week or so of the pond having water and add enough calcium chloride to raise the GH to 100ppm above that minimum. The intent is to have a means of measuring the GH as calcium, where the test measures the total of calcium, magnesium, iron, and a number of other elements.

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    11. #11
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      OK. I think I am sold on the Xypex. My contractor won't be comming until April to poor the walls so I have plenty of time to contact and arrange for Xypex mix. Not really concerned with asthetics so I will skip the paint coat. Since I have only ever had a mud pond before this I have never tested for KH or GH. I have the test kit ordered now though. I am planning on doing some constant flow through water and not sure how dificult it will be to maintain additives if needed. The water from my well comes out at 7.5-8.0 PH. Dirlled 520 feet through limestone. Pump is set at 300 ft. 3 hp pump gives me 30gpm+.
      I want to enthusiastically thank everyone for your input here. I need it! Much appreciated!!

    12. #12
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      I did try to go through some of the links posted although there were I think at least five separate links and I initialy missed this one. It was on page 14 though not page 15 as linked. Thank you! learning that the mix could be done at the plant sold me on Xypex.

    13. #13
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      Wait a minute. I was just reading one of the threads posted for my review from above and found an entry from Richtoyboy. Said "the key to water tight concrete is thickness. 6" is ok but 8" is better". My contractor is pooring 10" walls. So again should my only concern be the migration of Alkali from the new concrete?
      Last edited by FRK; 03-01-2018 at 10:34 AM. Reason: sp correct

    14. #14
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      Concrete can be waterproof all on its own. With no additives or sealants.
      Growing up on the farm we poured concrete all the time. Farmer style. One time we made a "bath" for our milk cows to walk thru. A 5 foot by 8 foot pool, about one foot deep. We kept it full of a water with some copper sulfate added for better hoof health. The cows were forced to walk thru it two times a day. This pool always held water. It was poured with probably 8-10 inch thick concrete.
      Everything we did was 8 to 12 inch concrete. No rebar. No additives. But start to do a little cost/benefit analysis. Which is more cost effective? 6 inch concrete with rebar and additives? Or 10 inch without? Premix can be pretty expensive these days. Good modern engineering allows us to do more with less material.
      Ponds builders on the west coast would never dream of building a pond without rebar due to seismic activity. At least not those pond builders concerned with call backs!
      Up north where we get so much heaving from the frost you would want lots of rebar.
      Lots of things to consider.

    15. #15
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      There will be plenty of rebar with the 10" concrete. My concern is safe PH levels from the new concrete. May not have been an issue for Cow feet but for fish is another story.

    16. #16
      tbullard is online now Senior Member
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      PH levels are not the primary worry. You need to focus on maintaining stable PH levels.


      Quote Originally Posted by RichToyBox View Post
      If the only reason for using the sealant is to keep the pH from going high, then it is not needed. The high pH comes from the migration of calcium hydroxide, a chemical byproduct of the hydration process of the cement in the concrete. The hydroxide has a pH of 14 and will increase the pH of the water, if there is inadequate buffering with the water to prevent the pH shift. The typical buffer that you will find being used in ponds is baking soda, which has a pH of about 8.3 and will keep the pH from falling below that level. It will also split to make carbonate and hydrogen ions. The hydrogen ions will react with the hydroxide to make water. The carbonates ions are also high pH, but can be removed by calcium within the water column. The calcium hydroxide has one calcium and two hydroxide ions, so the reactions will deplete the calcium leaving a surplus of the carbonates. Adding calcium chloride, swimming pool hardness increaser or some deicers, will provide the calcium ions needed to react with the carbonates, Calcium carbonate is a mineral like limestone and unless the pond were to go acid will remain as a solid precipitate. With all of the hydroxide reacted and the carbonates reacted there is nothing affecting the pH. Over time the migration of the calcium hydroxide will diminish until effectively stopping.

      Maintain a KH level of at least 150 with the baking soda, and watch the GH to see what the minimum is in the first week or so of the pond having water and add enough calcium chloride to raise the GH to 100ppm above that minimum. The intent is to have a means of measuring the GH as calcium, where the test measures the total of calcium, magnesium, iron, and a number of other elements.

    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by tbullard View Post
      PH levels are not the primary worry. You need to focus on maintaining stable PH levels.
      There are two staments here that to my inexpierenced mind seem to contradict. Don't worry about PH levels but at the same time focus on maintaining PH levels? I read RTB's chemical explanation above and being new to the chemestry angle in all of this I kind of follow it...... But I am still reading that the PH is going to go high when I put water in my new tank. At this time I don't know if my well water has a buffers in it or not. I'm at work for the next three weeks and can't check. My well water though comes out of the well at 7.5-8.0 so it is allready at the upper limits of acceptible. I allways thought Baking soda was an additive to raise PH as in if my water was acidic. And when all is said and done won't it be best to try and seal out the migration of calcium hydroxide?

    18. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by FRK View Post
      There are two staments here that to my inexpierenced mind seem to contradict. Don't worry about PH levels but at the same time focus on maintaining PH levels? I read RTB's chemical explanation above and being new to the chemestry angle in all of this I kind of follow it...... But I am still reading that the PH is going to go high when I put water in my new tank. At this time I don't know if my well water has a buffers in it or not. I'm at work for the next three weeks and can't check. My well water though comes out of the well at 7.5-8.0 so it is allready at the upper limits of acceptible. I allways thought Baking soda was an additive to raise PH as in if my water was acidic. And when all is said and done won't it be best to try and seal out the migration of calcium hydroxide?
      Actually no, you are not at the upper level of acceptable pH. Anything from 7-9 is acceptable as long as it is stable. The statement donít worry about the pH level as long as it is stable is not contradictory either. What ever you pH level is is just important to keep it stable. If it is 8, keep it stable, if it is 8.5, keep it stable. Either is fine and you donít really need to worry that it is 8 or 8.5 as there is not much you can do about it that doesnít risk worse problems.
      people like to vehemently defend their purchases and find it incredulous that anything could be better

    19. #19
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      I think TBull made a typo and one of those "ph"s was meant to be a "kh". Auto spell may have made a change. Your exact PH level matters not a whole lot, the stability of it is what matters most. And KH gives your PH stability. There are some good write ups in the stickies to help one understand the basics of PH and KH. I would defer to Rich about any and all issues regarding fresh concrete and how it impacts your initial water parameters. Once you water has stabilized after the concrete has aged a bit your source water will determine how much you need to tinker with your KH. If your KH is decent- say 100 PPM and you are doing a fair amount of water change- sounds like you will- then you may never need to deal with KH and PH issues.
      IMHO, failure to understand, monitor and regulate KH is one of the major causes of fish loss. People will say they had a PH crash, but that is due to low KH. Many many skin and health issues are directly tied to PH swings which is directly tied to KH levels.
      I suspect that your well water being in the proximity of limestone means that your KH will be decently high.


      edit to add- cross posted at same time as Russ. I think Russ's reading of TBull's statement is right. That wasn't a typo. TBull's statement was just a statement that you and I had a hard time reading.
      Last edited by mplskoi; 03-01-2018 at 03:30 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by FRK View Post
      There are two staments here that to my inexpierenced mind seem to contradict. Don't worry about PH levels but at the same time focus on maintaining PH levels?
      what it means is that whether your PH is high or low (within the acceptable range), maintain it so that it doesn't change too much in a short period of time. Adding baking soda will raise PH, but I believe it only raise to the max of 8.4 and high KH, will keep your PH level stable.

      Edit: cross posted with Russ and mplskoi. I don't know how Russ can works on his new shop and post at the same time.
      Last edited by friscoponder; 03-01-2018 at 03:58 PM.

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