DIY Aquascape/Background for 55g ~Video Reveal - Page 2
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:51 PM   #16
AquaStudent
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That's very nice.

I'm trying to decide how I want to aquascape this. I can try and take it in two directions.

1) Fallen rocks look - A few large stones surrounded with smaller ones. This is the more natural look but also provides less hiding places and caves.

2) Caves and arches. I'd use the styrofoam to build an arch or two with multiple rocks fallen down to create many ins and outs through the structure.
Similar to the look on this tank but less adobe looking: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/article...background.php

Edit. I just had some inspiration. I think I know what I want to do...now let's see if i can actually do it

Last edited by AquaStudent; 01-11-2013 at 09:46 PM.. Reason: more
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:53 PM   #17
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IWANNAGOFAST, that's really great. Did you make any of the loose rocks too? I ask because the triangular one behind the orange fish and striped fish matches the background color perfectly. very good color, too! On my next ones I'm going to do much darker rocks - in the 29s I was matching light cream color real rocks I especially liked, but the fish looked washed out in front of the background - that was something I hadn't considered.

AquaStudent - I was going to suggest you combine the fallen rock/caves and arches, but now you have me curious! You'll have to spill the beans on your idea, y'know
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:45 AM   #18
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Well I was going to try to build some arches between the extruded part holding my powerhead/filter intake and the chambers holding one of my heaters (all on the left side) with a similar set of arches on the right side connecting the filter output chamber and a chamber in the lower right (potential holder of the large powerhead). And then some larger fallen rocks to build it out in the center. So sorta combining both of them. It's hard to describe.

I see you're from Christiansburg. I was at Va Tech the summer of 2011 for some research in the physics department. It was great. I have applied to tech for grad school.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:02 AM   #19
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lol - you lost me...but here's a pic of a constructed arch that I found...



I hope you get into Tech for grad school! If you do, let me know, I can tell you where the fish stores are
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:44 PM   #20
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Woah that's intense. I wasn't quite thinking of that though lol.

I posted pictures (will move them to the first post of the thread...not of page 2)

It's actually coming along much nicer than I expected. My plan for the arch was to build it from the outcropping where the powerhead is down to the lower base where heater is.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:08 PM   #21
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Great start! I'm looking forward to the updates - I love seeing what people build...
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:27 PM   #22
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Update photos are on the first post. The glue is all dried and I've got the expanding foam in the gaps, blending the foam chunks, and adding some depth to a few of the rocks.

The next step is concreting!
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:12 PM   #23
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You have a nice project going on here

I wish I had read this a while ago. I hate Hate HATE seeing people BUY styrofoam sheets. This stuff is available for free by the carload at any furniture store. I've worked in the business for over 5 years and have thrown away hundreds of cubic yards of the stuff in all shapes and sizes. The kind of stuff that would work PERFECTLY for DIY backgrounds. And I can get sizes and densities you could only dream of getting at a hardware store.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelub View Post
You have a nice project going on here

I wish I had read this a while ago. I hate Hate HATE seeing people BUY styrofoam sheets. This stuff is available for free by the carload at any furniture store. I've worked in the business for over 5 years and have thrown away hundreds of cubic yards of the stuff in all shapes and sizes. The kind of stuff that would work PERFECTLY for DIY backgrounds. And I can get sizes and densities you could only dream of getting at a hardware store.
That's good to know!
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:52 AM   #25
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That is good to know. What kind of styrofoam is it? The pink stuff is a very fine grain and is much easier to deal with. I did some of the larger, rougher objects with some white styrofoam that came with some packaging but the grains are so large that the styrofoam crumbles.

Perhaps if I used a heat gun or melted the styrofoam that wouldn't really be an issue.

I'm looking into ways to seal the concrete (I'm not sure how much it needs) but some of the products I was looking at are as follows


Here is a list of a few of the items I was looking at
This seemed promising until I looked at the warnings label
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/2025213...8#.UPIKE6zheSo

Rustoleum Leak Seal Clear Spray (I have a feeling a spray can isn't healthy but I don't know enough to make an informed decision)
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/2031656...3#.UPIJjazheSo

I'm very hesitant on both of them. The warning labels and ingredients list don't seem to fish friendly. I was told on another forum to avoid ethylene glycol (I'm about to look at the MSDS for it)

EDIT: The way the building materials are controlled legally (well not controlled) many of them don't need to report an ingredients list (which is not a good thing IMHO but also necessary to protect the company...but what about me? Anyway...). I was looking at the MSDS sheet for the Bonding Liquid (first link) and the ingredient is a trade secret. However the melting point is 32deg and boiling point is 212...with a specific gravity of 1. Hey! That sounds just like dihydrogen monoxide! That chemical is responsible for 100% of drownings. Too much of it will kill you and too little of it will kill you. That's some dangerous stuff!

On anther note the smell description says "ammonia smell". I wonder if there's ammonia in the mixture (not that it matters because i'll be soaking it for awhile and testing the params) but still interesting to note.

Last edited by AquaStudent; 01-13-2013 at 02:03 AM.. Reason: EDIT
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:21 PM   #26
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I've finally added some fish and they are doing well. Here's the first public video of the aquascape.

Surprise for the 55 Gallon African Tank - DIY Foam and Concrete Aquascape
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK9lXncfVzc
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:36 AM   #27
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I loved your video! Got a kick out of the humor in your pop ups, and you were very informative. The background came out very, very nice, and the considerations you made for the potential overflow and for hiding the equipment were well thought out and executed. Great job! Looking forward to the updated video when the tank is fully stocked...
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:17 PM   #28
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Everyone is back in the tank, even the bichir who has found a nice little niche (when I first put him in there he jumped the top and hid in the filter intake/heater chamber. It took me a week to figure out how to get him out but that problem has been fixed).

Here's a look at the tank with everyone inside.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJLZfkXLvus
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