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Old 11-19-2013, 10:29 PM   #1
jamntoast
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Background project


So I've been wanting to make changes to my 90 gallon, I've been watching videos online about fiberglass backgrounds and I've decided to give it a try. It gives me a chance to improve my filtration, I'm adding a hamburg matten filter and I'm going to change the substrate as well. I'm tired of the junk from the soil dirtying the sand. Super excited about it.

This is the tank, it looks decent in the picture, it looks like crap now.


This is the link to the video that tells how to build the background that I followed

So far I've got the background made I still have to install it. Pictures right away.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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Here is the styrofoam mold I made. The plan is to make it look like a sandy bank with rocks coming out that I plan to put anubias minima on. This was actually harder than I thought it would be. I ended up using a reciprocating saw for the big cuts. That was fun.
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:05 PM   #3
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Here is the finished product after fiberglass was applied and everything. I have to admit I got my dad to do this part for me, he is retired and has the time. It looks pretty good, there are some spots that are a bit messy, for the most part it should be fine, it's where I plan to have anubias so it might even be beneficial.

You can see how thin it is here, I can fit everything behind it plus it won't displace a butt load of water like a concrete background would.
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:10 PM   #4
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And here it is painted.

Here is the angle that it will be at in my tank
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:15 PM   #5
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If anyone has any comments or suggestions pls feel free
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:55 PM   #6
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This is a top view of how I plan it to sit and how everything should work


And here is the front view. I have some anubias minima that I plan to attach to the "rocks". It will look good I think.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:37 PM   #7
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Looks good so far, nice idea.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:06 PM   #8
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@coldwater king thanks man
it will be nice to get the equiptment out of sight and be able to reduce the number of electrical cords for this one tank. right now i've got 2 sponge filters on seperate pumps and a fluval u4 because my 405 broke down the other about a week ago. i'm hoping to replace all of that with the hamburg filter running off one pump, freeing up 2 spaces in my power bar.
i am a bit concerned with losing the space from that corner and everything but we will see how it goes, currently i have 6 geophagus tapajos "red head" who are all between 4"6" and they do get pretty territorial when spawning, but i'll try to break up the space with some rocks and stuff.
the plan for flora in this tank will be strickly anubias, some java fern and i'll probably try to throw some moss in there aswell. it's going to be a pool filter sand substrate and i dont really plan to do much as far as fertilizer, i'll let the fish do that. i also dont want to have anything getting pulled up by their digging or dropping dead leaves all the time. i want to keep it super clean and super easy.
the other fauna will be some bronze cories, i've got 7 right now but i plan to get a few more, and a school of rummy nose tetras.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:42 AM   #9
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So I've finally had some time and I've begun to install the back ground. There were definitely some hiccups. The front edge was supposed to run flat against the glass but it was bent at the wrong angle somehow so the only part that was close was right at the corner so I decided to silicone there. Now I've got a big ugly line of silicone right up front which obviously looks like trash. I think I am going to try to block off that whole section with some sort of black film or something. If anyone has any ideas I'm all ears.

The back part was also a challenge. The edge was perfect in the middle but the top and the bottom bowed in so I had to fill all that in too. Luckily most of the mess is hidden and where its really obvious I am going to put some crazy glue gel and sprinkle sand on it. I think that should help.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:44 AM   #10
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Here is the temporary home for my fish
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:56 AM   #11
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Here is the silicone along the back wall of the tank

Here is the front edge, super ugly.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:58 AM   #12
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Here is the Matten filter that I'm hiding behind the background

Last edited by jamntoast; 12-18-2013 at 02:59 AM.. Reason: spelling error
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:00 AM   #13
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And here is the look so far including how I think my wood placement will look
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:48 PM   #14
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Here is how I plan to "plant" it. There actually won't be any real planting because it will all be anubias and java fern. Super easy.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:14 AM   #15
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Ambitious build!

To hide the front edge, I would apply a piece of static cling black plastic or similar, cut to cover from the outer edge of the tank to the visible silicone line.
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anubias, diy background, fiberglass, geophagus, south american

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