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Old 11-08-2012, 05:47 PM   #16
Fishies_in_Philly
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Looks fantastic i wouldn't worry about the harry potter look. Tangled and nasty looks more realistic than smooth and deliberate
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:55 PM   #17
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any pics?
I was going to say that some times with silicone it is a pain to deal with inevitably a piece or two falls off and there is no way to fix it...any way i say this i have built a bunch but never with the spray foam thing hich gave me an idea... what about using magnets? can you use those rare earth magents covered with foam to keep in place?

Great idea...I have some and they are pretty spendy. I use them in my classroom to teach. The silicone method has worked well in the past and is pretty cheap. I think I am going to try the magnets with some other pieces and not the background. It would work great for root systems that I want to remove for cleaning and maintenence......great idea! thanks
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:57 PM   #18
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For cold water plants there are lots of options. In my newt tanks I use java fern, Anubias, crypts, vals, wisteria, and java moss (also duckweed, but that's more of a pest). These have all gotten down into the 50s without any issues.

Just one more tip: when you attach the background to your tank make sure each and every possible crack is filled. Newts aren't like fish and they will find any tiny space to squeeze themselves into.

I will ahve all the cracks sealed up.thanks for the reminder! They never stop exploring and thats why I have designed the intake and out flow the way I have. Glad to hear that all those palnts can acclimate well in cooler water. 50's !!!! I wasnt palnnign on keeping it that cold. Is that the temp range for breeding behavior mimicing their native lower 48 homes????
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:08 PM   #19
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Cant wait to see this finished

Sent from my ADR6325 using Tapatalk 2
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:47 PM   #20
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ironically today a large cave i had siliconed in my tank with a diy background popped off and floated up.... i guess i just jinxed myself... looking forward to seeing the final result
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:53 AM   #21
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I finished some of the main root system and have a good idea of my end game as far as hardscape. This will hopefully become a washed out section of creek, tangled with vegetation and niches to fill.

The tree roots on the right will dominate that half of the tank along with the large, terrestrial planter. this will be the only hardscape (other than the background) thats above the waterline, as I have raised it to 9 inches.

The left side will be heavily planted with dwarf sag and elodea.

A small clump of emmergent, riparium plants will occupy the middle of the tank towards the edge of the submerged creek bed.

I wanted a lush showing of plants, both above and below waterline, but in order to maximize swimming room for the fauna, I will have to plant most the terrestrial plants on the background itself and the side panels. Thats not gonna be easy to do with a limited space. My planters are just too small to support any sizable plant with good coverage. Plus my choice of plants up here is severely limited so I wont be able to have the lush fern forest that I wanted. Not sure how that part will turn out.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:18 AM   #22
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neat work on the rocks!
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:56 AM   #23
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I made some good headway on the tank in the last couple of days. I have got a good first layer of Drylok and was able to play with some color variations. I think I will be able to get some nice colors but putting the layers around the root system is proving difficult. Drylok is like a thick paint and is not easily brushed on with significant detail. My next layer will be the main coat of Drylok and give me the main coloration for the hardscape.

I am happy overall with the look, I am however a bit worried about the planters and how well they're going to work for the terrestrial plants. Watering them may bring about some issues. We'll see.

Forgive the sloppy look, this is just the first coat, but whaddya think? I am open to sugesstions and advice as always!
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:05 AM   #24
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I don't see a pic
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:26 AM   #25
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havin trouble with pics. ill try again tomorrow
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:28 AM   #26
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neat work on the rocks!
thanks!
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:24 AM   #27
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Here we go. Let me know what you think
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:34 AM   #28
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Wow, those pics dont really show the colors very well at all. The main rock is much more of a charcol with light brown highlights.

I am going to add some vine-like roots to the overhanging root on the right. I have some small pieces of manzanita twigs that I want to try and use. Maybe if I push them into the foam and then Drylok them along with the faux roots? That way I can save from all that carving and still have the two pieces look the same. Has anyone ever tried that before?

I still have the Swiss cheese look to some of the greatstuff rock. The pores are often very large when you start cutting deep into the hardscape and then they become very difficult to fill in with the drylok. If the next layer doesnt do it, I may have to fill them in with some expanding gorilla glue to take up the spaces.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:24 AM   #29
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Correct color or not - looks fantastic!! You've got quite an eye for realism. Yup, that is the down side of GS, all those air holes. I have found there seems to be less with the yellow version then the black version but still a PITA to cover

Looking forward to seeing updates!
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:17 PM   #30
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Oh! not true! as far as lush plants go! you could totally use creeping Jenny! if comes in two colors and LOVEs humidity, and will even grow right into the water. it creates lots of little close leaves with good lighting and Ive used it in my riparium. Looks awesome so far though! Gah! all these cool ripariums to nothing but make me want to get more tanks! hehehe

so cool!
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