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Old 11-26-2012, 10:18 AM   #1
HX67
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Going Back To My Roots


I finally got around to carrying on with a project that's been haunting me for awhile.

I made this paludarium some fifteen years ago to house a couple of chameleons at an exhibition:




Water was circulated on the rockwall from top to bottom.
The size of the tank is 6' x 2 1/2' x 2' or 180 x 75 x 60 cm.
The water column holds about 25 gallons.


I kept a Cryptelytrops (Trimeresurus) albolabris and later an Atheris squamigera in it, but for the past few years it's been sitting in a corner empty and sad.

I wanted to redesign the hardscape.

I stripped the whole thing of all the old hardscape and most of the glass to make some room for carving the new scape.
Here's a pic of the stripped tank to give you an idea of the shape of the monster:


I fiberglazed the upper part (non-glazed plywood) and epoxied the fiberglazed bit with tinted black epoxy resin.

Here's where we are at now:


Other than a couple bits taken from an old piece of fake treestump, it's all just GS foam and pvc pipes.

More to follow.

Thanks for looking.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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Very cool! Tagging in to follow along. I never cease to be amazed at what some of you talented people can do with foam.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:58 PM   #3
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subscribed!
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:36 PM   #4
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Getting there with the scape
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:58 PM   #5
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Very nice rotting log effect! Excited to see where you go with this.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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Wow great job on the tree roots, the first pic of them covered in spray foam looks like a rib cage for a horror film production!
You have coated the structure with something, tile glue perhaps?
Have you just applied the spray foam & then shaped it with a craft knife or sand paper?
How have you applied & shaped the final coating, with a small trowel & paint brush perhaps?
If it is tile glue, is the glue epoxy based & inert when cured?
Whatever way, you have done a great job...something I like doing too although your techniques & skills are advanced on mine!
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wy Renegade View Post
Very nice rotting log effect! Excited to see where you go with this.
Thank you.
Me too!


Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfish View Post
Wow great job on the tree roots, the first pic of them covered in spray foam looks like a rib cage for a horror film production!
You have coated the structure with something, tile glue perhaps?
Thanks!
I'd love to make a bit of horror scenes.
Indeed, tile adhesive. And then some grout.


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Originally Posted by foxfish View Post
Have you just applied the spray foam & then shaped it with a craft knife or sand paper?
Got that right, my friend. Just a knife to make the base for the tile adhesive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfish View Post
How have you applied & shaped the final coating, with a small trowel & paint brush perhaps?
Brush and trowels is right again. No magic!


Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfish View Post
If it is tile glue, is the glue epoxy based & inert when cured?
Whatever way, you have done a great job...something I like doing too although your techniques & skills are advanced on mine!
No, not epoxy based. Just cement based with some of the modernish glues they stuff the adhesive with.
And then some grout. I add a bit of copolymer to it.

Inert? Not totally. curing period is like a month and there's some leeching of lime after that.

I see no problems there...

Thanks for your words! I don't know where this thing is going to, exactly, but trying out a couple of new materials and procedures keeps me interested...

I think I'm going to be getting on with it nicely, since the weather forecast for the foreseeable future up here is:


Thanks for your comment.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:31 AM   #8
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I have followed your work for some time now and love your blog. Truly an inspiration to those of us who enjoy making the faux backgrounds. You seem to use the grout method more than any other. Do you feel it has the ability to add the most detail or is it the easiest for you to work with? great having you on the forum!

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Old 12-01-2012, 08:45 AM   #9
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Thank you for your words, JD.

I'm glad someone is enjoying the blog. I'm not too happy with the construction of it, but I'm seeing it as a work in progress for now. Trying to scoop up some skill and energy to make it more readable.

I found grout for these more than 20 years ago, so yes, I guess it's just being used to working with it and knowing how it behaves.

Thanks again, I love being on the forum and am very much inspired by everyone.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:52 PM   #10
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Your skill in making roots and trunks is astonishing this may be better than the mudskipper tank which by the way is the whole reason i got into paludariums in the first place.

This is gonna be really cool though. Are you building it from your head? Or do you have a plan all drawn out? I found that the best ones that i have built, i built on the fly.

Kudos for bringing us again to a whole other level.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:53 PM   #11
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Oh, and the pic of the racoon in the sack? Priceless!!! A charge of yours i presume?
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:06 PM   #12
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Man, I love the streambank paludarium, that things is awesome! How many gallons?
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishies_in_Philly View Post
Your skill in making roots and trunks is astonishing this may be better than the mudskipper tank which by the way is the whole reason i got into paludariums in the first place.

This is gonna be really cool though. Are you building it from your head? Or do you have a plan all drawn out? I found that the best ones that i have built, i built on the fly.

Kudos for bringing us again to a whole other level.
Thanks, dude!
Especially happy to hear you have been inspired by the mudskipperarium, it's a dear work for myself, too.

Going pretty much on intuition with this one, yes. Not happy with the basic rock formation so far... Might have to redo it. Unless I come up with a way to hide it with even more woodwork.

Can't thank you enough for your comment.

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Oh, and the pic of the racoon in the sack? Priceless!!! A charge of yours i presume?
A charge of mine, truly. 12 years of shared accommodation with him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wy Renegade View Post
Man, I love the streambank paludarium, that things is awesome! How many gallons?
Thanks, you.
I'm thinking of redoing the emersed hardscape of it. But there's a bit too many projects going on right now.

Even though the tank is 8' long, it only holds about 50 gallons of water. Height of the tank (water bit) is 12" and width 16". (240 x 40 x 30 cm)

A pic, perhaps, for folks that haven't seen it...?
Hardscape before planting:
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #14
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What are you using on top of the foam to create the wood texture/look? I'm assuming grout with slightly different shades of stain?
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wy Renegade View Post
What are you using on top of the foam to create the wood texture/look? I'm assuming grout with slightly different shades of stain?
Grout is my material, yes. Been fiddling with it for quite some time, and a dog this old...
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