DIY background opinion question
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:43 PM   #1
Algae Grower
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DIY background opinion question

Hello all,

I have seen a bunch of great ideas for backgrounds. I am looking for some thoughts on which one looks best or is best for the whole system. I have a few that I like the look of myself and I am interested in trying one of them.

First is the foam covered with Sika Topseal 107, the inspiration is from Mehmets DIY journal. I think this is an awesome build but I do not know how a plant will grow when attached to this BG. I would think that the topseal would be fairly “slick” and not easy for roots to attach to. Further more if the plants did latch on, would they bury their roots into the topseal and potentially break down the integrity? Lastly in my tank I am planning a pleco and I am not sure how sucker fishies do on this type of surface. If they are munching on algae could they inadvertently eat though the algae and into the topseal. If that were to happen is this inert to fish insides as well as just the water? Then again we have the integrity of the surface in question.

After that I would like to see if there is a way to add or create pots that can be hidden in the BG. Next I found some cool material: EpiWeb. It appears to have been created for high humidity for tropical ferns and orchids and such. I was wondering if this would be ok to be fully submerged in my tank. I was considering placing this in patches, strips or pots in the foam rock BG.

Otherwise I was thinking of it as an entire BG that I can tie plants to. I have also seen posts for moss wall bio filters and was wondering if this would be an acceptable medium to build this system on. On that matter, what is the value of a moss wall bio filter? Salty has a great thread that I can’t link to but you can see on the DIY forums

Also I have seen multiple posts relating to cork BG. I have been unsuccessful in finding a site that has cork that is ok for aquarium use. It does look interesting to me too.

This site gave me a bunch of ideas. I would like to do this kinda, and build it up the back so that I can plant stuff all along the back.

I really like some of the stuff on the cichlids forums. They have been doing a lot with BG projects. I also really like the whole cave idea that they do. I would like to incorporate that for the plecos. Another thing these guys have really been doing is the under gravel jets. I am unsure if this is a good system for a planted tank. I would think that it takes all of the nutrients out of the gravel and therefore would only be good for plants that take from the water column. What are your thoughts? It does however work in conjunction with the lower need to do water changes with a planted tank. It is good because I would not be disrupting the substrate with a vac nearly as often.

For the record I am planning a 29 gallon low tech tank so with just coffee, and petite Anubias, java moss and fern, Anacharis, and needle leaves microsorum. If you have any suggestions for other plants or replacement plants I am open. Substrate will be eco-complete.

Thanks for all of your input!
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:06 AM   #2
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Check out this thread. These are all salt water tanks but the background doesn't know the difference.
Making your tank "maintenance-free" requires constant maintenance.

My 70 gallon 2 tank system with a "fish bridge"
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:40 PM   #3
Algae Grower
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Thanks a lot, great link. I hadn't found that one yet.
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