Concrete background with steel? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-22-2016, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Question Concrete background with steel?

Hey Guys,

I was going to make some concrete backgrounds. I know that many people use Closed Cell Polystyrene Board to shape and then concrete over them.
I also have done some searches and found that many people say that 316 Stainless Steel is safe for aquarium use.

My questions are these:
  1. Could I use Hardware cloth (Galvanized Steel) instead of the foam to form the structure for the concrete or would it still corrode in the concrete?
  2. Has anyone done this in their aquarium and had success with it?

I know McMaster Carr sells 316 Stainless Steel mesh like the Hardware Cloth, but I don't want to spend the money. So that's out of the question.

My assumption is that it would corrode unless I sealed the concrete with a 100% waterproof sealer, such as epoxy. I don't want to use epoxy, so if that is the case I'll just stick to the foam and PVC.

Any thoughts and/or suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks all!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-26-2016, 02:38 PM
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I don't see why not. Using foam is easy to shape and keep things light weight.
The hardware cloth looks tough to shape.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-26-2016, 02:47 PM
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I would stick with just the foam and use a tool to form it, the tool if I remember right looks like a hand held cheese grater. You can also use the spray foam and just spray it on the back of the tank and then form it the way you want. I personally would have misgivings with galvanized but thats just me and I am weird that way and it could be perfectly safe.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-26-2016, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys!

After more thought I decided to just stick with the foam and PVC. I was curious because I'll be making a tree stump with branches and the hardware cloth is rigid and it's really not that hard to work with.
Now I'm just going to use some thin foam to form the trunk and PVC pipes to form the limbs. It'll be in the corner which is why I'm using thin foam - so it's easily bendable without breaking (I can always heat it if needed). I was thinking about using the trunk of the tree as a place to hide equipment/and or turning it into an "overflow" for my canister filter, but I'm not sure if I want to do that or leave it hollow.

I still need to plan a little bit more.
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