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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Question Background ideas?

I did this post for people wanting to try a "3D" looking background (foam?)
anyways I was wondering all the materials needed as well as steps to doing it. Setting up a new cichlid 90g with overflows so this would be cool to do!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Fish4Fun View Post
I did this post for people wanting to try a "3D" looking background (foam?)
anyways I was wondering all the materials needed as well as steps to doing it. Setting up a new cichlid 90g with overflows so this would be cool to do!
everything you need to know! http://bit.ly/xix6la
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 06:33 PM
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everything you need to know! http://bit.ly/xix6la
I don't feel this was needed. If you don't have an answer to his question, move on.


OP, I've heard that people are using various foams such as Great Stuff expanding foam for their projects. I'm not positive, but I believe you have to coat it in some sort of epoxy resin to seal it from water... That's about as far as I know.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Sweet! thanks a bunch

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Originally Posted by fishykid1 View Post
I don't feel this was needed. If you don't have an answer to his question, move on.


OP, I've heard that people are using various foams such as Great Stuff expanding foam for their projects. I'm not positive, but I believe you have to coat it in some sort of epoxy resin to seal it from water... That's about as far as I know.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 07:22 PM
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I just got done making one, instead of cementing or sealing with an epoxy. I would suggest shaping your rock formation first then coating it with Drylock, as for colouring use the coloured cement mix.

http://www.ugl.com/drylokMasonry/mas...ofer/latex.php

http://www.quikrete.com/productlines/cementcolor.asp

I would suggest using the blue or pink Styrofoam since it is more dense than white, I found white flakes too much or you can use expanding foam. The method you which you use to carve it also varies, i have seen people use a knife to a hot wire cutter, even some used acetone (just rinse several times and use a little bit since it really eats away at the Styrofoam).

When applying the Drylock, I put on 4 - 5 coats on then start to add highlights and shadowing effect. I have found drylock is fine by itself never added any toxins to the water or raised the PH level, just let it fully cure for 3 days and use GE silicone 1 for windows and doors not GE silicone 2 since it has mildew resistance which can leak toxins into the tank. Give the silicon 2 days to cure.

Here was my first time attempt making a background and using Drylock.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 03:25 AM
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I just found this on amazon!! It's "Great Stuff pond & stone." I assume this would be the most aquarium appropriate product in their line. I've not used it though.

here's amazon's listing of it:
http://amzn.com/B001AQ0FVC

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 11:58 AM
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I just made one. If I would do it all over again, I would like to try dry lock. My tank has been cycling for a month now. Ph is still super high. Used pink foam, quickrette mortar mix, acrylic fortifier and cement color. Used salt to help it cure. Regular water changes, added driftwood and ph has just slightly come down.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishykid1 View Post
I don't feel this was needed. If you don't have an answer to his question, move on.


OP, I've heard that people are using various foams such as Great Stuff expanding foam for their projects. I'm not positive, but I believe you have to coat it in some sort of epoxy resin to seal it from water... That's about as far as I know.

I'm not certain, and I haven't personally used it (yet...), but I believe it's just a polyurethane foam, and once cured, may be aquarium safe. though, I'd at least do a couple fill/soak/drain flushes before starting up. I think this gets used in the vivarium community a lot.

I've also recently read about people using gorilla glue (I think it's pretty similar chemically, polyurethane foam end-product) where they paint/smear it on something, and then mist it to encourage 'foaming'.

even if it isn't harmful, I'd still recommend coating it with something, if nothing else, just to get a more natural look - mix some crushed up substrate or peat or sand or something in with the epoxy to help with appearances
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 03:36 PM
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i actually made one and miserably failed.. my friend who's into making vivariums and paludariums told me, before putting "great stuff" on the glass/fish tank i should've applied silicone sealant.. anyway, here's the fail that i had..



the water basically lifted the whole thing up.. at least, i can get my derimmed 10g back.. lol
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dreamt_01 View Post
the water basically lifted the whole thing up.. at least, i can get my derimmed 10g back.. lol
I couldn't help but laugh when I saw that picture. Reminded me of a really good description/guide of someone's background/hardscape made out of cork bark - they used it to create terraces and such, and it looked really nice. and then, one day, after a few months, the whole thing popped up. I'm guessing that the cork the silicone was attached to finally broke down enough so that nothing was really holding it down... I'm sorta surprised it popped up, I thought that stuff would bond to glass (same with gorilla glue). Anyways, in some ways it may be better, it's a good learning experience, and it also looks rather thick for a 10 gallon, that ends up detracting quite a bit of tank volume. The stuff I read about using gorilla glue may work better for that, especially with how they misted it to encourage the foaming/expansion, so they could decide which areas protruded more. I think it would give you better control then the great stuff. Or you could carve/sand it betwixt when it finishes curing, and when you put on an epoxy coat.

Last edited by lochaber; 02-09-2012 at 06:25 PM. Reason: spelling :/
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 06:22 PM
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i actually made one and miserably failed..
Thanks for the post dreamt_01!! Surfing these forums you'd swear every single tank worked perfectly, every idea panned out, and nobody has a speck of algae anywhere. Thanks for keepin' it real!
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 01:22 PM
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don't mention it. well, experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.. lol.

if you don't wanna do trial and error route, go to dendroboard forum. they have a couple of experts there.. and i bet even some of our members have an account there too.

-bai

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 02:33 AM
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I just got done watching some DYI 3D backgrounds on you tube. they used cement in stages, looks real simple, I thought about giving it a try..
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