Cork bark backgrounds - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-04-2005, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Cork bark backgrounds

has anyone made their own corkbark backgrounds? These things look great. Does anyone have any tips on making one.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 04:21 AM
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Well, there are lots of options when it comes to cork.

You can buy corkbark flats at a lot of local fish stores or terrarium supply stores. The "flats" aren't actually flat, however, since they are taken right off the tree. They look the most natural but they are also more difficult to attach.

You can also get corkbark tiles from someplace like http://www.thecorkstore which are typically 12"x12" panels of natural corkbark that have been flattened into panel form. These look great and are easier to attach, obviously, since they are nice and flat on the back.

I've heard that people using the above two versions of bark will sometimes spend some time with a file or sandpaper to work down the sharp edges of the wood to make it look more weathered.

There's also cork panels, the stuff people use to make notice boards, available at places like Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Lowes, etc.. They come in two colors- the usual "tackboard" brown color and a darker version. While they aren't as natural looking as actual corkbark, they still look really great as a backing, especially the darker version, and they are a lot cheaper than the other stuff.

Cork will float pretty much no matter what you try, so to keep it on the back of your tank, you'll have to silicon it in place. Just make sure to use aquarium safe sealant or your fishies won't be too happy.

Best of luck~
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 11:01 AM
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Pia's post was excellent. I have a cork background made from cork bark flats purchased from the Cork Store (see her link). They are near 2" thick in places, so I used a band saw to thin them down before making my cork wall. It was a lot of fiddling to fit the stuff, and I suppose those bark tiles Pia mentioned would be far easier to deal with, but twice the price as well. Two of my pieces floated up a month or two after setting up the tank, and I had to use wallboard screws and more silicone to fix it, so judicious use of silicone is good from the get-go. One major caveat- the cork bark will shed more detritus in your tank than you ever thought possible, so expect to spend about twice as much time on maintenance at water change if you want to keep things fairly clean. I am adding a second filter to my tank to try to deal with the excessive amount of floating particles generated by the bark. It looks stunning, and I always wanted to do this, but I never will again unless I do a paludarium.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 09:50 PM
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Could someone post a pic of these wonderful backgrounds in a tank, oh please? Before I get the glue out? The stuff looks like it'd be ultra cool!

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