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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-04-2007, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Foam background

I have seen some DIY foam backgrounds That look amazing. There are quite a few "means to the madness", not quite sure which way to go. I am pondering between two popular methods. 1) dyied concrete over foam, and 2) Epoxy/sand over foam. Most of what I have heard is on the how to side. What I am looking for is what is the situation 1 month, 6 months, 1 year later. Is there any issues down the road that would compel me to go with one method over the other (i.e. algae, break down of materials, chemical leeching, etc)?

Thanks sooo much in advance.


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 05:26 AM
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I've never done it, but if you want to play it safe, I'd like to quickly suggest silicone and sand/rocks. I've seen it done on flat surfaces/panels/overflows, and it looks really good! I bet you could do the same on the foam and make it look even better! There is nothing to degrade over time, no harsh chemicals (except the foam perhaps), and it will hold on very well. You have a choice of using clear or black silicone for the project (def black ). BTW what are you using as the foam, "Great Stuff"?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 12:34 PM
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I made my background out of polystyrene foam (pink insulation from Lowes) and painted it with different shades of Krylon paint. Then I sealed the entire thing with silicone. Once it was cured, I siliconed it to the back of the tank and used Great Stuff to fill in some gaps at the bottom. It's been two years and I've had no issues with flaking paint or anything like that. I can't see the Great Stuff because it's covered with rocks and sand, but the only fish I've lost was due to male/male aggression, so it's not poisoning the tank at all. I did have a diatom issue at one point, and it's still there on the background in the nooks, but I actually think it makes it look better, so I've not tried to remove it.

Good luck!

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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The foam that I was considering is the blue rigid stuff. I think it is the same as the pink, just a different R value. Then the great stuff to fill the gaps. Silicone it down and hope it won't float. Thanks for the input and I will be doing a journal once the whole thing gets going so look for it. I am sure I will be looking for input along the way.

Thanks!


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 06:36 PM
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It shouldn't float away if you seal all the gaps well. Be sure to coat the entire back of it, then once you press it into place, seal around all the edges as well. You don't want to grow funky stuff behind it. Be sure to let it cure for a minimum of three days, or until there is no hint of vinegar smell inside.

What are you going to do for the front? Paint? Put sand on it? I started a journal, but the project took me forever because I could only work on it in small time periods.

Looking forward to seeing your project!

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 08:33 PM
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I agree with Boz on sealing it. One more thing I forgot to mention is use some driftwood in your design. Cut the foam to its shape, silicone any pieces together, including the driftwood, and then fill in with great stuff.
Here is a link to a really nice background work http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/...ackground.html
Here is another really good one..check out the texture
http://www.sydneycichlid.com/content/?page_id=86
Here is the pink stuff used:
http://www.littleboxofbones.com/fishtank/tankrebuild/
I dont have any pebble background examples, but it does also look really good. And its also not as hard as you may think it is...spread the silicone around, place some small rocks in place, and then sprinkle the rest with sand/fine gravel. Yet a very effective and durable look! Good luck
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, much help. This is what I am thinking along the lines of:

http://www.aquariumlife.net/projects...oration/17.asp

I am thinking of having more overhang at the top than this one. I am also considering molding in some caves ( some pass throughs, some dead ended). I also plan to incorporate the use of UGJs (under gravel jets) Here is an awesome link for tips on these:

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ug_jets.php

The jets that I plan to use will be under gravel, as well as "in the wall" All equipment will be stashed in a compartment hidden behind the wall. I have a Australian rainbow tank setup with these and the fish love it. It allows them to swin upstream all day.

I am considering options for the filter outlet. I will be running an Ehien canister. I am considering running the output as a "jet" coming from a hole in the wall.

There will be some wood worked in. If I can find the appropriate peices, I will have very thin branches coming into the water. My hope is to simulate a tree that is on the shore which has a portion of the root ball eroded away. Anyway, more ideas pop up by the minute. I guess it is time to 'git er done'.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 07:28 PM
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Sounds like an awesome project! Good luck to you, and can't wait to see the masterpiece!
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