I made a new BG for my 29G firemouth Tank. I used Slate tiles from Menards that I previously had, Optix by Plaskolite(plexi) that I got for free(this is way overkill. It is a polycarbonate and can be drilled, routered, etc, and would cost more than most would be willing to spend total.) in 1/4" thickness.
Plexi to tanks dimensions. I used 1/4" thickness but wish I could have used thicker for a few reasons I'll get to below.
2 Boxes Slate tiles from Menards, I chose the type with more color--that is up to you.
1 Tube GE I silicone--The curing takes longer(3 days) but the hold is much stronger.
Time, patience, and the ability to not kill my dogs...
I just broke up the pieces as I saw fit. I wasn't worried if it would work or not as if it didn't, I was out 4 dollars. It has been in the tank for 40 hours now with no ill effects, and slowly will begin to look more natural. My plants look a little traumatized, but they'll come back!
CAUTION! I did this with water/fish in the tank. I ended up pinching a Firemouth juvie behind the BG and didn't know it till the water cleared 2 hours later from all the sludge I pull up from my substrate.... He is still going strong though, and pissed to boot!
Without further ado....
The munchkins that made this nearly impossible...
The jerk who thinks rocks are toys...
The mess left over when I was done...
I have plexi to use on the sides as well, but ran out of silicone and patience to finish that step, and I'm not sure I'll do it anyways.
Things that are important: After you have placed all the rocks, you can't move the whole thing for a long time(days). Because of this, Make sure to either place it on plywood or space that you can live with it being there for a while. Using 1/4" ply made it very weak. It bent when I moved it and popped a few rocks off, I had to reseal them. Using a thicker plexi, or even better, two thin ones bonded together(the bonding process is rigid) would have been much easier, but the 29g tank posed problems for my filters as it was.
If you used thicker plexi you could randomly use a table saw or router to gouge out some spots were silicone would grip better. With thinner plexi I suppose you could attach ledges along the length of it with plastic weld to give some what of the same effect.
I need to rearrange tanks and filters to be able to put a canister on this one to do it justice. My AC50 struggled to fit past the 1/2 tiles(doubled up most places) and the penguin worked better. My wisper wouldn't budge at all.
Let me know if you have any questions. Hope to have REAL pics when the Cannon gets back from the shop!