DIY - Concrete Holey Centerpiece with pics - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-31-2015, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Talking DIY - Concrete Holey Centerpiece with pics

Ok so here is the deal. I have seen a ton of Styrofoam/concrete backgrounds, and they are awesome. I have been watching people threads and videos and decided to take on the challenge myself.

I was not looking for a background though, I wanted a centerpiece. Something like Texas holey rock but not exactly. i wanted something designed specifically to be a functional decoration for the fish.

I started watching videos of African cichlids, paying attention to how they used the holey rock and how they used other cave type structures and came up with a theme. Not a design mind you, just more or less an idea, the design was a much more organic process that just kinda happened as i worked the material.

It all started out out with some Styrofoam that was salvaged from a large box that a server comes in (I work in I.T.)



Then I layered it and glues it together with silicone and tooth picks. i did not take pictures of this step, nor do i have pics of the finished carving pre-cement, however i do have pics of each step of layering cement

Layer one




Layer two




layer three





The final layer will probably be a white cement, either Portland or a grout mix.

There is a large piece of slate that has been attached to the bottom with silicone to ensure that it sinks.

I will keep this thread updated as this project progresses.

Last edited by aperseghin; 02-01-2015 at 06:57 PM. Reason: change title
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2015, 12:16 AM
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I recently made two different corner pieces for my 40 long.
Also heavy enough to sink and not requiring silicone to stay in place.
Afraid to coat with a sealer I cured in an extra bathroom tub for 5 weeks.
All in place now and water parameters are stable.
A minor rise in GH & KH though.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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I have Africans so high gh/kh is fine. I am leeching it now and once completed plan to cover it in some kind of white (paint/wash/something)

anyone have any suggestions for how to make it white?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 05:40 PM
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DRYLOK waterproofing latex paint. You can pick up pints at any home improvement store. I've seen a few people do their entire back-drops with the paint vs using the concrete/mortar mix. Like any latex paint it is water soluble, thin and whitewash.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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sweet, thats what I was looking into but wanted to make sure it was safe.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 07:12 PM
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How heavy is it? It's really pretty. Can't wait to see it in the tank.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Haven't weighed it yet. I'd estimate about 7 pounds.. I added a slight buff color to the acrylic paint to knock down the unnatural color, here is the color after a coat of "whitewash"
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a video to get a better idea http://youtu.be/L02jwn0amOw
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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A to the person who asked what I used to carve it...
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 02:57 AM
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Looks very nice. Takes some artistic vision to be able to carve a solid piece into a good looking rock like that.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much, it was not too difficult, actually quite fun, but maybe that's just me. I think that starting with oddly shaped polystyrene helped.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2015, 03:41 AM
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I like it.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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It's in!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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And with the lighting
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