What 3D backgrounds have worked for you?
I'd like to build a 3D background for my 65g sunfish tank, something that looks like the side of a riverbed under an overhang. I've run into an issue, though: there are a LOT of recipes and opinions. Some people say to use styrofoam, some say it leaches chemicals over time. Some say not to bother coating grout, some say that'll kill your fish. Some say cure it for a week, some say five weeks, some say months.
So here's what I want to know: How did you make your 3D background, and how has it held up over time? I'm looking for something that I know will last years and won't slowly poison all my fish. I would prefer a background that can be varying thicknesses in spots, so that I can carve holes and alcoves and such into it for my fish to duck into. I'm not going for a rocky look, more of a muddy side-of-a-river look.
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My current project, a 65 gallon aquarium stocked with vernal pool fauna.