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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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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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How heavy is it? It's really pretty. Can't wait to see it in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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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