The Planted Tank Forum banner

Does this work? DIY aquarium decor/backgrounds using styrofoam and quickcrete?

16802 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Ltraine
So i recently aquired a new 40 gallon tank and was planning on making this my summer project. that being said, i want to make a completely unique, heavily planted, custom decor-ed Apisto Community tank. i want to build next to everything (breeding caves, rock fixtures, the works).

with this being said, i found an article on a different website that talks about forming decor out of styrofoam and expanding foam and then coating it in pigmented quickcrete to create custom caves and backgrounds and stuff for an aquarium, I was wondering if this was a safe thing to do in a freshwater tank, as the article is fairly vague on the subject.

here's a link to the article:

thanks in advance for the help, if there's a better material/method to building this kind of stuff i'm open to hearing it.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

· Registered
978 Posts
You don't have to use concrete at all, skipping that whole leeching phase and ph issues. I sealed the foam with Drylok directly. I did one un-pigmented, thick "primer" coat of straight white Drylok. Then another layer of thick, dark-colored. After that it was various detail coats.

The background cost me about $35 in materials, most of which was spent on the Drylock and tinting. Its 48 in. x 20in., but I only needed 1/4 to 1/3 of a gallon of Drylock to do all my coats. I barely used any tint coloring at all. I have enough materials to do several more backgrounds for other tanks.

Its absolutely true though that you better like what you made, because its not easy to change it one it is silicone'd in! Everyone that has seen my DIY background in person has loved it. Are there some things I wish I would have done differently? Of course, but I am definitely glad I did it.

$2 - 1 sheet of 2 inch thick blue foam, purchased at Habitat ReStore (you might be able to get some free at a local furniture store
$4 x 2 - Concrete Tint
$22 - White drylok
$5 - Silicone

1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.