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

16803 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:http://www.diyaquarist.com/archives/278

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.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank for the advice :), i was having the same doubt about this project regarding the bouyancy and alkalinity of the fixtures. the good news is time isn't necessarily a scarcity for this project because 1)I'm broke so i'll have to piece it together little by little and 2) i want to do this right so i don't mind taking longer to even just get the hardscape down if it means i get something really cool and unique in the end.

i'm not really opposed to having to soak peices for a while to allow for leeching to occur, however i'm fairly inexperienced in this matter (i've always used store-bought decos or rocks that i boiled)

what about using this method to create only some of the aspects of the hardscape not the entire background like it is in the link? maybe make it hollow on the inside and leave holes for it to fill up with water or sand or something? i got this tank for $25 at a yard sale so i'm not opposed to making the hardscape semi permanent by gluing things to the bottom with silicone but if i can avoid it i will
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
that sounds like a great plan with the drylok. and like i said, i can always hollow out the center and fill it with sand or something to increase mass so buoyancy isn't a huge problem. As an engineering student i feel like i should at least be able to do those calculations haha. what about creating rocks from a sand mold filled with some media and a bonding agent? like in this link here:

http://www.diyaquarist.com/archives/3418

i'm sure the above method would work in marine aquariums but what about freshwater? sorry for all the questions i just wanna make sure i dont wate time/money building something that is going to be toxic to my fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks everyone for all the input, i definitely have alot of options to go with now. i have changed my design plans a little since i first posted this thread, but even so, this is all very helpful.
 
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