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 Custom background, walls & rocks

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Alasse
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PostSubject: Custom background, walls & rocks   Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:44 am

I'm picking up some things (render, colours, pond sealer, paint brushes, sponges etc) tomorrow, all going well *L*, to start DIY'ing a custom 2ft tank i now have free

At this stage i am planning to do a full background, which will come part way along the sides as well as the back. I will also be DIYíng some 'rocks' and some retaining walls if it goes as planned lol

Some will be rendered foam some will be siliconed/sanded.

Will update with pics once i get started......just doing out the 2ft first, gotta give it a vinegar treatment so its fully clean and fully dry.
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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:56 am

So 5 hours later i have this

Full wall (rock in front)


Cave


Intake cover
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BristleDave
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:09 pm

Nice one very interesting
Will you go through it step by step if people want to replocate?

Also btw wouldn't the poly rock float? If not weighted down

Dave
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Doug
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:44 am

yeah, looking good. i have seen a few of these things done and they often work well Smile

just make sure you have the area behind it either fully sealed or well flushed out cos it can cause huge dead spots and issues when it fills up with waste and causes spikes in nasties

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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:07 am

Dave - It will definately float if its not held down, it will be siliconed to the tank Smile

Doug - I will be sealing it as best i can Smile
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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:07 am

1st coat of render on....6 hours work, fiddly lol and i'm fussy



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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:21 am

Done the 2nd render coat - 5.5hours *L*



Hard to get true colour to show in pic, it is a dark brown, which may lighten as it dries.

Not sure wether i will do a full 3rd coat or just touch up area not covered properly, will see how it dries, then i can get onto the fine tuning
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kfenk
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:21 pm

WOW just gotta love the DIY backgrounds. Good Job Can't wait to see finished product.

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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:09 am

Background has now been fully coloured and 1st coat of sealer on




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kfenk
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:24 pm

Lookin good. So whats next before its ready to be put in the aquarium?

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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:51 pm

Another coat of sealer, which is done

The background will be fitted into the tank today, once it is in, i need to render the join and it will get a 3rd full coat of sealer. It then has to sit for 7 days to let the sealer fully cure.
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Loach
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:16 pm

im pretty sure you have to let it flush with water a couple of times because it can cause huge ph ups
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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:49 pm

I'm pretty sure i shouldnt have to, as its been sealed and should not cause PH changes in anyway
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jim.and
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:32 pm

DIY backgrounds that are made from carved Styrofoam and a layer(s) of concrete are sometimes seen on How-To forums and it's these that can cause the pH swings if not sealed/cured properly.

I'm pretty sure yours will be OK but I would imagine you would monitor it a bit before adding fish anyway.


Last edited by jim.and on Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:52 pm

The sealer once cured is inert & stops the lime leaching out of the background, so it will NOT cause any PH problems Smile

I know what i have to do *L* I am afterall adding this here so others can follow it if the choose.

I am stuck in no go land at present until the background has had its 7 (4 days to go) days sealing time, once that is over i will add here ALL other steps i do
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mmccannon
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:39 am

Really nice work Alasse!

Unfortunately, I am too louzy to DIY background. Cool
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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:11 am

So i filled the 2ft with the DIY background in it. Learnt some things for next time i make one (will add these at the end) *L* All in all for my 1st go it came up quite well. It did stay where it was meant to....so far. Tank has been emptied again, just finished the 1st coat of black paint on the outside, now gotta wait for it to dry to do a second coat. Once the ssecond coat is on and dry, the tank will be put back in place and substrate put in, then filled and planted. Will be a week or so before goldies go in. But i will be throwing some canaries in (feeders) to make sure all is good. I will be testing daily while the feeders are in there to make sure its safe even for them. I cant run the canister on it until the replacement part arrives and that could be at the end of the month or more. That will give me time to modify the outlet to fit behond the background. So i will put internals to keep the water moving.

Tis a bit exciting now i'm at the business end of the build
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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:46 am

Not a brilliant pic. Tank is still quite cloudy (had a blonde moment lol. Washed a bucket of gravel, had it sitting beside a dirty bucket of gravel, you can guess which one i used!) but anyway it gives you an idea of how it looks. I'll update with another pic once its clear Smile



Now lessons learnt during this process!

Check and recheck and then check again you have the size right!
Do not let the silicone come in contact with the pond sealer, they turn a slight white, nothing to out there but you can see it on the edges. Once the BG weathers a bit that should blend in. I actually dont mind the look, it gives it a more natural feel, but just be aware of it
Do NOT mix quartz sand in to try and get a bit more texture.
Measure your canister tubing prior to finishing BG, will save you having to modify the inlet & outlet *L*
Do not make to many hard to get to places with your foam, a more flowing type would definately be easier to render! (and far quicker)

Overall though i am really pleased with how this came out
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kfenk
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:00 pm

And so you should be pleased. that looks incredible! affraid It just looks so natural! I would be inspired to do something like that myself if i wasnt so lazy lol

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jim.and
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:32 pm

Congrats on the finished article Good Job, it looks very realistic
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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:54 am

Hmmmmm woke up this morning to very milky water and the background has a while hue over it. I've removed the water and replaced with new, will see how it goes.

If it continues i will have to empty it let it fully dry out and see if i can find some epoxy or something else to seal it will.

If not i will have to try to remove it and start again *sigh*
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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:31 am

So i have decided to leave it be at this stage.

Since the milky water episode the water has cleared considerably. The background colour has changed though. Funny enough i dont really mind the look *L*

So i have tested again today, both the tank and a container of water (same as used in the tank) i stored on top, to make sure the background was inert and not messing with tank stats. I am very pleased to say all stats from both samples are exactly the same.

There is now a feeder fish in there, who is doing great, active and looks wonderful.

Will update as it progresses, what ever that may be

As i is just now (please ignore temp internal filters)
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Doug
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:44 am

stunning mate, absolutly stunning!!!

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Loach
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:45 am

very nice. do you plan to hide that internal power filter?
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Alasse
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:49 am

Thank you Smile

As i said above, "please ignore temp internal filter". They will be removed once the permanant filtration is set up, and that you will not see
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PostSubject: Re: Custom background, walls & rocks   Today at 9:54 am

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