Originally Posted by WhiteDevil
nemo rocks dont worry about it.
Very nice do you have any tips you can lend or how you built this, the ones in the store seem to protrude out alot and well I know discus dont like that and its a narrow tank . how far does yours come out in the tank?
its very very nice and posted just in time, its the old mans discus tank and he wants to go get paper background and I am cringing.
Thanks I appreciate it! Doing this was a lot of work as it was my first time ever attempting something like this. I followed the instruction of the user that posted this video on youtube:
YouTube - how to make a DIY aquarium background PLEASE RESPOND
I actually added my own variation to this as I made it protrude a little further out to make room for my HOB
filter. I cut out a rectangular chamber in the back right of the background for the filter tube and added a plastic window mesh to prevent any fish or large debris from getting stuck back there. I made the cutout similar to what I saw in this video:
YouTube - DIY moonlight DIY background (a better look).wmv
It didn't actually take all that long to make although it did make a huge mess for me. I bought the polystyrene foam from Home Depot for $7 for a 8'x4' piece. I also bought GE Window and Door Silicone II 100% silicone adhesive and Concrete Resurfacer from Home Depot as well. The concrete was the most expensive as that ran about $20.
To answer your question, my background sticks out about 3 inches. It doesn't have to stick out that much as it really depends on the kind of filter your using and how hidden you want it to be. You could easily get away with it only protruding 2" or so. Since my tank was 18" deep, I could afford some protrusion and still leave about 15" for swimming space.
The main thing that took the longest time was getting the cement to stop raising the pH level. In the first video I linked to, the author says to do about 8-10 water changes. What he doesn't mention is how long he lets the water sit in the tank between water changes. It appears as if he instantly drains it as soon as it is done filling. This however will not let the cement leach its pH raising chemicals enough. I found that leaving it for a day or at most 2 days was enough time to let the cement leach. When I would go to change the water, the pH was usually at 9 or higher
. After a while, it will take longer for the pH to rise indicating that the cement is starting to lose its leaching chemicals. To put it in perspective, I created this background around Thanksgiving, I just now put my fish in it. It STILL is leaching chemicals but it is at the point where it takes about 4 days to notice any change to the pH level. I figured that is enough time that it won't be a burden and I can just do a water change every four days or so.
So to summarize, this turned into a bigger project than I had anticipated. It is very rewarding but you have to weigh the pro's and con's and decide whether it is worth the effort. When it comes to my fish though, its well worth the effort!