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Old 01-12-2014, 05:53 PM   #1
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3-D Rocks. 90g.&10g

I am doing a background for my 90 gallon African Chichlid tank. My 12 year old daughter was interested in helping out so I suggested she do one for our 10 gallon tank at the same time.
I went with the flatter rock look while she went with the jagged rock cliff look.
During the next 2 weeks we will be cementing the styrofoam and trying to get the look we are after.
I will be keeping you updated as we finish each step.

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Old 01-12-2014, 05:54 PM   #2
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Just the Styrofoam checking for fit. I am still not sure how I am going to fit in the power heads and return Line.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:47 AM   #3
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That looks great!
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:02 AM   #4
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This is cool, I'm doing one for our turtle habitat right now as well. Can you give more details about what materials you are using?
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:39 AM   #5
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Thanks, it's really simple to do if you have the
Patience to work on it as there is Lots of down time waiting for silicone and cement to
Dry an cure. The worst part of this project is cleaning up the mess. I used
A sheet of white 3" Styrofoam from home depot (10 bucks for a 24"x96") used for the larger rocks and 1/2" foam for the jagged rocks.(Home Depot 1/2" x 24"x48" 6 in a pack for 8 bucks) A sharp exacta knife and a screwdriver for doing the grout lines.
When burning in the rocks I spayed the styrofoam down with water and it creates the rock look. We haven't
started the cement part so I cannot comment on it. There are tons of good videos on YouTube that help along with this site. This is the look that I wanted but with deeper rocks for caves.
This is my fireplace.

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Old 01-13-2014, 06:57 PM   #6
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Today I was testing out cement mixes and placement of the filter intake. I found the perfect spot in between 2 rocks and cut the back styrofoam out in the shape of the intake basket, I then sealed it around the edges with silicone. One light coat of cement beside the plain Styrofoam and its starting to look a little like rocks.
for those that have done this before, did you put any type of sealer on the cement after it was cured? Just wondering if that helped with the water issues

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Old 01-13-2014, 07:54 PM   #7
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On my last project I just did a few coats of krylon fusion clear. The concrete still leached quite a bit and made the water crazy hard for the first couple of weeks.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:19 AM   #8
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Would you put the sealer on again, on your new project? Are you going to paint it or just add the pigment colour to the cement? do you have any pictures yet?
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:15 AM   #9
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On my current project, only a portion of the faux rocks will have contact with water. I am still going to use a few layers of sealer just to help keep the color intact and to repel any stray water. For the portions that are going to have water on them I am putting silicone (tedious).

I actually have done both. Concrete paint works well but I wouldn't buy it again. This current project will be utilizing acrylic paints. As to how they will react with water, no clue, but hoping the combination of clear acrylic sealer and silicone will help keep the color intact.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:35 AM   #10
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I would say its going to be a little tedious but I am sure your turtles will thank you for it. The problem I am having with the cement paint is that you have to do larger batches and its harder to get the many shades and tones that I am after. I am going to put a sealer on the whole thing as I hope it will last longer without flaking off. I am also thinking of holding it on with rare earth magnets.
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