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Old 04-30-2011, 11:15 AM   #1
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3D background .... my first attempt

I am totally new to the cichlid thing but when I saw these backgrounds being done here I had to try.
rough pattern

cut and laid out on backerboard

after rough shaping

final shaping

First coat of drylok

After second coat stood up and I turned the flash off so that the shadows could show.

I still have to colour it , but its a start.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:43 PM   #2
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its looking good! great start
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:49 PM   #3
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you are awesome. my first attempt probably wouldnt have made it to the tank. what kind of paint did you use? how did you carve it?
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:57 AM   #4
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Thanks, I carved it with the knife in the one pic above and a razor blade. Then quite by acident I discovered that the black spray paint ate into the foam. Then I thought instead of drylok or concrete I would cover ot with Fiberglass resin. However I mixed it a tad hot and it ate the foam some more. But that left it with what I think is a really cool texture. Then I used the drylok afterall. Then just random spray colours 8 in all.

Painted.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiwaz
Thanks, I carved it with the knife in the one pic above and a razor blade. Then quite by acident I discovered that the black spray paint ate into the foam. Then I thought instead of drylok or concrete I would cover ot with Fiberglass resin. However I mixed it a tad hot and it ate the foam some more. But that left it with what I think is a really cool texture. Then I used the drylok afterall. Then just random spray colours 8 in all.

Painted.
Not familiar with drylok, what kind of product is it? It seals in all the chemical uses that might go in the tank? Im asking because this looks great would love to do something like that.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:35 PM   #6
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drylok is used on like basement walls to keep out moisture. comes in a paint can.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:55 PM   #7
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If drylok is indeed used on basement walls to keep out moisture, I would be weary about it and make sure that it doesn't contain any mildew or mold inhibitors in it. In a fish tank they could be very bad.

Also, to create a rounded rock look (not sure if your intention was to keep the rocks looking jagged or not), you can use a heat gun to "melt" the edges of the styrofoam rocks. Take a look at my signature as to what I mean as I create a background as well.

P.S., I would also be VERY weary about any paint products being placed into the tank. I saw that you used spray paint and it dissolved the styrofoam. If it is that caustic with the styrofoam, I can only imagine what it could do to a fish's skin or gills.

Since you have already used it, I would look into using an epoxy or resin to "seal" the foam. Basically, this will create a water-proof barrier between the foam/paint/drylock and the water column in the tank.

If you do use an epoxy/resin, you will have to look to see if it is able to be used with any chemicals, substances that you used to coat your foam.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:01 PM   #8
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What product do you use to coat the foam and paint when you are done?
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:07 PM   #9
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What product do you use to coat the foam and paint when you are done?
I actually didn't use anything to coat or paint the foam when done, which is why some of my cement is wearing off in some spots.

All I used was Concrete Resurfacer that I bought from Home Depot. I then bought a concrete coloring liquid from home depot as well. It is added when the cement is being mixed and basically just colors the cement.

I was going to use an epoxy to seal it but the cement that I decided to use had a chemical in it that wasn't compatible with most of the epoxies that I found.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:08 PM   #10
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There are a lot of people using drylok (it seems) as an alternative to concrete mixes because it does't leech anything into the water.

(not sure about the rules...directing to another forum so I won't do that)

Drylok is latex based and is tintable with concrete dyes. I would have gone this route but I couldn't find the dyes locally.
For that matter the drylock was extremly hard to find.
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