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Old 09-30-2009, 04:09 PM   #1
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DIY background question

I read about making your own tank background from styrofoam and quikrete. Will the styrofoam leech chems into the tank? What is the best to use?

Thanks
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Atwoll View Post
I read about making your own tank background from styrofoam and quikrete. Will the styrofoam leech chems into the tank? What is the best to use?

Thanks
Polystyren is OK. I would use 2+ inches thick-you can play with depth. I am not sure about Quikrete... but when you cover it with Epoxy I think it will be just fine.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:19 AM   #3
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There are different types of styrene, and different things to coat it with. It is a lot of work, but well worth it if it comes out well AND does no harm to your fish...

DIY backgrounds are a popular subject. Do a search on the forums...you will find pictures, experiments that worked (and others that failed), lots of advice. It's pretty detailed stuff...it would be simpler to read what has been written already, than have someone write it again!

I plan on making one myself in a few months, so I have been looking at this subject alot.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:21 AM   #4
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This background would be on the outside of the tank, right? If so, I'm not sure why leaching thru the glass would be a concern.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:53 AM   #5
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From the original post, I believe he is asking about the "in-tank" type of background. If he were asking about some sort of outside background, he would not be concerned about the leaching of chemicals. Cichlid fanciers (mostly) have tried multiple different ways of creating beautiful (and often very functional) backgrounds that attach directly to the inside back of a tank. They can be used to hide intakes, overflows, plumbing, etc. They also sometimes have caves and incorporate real driftwood. Most involve some sort of styrofoam/polystyrene material, coated with cement and/or epoxy, but the trick is finding the products that do not leach chemicals. One recent variety that I have seen involves that expanding foam-in-a-can stuff...used for filling cracks while insulating a house. The results are a bit unpredictable, but when painted are very nice! I think that technique involves a lot of practice first!

I will try to post some links when I have more time later...
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