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Old 10-21-2013, 06:22 PM   #1
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Over the last few weeks I've been working on a foam and cement background for my 5x2x2ft tank. Thought I'd share some pictures.

Before pictures.
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Tank was filthy and cabinet was water damaged.



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Cabinet painted and in house.


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Diy rain gutter light fixture.


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Expanding foam and styrofoam.

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Leaving room for overflows.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:31 PM   #2
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Start of foam carving and gluing on more pieces.

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Rough outline of rocks done. You can see some black lines between the rocks. That's where I cut it into pieces to be able to insert it into the tank.

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First fitting. All went well except I had left too much room between weirs and foam.

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More foam and carving.

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Much better fit. At this stage I went over all the rough edges of the foam with a mini blowtorch. This part smelly so I had to make sure not to inhale any fumes.


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First of two layers of cement.

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Lookin good! Took 6 1/2 bottles of silicone to glue all 4 pieces of background in and seal around the edges.

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Only had black silicone left and was impatient so used it to seal between each piece. Once dry I covered all seams with more cement.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:42 PM   #3
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Looking good - tagging along for the ride.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:44 PM   #4
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Looking good - tagging along for the ride.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:48 PM   #5
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With the cement do you have to seal it?
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:51 PM   #6
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Picture of back. Lots of glue! Despite all my efforts water still gets back there.

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Filled her up to check everything was glued in correctly.

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After drying out I gave everything 3 coats of clear pond sealer. Made some more foam rocks for bottom also.

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Took another 1.5 bottles of glue to secure the rocks. Hope they don't float!
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:54 PM   #7
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With the cement do you have to seal it?
I did but you don't have to. Sealing helps prevent pH spikes and weeks of leaching from the cement.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:57 PM   #8
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Alright last post! Uploading from the app and it takes forever. Lol.

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And she's done! Still sitting in my shed a week and a half after completion waiting for me to organize some unsuspecting friends to help with the move up the back steps.

And a big thanks to Andrew McFadden. Thanks for putting up with my questions and FB tags in the last few weeks
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:08 PM   #9
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looks awesome. I really want to do this with my new 125g that I got. But after redoing the diy stand that came with it, I'm leary to start a new project. Also thinking if I add this then the extra depth I gained from this new tank over my 55g would be gone. If I had a 2ft deep tank I deff would
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:39 PM   #10
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WOW. Great job, looks so real. I'd love to try this but not sure if I would have the skills, patience or tank size for it. Maybe one day...haha.
Can't wait to see it full of fish. Any idea when you will set it up??
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:15 PM   #11
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Amazing.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:42 PM   #12
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Any smaller scale projects like this one for a 20 gallon u could think of?
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:45 PM   #13
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looks awesome. I really want to do this with my new 125g that I got. But after redoing the diy stand that came with it, I'm leary to start a new project. Also thinking if I add this then the extra depth I gained from this new tank over my 55g would be gone. If I had a 2ft deep tank I deff would
Thanks by the time I added all the layers of foam this one did take up a fair but of space but I've seen some only a couple of inches thick. You should give it a go. It was quite fun!
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WOW. Great job, looks so real. I'd love to try this but not sure if I would have the skills, patience or tank size for it. Maybe one day...haha. Can't wait to see it full of fish. Any idea when you will set it up??
Thank you. It really wasn't hard to do at all. I did learn a bit of pre planning goes a long way. It's in the house all set up now.
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Amazing.
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Any smaller scale projects like this one for a 20 gallon u could think of?
You can do a background in a 20g just scale it down. There's diy caves and arches you could do. There are plenty of ideas around the web for diy projects.




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Here she is still murky from the sand sorry.

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One of the gold comps I added yesterday.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:09 AM   #14
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Added some anubias and java fern.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:18 AM   #15
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That looks awesome
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:56 PM   #16
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Most excellent!
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:36 PM   #17
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Wow, Very Nice.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:04 PM   #18
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Thank you



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Got these guys yesterday. 5 male leptosoma. Tanks clearing up from the unwashed sand very slowly.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:58 PM   #19
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looking great
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:47 PM   #20
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Im gonna need to up my skills now, its perfect!
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