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Old 01-14-2016, 05:43 PM   #21
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This is sweet! I've recently started researching this method as well. Interested to see the final product. I feel the hardest part (for me) would be getting the sand at just the right size, and pump at right flow rate.

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Old 01-15-2016, 10:25 AM   #22
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Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 41
Making this has been a blast. But there has been a LOT of learning involved. Due to the size of this (27w x 17h x 11.5d) the buoyancy has been far greater than I anticipated. I have hallowed out the bottom 3" and have been filling it in with concrete in stages, to see how much weight I need to add to make it stay submerged.

I also bought an adjustable air pump, along with an adjustable manifold for fine tuning the flow, but I have a lip at the exit of the PVC pipe that I am hoping the sand will hit and fall straight down. My plan was for this lip to allow me to tune the pump a little higher, without spraying all over the tank, which should give me a wider "sweet spot" for the flow. I have pool filtration sand at my house as I have a sand filter for my pool, and I have read several different places that this is the diameter sand you want (~1mm to 1.5mm).

Things that I have learned:
-Make your structure as hollow as possible. This minimizes the water you have to displace, and thus requiring less weight to sink it

-A hot knife is not necessary, but will make your job much cleaner

- Use cement, not concrete. Much more appealing, easier application, no rocks.

- The color of the cement dry will greatly change from the color it is applied at. I knew it would lighten up as it dried, but it was WAY lighter than I thought it would be.

- Thin your coats with water, and use twice as many coats as you think necessary.

Cost so far:


4x8 Sheet of Styrofoam: $8
10lb bag of cement: $2.30
1" diameter PVC pipe and elbows: $7
Tube of Silicone: $3.50

Total: $21


Hot Knife: $20 (Michael's)
Paint Brushes: $5
Lighter/Heat Gun: $1 - $20
Cement Dye: $5

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