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Old 01-14-2014, 08:02 PM   #1
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3D Background

I am in the process of making a background for my 90gal (5' long x 20" wide x 18" high) tank.
The background is currently at the stage of siliconing into the tank and rendering the joins. Though some may like to see it progress

Basic foam work - 30th Dec 2013


Expanding foam added - 30th Dec 2013


Tank fitting - 3rd Jan 2014


1st layer of render - 11th Jan 2014


2nd layer of render - 11th Jan 2014


3rd layer of render - 13th Jan 2014


Some fake rocks made - 14th Jan 2014 (these may or may not be used in this tank yet)


Background detailed and ready to be put into the tank - 14th Jan 2014


So yep, this is where i am up to. Today the background will get a bit of sealer around the edges, then let dry before siliconing in. Once in the tank the joins will get rendered and detailed, then it will be left for 2 weeks to fully sure.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:52 PM   #2
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That looks great. I am also in the process of doing the same for my 90. How many coats of cement and how thick did you apply it? I like the dark colour and the "lace hole rock with tunnel. Very cool. Are you putting a sealer On the front also? I hear it dramatically reduces the water changes that are needed to extract the ph but that's just what I heard. I used a cement pigment to colour the rocks but I would also like to paint highlights and shades but I am not sure if the paint will safe for the tank?
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:57 PM   #3
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I did 3 layers, as for thickness, i just smeared 3 layers by hand, so no uniform thickness really, if i tap it it doesnt crack and is quite firm.

The BG will be sealed all over once the render has fully cured

I used cement powders to colour the render also, it is also what i used to 'paint' the highlights + plain render (to get lighter grey areas)
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:16 PM   #4
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Cheers Mate. keep us updated. I am looking into using rare earth magnets to hold the BG on. Just silicone the 1" magnets into the Styrofoam and use the flat washer on the outside. still not 100% sure if that's the route I will take. I will need to do a bit more research. How many tubes of silicone do you think you will use to hold it on? What are you doing with your intake tube and outlet?

This is mine with 3 different shades of cement. Not sure but I am thinking of the light grey.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:19 PM   #5
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Dark grey/black. Cement tone. Light grey.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:22 PM   #6
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This is a very tight fit, gonna be fun getting it in lol Not sure, will just keep siliconing and let you know when its in how many i used

The inlet and outlet will go behind the BG, they can go either end. Heater, powerheads etc can also go behind it if needed

That looks different. i like it! The dark or medium is my fav, but tis your tank, you'll work out which one you like best
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:26 PM   #7
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yes I am doing this on the app so sometimes it works sometimes it does not. This is just 1 coat of cement so far,
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:09 AM   #8
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This just got siliconed in....only 2 1/2 tubes used but it is totally jammed in there lol It aint going anywhere fast! I will get to rendering all the joins today, then get a coat of sealer onto it. Wont be able to finish until they get more of the sealer in stock, I took the last tin, it should be here next week though...finally getting there

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Old 01-24-2014, 09:43 PM   #9
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3D Background

That looks really good. What are you going to do to the joints? I am still not sure if I am going to seal the background or not so keep us informed about how that process turns out?
I am still waiting for the cement to cure before I start rinsing the cement. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-24-2014, 09:51 PM   #10
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The joins have been rendered, same as the background itself, just waiting for the newer stuff to dry so i can detail it to try to match it all in
I have come across a different sealer to what i was going to use, will let you know how that turns out. I am sealing because i dont want to have to go through the fill, and empty cycle you do with just the cement, and the sealer will help with longevity.
The filter/heater/powerhead, or another equipment will go in behind the background

I've got a 7day wait for the silicone to properly cure, in that 7 days i will be sealing it and then it is ready to go. It will get filled and left for a few hours, emptied and refilled ready for fish
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:54 PM   #11
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3D Background

I wish I was at your stage, almost ready for the fun part of adding fish. I still have to make a stand for my tank before I even think about putting any water in the tank. I might fill up and drain my bathtub with the background In it as I can see a big hassle with doing it in the tank. What fish are you going to go with?
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:02 PM   #12
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Peacocks hopefully
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:45 PM   #13
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On the home stretch now!! Waiting to be sealed (excuse reflections on glass)
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:55 AM   #14
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Update: The tank is now outside, laying on its back. Monday i will start sealing, i don't think i will get the last coat on until Tues, as it has to have at least 4 hours between coats. But it on its way to being done....finally
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:00 PM   #15
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1 coat on.....2 more to go (4 hours drying in between coats). Loving how easy it is to apply, and how easy it is to remove overspray (did a test area lol, but tank is not fully cleaned up yet)



In tank looking from one end to the other
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:38 PM   #16
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What kind of sealer are you using?
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:30 AM   #17
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Until i fully test the sealer I want to be sure it works before recommending it to others.

I have one more coat of sealer to do, then spray paint the back and sides to tidy it up. It will then be moved back inside to do some fill and empties to remove anything loose. I will then set up a canister with charcoal to run for a little bit (while i test water params), empty and refill for fish
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:05 PM   #18
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that looks really nice! i want to attempt to make a 3d back ground so bad im just not sure where to begin or how to design it yet im going to keep searching the forums for ideas. great job!
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:29 AM   #19
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Tank has now had all sealing coats done. YAY!!

Have just done the 1st coat of black on back and sides of tank, i can see the end in sight lol
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:59 AM   #20
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We have pics!!

The now painted back (very exciting i know lol....not)


The inside now fully sealed (it will lighten up a bit under tank lights)
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