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Old 06-09-2011, 05:33 AM   #1
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DIY 3D Background

in the next month or two i will be doing a part series of my DIY 3D background for my 48 gal tank.

now thing is i am stumped on a few things

one is Cement what kind shall i get

is this any good
QUIKRETE® Hydraulic Water-Stop Cement (no. 1126)
or this
QUIKWALL® Surface Bonding Cement (No. 1230-1231)

as far as sealers is this any good

QUIKRETE® Concrete Acrylic Fortifier (No. 8610)

or can i mix those two with a final touch
of epoxy resin with epoxy hardener

and if so witch ones

i have a pleco and a oto cat
i dont want them to suck the cement or any chems out
so i would like to get some help on this please

i will be going to home depot today and was thinking of getting a general idea
of the items to get while i am there.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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A couple things I have learned while making mine:

- Have all the hardware ( filter, heater, ect) you are going to use in your tank onhand so you can see how you will build your background around/ on top of it.

-Use the blue/pink high density foam for building material. While it is a little more expensive it is allot cleaner to work with.

- Carving out of a solid piece of foam is a little harder but is allot easier to seal in the long run instead of carving individual "rocks"

- Use great stuff to glue the foam pieces together instead of silicone, but for the love of everything that is holy wear gloves.

- To seal the background use Sikatop 107 2 part waterproof sealer. It is 100% nontoxic, safe to use on potable water sources, can be colored with cement dye, once it has cured is just as strong if not stronger than cement. I talked with a member from another forum and that's all he uses on his tanks and he has one that's been in tank for 8 years with no I'll effects. It's a liitle hard to find but worth it IMO, just call to local construction supply companies.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:07 PM   #3
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grrrr idk i might just give up this morning i went out at 9 am to buy my items

i was so sure to get these items at home depot only to get upset
that they didnt even have two of the three only thing they had was the pink foam
polystyrene thats it

no one had the pc 11 marine quality epoxy
no one had the sika or quickrete cement

it was all a bummer
not to mention a sweat jerker
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:20 PM   #4
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Call local construction supply stores or masonry stores they should carry what you are looking for. Boat shops should have the epoxy.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:45 PM   #5
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ok thanks i will try again tomorrow and see where it gets me
i got tired called it a night fell alseep till a thunderstorm woke me up just now
lightning hit my block like a pineapple firework
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:07 PM   #6
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so what do you think i will need thats 100% safe non toxic to my
algae eaters Mongurako
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:15 PM   #7
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As long as you use the sika or epoxy they shouldn't be able to get through it. Once dried it will be like trying to scrap off cement.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:24 PM   #8
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yea i def go with the Sika 107 just had to look around and finally wake up to smell whats real..


i do thank you for the advice idk how many views but your the only one so far that came up with this


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogurako View Post
A couple things I have learned while making mine:

- Have all the hardware ( filter, heater, ect) you are going to use in your tank onhand so you can see how you will build your background around/ on top of it.

-Use the blue/pink high density foam for building material. While it is a little more expensive it is allot cleaner to work with.

- Carving out of a solid piece of foam is a little harder but is allot easier to seal in the long run instead of carving individual "rocks"

- Use great stuff to glue the foam pieces together instead of silicone, but for the love of everything that is holy wear gloves.

- To seal the background use Sikatop 107 2 part waterproof sealer. It is 100% nontoxic, safe to use on potable water sources, can be colored with cement dye, once it has cured is just as strong if not stronger than cement. I talked with a member from another forum and that's all he uses on his tanks and he has one that's been in tank for 8 years with no I'll effects. It's a liitle hard to find but worth it IMO, just call to local construction supply companies.

i did see a pink high dens if i think it is of polystyrene foam at home depot thats good to use right says it keeps moisture out and stuff but then again i would put the sika sealer all over this thing right so it wont mold up or start leaching out chems

see some how i hear alot of you should silicone this to the back of your tank
but i would put metal weights on it so it will prevent it from going up my idea will
take up at least 1 1/2 out but at least keeping at 3/4 thick the whole time
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaCheatah View Post
yea i def go with the Sika 107 just had to look around and finally wake up to smell whats real..


i do thank you for the advice idk how many views but your the only one so far that came up with this





i did see a pink high dens if i think it is of polystyrene foam at home depot thats good to use right says it keeps moisture out and stuff but then again i would put the sika sealer all over this thing right so it wont mold up or start leaching out chems

see some how i hear alot of you should silicone this to the back of your tank
but i would put metal weights on it so it will prevent it from going up my idea will
take up at least 1 1/2 out but at least keeping at 3/4 thick the whole time
No problem I will share all that I come up with while building mine. All foam that you buy is a Polystyrene just different types. If you seal it with Sika nothing will leech through. There is no need to add weights to your background if you don't want to silicone it in place just make sure its a tight fit and the rim should keep it in place, just be sure to seal the back and sides.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:52 PM   #10
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ahhh cool thanks yea cause i wouldnt want to take out no fish or anything of the sort i just wanna make it

rinse it in the tub a few times leave it there for a week and i should be good
to put it in the tank

i was thinking that too make it as high as the tank
but my design will not only take up the back of the tank
but also the sides

i want ppl to get a life effect from my tank since at times i do get fry
so my tank is a 25*18*25

my subs make it so i have 20 from bottom to top

my design will extend out 1 1/2 in maybe 2 in some parts if i find Styrofoam balls
cut them out and make tunnels or hide outs i will encase the intake and air lines so for this i will have to do as you advised and get an extra intake part to do so

i am looking to go for a nature look but housing as well for fry and tunnel linking for fishes to swim thru it

so my thing is to make it sorta a sandwich where one part will have a 3/4 cut outs of tunnels big enough for fish to swim thru and cement that 2 to 3 coats seal with sika 107 then do the other sets of foam the same way

from there i will add two more 3/4 pieces same cut out tunnels so all in all it might take up 2.25 in out the sides are 18 so i was thinking about doing a side panel where i make cut outs of lil caverns where ppl can see and if they look close they see fry those side panels wont be more then an inch out and for most part wont cover the whole side but i will show more tomorrow

i was thinking of buying a 9 dollar small torch to burn a realistic look to it
but i am unsure about this i seen it in other sites but ehh not to sure

when i get the foams tomorrow i will have pics of an idea i have so far in my head its going to be intense but with out a draw out i wont have nothing on the table for yall to eat
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:40 PM   #11
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Ok so today I got a few items at home depot

I got one torch
Two brush

Two metal bars

8 pieces of 24~18
2 pieces of idk
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:10 AM   #12
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Can't wait to see you start shaping that foam
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:26 AM   #13
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My idea so far
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaCheatah
My idea so far
Good start
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Old 06-11-2011, 02:13 AM   #15
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Better hold up picture of my dream
Stands tall at 18 inches

My project will house "fry" and adult fw fish

The bottom foam to the left is a support that I will use to house a mini sub Grey area reps 4 inches to the glass below
The bottom foam also reps the entrance to my pleco cave I am making it able to do his/her thing

The foam in the bottom middle will be a housing for air stone mat here I will make PVC volcanic vents although I don't know what to use for vents

It's either window mesh or idk Wha

The foams on the side left of the tank will house "fry" show a way of life to the "younglings" I get over my lil brother being one

The foam to the right will support oto cat housing and what ever other "fry" is left

The middle part the main attraction u will have to wait and see that

All I can say is that It will be a super high way for fish and condo short stay home

Have to wait and see
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Old 06-11-2011, 02:39 AM   #16
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It looks like it is going to turn out great can't wait to see your finished project.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:46 AM   #17
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Same here at 3am I am still carving out the foams looks about another 3 more hours to go
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:34 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaCheatah
Same here at 3am I am still carving out the foams looks about another 3 more hours to go
Definitely want to see how this turns out. Sounds awesome.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:20 PM   #19
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yea same here

some how last night i spent 6 hours carving out
on how i want it to look

later on tonight i will take pics of what i got
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:44 PM   #20
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*taps foot*
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