29gal. background... First attempt

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29gal. background... First attempt

Postby Pedrowitus » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:57 pm

IMG_4010.jpg

I love working with these materials to create my background. This is the first tank I have had in 40 years. I have a feeling another one or two may follow once this one is up and running. This is the current status of my foam/cement background. I hope to start the rinse process within a week. My goal is to have it functioning and ready for fish around Christmas time.
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Re: 29gal. background... First attempt

Postby gminor » Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:34 pm

The first think that struck me is how natural your rock textures look. It also looks like you maybe mixed a bit of charcoal in with the brown to further create a natural look? Awesome job Pedro. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: 29gal. background... First attempt

Postby Pedrowitus » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:58 pm

Background is done. next step is to secure it in the tank. Love the way it is turning out. Hope it does what it is supposed to when I start the cycling process.
image.jpeg
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Re: 29gal. background... First attempt

Postby gminor » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:02 am

Thanks for the photo! Just curious if you used some type of sealer over the cement and if you made the branch. Your background really looks great.
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Re: 29gal. background... First attempt

Postby Pedrowitus » Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:22 am

Thanks,
I ended up doing this a little differently than most others. I started with a quickcrete type of mix for the cement coating but discovered another product that was so much easier to work with. The concrete crack sealer that comes in a bottle and is a premixed liquid can be squeezed onto the foam and spread with a paint brush. I added dyes during the spread process to get some color into it.
Once cured I submerged a test piece in water for a couple of days. I was disappointed to find that the surface felt gritty and it seemed that it was breaking down.... Not what I was expecting. So to salvage the rocks I pulled the plants off and sprayed the entire piece with polyeurthane. (I had read where others have used it with much success so I figured it was safe)
After testing another piece I was confident that it was going to hold up. I'm on he third tank of water for the cycling process and already I'm not getting any cloudiness after a few days. The first tank got very cloudy.

Yes, I made the tree trunk... Also out of foam. I painted it with acrylic paints prior to the polyeurthane.
I added aeration and lights prior to the last water change just to try to work out what I want.
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Re: 29gal. background... First attempt

Postby Pedrowitus » Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:41 am

From the previous fill
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Re: 29gal. background... First attempt

Postby Pedrowitus » Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:42 am

Added some marine life while I go through the cycling process.
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Re: 29gal. background... First attempt

Postby gminor » Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:48 pm

You have some really rich color in your background. Probably for most folks, including myself, waiting the 30 days for the mortar to fully cure and PH to drop to a safe level for fish is the toughest but most important part of building a successful background. In the bigger picture though, it's really not that long. I enjoyed my 90 gallon "rock ledges" background with all kinds of fish for years before recently selling it to make room for a new project. Thanks for the updated photos!
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Re: 29gal. background... First attempt

Postby Pedrowitus » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:19 pm

I am ready for fish. This is the final fill before I add fish. I cycled the tank about 4 times and tested the water myself and took a sample to the pet store down the street. PH was just a tad low so I adjusted and now I can add fish. I will get a few inexpensive fish at first just to make sure they survive well before going for anything more substantial.
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Re: 29gal. background... First attempt

Postby gminor » Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:27 pm

sounds like you're doing everything right. Your tank looks great too.
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