75 Gallon Build

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75 Gallon Build

Postby PlatinumF150 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:55 am

I'm going to attempt to create a 3D background using 1 inch EPS. I am using glass block mortar and an acrylic fortifier. I am using 2 Fluval 70s with inlet tubes concealed in 3 inch PVC. I'm using 3 inch PVC so I can also place my 300 watt heaters in the inlet tubes as well. I think it will keep the proper circulation of warm water. I am also incorporating 2-3 inch DIY PVC surface skimmers, each attached to a Maxi-Jet 1200 pump. Any helpful comments are very welcomed. Thank you. I'll continue to post pictures of my progress.
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Re: 75 Gallon Build

Postby PlatinumF150 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:04 am

Some pictures of the progress. Long way left to go.
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Re: 75 Gallon Build

Postby gminor » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:41 am

Thanks for sharing your project plans! Looks like you're off to a great start. I like your idea of using PVC as a safeguard for your heaters. You might make holes sideways thru the PVC large enough for lots of water circulation and fish to navigate. You've probably already thought of this.
Glenn
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Re: 75 Gallon Build

Postby PlatinumF150 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:30 am

The inlet caves for the AC70s will be screened off to protect the fish but I think the pumps will get plenty of circulation. I'm hoping the heaters housed within the 3 inch PVC alongside the AC70s inlet tube will keep the water warm. I'll have a total of 4 filters on this tank, as I'm out of town for 3 to 4 weeks at a time. The AC70 on the left half of the tank will suck at about 10 inches from bottom and the AC70 on the right half of the tank will suck at 2 inches from bottom. The 2- 3 inch PVC surface skimmers will be filled with 6 inches of bio media on the bottom and 5 inches of aquarium sponge fliter on the top. This tank will be stocked and planted so it will probably need plenty of filtration. I think I'll inject the co2 through the venturi on the Maxi-Jets that are connected to the surface skimmers.
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Re: 75 Gallon Build

Postby PlatinumF150 » Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:31 pm

I'm getting closer...one small section is sculpted. I have siliconed the pieces together and then used my wood burner tool to carve the pieces and add detail. I wish that I could find some epoxy instead of cement in order to retain the amount of detail.
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Re: 75 Gallon Build

Postby gminor » Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:30 pm

Nice job with the wood burner tool. Preserving fine detail has always been a challenge with mortar coating, I've read a few articles from folks that used a marine epoxy but haven't tried it myself. My personal preference is the mortar since it provides the most natural rock-like finish but I've seen some pretty nice epoxy finished backgrounds too.
Glenn
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Re: 75 Gallon Build

Postby PlatinumF150 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:26 pm

Thanks for the comment. I am starting to lean towards the Drylok application for this background. I can add some sand and color to the mix in order to achieve the look I want. I've been experimenting with many types of coatings and I think that will be the route I will go. The other build I'm working on right now is a 400 gallon custom plywood tank and I'll use pond armor for the sealer on it and then create another 3D background for that one. The 75 gallon is my R&D tank.
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Re: 75 Gallon Build

Postby PlatinumF150 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:54 am

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Re: 75 Gallon Build

Postby PlatinumF150 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:44 pm

I've gotten a couple of questions for you seasoned background builders. The 4 coats of Drylok has been drying for 4 days and the background was siliconed in last night. How long should I wait before adding water?
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Re: 75 Gallon Build

Postby gminor » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:57 pm

Wow, awesome photos. Some great rock texture/colors too. I usually give silicon at least 48 hours or until the smell goes away, whichever is longer. Not sure about the Drylok. Does the manufacturer have a recomendatation for underwater applications?
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