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    DIY styrofoam background + rocks

    Discussion in 'DIY Projects and Ideas' started by the_deeb, Dec 28, 2011.

    1. the_deeb

      the_deeb MFK Members

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      Picked up a new 65g tall aquarium and am making a 3D background for it. I'm going to use a similar technique to the one that I used for the styrofoam tree roots that I made for my paludarium, but this time I'm going with a rocky theme (planning to set up the tank as a Tanganyikan community).

      I think one of the problems with adding real rocks to a tank with a 3D background is that they don't match the color of the background and end up making the background look fake. So to get around this I'm also going to carve some matching rocks.

      This is how it starts:

      P1050792.JPG
       
    2. the_deeb

      the_deeb MFK Members

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      Here's the basic outline of the background and styrofoam stacked and siliconed to make the rough shapes of the foreground rocks. I decided to do a partial background instead of a full background (will eventually be painting the back of the tank black).

      P1050793.JPG

      P1050793.JPG
       
    3. the_deeb

      the_deeb MFK Members

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      Basic shape of the foreground rocks carved. More layers of styrofoam cut and stacked onto the background to add some depth. I also added some more styrofoam to make a column of "rock" going from the bottom to the top on the left hand side of the tank.

      P1050794.JPG

      P1050794.JPG
       
    4. the_deeb

      the_deeb MFK Members

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      Carve carve carve....

      P1050796.JPG

      and I ended up with this for the background:

      P1050804.JPG

      and here's the whole ensemble:

      P1050797.JPG

      P1050796.JPG

      P1050804.JPG

      P1050797.JPG
       
    5. JK47

      JK47 ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
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      Your work with DIT backgrounds is VERY inspiring.. I will be following this for sure :thumbsup:
       
    6. H]-[H

      H]-[H MFK Members

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      Very Nice!
       
    7. sashimimaster

      sashimimaster MFK Members

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      Very nice sculpting. I like the windswept look.
       
    8. jadedreams

      jadedreams MFK Members

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      Good job, liked the way you stacked them for depth.
       
    9. anarekist

      anarekist MFK Members

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      wow impressive.
       
    10. the_deeb

      the_deeb MFK Members

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      Thanks for the comments.

      I decided to carve some caves and tunnels into the rocks. This will hopefully serve two purposes:
      1) to provide the fish with caves to hide in
      2) to increase the water volume in the tank and reduce the buoyancy of the rocks

      I designed them so that they're reasonably inconspicuous from the front view:

      P1050798.JPG

      but larger and more hollowed out in the back where they'll be hidden from view:

      P1050799.JPG

      For the smallest rocks I just created single tunnels, but for the larger ones I created interconnecting tunnels with multiple entrances (hard to capture in the pics)

      P1050802.JPG

      I'm pretty happy with these - they've turned the rocks from being big lumps of foam into more functional and usable space in the tank

      P1050798.JPG

      P1050799.JPG

      P1050802.JPG
       

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