DIY styrofoam background + rocks

the_deeb

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Apr 22, 2006
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NYC
Thanks for the comments

where do u get inspiration for the rocks?
I was inspired by this cool uplifted granite that I walk by on my way to work. I know, it's NYC's Central Park and not Lake Tanganyika, but I really liked the way it looked.

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sashimimaster said:
Would you mind listing the materials used.
I used extruded polystyrene insulation foam (the denser the better for carving), latex based Drylok and Quikrete cement coloring pigments

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the_deeb

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I'm curious, u said u silicones the sheets together? I would think it would be tough to keep any of the pieces from separating, is there a trick?
Just use a lot of silicone and then squeeze and sort of rub the sheets together. Apply some weight while the silicone dries. The bigger the surface area the better. After I finished the carving I also pushed some bamboo skewers through the layers to sort of pin them together and provide some structural support. You can see some the bamboo skewers in this pic before I trimmed the ends off:

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the_deeb

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I recently discovered your 300g paludarium build and read all of it and was very impressed. I will also be following this one intensely to attempt to get better at vivarium construction. I used your suggestion of Drylok in my own 40g and so far I am very pleased with the turnout. I also live in Chapel Hill. Go Heels.
Go Heels. Though I actually left Chapel Hill a few months ago - thanks for the reminder to update my location.
 

dp_paul

Feeder Fish
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Dec 4, 2011
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did you mix the cement dye into the paint?

im from the uk and will be using g4 paint which is pretty much the same thing as drylock
 

jhendrix7000

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Dec 27, 2011
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Chapel Hill, NC
bummer you left Chapel Hill, but NYC is awesome as well.
@Birch999, I have tried and bought the green foam from michaels and dont waste your money. It is "open celled" and it extremely flaky. I tried painting a sample of it to see if it would change the outside of it and it did not. Also I think its overpriced. Specifically, i tested the stuff from the "floral arrangements" aisle. However, if you aren't able to get that insulated stuff thats denser, you can try polystyrene that doesn't have open cells like the stuff from a new tv box. I just put mine together and I'm using it as a false bottom rather than looks as the_deeb is doing, but all-in-all im pleased with how it behaves.
 

jflener

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Dec 31, 2011
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Georgia
Wow very impressive. I've subcribed to this forum and on my way to your 300g paludarium build to check it out. One question have you had any problems with plecos, catfish or any fish eating on the foam?
 
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