My 3D background build for my 300 gallon...so far

RustyGrizz

Exodon
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Aug 2, 2020
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So after having a background color or black for a year I got bored of it and wanted to paint my background a dark blue...it turned out to be a lighter blue then I wanted :wall:. So after these boring colors I wasn't happy with I decided to put my hand skills to the test. I'm no artist and never carved a single thing before but I figured it would be fun to try. So one day I found a huge pile of styrofoam online for free! So that's where I started. So a few weeks ago I picked up the styrofoam and in a matter or 5 days i took a pile of styrofoam and turned it into a background I'm excited to incorporate into my tank. I'm currently just letting the cement cure then going to seal the cement with a food grade concrete sealer and then also considering coat it with a clear coat but want to wait to see how well the sealant works. Its built into 7 pieces so i can fit it into my tank. I also sculpted features to help cover/blend seams. So in a few weeks after sealing and cycling the pieces in bathtubs I'll b taking on the hardest part of installing it into an established tank!
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My current setup(fake plants and pipes are a temp addition just to add cover for a few new smaller fish I got)
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So much potential!
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A piece that will hang/float at the top to mimic stalagmite in caves.
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Corner part covering the overflow box
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Carving done now for multiple base coats of cement
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Base coat done and time for color and dimension!
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I WANT TO PUT IT IN NOW!!!

But I cant for weeks for the safety of my fishies! So this is as far as I've gotten so far. So again in a few weeks after curing and cycling are complete I'll update with install pictures!

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fishhead0103666

Goliath Tigerfish
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It’s not my cup of tea but I am enthralled by how you turned a normal stack of styrofoam into that as not everyone has the creativity in their minds to do that so I will be watching this thread to see how it turns out.
 
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RustyGrizz

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That's really cool but I'm not sure the cycling process is necessary, especially if everything else in the aquarium already is
Im not cycling it so much to build the bacteria up on it, just want to ensure it's clean and anything that could leech out will do so in the tub and not my tank and kill my fish. So I guess I'm just soaking it more so then cycling it and I'm also going to be adding Prime to the water to help with it.
 
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SCT62382

Feeder Fish
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Jul 7, 2020
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Ok, yeah, that makes sense. I started thinking that might be what you meant after I posted the comment. Any new pics/updates since you posted?
 

RustyGrizz

Exodon
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Aug 2, 2020
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Nope nothing yet still waiting for the sealer to show up, it's a special order since it's food safe, I'm getting really antsy though :nilly:
 

RustyGrizz

Exodon
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How have you attached the protruding pieces? Styrofoam is incredibly buoyant - unless you have a really secure connection between the pieces there’s a risk that the protruding sections and stalactite-like pieces could snap off when they’re submerged and go shooting up into your tank lids.
I used generous amounts of silicone on each piece plus each piece has anywhere from 2 to 10 pieces of bamboo covered in silicone inserted into each protruding piece and with the addition of cement it's already pretty solid. Then with the addition of sealer and clear coat I'm confident it will be fine... if not I learnt and try something else Haha:duh:
 

RustyGrizz

Exodon
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Aug 2, 2020
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Well after what felt like forever ago the curing for so the different layers of cement/sealer/ clear coat the day finally came for install day! It was an experience to say the least. Trying to get all the pieces into place and held into place while the silicone set was a feat but luckily I had alot of bigger rocks on hand to hold it in place. Now the nervous 24 hours of waiting for the silicone to cure and i can finally fill the tank up. I only siliconed the top half that is out of the water so I don't poison the fish. I did a 15% water change(of the water remaining in the tank) after it was all in, then I added prime, some salt and extra carbon to the canister filter. Keeping a close eye on my catfish since they are the first indicator of something going wrong. I may not have finger nails left after these 24 hours.
 

RustyGrizz

Exodon
MFK Member
Aug 2, 2020
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24 hours later, tank is filled, fish are happy and exploring the whole new environment and I couldn't be happier. Last night before lights out I checked nitrite and ammonia and they were starting to rise, the FX5 wasn't enough so I quickly got 4 siphoned hoses and put the outlet of the FX5 into my overflow to match the usual flow into my sump and adjusted the ball valve i have on the outlet of my sump to match the flow exact so water levels in the tank didn't rise into the curing silicone or empty the tank overnight. My fish room and tank were a bit of a mess but the fish were safe! After I got the sump incorporated I gave it a few hours and checked again around midnight and everything was back to 0! Crisis averted and i was able to sleep. 20200915_120953.jpg20200915_121022.jpg
 
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