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Thread: pre fab'd backgrounds

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr dave7739's Avatar
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    pre fab'd backgrounds

    iv'e bee seeing a lot of pre fabricated backgrounds as I search the internet. Many of these are on larger tanks and are manufactured out of the country(at least the ones I have seen). I'm just wondering if anyone here can recommend a local manufacturer or distributor of these amazing backgrounds. My second question is " does anyone have experience with these backgrounds? what are your experiences? Thanks in advance for your time/advice.

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    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    @Kole85 makes some pretty cool rock walls.

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    It isn't that hard to make them yourself, there are a lot of youtube videos showing how. I have a thread about building my 40breeder Vivarium and how I made the background, you can do basically the same thing only instead of what I did, you would coat the background with Quickrete Cement. You can also use styrofoam, stack it and carve it to the shape you want, and coat it with cement.
    You could also go a slightly harder route like I did with my display tank for PetExpo back in April. I used small lava landscaping rocks from home depot and silicone. I pretty much used the brick wall method, stacking the lava rocks as they fit together and using the silicone as mortar.
    If you click on my screen name, you can click on posts and see all of the posts I have started, I put pretty detailed instructions on pretty much every I do.

    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
    More Tanks!

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr amzreefs's Avatar
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    I have set up some tanks with the Back to Nature backgrounds. These are pretty easy to cut down to whatever size you may need. The company is not based in the US, but it shouldn't be hard to find the product.

    Unfortunately, most pre-made backgrounds are somewhat expensive. This is why so many people choose to make their own.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr stormvisions's Avatar
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    I haven't made any full backgrounds but I test some small stuff using this pond foam sealant from Home Depot. I embedded small lava rock and some cork and it holds them pretty good. It tended to float but if you are using it with enough stones it should sink.

    total-pond-pond-accessories-53943-64_1000.jpg

    It dries into a very dense foam. It does tend to expand so you might need to build a wooden form, lay down some wax paper or something so it doesn't stick, put some foam, stick in some rocks and driftwood and then pour fine gravel, sand, one of the aquarium substrates or soil on top (or even create different effects by using a variety of different ones in different areas) enough to add some weight and texture - without the weight the foam could expand and be thicker than you intend. By sloping this sand/soil/gravel weight so it is thicker on what will be the top of the tank, and thinner on what will be the bottom, when you shake off the weight coating the material will have coated the foam and help make it look more natural. Also the 'bottom' that had less weight should have expanded more giving you a wide base to stand it. Then you can sand, carve or drill holes in the foam as needed.

    Anyway this works in my head.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr amzreefs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormvisions View Post
    I haven't made any full backgrounds but I test some small stuff using this pond foam sealant from Home Depot. I embedded small lava rock and some cork and it holds them pretty good. It tended to float but if you are using it with enough stones it should sink.

    total-pond-pond-accessories-53943-64_1000.jpg

    It dries into a very dense foam. It does tend to expand so you might need to build a wooden form, lay down some wax paper or something so it doesn't stick, put some foam, stick in some rocks and driftwood and then pour fine gravel, sand, one of the aquarium substrates or soil on top (or even create different effects by using a variety of different ones in different areas) enough to add some weight and texture - without the weight the foam could expand and be thicker than you intend. By sloping this sand/soil/gravel weight so it is thicker on what will be the top of the tank, and thinner on what will be the bottom, when you shake off the weight coating the material will have coated the foam and help make it look more natural. Also the 'bottom' that had less weight should have expanded more giving you a wide base to stand it. Then you can sand, carve or drill holes in the foam as needed.

    Anyway this works in my head.
    The pond foam is great stuff, and I have seen it in many backgrounds. My personal opinion is that it is a lot easier to use in terrariums/paludariums. As mentioned, it does float, so you should incorporate some decent sized rocks. Also, if you are applying it directly to an empty glass tank, then you should first apply silicone (or something) to glue it in place, as the foam doesn't stick to the glass longterm. My first several attempts ended up with a floating mass of foam that would not stay in place.

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