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75 Gallon Native Stream Tank Build


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#181 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
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Posted 27 December 2018 - 11:53 AM

That's what I said about doing a water change yesterday. It'll wait till tomorrow. Just finished it 5 mins ago and it needed it. Nitrates were a bit higher than I like.



#182 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
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Posted 02 January 2019 - 07:55 AM

Hey everyone.  I made more progress yesterday.  First, I glued all of the PVC joints.  I tweaked a little bit by bending some more of the existing pipe, then bent and added another pipe.  After that, I zip tied it and a couple different thicknesses of rope to help break up the straight edges and give the main roots more bulk.  Next, I'll use a hot glue gun to affix the rope a little more in strategic places, maybe add some more, to create more knots and ridges and stuff, and add more detail.  I may add some smaller "twigs" as well in strategic places.  Once I'm done with that detail, it will be time to foam, to get rid of straight edges and evidence of pipe fittings, and to consolidate the pipe and rope into the overall shape of each root.  I'll have to do some carving and sanding after that to finalize the shape.  Once that's done, I'll coat it with grout to give the entire structure rigidity, weight, form, and bulk, and hopefully the overall smooth texture characteristic of sycamore roots.  The final step will be to paint the structure with Drylok mixed with cement dye to seal everything in and give it a final touch of realism.

 

The issue that I'm struggling with now, although I'm not near that step, is what color to paint the roots.  Should I paint them to look like the roots would look like if not yet submerged?  Or, should I paint them to look like they've been underwater a long time.  What do you think?  I'm leaning toward the latter.  Eventually, stuff like algae will build up on them, but I don't think it would look like they do in the wild for years, and I want that realism right away. 

 

Pics of my progress:

 

I also glued my DIY spray bar for my canister filter together.  This will channel water over the top of the roots, while a large powerhead, hidden within the roots, will push water through the roots and the tank and provide most of the flow.  I figured that this current arrangement would best mimic current through a natural undercut root against a cliff.  I had to trim the root structure and inch or so to get it to fit correctly.  Here is what it will look like from above the tank:

IMG_0449_zpsmwcn7c68.jpg

 

The root structure as it looks like today:

IMG_0455_zpsnwljfjmv.jpg

 

Full tank shot:

IMG_0456_zps137w7yyw.jpg


Kevin Wilson


#183 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
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  • Central Maryland

Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:08 AM

Hi everyone.  I added more structural detail including a tree root knot and an area where bark wore away, and some twig like roots.  I also added one more small root to break up the large open space a bit.  I was going to apply some hot glue on some key spots so it holds tightly during the foaming step, but, I'm out of hot glue sticks, so I'll have to pick some up tonight.  After I hot glue everything in place, then it's foaming time.  Here are some pics of the progress:
 
Some detail added to the long root:
IMG_0469_zpspouokugu.jpg
 
The knot:
IMG_0468_zpscgcyrgke.jpg
 
The worn spot:
IMG_0467_zpslftkd3ov.jpg
 
The overall structure:
IMG_0466_zpsi0oszujn.jpg
 
Fitted in the tank and a close up in the tank:
IMG_0465_zpst4liouh6.jpg
IMG_0464_zpsvedbp3ws.jpg

Kevin Wilson


#184 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
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Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:02 PM

This will be very cool when finished!



#185 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:12 AM

Thank you Chris!  Progress is slow, but steady now.

 

I was able to work on my background and roots again this past weekend.  First, I used a hot glue gun to secure all of the root structural pieces and fill in some of the smaller gaps.  I may do more of this in the future.
 
After that, I used Beckett's Pond Foam to fill in the gap in the background between the center and left piece.  It turned out well, so I'm pleased.
IMG_0482_zpsbpy6telz.jpg
 
Then, I used the spray foam on the roots to fill in gaps and add some bulk to the root structure.  It was a messy process, and it expanded a lot more than what I think the directions stated, so I'll have plenty of carving and sanding to do to transform the structure from a bunch of pipe with blobs to a more realistic root structure.  Overall, I'm pleased with the result.  I've never carved this stuff before, so I'll have to experiment on what tools to use.  Below are some pics of the roots after foaming.
 
The foamed root structure:
IMG_0483_zpsd5lqrowm.jpg
 
The knot:
IMG_0485_zpsha9yrrwg.jpg
 
The eroded root:
IMG_0484_zpsb8uzzwxe.jpg

Kevin Wilson


#186 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
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Posted 17 January 2019 - 04:31 PM

You have SOOOO much more patience and sticktoitness than I do. I bought a kit to motorize my mountain bike back in the summer of 16'. A 6 hour job at most. There's still 3 hours of work left and I haven't touched it since that day in 16'.

Your tank will be beautiful when done!



#187 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
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Posted 28 January 2019 - 08:40 AM

I hear ya Chris.  I'm a huge procrastinator and tend to overthink barriers.  Once I get down and dirty with the work, I tend to overcome those barriers.  But, I'm slowly but surely making progress.  

 

My root build is moving along, slow but steady.  I used spray foam to fill in some gaps and add some bulk (posted last time) and have since carved and sanded the foam.  I got rid of a good bit of the expansion, to improve the look and texture, and to reduce the amount of foam overall to help keep them from floating.  
 
Here is a before carving/sanding pic:
IMG_0483_zpsd5lqrowm.jpg
 
Here are some pics after carving/sanding:
IMG_0499_zpsfuh6yhn8.jpg
IMG_0502_zpsapfhcxj7.jpg
 
Fitted in the tank:
IMG_0495_zpslhslwfgc.jpg
 
The next steps will be to first, cover the pipe with plaster wrap to give the grout something to hold on to.  Then, apply the grout for the final bulk and root shaping, including more carving for realism.  After that, I'll paint the structure with Drylok mixed with cement dyes to get the coloration that I want.

Kevin Wilson


#188 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
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Posted 28 January 2019 - 02:21 PM

That will be an incredible tank once finished! Of course we'll expect photos! :D






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