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75 Gallon Native Stream Tank Build


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#161 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
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  • Central Maryland

Posted 02 August 2018 - 11:46 AM

If you decide to go the live–plant route, creating small pockets in the deeper crevices where you can put substrate to allow plant growth on your wall with look cool.

I really love this project.  Cannot wait to see the final layer

 

Thank you!  That's a great idea!  I know that there will be at least one or two crevices that I might be able do that with (the ones separating the three sections).  It all depends on what they look like after I silicone it all in place.


Kevin Wilson


#162 mattknepley

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 11:31 AM

Looks fabulous, Kevin!
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#163 Chasmodes

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 10:12 AM

Thank you Matt.  I was going to paint again yesterday, but life got in the way.  Plumbing issues (other than aquariums)...my least favorite thing on earth.


Kevin Wilson


#164 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
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Posted 07 August 2018 - 06:59 AM

I painted the last lighter layer of this paint mix.  I'm really happy with it so far.  It is still a monotone color, although it no longer is the charcoal color of the cement dye, the yellow gives it a greenish gray tint.  So for the next layer or two, I plan to add a little brown and maybe green.  I don't think that I'll cover the entire wall though, just a dab here and there.  I may even focus on a few of the shale layers to add to differentiate some strata, as you might see in nature:

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I really like how using Drylok rather than a layer of dried cement allows you to bring out the detail that you carve.  That is a good thing unless you carve a mistake!  In this case, the faux fossils that I pressed into the foam show up well.  I'm happy that i started with the darkest color first and then added the highlighting, because it really makes the cracks and faux fossils pop.  

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I used springs that I had laying around the house to imitate crinoid stem fossils by bending them and pressing them into the foam.  I also pressed in small sea shells to imitate brachiopods and other bivalves.  The coral that I pressed into the foam turned out nice too.  It is subtle, but was enough to break up the flat shiny surface of new foam board.  I don't know how much will show up later after algae builds up, but for now, I'm happy with how it turned out so far.

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Kevin Wilson


#165 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
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Posted 08 August 2018 - 06:41 AM

I sponged on a little brown last night on a few layers to break up the monotone color and display a more stratified effect.  I will touch it up a little more perhaps before installing it into the tank this weekend.

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Kevin Wilson


#166 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:39 AM

One of my biggest concerns with the background is the amount of foam that I used and the risk that the entire thing will float up to the top after I fill the tank with water.  To mitigate those risks, I filled the structure with river rocks and used spray foam to fill in the gaps.  The foam will help bind all of the foam boards together along with the glue and plastic popsicle sticks that I used for the internal structure.  The river rocks were to offset the buoyancy that the extra foam might cause.  Also, the structure is big enough that it fits tightly in place under the frame of the tank.  The junctions of the three foam sections also are shaped in such a way as you can't just pull them straight out.  I plan to use a ton of silicone to affix this background to the tank glass underneath, on the sides and on the back of the background structure.  The Drylok application made the fit even tighter.  It fits so tightly that I can't pull it straight out to the front of the tank.  I think that it might not need the silicone to stay in place, but I'm not going to take a chance on not using the silicone.

 

Last night, I fit the structure into the tank.  The tight fit discussed above created another problem.  Not only will it be challenging to apply the silicone neatly, but I had to really push to get it into place.  The tight squeeze caused about a quarter sized spot of Drylok to chip away at the junction of the center and right sections.  I'm going to pull it out and repaint that spot, but if it happens in during the final installation, then I'll just have to do an in-tank touch up.  I'd rather not do that, but....I gotta get it done. 

 

Here's what it looks like from the left side, you can't see the spot that chipped away.  The spots that you see are just a reflection off of the glass.

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You can see where the paint chipped away near the top of the junction of the middle and right sections, leaving the pink foam exposed.  It should be easy to fix, so I'm not that worried about it.

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Kevin Wilson


#167 muskellunge

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 12:23 PM

This is incredible. Any more progress?

#168 Chasmodes

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 01:07 PM

This is incredible. Any more progress?

 

Thank you! 

 

I did a little bit of work on the structure and repainted the two spots where the Drylok came off (from the first fitting that was too tight).  I also trimmed some foam off of the back corner so that the three sections would slide into place easier.  I've purchased enough silicone to do the job, probably over doing it, but I want to make sure that this thing doesn't float up and smash my tank.  I suspect that the amount of foam that I used is comparable to the amount of foam used in my boat for flotation, LOL.


Kevin Wilson





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