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My practice DIY background

Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:57 pm

After doing much reading on diy backgrounds I decided to practice the various techniques on my 20 gallon tank. Since there are many detailed how-to's posted already i will try to stick to the unique things i experienced. So here is my background completely carved out[/img][img]http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/development/tank/carving.jpg my progress
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Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

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Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:59 pm

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Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
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Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:16 pm

After careful thought i decided to go with the masonary mix for my firsth coat because it is more coarse than Quickwall or Hydraulic cement. Well here it is with the first coat.
Image
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Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:47 pm

For the rest of my layers i used Quickcrete Quikwall, Quickcrete Masonary mix, and Quickcrete Hydraulic cement. I supplemented all of my mixes except the last with Quickcrete Acrylic forifier. Portland cement is the base for all of the above mixes. This is w

Here is a summary of what i experienced with the various different mixes:

Quikrete Hydraulic cement dries fast, grey in color, smooth finish, can be applied in water making it perfect for touch-up or small tanks.

Quikrete Masonary mix light grey in color, coarse finish, no need to add additional sand, looks natural, needs to be applied in thicker coats.

Quikrete Quikwall comes in grey or white, mixes well with colored sand, fiberglass reinforcement to help resist cracking, designed to be applied in thin coats or even sprayed with appropriate equipment.
luv2hop
 
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:01 pm

As John D. Dryssdale points out in the DIY library article, it is possible to get good detail using styrofoam/concrete it just requires a lot of patience. Because detail is so important with small tanks you must take the time to carve out the fine details even though much of them will be filled in with concrete. In order to maintain as much detail as possible I chose to use Quikwall since it is designed to be applied in thin layers. The trick is to apply cement with old paint brush and just before it finally sets do all of your fine detail tooling with wet brush, screwdrivers, putty knifes, etc. whatever it takes to reach the tight areas.
luv2hop
 
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Postby MalawiLover » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:09 pm

Very nice. Can't wait to see the tank set up.
125gMale peacocks/haps
95g-Malawi Mbuna
55g-Mixed community
30g-x2 Grow out
12.5g-Fry
IS YOUR DECHLORINATOR WORKING??
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Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:22 pm

I decided that i wanted round rocks with overhangs and a pronounced 3d look. As Lomax stated in Trammel's prject it is very important to stay away from straight lins and symetrical shapes for a real 3d look. So as you can see from the following photos i tried to make sure that i had alot of overlaping rocks with different shades and colors.
Image
http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/developmen ... ndcoat.jpg
moderator edit: same picture, tags removed.
luv2hop
 
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm

I will have algae growing on my background before I know it so I decided to stay away from the color dyes and pigments.I was able to create various different colors by mixing different cement products, colored sands, and acrylic fortifier. I will list my mixes from lightest to darkest below.

Quikcrete Mason mix, acrylic fortifier

Quikcrete Mason mix

Quikcrete Quikwall (grey), playsand, acrylic fortifier

Quikcrete Quikwall (grey), playsand

Quikcrete Quikwall (grey) , playsand, black marine sand, acrylic fortifier

Quikcrete Hydraulic cement

Quikcrete Quikwall (grey), black marine sand, acrylic fortifier

Quikcrete Quikwall (grey), black marine sand
luv2hop
 
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:50 pm

i basically used the lighter colored mixes for my foreground rocks and the darker mixes for backround rocks. The following photos will show you just how 3d the background really is.

Image
Image
Image
luv2hop
 
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Postby edoubleu » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:58 pm

Awesome background! Looks very natural. Can't wait to see your final setup. :thumb:
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Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:04 pm

I also created caves and tunnels on the sides and behind my background for the fish to hide an d to compensate for the water displacement of the background.
Image
http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/developmen ... decave.jpg
Image
http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/development/tank/back.jpg
Moderator edit: similar pics, tags removed
luv2hop
 
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:07 pm

Image
luv2hop
 
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:14 pm

Here its is with every thing dry fit.

Image
Image
luv2hop
 
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
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Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:23 pm

here are some pictures after my first water fill notice the different color rocks. event though they look subtle know they will standout with a nice coat of algae.

http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/developmen ... ryfit1.jpg
http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/developmen ... ryfit2.jpg
Image
http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/developmen ... ryfit4.jpg
http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/developmen ... ryfit5.jpg
moderator edit: similar pics, tags removed
luv2hop
 
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Postby luv2hop » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:27 pm

Here are some pictures after filling up for the first time. notice the different shades of rock, the colors may be subtle know however they should stand out nice with a coat of algae on them.

Image
http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/developmen ... rfill2.jpg
http://www.skellyloy-gis.com/developmen ... rfill3.jpg
Moderator edit: similar pics, tags removed.
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Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

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