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background questions

Postby acavanna » Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:43 pm

how can i put a background in a tank that is up and running seeing how i cant silicone it in. is there other ways to put on in the tank so that wast wont get behind it? what tips do you have on making this back ground out of styro and cement? are there things that i should and should not do?? how can i glue layers of styro together??

Thanks Aaron
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Postby dreday » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:13 am

well, if your tank is already running then you have to have good measurements. i would make the background 1-2" short of the frame. then you can use something to wedge it in place. although this may work the styro is buoyant and will want to float. if you already have fish in the tank it is kinda hard to get in. another option may be to make the background and glue it a piece of acrylic that is the same dimensions of your back portion and glue the BG to that. then you can insert into tank better. the cement part does not have to be a perfect fit but the acrylic should be.

also what size tank?? if it has a cross bar in the middle you are kinda stuck. you would have to make 2-3 pieces to fit it in.

as for the glue, a hot glue gun works wonders. use it to glue the styro together. as for procedure just look at other peoples projects and get an idea of what needs to be done. then more specific questions will come up. :wink:
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Postby yophilly1981 » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:04 am

Since your tank is already up and running you can create one of those vinyl gutter backgrounds. You can assemble outside the tank allow everything to dry appropriately and then place it in the tank. It doesn't need to be siliconed in, you can just hang it off the back.

Cave Grotto Aquarium Background
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Postby dreday » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:16 pm

looks great but i dont like the idea. you can not get to fish if need be. and if one dies back there you have to take whole thing out. i just do not like the idea of background caves where the fish is not accessible. looks cool though.
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Postby Felony » Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:33 am

Theres a post on here about using magnets to secure the background to the glass. I haven't been able to find it but I plan on doing the same thing. My plan was going to consist of gluing a large rock to a piece of styrofoam then carving out a few sections for the magnets to be glued in. Id hang the modules from the top lip of the tank for the modules that are at the top of the tank removing the need for magnets. Doing a bunch of these modules and cutting away a place for equipment to be hidden by the modules should look decent. This way if you want to change your background you can do so easily. Just make sure you soak the modules in a separate tub of water to make sure theres no swing in pH.
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Postby bentcountershaft » Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:20 pm

I'm planning on trying velcro. If I can find pieces large enough at the craft store. Anyone ever seen this stuff sold in sheets instead of thin tape like rolls? The backing of my backgrounds are egg crate, so I think I can sew several pieces to that and then silicone the other half to the glass. That way if I decide to change it I can just pull it right off and go with the same style backing. I think it will work if I use a whole lot of it and can keep it very tight on the egg crate. I'll post the progress in my tank build thread. If you decide to try something similar, be sure to get velcro that doesn't already have adhesive on it. The adhesive may or may not be safe for fish. Better safe than sorry.
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Postby yophilly1981 » Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:39 pm

How are you going to adhere the velcro to the tank? It doesn't seem like silicone holds the back of velcro very strongely.
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Postby bentcountershaft » Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:17 pm

yophilly1981 wrote:How are you going to adhere the velcro to the tank? It doesn't seem like silicone holds the back of velcro very strongely.


If that's the case I may have some problems :D

I hadn't really heard of it not adhering well though. I thought that's what people were using for their diy magnet algae scrubbers.
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Postby yophilly1981 » Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:39 pm

i used that for my magnet algae scrubber but the adhersion isn't the best. It works because there is a constant force holding it tegether with the magnet on the otherside.

Honestly, it might work well, I'm not really sure. Maybe it'll work better for your velcro because there will be greater surface area, but I just wanted to know if you were using silicone or not because i didnt find it incredibly secure compared to the silicone to glass adhesion.
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background

Postby acavanna » Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:05 pm

if i cant sillicon my back ground in how do i stop the styro from sucking up the water? is there a way to seal it so that it wont do that?? when you make them do you make it tight to all sides?? when you put the cement on do you just do the face?? :-?
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Postby bentcountershaft » Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:18 pm

You can seal it with Drylok but it will still float. If you put concrete on it the weight will keep it from floating but it still won't be stable. I don't think any amount of velcro will hold that up, so silicone or some sort of bracing system would be necessary. I'm not using concrete on mine, just sprayfoam, so I think velcro will hold it in place fine. If I were doing a concrete one, I think I'd try to engineer something to hold the bottom in place, keep it from sliding out. Maybe brace it with some heavy plastic dowel rods running under the sand that press against the front of the tank. At the point where the dowel ends contact the glass use some sort of rubber padding to keep the rod from slipping and to help distribute the force better. At the top maybe several big plastic C-clamps to keep it from tipping over. I have no idea if any of this will work, I just made it up, but it sounds good.

I think I came up with a solution for the silicone and velcro. I'm going to sew the velcro to some of that plastic mesh canvas they sell in the craft store. The plastic should hold the silicone better to the glass.
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Postby bentcountershaft » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:22 pm

In case you are interested in this method I tried my idea of sewing the velcro on the plastic mesh backing and it looks like it's gonna work well. The mesh should accept the silicone much better than the velcro alone so I feel better about that. However, the actual process of sewing it on sucks quite a bit. I worked on it for a couple hours last night and only got one 2"x13" strip done. It would be easy if you just did the outside edge but that will allow the velcro to bubble out in the center, allowing movement. So you have to go back and forth about every half inch to avoid this. I'll post pics in my tank build thread of the grueling process when I've finished all eight strips. Should be done sometime before Christmas at this rate. :D
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Postby barbarian206 » Sat May 10, 2008 11:48 pm

i have an idea when u get ready to glue two peices of styrofoam together maybe you can carve out sections in the peices to put slate in and then glue two sections together that should weigh it down just a thought i will have to do the same when i do my backgruond hope it works :fish: :wink:
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