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concrete background photos

Postby LongIslandCichlid » Sat Feb 18, 2006 9:40 pm

OK I am in the midst of a concrete background on one of my 150 gal tanks. I am on my 3rd coat of concrete on pink Styrofoam I have waited about 24 hours between coats. How long should I let the cement dry before I add water to the tank?

Don't worry photos will be coming soon.
Last edited by LongIslandCichlid on Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Mcdaphnia » Sun Feb 19, 2006 12:49 am

A few hours between coats would have been enough time. 24 hours can be a good choice since your free time each day may fall then. Some types of concretes cure underwater, but for others, a few days is better. Keep the concrete moist while it cures, with a mister or a plastic wrap.
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Postby LongIslandCichlid » Sun Feb 19, 2006 1:31 am

ok here is some photos
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this is 2 of the 3 150gal that my background will go in
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took a little different approach to the back grounds by cutting the foam into individual "bolders"
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carved the edges
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I had started the background and did only 4 feet last week to make sure it would fit ok so i had to come back and do the sides and the other 2 feet.
just a note if you do it this way you will only need about 5' 6" inches of foam for a 6' background the inside on the tank is about 5'11" and you will use about 5" beteen the "bolders" in space this is why I did it in two parts.
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used a mop like paint brush for the first coat
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I found a empty one gal milk container worked best for me to mix the cement just cut away the front
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now just let it dry overnight
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I was going to lay some moon sand in the cement but it didnt look good so i am going to coat over it and just let the algae grow.
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it's good to mark top and sides to help with the jigsaw puzzle when down ... mark the back not the front as I show in the photo the front gets covered with cement .....yeah was late and I was not thinking
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Postby LongIslandCichlid » Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:26 pm

I was thinking of putting a coat of fiberglass resin over the background to help keep the pH down since this is going to be an Amazon cichlid tank. Would this work or is this just a bad idea?
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Postby Mcdaphnia » Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:44 pm

LongIslandCichlid wrote:I was thinking of putting a coat of fiberglass resin over the background to help keep the pH down since this is going to be an Amazon cichlid tank. Would this work or is this just a bad idea?
If you miss a spot, the alkalinity will seep out. It's not a bad idea, just very hard to cover 100%. Making your final coat a vinyl concrete like Thorocrete would be easier since you have a final coat anyway. Once the Thorocrete cures for five days, the excess alkalye should be minimal.
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Postby LongIslandCichlid » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:50 am

I am going to try the vinyl concrete as a final coat this weekend this should be enough time for the cement to dry.
thanks for the info Mcdaphnia
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Postby LongIslandCichlid » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:08 am

I was thinking of cutting a strip out of PVC for my return and cementing it to the rock next to it so it would like like a crack in the rock
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any ideas on how i should do a return

few more photos
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sidewalls
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Postby The Kapenta Kid » Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:08 pm

LongIslandCichlid wrote:I was thinking of cutting a strip out of PVC for my return and cementing it to the rock next to it so it would like like a crack in the rock


A neat idea, but I question cementing it into place. I think all plumbing. especially returns, which can be so easily clogged with debris, snails. whatever, should be removable for cleaning and maint. It should be possible to wedge such a pipe in place rather than permanently cementing it.
Just my two cents.
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Postby LongIslandCichlid » Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:07 am

I got them in the tank tonight just wanted to add a few more photos
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Postby orcy » Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:42 am

looking good mate. now all you need is some substrate and water and it will look awesome
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Postby y ddraig goch » Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:40 am

now all you need is some substrate and water
Good spot orcy! Otherwise, there would have been this thudding and flapping noise when he added the fish....! :lol:

LIC - I can't make out the filter intake and return pipework now the background is in the tank. Is it to be added or did you do a brilliant job obscuring it? 8)
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Postby Deeda » Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:48 pm

Excellent job on the layout. Looks so much like real rock!!! And I like the color of it even though once the algae grows, it won't matter so much.
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Postby LongIslandCichlid » Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:25 pm

going to add better photos later but for now this is the return and intake spots
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Postby ajl10spro » Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:59 pm

GREAT JOB :thumb: Looks awesome!
220g Mixed - Primarily African Cichlids
180g Grow out for juvies
12 smaller tanks used for breeding, hospital and grow out

Jayson
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Postby DallasTx » Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:50 am

Very impressive! :thumb: :thumb:
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