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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are there any problems with gluing rock to the back glass of my aquarium? I don't want to cover the complete back, but in some place I want to silicone a few rock formations to add extra nooks and crannies.

What are some things to take into consideration?

If I silicone rock to glass, is it permanent or is there a way to get it off?

Thank you for taking the time to help me,
Aaron
 

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Yes- you can silicone it but removing it will prove to be a challenge.
-Have you thought about the weight and moving the tank (should the need arise?) -Obviously that would be something to take into consideration as well.
 

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I have done this before, but after a couple of years some of the rocks came loose from the silicone, particularly shale and slate.
 
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I just built a 3d background by slicing rocks with a concrete paver saw to make them thin and then bonding them with pond foam to a plastic egg crate sheet. I stood it up in the tank and plastic cable tied it to the rim by drilling tiny holes in the back lip. It worked great and is removable should I need to or get bored with it. I made bump outs for filter intake and return tubes and it caused rock overhangs inside which the fish love to sit under besides looking more realistic. The variety of rock types and colors cannot be duplicated by concrete over foam type backgrounds.
 

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discussmith said:
I just built a 3d background by slicing rocks with a concrete paver saw to make them thin and then bonding them with pond foam to a plastic egg crate sheet. I stood it up in the tank and plastic cable tied it to the rim by drilling tiny holes in the back lip. It worked great and is removable should I need to or get bored with it. I made bump outs for filter intake and return tubes and it caused rock overhangs inside which the fish love to sit under besides looking more realistic. The variety of rock types and colors cannot be duplicated by concrete over foam type backgrounds.
If you have some pics could you post them up here. This sounds like something I would to try since I wouldnt have to worry about buoyancy and also think it would be a little easier, cleaner, and cheaper than doing it with the foam.
 
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I'll have to get them into my computer and try to upload them. If I can figure it all out I'll try to get them tonight.

It appears you cannot upload pics directly to the site. You must link to an on-line pic server which I don't have. Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Use photobucket, its free. Set up an account. Upload your pictures, and copy and paste the link photobucket provides you with here.

Quick, simple, and easy. Not to mention we all get to see your background!!! I'm interested as well.
 

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discussmith said:
I'll have to get them into my computer and try to upload them. If I can figure it all out I'll try to get them tonight.

It appears you cannot upload pics directly to the site. You must link to an on-line pic server which I don't have. Sorry.
Or use http://imgur.com , no account needed. Upload, paste Message Board link here in your reply.
 
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that sounds like a wonderful idea.. minus the concrete pavement saw.. where do you get one of those? and more importantly... how do you not have to buy one and jus borrow.. jus to slice a few rocks and then be done with?
 
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hey next time you decide to take that thing out im sure alot of us would appreciate pics of it outside of the tank... i know i would... i really like the diy backgrounds... minus the do it yourself part lol... i probly would have made one for my 125 if i woulda known about them before i set my tank up.. maybe not cuz im not really into making things that are extremely complicated... i found one place that actually sells foam backgrounds.. but they want like 300 bucks... forget that... plus even if i wanted one now i couldnt do it cuz the tank is full... this idea isnt that expensive or that complicated...so yea if and when you decide to take that bad boy out.... take some pics for us lazy users.. lol thanx
 

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ahud said:
Are there any problems with gluing rock to the back glass of my aquarium? I don't want to cover the complete back, but in some place I want to silicone a few rock formations to add extra nooks and crannies.

What are some things to take into consideration?

If I silicone rock to glass, is it permanent or is there a way to get it off?

Thank you for taking the time to help me,
Aaron
I think all the down sides have been mentioned:

- it's pretty permanent, that is hard to remove, and probably impossible to remove all traces of the silicone.
- it ads plenty of weight to the tank. I had a 29G and could hardly move that with the rock background installed. My 240G with rock background will never go anywhere :lol:
- fish will find a way behind the rocks, never mind how well you seal the gaps, and catching them will be pretty much impossible.

With all that said, the look of a real rock background is second to none. I have seen concrete and foam backgrounds that look pretty darn good, but with all due respect, a close look will always reveal what they are made of. Real rock is real rock - even if you look very closely :D

I have not seen a Back to Nature background in real life (just photos), but they are supposed to be as close to real rock as you can get. Unfortunately the price is exorbitant, and AFAIK there is still no distributor in the US.

The fact that fish can get into gazillions of nooks and crannies in a rock background also means that a tank that has one can accommodate an amazing number of little fish. The julies in my 240G number in the hundreds - impossible to count them, but if I remove 50 there is no visible difference in the population. I have done that several times. The whole setup is as close as you can get to the habitat along a cliff in Lake Tanganyika.

One more caveat, the bottom row of rocks used for my background rests on a layer of Styrofoam (eggcrate would work just as well) on the bottom glass of the tank. Rocks higher up rest on the lower ones. The silicone just keeps them from toppling forward, but it does not have to hold their weight. In my experience with a previous setup, the silicone-rock bond will eventually fail after some years of supporting the weight of a rock.
 
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With all the diy backgrounds I really didn't think about pics while constructing. Sorry. I left the bottom 2" of the egg crate exposed so no rock is touching the glass bottom. It is hidden by the gravel. I also have egg crate on the bottom under the gravel just in case, but I cannot believe how solid this got with the rocks attached. The rear corner has a panel of rock wall on the diagonal to hide water change pipes and one siphon tube that goes to the bottom. some of the fish have found their way behind there but it was planned that way in case I get small fish and want to protect them. Besides, a clip of 6 or so cable ties and the whole thing comes out in three pieces. I used as much light weight rock as I could and still get some variety but it is some what heavy. the two big pieces must weigh 15-20 lbs. I will try to get an edge shot that will give an idea of depth. I put a pile of rock in the rear corner but I'm thinking it is too much. I'm going to take some out and do a little rearrangement.
 
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fmueller i found this while trolling the internets looking for backgrounds i could add without draining the tank... this is a styrofoam one so obviously i cant use it.. but for those who want to jus buy a background and not make one themselves maybe this will help.. company that distributes them is in california i think.. they sure arent cheap thou i think it was like $300 for a 6ft oen....http://www.aquaterra-intl.com/products.html
 

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m1ke715m - AquaTerra ain't bad, but I still wonder if they can match Back to Nature in realism. It's all idle speculation, since I have seen neither one in real life. If the manufacturers read this, please provide me with free samples, and I'd be happy to write up a side-by-side comparison for CF :lol:

Anyhow, you can buy a lot of real rocks for the price of any of these commercial backgrounds. However, they offer certain advantages in that you can safely design structures in which the widest rock is at the top, and the tank appears to be a view under an overhang. You can see an example in this thread. To me that tank looks just stunning, and I know that I could never replicate that look with real rocks.

In addition the space behind those backgrounds can actually serve a useful purpose as filtration chamber. I don't know how well that works, but if set up cleverly, all you'd need to filter a tank like that would be a good pump to circulate water behind the background. In that case the price of the background would basically include a filter, and then it's not so bad at all! Looks like a PITA to clean though!

 

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For what it is worth I have a back to nature slim background in my 20g long and it looks absolutely amazing.

I ordered a 3" deep one for my new 100g build and then I also bought 2 Aqua Terra rock modules. So I'll be able to tell you how they look side by side in the same tank in a few weeks (just placed the order for all the gear yesterday and today).

Edit: Nevermind, that might be a different back to nature than where I bought mine... unless that link to the .se site doesn't show all the different stock.... ah and now I'm no longer confused. I have "designs by nature" stuff. But I'll still be able to do a comparison next week!
 
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