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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do not want to use concrete. I don't want to deal with the super long curing times and treating it for leaching into the water. It's just not ideal.

I've done a bunch of research on this, and it seems like Sika Top Seal 107 is absolutely the best thing for this. It dries hard and is safe for potable (drinking) water and marine environments and has no effect on ph.

Only problem is I can't find this stuff ANYWHERE.

I see on this board a lot of people are using Drylok to do coatings. Should I just go this route? This background needs to last for a long time (I'm figuring 5 years or something). I have no questions that Sika 107 would be fine, but I don't really know about this stuff. How tough is it? Do I have to rinse it for a long time like with concrete? How is it for being safe for fish?
 

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It is perfectly safe for fish, and one of the main reasons that people are using this rather than concrete is that you dont have to do the soaking in water to prevent the PH spike. If you do a few coats I would think it would be ok, but I see some people are coating it with a clear Epoxy to keep it perfect looking for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So in that respect it is comparable to Sika 107. Sika 107 won't affect ph either.

Is it going to be as durrable though? I'm worried about it flaking off or the fish nipping it off or something like that. I've read a lot about people having to use cement under the drylok to make it durable enough, or haveing to coat it in epoxy.....
 

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If you use a few coats of Drylok, it should be durable enough.
I never coated the background (Styro and Drylok) with epoxy and it's holding up well.
Sent you a PM
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the PM dannigirl. Your background looks awesome.

May I ask how long you have had it in use? (trying to get an idea of how long the dryloc will stay looking as good as yours underwater)

Thanks, I appreciate the help!
 

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You're welcome seedubs1.
Thank you for the compliment. That particular one has been in the tank for 3 years. In hindsight, I might have coated it but I thought I was going to tear it out after a year; so much for that idea! :lol:
 

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seedubs1

The dryloc will last longer than concrete and won't come off like concrete will..
I have a BG that has been in a tank of mine for 5 years and looks as good if not better with the algae that has grown on it over the years...
No need to coat it with anything...
Dryloc is is made to seal concrete block walls to waterproof it..So if you ever use it you will never use anything eles.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Went ahead and decided to go the drylok way. Put on my first coat last night. Stuff is just like paint ( a little thicker). I'm figuring I'm going to have to do 5 coats of this stuff. Should turn out great! I will be tinting it with quickcrete concrete tint.

After my first coat, I found out it's easiest to glob a bunch on, spread it out, then poke the brush into it (like you can immagine an old barber doing with shaving cream). Gave it a bit of texture and thickness.

One thing to mention:
There is Drylok (normal) and Drylok EXTREME!
Anyone doing this project: Make sure you get the normal drylok. The drylok extreme has anti mildew type stuff in it that will be harmful. I searched on the internet to find what people were using and found no answer to which type to use, so here is the answer. Get the normal cheaper stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok.....I've finished putting on 2 fairly thick coats of Drylok to the entire background. How many full coverage coats should I do? I'm thinking 3-4?
 

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I just put 1 coat for each color that I put on...
First coat to cover everything usually gray and then just small, short brush strokes to kinda high light the other colors
The more you put on the longer it will take to dry..
Unless you are puting 3 or 4 different colors on it I think it will be overkill and a lot longer to dry...
hope it turns out ok for you...
 

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Paint the background in one coat on and let it dry before you paint another coat. It's also best to add pigment after the initial coat. -It will not increase drying time, unless you lay it on thick and neglect to allow the first coat to dry. The first coat will generally take longer to dry then the rest too. 3-4 coats will be ok and go from darker to lighter, (with each coat) then finally dry-brush the highlights. Also, the drylok pigment itself works well for highlights.

:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hahaha, I'm probably going a bit overkill then.

I've now done 3 really thick coats (completely covering everything) allowing 24 hours to completely dry inbetween coats. Meaning these coats weren't for pigment they were for thickness of the drylok.

So I guess it'll be plenty thick.

I'll have to do one more thick total coating (really dark grey) because right now, it's white, then start putting lighter colors on randomly to make it look a bit more realistic.

Thanks for all the help!
 

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good luck and dont forget to show us all the finished BG
 

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The next BG you build ( and you will want to try and out do this one later) Just use 1 main coat, The color that you want for the base coat..IE (Gray Or Black) or what ever coloe you want...
Just cover it is all you need to do...
Dryloc Sticks like glue, So It won't come off unless you damage it after it dries..
Then for every color added, you want to just brush it lightly to get the effect that you are looking for..
No need to have thick coats... This will save you time and money.....
Here is the one I've had for about 5 years.. 1 base coat of drak gray and the the rest tan and then red lightly brushed..
The only coat that covered the whole BG , was the frist coat...



This is My latest, painted the same way...With Dryloc at $26.00 a gallon.I have a lot more to paint BG's with.

[/img]
 

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littlejoenc
,
Good looking backgrounds. Personally, I like to start with a clean slate. However, I agree with you about building up the color.
 
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