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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this forum, although have been writting quite a few articles on my local sites (im Polish) Generally I like structural backrounds in tanks, but I find those available in stores too ... plastic. I have a tank with Malawi cichlids 150x50x40h giving 300 liters. Also the fact that I have a sump, and the overflow chimney (how the **** is it called in english?!?) makes it difficult to use off the shelve backrounds. I decided to make one myself. I purchased a sheet od foam PVC, black 150x50, and 2 pices 25x50 cm.



This was the base of my background. The main material is slate stone. Chiping it from 20 - 30 kg rocks was quite a task, but with a kitchen knife (unusable in the kitchen since then :)) and a hammer i managed to split it in to thin plates.
I glued the stones to the PVC using silicone.



The chimney is also covered by the stone bakcground. Take notice that the water inlet is at the bottom. This way although the overflow combs takes the water from the syrface, my sump sweeps the water from the bottom. I made a small coumb on the top of the chimney cover, to gather any dirt from the syrface too, but there is a sliding "door" to close that.





An attempt to fit the finished background.



And the final product in the tank.




And at last...



I bought 150 kg of slate stone, but ended up with half of it left behind. The background ways about 70 kg. I used 6 large tubes of aquaric silicone. Now the tank is already covered by algies, and looks like this:

 

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Very nice, natural looking tank. I like your idea of using the chimney pipe (or flue) as your overflow chamber. I've been trying to figure out how to make one cheap. What kind of sand are you using for the bottom? Its a nice color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's just simple river sand from Vistula. There is a large sand store for construction purposes, where they sell sand in tons. They were quite surprised when I walked in with a sack, but still managed to buy my self 50kg's for a few cents. :)
 

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That looks great, thats what I want to do with my new 80G. What fish are in the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maylandia esterae red red, Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos 'maingano', Labidochromis caeruleus 'Yellow', Labeotropheus trewavasae Thumbi West OB. The Yellow Labs didnt really work out. two females is all thats left. Im preparing to replace them with Labidochromis chismulae.
 

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I think that this is one of the best DIY backgrounds that I've seen so far! I might do something like this for my 180. 2 thumbs up :thumb: :thumb:
 

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oldcat said:
Maylandia esterae red red, Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos 'maingano', Labidochromis caeruleus 'Yellow', Labeotropheus trewavasae Thumbi West OB. The Yellow Labs didnt really work out. two females is all thats left. Im preparing to replace them with Labidochromis chismulae.
This is my exact stocking list
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
salty toes said:
Because of the way you designed your "chimney" with inlets at the bottom, if your power goes out, doesn't it draine the entire tank?
The chimney does not have inlets at the botom. its made of glass and looks like this:



The cover of the chimney has inlets at the botom, than the water goes up and over the comb. If the power goes out, 3 galons of water will go to the sump, and it has capacity to take it. The tank is designed to be able to take all the wated from the punp compartment of the sump, in case the outlet in the chimney is stuck (unlikely wonsidering the way the outlet is made, and considering that there is an emergency pipe additionally in the chimney) The sump has space to take all the water in case the pump fails.

PauloSilvia said:
oldcat said:
Maylandia esterae red red, Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos 'maingano', Labidochromis caeruleus 'Yellow', Labeotropheus trewavasae Thumbi West OB. The Yellow Labs didnt really work out. two females is all thats left. Im preparing to replace them with Labidochromis chismulae.
This is my exact stocking list
Nice stock you have there :):)
 

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Very impressive pan oldcat. I think I would call the chimney or flue an internal overflow box.
 

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That is a awesome background. That is the only way to go to get your background the same color and texture as your rocks. Make the background out of the rocks! Brillient. Something i will have to try one day.
 

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Very neat! Any chance of seeing it in person? My wife and I will be in Poland in July.
 

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one question, how did you get it in the tank without
a) flopping over and smashing your tank, and
b) getting it passed the glass brace int he middle, did you do it in sections?

ps, nice work, braver man than I!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you look at picture no1 you will see that the PVC is cut just under the glass brace. Also the flue cover is a separate bit. In other words the background consists of 3 sections. On pic no2 you can see tha smaller bit of the main background separated. I arranged the slate on the PVC joint together, but made sure norock is siliconed to noth halfs. You cant see the joint, even if you try verry hard.
Anyway, putting a 35kg largest section of the background I was a bit worried, not that I'll drop it, but that a stone will fall off the PVC. Putting the limestone rocks was as pleasant. The bigest one is 35 kg. The background, rocks and sand ways twice as much as I do :)
 
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