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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning on building a Real Rock Background. I got my inspiration from a video by Tazawa Tanks where he made a frame from 2 by 6s where the inside dimensions of the frame were identical to the inside dimensions of the tank. He used that expanding foam stuff. He scattered 1 or 2 large (6-10 inches) pieces of what seemed to be seiryu stone, but he just said it was some aquarium safe rock I think. At the end, it seemed to work. He did however cover the front with concrete and paint so you couldn't actually see the rock. My plan is to build the frame, put a very thin layer of the foam at the bottom, put some pieces of pvc pipe strategically spread throughout the base layer, and put a lighting diffuser with the same dimensions of the tank's inside on top of it. Before it dries, I would put another, thicker coat of the foam and start placing the large rocks onto it. The PVC pipe would be used to make sure the lighting diffuser doesn't sink in the wet foam with the weight of the rocks on top of it. I would make sure to put the larger, more protruding rocks at the bottom of the background to keep it steadier, and to potentially allow me to stack any other rocks that are not part of the background on it easier. Before it all dries, I would put some gravel made out of shattering remaining rock in all the cracks so you don't see the foam. After it dries, I would take the pvc pipes out and silicone the background in place in the tank.

I haven't worked this out yet, but I will let you know as soon as I can whether it works or not. Please feel free to say anything about it. I will greatly appreciate any help too.
 

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What do you estimate such a background would weigh?

Are you going to silicone it to the back glass or make it removeable or place it 1-2 inches in front of the back glass to create a place to hide equipment behind?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was planning on siliconing it to the back glass, as I have a sump to hide the equipment. It would probably weigh close to 100 pounds at most, but I think 80 would be more reasonable. Nonetheless, it would be very heavy. Hopefully, the weight of the rocks would overcome the buoyant force of the foam. I would have to do some testing and calculations though as I don't know exactly how much foam or rock I'm going to use. Perhaps I could make it two or three pieces and assemble it inside the tank. I would assume that you would be able to remove it if needed, but you would have to use an exacto knife or something else. Would water be touching the back glass? I want to make sure it is so that the background isn't replacing the function of the back glass. Would I have to drill holes and/or cut slots on the back to make sure it isn't completely water tight? But then there is the issue of stuff getting back there and having to clean back there. It would be a solid piece of fish waste by a year lol.
 

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So I have the purchased backgrounds with holes and equipment behind. The filter intakes keep it perfectly clean. Some of the fish like to slither over and it is fairly easy to net them and return them periodically. Be sure to feed them back there if they stay for any length of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alright thanks DJ! I think the virus is gonna keep me from going to Home Depot for a while (crazy mom lol), but hopefully I can get to it soon. I will keep y'all posted.
 
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