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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone i am about to start my first DIY 3D background. I am gonna do a full walk through with it as i go along n keep u all updated on its progress. i hope to get it all right the first time. i live in Brisbane Australia so the products and brand names you guys use in the US don't exist over here but I'll still use he same basic formula for the back ground. I am gonna try n make it like a lagoon cove or some thing like that with a small beach/island area for my turtle to bask on at each end or maybe one end i am not sure yet I'll see how creative i get with it. there will be plenty of caves n hiding spots. will have a full UGJ system with the inlets in the middle half way up the background.

it will be removable because iam planing on upgrading the tank further down the track to a slightly bigger tank 6 x 2 x 2 for a 6x 1.5 x 1.5 so i will be making an extension part for the base of the background so when it comes time to transfer it over it wont be short.

other than that heres some pics of it before n the fist drawing on the foam of it.



Any help would be great from anyone especially if your in Australia and have done a background b4.

Cheers Dno.
 

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im from aus but i've never done a 3D background.
i'm tossed up about which concrete to use. :p dont know which are save im so glad u posted it i was just about to find all the aussies on the forum as possible to see if they've done one, and therefore get advice.

sorry i cant be of any help. best of luck :thumb:

BEN
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok only spent less than an hour on it this arvo and iam starting to like wat i see. Iam not sticking to the drawing with shapes n lines, but i am already getting the hang of building the depth n how to make some caves. All i think about at work is how to do some of it, ideas for attaching to the tank, colours textures etc... well any way heres some pics so far any comments or tips would be great.




Cheers Dno.
 

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I'll be watching(from U.S.A.), as Im intersted in doing one myself.
Only advise, keep it as simple as possible.
Thanks for starting this thread. Good luck!
 

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Hey mate I'm in Brisbane too and have contemplated making a 3d background many times but due to not knowing what products would be safe and not being able to keep any new tank empty long enough to make it :D i've never got round to it.

Looking good so far and i'll definitely be watching this thread!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the support, i am gonna try n work on it everyday but i need some funds to build up again b4 i can go full ball at this so hopefully next week or two. Iam planing to keep it fairly simple with 2 inlets mid tank in the middle facing either end, n a simple UGJ system. Planing on going with a dark grey to black n browninsh colour rocks to bring out the colour of the fish. a few short n long grasses planted here n there. n white play sand i cant wait to get this done. anyway i'll keep u all posted.

Cheers Dno.
 

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Looks like you are off to a good start.

For me, the biggest issue is making the rock arrangement look believeable and natural.

Try to avoid building a masonry stone wall.

One way to do that is to make individual stones larger, and add a lot of depth and fake depth with color later on. Also remember you don;t have to have a rock end at the top of the glas.. you can just show the bottom half of a rock and leave the rest of the rock to our imagination (above the waterline) which is what you would see in an underwater view.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok i got a fair bit done 2day considering i have no silicon to join them so everything is sticky taped. i divided it up in to 5 modules so i can get it in the tank. n i deepened n refined the center module n started on the big rock n the rocks around that, i am really getting the hang of it n just going with the flow n what looks good. the more large rocks i put in place of smaller rocks the bigger the background looks. there is going to be plenty of hiding spots in this background in fact the big rock on the left is hollow so i am gonna make a cave entrance to it down a crack or gap down the side of it.

Apart from that i ve found the 3 fresh water muscles i put in the tank the other day fun to watch n find out where they have moved during the nite.

Oh n theres some progress pics

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks aussieafricans. it has got cement as of yet iam still in mock up stages n still haveent bought any silicon to glue it all down. iam just about done with it just need to save a bit so i can buy a bunch of silicon n cement and i'll be on my way.

Heres a few progress pics i got a fair bit done yesterday after work. theres gonna be alot of caves n hiding spots on this. oh n dont worry about the thickness of the back wall iam gonna add about 1 1/2" to 2" on the back.





Cheers Dno.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update time ok heres wat *** done since my last post scraped the island/ramp for my turtle hes gonna get his own tank once this one is done. *** now siliconed all the parts together but still need to buy some more foam to thicken it up at the back to about 1" to 2". i made my UGJ system as you can see in the pics. i tested it in the bath seemed to work fine. i also bought some Render cement and i'll test it on some small fake rocks i have planned. and i also got some Hydrocrete cement fortifier and waterproofing additive.

Oh and my blue LED moon light arrived today i'll take some pics of it 2nite n post it 2morrow.

Anyway heres the pics.


the small section in the middle is my intake.


the big sloping rock in the corner is my fav it has a huge cave behind it.


this far end still needs a bit of work on it.

Cheers Dno.
 

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I've noticed a trend lately where more and more of these backgrounds are pushing the envelope away from the back wall and more into the tank. I really like the direction your going with this. Keep up the good work. I'm looking forward to seeing this one being completed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
*** put my DIY background on hold for the mean time while i wait for my tax return to come back n when it does, a nice brand new 96" x 24" x 24" tank n stand, lights n hood will be on there way. so now when i get that i'll stain the stand n hood fabricate anything i need done on the stand n build my DIY background in the tank then when its ready do a swap ova. i cant wait.

heres a pic of the tank with the moon light on i love it, although the camera never really brings out the true colour n detail.



Cheers Dno.
 

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sounds good how i envy you :drooling:
if only i could get a tank like that well i only need to add another 2 foot to my 6x2x2.

good luck with the newb :thumb:

BEN
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok so heres the latest news. The other weekend Me n the misses went n put a deposit on a
8' x 2' x 2' tank with a colonial stand with turned corners, n colonial hood to match. so this now means the 3D DIY backround iam making will be 2 feet short n 1/2 foot lower. so now i have to make more on it, iam planing on taking the last foot up with a mangrove root system coming in throught the top corner (see pic). i am planing on flame srinking the roots then fibreglassing the whole lot so they will be strong, because i want this end of the tank to be a refuge for the bigger fish of the tank to hide n rest from my turtle fred. Now i also have to redo my UGJ system. i have another canister filter on its way now. but other than that nothing else to report.



OH except my male krib died sometime last nite cause this morning fred was having a good old feed on his body. and my female rusty is holding n almost ready to release the fry.
 

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The mangrove idea looks awesome. Great idea! I dont know if they have it in Australia but I found that Gorilla Glue bonds styro together real well. It just takes a few minutes to set up.(thats my only helpful idea) The DIY BG looks fantastic also. Sorry about your krib and congratulations on the new babies. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well i woke up this morning to find my biggest electric yellow female to be holding. so my plan is now with this tank is to keep it n divide it into 3 2 foot tanks as a grow out tanks n to keep my convicts so they can breed n i can get some live babies for food.

Cheers Dno.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OK *** finished the roots, tomorrow i'll start fibreglassing them.



I got a call 2day aswell from the guys who are building my tank, stand n hood, n they told me the tank is done the stand will take another week which i dont care really how long it take *** still gotta pick a stain iam gonna go with. and i still have to cement the background etc... the list doesnt end.

a Quick Question about fibre glassing n any one who has to their backgrounds is there anything i should becareful with. now iam not a novice when it comes to fibreglassing *** done alot of it on cars and car/interiors but nothing where it will be submerged n with live fish etc.. but *** seen a few who have fibreglassed their background n dont seem to have any probs with them it seems to be pretty safe.

anyway Cheers Dno.
 
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