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My way to hide overflow towers

8525 Views 43 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  iceblue
I finnally decides to start building my styro BG. After 14 months of waiting. Mainly for the $$$. I got some ideas when I posted a different thread. This is how it is going so far.
This is the tank

This is the template for the background to fit the towers

This is the rough outline for the BG

This is the basic block for the tower

This is the box carved out to fit the tower

This is the box with the vent holes carved out

This is the BG with some carving started

That is all I have done so far any advice and comments would be greatly appreciated thanx
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Good luck. I have no artistic skill so I had to buy one :(
Here is some more carving done.

The little black dots are nails to temporarily hold the pieces until I glue them on. Im hoping to add some caves to the sides near the towers. I read in a post a long while ago about using Dry-Lok on the styro instead of concrete. Any thoughts on that?? Thanx for the input.
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looks great :thumb: one thing about caves in backgrounds is that it makes it hard to get fish out.i haven't heard of drylok right on the styro.most use the concrete to add weight to offset the could use the drylok on top of a thin coat of cement.
Nice. :thumb: I like that your going big with it.
Where id you purchase the Styrofoam at?

Did you layer it to add depth to it then carve out the rock formations?

I usually use the green stuff from A.C. More and I layer it up with 2 layers and burn the groves in but once or twice I used different shapes made out of the same foam found in the same isle.

I glued the blocks and other shapes down where they looked good and carved them up.
The green spheres can work out well if cut into 4 pieces. You can use them for over hangs doubling as planters. Cut one in half, carve both half's into bowls and then cut those half's into quarters and find a spot for them. Then glue them down and carve them up in any aberrant way.

I used aquarium sealant to hold them in place rather then cement to weigh it down. The cement looks very good how ever but I never had them time or capability to go down that route .

I am just looking for new ideas for my new Tanganyika tank.

LOOKS GOOD! :thumb:
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To answer a few questions I got the styro free! From a buddy at work. He had 4x8 sheets 2" thick.You should be able to pick it up at your LHS. I did layer the pieces. The sideview photo that I posted shows several layers. But most of that will be carved out later. The thickness varies greatly rite now. Some places its nearly 4" thick while in others it is barely an inch. I like the deep crevices and cracks. At some places I carved the rocks out of the existing pieces I also made smaller special shaped rocks (like over the vents) and glued them to the back piece. I glued the pieces on using "Gorilla Glue". I dampened both pieces very slightly, then applied a generous amount of glue to both sides. The stuff dries rock hard and is water proof. But it does expand/foam a little before it dries. Here are some more pics of some more carving and glueing. You can see the glue seeping out in places. Also some "Great-Stuff" foam to fill in some small places.

The black circle shows the cave area and the dots show the entrances. The other line is the lower vent opening.Thanx for the comments
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Just got back from Lowes and Home Depot and neither have that kind of foam :(
JWerner2 said:
Just got back from Lowes and Home Depot and neither have that kind of foam :(
Not to make you a trash digger or anything but you could try looking behind a car stereo installation shop or anyplace else that would recieve merchandise packed in styrofoam.
I have been staking out the dumpster by my apartment building. They are building a new building and I have been waiting to come across!
there are is a new houseing estate going up near our old house and they have massive big bits of foam 1.5 meters by 1.5 meters and is around 30 centimeters deep exept its holowed out so there are lots of cubes in the one. heaps of possibilities its awesome :D

but yeah just packaging foam would work well
You should be able to find this foam at Lowes. I have seen the stuff at the Lowes near me. Try looking at a buiding supply store, the kind that supplies contractors in construction. I am a carpenter and see this stuff used all the time. Where are you located? My buddy got it free. He just had to pull it out of the wall cavities before they tore the building down. He then gave me 4 sheets. Used it for insulation in a large warehouse type building. Keep looking. Thanx for the interest in my post. R-DUB
P.S. more pics to come should be starting Dry-Lok real soon! Does anyone think that I am crazy for putting Dry-Lok directly onto the styro?? No concrete. I have tried several test pieces and it seems to stick just fine. I even submerged several pieces for a couple of weeks in another tank. Seemed to hold up just fine. Wish me luck Im only the guinea pig.
I am in NJ right on the border of PA. I went to my local Lowe's then I drove across the bridge into PA to try Home Depot and up the road from the Home Depot they have another Lowe's and I just couldn't find foam like that. I found some that I was unsure of using.
Keep searching you will eventually find some. Like I said try a contractor supply place. It really surprises me that Lowes doesnt have it. The area where you are at certainly gets cold enough. Here is some more pics of my progress:

you can see the caves in the lower right side it has 3 openings for the future residents. The other hole on the upper side goes way up inside mainly to remove alot of material for bouyancy issues. I hope it holds!
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I can just keep looking. They are doing the inside of the new building now so I am sure something will turn up and if I piece things together I don't exactly need nice perfect sheets of it.

That is looking very nice! I cant wait to see it done.
I too wanted to say I've been enjoying reading and watching your thread.

Looking forward to the finished product :thumb:
I made a DIY background and used SikaTop instead of concrete. I just posted some pics and info how I made it.

It is called: My DIY Background (Not concrete based)

There is a link to the SikaTop distributor page to see if there is one close to you.

A few advantages are: easier to apply (especially for your caves), doesn't weigh as much as concrete, doesn't need to cure, and it allows you to keep the details that you've made on your rocks because you basically paint it on.

Please let me know if you have any questions and good luck - it looks you're off to a great start!
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