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Discussion Starter · #1 ·



This is my new 180. That has sat in my garage since May of 07. I have been trying to decide on how to cover the overflow towers with some type of styro background. Thought of using some concrete to cover after the carving is done. The dilemma is hiding the towers without looking like I am hiding the towers. I also have to leave access to the front of the towers because of the vents located at the top middle and bottom of both towers. These will surely need to be cleaned periodically. I will obviously be using a sump. More than likely a DIY style from a rubbermaid tub and a drawer system. I am also not wanting the BG to continue over to the sides of the tank. Dont want to see "unfinished" styro from the sides. So the BG will have to surround the tower and some how curve back to each corner. There is not much room from the corner of the tank to the edge of the tower.This leaves me with the feeling that my BG will bulge out around each tower. And creating the look that I am only hiding some thing. And that is exactly what I am trying to avoid. I also dont want a thick BG that will only steal space from the tank. Anyone with built-in overflows and a DIY BG your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Like twin tail pipes on a sports car, there is not much you can do to hide these things. All you can do is add a little "chrome". Three backgrounds that set back leaving the pre filters exposed is one way. Another if you must conceal the hardware, is to put a full Mattenfilter across the back. Rather plain as a background, but it beats crystal paint!
 

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I would design the background to have rocks jutting out around the towers, concealing them. The rocks should overhang quite a bit with caves to allow water to pass through them into the rear compartment to get to the towers. It wouldn't be the easiest thing to do, but with patience it could be done and in my opinion, well worth it. You could also do a spray foam base applied directly to the towers. I'd attach some pieces of broken pvc to the towers first, to give it definition and a more random, natural looking rock surface. Then you could apply your concrete over that. For the water to get in some well placed caves and nooks would work well with proper planning.
 

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Lomax built his background in-tank and siliconed the styro directly to the tank and overflows then applied the cement. Of course his front glass hadn't been installed yet which makes that option a little easier. I built my background the same way but it can be a little hard on the back.

Another option would be to build a temperary box the same dimensions as the back of your tank and overflows. Take into account that it may have to be installed in sections and make the temp box outside perimeter a little smaller (maybe a 1/4") so you can be sure it will fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input. I like the idea of using caves to hide the vents. Also using a temp box or a board cut to the exact dimensions of the back and the placement of the towers kinda like this:

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With the back board cut to the exact size of the tank and the towers marked out. I now had a layout for the styro. I cut styro to cover the back. To cover the towers I cut two boxes slighly smaller than the tower itself. Then I cut a cardboard template of the tower and transfered this to the boxes. Outlined in magic marker. I will try to remove the material inside the box to fit the tower.Then cut access holes into the boxes for the vents. All of the styro is 2" thick. Got it free from a buddy at work!

 
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