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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve decided to set up my 60 gal that’s been in the basement collecting dust for several years. I stumbled across some posts about DIY backgrounds and decided to give one a try as I has sheets of styrofoam. I’m going to run a heat hub over everything then drylock/paint it over the next several days. Please excuse the crummy photos, this is being done in my poorly lit old basement. I will be moving the ‘shelf’ up higher than seen—to allow for more room once substrate is in. I’ve just tacked things into place with wooden skewers for now.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Thanks for the update! It does look like the correct product and the Drylok website shows it can also be used for fish ponds and is safe for fish once it has thoroughly cured for about a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Two coats of drylock. I added back Spanish earth pigment to make it a bit darker so I wouldn’t have to paint the whole thing. The sandy texture of the drylok actually added a more realistic texture. I hope it’ll start to look more realistic with paint over the next few days. Then I’ll let it sit for a week before I add water. I have three colours of krypton fusion (black, grey and brown) and more Spanish black and Spanish red/brown earth pigment I can use
 

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Looks great! As someone who had an aquadecor background in the cart but not ordered yet, this is giving me ideas...

You say you are going to paint the background after ththe drylock cures. Is the krylon fusion paint fish safe or will you add another layer of sealant over that?

Might have to do this myself and save a few hundred $$$!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks great! As someone who had an aquadecor background in the cart but not ordered yet, this is giving me ideas...

You say you are going to paint the background after ththe drylock cures. Is the krylon fusion paint fish safe or will you add another layer of sealant over that?

Might have to do this myself and save a few hundred $$$!
The krylon fusion is aquarium safe as is once cured. Honestly the biggest cost has been the drylock and I used less than 1/4 if the can. But I’m planing on a cool project for a 5 or 10 gal next. So I’ll have all the supplies needed for that.
 

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You may be able to use liquid concrete colorant to tint your Drylok but double check on their website. This might allow you to tint small amounts of the product to get shadows and color variations on the background.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I had to try some different painting techniques, but what worked best was spraying the spray paint into a container and using a small stiff brush to brush it on, and a rag to wipe it off/rub it. I used krylon fusion black & white in matte. My horrible lighting in the basement makes the black and white stand out more than they do. I’m hoping to bring the tank up in the next few days and put it in its ‘spot’. Will get better photos then. I’ve siliconed the back on, and used drylock to seal the crack in the middle (my tank has a brace) I still have to silicone down my ‘rocks’ (still playing with placement) and I have two pieces to silicone over the seam on the back. I’ve gone through way more silicone than I intended… it’ll be 6 tubes.
I'm going shopping in the ‘big city’ tomorrow to try and find substrate and a driftwood branch. Im hoping to find seachem—but not sure if I should go with pearl beach colour or grey coast…. Suggestions welcome.
my light and a few other odds and ends should be here from Amazon by Monday.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Gonna call this done
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. All the pieces are siliconed in. I have more drift wood branches to come in from the top. Now I’m obsessing over what colour substrate to use… black, plain sand, grey, or a more mixed natural look like the stuff in the pic….
 

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This is looking very good! :cool:
And now I guess it's time to chime in on that substrate. In this case what might provide the best answers to your questions regarding the right choice, could be what you plan to stock in this tank. So, IF you plan on stocking with species that love to dig and sift through a sandy substrate?
Well, I would reward the ever-digging, wee gomerels with a nice substrate of Pool Filtration Sand. But, if you plan on stocking with fish that might not be so prone to digging and churning through the substrate? For that, I also use that same Pool Filtration Sand as the base of the substrate. Then, will mix in some small diameter, natural-colored gravel to make the substrate look just a bit more realistic.
 
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