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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I am brand new to this site. I have just purchased a new 120 gallon tank for my two turtles. I plan on taking their existing home (65 gallon) and turning it into a malawi tank. I am really wanting to play around with designing and building my own backgrounds. I came up with the idea of using stone veneer from Home Depot for my background but have some questions. First off, has anyone used this before and would it be safe for my fish and turtles? It says on their website (culturedstone.com) that it should not be used as a pool liner underwater but then again GE says that their silicone I isn't for aquariums either so I'd like to get the opinions of people who know about backgrounds here. Would there be a safe grout or concrete that I could use to keep the veneer stones together? If I were to use silicone to keep the rocks together would the silicone eventually wear off in the water and allow the rock to break apart? Also when people talk about styrofoam what kind and where can I get it? Will the styrofoam itself be okay in the water? What I mean is if I use the styrofoam behind the rock to kind of stabilize the rock and also keep my filter hoses where I want them will the styrofoam start to break off in the water over time or will it hold up? A lot of questions I know but answers to these questions would be so helpful. Thanks a bunch.

Jon
 

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Hey Jon,

Welcome to the site! I haven't done any backgrounds myself, but there is a sticky on the DIY section with links to all kinds of background stuff and you will probably find answers
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I know that I don't have pics but if somebody out there knew whether or not I could use this material I'd be happy to get to work making the background in order to show a bunch of pics.
 

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i thought of this too.using the fake rock that attaches to houses.but the "rock" is actually a cement and there was a metal screen/wire that was in it.not sure but it probably would rust.plus who knows how the cement would hold up.allot of backgrounds use a fortifier to harden the cement and probably wasn't used in the rock since it has wire supporting it.
 

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those are just fake cement rocks, it really depends on if there is a metal lathe in them or not. a little rusting metal will not be to harmful, but could look ugly if it stains the rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info. It sounds like maybe the best way to go is just make my own background. With some research from this fine site I should be able to get the proper mixtures and ingredients. Thanks again.

Jon :)
 

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The brand ilikefishies is looking at is manufactured near me. It is a cement/aggregate mix. Like what most threads here talk about making DIY. It is not a stucco, which could have metal lath inside it.

The Cultured Stone is not for use in swimming pools because the chlorine and pool chemicals can discolor it. Some aquarium chemicals such as methylene blue can stain it too, but can also stain real rocks, cured silicone, and much more.

However you have turtles, which can scratch real rock, and they would keep exposing new surfaces of cement mixes and limestones, raisng the pH, besides making the background look bad. Silicone and foam are targets that turtles can make even shorter work of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info, much appreciated!! So it sounds like that material would be just fine for a mbuna or malawi tank but I should probably use actual rock for my turle tank.
 

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ilikefishies said:
Thanks for the info, much appreciated!! So it sounds like that material would be just fine for a mbuna or malawi tank but I should probably use actual rock for my turle tank.
That sounds like a wise decision to me. Real rocks can be disposed of or recycled and there is not much "work" in making them. Just be sure they are stable so that the turtles can't inadvertently use them to demolish the tank.
 
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