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Thread: Styrofoam landscape

  1. #1
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    Default Styrofoam landscape

    I seem to recall someone talking about building a landscape for their tank out of styrofoam and then painting it. I also beleive Rudy saw such a setup at a breeders house. I was wondering if anyone has accomplished such a feat. I read an article on the KingVinnie DIY website about doing this and think it would work awesome for a large American cichild tank, instead of using like a ton of large rocks. We have several large pieces of 6-8" thick styrofoam in the barn at our farmhouse. Any input would be great.
    Is this the support group for Fishaholics?

  2. #2
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    The problem with stryo is it is extremely bouyant as you might have guessed. I built two large stonehenge Triliths out of straight concrete, because my imitial venture with stryo and concrete wanted to float, even with pounds of concrete on it.

    I have seen stryo backgrounds done. There is an another forum were there is a step by step description, I don't want to adverstise them or whatever, so you can pm me for the link. It is very descripted and the background(s) are awesome looking. You have to start with a clean empty tank is the only bad thing.
    too many fish not enough tank

  3. #3

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    I have often thought of doing a styrofoam background for one of my tanks so I have read a lot of info about it. You can design the background any way you like- most people i've read about used sand paper, files, their hands, and/or a blow torch to shape the styrofoam. I even read about someone using a blow dryer to shape the styrofoam but when I saw the pictures I didn't think it looked very good. Anyway, every time I've read something about styrofoam backgrounds the creators always siliconed the styrofoam to the back of the tank- so it is a rather permanent venture. The real problem is sealing the styrofoam. I've mostly read of two ways to seal the styrofoam, but the methods to do it are the same. The two ways that I've read about is to seal the styrofoam with a concrete mixture or an epoxy mixture. The procedure is the same in applying it. You make a mixture of concrete and sand and/or dye that you want your background to be or a mixture of epoxy and sand of the color you want your background to be and apply it over your entire styrofoam background 2 or 3 times or until you've reached your desired color. I think you will need to soak the styrofoam sealed with concrete in water for two weeks to flush out any toxins. I think you will need to soak the styrofoam sealed with epoxy in water for a day to flush out any toxins. I am writing most of this on memory, but i have a link that shows you a tutorial on how to make a background (in this case it is bottomground). The tutorial shows you the epoxy method. Here is the link : http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_o...tmax_styro.htm

    the good thing about this tutorial is that he/she tells you where to by the epoxy mixture(i think it is the most expensive part of the background) and everything that he used to create the background.

    I found this on the alt.aquarium.fish.misc or something to that effect on the newsgroups. The credit of this creation goes to a poster call NetMax.

    Hope this helps,
    BadAndy
    You guys are sick . . . and I hope you never get well

  4. #4
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    Yeah, the buoyancy of the styrofoam would be a problem, and I'm not real big on siliconing anything to my tank, especially something that would need to be removed to catch fish. Making something out of straight concrete would work just as well I guess, altough I imagine it's harder to work with. I do like the idea of styrofoam performing the same function as rock piles, but not being so heavy and stressful on the tank, and being much less likely to wound a fish.

    BadAndy - that is the same article I read. The application for plants is particularly interesting as I have all sorts of problems keeping my plants rooted and/ or cleaning the gravel around them.

    OA - If you could share some of your experiences with both stro and concrete I would appreciate it greatly. I will also PM you for some more info.
    Is this the support group for Fishaholics?

  5. #5

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    Has anyone heard of using fiberglass for this function. I too am in terror about how much rock I now have in my tank.
    http://www.goldendc.com/fishindex.htm

  6. #6

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    My current plan is to use fiberglass - it should be pretty straightforward, and no real bouyancy issues. I'm laying it up on a carved styrofoam chunk with release paper attached to it. I'm going to have to do it in multiple pieces and epoxy them together to get a proper 3D effect, though.

    Chris

  7. #7

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    If you can email me the materials you use. Please!
    jnorris@goldendc.com
    http://www.goldendc.com/fishindex.htm

  8. #8
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    Chris, if you could tell us how that comes out and maybe produce some photos I'm sure we'd all appreciate it.
    Is this the support group for Fishaholics?

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