Step 13: Install in the tank

Now remember practicing in step 10 ?  Here is where it will pay off.  Install the pieces in the tank and brace/block/tape or hold in place till it sticks.  be sure to press on it slightly to help spread the silicone against the glass.  Allow to dry for at least 48 hours before adding water.
<p>This is fabulous!!</p>
<p>Hey there,</p><p>Did you mix your concrete with sand?</p>
<p>can this be done for salt tank</p>
<p>LaylaT1, If I were going to put this in a saltwater or reef tank I would soak it for nearly a year doing weekly water changes in some other type of dark container (so no algae). This is based on people making &quot;aragonite rock&quot; which is portland cement mixed with crushed aragonite. It's commonly referred to as &quot;homemade reef rock&quot; and lots of people make it to replace live rock in their reef tanks and saltwater fish only tanks. You can look it up, but most people recommend soaking it for a long time and I would too. </p>
Hiii i want to ask that if we use cement for colour so it will harm my fishes or not ?? Did cement can give any harm to my fishes
<p>Nice work .. Working with foam by hot water foam cutter really Artistic work and addicted !?? </p>
<p>Thanks for your instructable. I think mine turned out ok. Didn't want anything big, just a nice rock wall. Made a spot on the bottom for my bubble wall to go, as well as a spot to hide my eheim filter.</p>
<p>Pulling up an old instructable here. Love what you did. How long did you have it in your tank? Do you still have it? How did it hold up to algae? Did you use this on a planted tank? Fish?</p><p>My thought was to create something like this with a planted tank and plant some ferns or something right on to the polystyrene. Curious as to how it will hold up over time though as I don't want to have to pull it out, scrape everything down, and rescape in a year ;)</p><p>Would love to hear from you if you still monitor this. Thanks!</p>
I no longer have the tanK, moved on to other hobbies. The wall held up for about a year, I then had an outbreak of black algea, due to some plants I got. The black algea was a nightmare to get rid of. The wall can be scrubbed and cleaned with no problem. It seemed to hold up well before and after the outbreak.
Thanks for the response. ;)
<p>Hey, thanks for this cool Instructable! It's now 4 years later, and I'm wondering, how did it work out long-term? In particular, I'm worried about algal growth, which looks like it would be really hard to clean off (especially if you've glued it to the tank). Did you find yourself with a ruined tank and deep regrets several years later? Or are you still happy with it?</p>
<p>I am curious to know the long term ramifications as well.</p>
I used latex based drylock on mine. I carved it all out of a single piece of foam that comes from the inside of a steel door. ran pipes behind for my canister filter and return for the undergravel jets.
<p>What is the pvc on the bottom of your tank for? Is it strictly for water circulation or is there another purpose?</p>
Latex Drylock works much better than concrete. It is durable and it won't raise your PH like the concrete will. You can tint it with concrete tint powder. It is widely used in the hobby and completely safe.
I never had a problem with ph. dont know why byt never saw any abnormal spikes with mine
<p>Perhaps you used Type V (also sold as Type II/V) portland cement, it's a low PH cement and will greatly reduce any possible PH spike that might normally be seen. Also if you don't use a LOT of cement it won't cause a huge spike but will slowly push your PH higher. There are guys reporting PH as high as 14 in their freshly made concrete &quot;rocks&quot;... that's enough to dissolve flesh.</p><p>-I love the idea of a 3d background, but I seriously wonder about all the trapped stagnant water caused by doing this. Perhaps, as some others have done, use a PVC frame for the rear wall and drill holes so you can force water to flow behind the rockwork.</p><p>-Do you know if there's any long term effects to using this pink foamboard? </p>
<p>You mentioned Type V (also sold as Type II/V) portland cement. Is this any thing like Ultracal 30 gypsum, it is used for mold making. I have access to alot of it. </p><p>http://www.monstermakers.com/product/ultracal-30-gypsum-cement.html</p>
<p>I loved this idea so i went for it. My concrete did not turn out, it did not stick to the foam but here is the picture of it with the concrete. Not as good as yours/ NICE JOB.</p>
I am getting ready to make an insert for my tank this weekend. my question is.... how dirty does it get behind the insert? I know you used a lot of silicone but my design may not need that much. Do I need to worry about getting stuff growing behind the insert?
mine ended witha Brown growth behind the insert, I suspect it's a diotom growth or something like that. I cant see mine unless I look behind the tank but since its up against the wall its no big deal and doesnt get much light back there so it sort of keeps it at bay I think
Thanks i did it. its nice
This is an amazing instructible. I simply love it. I am not this talented and I would like to try it some day.
Hi, I know this post is somewhat dated but I have to questions for ya:<br>1) How hard is it to keep clean? I know you mention you scrub it occasionally but is that no big deal or does it become an all afternoon event?<br><br>2) Do you really have to glue it to the tank? Seems so permanent. Have you ever experimented with other options for keeping it in place?<br><br>I love this instructable and i'm thinking about doing it on my 75 gal turtle tank
hi i just read this and i have an idea, first off let me say that your instructable is frakking fantastic and i WILL be using it with a slightly different design to the rock so that i can make caves for my fish to hid in. however i was thinking that although using silicone is probably the best way to make sure your backround never moves and im guessing it would increase the value of your tank by quite alot. however, using styrofoam gives you options for depth, im sure suctuon cups could be added by carving space for them in the back of the foam. OR and im gonna experiment with this, USE MAGNETS. powerful enough magnets could be attached the to back of the foam using silicone and then with another magnet or flat piece of metal could bue used in the outside of the aquarium to secure in place... thats just the idea i had that would probably make it easier to take out/clean
I dont really &quot;Scrub&quot; it, i sort of just brush it off occasionally with a stiff paint brush. It only takes about 5 mins of cleaning, like I stated I dont know if you would really have to do this but eventually I would think the algae would build up and look bad otherwise. <br><br> Im not sure how you would attach it to the wall any other way except with some sort of suction cup method. I thought about that when I started but with fish, I thought by suction cupping it to the back wall would create a pocket to where fish might get trapped back there. If your turtle was big enough I suppose maybe attaching suction cups to the back of the wall and sticking it to the tank would work. <br><br>Another method might be to cut it so it fits the entire height of the back of the tank tightly and then put some large rocks along the bottom, the lip of the tank should hold it down and the rocks at the bottom might hold it in...having it in a turtle tank this way might make it easier to clean because it could be removed. I may have to try this on our turtle tank....
if you glued the pieces together plumb on the back then made it concave like an eighth of an inch on the back and put the suction cups on that you would essentially get rid of the gap in theroy wouldnt you?
Yes, cement leaches out a lot of calcium and raises the pH drastically. Of course, some fish such as African Cichlids like a high pH, but anything over 8.5-9.0 would be too high even for them. Draining and filling is the only way to rid it. DON'T be tempted to use those pH reducers they sell in pet stores. It will only work a short while, then the cement will cause the pH will zoom back up killing everything in your tank. Just a heads up.
OK..thanks...so far no PH spike...but I have changed the water a couple of times so who knows...the Ultra tex stuff I used is only made of portland and sand and nothing else so I dont know if that helps or not...
Portland is what you have to worry about-it's made from lime.
I've read adding vinegar to the change water helps buffer as well?
Do you think you could use planters foam for this type of project? <br>
Planters and florist foams would be OK only after full leaching. They contain salts from the manufacturing process. Talk to your local florist and read the instructions for use. I would do water sample tests on the leachate to be sure it is ready for an aquarium. After leaching you can let it dry before starting the manufacturing process. <br> <br>A. Grower Wholesaler <br>
excellent work...think i will try something like this....if i can get all the resources together...i am living in ireland and priced one of the ready made 3d backgrounds and would of cost me &euro;185...thats when i found yours...
what did you use for paint/dye to color the last coat of cement?
I used concrete tinting you can get along side the quickcrete type cement at the hardware store...a very little goes a LONG way
What glue would you recommend for gluing the pieces in?<br>And how heavy was the final product?<br><br>My only issue with this scale of a wall is that my tank is probably 1/3 of yours, if not smaller (a square 50 gallon, if I remember correctly). Would you say that the wall would still fit in well?
I started out with silicone but ended up using hot glue for the most of it. You could scale it to what ever size you want or need. I have seen some online (youtube) that take up half the tank...it depends what look you are going for. it only weighed about 3 lbs or so total (total guesstimate)
I am VERY impressed man! I tried to do this with those white grates that cover fluorescent lights and triple-expanding foam.. It was horrible to work with and failed miserably. I really wish I had gone this direction with it. It would have been stronger and (if I was lucky) could have turned out as nice as this one. I would like to see a pic of the populated tank after a little algae growth and such. It must look great.
I just posted some pictures after running this for a long while. Have a coating of algae and stuff on it...I called it aged...LOL...sorry for the cell phone camera photos...hope it give everyone an idea...
I am in the process of making a similar project. I am making a basking spot for my bearded dragon(lizard) out of 1/4&quot; plywood, then i am going to use your method of applying concrete to protect my lizard from the glue used in the plywood... Hopefully it comes out looking as nice as yours!
Post picts when your done, would like to see it!
ill do that hopefully, will probably be a week or two tho since i only work on the weekends
Mine took a couple of weeks as well, darn work has to get in the way of our hobbies....
yes exactly, except it is school for me
beatutiful,<br>i hope can make like this<br>thanks<br>
Looks top notch. Love to see a picture of it with fish and plants added.
Hi bro,<br> one question in my mind. use cement for color that any side effect to fish.reply plzzzzzz.
no side effects seen yet. I have a couple of bluegills in there borowed from the pond. Figured if they do good for s couple of weeks I'll put some topicals in.

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