DIY Faux Rock background- looks awesome!
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DIY Faux Rock background- looks awesome!

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DIY Faux Rock background- looks awesome!
Old 04-09-2010, 11:35 AM   #1
redchigh's Avatar
DIY Faux Rock background- looks awesome!

Thought this might be useful- I plan on doing it when I have a bigger tank... I think mine will look cooler. :)

Supplies needed:
  • Quickcrete Blended Mason Mix
  • Concrete color mixes (black/red/buff)
  • Large Tubes of Silicone – Doors and Windows Silicone without any Bio-guard or additives
  • Rigid Styrofoam Boards – 1/2″ thick and 2″ thick
  • Disposable paint brushes (10-20)
  • West Marine Epoxy Mix – 105 Resin & 207 Hardener (I’ll explain more later)
  • West Marine pump kit (this makes measuring the resin and hardener really easy)
  • Box of Disposable gloves or a heavy pair of rubber gloves.
  • Plastic containers for mixing concrete and for mixing epoxy – He used some old plastic juice containers.
Tools Needed:

  • Large Knife
  • Heated cutting tool (optional – helps)
  • Caulking Gun
  • Straight edge
  • Ruler
  • Thick point marker (Sharpie)

Click the pic for the link. :)
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
aunt kymmie's Avatar
That looks awesome!!
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:17 PM   #3
LisaC144's Avatar
So cool! Do it on one of the new tanks you might be getting
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:02 PM   #4
redchigh's Avatar
Hmm. I might just do that. (I'd create a few holes in the "shelves" so I can drop in some potted dwarf baby tears, cover it with moss (java and either christmas or flame moss) and probably silicone some sand onto it post production with silicon rather than paint it. :)
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:15 AM   #5
keno's Avatar

I saw that you found my article on the faux stone backgrounds.

I wanted to let you know that I have been working on some updates to the process and I thought you may be interested in them.

I have found that if you use quikrete concrete acrylic fortifier instead of water it makes for a much better bond of the concrete to the styrofoam. I also found a small metal and plastic sanding tool that will rough up the surface of the styrofoam which also allows the concrete mix with acrylic fortifier to stick really well. This way you can skip the first step of the concrete process where you would have had to make a thin mix of the concrete and water and paint it on. I mix the concrete and acrylic fortifier together to get a thin peanut butter consistency. I then paint it on the styrofoam. I am pretty aggressive on this first step to really get the concrete on the styrofoam. A little mix goes a long way. This process is much better than using water. I found the acrylic fortifier at my local Lowes store.

I like your idea on adding the plant pockets. I am currently building a faux stone background for my 200 gallon aquarium and I was doing the same with the plant pockets. I am also making individual faux stones for my 200 gallon aquarium. I felt this would give it a more real stone look. Each stone will be siliconed to the one below and to the back of the aquarium.

I added a picture of one of the faux stones with just one coat of the concrete and acrylic fortifier mix.
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Last edited by keno; 04-19-2010 at 11:33 AM..
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:36 AM   #6
trukgirl's Avatar
Wayyyy too cool. I am so fed up with the picture backgrounds.

I think this may go on the Honey-Do list, LOL!!
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:50 PM   #7
redchigh's Avatar
Wow, keno. Didn't think the master would stop by. lol.

I love your whole blog, figured this was one of the best things on there to bring people over to look around. :)

PM me... Have a question to ask you.

That new rock looks way better. :) Plus, the acrylic ight make the concrete a little less porous, which was one of my big concerns.

I had another idea, of mixing colored sand (black, red, brown, etc) into different batches of concrete, and then using all four colors in the final product by only blending the edges...

Making different rocks to stack as a bg... interesting. Wouldn't just carving the bg out of styrofoam look the same though?(like, instead of adding the rocks individually like the first one, just dig grooves into it about halfway through the styrofoam, and oversanding some of the protrusions so they're not all even.

I dunno if it would be worth the extra work though now that I think about it.

I was thinking about dwarf baby tears, and thats what gave me the idea for a slot to drop plant pots in... (I have a low-tech tank, and I was thinking "How can I move the baby tears up closer to the light?" when I stumbled onto your site. I dont remember what link brought me to your site to begin with... but I'm glad I was bored that day and decided to explore.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:34 AM   #8
keno's Avatar
To answer your question about making individual stones versus just carving a larger piece.

Yes, you can put together pieces of styrofoam to get a thicker piece and then just carve the look into the styrofoam. I can and I can't do this for my 200 gallon aquarium. It is an acrylic tank with a sealed top an only two small openings. So I can't get a big piece of foam into the aquarium. I could build smaller sections and put them in, but I think the individual stones will give it a more realistic look. A lot more work, but you also have the ability to change things up. When you are building it you can move stones around to see if you like the layout better.

I included a couple of shots of my background for my 200 gallon. I made a cardboard template of my 200 gallon to make it easier to build the background. The height needs to go to the top of the cardboard. I have been thinking that I may put in some spacers between the stones to separate them slightly and allow the stones to stand out more.

Look I already have a "cat-fish" that moved in.... he also gives you a sense of scale.....
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File Type: jpg P1130078.jpg (38.2 KB, 170 views)
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:47 AM   #9
redchigh's Avatar
Nice. I like it.

I'm sure you know, the more caves the better. :) Look real nice with some mosses and epiphytes on the rock.

Can't wait to see it completed. :)
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:50 AM   #10
teddyzaper's Avatar
omg you have inspired me to make one for my 55 gallon. my only question is price? how much for all of it and expecialy what type of foam do i use?
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