Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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saganco 05-30-2009 11:38 PM

My rock slab background
We did a rock slab background (all pieces are about 1/4" thick, but but vary in dimensions), and put it on a plexiglass sheet.
All pics are here, but obviously not in order: Aquarium Rock Background pictures by gametrailgirl - Photobucket

It's for a 65g tank (36x24" background) - and we did it in two pieces. We used pure silicone and play sand (the "grout"). It was a hoot to make. The cardboard you see the numbers on is underneath the plexiglass so we knew where to put them. I think the pictures will explain most of the steps involved, but feel free to ask if you're confused. If you want some slabs, let me know.

It's a really fun thing to work on with someone you enjoy! I chose a real variety of slabs (different materials and colors - jaspers and agates, all fish safe) then had a ball mixing them up for the right look. So for about $80 (rocks & shipping), plus the plexiglass and silicone - you've got a background worth about $300!

Twistersmom 05-31-2009 09:58 AM

Looks awsome! Nice job!

jeaninel 05-31-2009 03:07 PM

Very clever idea and it looks beautiful! Just curious, how heavy was each piece? And where did you get the rocks from?

saganco 05-31-2009 05:41 PM

My other hobby is lapidary (rocks), so I literally have hundreds of pounds of very cool rocks. I would guess that the entire thing (the rock part anyway) would weigh about 15-18 pounds). Each slab is probably on average around 3-4 ounces. For anyone interested, I can sell the rock slabs below cost just to help thin the amount of rocks I'm storing and to help out other fish folks.

doctorb 06-01-2009 11:44 AM

Did you cover the entire plexiglass with silicone? I assume that's how the sand sticks. It seems like a caulk tube of silicone would be too messy and expensive, is there a thinner version you "paint" on, or did you just glob it out and use a soapy knife to butter it around?

saganco 06-01-2009 12:14 PM

We spread it in sections (as you can see in the pics, the slab places were traced and numbered), so we could work it out in more detail. We spread the silicone with a flat piece of wood (kinda like a popcicle stick but wider). Then you actually PRESS the sand into the silicone so that it's more like a mix. Never any soapy anything - the chemicals in the soap could kill the fish.

Want some slabs? I have loads of them left from a former hobby.

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