How to make your own Cliffs

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

Joseph Huntley

AC Members
Original poster
Dec 6, 2013
177
1
16
57
Moline, Illinois USA
Real Name
Joe
I remember reading another cliff building thread where the OP said the cemented pieces had to be cured in water for at least a month before it stopped leaching

Sent from my VS920 4G using MonsterAquariaNetwork App
Huapala they do but if you use pond sealer or other non toxic concrete sealer and seal the entire thing with 3 or 4 coats it wont leach into your tank at all and as soon as the sealer is cured you can drop it right into your tank
 

Joseph Huntley

AC Members
Original poster
Dec 6, 2013
177
1
16
57
Moline, Illinois USA
Real Name
Joe
well I started a partial 3D background. this one I will be using a variety of all the different ways I have seen to do them plus my own way. then I will get cement and coat it and then let it cure then paint and seal it with several coats of concrete sealer.

First thing is work on a nice cave for my incoming Super Red BN's and included a really low baby cave so any hatchlings have a cave of their own too. I siliconed the inside of the big one so that Papa has some place rough for his eggs. I will make other caves different ways. I wanted to do it this way so it also shows people you can use imagination and combine the different techniques and come up with a really unique background that looks good. so if you run out of materials but may have something else hanging around you can improvise and know it works.

First up the big cave, then some of the front using beaded foam and melted with a hot air gun, and then one with overhang and my 5" caves. I still have to make the edges of the overhang random as they are just straight atm. and i put plexi on bottom of the caves and glued them with silicone to the overhang.







 

Joseph Huntley

AC Members
Original poster
Dec 6, 2013
177
1
16
57
Moline, Illinois USA
Real Name
Joe
there is one thing to remember about foam carpet padding is that it has a plastic backing on one side that it it all glued onto. it works out best if when you stack your padding that you glue it with the plastic backing down
 

Joseph Huntley

AC Members
Original poster
Dec 6, 2013
177
1
16
57
Moline, Illinois USA
Real Name
Joe
well Melted the Ledge and the next Layer will be using some carpet Backing foam. I will combine this with some blue foam so that I can show you how you can make a little carpet backing go a long way in case you live in an area in the boonies where it might be hard to come by.







 

Joseph Huntley

AC Members
Original poster
Dec 6, 2013
177
1
16
57
Moline, Illinois USA
Real Name
Joe
Ok I added the next Layer. In this you can see how I used some 1/2 inch blue foam for a filler and then used a thin row of backing for my leading edge. Also look how nice it runs around corners.

Now I want to add a fault line over my little caves so I will do that and show you how to add another filler in place of the blue foam.








 

Rbishop

...and over the edge.
Staff member
Dec 30, 2005
40,296
289
143
65
Real Name
Mr. Normal
Great thread....
 

Joseph Huntley

AC Members
Original poster
Dec 6, 2013
177
1
16
57
Moline, Illinois USA
Real Name
Joe
well ran to Lowe's and got some more silicone and got a bag of floor leveling mortar which I can justify to wife saying I need it to level our sloped stove getting ready for new vinyl she wants in her kitchen )) I will need 1/20 the bag for that leaving the rest for me for backgrounds lol

I also wrapped the padding over the caves which will give a fault type layer of the rock. it doesn't look like much now but once i get concrete on it will look better

Here I stacked some more layers of carpet padding. I will fill behind it with spray foam, add another Styrofoam ledge and then make some spray foam rock walls that haven't broken yet on top of that





 

Joseph Huntley

AC Members
Original poster
Dec 6, 2013
177
1
16
57
Moline, Illinois USA
Real Name
Joe
well adde3d the rest of the jagged parts. still have to rough them up and shape them. also added 2 small 3/4" caves and some foam. I ran out of foam and this foam doesnt expand very much so for today other than roughing stuff up later after the foam cures, I am done with this til get to store again.

So I guess I will make my DIY CO2 setup tonight while watching TV



 

dudley

Eheim User
Feb 9, 2005
1,234
29
51
Medina, Ohio
Real Name
Dee
Interesting design and I hope it works out well.

Are you planning on removing any of the carpet padding before placing it in your aquarium?
 

Joseph Huntley

AC Members
Original poster
Dec 6, 2013
177
1
16
57
Moline, Illinois USA
Real Name
Joe
Nope I am going to just encase the entire thing in sand topping concrete once it is all encapsulated it wont matter.

I would remove it and all foam if I was putting in a new tank where I could seal the hollow behind but since mine is filled I don't want stagnant water back there
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store