11-14-2013, 07:55 PM #1
How To create an artificial Cliff
Ok guys atm I dont have any pictures but I will soon but thought would explain the process since it is so easy.
I was a taxidermist for many years and we always did fish mounts in natural looking scenes and cliffs and here is one of the tricks we used and I bet It can be used here too.
We also went to the model train store and they have all kinds of really cool rubber molds for casting your own rocks and stuff so look in the train stores too for your aquarium needs.
Step 1: get some scrap plexiglass for a base, also get a couple acrylic rods from local hardware store.
Step 2: Cut your base in the shape you want your cliff wall.
Step 3: drill several holes and cut your acrylic rod to the height you want your cliff and weld them into your base with acrylic or plexi glue.
Step 4: go dumpster diving at your local carpet store for some of their scrap carpet padding. you know the stuff made from chunks of foam rubber glued together to make the padding. (I always ask the store if they are open and they always say no need to hit the dumpster and take me in the back and hand me 20 times more than i ever need.)
Step 5: Cut the width you want your wall plus maybe 1/2 inch wider and do this until you have enough layers to make the height you want.
Step 6: TEAR DO NOT CUT the front of the padding giving you random shapes. your front will be rough like rocks and you want to tear like a wavy pattern to the front so your layers of rocks are all different.
Step 7: Randomly grab your layers and poke them onto the acrylic rods you might want to sharpen the tops of the rods a little to make it easier.
Step 8: once this is all finished you should have a nice stack of foam padding and it will look like a really nice rock faced wall.
Now for the Finishing of your Wall
Finishing 1: Use whatever aquarium concrete you guys use and start out with a thin coat and completely coat the foam front and rear so that the foam is completely encapsulated. we used plaster of paris but in an aquarium I doubt that will work.
I assume you can also use urethane's or plastics for making aquarium stuff (maybe someone smart with aquarium materials for these things can make suggestions.)
Finishing 2: after the initial coat has dried you can start layering a few thicker coats on until you get the desired thickness you want. Also you can use natural sponges while the coating is still wet and dapple it around giving the rock some more texture.
Finishing 3: for your final coat you might want to tint your concrete mixture so that it is a lot easier to paint to your desired color later on.
Finishing 4: add final painting and clear coat as desired. the plexi base is created with a couple feet will be able to be slid under your substrae and even put a couple regular rocks on top to hold youe wall to the ground.
Once I learn more about materials I will make one for my aquarium and update this thread with some pictures of the process
11-14-2013, 08:13 PM #2
11-14-2013, 08:27 PM #3
thanks yea I bet I have made a real cliff of them as many as I have made for my taxidermy stuff. even made the same thing for my railroads.
so I know they come out really cool looking and natural especially if you use the granite spray on rock stuff there was always 3 different colors avail and i mixed and matched them to get really natural looking then would add lichen etc and you couldn't tell they were fake.
for an aquarium there can be all kinds of nooks crannies and tiny caves you can make with it for fish and babies to hide
11-14-2013, 08:48 PM #4
11-14-2013, 11:09 PM #5
Great read. When I read the title of this thread my first thought was someone was trying to replace the moderator "Cliff" with a computor version.
Thank goodness thats not what your explaining.Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..
Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.
11-15-2013, 02:03 AM #6
rofl now that would be funny
11-15-2013, 02:01 PM #7
11-16-2013, 03:53 AM #8
ok guys I been reading on guys doing rocks and stuff tell me if im mistaken but it looks like they just use quickcrete concrete over their foam? do you have to seal it afterwards? what abt all that lime in your water wont it affect PH etc?
11-16-2013, 12:52 PM #9
This has been done by a lot of people who keep marine tanks. It is very common to soak the rocks in fresh water until there is no change in the pH of the water. From what I have read, they sock them in dechlorinated fresh water and test the pH daily, changing all the water when there is a change in the pH. Some people have stated this process only takes 1 or 2 months while others have states it takes 3 to 4 months. However, I do not believe you would notice a change in the ph when in a marine aquarium (after the soaking process is done) as the pH in those set-ups is around 8.0 to 8.4. There still might be a risk when in a fresh water tank.
But once again, just based on what I have read. The below links might help a little. If you try to make rock, just don't use any crushed coral in the mix
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]
11-16-2013, 04:46 PM #10