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Thread: DIY- Lava rock background
03-11-2007, 04:08 AM #1
DIY- Lava rock background
Well, today i was looking at my tank and i said to myself i said, "Matt, that looks boring. Lets spice it up a bit." Then i had an idea. I was going to make a removable lava rock background.
~1 five gallon bucket
~1 hooked up hose with water
~1 peice of heavy grit sand paper (45-60 grit is cherry)
~ OPTIONAL 1 circular saw with a carbon fiber blade/copper cutting blade
~1 Tape measure
~1 tube aquarium selant/silicon 5$
~1 cubic foot bag of black/red/mixed lava rock 4$
~1 sheet of acrylic 1/8-3/8 will work 6$
__________________________________________________ _______________~ Total Cost (approximately) 15$
Now, my total cost was exactly $9.07, because i had the acrylic already.
1. Fill the bucket up about 5-6 inches with your lava rock. you will probobly notice that the rock is really dirty.
2. Fill the bucket up with the hose and let the bucket continuously overflow for about three minutes. Then dump the water. Then lean the bucket on its side and spray the heck out of the rocks in the bucket to remove any smaller particals. Dump out the water.
3. spread the towel out in the sun on a flat surface like the driveway/sidewalk/deck/table. Dump the rocks out on the towel and spread them out so they dry faster.
1.Measure the inside of your aquarium, and not the dimesions on a peice of paper. also note how far away from both ends of your aquarium where your powerheads/uplift tubes/intake tubs are and right them on the paper as well. the spots where your tubes, filter tubes, or powerheads are will not be covered by the lava rock to facilitate it fitting better.
1. Mark out the length and the altitude of your tanks backround on the sheet. You can use a permenant marker (if you wipe it off with hairspray or isopropyl alcohol after cutting) a crayon, or preferably a grease pencil.
2. There are two ways to cut it.
a. Use the t-square to get a straight line, and score deeply the outline of your background. then place the score mark over a sharp edge like a counter top or a workmate and with a sharp, quick motion, snap it off. repeat with other score mark
b. Mark the dimensions as in "a" and use the carbonfiber/copper cutting blade to cut your lines.
3. use a heavy grit sand paper (45-60 grit) and sand one sid of your acrylic fairly well. This is so the silicon will have more surface area to bond to, meaning a stronger hold
4. Now go outside and roll your rocks around.
1. remember the measurements of where your intake tube/powerhead/uplift tubes were? Grab the peice of paper.
2. mark those dimensions of where your intake tube/powerhead/uplift tube will be.
3. remember for later parts, you wil NOT put any rocks crossing those lines.
1.grab your silicon, acrylic, and a chair and go outside and find a comfortable working place.
2. grab some handfulls of lava rocks and take them to your workplace.
3. GET TO GLUEING!
1. step back and admire your work
2. let cure for 48 hours before putting your background back in your tank.
3. remove all of your stuff from the back of the tank like intake tube/powerhead/uplift tube/ and decorations.
4. Because the lip of the tank, you will have to put the background in at an angle.
5. To seat it firmly, give it a gentle press into the substrate.
And there you have it, your very own aquarium background.
The latest three are my background. You will notice the uncovered parts, that is where my uplift tubes and powerheads go.
Well i hope you all have learned something, as i did myself. Enjoy, and happy crafting........... Ok i give up i dont have a good sign off.
Money can't buy happiness, but it sure can pay the rent.
03-11-2007, 04:16 AM #2
Very cool! One suggestion though - If you cut the acrylic sheet so it is slightly smaller than the inner dimensions of the tank, then you won't need to tilt it slightly because the top will be underneath the lip. If it starts to lean forward, you can just fasten the top to the lip with some string/rubber bands, OR just drop a dab of silicone between the glass back and the acrylic. I'm just iffy about the tilting part because I'd get worried that gunk would collect back there. Just a thought :)Foshizzle.
03-11-2007, 04:19 AM #3
0Originally Posted by Chrona
I was talking about you having to angle it sideways to fit it in your tank, because of the length of the sheet, not the altitude. it should stay firmly rooted in your substate. It is made removable for gentle scrubbing when needed, but the sillicon dab is a good idea for people how cant get it to stay up!Money can't buy happiness, but it sure can pay the rent.
03-11-2007, 04:33 AM #4
Ohhhhhhhh, I get it now, my mistake, lol.Foshizzle.
03-11-2007, 04:35 AM #5
0Originally Posted by Chrona
I can see how that could have been confusing. ooops.Money can't buy happiness, but it sure can pay the rent.
03-11-2007, 04:45 AM #6
nice. I might try that with my 10g.
03-11-2007, 04:54 AM #7
As a side benefit, I'll bet the lava rock wall will make a nice place for bacteria to culture, heh.Foshizzle.
03-11-2007, 05:05 AM #8
yup.Money can't buy happiness, but it sure can pay the rent.
03-11-2007, 05:33 AM #9
03-11-2007, 06:15 AM #10
Should i go against the label, and see how it looks? it is all cured on the outside for up to a thickness of 2 mm. i put a bead on a seperate peice of plexi to see how long it would take to cure.Money can't buy happiness, but it sure can pay the rent.