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DIY Polystyrene Background

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DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby Ian » Sun May 03, 2009 7:33 pm

Well after nearly three months on and off my background is finally fixed in my tank. I took a few photos along the way and here they are;

Bought a sheet of 100mm thick polystyrene and siliconed it into a three sided shape as I wanted the background to be at the sides of the tank too, it started life like this;
Image


Next, I just carved away using a very sharp filleting knife and after about three hours, ended up with this;
Image

A bit more fiddling about and cutting it into five seperate pieces, I tried it in the tank for size;
Image

My idea was to paint the whole thing in a coat of runny sand and cement, then fibreglass over the whole background but I had a bit of a disaster because the resin was finding every little hole in the sand and cement and melting the polystyrene. Changed plan and just gave it loads of coats of sand and cement which made everything much smoother and rounded. This was the second 'fitting', still looking a bit bumpy though;
Image

Back out and another two coats, this time with black pigment mixed in, looked as smooth as I wanted it now;
Image

Then just painted the whole thing with a few coats resin and sprinkled play sand all over it before the last coat set, never took any photos at this stage.
Finally got it all siliconed in place and filled the tank up with water, (there is a lot more sand to go in yet which will cover the joint between the background and the tank but I wanted to see what it was going to look like), and here we are as of this afternoon;
Image

This is what it looks like now (June 2009).

Image
Last edited by Ian on Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby Ian » Mon May 04, 2009 12:32 am

Becca wrote:Are you not concerned with water displacement?

It looks great dont get me wrong, but what would the displacement be on something like that?


I would guess it's about 75 litres or so but I'm quite happy with that. After adding some pebbles, it'll probably end up having about 300 litres of water (tank is a Juwell Rio 400) but that suits me fine.
It's a bit of an optical illusion it the last photo as apart from the two corners, the background is only an average of 100mm thick.
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby Frazfisher » Mon May 04, 2009 7:47 am

excellent, lots of work but well worth the effort :clap: :clap:
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby malawibob » Mon May 04, 2009 8:06 am

Looks great, I think I might give it a bash
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby Ian » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:36 pm

This is it now, I think it was worth the effort and will look better with a few more fish and bigger pebbles in it.

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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby geordiemalawifan » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:11 pm

:handgestures-thumbup: Looks excellent. you done a great job.
Your born and then you die. The bit in the middle you have to fill in the best way you can.
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby mik1138 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:35 pm

excellent looking background, probably save a couple of quid a year in heating also
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby Nathan » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:09 pm

looks really good but has it left any caves for them or is it a solid background
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby Ian » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:58 am

No there's plenty of nooks and crannies for them to retreat or escape into, especially in the corners.
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby Nathan » Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:36 pm

wicked - great success mate

very smart looking
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby loga2638 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:34 pm

:text-bravo: :text-thankyoublue: very good idea thanks for the tips
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby munchycarrot » Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:04 pm

wow, that's some very good carving ! Nice one :handgestures-thumbup:
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby Ray » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:19 am

Amazing....Did you use sealer in the cement ans water mix ?......That tank looks brilliant ! :clap:
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby lee » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:01 pm

WOW that look really good. I wish i could do something like that. :clap: :clap:
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby Mark.s » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:08 pm

looks brilliant, job well done
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby billijaywest » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:43 pm

got to be honest, amazing well done
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby Brookfish » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:44 pm

That's a fantastic peice of DIY, very nicely done
and thanks for sharing your ideas with us! :text-goodpost:
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby Frosty » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:11 pm

Good effort :handgestures-thumbup:
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby jimmyx » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:49 pm

thats really a great job ..might try one my self ..
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Re: DIY Polystyrene Background

Postby The Codfather » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:37 pm

:handgestures-thumbup:
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