Login
User Name
Password   


Registration is FREE. Click to become a member of OrchidBoard community
(You're NOT logged in)

menu menu

Sponsor
Donate Now
and become
Forum Supporter.


Many perks!
<...more...>


Sponsor
 

Google


Fauna Top Sites
Register Members O.C.D. Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
LOG IN/REGISTER TO CLOSE THIS ADVERTISEMENT
  #1  
Unread 01-28-2008, 12:34 PM
Marty's Avatar
Orchid Board
 

Join Date: May 2005
Zone: 6b
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,513
View Marty's Gallery Male
Default Vivarium Rock Wall construction

OK, this is repost from another forum, but I thought I'd post it here

I had a new tank that I was building so I thought I'd try to build a fake rock wall structure as a background. Just for the record, I have zero art abilities and am not the art type.

In the past I've used a variety of different backgrounds and methods, I decided to try something different this time. Instead of tree fern panels, I used the Eco-friendly EpiWeb, through First Rays Orchids. Main idea was that I wanted uniform pieces to work with and no breakdown over time.



The tank that I'm working with is acrylic made by First Class Aquatics. It's hard to attach things to acrylic, because over time it tends to release. In my other tanks, I had to badly score the acrylic in order to get a decent adhesion. Bonding with methylene chloride to acrylic lasts forever, so I figured I'll try to bond my background to acrylic via a piece of plexi.



I then attached the plexi to epiweb with stainless steel pegs. Epiweb is very tough, so I wasn't worried that it won't hold. I put the pegs on both sides.




Once the pegs are in, the plexi holds well and is ready for bonding.



I poured some methylene chloride in between the sheets with a needle applicator and applied some pressure with heavy books.



That was done for all 3 sides.



Now a bit of a time lapse...I didn't snap photos of poly urethane foam layer, but I sprayed some strange shapes onto the background with the poly foam and then I applied the HabaCrete Vivarium concrete (purchased from HerpInvert).



Concrete dries rather fast, so make small batches and wear gloves.



I forgot to add that I've attached some roots into the background. I got few fake realistic roots/limbs from PetSmart. Expensive, but they do look good and once they get a bit of dirt, growth and algae they look very realistic. Ok, I don't normally go to PetSmart.



Background i secure, concrete is applied, it's time to paint it.



Did I say, I have not art abilities??? I used some non toxic acrylic paints for this, but left them way to thick...the whole things turned out horrible!



Since it really looked bad, I put another very thin, very watered down layer of concrete on top to regain some creative control over the tank. Trick was to use a 'wash', very diluted paint. 2nd time around it came out a bit better, although the camera flash tends to wash out all the highlights.



Here's the side with the PetSmart root, embedded into the foam and concrete.



I also wanted to make some type of a center piece. I made a giant blob with the poly foam



Idea was to carve out 'something' that would stay in the middle of the tank...I tried a hack saw blade, but it didn't go too well and it was hard...Fortunately I had the Ronco Rotisserie, which came with a long carving knife. I knew the purchase was justified!



I carved out a piece that looked like this



on goes a layer of concrete.



Then a dark wash. I also dry brushed some light highlights onto the rock, to make it a bit more realistic.



For the substrate of the tank, I've purchased some more epiweb. I used the leca clay pebbles before, but this seemed like a light wight alternative.



Layer of landscaping fabric to cover the epiweb.



Some coco fiber dirt on top and few plants are in. Now I have to add a bit more plants and let everything grow for a few months to fill in.



Bromeliad attached with some fishing line



Few more broms.



That's the center piece in the middle of the tank.

I still need to fix few things in the tank...as I do them, I'll try to post some more photos. My rock wall attempt I'm sure could be done much better if someone actually knew what they were doing and how to scape and mold it, but once things get overgrown, I'm sure it will look half decent.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Unread 01-28-2008, 01:04 PM
Tindomul's Avatar
Moderator
 

Join Date: May 2005
Zone: 7b
Location: Queens, NY, USA
Age: 34
Posts: 15,195
View Tindomul's Gallery Male
Default

OOOoooooooooooh! Looks good. I know I can't make fake rocks like you. Nice job Marty. You need more orchids in there though.
__________________
"We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"

Goblin Market
by Christina Georgina Rossetti
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Unread 01-28-2008, 01:48 PM
cb977's Avatar
Senior Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2006
Zone: 9a
Location: Spring Hill, FL
Posts: 17,248
Default

Way too cool!!!
Thank Goodness for the Ronco Rotisserie, huh?

to our
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Unread 01-28-2008, 02:47 PM
Marty's Avatar
Orchid Board
 

Join Date: May 2005
Zone: 6b
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,513
View Marty's Gallery Male
Default

Yes I do need more orchids... I only got one bulbo in there. When it gets warmer, I'll order a few for that and another tank that I'll be working on in the spring.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Unread 01-30-2008, 12:04 PM
flhiker's Avatar
Senior Member
 

Join Date: Feb 2007
Zone: 10b
Location: South Florida
Posts: 3,671
Default

Great Job Marty, Where did you get your non-toxic paint from? My local Depot doesn't seem to have it.
__________________
"Take only Photo's and Leave only footprints"


Dave
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Unread 01-30-2008, 01:12 PM
Marty's Avatar
Orchid Board
 

Join Date: May 2005
Zone: 6b
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,513
View Marty's Gallery Male
Default

I got it at Wallmart, though it probably has lead in it
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Unread 02-25-2008, 01:35 AM
Member
 

Join Date: Jun 2007
Zone: 5b
Location: Jackson, MI
Age: 38
Posts: 31
Default

That looks awesome!!!! I have planned to do something like that but was unsure of "creating" the rocks, i just aquired a 37 gallon aquarium that i plan on doing, i'll try my hand at rocks and post pics. Hope i can pull it off like you did
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Unread 02-25-2008, 03:05 AM
Senior Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2007
Zone: 4a
Location: Bailey, Colorado
Posts: 2,408
Default

Your rock work looks really great!

I like the arrangement with the roots on the sides and the center piece in the middle. I think you got lots of good texture and variation using that concrete! Good job!

And I am very happy to see what products to use and a way to use them. . .I've been wanting to do something similar but wasn't sure where to begin.

Are those products and paint safe for frogs? And are you planning to add any frogs to your new tank?

P.S. I am still laughing about that big pile of poo sitting on the cushion. ROFLOLOL
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Unread 02-25-2008, 08:50 AM
Marty's Avatar
Orchid Board
 

Join Date: May 2005
Zone: 6b
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,513
View Marty's Gallery Male
Default

These should be safe, I used them before with no ill effects. I'm not sure if I'll put frogs into this tank because I have it planted now with bunch of carnivorous plants, including 6 different species of drosera (sundew) on the ground. These are pretty delicate so I may put few thumbnails in there, but nothing large. Once it grows over a bit more, I'll post some updated pictures.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Unread 05-01-2008, 07:38 PM
Jr. Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 26
Default

Hey Marty,

Do you have a fan in your enclosure? How do you manage air exchange? Very nice, I like it alot!

Matt
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My vivarium - Pics inside Marty Terrarium Gardening 34 07-06-2007 12:37 PM
Wooden Vivarium Construction Michael Terrarium Gardening 5 04-09-2007 11:32 AM
Orchid species for small vivarium SEAN Terrarium Gardening 7 04-07-2007 08:49 AM
Vivarium Pics - dialup warning Marty Terrarium Gardening 7 04-07-2007 05:33 AM
Vivarium w/ orchids eddtango Terrarium Gardening 13 04-08-2006 09:38 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:32 AM.

© 2007 OrchidBoard.com

Clubs, ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0