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DIY Background *Updated Again 5/09*
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Sahara22588
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Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: 2005.05.28(Sat)17:58    Post subject: DIY Background *Updated Again 5/09* Reply with quote

This background is going into a 110 gallon (4'x2'x22") that I bought off a friend. I'm not a very arts n' crafts person, but I'm hoping this will turn out okay. I'm still formulating a plan on how I want it to look... I want the background to look natural, but I'm torn between a natural look and something a little less natural. Something like putting a painting or part of an ancient temple wall in there somewhere. Kinda like this http://www.aquahobby.com/e2004/viewtopic.php?t=13515 but instead of the Ankor what theme I'd like to do something Egyptian (b/c I have African fish and Egypt is so much cooler).

Anywho, I started with a 8'x4'x2" sheet of extruded polystyrene (sp?) from Home Depot for about $24. I cut it into two 4'x4'x2" pieces to take it home, and now I have four 4'x2'x2" boards of the stuff. I intend to silicone two of the pieces together so I have four inches to work with. I'll be using some wood carving knives and gouges to do the carving itself, but I'd like a lot of leeway for mistakes.

Pics of what I have now;



I'll post more, once I have an idea of what I'd like to do and how I'd like to do it. Comment please!

Byez!! Very Happy
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Last edited by Sahara22588 on 2005.09.05(Mon)15:03; edited 5 times in total
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Doosharm
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Joined: 12 Apr 2003
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: 2005.05.28(Sat)19:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool! I'm excited for you! I've recently been thinking about adding a foam background to my 20g. I've used that foam before for modeling scenery for a game. Knives work great to get the shapes you want. They also have special wire cutters that use electricity to get a smoother cut in hobby stores. If you wanted to cut small channels into it you could also use a wodd burning tool. Just be careful not to burn the foam too much. That would be the perfect tool to make something like this:

http://cache.corbis.com/agent/11/41/12/11411250.jpg

Good luck! I can't wait to see how it comes out.

Doosharm
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Sahara22588
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Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: 2005.06.04(Sat)16:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

K, I finally got a design plan for the background. I would've had one sooner, but finals are coming up and I've had to study more than work on my tank. Please don't laugh at my ridiculously horrible Photoshop abilities...



Yay for Egyptian theme! The columns probably won't look as cool, and the hieroglyphs will most likely be different than the ones in the picture, but just for a basic idea I drew this up. The three different colored lines are steps than I'm gonna build for effect. I might have one of the columns broken when I actually carve this out, and the steps might have more cracks in them, but obviously I can't work Photoshop very well, so I decided not to try and sketch that out. I'm not going to fully carve out the columns (they're just going to be halves glued onto the main background) but I think it'll look cool anyway.

It's not to scale or anything, but maybe once I draw up some schematics for the plumbing/heating it'll be a little more accurate. More pics soon!! Comments please!!!

Byez!! Very Happy
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sirreal63
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Joined: 21 Feb 2004
Location: Meadowlakes, TX

PostPosted: 2005.06.04(Sat)16:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the design...but I wonder how it will look covered in algae? All of those recesses and grooves will make cleaning a nightmare. Then again it may add to the visual appeal. I do like it though. Good job on the design.
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Sahara22588
Exemplars


Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: 2005.06.04(Sat)17:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

sirreal63; I really am concerned about algae, since I'm planning on making this a planted tank. I'm not really gonna end up with that many carvings since I'm not that talented at the arts-n-crafts stuff, but there will be some. I think if I keep feeding to a minimum and keep up on my water changes it should minimize the chance of a major algae bloom. Thanks for the compliments, too.

Byez! Very Happy
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Glitch
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Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Location: Steamboat Springs,CO

PostPosted: 2005.06.04(Sat)19:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your going egypt I'd suggest this symbal (photo from www.webhotep.com/generic.html?pid=89 ) it's the amulet for Protection, some say Protection from Injury. You could also look up the Ankh which is the amulet for Life according to most.

(I kept everything non-factual sounding because like rules for fish, Egypts 'Glyphs are still under debate as to whats correct)

Here's another cool site with photoshttp://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html
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Sahara22588
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Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: 2005.06.04(Sat)20:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'm going to throw a couple Gods in there. Anubis (Jackel), Bastet (Cat, I have a statue of one in my car), Horus (Hawk), Isis (Women with wings/funky headpiece), etc., but there will definately be an ankh or two in there. I'm trying to find individual hieroglyphics of each so I can draw them on the styrofoam and get started.

Byez! Very Happy
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Sahara22588
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Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: 2005.06.28(Tue)17:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

K, after finals, the ACT (heck yes for a 28!), massive cleaning/chores, and ridiculous work hours, I finally got back to work on my background. I chopped up another piece of the polystyrene to make the stairs, and I'm going to start on carving the stairs and back later tonight. I'm hoping to have this whole tank done before I have to go back to school, but with the psycho work schedule I've been dealing with, it's unlikely I'll have the back siliconed in.

Here's some pics of the progress...

Here's the piece of foam that became the stairs. I measured it out so that one of the stairs is 6 inches, another 8 inches, and the last one 10 inches. The last stair got mangled a bit, so parts of it are more like 9 inches, but oh well.

The stair pieces.

Siliconed together (I had to lay on them to get them to stay. It was kinda funny).

The stairs with the backing. I didn't stick them together yet, I just wanted to see how it looked so far.

The columns with the backing and stairs. They need to be cut a bit. I wanted to have enough room for mistakes (because I know there will be some).

Anywho, that's all for now. I'm gonna eat some Taco Bell and then get back to work. I may have more pics later tonight or tomorrow.

Byez!! Very Happy
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Sahara22588
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Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: 2005.06.29(Wed)17:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

More pics of progress!


The middle row of stairs are carved!! They don't look very smooth b/c the polystuff kept chipping away funny (not to mention the fact I'm using wood carving knifes as opposed to foam carving knives). I'm figuring that once it's painted and stuff they'll look a little better.

Close up of carving.

Well? Any suggestions/comments?? I'm gonna work a bit more tonight and try to finish the top and bottom stairs before going to bed.

Byez!!! Very Happy
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Duncan, ? 1992-July 13 2005.
-May he rest in peace forever.
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Glitch
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Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Location: Steamboat Springs,CO

PostPosted: 2005.06.29(Wed)18:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking Good. Congrats on the ACT (I never took them myself) Keep up the good work and the Posts.

Glitch
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