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Another Custom Foam Background
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Joined: 12 Apr 2003
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: 2009.02.07(Sat)18:13    Post subject: Another Custom Foam Background Reply with quote

So I'm FINALLY taking a chance at making my own foam background. I've wanted to do this ever since I saw the famous Ankor what post back in '04 and moreso recently after seeing Sunstar's Muddy banks project. Anyway, I considered not posting this because I didn't want to be a cpoy-cat but I've run into a jam and need some help. First, let me explain what I'm going for.

I'm trying to capture the look of an eroded riverbank with some roots and rocks sticking out of the bank. I'm using a 1 inch thick sheet of foam for the background and then building up three more layers near the top to kind of make a overhanging river bank.

Front View

I want to have the background pulled out an inch or two from the back of the tank so I can hide my heater but that means I have to create a passage for water to get from one side to the other. So, I cut little vents into the top of the ridge and then put a little platic grate there to prevent fish from coming through.

Top View

In the middle section I am planning on cutting out a similar section with plastic grating on the bottom and using it as a planter. I would fill it up with Flourite and plant bog plants in the top that would grow out of the top of the tank. Now to my questions:

1.) Do you think I will get sufficient water circulation though the two vents or will I need something more?
I placed the vent on the right so that the water should cascade directly into the vent, hopefully forcing water through and creating circulation.

2.) Would a suspended Flourite planter even work?
I know Flourite can be messy so is this just a terrible idea? I don't want to have to water the plants so I thought I could just have the bottom section open to the tank like the vents.

2a.) Do you think the roots would grow down into the open water column or would they just stay in the Flourite? My goal is for the plants in that section to create roots that will grow down into the tank and be visible from the front adding to the illusion of a real river bank.

So that's it for now. I don't want to move on with the project until I have some outside input so I greatly appreciate any comments or suggestions you may have. Thanks in advance!

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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Location: bedford, virginia

PostPosted: 2009.02.23(Mon)11:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi- good ideas you have there, I've made a similar design before and since you're asking, I'll throw in my 2 cents.

First off- your filtration setup- I imagine you are going to use a canister filter with seperate in/out tubes -right? just make sure there is plenty room for all the gunk to get to the inlet and I would make sure the water surface will ripple a little from the output. The bigest problem I've had with my setup (it has lead to small disasters) was that water does not flow overly well to begin with and sometimes barely at all if I don't keep up with the javamoss growing up the walls

Second- I don't know how well that planter will work as far as growing the plant but I am concerned that it will break off if not properly supported.

Third- Why did you sculpt the roots? I made something very similar and used real roots that were sticking out of a river bed. I think you'll end up a lot happier with the end result if you use natural materials.

looks good, are you planning on covering it with concrete?

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