D.I.Y. 3D Rock wall Background

  • wojo77
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wojo77 created the topic: D.I.Y. 3D Rock wall Background

This is a step by step guide on how to build a 3D rock wall background. This is the first guide I have done so please if you feel I didn't cover something well enough please just ask about it. Also there are many techniques on the web on how to do this project this is just what I did by piecing together what I have seen other people do. There may be better ways to do it so please do what works best for you. The biggest thing to do with this project is to have FUN and be CREATIVE!

Also the video has more in depth details. The written steps are just some of the highlights of the most important steps the video has
way more info so please watch

Things you will need
sharpie, measuring tape, masking tape, GE silicon 1, cement patch, cement color, mixing containers, spray paint, paint brushes

First measure the dimensions of the back panel of your tank. now layout your dimensions with masking tape on your work area.Be sure
be sure to include the center support in your layout. (I forgot to do it in this pic but you will see it a few pics from now.) The layout is the most important step of the entire project, because if you make your background too big it wont fit in the tank and too small it wont look right. So be sure to get accurate measurements.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/1800x451.jpg[/img]

Now lay the back of your foam board on the table. you can use ether one solid piece of foam board or several joined together just as long as they are flat and roughly the same thickness. Foam board can be purchased from just about any home improvement store or you can do like me and dumpster dive for some. I got mine from a local door shop that normally would throw it away. If you are using
separate pieces make sure to number them to keep your order. now using your hands or a knife shape the foam to fit inside your tape layout. Don't make it a perfect fit add some curves and shape to your edges to make it look natural. Be sure it fits!

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/2800x451.jpg[/img]

Now that you have your basic shape tape your pieces together.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/3800x451.jpg[/img]

Okay with your backboard finished you are now ready to start carving your rocks. start by just breaking off parts with your hands and laying them on your board carve and shape them however you like and try different patterns till you find something you like. Once you are happy with what you have. Start taping your foam pieces down one at a time just use a small loop of tape on the back of each to hold it in place.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/4800x451.jpg[/img]

After all the parts are taped in place stand your background up and take a good look at it. If you are unhappy with a part you can pull it off and change it once you have decided you are happy with what you have you are ready for the next step

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/5800x451.jpg[/img]

Now lay your background back down on the table. remove your foam one part at a time. Remove the tape, apply a good amount of silicone but be sure to keep it far enough away from the edge that it does not come out around the piece when you press it back onto the board.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/7800x451.jpg[/img]

Now that it is all siliconed together be sure to take one good final look a good tip for any of your fine details like cracks or dips is to make them 3 to 4 times bigger then what you want because if not the cement will completely fill them up.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/6800x451.jpg[/img]

now take your cement patcher and follow the mixing directions on the box and apply your first thin coat.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/75800x451.jpg[/img]

After your fist coat has been applied and has set for 15 min lay a wet towel over the background. Let this first coat cure for at least 24 hours BE SURE TO KEEP THE TOWEL WET!!!

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/8800x451.jpg[/img]

This is what I had after my first coat dried as you can see there is still some foam visible that is okay.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/9800x451.jpg[/img]

Now repeat with 2 more coats

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/10800x451.jpg[/img]

Now for your final coat mix your color follow the directions on the box. If the color don't turn out right don't worry you can just add another coat. My first color coat was way too dark so I just did another lighter color coat and it Fixed it.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/11451x800.jpg[/img]

Now after you apply your finial coat let it set then lay a wet towel over it like before but this time let it cure for at least 7 full days. After 7 days you need to throughly soak and rinse the background for 2 to 3 days change the water at lest once a day this is to lower the PH and make it safe for the tank some of your color will fade in this step.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/12800x451.jpg[/img]

Now with the background fully cured and dried set it in your tank and get an idea were you want it.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/13800x451.jpg[/img]

now lay the tank on its back and move the background to one side apply the silicone to the glass. I used 1 tube per side. be sure the
silicon does not run out the sides!!!

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/14800x451.jpg[/img]

This is the pattern I used for the silicone.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/145800x451.jpg[/img]

Now let the tank lay on its back for at least 6 hours before you stand it up. After 6 hours you can stand it up and spray paint the back of the tank black or another color you wish or not at all its all up to your taste.

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/15800x451.jpg[/img]

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/16800x451.jpg[/img]

After at least 24 hours it is complete and ready for fish!

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/17800x451.jpg[/img]

[img][IMG]http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn197/wojoman123cgc/rock%20wall%20guide/18800x451.jpg[/img]


Okay this is the video I apologize in advance for the quality. I had a few problems with getting it up on you tube. So I had too lower the quality from HD to something much lower to get it to load. I also forgot that when I upgraded from windows vista ultimate to window 7 I lost windows movie maker, so I had to use an unlicensed trial of a different program and that why it has the annoying water mark on parts of the video. But the video should still have all the info you need so please ask if I was not clear on a step.





If you do this project please take pics and post them. If you have any questions please ask and I promise I will get back to you ASAP. Thanks for reading my thread I hope to do more guides in the future and hopefully I get better at writing/filming them ;)

Sorry its been so long here is a video of the tank 8 months later
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Slapsider replied the topic: Re: D.I.Y. 3D Rock wall Background

Fantastic stuff,thanks for the guide B)
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fdriller9 replied the topic: Re: D.I.Y. 3D Rock wall Background

Nice DIY. I have a JD and a Tiger O as well :)
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Matt replied the topic: Re: D.I.Y. 3D Rock wall Background

Looks great, wonderful guide!

Might have to do something like this to jazz up my big tank :evil:

Or just stick with my black backgrounds and be happy with what i have

cebosound wrote: Waterchange, Waterchange, waterchange... till your knuckles are bleeding. ;) :lol:

My youtube page www.youtube.com/user/rwhp550?feature=mhee
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  • ehall67
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ehall67 replied the topic: Re: D.I.Y. 3D Rock wall Background

Great guide I'm going to bookmark this for sure! I am thinking if doing my new tank like this... when I get it

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Noddy replied the topic: Re: D.I.Y. 3D Rock wall Background

Great job and thanx for making a step by step guide.
That'll be very helpfull for anyone who wants to start a project like that!
Thumbs up!
Very good thread! :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:

I was thinking of merging this thread , but i decided that was bad manners, for you put such a lot of work in the thread. :woohoo: :woohoo:

So I'll just post the link to another thread, which has a lot of info about DIY backgrounds. But the thread i wrote, is mostly about styrofoam/epoxiresin.
here's the link:

www.oscarfishlover.com/forum/49--diy/77547-diy-styrofoam-epoxiresin-background#77596
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  • JasonR
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JasonR replied the topic: Re: D.I.Y. 3D Rock wall Background

Nice job on the step by step! Glad noddy put a link to his here too! Think we need to sticky this. :)
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S.S. replied the topic: Re: D.I.Y. 3D Rock wall Background

NICE!

you putted it inside the tank, but it could be outside without stealing any water space right?
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  • wojo77
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wojo77 replied the topic: Re: D.I.Y. 3D Rock wall Background

I guess you could do that if u hung it off the back of the tank. But I would think that would look a little strange. It really does'nt take up alot of room most of it is only about 13mm thick.
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S.S. replied the topic: Re: D.I.Y. 3D Rock wall Background

Ok, by the outside it maybe also have some reflex of the ligh and work not so well.

TKS
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