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Old 05-10-2009, 01:53 PM
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Default Tank Building Questions

Alright im getting ready to build a tank and I have a few questions before I do:

After the great stuff hardens, can you carve it with a knife? I think I saw someone say they did.

Where do you get egg crate?

When gluing styrofoam to the egg crate do you leave holes in them for plants?

Can you silicone it right to the glass or should you glue it to egg crate?

How do you get broms to stick? what dont they stick to? quickcrete?

Whats a good dirt mixture?

I know its alot of questions but im sure there pretty easy to answer.

Thanks
Jared
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Tank Building Questions

You can get eggcrate at any home improvement store.

You can go eiter way with to glueing, but eggcrate sounds a little easier.

It's best to just cut a hole for broms, as long as it won't collect water and rot the brom. They'll sprout roots eventually and hold themselves, so permanent support isn't necessary.

ABG mix is very commonly used, and if you search around there are many other homemade mixes that people have had success with. You can either buy the components and mix them yourself or buy them premixed from a sponsor like Black Jungle or Josh's Frogs.
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Tank Building Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jruffing46 View Post
Alright im getting ready to build a tank and I have a few questions before I do:

After the great stuff hardens, can you carve it with a knife? I think I saw someone say they did. Yes

Where do you get egg crate? Lowes/HD - Light Diffuser

When gluing styrofoam to the egg crate do you leave holes in them for plants? You can, or purchase baskets to foam into the background

Can you silicone it right to the glass or should you glue it to egg crate?
Not sure I understand

How do you get broms to stick? what dont they stick to? quickcrete?
Toothpicks, Silicone, fishing line


Whats a good dirt mixture? Search ABG mix, or substrate, plenty of topics covering this subject.

I know its alot of questions but im sure there pretty easy to answer.

Thanks
Jared

The search feature can really provide hours and hours of entertainment.
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Old 05-10-2009, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Tank Building Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jruffing46 View Post
Alright im getting ready to build a tank and I have a few questions before I do:

After the great stuff hardens, can you carve it with a knife? I think I saw someone say they did.
Yes, you can. I would suggest an old steak knife you don't mind parting with. If you carve it too soon (outer layer dry but the inside not quite cured) you'll have a knife with an almost impossible to remove thin layer of great stuff (or whatever brand foam). On the other hand I've done this by accident with the pond foam and I kind of like the look of the inner stuff errupting.
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Tank Building Questions

*EDIT* Sorry... I meant to post this around 10am but I started building a 10g viv.... and here we are at 1:30pm . lol

Hello! First of all I'm going to send you here http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beg...beginners.html and here http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beg...w-members.html. I'm not picking on you or trying to be rude. Everyone was new once and honestly I didn't know about the search function for the first month I was here . Now on to your questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jruffing46 View Post
After the great stuff hardens, can you carve it with a knife? I think I saw someone say they did.
Yes. You can also wait until it's a little dry but still tacky and rub something over the top. If your timing is good then the GS should pull off in little chunks and create a more textured and uneven surface. I will warn that if you try this and the GS isn't dry enough then you'll just deflate it .

Quote:
Originally Posted by jruffing46 View Post
Where do you get egg crate?
Try Home Depot, Lowes, or any other hardware store. When you ask about it tell them that it's the white grid that goes over flourescent lights installed in the ceiling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jruffing46 View Post
When gluing styrofoam to the egg crate do you leave holes in them for plants?
You can leave holes if you'd like but there are many plants that won't need potting that you can grow on your background. It's up to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jruffing46 View Post
Can you silicone it right to the glass or should you glue it to egg crate?
If you use styrofoam then you can silicone it to the glass or to the egg crate and then the glass. GS can be applied straight to the glass or to the egg crate first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jruffing46 View Post
How do you get broms to stick? what dont they stick to? quickcrete?
Take a toothpick and break it in half, so that it looks like a V. Put the brom in that V and press the ends of the toothpicks into whatever your background is made of. If you're using quickcrete then I have no suggestions for you because I've never attempted to use concrete in a viv. The brom will drop roots and attach to pretty much anything with texture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jruffing46 View Post
Whats a good dirt mixture?
I used coco fiber, leaf litter, and a bit of sphagnum moss and mixed them up. (Make sure you bake leaf litter and collect it from a safe and pollutant free area.) There are plenty of other mixes but that's the only one I've tested.


Good luck and have fun!
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: Tank Building Questions

hey thanks for the answers to my questions. sorry I didnt reply sooner Im currently in Australia and Im pretty busy. Im looking forward to getting back to the states and building some tanks though.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Tank Building Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravengritz View Post
If you carve it too soon (outer layer dry but the inside not quite cured) you'll have a knife with an almost impossible to remove thin layer of great stuff (or whatever brand foam).
Nothing a little acetone won't fix . . .

Been there . . .
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Tank Building Questions

I use a steak knife for big chunks, but I use a set of exacto knives for smaller sections and enhanced detail. They have them at most craft stores.

I used 3/4 of a can of GS on a recent 10 vert and I carved a lot of it back out in order to get a "jungle vine" look.

Good luck! =)
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:25 AM
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Default Re: Tank Building Questions

I wait 24 hours after applying the great stuff. You can cut it too soon without knowing it. If you apply a lot of great stuff then the outside could be hardened while the inside is nice and soft. If you cut into that it might not even get on your knife, but if you leave an opening the inner stuff will expand through the opening and you'll just have to carve it yet again.

I do all mine with an x-acto knife. I got mine from walmart for about $1.50
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