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  #81 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2010, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Thanks for the compliments, everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fleshfrombone View Post
Ohhh my god! This thread is amazing. HX dude, I need to apprentice under you for a while. Teach me your ways, Da Vinci of the vivarium.
You're crazy. Strangely wonderful crazy. Mr Da Vinci is spinning in his resting place, but thanks anyway!
I thought I'm doing it, man.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raimeiken View Post
Great stuff man!
I love the details you put into each piece. They really look realistic!
Because of this thread, I;m actually making one for my 20gal vert now
so how long do you wait before you apply the 2nd coat of grout?
and then how long do you let it cure before you place them in the Vivs?
Thanks, and good for you!

Usually, when I'm making these pieces, I keep a fan going beside the piece all the time. Speeds up the initial drying and allows the next layer to be brushed in a lot quicklyer than without. An hour, maybe two.
If you use some kind of polymer or other air-drying cement additive, make sure the whole piece dries out completely after it's finished and before you start curing it with water. If the polymer is not let to dry out, it will dissolve into the water you use to cure it.
So: first dry out, then keep wet to cure.

Curing is slow. A month should do it.
If the piece goes into a tank where it is not in direct contact with water, then I think a couple of weeks is enough. Humidity keeps up the curing, but it won't be able to affect water parameters.

Thanks again, everyone.

Last edited by HX; 10-13-2010 at 09:03 PM.
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  #82 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2010, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

how's the consistency of the grout you mix? is it thick or runny?

I've read online that a good grout mix is as thick as a cake batter and not runny. If it's too much water, it'll just crack when it dries.
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  #83 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2010, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

The mix I brush onto everything is quite runny. The sort of runny that you can use a paint brush to lay it on.

It doesn't matter if a layer cracks, the next one fills it in and holds. But even my runnier layers don't usually crack. A bit different thing when doing an actual tiling work. I have seen cracked grouts in between tiles...

I also make a thicker, moldable mix, if I need to make additional shapes. I lay that on with a spatula or knife.
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  #84 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2010, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

So I have a question for thos of you that have constructed these. Do you just make a standard stump and pour your dirt around it or do you angel the roots so that the dirt sits underneath the stump but doesn't actually cover it?
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  #85 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2010, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HX View Post
The mix I brush onto everything is quite runny. The sort of runny that you can use a paint brush to lay it on.

It doesn't matter if a layer cracks, the next one fills it in and holds. But even my runnier layers don't usually crack. A bit different thing when doing an actual tiling work. I have seen cracked grouts in between tiles...

I also make a thicker, moldable mix, if I need to make additional shapes. I lay that on with a spatula or knife.
thanks man! I'll try a runnier mix today on the one Im working on.

At first I was working with a thick mix and it was kinda hard to brush onto the pipes and would crack and fall off after it dries but I managed to cover all of it with that. It's just not as smooth looking as the ones you did.

I'll try to carve some of it off and use a runnier mix and see if it works
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  #86 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2010, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Yeah, too thick a mixture is very hard to lay on.

Another thing that you might try, if you're having a hard time getting it stick is roughing the surface of the pipes a bit with coarse sandpaper, file or such before adding tile plaster/grout.
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  #87 (permalink)  
Old 03-05-2011, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

i dont know how i havent seen this sooner!!! this is amazing. youre brilliant.

i am going to try my hand at some roots/vines soon, still deciding between the foam + drylok method or the rope+pipe+gs foam.

im loving this but know i would go crazy waiting a month for it to cure lol these are so well done though, youre carving skills are impressive!
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  #88 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2011, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Spank you very many, aliciaface.

Did you go for it?
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  #89 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2011, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

The post right under the one with the picture says " I used pvc pipe and elbows of various diameters, and paint and Flevopol.

I don't know exactly what Flevpol is, but I know Europeans mix it with peat and spag for there back grounds.
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  #90 (permalink)  
Old 05-04-2011, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

would like to say totally amazing work.
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  #91 (permalink)  
Old 06-22-2011, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?


To you RAF , nice work man but i didnt get how you mixed peat in your background ? you didnt use tiles grout but only acrylic co-polymer (compactuna) and mixed it in water and peat only and applyed it straight on ?
(If You dont read this Raf i hope someone else can answer me )
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  #92 (permalink)  
Old 08-15-2011, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Quote:
To you RAF , nice work man but i didnt get how you mixed peat in your background ? you didnt use tiles grout but only acrylic co-polymer (compactuna) and mixed it in water and peat only and applyed it straight on ?
(If You dont read this Raf i hope someone else can answer me )
A little late but I thought this thread could use a bump
I use a mixture of compaktuna, peat and water and apply it straight on.

I'm gonna start making some fake branches and rootstuff again but I wanna use some more durable materials. I'm searching for affordable materials to do this.
to be continued...
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  #93 (permalink)  
Old 08-16-2011, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

such a great thread. thanks to all contributors.
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  #94 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2011, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

any one wanna make one for me? ill pay for all supplys time and shipping im not creative or good with putting whats in my head to real life my new viv is 13x13x24
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  #95 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2011, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

I just stumbled across this thread from a link in Raf's build. I had to post about it because these root structures are simply AMAZING! HX, I just had to tell you, if you don't do this for a living you should because those structures blow anything similar I've ever seen for sale, out of the water by a LONG shot! I love the inspiration from posts like these! Thanks bud!
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  #96 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2011, 05:59 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Your words are highly appreciated. Thank you.
I'm actually taking steps towards a direction that might lead to somewhere close to what you recommend. We'll see if it happens.
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Old 10-14-2011, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: expandable foam

Quote:
Originally Posted by HX View Post
Hi there.

I don't know if some foams work better and some worse. But I have noticed that when you spray thin layers and let them dry, you get smaller airpockets as well. Apply several layers, if needed.
If you use grout or any other cement-based stuff, you don't have to worry about the holes. They are filled with the stuff you use, when you brush it on.

Here's another branch project of mine:

Basic structure, pipes glued together with hot glue, a couple of plastic bottles cut for pots:



PU-foamed and thinner twigs made with stainless steel wire:



PU-foam carved:



A couple of layers of grout brushed in, twigs filled in with vinyl string soaked in grout, grout carved a bit:



Brownish bottom layer dried up and a darker surface being brushed in:



Shaded with dark, almost black hue and pretty much finished:

(The greenish stuff is acrylic polymere, which turns green before drying completely and turning colorless)


And finally, after a month of keeping wet to let the cement harden, in a tank:



Sorry for the lousyish pics, I'm no photographer.
I really like what you are doing you have talent.. small question...before you put the root in water you dont cover it with epoxy or something similar so it dosent dissolve??
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  #98 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2011, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Awww MAN that is sick crazy....
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  #99 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2011, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Drutt, i doubt hell answer you as it was close to 4 or 5 years ago that was posted. but to answer your question, the sika product is mixes with a laqure or something like that and he does 5 water changes to get the conductivity and all that down over a week or so... look on page 2 or 3 i think
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  #100 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2011, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: expandable foam

Quote:
Originally Posted by drutt View Post
I really like what you are doing you have talent.. small question...before you put the root in water you dont cover it with epoxy or something similar so it dosent dissolve??
Thank you.

No, I don't cover the root or fake stone pieces with epoxy. I do mix acrylic polymer in with the cement-based materials I use for them.
Cement does not dissolve in water, once it is cured. It does leech some, even after curing and has a slight affect to hardness of water.
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  #101 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2011, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by HX View Post
Thank you.

No, I don't cover the root or fake stone pieces with epoxy. I do mix acrylic polymer in with the cement-based materials I use for them.
Cement does not dissolve in water, once it is cured. It does leech some, even after curing and has a slight affect to hardness of water.

Thanks for answering.. I been using epoxy but I think I will try with this acrylic polymer. (Acryl 60) Suppose have to do several attempts before it works....

Once again to you...The best I ever seen..You dont have any new photos ?
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  #102 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2011, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

friggin amazing work!
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  #103 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2011, 03:03 PM
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More rootsies, anyone?



I wanted to share the way this root build has matured. It's been in a mudskipper paludarium with 1,003 SG salinity. Not too many plants do well in there, but java moss, Riccia and Samolus are doing ok. Nymphaea and Vallisneria kinda ok, too.

Pics:

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  #104 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2011, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

damn, i just drooled on the keyboard of my new laptop.

nice!!
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  #105 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2011, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Damn that looks nice
It looks even more natural with the java moss.
I feel it's time for me to begin making roots again
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  #106 (permalink)  
Old 11-07-2011, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HX View Post
I wanted to share the way this root build has matured. It's been in a mudskipper paludarium with 1,003 SG salinity. Not too many plants do well in there, but java moss, Riccia and Samolus are doing ok. Nymphaea and Vallisneria kinda ok, too.
HX,

some cryptocoryne species will do well in there, as well as "dwarf onions"... I think you have most of the other brackish-tolerant species covered, there aren't too many. miss my mudskippers...
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Really nice..impressed.....
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  #108 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2011, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BethInAK View Post
damn, i just drooled on the keyboard of my new laptop.

nice!!
Thank you, for soiling you keyboard.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf View Post
Damn that looks nice
It looks even more natural with the java moss.
I feel it's time for me to begin making roots again
Thanks. Moss really brings life to the roots, doesn't it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tclipse View Post
HX,

some cryptocoryne species will do well in there, as well as "dwarf onions"... I think you have most of the other brackish-tolerant species covered, there aren't too many. miss my mudskippers...
There's some Cryptocoryne wendtii "Mi Oya" and C. pontederiifolia in there, but they are not thriving, barely surviving.
Crinums are a great idea! I've forgotten them totally. Especially C. natans would make a nice addition to this tank. C.calamistratum is a bit large for the shallow water, I think.
Thanks!


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Really nice..impressed.....
Thank you!
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  #109 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2011, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

A treestump project for a phonebooth greenhouse:





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  #110 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2011, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
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A treestump project for a phonebooth greenhouse:





Stop posting these now! I'm dying to just come over to where you live and steal them! They are so amazing! How did you get so good!!!!!
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  #111 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2011, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Looks great as always HX, and thanks for the step by step pics.

Are you using a dremel to carve the foam? If so, which cutting adapter are you using? I tried a dremel way back it wasnt doing a great job at all.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

That's great!!
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  #113 (permalink)  
Old 11-15-2011, 09:10 PM
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Default

Guys do you carve the GS and then grout the piece or trim the GS and carve the grout out? Working on a stump and want it to be great.

Sent from my HP Touchpad using Tapatalk
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  #114 (permalink)  
Old 11-15-2011, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

There's definitely a lot of greatstuff carving and I believe some grout carving as well.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:09 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

OK.

I had given up on trying to make fake roots, but DAMN!!!!

HX, why you have to be so good at it? Now I feel like I can't give up.

Tomorrow I'll go buy all the stuff needed to do it your way.


Thanx, and keep pushing us all forward.
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  #116 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2013, 03:14 PM
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So sad to see this thread not be updated anymore. I would love to see new fake roots and branches.
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  #117 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2013, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Yeah itís disappointing. Itís been a while since I've seen a really interesting detailed build. Maybe the forum/hobby is slowing down a bit with the recession?

If I could just peel myself away from photography for a while I'd love to try an original layout using new build techniques inspired by some of my travels. Maybe this winter. The amount of work is overwhelming to think about though haha.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Does anyone know anything about HX and where he went? I would love to be able to pick his brain again about how he does such awesome work.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:48 PM
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Does anyone know anything about HX and where he went? I would love to be able to pick his brain again about how he does such awesome work.
Probably working for Hollywood by now.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:12 AM
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so I sent him a private message on here and he got back to me telling me that work has kept him busy and away from home, but he said later this fall he should be back home and back to doing projects. he gave me his website where he posts the stuff he has made. Do you think its fine to copy and paste it here?
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