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-   -   How were these constructed? (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/21034-how-were-these-constructed.html)

MonopolyBag 06-07-2007 10:41 PM

How were these constructed?
 
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...%3Den%26sa%3DN

Amazing Trees, how would something be constructed like this, it look like a real tree, and in one of these, I think it is a real tree stump.

Any idea of what tree stumps would work well in a vivarium, or any other ideas for how a tree stump or base can be constructed, real or fake.

06-07-2007 11:19 PM

Yeah it probably is. A lot of vendors at reptile expos sell stumps like this for exactly this purpose; what people do is toss it in the oven for 1/2 an hour, then silicone it to the back of the tank. I cant imagine making one of these artifically, but I'm sure people carve out pink and blue foam, insert a copper rod through the "roots" to hold everything in its place, then probably just attach it to the back piece of glass with silicone.

MonopolyBag 06-08-2007 12:04 AM

But what if it is going into a wet habitat? How will I know if it rots. I want to find a stump like these, one for a viv.

06-08-2007 12:27 AM

You can seal the stump, but I've never used sealent for a piece of wood 'cus I've never used one! Pond sealant I hear is good, would someone chime in on this?

RBroskie 06-08-2007 01:21 AM

there is a product called zoopoxy that zoos use to make things like that.


http://www.polygem.com/zoo/zoopoxy.php

MonopolyBag 06-08-2007 01:52 AM

Thanks. i guess what I am looking for would be a real one now. Just what type of wood is now the question.

MonopolyBag 06-08-2007 01:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by §lipperhead
You can seal the stump, but I've never used sealent for a piece of wood 'cus I've never used one! Pond sealant I hear is good, would someone chime in on this?


Yes please elaborate on this wood sealant and what is good to use and what is not good.

defaced 06-08-2007 01:55 AM

If the stump needs sealed, then it shouldn't be used. As for kinds of woods, there are many that have been used, many you can't, and some that I'm sure haven't been tested. I've used many kinds of wood, but the only stuff I could positively identify was osage orange (hedge apple tree).




Peter Keane 06-08-2007 02:20 AM

There was someone at IAD 2005, I think that makes these 3-4 different models/designs.. he does a nice job on these also.. it was made of resin and they were too large for like a 10vert.. he had offered some for sale on here.. If I find the ad/thread I will attatch it .. Peter Keane

jbeetle 06-08-2007 02:30 AM

I think you are talking about Steven Bonheim's (username StevenBonheim) fake trees. They are really nice, and I think he may still have a few available. However, he just moved (or is in the process of moving) so not sure when he will be online again

Peter Keane 06-08-2007 02:33 AM

Right, jbeetle, Thanx.. that's him... http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y91...5/IMG_1560.jpg.. here's a pic of him and his goods at that show..

kyle1745 06-08-2007 02:46 AM

People have also made fake ones out of Styrofoam, great stuff and some time. I forget where the write up is on it at the moment, but I have seen some very impressive creations with this method.

Peter Keane 06-08-2007 02:49 AM

Wow, really.. that's pretty kewl.. a DIY for a tree buttress, hmmm ya peaked my curiosity.. yea, that sounds doable (if that's a word), hee, hee Thanx, Kyle..

defaced 06-08-2007 03:00 AM

I'm pretty sure it was Brent Brock who assembled a PDF of how he made one. I know it's been linked to one here, but I wouldn't have a faintest idea how to find it.




jbeetle 06-08-2007 03:17 AM

You can get Brent's write-up on his site, http://www.bbrock.frognet.org. You just have to go to the "How-To info" link and the PDF link is at the bottom of the list.

HX 06-08-2007 04:18 AM

A link to an article on molding stones: http://jyrkiboy.aqua-web.org/index.html
They use the same process for molding anything, including wood.

Edit the extra period...

And a quick photo of a carved "tree trunk".
Materials I used were pvc pipe, modified cement and hot glue.
Ended up a bit harrypotterian...
http://www.herppi.net/gallery/albums...Potterpuu2.jpg

Peter Keane 06-08-2007 04:27 AM

HX.. that link has a "." after the html

MonopolyBag 06-08-2007 12:26 PM

Thanks. I am going to try and make some fake trees. Experiment and stuff like that. I have always been good at art. If i come up with some, I may offer them for sale. I will further post some information on this post. Or may create a new post.

If anyone else comes up with ideas, or anything, post it here. I think that those fake trees really add some natural look to the vivarium, especially if the trees look good. Because in my research on dart frogs, they are often found around the base of a tree. Plus they just look cool.

MonopolyBag 06-08-2007 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HX
A link to an article on molding stones: http://jyrkiboy.aqua-web.org/index.html
They use the same process for molding anything, including wood.

Edit the extra period...

And a quick photo of a carved "tree trunk".
Materials I used were pvc pipe, modified cement and hot glue.
Ended up a bit harrypotterian...
http://www.herppi.net/gallery/albums...Potterpuu2.jpg


Could you further explain what products were used and how you made this stump?

HX 06-09-2007 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonopolyBag
Could you further explain what products were used and how you made this stump?

I'll give my best shot:

The basic structure is made of electrical pvc pipes, taken from he trash of a construction site...
They were bent to the form using a hot air gun ('s that the name of the tool?). I had a water spray on hand while bending the pipes to cool them a bit faster after heating & bending.
The pipes were glued together using hot glue gun (again, 's that the name?) with plastic glue sticks. I used water to cool the glue, too.
After the whole stump was glued together i used a corner grinder to make some grooves to the "branches" and opened them up with hot air to form small pockets for tillanzias. In the picture there's one of these barely to be seen on the top.
I regret not taking any photos of this phase.
The surface of the pipes was then sanded to break the smoothness a bit.
Next, the whole thing was brushed with a layer of tile fastening plaster (the "rapid", or quickhardening kind). On top of that i brushed a couple of layers of tile grout, mixed with an acrylic copolymere named Acryl 60. I believe any concrete emulsion does the same trick, makes it stick better and hardens the outcome.
I think I could have been a bit bolder with the colors, this one was mostly made with gray tones.

To me, one of the most important things is to treat the surface of the cement-based tile grout at the right moment while it hardens. I used a paint brush and a brass wire brush to make the surface look like this:
http://www.herppi.net/gallery/albums...Potterista.jpg

After the final layers of tle grout I kept the thing wet for a week to make sure the cement doesn't dry out but really hardens.

This was my first effort on making tree lookalikes with these materials. The next time I will try and mix in some organic matter with the cement.

06-09-2007 01:40 PM

Talk about a building project!

Can people use the pieces of wood used in aquariums for fish? I dont know what they are made of(Plastic? Porcelain? idk, but I saw a large trunk in the fish section of Petsmart and looks almost identical. Those things are heavy though.

HX 06-09-2007 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by §lipperhead
Talk about a building project!

:lol: But it sounds more complicated than it really is...

MonopolyBag 06-11-2007 02:39 AM

Thanks....

defaced 06-11-2007 03:02 AM

Quote:

Can people use the pieces of wood used in aquariums for fish?
Yes.




06-11-2007 07:13 PM

defaced Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:02 pm Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Can people use the pieces of wood used in aquariums for fish?
Yes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, I'll keep my eyes peeled for some nice pieces!

HX 08-04-2007 09:38 PM

Just thought I'd share my latest fake tree trunk project...
Materials: plastic tubing, hot glue, polyurethane foam, tile grout, acrylic copolymere.

Basic structure:
http://www.dendroboard.com/coppermin...o%2C_vaihe.jpg

Finished product:
http://www.dendroboard.com/coppermin...462/Kanto2.jpg
http://www.dendroboard.com/coppermin...4462/Kanto.jpg

I'm still no photographer... exsqueeze me.

SLEDDER23 08-05-2007 02:03 PM

Very nice looking work there HX

HX 08-05-2007 10:27 PM

Spank you very many, Sled.

MonopolyBag 08-08-2007 01:25 AM

Nice stump

the_noobinator 08-08-2007 05:01 AM

wow, those are pretty cool. i don't have the patience to make them though, so if i ever do a big viv....

HX 09-12-2008 08:16 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 

IndianaJosh 09-12-2008 08:43 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
That is truly amazing.

Richard 09-12-2008 04:13 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Those look awesome.

markbudde 09-13-2008 10:57 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
HX, how many hours did that root project take from start to finish? Looks like a fun way to pass some time.
-mark

HX 09-14-2008 08:35 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Heh, truly. I did it around christmas last winter. To pass time during the holidays...

I'm not sure how many hours it took, but ten could be a good estimate. I tried some new approaches, most importantly I did the surface coating with ground bark mixed in with grout.
I also tried a new way of strengthening the outcome by laying in some thin rope, dipped in grout and then put onto the roots. It seems to work really good.
There is also a network of metal wire in the foam...

A lot of fun, yes. A way to stay sane, actually. Well, sorta.

MzFroggie 09-20-2008 12:47 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
O my that is very good... You should sell those..I would be in line for purchase..Good job HX..

roxrgneiss 09-20-2008 01:06 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Hi HX,

I like how your roots and rocks turned out, very artistically done.

Have you placed that piece in a tank yet? If so, I would enjoy seeing some shots. I can imagine it looks all the more stunning with plants and good lighting.

Thanks,
Mike

kwazarr 09-22-2008 08:22 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
OMG HX! That root system over rock wall is just completely SICK!!! You wouldn't mind telling us awe-stricken hobbyists a little more about how you made those roots would you? :)

Ross.

Tadpole4 09-23-2008 10:56 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
I am still trying to wrap my brain around how fantastic these are. HX you are an amazing artist and an inspiration!!

HX 09-24-2008 07:12 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kwazarr (Post 288870)
OMG HX! That root system over rock wall is just completely SICK!!! You wouldn't mind telling us awe-stricken hobbyists a little more about how you made those roots would you? :)

Ross.

Thank you and thanks everyone for the kind words. The thing has not yet found a suitable terrarium. But it will.

As to how the bit is made, it's really pretty much explained in the fake rock -thread.

But for kicks, I'll try and explain it here. No photos, sorry. Just a list of steps I took.

For starters I had the rock-piece all done and wanted to try if I can make anything resembling (or faking it well enough) rooting of a tree or a bush or whatever.

1. I covered the rock with plastic film.
2. I made a rough network of basic structure of the rooting with a 1.5 mm stainless steel wire. There's some wire in every bit of the final rooting.
3. Sprayed the wiring with polyurethane foam. The first photo is of this step.
4. I shaped the foam after it had thoroughly hardened. A photo, also.
5. I took some 15 meters of string or thin rope, used for tiling to separate the tiles. Cut that to about 1 meter bits. Then I sunk them into a mixture of grout, water and - yes, you guessed it- acrylic polymere.
6. I took the strings and layed them on the "roots", lengthwise and irregularly. The reason for this step was really to strengthen the whole structure and while doing that, to get nice shapes that sorta resemble structure of worn out wood...
7.-9. Layers of grout (+polymere), brushed in with a paint brush. The color I used was a tone of gray. Middleish.
10. Final layer with a mixture of 1 part grout (gray made brownish with a dash of red grout), 1 part finely ground ReptiBark and again, a splash of polymere and water to get a nice, brushable mixture. Then some brushing with just water to get the proud parts to get some grayish tone to come up...

Gotta say I was surprised with the result myself.

Again, thanks for the upping words. I hope this helps and that someone is inspired.


And, an answer to someone's obvious question "why not use real wood instead of going through all this trouble?"

-'cause the mountain's there.

Thanks for looking and 'appy trails.

HX 03-06-2009 03:45 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 

dart_king 03-06-2009 07:16 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
WOW, amazing work!!!!

Marinarawr 03-06-2009 07:44 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
That truly is phenomenal! I may have to give that a try to satisfy my love for root systems in vivariums ;). Thanks for the tips HX!

Julio 03-06-2009 08:08 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Great work and detail on those roots, wish i had that kind of skill and time.

HX 03-07-2009 06:47 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Thanks for your words.
Marina, I'm happy to hear someone's inspired!

Nate 03-08-2009 11:02 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
That is absolutely amazing! I can't believe its fake, don't know when I will try doing that but I will defiantly try that soon!

mellowvision 03-10-2009 05:50 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
nice stuff.

kyle1745 12-19-2009 10:39 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Bringing up this old thread to ask how HX is carving the foam.

HX 12-20-2009 06:06 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Hi, Kyle.
I carve the expandable polyurethane foam with sharp knives and sometimes finish off with a rotating grinding disk, either connected to a drill or a corner grinder.

Polyurethane does not melt well with heat, neither soldiering nor flame, so it's a bit harder to carve than polystyrene.

Gert-Jan 03-14-2010 01:14 PM

expandable foam
 
Hi,
I used expandable foam for bulding a rock back ground in my desert ter,
But i had a lot of 'air bubbles" in it.

How do you get such a fine structure on those root systems?
just aply pressure when you spray it on the wires or something like that?

I've got me a new terrarium (in holland-->euro style) and i'm planning on a hill
with roots comming out as a back ground..

Buying roots in the local aquarium store would do the trick, but still...
making my own would be more satisfying!!

thanks for posting those pics of your creations and the 'how to' !!

HX 03-15-2010 10:13 PM

Re: expandable foam
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gert-Jan (Post 448400)
Hi,
I used expandable foam for bulding a rock back ground in my desert ter,
But i had a lot of 'air bubbles" in it.

How do you get such a fine structure on those root systems?
just aply pressure when you spray it on the wires or something like that?


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:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507917.jpg


PU-foamed and thinner twigs made with stainless steel wire:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507918.jpg


PU-foam carved:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507919.jpg


A couple of layers of grout brushed in, twigs filled in with vinyl string soaked in grout, grout carved a bit:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507920.jpg


Brownish bottom layer dried up and a darker surface being brushed in:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507921.jpg


Shaded with dark, almost black hue and pretty much finished:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507922.jpg
(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:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507923.jpg


Sorry for the lousyish pics, I'm no photographer.

Julio 03-15-2010 11:31 PM

Re: expandable foam
 
great branch work!!

HX 03-17-2010 09:54 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Thx Julio!

the_deeb 03-24-2010 03:11 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Your most recent branch is stunning HX. Once again, I'm blown away by your artistic ability. Have you tried growing epiphytic plants or moss on any of your branches or rocks? Are they able to take root and grow on the grout surface?

HX 03-24-2010 11:19 AM

Re: expandable foam
 
Hi and thanks.

Yes, both submerged and emersed plants take hold and root quite well:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2349982.jpg

HX 07-15-2010 07:12 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 

Lycosa 07-15-2010 12:13 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Wow.. really amazing work.

My son and I did a foam background piece and we were really pleased with how it came out... and then I saw this. lol

You've done some really outstanding work here.

I'm definitely going to give this a try with hopes that it will come out even half as nice as the pieces you've done.

Thanks for sharing how you did it all.

Raf 07-15-2010 12:23 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Wow amazing.
Do you have more pics to show us :D.

HX 07-15-2010 05:57 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Thank you plenty, Lycosa. So happy to hear you are inspired.
Looking forward to seeing your work.

Raf you insatiable you. Thanks.
Well, these seem to have gotten lost from this thread somehow:

Pvc pipes glued together
http://kuvablogi.com/nayta/prev/img1234305.jpg

PU foamed
http://kuvablogi.com/nayta/prev/img1234307.jpg

PU carved, some sticky stuff added to make sand and then grout stick onto the pipes
http://kuvablogi.com/nayta/prev/img1234308.jpg

Three-four layers of grout, carving, brushing, sanding
http://kuvablogi.com/nayta/prev/img1234310.jpg

And the roots under water:
http://kuvablogi.com/nayta/prev/img886813.jpg

keith campbell 07-16-2010 05:09 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
WOW! MAGNIFICENT work as always HX!! How much time (not including drying and curing) do you put into one of these? Keep up the inspirational work!

Keith

HX 07-16-2010 08:44 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Thank you.

I just got the latest piece glued into a 140 gallon tank (it is going to be a mudskipperarium) and rigged in an underpowered pump to check out how the inbuilt piping works. Was happy to notice all 12 separate water pools filling up!
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_6_StfLAs1LI/TE...0/DSC07995.JPG

Also notice heavy planting.

Raf 07-16-2010 11:10 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Really great. What is on the bottom of the pools?

HX 07-16-2010 11:12 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by keith campbell (Post 485719)
How much time (not including drying and curing) do you put into one of these?

Sorry, forgot to answer your question.
Depends a bit on the size and other parameters. If I go for something I haven't tried before, a process or a material, then more.

But a fair sized trunk is less than a day's work, effectively.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raf (Post 485742)
Really great. What is on the bottom of the pools?

Thanks.
Thats just sand, 0,5-1 mm grain. "White" silica sand.

Raf 08-02-2010 11:56 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Hi Hx,

Thanks to your technique I got some ideas and made a background for my new terrarium:

http://rd.sohosted.com/fotos/terrarium/overzicht4.jpg

it really helped a lot showing your stuff!

Julio 08-02-2010 11:59 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
looks good, nice detail!

HX 08-02-2010 12:10 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Raf (Post 490340)
Hi Hx,

Thanks to your technique I got some ideas and made a background of my new terrarium:

http://rd.sohosted.com/fotos/terrarium/overzicht4.jpg

it really helped a lot showing your stuff!


WHOA!

Nice job, dude. Thanks for shearing that. Truly outstanding outcome. Keep it up!

HX 08-02-2010 02:04 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
..for sharing, not shearing. Third language, this your english.

BR5 09-10-2010 01:38 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
The shear talent you have is amazing, I'm trying to duplcate your work and would be happy if it turns out 50% as good.
Thanks for the details
Brian

Judy S 09-10-2010 12:27 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
So well done...a couple of questions: Some of the materials you have listed are unfamiliar to me--especially the tile plaster..which you described as being used to "separate" the tiles. That, I believe, is a technique that is not used here in the USA that I am aware of. What would be a more descriptive term?? And the use of Acrylic co-polymere...what is that? Grout and the various colors is a good idea...do you seal everything to make it water tight? Have you tried other methods of "painting" the highlights and shadows of the roots?? I can just visualize neons scooting through all those wonderful cyprus roots as though they were in the bayous of Louisiana..

HX 09-10-2010 06:19 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Judy S (Post 502093)
So well done...a couple of questions: Some of the materials you have listed are unfamiliar to me--especially the tile plaster..which you described as being used to "separate" the tiles. That, I believe, is a technique that is not used here in the USA that I am aware of. What would be a more descriptive term?? And the use of Acrylic co-polymere...what is that? Grout and the various colors is a good idea...do you seal everything to make it water tight? Have you tried other methods of "painting" the highlights and shadows of the roots?? I can just visualize neons scooting through all those wonderful cyprus roots as though they were in the bayous of Louisiana..

I am not certain if these questions are directed to me or Raf for that unbelievably natural background he's made. But I'll answer what I know.

Tile plaster is what you use to fix the tiles onto the surface being tiled. The type I use is "renovation" plaster, with added glue and modified to stick onto practically any surface. Sticky stuff, but still very cementy. Sand grain filler size around 0-1 mm.

Acrylic co-polymer is a liquid plastic added to modified cement products to harden and/or seal them. There are many manufacturers and brands, as well as many qualities of plastics. What is in common with them is that they are air-drying and very stable after drying. (I believe) none of them are in any way dissolved by water after drying, although they are water-soluble (when they still are) liquids.

I don't seal the final outcome. But I do use the above mentioned sealers/polymers in the mixtures of plasters and grout. It seals it "partially", I think. Or reduces the affect cement has on ph and hardness of water the pieces are in contact with.

Many people seem to use acrylic or other paints to highlight and even color their pieces. I don't. I think paint is covered or worn off from the surface very quickly. But then, the color of grout is being covered with aging and by bio-activity as well. Under water very quickly, emersed more slowly but as surely. Except in dry terrariums.

HX 09-24-2010 03:52 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 

Raf 09-24-2010 04:31 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
And again an amazing piece of work :)
Really cool!

Vermfly 09-24-2010 04:43 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Damn, that is just ridiculous. Amazing piece. Is this for a fish tank or a vivarium?

HX 09-24-2010 04:52 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Thanks, dudes.

I think it's going to be in a paludarium/riparium sort of a setting with the four inbuilt flowerpot-sort of thingys.

Fishboyfromohio 09-25-2010 04:46 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Loving it!

dendrothusiast 09-26-2010 09:11 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
wow, just saw this post because it sounded interesting and figured i'd learn something. learn something I did! Screw buying huge giant pieces of driftwood from the fishstore thanks people for your how-to's an thanks for posting this question

Okapi 10-09-2010 08:45 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
amazing, im going to have to try this sometime.

fleshfrombone 10-10-2010 12:47 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
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.

RentaPig311 10-10-2010 06:57 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Very cool thread. Anyone found a source to buy these. I'm afraid I'm not that artisitc and would never be able to crank one of these out on my own. I'm looking for a buttress type root stump with some "mushroom" shelves growing out of it. Please post up if you have any idea where to get one or could possibly be bribed into making one. The artistic talent of some of you dbers amazes me.

raimeiken 10-13-2010 07:40 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Great stuff man! :D

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 :D


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?

HX 10-13-2010 09:00 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Thanks for the compliments, everyone!

Quote:

Originally Posted by fleshfrombone (Post 512900)
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.
Just remember: karate here, karate here. Karate never here.


Quote:

Originally Posted by raimeiken (Post 513998)
Great stuff man! :D
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 :D
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.

raimeiken 10-14-2010 07:57 AM

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.

HX 10-14-2010 09:32 AM

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.

RentaPig311 10-14-2010 12:04 PM

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?

raimeiken 10-14-2010 05:26 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HX (Post 514214)
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 :D

HX 10-15-2010 09:14 AM

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.

aliciaface 03-05-2011 09:51 PM

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!

HX 04-27-2011 10:15 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Spank you very many, aliciaface.

Did you go for it?

Scott Richardson 04-27-2011 10:53 PM

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.

coraltastic 05-04-2011 12:21 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
would like to say totally amazing work.

soknleet 06-22-2011 09:35 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
:D
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 :p)

Raf 08-15-2011 07:57 AM

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...

pilo0024 08-16-2011 06:26 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
such a great thread. thanks to all contributors.

aaronbrown 10-13-2011 08:10 PM

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

tgregoire 10-13-2011 11:53 PM

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! ;)

HX 10-14-2011 05:59 AM

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.

drutt 10-14-2011 01:47 PM

Re: expandable foam
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HX (Post 448782)
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:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507917.jpg


PU-foamed and thinner twigs made with stainless steel wire:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507918.jpg


PU-foam carved:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507919.jpg


A couple of layers of grout brushed in, twigs filled in with vinyl string soaked in grout, grout carved a bit:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507920.jpg


Brownish bottom layer dried up and a darker surface being brushed in:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507921.jpg


Shaded with dark, almost black hue and pretty much finished:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507922.jpg
(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:
http://kuva1.kuvablogi.com/iso/img2507923.jpg


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??:confused:

B-NICE 10-14-2011 02:17 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Awww MAN that is sick crazy....

motydesign 10-14-2011 02:34 PM

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

HX 10-15-2011 09:00 AM

Re: expandable foam
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by drutt (Post 656067)
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??:confused:

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.

drutt 10-15-2011 06:23 PM

Re: expandable foam
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HX (Post 656331)
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 ?:)

schlegelli 10-23-2011 11:57 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
friggin amazing work!

HX 11-05-2011 03:03 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
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:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-E...0/DSC08991.JPG
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-t...0/DSC09138.JPG

BethInAK 11-05-2011 04:09 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
damn, i just drooled on the keyboard of my new laptop.

nice!!

Raf 11-06-2011 07:14 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Damn that looks nice :o
It looks even more natural with the java moss.
I feel it's time for me to begin making roots again :D

tclipse 11-07-2011 06:38 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HX (Post 663972)
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...

drutt 11-07-2011 07:07 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Really nice..impressed.....:)

HX 11-09-2011 08:30 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BethInAK (Post 663985)
damn, i just drooled on the keyboard of my new laptop.

nice!!

Thank you, for soiling you keyboard.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Raf (Post 664346)
Damn that looks nice :o
It looks even more natural with the java moss.
I feel it's time for me to begin making roots again :D

Thanks. Moss really brings life to the roots, doesn't it?


Quote:

Originally Posted by tclipse (Post 664517)
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!


Quote:

Originally Posted by drutt (Post 664521)
Really nice..impressed.....:)

Thank you!

HX 11-09-2011 11:53 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 

Neontra 11-10-2011 10:37 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
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!!!!!

GRIMM 11-10-2011 11:05 PM

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.

FIT BMX 11-11-2011 10:29 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
That's great!!:o

blo0 11-15-2011 09:10 PM

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

parkanz2 11-15-2011 11:25 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
There's definitely a lot of greatstuff carving and I believe some grout carving as well.

MrMonterrubio 11-21-2011 06:09 AM

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.

Raf 08-12-2013 03:14 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
So sad to see this thread not be updated anymore. I would love to see new fake roots and branches.

GRIMM 08-12-2013 03:46 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Yeah it’s disappointing. It’s 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.

dartboard 08-12-2013 06:40 PM

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.

GRIMM 08-12-2013 06:48 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dartboard (Post 1421689)
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.

dartboard 08-13-2013 06:12 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
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?

Raf 08-13-2013 06:56 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Yes please!

dartboard 08-13-2013 07:05 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 

HX 01-17-2014 08:43 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Goddamn, life is busy.
So, in spite of all the unfinished projects, I decided to start a new one.
It's going to be a paludarium for crabs, remains to be seen which species I can get my hands on.

This old stonework is laying around
http://planethx.files.wordpress.com/...ff6.jpg?w=1014

Started making a woodthingy on top of it
http://planethx.files.wordpress.com/...pg?w=490&h=312

Did a couple of layers
http://planethx.files.wordpress.com/...pg?w=490&h=243

Not finished, but looking promising to meh.

Will go on and update.
Thanks for looking.

RNKot 01-22-2014 07:45 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HX (Post 1738154)
Goddamn, life is busy.
So, in spite of all the unfinished projects, I decided to start a new one.
It's going to be a paludarium for crabs, remains to be seen which species I can get my hands on.

This old stonework is laying around

Started making a woodthingy on top of it

Did a couple of layers

Not finished, but looking promising to meh.

Will go on and update.
Thanks for looking.

Thanks for sharing! Your projects are marvelous!

HX 03-19-2014 07:31 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Not a whole lot of advance with the latest piece of barkhitecture, but some layers added and roots perhaps rotting a bit more…
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-P...o/DSC_3335.JPG

Thanks, RNKot!

Dlanigan 03-20-2014 05:46 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
That is...epic..

Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk

dawndj 03-21-2014 01:07 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Wow awesome stuff. Wish I could see the photos from the early part of this thred.


Dawn

HX 04-09-2014 05:34 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Hardscape pretty much done.
http://planethx.files.wordpress.com/...pg?w=490&h=328

All I need now is a tank. I'm thinking plywood/glass for this one.
Footprint needed for the scape is 120x60 cm (4'x2') and height is 70 cm (2'4'')

frogparty 04-09-2014 05:44 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
HX- I love your work. I look at your mudskipper build all the time and dream of having something just like it




HX 04-09-2014 05:49 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Thank you for your words, frogparty.
Happy to hear the old (not that it's gone) 'skipper set up still inspires!

Hornet 04-09-2014 10:57 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Holy crap, only once I back peddled through this thread I realized that wood wasn't real, amazing job

Sent from my HUAWEI G510-0200 using Tapatalk

RNKot 04-12-2014 09:39 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HX (Post 1892570)
Hardscape pretty much done.

All I need now is a tank. I'm thinking plywood/glass for this one.
Footprint needed for the scape is 120x60 cm (4'x2') and height is 70 cm (2'4'')

How you do this magic? You'r skills are outstanding!

HX 04-16-2014 11:25 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Thanks for your words, Hornet!

Quote:

Originally Posted by RNKot (Post 1898322)
How you do this magic? You'r skills are outstanding!

Thank you, RNKot.
I suppose you should never underestimate the power of combined practice and madness.

Hornet 04-16-2014 11:40 AM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Where can I see pics of the skipper tank?

Sent from my HUAWEI G510-0200 using Tapatalk

HX 04-16-2014 12:15 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Links to other forums allowed here?
If not, then pls remove and accept my apologises.

Skipper project.

RandallW201 06-27-2014 11:43 PM

Re: How were these constructed?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dawndj (Post 1858578)
Wow awesome stuff. Wish I could see the photos from the early part of this thred.


Dawn

Agreed!!! Sure would make it easier to understand how teh stuff is created if the pics were still with the writeups.


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