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Old 06-07-2007, 10:41 PM
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Default 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.
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:19 PM
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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.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:04 AM
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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.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:27 AM
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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?
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:21 AM
 
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there is a product called zoopoxy that zoos use to make things like that.


http://www.polygem.com/zoo/zoopoxy.php
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:52 AM
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Thanks. i guess what I am looking for would be a real one now. Just what type of wood is now the question.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:53 AM
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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.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:55 AM
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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).



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Old 06-08-2007, 02:20 AM
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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
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:30 AM
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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
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:33 AM
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Right, jbeetle, Thanx.. that's him... .. here's a pic of him and his goods at that show..
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:46 AM
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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.
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:49 AM
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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..
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:00 AM
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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.



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Old 06-08-2007, 03:17 AM
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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.
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:18 AM
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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...
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:27 AM
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HX.. that link has a "." after the html
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:26 PM
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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.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:32 PM
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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...

Could you further explain what products were used and how you made this stump?
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:35 PM
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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:


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.
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:40 PM
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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.
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by §lipperhead
Talk about a building project!
:lol: But it sounds more complicated than it really is...
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:39 AM
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Thanks....
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:02 AM
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Quote:
Can people use the pieces of wood used in aquariums for fish?
Yes.



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Old 06-11-2007, 07:13 PM
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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!
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Old 08-04-2007, 09:38 PM
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Just thought I'd share my latest fake tree trunk project...
Materials: plastic tubing, hot glue, polyurethane foam, tile grout, acrylic copolymere.

Basic structure:


Finished product:



I'm still no photographer... exsqueeze me.
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Old 08-05-2007, 02:03 PM
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Very nice looking work there HX
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Old 08-05-2007, 10:27 PM
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Spank you very many, Sled.
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:25 AM
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Nice stump
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:01 AM
 
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wow, those are pretty cool. i don't have the patience to make them though, so if i ever do a big viv....
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: How were these constructed?

Another rooting project:




Adamrl018 and rain dart like this.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:43 AM
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That is truly amazing.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:13 PM
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Those look awesome.
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:57 PM
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Default 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.
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:35 AM
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Default 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.
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:47 AM
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O my that is very good... You should sell those..I would be in line for purchase..Good job HX..
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:06 AM
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Default 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
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:22 AM
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Default 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.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:56 AM
 
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Default 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!!
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwazarr View Post
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.

Last edited by HX; 09-24-2008 at 07:56 PM.
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