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Old 08-15-2009, 07:06 PM
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Default Corner pentagon with sodium bentonite background

There doesn't seem to be too much on here with lots of pics of bentonite backgrounds, so here's one I just got started on:

I siliconed pieces of cork bark and tree fern randomly on 2 sides of the tank and waited till there was no smell (MONTHS).

In a bucket I mixed more or less equal amounts of Coco Fiber, Peat Moss and Sphagnum Moss, moistened it, then slowly poured some of this stuff on top: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...tml#post335565

Poured some water in on top and basically just squished it together/mixed it with my hand and slowly added more clay and water until I got the right consistency and color, pretty much a dark brown/gray paste.

Filled in behind the cork bark with Coco Fiber/Peat Moss/Sphagnum Moss/Coco Chips mix (which as also what the substrate is but I will be putting calcium clay mineral soil on top of it), then just grabbed handfuls of the paste and smushed it into the areas between the cork bark and tree fern, then just smoothed it out with my hand and fingers or created the textures I wanted, afterwards also pressed some Peat Moss/Sphagnum Moss into some areas just to see if it greens up or grows anything later.

So here are some pics with and without flash:

Used the new Feather Lite stuff from Black Jungle:





















Mess at the edges will wipe it off after it dries:


Last edited by ChrisK; 08-15-2009 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Corner pentagon with sodium bentonite background

Looks great. I love working with corner tanks. My Solarte are in a 50g pent. corner tank. There is so much room to work with, should look awesome when completed.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: Corner pentagon with sodium bentonite background

Yeah the shape allows you to do some cool stuff.

Started planting, will add more plants after I look at it for a while and then leaf litter etc - I only jammed one plant into the background after wrapping the roots in sphagnum moss and if it takes good then I'll put some more in:




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Old 08-17-2009, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Corner pentagon with sodium bentonite background

Nice viv so far
Just how lite is that Feather Lite stuff? Would you recommend it?

I don't think you mentioned this anywhere but if you did, sorry, but what's going to be inhabititing that?
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Corner pentagon with sodium bentonite background

Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterB View Post
Nice viv so far
Just how lite is that Feather Lite stuff? Would you recommend it?

I don't think you mentioned this anywhere but if you did, sorry, but what's going to be inhabititing that?
Yeah it's pretty light, basically it works like Terra Lite just a lot lighter, it's made from glass though and out of the bag it's dusty, so you should use a mask when opening the bag until you rinse it, which you should do with clay stuff also.

2 sylvaticus are going in there, they're pretty attached to their plastic sterilite tubs after being in them for months but they might appreciate this a little more
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Corner pentagon with sodium bentonite background

That cool hairy fuzzy mold that shows up after a couple of days that first time builders usually freak out about:


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Old 10-13-2009, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Corner pentagon with sodium bentonite background

so exactly how much/long did you let the bentonite part dry before planting and spraying? it sounds like you need to determine at what point it has set long enough to maintain shape but not long enough to crack, am i accurate? also have you had success with the plants growing in your clay mix? also, are you by any chance running a water feature down it into what appears to be a pond area?
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: Corner pentagon with sodium bentonite background

Didn't let it dry just smeared and smashed the paste into/onto the open areas, letting it dry out is what caused the cracking, no plants grew in it (only tried that one), no water feature, I'm probably going to wind up scraping the rest of it off and smearing the same mix minus the kitty litter into the open areas (kind of like substrate "mud") since it won't crack, I see the bentonite working great for other people as long as it's kept wet but honestly I tried lots of background methods and am now back to siliconing tree fern panels onto the back and sides and stuffing substrate "mud" between them to fill in any cracks, you know "K.I.S.S.". No surprises with it and it works.
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