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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Dang, I thought I was pretty creative, but I love running into new ideas and styles on here! well done!
Thanks Ento! This website actually fueled the idea.

softfoam...ohhh. that's why the "edges"arereallynot hard,sharp edges...interesting that even side-by-side that one would be hard, the other crumbly...The acrylic hardener might help to stiffen thecementious coating...areyou concerned aboutwashing away of any other waterfall area??? From what I've tried, and see...there is no "perfect" way to do it...and with allourefforts to create an authentic appearance...wehopethateventually it will allhavemossand vineson it!!! I don't have a camera...don't have time to read the instructions even on my cell phone or answering machine....am too busy on DB...!!
yes I definitely hope all my hard work gets covered in moss and vines:cool:
I think when I put a thick coat down it would be pretty solid after it completely cures. I was wondering though could I use an acrylic fortifier on the last coat and what would be its effects well besides fortifying?
 

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i like the rocks. they look great!! Are you gonna grout the gs too?
I like the soft foam because carving the hard stuff sucks but worry about soaking up water!! Is that a problem you think?

I'm planning on trying some soft foam in the alien viv anyway. I can make some weird shapes with that ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
Thanks Beth! Nope no mortar on the gs. My wife likes the last "mud bank" build I did, so I'm going to titebond it. I kind of did a hybrid method with it. I mixed up organic soil, peat, and jungle moss up with titebond til it was the consistency of cold syrup and the slapped it on thick on top of gs. Right after I slapped some dry organic mix ontop of the glue before it dried. You have to really press down a lot of it but it will stick when it dries but it takes about 2 weeks to completely dry.

As far as the foam soaking up water I don't think it will be a problem as long as the mortar does its job.
This build has taken a few steps away from my original idea as I am a learn as you go type of person.
Also found a very nice stand for it and best of all it was free. Photos on the next major update.
 

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what did you use to "cut" the foam??? The fortifier also helps in bonding the cement in the layers you are using...did you also put a Titebond layer down first, then your organic mix???/ How long before it started to make moss??
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I used a regular pair of scissors to cut the foam...it was a little difficult cutting blocks off the main sheet but a better pair of scissors would do it easier.

The viv were I used the titebond I mixed the substrate in with the titebond and after I laid it I pressed more substrate in it but with more jungle moss than soil. The moss never sprouted new growth despite daily mistings. There is a pic of it below. It was the exo terra brand that comes in compressed bricks. Besides java I really dont know anthing about moss. I do want some moss growing in this build, what do you recommend?
 

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Get some Java Moss from a vendor. Chop it up and put it on the places that have all the dead moss sticking out. Keep the tank super humid for a few weeks and youll see it sprout. The JavaMoss will grow well on the BrickMoss that you got. That BrickMoss wont come back alive.
Also, put some Java on that wood in the water. Itll grow well there too.
 

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No luck finding "soft" styro...but did buy a couple of the pool "noodles" at Goodwill...they will probably work...and if not, I wasted $2...I really liked the look of your stacked stones...there are some sites for buying different mosses..getting a combo and putting them in a blender, or coffee grinder and incorporating them into the silicone/peat mix should give them a start...
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Thanks Judy! Well after about 2 thick coats of mortar the waterfall looks more like a hardened mudslide or lava flow....I actually like the way it looks though it has a lot of books and crannies I could place anubias. Also I appreciate the info on the moss, I will try that method even though I'm using titebond. I hope I can get it to grow with the hybrid titebond method. I'm eager to finish this build but I lost my suck @%! job so I have to progress a lil slower than I first intended.
 

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I think it looks terrific...do you have concerns about the color wearing away?? Java moss alongside the water would look really good...it needs moisture and light...will spread if it likes the environment. Oak leaf creeping fig would be fabulous creeping up on the walls...Black Jungle has it I think...and other places as well...check the sponsor sites. It doesn't "take over" like the other forms of creeping fig...and has a smaller, more attractive leaf form. How did you install the pump system?? If you mounted the "rocks" right on the glass, how/where is the hose coming from to empty the water over the rocks?? Sorry about the job...
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I think it looks terrific...do you have concerns about the color wearing away?? Javamossalongside the water would look really good...it needs moisture and light...will spread if it likes the environment. Oak leaf creeping fig would be fabulous creeping up on the walls...Black Junglehasit I think...and other places as well...check the sponsor sites. It doesn't "take over" like the other forms of creeping fig...and hasa smaller,more attractiveleaf form. How did you install the pump system?? If you mounted the "rocks" right on the glass, how/where is the hose coming from to empty the water over the rocks?? Sorry about the job...
No I'm not concerned by the time it wears away it should be covered in algae or covered with creeping fig. Unfortunately the gs on the left side seperated from the glass completely in the middle so I decided to just go ahead and extend the waterfall into a rockwall and create more land area at the bottom to make this build more dart friendly.

To answer your question, the waterfall is going to powered by a canister filter. I drilled two holes one at the top of the waterfall and one at the bottom of the pond. Bulkheads will control the flow of water. No pumps and no hoses. There will be a strainer in the pond to get the gunk out. I'll take a pic to show you better what I'm talking.

Oh yes I have Black Jungle bookmarked I also found a pretty good brom site too I think its
Bromiliadsnsuch.com
 

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ya...I'd really like to see a sketch or something...sounds like the way you're doing it will use less floor space..my tanks are not drilled...but the Exos have a two part lid with a living hinge holding them together...so I can install fans, etc. Three of the others are vertical conversions I made...they really need better air circulation--I just haven't figured out how to do it...the vents have a material that prevents FF from escaping, but they also don't let in enough fresh air...damnit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
ya...I'd really liketo seea sketch or something...sounds like the way you're doing it will use less floor space..my tanks are not drilled...but theExoshavea two partlid with a living hingeholding them together...so I can install fans, etc. Three of the others are vertical conversions I made...they really need better air circulation--I just haven't figured out how to do it...the vents have a material that prevents FF from escaping, but they also don't let in enough fresh air...damnit.
I plan on replacing the screen on the zoo-med top with a piece of glass. I have a sheet of glass from an old coffee table that would fit perfectly but its tempered so I might have to order a sheet from somewhere. Basically I want it drilled in the middle to mount a 92mm pc fan and in the front for misting nozzles.

On another note I tore out the GS replaced it with foam blocks and started coating them with mortar. I had to rebuild parts of the waterfall because some of it came out with the GS. I actually like it better now as a full rock wall even though I lost a couple spots for planters.

Side view

Front view. You can see where the tank is drilled in the back in the bottom center of the tank.sorry about the crappy photos I can't find the battery for my camera.
 

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how did you get the rocks to look less "box like"? In your first pictures they looked just like the styrofoam pieces you cut out but the last pictures showed that the rock seems to be less jagged. Did you just do multiple coats?

Great looking tank by the way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
how did you get the rocks to look less "box like"? In your first pictures they looked just like the styrofoam pieces you cut out but the last pictures showed that the rock seems to be less jagged. Did you just do multiple coats? Great looking tank by the way!
yea I did a series of multiple thick coats. The mortar was the consistency of pudding and I just layered it randomly. My sculpting skills suck so I did it that way to get some variations. It came out pretty good in my opinion and created a lot of nooks and crannies. Thanks for the compliment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Well I could have hotglued them to the glass and then glue the foam around them. The issue for me is that the mesh planters I have take up to much space. There are nooks and crannys where I can shove plant roots and moss in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
**update**

Ok so today I finally went over my best friend's parents' house and picked up this



Yes a sink. A very nice sink. This thing is heavy too. I believe it has a porcelain top but I'm not sure, its definitely not wood. My friend's dad was actually going to sell it at his up coming yard sale but he let me have it for FREE. Forget giving a pet store $100+ for a stand half as nice. So I loaded it in the back of Scarface II (my Pacifica) hauled it home and went to work removing the bowl and water fixture. It was actually pretty easy and took me about 5 mins.



The tank fits it perfectly with about 1/2" space left on the front and the back and completely covers the 2 holes.


As for the tank its self I decided to redo the GS to add more planting pockets and surface. I think I'm going to make some vines to add to this area to give it a more unique look and extra climbing space. But first things first I have to wait for the GS to cure then trim it down. I also picked up a piece of mopani to add to the pond.

Tomorrow I think ill head to my grand mother's house and collect some magnolia leaves. She has three large ones in her yard so free leaf litter. I will be adding it to the pond.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Just a real quick update....

Got around to applying spaghnum peat moss and Titebond III to the rest of the bg. I started off by saturating the peat with water and then mixed in the Titebond until it was the consistency of cake batter. I then spread it over the foam. Unlike the silicone method there is no need to rush this because it takes a long, long time to dry. After I had the foam completely covered I pressed the dry peat in straight out the bag and packed it down. Here are the pics....






 
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