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Discussion Starter #1
Putting in the false-bottom:


Great Stuff Background:


Silicon and Coco Fibers:


Planted (plants from http://www.peaceofthetropics.com )


Let me know what you think (there are no frogs but hopefully it will be a future home to a thumb variety).

The tank is an 18gal high
 

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Very nice, Rob. I have also been using great stuff as a barrier between a small water area and the substrate. Looks good.
 

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First off, very nice How-to!

The Great Stuff takes about 24 hours to cure. As an advice, make sure you dont handle this stuff without gloves. Trust me, my hands have suffered enough.
I believe that with the humidity and other temp-related factors, the foam tends to shrink as time goes on, but eventually will stop. It will leave a gap between your walls, etc. after just a couple of weeks exposed to the same elements. Give it time and make adjustments (i.e. refill gaps with coco-fiber) after it's completely settled.

Rob,
I also would be interested in knowing how you you planted the broms to the foam. Did u embed planters or just carved out some tiny spaces? I'm not sure if it's visible in the pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the comments Everyone.

Greg: There were a few different types of Great Stuff at the hardware store. I used the can that DID NOT have the black label. It looked like that had extra expanding capabilities for larger gaps and I did not want to make too big of a mess. The Great Stuff I used is whitish/yellow and dries almost white. I used black silicon II to cover it and press in the coco fiber and spanish moss mix. The cure time is on the label of the product but Erick's 24hr quote seems right. I let mine sit for 48hr before applying the silicon becuase I found that where the Great Stuff is thick, the center takes along time to harden.

Erick: If you notice on my second picture (Great Stuff background only) you will see some ledges I created and then carved flat (with a razorbalde) to make a ledge. Each one of those ledges is exactly where I put a brom (compare the planted picture with the Great Stuff picture for plant placement). I then took a large drill bit and drilled a hole in the great stuff background and anchored the broms that way. I heard some people further secure their broms with large construction staples pushed into the background but I found I did not need to use these. My broms are very secure and will become even more fixed as things mature.

The broms I received do not have much of a root ball but more of a "stick" appendage where the pup was collected from the mother plant. This "stick" is easy to place into the background.
 

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The "stick" coming out of the brom is called a stolon. The tank came out very nice, and who ever uses this method wear gloves when you use great stuff, I am still peeling the stuff off my hands.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm thinking about joining Dart Frog Enthusiast Anonymous (DFEA). I heard it can curve your addition for expensive colorful frogs, custom vivariums, and tropical plants.

Congratulations, I see you made it past the first step, admitting you have a problem :D :) :lol: :(

he,he,he....
 
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how much silicon did u use? and how long did it take you to apply the silicon and coco? When i did it, it took me for ever and it left fairly large spots of great stuff any tips?

Thanks,
Tom
 
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GodJockey said:
how much silicon did u use? and how long did it take you to apply the silicon and coco? When i did it, it took me for ever and it left fairly large spots of great stuff any tips?

Thanks,
Tom
What I did was wear a latex glove and apply the silicone to the surface and some in my hand directly. I put it on thick and for a final step I patted the silcone to raise it up and create more texture. Then I used liberal amounts of coco fibers and pressed onto the silcone. Leave it for 24 hours then use a soft paint brush to gently remove the excess.

I'll be posting pics of the construction of my tank in a few days. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Drakken.

I think Drakken and I have very similar methods. I did use a caulking gun to apply my Silicon. I wore latex gloves and applied it on thick. I applied the silicon and pressed in on the coco fibers within about an hour (for an 18g tank) while the tank was on it's back and left it in that position to dry. Cap remaining silicon in tube with a plastic wire joint (those one that you screw the two wires together to make a connection).

I waited 24hrs, and then held the tank upside down (can only do with a small tank) and patted gently on the bottom and back to remove any coco fiber which was not adhered to the silicon. I used my remaining silicon that I saved to do any needed touch-up. Wait another 24hrs and remove any access. Let the tank air out to remove any smell of silicon and then enjoy....
 
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kleinhanz said:
and then held the tank upside down (can only do with a small tank) and patted gently on the bottom...
Yeah, that's a bit hard to do with a 54 corner tank with 20 lbs of lace rock glued to the back corner! :D :lol:

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow, I cannot wait to see pictures of that tank when complete. Are you making a waterfeature with the rocks?
 
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kleinhanz said:
Wow, I cannot wait to see pictures of that tank when complete. Are you making a waterfeature with the rocks?
Yup, that is the plan. I took pics of the coco background but I didn't upload them to the gallery yet. Tonight I plan to add the base substrate and test the waterfall. I'll try to upload more pics too.

BTW, another thing I did was I covered the waterline that comes out of the rocks with silicone and pressed coco on it too. Now the line looks like a branch and blends in more.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Very Cool.

Now you will have to choose the appropriate plants for the diffent substrate conditions in your tank. Meaning, where you have the false-bottom set up, the substrate will not be in direct contact with the water (in the bottom if the tank). But where you are missing the false-bottom, I assume you will have gravel or clay pellets and the plant roots will be much wetter.

What about building up a little more under the rocks. It would be nice to see the rcoks (water feature) extend all the way to the top of the tank....
 
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kleinhanz said:
Very Cool.

Now you will have to choose the appropriate plants for the diffent substrate conditions in your tank. Meaning, where you have the false-bottom set up, the substrate will not be in direct contact with the water (in the bottom if the tank). But where you are missing the false-bottom, I assume you will have gravel or clay pellets and the plant roots will be much wetter.

What about building up a little more under the rocks. It would be nice to see the rcoks (water feature) extend all the way to the top of the tank....
Thanks!

Yes, I have lava rock to fill most of the area and gravel for the shallow pond. I have a brom and a few plants but that will can change.

I tried to build the back rock work up a bit but that's how it ended up fitting best.


Here's with the coco background...

 
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