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I'm working on making a water feature in my viv and I'm wondering about what material to use. I first tried using big gobs of silicone and pressing gravel into it, but I didn't like how it looked (and it never really cured right on the inside) so I tore it out. I'm going for something that looks more like rock.

Has anyone tried using the vinyl concrete stuff they sell at Lowes mixing with sand-coco-peat? What about regular old concrete?

The epoxy-peat-paste also sounds like it might work- has anyone tried it before?

I'm a starving college student on a budget so hopefully I can find a low cost way to get the look I want.

Thanks in advance for your responses

~djohnston
 

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Concrete is too alkiline. For it to work you would have to let it leech stuff out for months before useing it the viv.

I just finished an epoxy peat background (drip wall) for a tank. It came out great, and pretty cheap. Foam, epoxy, peat, plumbing and brushes came to less then 40$. But it needs to off-gas for a while before frogs are added.

I have a water feature in my big tank built out of scorria (lava rock) which I realy like. I bored a whole through one of the pieces and plumbed it so that water trickels out the top and down the side. The whole thing sets in a resivour that drains into my sump below. Covered with java moss, it has a very natural spring like apearence.
 
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jumping on this topic: What are cheap ways to make a water feature. I'm not starving, but am a college student and on a budget. Im thinking about just using a foam background and shaping it to look real nice, mabey cover that with sand. What about inexpensive flat rocks from a garden center (that will not leech, because everything seems to leech)?
 
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I was also thinking about that. maybe carving a canal into the foam and then layring it with silicone.
Would this work?
 
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One way I have come up with, but not tested is the following. If this is too convoluted, I will explain more, but I think it pretty much lays out my idea. First, create a landscape with river, waterfall, and land portions in small baked clay pellets (aliflor). Then cover the entire landscape in small pieces of plastic screening. Next, mix small pebbles with clear silicone and apply the mix over the areas where the water will flow and an inch surrounding these pathways. You must have the water flowing from a high point above the base water line into a pool that is at this water line and has a depth that extends below. The only drawbacks here are that the water line must be maintained and the aliflor must be pretty deep to allow room for a good pool depth. When I get the time I'm going to try this out and let everyone know how it turns out.
 
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I don't see how the waterfall will be very high or steep if it is molded around clay pellets. Would it look good to just have the water running down a coco fiber background? Would that wear down over time?
 

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I use for the waterfall a piece of oakroot. In my 200 gallon vivarium I have two of them. Hereby a picture of one of them. The other is round the corner.



The oakroot is about 90 cm (35,5 inch) high and the water is flowing from top to bottom. As you can see the oak is fully grown with moss.
 
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