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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I prefer to use larger hardscape elements in my vivaria (rocks, wood, etc.) to provide a more realistic sense of scale with the frogs. However, football-sized rocks and large chunks of dead wood start to get prohibitively heavy after a while, especially if you need to move a tank. Although I prefer using real materials, for the sake of continuing to use larger pieces without including all of the weight, I decided to try my hand at making some faux rocks for a future tank.

I won't go into the process as it has been discussed on here before and can be discovered through a quick search (zBrinks has put together and posted a great video of making fake rocks for his bumblebee toad tank). So below are just a few images from the process yesterday.

I'm not completely satisfied with the sculpting and will have to work on it a bit more...but here are shots from the initial coat of tinted Drylok. I will post pictures as I work on the painting process to create a sense of texture and depth.
 

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looks good man. i'd add a few more colors to break up the uniformity though. I like the shapes. Better than mine!
 

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i think these looks great. I started carving but the knife i was using was frustrating. I have a paring knife that looks just like yours. I'll try that next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
An update...

This is one of the largest pieces I've been working on. It's a single piece, but carved to look like rocks of various sizes. It is sitting on its back for the photo...when installed it will be at more of a vertical angle to help give the feeling of the sloped edge of a stream bank. I have played with some moss-type coverage to add some personality until the real bryophytes are able to take hold.
 

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An update...

This is one of the largest pieces I've been working on. It's a single piece, but carved to look like rocks of various sizes. It is sitting on its back for the photo...when installed it will be at more of a vertical angle to help give the feeling of the sloped edge of a stream bank. I have played with some moss-type coverage to add some personality until the real bryophytes are able to take hold.
thats real good. very realistic
 

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Looks good, just wondering is the surface texture rough at all? Been contemplating different ways to create fake rocks. One thing I've been worried about is that the drylok would leave the texture too smooth, so that it would be hard to establish moss on it.
 

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An update...

This is one of the largest pieces I've been working on. It's a single piece, but carved to look like rocks of various sizes. It is sitting on its back for the photo...when installed it will be at more of a vertical angle to help give the feeling of the sloped edge of a stream bank. I have played with some moss-type coverage to add some personality until the real bryophytes are able to take hold.
nice detail
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Skysdale, was that foam just stacked, or did you carve those out of one solid piece? And if the later, where did you find it at that thickness?
My goal was to make rocks that appeared to be of various different sizes and scales, so I needed to really create a dramatic sense of depth in the pieces. In order to make the larger rocks, I glued numerous pieces of foam together (sometimes 3-5 layers thick) and then reinforced them with bamboo skewers. After you let it dry for a couple days you can start carving (the skewers really help hold things together at this point) and then seal it all up with the Drylok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I used Elmer's. Anything that is fairly benign and holds things together should be fine...but the nature of the foam is that the glue will hold it together, but it will tear apart behind the portion that is glued together (if that makes sense), hence the skewers.
 

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what did you use to color the normally white Dry Lock?? Will the coloring agent stand up to humidity??? Those do look very real...nice job...
 
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