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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so Christmas was good to me this year. I was able to snag an Exoterra 24x18x24 earlier this week. So the plan this time is to mount the rock wall onto eggcrate so that it can be removed from the terrarium and more importantly so that it can be built OUTSIDE of the terrarium. I plan on using a Velcro strip at the top of the rock wall on the back to secure it to the glass. This rock wall will also be incorporating a water fall. This is a first for me with the rock walls so we'll see how it goes. I plan on using a false bottom and already have that cut and fitted (i'll be adding the lifts later). On the left side of the tank I have created a pump box. I plan on lining this with nylon screen so that the pump does not become clogged. I am also planning on trying 100% Portland Cement for the concrete.








Here is the pump I plan on using.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awesome! I just ordered that exact size exo Three days ago!
It's sweet! You won't be disappointed! I was pleasantly surprised by the thickness of the glass - it's all pretty heavy duty with the exception of the doors - not that they need any additional heft since they are not load bearing.
 

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It's sweet! You won't be disappointed! I was pleasantly surprised by the thickness of the glass - it's all pretty heavy duty with the exception of the doors - not that they need any additional heft since they are not load bearing.
Great! I'm used to heavy duty glass. (my one foot cube has 4 mm glass :eek:)
Did I miss rock wall one? or was it #2 that I missed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm really not even there yet in my mind - planting is where I kind of fall apart. I really want to get some colorful neos this time. I definitely want to ensure that the rock wall /waterfall are visible through the jungle this time!
 

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Home Depot carries the industrial strength velcro. I used it on my 120g. It held up good on the side that wasn't very heavy but the side that has the slate rock GS'd into the background is pulling away. The adhesive is pulling away from the velcro. Going to have to re-do that eventually.

Can't wait to see this one done. Your tanks always look good.
Candy
 

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I'm working on a very basic rock water bowl at the moment... My first attempt with fake rock work. I used a non sanded grout, and I really like the workability of it. I tried to use a masonry cement, but even with the really small amounts of aggregate, it left a weird bumpy look.

Does pure portland cement have any aggregate in it?
 

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Does pure portland cement have any aggregate in it?
I don't think so. It's very powdery....almost like dust. I'm having great results just using sanded and non-sanded grouts. If I'm going for sharp detail and cleved looks then I use non-sanded. For more eroded and boulder-like displays I use the sanded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Does pure Portland cement have any aggregate in it?
Nope. It's the consistency of flour. It's the stuff that you add the aggregates to. It's very smooth. You can add sand to it if you want the "sanded" look. It's really cheap too. I actually have most of a 50lb bag left from a previous home improvement project. I'm going to do a test with the Portland cement and do a small boulder to see how it turns out. I'll post my results here as well.
 

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In theory pure cement is not as strong as it is mixed with sand. Without any filler it also shrinks a lot more when curing and drying. When doing multiple layers this may not be a problem, though.

Normal fine grout contains portland, filler sand (grain size smaller than 0,1 mm) and coloring.
 

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have you guys ever used cement stains for coloring the rock features? I started out using the powdered cement pigments, but if it doesn't mix in completely it tends to rub off, it's also pretty hard to rub off to get that shadows in the cracks look. I've got some non toxic, acrylic craft paints that I'm going to experiment with next.

I'm also going to try to find some more colors of grout. I'm going to have to find a tile supply store or something like that because the color selection at the hardware was pretty limited.

I was curious about the concrete staining because I saw someone do a cement counter top and made it look very interesting with different shades and swirls like a random piece of rock might have. Just curious!
 

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have you guys ever used cement stains for coloring the rock features? I started out using the powdered cement pigments, but if it doesn't mix in completely it tends to rub off, it's also pretty hard to rub off to get that shadows in the cracks look. I've got some non toxic, acrylic craft paints that I'm going to experiment with next.

I'm also going to try to find some more colors of grout. I'm going to have to find a tile supply store or something like that because the color selection at the hardware was pretty limited.

I was curious about the concrete staining because I saw someone do a cement counter top and made it look very interesting with different shades and swirls like a random piece of rock might have. Just curious!
Hi
I use stains coloor for my main structure for a paludarium I had before and I also used colors for land areas for scale trains (if you know wha I mean, sorry but I not sure how do you call that hobby), I used surface bonding cement and I mixed with concret bonding additive, I also cover the structure with concrete sealer, to stop any leaching for concret AND TO KEEP THE PH for the water in a normal level, you can check me journal here is the link: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beginner-discussion/29051-paludarium-proyect.html
 

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Melas, that is a great idea. I would be very wary of that ZM pump. I like alot of thier products, but we have a substantially higher return rate on the zoomeds small pumps than most anyother brand. The impeller shafts and wells are very low tolerance. They dont like running dry. Just a tip, not trying to be negative. If your ever looking for another tiny pump, the Maxijet microjet is a sick little guy that cannot be killed. I like our eggcrating, it is nice and neat. Making the wall outside should be so much easier, Im going to have to steal that idea for my next build, if you don't mind.
 
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