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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - DIY Background
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DIY Background
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Madan
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:39 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 Hey  this  is  good  work,  keep  the  torch  at  the  bare  minimum  flame  always,  and  you'll  get  control  with  practice.
 
 PK  in  nature  there  are  less  curved  lines  on  a  rock  face  and  more  of  horizontal  and  angled  straight  lines,  like  one  rock  stacked  on  top  of  the  other  irregularly,  in  the  absence  of  a  binding  material  in  between,  nature  reverts  to  this  configuration  over  time  and  that  is  what  makes  a  stable  rockface,  go  easy  on  the  curved  lines,  otherwise  it'll  very  easily  look  like  the  front  elevation  of  a  building  decorated  with  colorful  stones.
 
 Draw  the  design  on  a  piece  of  paper,  satisfy  yourself  with  the  look,  then  start  work  on  the  thermocoel.
 
 I  am  learning  from  your  mistakes,  sorry!
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Perikaruppan
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:25 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 Thanks  for  the  advice  sir.   Everyone  learns  from  mistakes  and  i  am  known  for  it..  ha  ha  ha...the  problem  is  i  learn  from  my  mistakes  and  not  from  that  of  others!!
 
 the  torch  was  at  the  lowest  flame..  the  best  part  of  the  torch  i  found  was  that  the  mouth  could  be  removed  and  any  other  brass  material  (threaded  1/4"  )  could  be  fitted...  so  now  pestering  my  hardware  guy  who  can  give  me  a  small  mouth  piece  so  that  i  can  control  the  width  of  the  flame..  currently  it  is  only  10mm  or  so..  letz  c
 
 tried  many  times  to  draw  the  diagram  but  not  very  good  in  imagining  things  thatz  the  problem!!!  letz  hope  time  will  make  me  better
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Madan
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:39 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 Ok....PK...  not  good  at  drawing  diagrams,  let  me  see  what  I  can  dig  up  for  inspiration!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:56 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 One  more.
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gopiqpp
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:56 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 Hi  PK  and  Madan,  This  seems  to  be  what  you  are  looking  for  :handy,  locally  available  and  adjustable  flame  point;
 
 http://suppliers.jimtrade.com/30/29844/27392.htm
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Perikaruppan
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:41 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 hey  Thanks  madan...  even  went  thro  
 http://www.backtonature.se/english/inspiration_rock.html
 
 I  still  have  1mX1m  peice..  so  will  do  that  sometime  this  week  with  a  combo  of  your  pics  and  backtonature  pics...
 
 I  feel  that  will  painting  we  can  bring  up  the  look  to  natural..  lemme  c  what  i  can  comeup  with.
 
 @gopi:  i  had  already  contacted  those  people  in  banglr  and  it  was  abt  30%  highly  priced  that  what  i  have  purchased,  and  what  i  have  purchase  seems  to  have  more  options  than  that  one.
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nytyn
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:40 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 PK  and  all  others  interested  in  the  DIY  background,
 
 Are  you  familiar  with  the  way  our  car  mod  guys  do  up  the  side  skirts,  and  flowing  extensions  for  the  rear  and  front  bumpers?
 
 Ok,  if  you  are  not,  let  me  explain.  I  hang  out  a  lot  in  these  places,  and  so  got  an  idea  today,  and  even  spoke  to  this  guy,  who  does  these  things.
 
 They  first  design  a  piece  for  your  car,  with  metal.  The  sheets  that  these  tinkers  use.  They  bend,  hit,  scrape  cut  and  finally  make  something  thats  really  cool.  This  thing  is  now  used  to  make  a  mould,  or  a  die.  [Metal  cannot  be  used  for  the  stuff  as  it  increases  body  weight,  and  also  poses  safety  hazards,  if  the  car  should  hit  a  pedestrian  or  any  other  thing.]  They  use  metal  only  when  they  design,  as  its  easy  to  work  with.
 
 With  this  metal  piece,  they  use  POP[Plaster  of  Paris],  and  some  fiber  glass,  to  make  a  mould.  This  is  done  in  2  stages,  one  for  the  front,  and  one  for  the  back  of  the  piece,  as  its  a  3  dimensional  piece.  You  can  picture  a  spoiler  of  a  car,  if  thats  easy  for  you.  With  this  mould,  they  then  make  the  same  piece  in  FRP[Fibre  Reinforced  Polymer].  
 
 Ok,  now,  what  that  means  to  us,  is,  we  dont  have  to  go  through  all  this  cutting  of  styrofoam,  shaping  it  and  all  that  mess.[No  offence  meant  to  all  the  people  who  have  been  putting  in  their  hard  efforts,  and  creativity].  All  you  need  to  do  is  arrange  some  niec  pebbles  and  rocks  on  the  floor,  the  way  you  want  your  tank  background  to  look.  Then,  you  can  make  the  mould  from  that.  The  only  limitation  is  that  you  dont  have  access  to  the  backside,  but  its  not  necessary,  as  the  final  FRP  or  fiber  glass  product  does  not  need  a  backside  at  all.  It  can  just  be  a  mask  like  thingy,  with  all  the  mounds  and  curves  on  the  outside,  and  hollow  inside.
 
 Finishing  is  the  same,  You  could  first  cement  it,  or  even  do  the  epoxy,  sand  and  then  stained  epoxy  right  away  on  it.
 
 This  can  be  siliconed  to  the  back  of  your  tank.  
 
 The  advantages  are:
 
 1.  This  can  be  far  easier  to  keep  inside  the  tank,  as  styrofoam  will  be  a  lot  more  buoyant.
 2.  This  does  not  displace  much  water.
 3.  Water  can  be  made  to  flow  well,  behind  the  tank  too,  so  your  filter  intake  can  perform  better,  and  water  circulation  will  be  better  too,  at  least  4.  relatively  in  comparison  to  styrofoam.
 4.  Styrofoam  can  chip  off  surely,  in  case  your  cichlids  want  to  try  their  teeth,  and  jow  skills  on  it.  In  this  case,  the  chipped   off  pieces  will  leave  white  spots.  This  is  just  a  possibility.
 
 My  man  says  its  possible.  I  am  constructing  a  tank  for  him  right  now,  and  so  he  is  game  for  it.
 
 I  plan  to  make  modules  of  2  by  2.5  feet.  This  can  be  duplicated  by  the  hundreds  easily,  once  the  mould  is  made.  As  his  is  a  5  by  2  by  2  [Malawi  setup],  I  think  the  2  by  2.5  will  be  a  fabulous  size  for  it.  I  can  easily  silicone  the  pieces  together  to  the  background  of  the  tank.  The  joint  wont  even  be  visible.
 
 What  do  you  feel?
 
 Inputs  would  be  surely  welcome.
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Madan
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:28 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 Nytyn  that  can  be  done,  but  frp  is  a  pain  and  messy  to  work  with,  all  that  fumes  etc.,
 
 Girish  and  me  even  went  and  identified  a  rock  in  real  life  that  we  wanted  to  duplicate  with  frp.  A  good  cleaning  and  water  wash,  followed  by  applying  a  coat  of  frp  release  coating  and  the  job  is  ready  to  do,  but  gave  it  up  somehow.
 
 FRP  is  an  option  and  lots  of  guys  on  the  web  have  made  backgrounds  using  the  same  method.  It's  as  difficult  or  as  easy  to  do  as  a  Styrofoam  background.  Finally  your  skill  with  the  material  is  what  matters.
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nytyn
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:41 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 We  live  in  India,  and  manpower  is  cheap.  I  live  in  Coimbatore,  and  manufacturing/engineering  skill  is  easily  available  here!
 
 Anyways,  Madan,  if  you  can  ship  that  rock  to  me  I  can  make  you  replicas!
 
 Will  keep  you  guys  posted  about  the  developments  on  this  front!
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Perikaruppan
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:14 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 Nytyn...  done  that  research  studiously  and  ended  up  with  the  thermacols!!!  ...  ha  ha  ha
 
 well  to  brief  you  on  your  fiber  setup...  you  need  to  first  locate  something  those  guys  use  abroad  called  "Silicon  Rubber"  in  a  semi  liquid  form...
 the  process  is  as  follows:
 1.  find  the  surface,  clean  it  with  water.  rub  off  all  the  dust
 2.  Apply  regular  engine  oil  over  the  surface  completely.
 3.  Apply  1  coat  of  Silicon  rubber  (comes  with  2  components  gotta  mix  both  of  them  equally)  and  they  set  very  fast  within  1  min...  so  you  gotta  be  quick..  u  need  more  than  1  person  to  apply  as  u  need  speed.
 4.  After  drying,  apply  2  more  coats  similarly..  u  will  get  abt  2.5-3mm  thickness.
 5.  Get  the  regular  nylon  mesh  that  we  use  for  mosquitoes,  and  put  it  along  the  surface,  and  now  add  1  more  coat..
 6.  after  that  dries...  add  1  more  coat..  so  you  have  5  coats  of  silicon  rubber.
 7.  Since  this  is  not  very  strong...  we  apply  oil  again  on  surface..
 8.  then  apply  the  fiber  paste...  then  glass  fiber  sheet...  and  3  coats  to  get  the  solid  glass  fibre  mold.
 
 then  when  completely  dry,  remove  the  fiber  mold  first,  then  the  silicon  mold  and  put  the  silicon  mold  in  the  fibre  moldfor  setting.
 
 We  have  to  use  silicon  rubber  (used  in  creating  facial  masks)  as  only  it  can  get  the  correct  shapes,  contours  and  sharp  crevices  of  the  rock  correctly.  And  since  it  is  flimsy,  we  need  the  nylons  mesh  to  strengthen  it  and  further  the  fibre  mould  to  give  it  solidity...  i  have  asked  my  guy  to  experiment  without  the  fibre  mould...  only  the  silicon  mould  ...  but  more  thickness  abt  5  mm...   i.e.,  abt  7-8  coats.
 
 now  you  can  use  this  to  get  the  desired  rock  shapes.
 
 I  went  to  the  extent  of  getting  an  8X4  mold  done..  then,  according  to  my  tank  size,  can  set  the  setting  of  the  final  product  to  anywhere  in  the  mold  to  get  whatever  size  i  want...  in  that  case  i  have  1  mold  and  many  many  different  patterns....
 
 This  infor  i  gathered  from  a  person  who  is  specialized  in  doing  rock-fibres  in  Dubai...  and  used  to  do  it  regularly  in  sheiks  swimming  pool  caves!!!....  and  this  is  the  same  method  used  by  Panega  Rocks....  
 
 My  guy  said  he  has  not  found  the  silicon  rubber  (paint  like  material)  in  chennai...  so  i  told  will  try  to  source...
 
 but  then  came  the  main  issue:  MONEY...  the  mold  should  cost  somewhere  around  the  same  as  4.5  Sqft  of  12mm  glass,  and  each  peice  thereon  should  be  around  75%  of  that  cost...  then  comes  the  painting  charges....  so  thinking  all  this  and  the  cost  associated  with  it..  unless  we  have  many  people  who  will  require  the  molds  it  doesnt  make  sense  cost  wise...  so   temporarily  put  that  on  hold...
 
 but  definitely  will  get  it  going  when  i  setup  my  fish  room.
 
 In  case  if  you  come  across  a  cheaper  method  do  lemme  know...
 
 And  with  regards  to  you  replicating  your  mold,  the  first  thing  is  wont  it  look  artificial  in  the  tank(when  u  use  2  in  one  tank)?  instead  of  that  ask  that  guy  to  make  a  larger  mold  and  make  many  smaller  shapes  like  the  way  i  planned.  I  hope  that  might  help.
 
 Pk
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aquascapes
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:52 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 PK,
 I  would  like  to  know  one  thing  more  -  how  will  you  ensure  that  the  backdrop  stays  in  the  water?  I  mean  if  you  have  sand  shifting  fish  the  backdrop  will  keep  getting  up-rooted  -  to  ensure  nothing  like  this  happens  I  drill  small  holes  through  the  thermocol  on  the  sides  and  make  a  plug  of  silicone  to  ensure  the  backdrop  stays  in  place  even  in  BB  tanks  (just  a  tip!)
 BTW  the  rubber  mould  that  you  are  talking  about  looks  like  this:
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Perikaruppan
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:46 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 Nauzaar,  Really  a  cool  idea  instead  of  sticking  the  entire  thing  to  the  glass...  will  definitely  try  that  out...  actually  i  thought  of  stickin  it  to  the  back  of  the  tank  using  silicone..  but  the  only  problem  is  that  i  cant  remove  it!!!  ha  ha  ha  ...
 
 Reg  rubber  mould,  u  made  the  mold?  if  so,  can  u  tell  me  on  the  method?  or  cost  associated  with  it?
 
 Pk
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sushant
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:26 am Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 that  looks  like  a  nice  background  to  me.well  done
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aquascapes
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:18 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

                                                   
Perikaruppan  wrote  (View  Post):                
Nauzaar,  Really  a  cool  idea  instead  of  sticking  the  entire  thing  to  the  glass...  will  definitely  try  that  out...  actually  i  thought  of  stickin  it  to  the  back  of  the  tank  using  silicone..  but  the  only  problem  is  that  i  cant  remove  it!!!  ha  ha  ha  ...
 Reg  rubber  mould,  u  made  the  mold?  if  so,  can  u  tell  me  on  the  method?  or  cost  associated  with  it?
 Pk                

 Hi,
 yes  I  made  the  mould  -  it  is  made  in  the  same  manner  that  you  state  in  the  above  post  that  is  why  I  attached  a  picture  of  how  it  looks  -  It  costed  me  approx  2.5  -  3  K.  I  create  and  sell  backdrops  commercially  so  I  can  afford  to  keep  these  moulds  but,  these  rubber  moulds  have  a  life  because  the  resin  that  is  poured  in  it  emits  heat  which  will  keep  spoiling  the  mould  with  every  impression.  I  normally  get  only  three  sometimes  even  two  good  backdrops  from  the  mould  I  don't  repeat  my  designs  and  pattern  so  I  don't  use  high  quality  rubber  for  my  moulds  you  could  get  more  impressions  if  you  use  good  quality  impression  materials  @  a  premium  price  not  worth  even  considering   Smile
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maveric_doc
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Joined: Jul 03, 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:50 pm Post subject: Re: DIY Background Reply with quote

 check  out  this  one..
 
 http://www.aquariumlife.net/projects/diy-decoration/17.asp
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