My DIY rock wall!

Virt

Member
This was fun and looks awesome!

Step 1: Ninja a bunch of rocks!
Step 2: Buy a bunch of aquarium silicone! (I used 2 and a bit tubes on a 45g)
Step 3: Buy a bunch of fine gravel or sand!
Step 4: Wash everything thoroughly! Allow to dry!
Step 5: Apply sillicone to your rocks, one at a time, start from the bottom and glue them straight to the back of your tank wall!
Step 6: Do one or two 'levels' at a time, squeeze some sillicone between the gaps in the rock, then drop some gravel/sand straight onto the wet sollicone, press it in hard!
Step 7: Let it dry for 5-10 minutes(make sure the rocks aren't going anywhere), prop the tank up so that the loose gravel falls away, you might have to very lightly brush it, them work on the next layer of rocks!
Step 8: Finish what you started!
Step 9: Stand back and admire your work (5-10 minutes should be sufficient) then get back to work!
Step 10: Because the silicone is clear, you may notice some light coming through from the back of the tank, to prevent this, I gaffa taped black card to the back, blocking all light!
Step 11: Let that sucker dry, go have a beer and relax!

I left mine to dry for a good week before filling it, it looks wicked and I will definitely do it again!
You can be pretty artistic with the rocks, sillicone is pretty strong, I used flat rocks jutting out to make small shelters and rest ledges!
Yes, its relatively permanent but when it looks that good, who cares!

Enjoy!
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
Here it is next to my 55gal!
 

Aquarist

Member
Great DIY project Virt!

Thanks for the details!

Ken
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
Cheers Ken!
 

Everythingzen

Member
Looks great!
Will you be able to get into the crevices easily to remove organic buildup?
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
Definitely not, haha!
But I am sure I can get in there with a small brush if need be
 

mosin360

Member
That is hardcore! Looks very nice.
 

ScottsTanks

Member
Looks great Vert! Is this for an aquarium of a terrarium because I could be wrong but it looked like a small cactus planted in the tank. Either way, It looks amazing
 

lorabell

Member
Wow!!!!! Great Job!!!!!! Looks awesome!!!!!
 

Jayfeather9

Member
Nice job!!!
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
Thanks everyone!
Its an aquarium Scott, the plant in the centre is some long leaf java fern crammed into the centre of a hollowed out bit of wood!
 

i8aNooB

Member
Virt it looks amazing mate =)

So good infact that I might end up doing this when I make my tank...and stock it with some Malawi's

GREAT JOB!
 

Teishokue

Member
looks like its going to be hard cleaning the bottom. or even changing scenery
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
Thanks to all, I have Blue Rams in there now, theyre loving it.
Any planted/well decor'd (is that even a word?) is pretty hard to vacuum, I'm pretty happy if I can get to half of my substrate, the sand stays relatively clean with a WC/vac every weekend.
 

UNCLERUCKUS

Member
virt said:
thanks To All, I Have Blue Rams In There Now, Theyre Loving It.
Any Planted/well Decor'd (is That Even A Word?) Is Pretty Hard To Vacuum, I'm Pretty Happy If I Can Get To Half Of My Substrate, The Sand Stays Relatively Clean With A Wc/vac Every Weekend.
Great Looking Tanks And I Love The Background!
 

psalm18.2

Member
How long has it been up? Love the look. I am planning the same, but attached to plexiglass first.
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
Cheers, has been running for about a month now, diatoms everywhere but I expected that.
I was originally going to attach it to eggcrate first and use it to hide the equipment but I can't find eggcrate or anything similar around here at all! plexI isn't a bad idea!
 

oshawer

Member
love it
 

bettakeeper

Member
very cool virt. it is very inovative. You say it is relatively permanent so does that mean the sand might go into the tank and sink down to the bottom?
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
Thanks Bettakeeper, I don't know what you mean about the sand going in though?
 

Matt

Member
Hey Virt,

Great to see another Perth resident on Fishlore

The tank looks amazing and the rock wall is just... Genius!

Matt
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
Cheers mate!
Glad to see another perthie!
 

bettakeeper

Member
I should have made myself clearer (*sorry!*) I meant't that since it is relatively permanent the sand would not stick to the wall and tank(?), after a while and the glue would later give way.
basically I am asking if the whole thing would fall apart after a while?
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
Oh, yeah possibly, I am not 100% certain, a little of the gravel has fallen off the sillicone but I think it was just stuff that was a little loose to start with.
I know the rock definitely won't fall away!
I'm thinking of growing java moss in some of the crevices and possibly a creeping plant across the top to cover some if it anyway
Edit: oh and by 'relatively permanent' the silicone and rocks could be removed for a different backing if need be but I would think you would have to replace the glass if you ever wanted it perfectly clear again.
 

rollo1411

Member
That is awesome. I've seen the styrofoam ones but never anything like this. Any concern about it falling and cracking at all?

Would love to do this on a piece of plexI and build it out so that the intakes could still pull from the tank.

Awesome concept!
 

TmacD

Member
That's Really cool!!!! Much better than my fake rock background on my aquarium.
 

akamel

Member
Vert this was so cool looking and inventive ! It looks great ! I like it so much that I have started my own on a 55. I painted the backround black _ on the outside of the glass. Then I went down to the cow pasture and collected rocks, cleaned them and boiled them, dried them and have started putting them on my background. Thanks for the idea .
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
rollo1411 said:
That is awesome. I've seen the styrofoam ones but never anything like this. Any concern about it falling and cracking at all?

Would love to do this on a piece of plexI and build it out so that the intakes could still pull from the tank.

Awesome concept!
Cheers, I don't think the rocks will ever separate from the glass, I let the tank sit for some time with water in to make sure nothing would give way so I figure if it was going top fail it wouldve done it by now, famous last words eh!
The original idea was to do just that, I wanted to use eggcrate or something simlar and build some areas behind the background to stuff the equipment but couldnt find anything suitable.

akamel said:
Vert this was so cool looking and inventive ! It looks great ! I like it so much that I have started my own on a 55. I painted the backround black _ on the outside of the glass. Then I went down to the cow pasture and collected rocks, cleaned them and boiled them, dried them and have started putting them on my background. Thanks for the idea .
Thanks mate, let us know how yours goes! would love to see it

tmcdaniels said:
That's Really cool!!!! Much better than my fake rock background on my aquarium.
Yeah much more realistic
I have the foam stuff on my 55gal and it cost a feakin fortune!

Dropping an update on this one:
if you decide to do this, be prepared for massive Diatoms!
I guess its all the silicone, tanks been up for 3 months and still chockas with diatoms
Its a little unpleasant to look at but I know it will go away eventually
 

akamel

Member
thanks for the info. I have started on it but will be a day or 2 before it's finished. This was such an awesome idea--don't know why I didn't think of it! When I get it finished I will borrow camera and post pics. Doubt it will look as good as yours though.
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
Awesome, I'm sure it will look just as good!
 

psalm18.2

Member
You used silicone right? I tried making a cave w/ silicone and gravel on pipe. The silicone never felt dry and rocks fell off. What am I missing here? Think I may try epoxy instead, it's drinking water safe.
 

allaboutfish

Member
Ottos could ake care of that.
 
  • Moderator

Mike

Moderator
Member
That is impressive! Nicely done
 
  • Thread Starter

Virt

Member
Thanks muchly, Mike!

Sillicone can take a few days to dry in unfavourable conditions and I have had trouble getting it to bond to PVC and some plastics but never gravel, make sure you press the gravel right into the sillicone.
Loads of people have used epoxy with success so feel free to give it a go and let us know the results
 

FishLoverCali

Member
I've been looking for the silicone glue at pet stores and still no luck. where did you get yours?
 

wisecrackerz

Member
Holy Cow, that looks so awesome! I wanted to do something similar in my 75, but didn't think it could be done so gave up on the idea. Looks like I'll have to give it another shot!

FishLoverCali, I got a bunch at petsmart; it's not cheap but it's easy.
 

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