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Thread: Let's talk about FUNCTIONAL CAVES.

  1. #241
    Moderator thelub's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dan200 Click here to enlarge
    .I'll have this up and running by Christmas I hope.
    Isn't that what you said last year? Click here to enlarge
    Look here for why you shouldn't buy styrofoam for your DIY background

    My 200 gal starfire project

  2. #242
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Let's talk about FUNCTIONAL CAVES.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by thelub Click here to enlarge
    Isn't that what you said last year? Click here to enlarge
    Why u gotta bring up old stuff? LOL.

    Life really has been hectic. And I had some financial tragedy. My AC unit died. Sucked up all my savings and maxed my visa. It was 112 degrees when it went out. My truck needed new tires so there went a grand. Blah blah blah.

    But in reality money for the tank has not been the issue. Time has. And my time has gone to working to pay for all that crap. It's been rough. I have most of what I need to finish already though so it's not like I gotta spend a lot more on it.

    But mostly the work I need to do takes place in my garage/shop and it's been a hundred plus degrees in there so, well, f-that. Things cool of here in Arizona at the end of October and I'll be back at it soon. This weekend I'm in Reno Nevada though. Jeep/rock crawler championships.
    If laughter is the best medicine, I am part of its corrupt pharmaceutical lobby

  3. #243
    DIYFK member theroman's Avatar


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    Oh Ok, I just wasn't sure if there was something more specific about having air in there. Definitely interesting. I'll be starting on a background next week, so maybe I'll try adding one Click here to enlarge

  4. #244
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Bump. So, I've been working my tail off at work. Got a little raise and then had to run point on quite a few "projects" that are outside the scope of my job but well within my skill set. I built this recently for our showroom.Click here to enlarge

    And I'm again motivated to finish my tank. A major block I've had (besides life/work) is that I never sorted out and bought the internal lights to light up the caves. Well I ordered those.

    My summer tour is much lighter than my winter months and I'm anxious to finish this thing. I'm gonna clear out a space to work in the garage this weekend so I can revive this build.

    Sorry for the delay. I suck lol
    If laughter is the best medicine, I am part of its corrupt pharmaceutical lobby

  5. #245
    DIYFK member Count_Sudoku's Avatar


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    You don't suck. The best part of DIY is the process--figuring out what you want, how to build it, and then actually building it.

  6. #246
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Bump-
    Sorry but I still have no progress but I have built up a fantastic layer of dust on my project.


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    If laughter is the best medicine, I am part of its corrupt pharmaceutical lobby

  7. #247
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dan200 Click here to enlarge
    Bump-
    Sorry but I still have no progress but I have built up a fantastic layer of dust on my project.
    That is progress, it takes time to create such a realistic patina...

  8. #248
    DIYFK member dejuc's Avatar


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    You are genius!

  9. #249
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge
    Back in action!




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    If laughter is the best medicine, I am part of its corrupt pharmaceutical lobby

  10. #250
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    The next pics I put up will show a gigantic transformation

    Anyone still watching this thread?


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    If laughter is the best medicine, I am part of its corrupt pharmaceutical lobby

  11. #251
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge...NOT ME...Click here to enlarge

  12. #252
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    No one is watching, as we all gave up hope... Click here to enlarge

  13. #253
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Let's talk about FUNCTIONAL CAVES.

    I deserve that.

    Here's what I've done over the last few days.

    First-

    I used some scrap plywood, gate hinges, and shelf brackets to build a mock up of my tanks interior size. I used hinges so the back wall flips up and down. This way I can lay the back wall down and have access to my structure from behind it. Or I can lay the whole thing on its back and work on the bottom side. Being able to tilt this has proven to be massively helpful.)

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge
    If laughter is the best medicine, I am part of its corrupt pharmaceutical lobby

  14. #254
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Then I put the BG I started 100 years ago on it.

    Click here to enlarge




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    If laughter is the best medicine, I am part of its corrupt pharmaceutical lobby

  15. #255
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Let's talk about FUNCTIONAL CAVES.

    Then I nearly completely re-did it. All the built in caves are still there. So are sandfalls. It just looks way different now .

    Click here to enlarge

    I'm getting close to having this be the shape I want it to be. I have spent so much time making the mechanics work on this thing that I lost my direction on having it be something natural looking. Staring at all the melted eggcrate had gotten so distracting to my eyes that I think I lost my vision. It's amazing what a little fiberglassing can do. I can kinda see what this is going to look like finally.
    If laughter is the best medicine, I am part of its corrupt pharmaceutical lobby

  16. #256
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Let's talk about FUNCTIONAL CAVES.

    In the lower left corner there's a removable section of caves I added tonight. More correctly they are tunnels. I'm trying to have there be a bunch of ways for my eels to go from one end of the tank to the other while being protected but not totally hidden from view. I'll continue this all the way across along the bottom.)

    Click here to enlarge

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  17. #257
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Here's how I made it.

    First I chopped up some PVC into short sections. Then I hacked some holes in it and used hot glue and scraps of eggcrate to jig up a sort of skeleton.

    Click here to enlarge

    Then I worked on the inside of where three of these make a junction. I used hot glue and a cut up "wife beater" tank top to shape the inside so it's somewhat smooth and the I layered it with with fiberglass resin.

    Click here to enlarge

    Then I did the more on the front side.

    Click here to enlarge

    Using the shirt material instead of fiberglass has been a pleasure! Thank you to whoever suggested using that stuff. The drawback is it's not very strong being sooo thin. I'll be going back over all this to strengthen it but while I'm still shaping my design this is sturdy enough.

    That's about all I've got for now.


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  18. #258
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    Looking good! I love this thread, no matter the age. Don't worry, I have one project that is 10 years old and the one on here that is 2 years old (or 3 maybe). I want mine both done this year. But time seems to fly especially when money is short. Click here to enlarge Good luck moving forward and I'll keep watching! What was it that Lone Watie (Chief Dan George) said in The Outlaw Josey Wales? "Endeavor to persevere." Click here to enlarge

  19. #259
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    So I have a dilemma. Tonight I was sitting in the garage staring at this monster and trying to arrange pieces of pvc and plan out the rest of the little track thing across the bottom so I can be done with this structure portion of my build and I need some suggestions on an issue I haven't sorted out yet.

    Going back through my recent pics you'll see that there's lotsa melted egg crate everywhere. Well after fiberglassing this I ripped a lot of that out. There's a lot left in some places and almost none in others.

    This means it's got a lot of hollow areas. My plan was to use spray foam to fill these up.

    Is there any reason I shouldn't?


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  20. #260
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Also, has anyone used spray foam kinda like clay, shaping it with a putty knife or whatever while it's not yet dry?


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  21. #261
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Let's talk about FUNCTIONAL CAVES.

    Oh, also- on the left side, the mountain I guess I'd call it, should I cut out the fiberglass against the back wall or leave it? (I'm talking about the black areas). I can't decide if I should the idea being if I did it would make it that when viewing these parts it shows the rear aquarium glass. The back glass will be tinted limo black. I was gonna play with LED lights being behind the glass that could illuminate these areas.

    Click here to enlarge

    Thoughts?


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  22. #262
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    In regards to spray foam, not a fan of it underwater myself, due to that whole 'floating aspect'... Yes, you can sort of manipulate it when still wet, but it's a hassle and you end up 'popping' all the air voids and it then deflates real fast and goes flat... May I suggest you consider getting some fine play or filter sand and and making a 'mortar' out of the dry sand and some epoxy resin, be light on the resin so that you end up with something like the perfect sand castle sand consistency, then pack, shape and sculpt as needed... Once it sets you could brush on a nice extra layer of resin to lock it all down and seal it up, or just fiberglass fabric over it...

  23. #263
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dan200 Click here to enlarge
    Also, has anyone used spray foam kinda like clay, shaping it with a putty knife or whatever while it's not yet dry?
    i have tried shaping spry foam like that. Click here to enlarge...Did Not work to well for me"Went all flat and sticks to everything"

  24. #264
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Let's talk about FUNCTIONAL CAVES.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HillbillyHomer Click here to enlarge
    i have tried shaping spry foam like that. Click here to enlarge...Did Not work to well for me"Went all flat and sticks to everything"
    Thanks!
    In some spots that might work to my advantage actually. How long does it take to harden? It's been years since I've used that stuff on anything.


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  25. #265
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Meep Click here to enlarge
    In regards to spray foam, not a fan of it underwater myself, due to that whole 'floating aspect'... Yes, you can sort of manipulate it when still wet, but it's a hassle and you end up 'popping' all the air voids and it then deflates real fast and goes flat... May I suggest you consider getting some fine play or filter sand and and making a 'mortar' out of the dry sand and some epoxy resin, be light on the resin so that you end up with something like the perfect sand castle sand consistency, then pack, shape and sculpt as needed... Once it sets you could brush on a nice extra layer of resin to lock it all down and seal it up, or just fiberglass fabric over it...
    I'm gonna try and use little foam as possible. It would sorta have two uses.

    First use is kind of important I think. The voids within the structures interior. There won't be any circulation inside the walls basically at all, and they won't be watertight either. They are gonna fill up and I fear that would be bad/toxic in the long term. (This is logical? Right?)

    Then I was going to paste a layer on the front side and kinda carve that up. This will be super helpful to have a easy to manipulate material for this part. I have to route the sand in the sandfalls so it collects in the right places. I know this whole sandfall will likely be tricky to "Tune" especially since there's three up pipes and two collection points.

    Your resin mortar idea is great. I'm using that. Not sure where yet lol. But still, Thanks.

    I'm still not sure how I'm doing the final coating either. I always have intended for this to have its final exterior layer being concrete made to look like lace rock.



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  26. #266
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    I should probably blow off the exterior foam and just do the whole outside in concrete huh?


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  27. #267
    DIYFK member dan200's Avatar


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    Let's talk about FUNCTIONAL CAVES.

    Fiberglass....

    Click here to enlarge...




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    If laughter is the best medicine, I am part of its corrupt pharmaceutical lobby

  28. #268
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Fun stuff, I used to burn through several boxes of chip brushes every week when I was fiber glassing... I remember feeling like an idiot every time Harbor Freight had them on sale and I would buy every box they had on the shelf in both 1" and 2" sizes Click here to enlarge

  29. #269
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dan200 Click here to enlarge
    Thanks!
    In some spots that might work to my advantage actually. How long does it take to harden? It's been years since I've used that stuff on anything.
    LOL i dont remember. im thinking 24hr? to set hard.

  30. #270
    DIYFK member Chasmodes's Avatar


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    I think that it depends on how thick you spray the foam on. The thicker it is, the longer it takes to cure. Air cures it faster, so if you put it on thick, poke holes in it to get some air in there. Water actually cures it faster. Others suggest adding the foam in thin layers, and spray the surface of what you are applying the foam to to improve adherence. Then, when you apply the next layer, spray the outside of the first layer with a mist of water to aid in curing and adherence.

    Of course, I didn't do that, so poking holes was my only option. I did a lot of research before i started, but didn't discover these tips until it was too late. I think mine is totally cured now as it's been a couple months. Keep in mind that my BG is about 4-6" thick.

    A thin layer of spray foam should harden in about an hour and fully cure overnight.

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