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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my first background project. I've done a lot of research, and watched a lot of youtube videos. The most inspiring and coolest has to be the 200 gallon done by "gilles" on this site http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/81816/my-200-gallon-plywood-build.

I've incorporated a few designs I've seen, but I am going with his cement and sand idea cuz I think it will look the most realistic.

IMG_20130413_123009.jpg

I hope that works or I'll edit it, I've never used image uploader services before.

This is the basic background for a 55 gallon. I still have to burn out some caves, and the flat areas will be hollowed out to fill with substrate to plant flora in. And then I'll round it off with the torch and do the coverings. At this point I have a few questions I'm concerned with:

1. Plumbing. So far with my planted tank experience, planted tanks are hard on filters. If I plumb an intake at the bottom of my background, fix it in permanently to the tank, won't the tube get nasty over time, and there is no way for me to clean it?

2. "Gilles" used elastopur over his cement. Is this necessary? Why was it used? Is there any other sealant I need to safely put over the styrofoam (inside or out)?

3. The background displaces a lot of water. Is there a safe way to carve out some of the inside of the background to get some of that volume back while still keeping a current through it, keeping it clean, and making sure no fauna get back there and stuck.

4. I originally had planned a paludarium, but with a 55, I don't really think there is enough surface area. I think a 40 breeder would be better than a 55 cuz it has a bigger footprint. I still haven't convinced myself. I have four inches from the top of that background to the top of the tank. Do you think I can still do the paludarium style with enough room for amphibians and fish?

I'd appreciate any feedback. I'm completely new to the background thing, and I think I've done a lot of research, but I'm still confused about some of the coverings and plumbing issues. I just want to make sure I do it right before I start putting it inside the tank! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Alright, I'll message a mod, but the image I put doesn't show up in my browser (chrome) but does when I click it and select open in a new window. I'll try to fix it.
 
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