how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instructions..

Discussion in 'Enclosures, Heating & Lighting' started by wlowell05, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. wlowell05

    wlowell05 Embryo

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    FAKE ROCK INSTRUCTIONAL

    Things to get: (most items can be purchased at a hardware store)
    * Polystyrene foam- comes in one large sheet or a pack of smaller sheets
    * Foam in a can- there are 2 kinds, make sure to get the kind that hardens. The can should say.
    * Grout- comes in many colors, I used gray
    * Grout sealer- make sure it’s acrylic or water based. I used aqua-mix
    * Liquid nails

    I also used:
    * Poster board- to create a 3-d model
    * Box cutter- to cut the polystyrene foam into a basic shape
    * Dremel tool- to cut the polystyrene foam into a more curved shape
    * Sand paper- to even out the polystyrene foam when cut
    * Paint brush- to apply the sealer
    * Latex or dish gloves- to apply grout and work with foam in a can (can get messy and a pain to remove from your hands!)
    * Sand- to add a more realistic feel
    * brown paper- to cover the floor (I would recommend something put on the floor because this got messy for me)

    STEPS:
    1. I drew out on paper how I wanted the fake rock to look
    2. I took my “blueprint” (so to speak) and cut poster board to create a 3-D model to the size of the tank. Although poster board is not the full length of a 20 gallon long tank, I added a piece of computer paper to give it the full 20 gallon length

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    3. I then traced the sides of the tank onto a sheet of polystyrene foam and cut them out

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    4. I used the dremel tool to shape the sides. With each cut, I made sure to check to make sure it would fit inside my tank, and because my tank has a lip on the top, the sides had to be cut slightly short.

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    5. I used glued the sides together and checked to make sure it would fit inside my tank, and with a few alterations it finally fit.
    6. I used some of the cut foam to create a ledge.

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    7. I then began cutting the sides of the hides, making changes as I went along. I started with the smaller house on the left of the 3-D layout, but before gluing it together I made the larger house, gluing the pieces together.

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    Now although the pieces may not be straight and even now, this can be fixed later with foam in a can and grout.

    8. After gluing the two houses together, I realized that I didn’t want the third house on the right side anymore. It was replaced by a small ledge and steps. Now, although there is no longer a hide there, the area is still covered on four sides.

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    9. I also decided to put steps on the inside of the larger hide, so my leo can climb to the top through the roof of the house. I cut out small steps and glued them to the back of the foam. I traced out where I wanted the hides to go so that I knew my limits as to the steps.

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    10. I wanted there to be two ways to get to the ledge, so I added steps to the left side under the ledge that would lead up to the smaller hide.

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    11. I then started using the foam in a can on the ledges and steps, making them more durable and giving them a better look.

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    12. After letting the foam sit for at least an hour, I decided I didn’t like the rounded look, and used my finger to add just a little bit of foam. This also filled in any gaps between the polystyrene and the foam in a can.

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    13. I also added foam in a can to the hides so that they wouldn’t look quite as square and to fill in any gaps.

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    14. Once the foam in a can had fully dried and hardened, I glued the hides to the back piece. Although there were some gaps where somehow things didn’t fit, the foam in a can fixed that, but it is of course best to try to get things to fit.

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    15. I decided that I wanted to put in a calcium dish. What I did was take lid that would hold the calcium and traced the outline on a piece of foam. Then I cut out the outline. I glued the foam piece onto the side. I left the hole so that I can remove the lid for cleaning and whatnot. This way there is also a lip so that calcium can’t be as easily thrown about. I added foam in a can to the piece. If you decided to make a piece similar be VERY careful! I was completely finished with the project when I put in my calcium dish, and I pushed a little too hard and the grout cracked. I fixed the grout, and when adding the last layer of sealer, the half the piece fell off, and I had to glue it back on, regrout the crack, and reseal it.

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    16. Once all the foam in a can was hardened, I was ready to grout. It takes about an hour for the foam to dry, but I tended to wait a little longer just to make sure it was settled before adding the grout. Make sure that the first layer of grout you add is a watery layer, this serves as the base coat.

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    17. Let the grout sit for 24 hours before adding the second coat. Make the second layer of grout less watery than the first layer. I’d call it a medium consistency.

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    18. Once again, wait 24 hours for the grout to fully cure and harden before adding the third coat. Make the consistency of this layer very thick. If you choose to add sand to the fake rock, do so on this layer. I took handfuls and dropped on the wet grout. What didn’t stick will come of.

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    19. After shaking the excess sand off, I used a paint brush to apply the first coat of sealer. I also added sand to the sealer because the sane on the grout was a little light for me.

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    20. The sealer dries in about thirty minutes. I shook the sand off before applying a second coat.

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    21. Just to make sure I added a third coat of sealer to the entire fake wall piece.
    22. I let the piece sit outside for a day before bringing it into my room just to make sure all the fumes and whatnot where gone.

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    This can be used for other things as well… I have redone my humid hides using this method and although I had a slight problem, I overcame it and they look great. I also used old whipped cream tupperwares to create regular hides. I’m cheap and figured since the foam in a can was open I might as well use it before it goes bad (only lasts a few days if your lucky). I think it all turned out well.

    Humid hides
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    Dry Hides
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    Rocks
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  2. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  3. Zombie

    Zombie Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    WOW! thanks brilliant, great stuff. Unfortunatly i cant stand polystyrene, it makes my skin crawl. But if the end result is like that i may just brave it. Good instructions too, thanks for sharing. :)
     
  4. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  5. retnuh2010

    retnuh2010 Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    So that's how you made that... Awsome! :D
     
  6. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  7. retnuh2010

    retnuh2010 Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    Sorry for posting twice but how did you make the humid hides, the dry hides, and the rocks?
     
  8. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  9. Zombie

    Zombie Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    By the looks of it its the same process. Its just they put the grout and everything on a dish with a hole rather than polystyrene sheets
     
  10. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  11. antz1983

    antz1983 Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    thanx for that WLOWELL05 that is really helpfull and it look really ace
     
  12. adamvester

    adamvester Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    cheers for sharing that. ace idea gotta try that myself :D
     
  13. Just_Some_Guy

    Just_Some_Guy Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    thats really cool and the finished product looks very nice
     
  14. CornyGuy

    CornyGuy Well-Known Member

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    Looks nice!
     
  15. jap333

    jap333 Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    wow man, thats fricken awesome think grout would stick to wood?
     
  16. xTBx

    xTBx Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    I don't know about "sticking" to wood, but it would harden around around it. Amazing idea, you don't how long i've tried to come up with some sort of "shelf" system for my new enclosure. Thanks a lot
     
  17. wlowell05

    wlowell05 Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    for the rocks i just took extra polystyrene foam glued them together and grouted. for the fumid hides, i took glad tupperware containers and grouted. i dont realyl use the humid hides because they tended to just stay in there and i couldnt ever get them out bc the lid was grouted to the container. getting the grout to stick to the plastic was a pain in the but it still cracks where there wasnt any foam in a can stuff. for the dry hides i just put foam in a can and grout and sealer on a whipped cream container. those i still use and love as do they, but they tend to stick to the carpet because of the sealed in sand. but hope this helps and other questions jsut ask.
     
  18. retnuh2010

    retnuh2010 Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    Yes it does thank you. :(
     
  19. wlowell05

    wlowell05 Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    uh huh... anytime
     
  20. RinkRat33

    RinkRat33 Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    That's awesome, you should go into some kind of set design or something (assuming your not already) for theatre or something along those lines, i wish we had creative people like you when i was in theatre!!
     
  21. Mikey624

    Mikey624 Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    sell them, i think you would get alot of customers. or copyright it to zoomed or something. good idea its awsome.
     
  22. RinkRat33

    RinkRat33 Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    Mikey has a good idea...you could make a lot of money of these things, people (including me) would pay pretty good money for a custom rock wall/ hides/ rocks etc...especially people like me who would love to do this but don't have the time :)
     
  23. Mikey624

    Mikey624 Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    i probably half of rr would buy one!
     
  24. Iamclueless

    Iamclueless Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    I loved your tank and rocks. Thanks alot for this great tut on how to uild them!
     
  25. reptiles4me

    reptiles4me Embryo

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    RE: how i made my fake rock... loads of pics and instruction

    What a great idea. I have been going nuts looking for the perfect basking rock for my Uro and will definitely think of trying this. Do you think the higher temps of a Uro enclosure would be a problem as far as omitting fumes or melting? Or is there enough stuff protecting the meltable pieces?
     

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