What is best material to use for making fake rock background

Discussion in 'Enclosures, Heating & Lighting' started by Guitar1969, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. Guitar1969

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    I am in the process of making a fake rock background for my leopard geckos. I have seen a few diferent methods on creating it at The Reptile Room and am curious as to any comments which is better, safer for Geckos, easier to clean etc - especially interested in people who have made these and what they like or dislike and their opinions after the fact or problems they have experienced(Not in layout, but in practicality)I have seen Grout used with a sealer, and plaster paris used with a water based paint, and then coated with an odorless acryclic top coat. My personal feeling is I would prefer to use plaster paris and paint, as it seems to me it could be more realistic looking than grout, and easier to work with but my main concern is how safe the materials are for a reptile cage, temperature tolerance/transferance, and how fragile it is (cracking etc). I am in the process of designing the structure out of styrofoam and glue and plan on using a plastic tub for the humid hide, which will not be visible at all but will be removable; this whole thing will sit on my tile substrate.

    Any thought suggestions, comments are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Michael
     
  2. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  3. ArchimedesArtifex

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  4. JEFFREH

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  5. Guitar1969

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    Re: RE: What is best material to use for making fake rock ba

    thanks for the reply but I am already aware of that thread- I know about this procedure, but am comparing it to a plaster paris based procedure that I have seen previously here as well. Want to know which is safer, better, etc. The thread above talked about cracking after the fact and I see some people switched to a cement material as well so it sounds like it may not be the best way to go.
     
  6. JEFFREH

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  7. ArchimedesArtifex

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    RE: Re: RE: What is best material to use for making fake roc

    I havn't dabbled much in making my own cage decorations much yet, but i used the thread I posted and havn't had any problems. Then again I didn't make something as elaborate as she did, so therefor I have less problems with cracking and such...The plaster would probably work also, it's really up to you.
     
  8. JEFFREH

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  9. BrilliantBeardie12

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    When I build my beardie's new enclosure (and eventually an MHD's enclosure) I'll be carving polystyrene into rock shapes and configuring it into a rock wall and furniture, then covering it in 3-5 layers of grout.

    It seems to be the most widespread, well-known method, and from my understanding it is very durable, hard, and easy to clean. Plus the grout acts as a thermal gradient. The only thing that I am unsure of is sealing. I'll be painting the rock wall but I don't know if you have to seal the grout first, seal the paint, or both.

    Overall, I think polystyrene, grout, and Great Stuff spray foam works best.
     
  10. JEFFREH

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  11. ArchimedesArtifex

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    I was also wondering about what to seal it with when painting...I asked this in the original thread but I don't think it was ever answered.
     
  12. Guitar1969

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    That is my concern as well - I have used grout sealant for in between tiles on my floor, but it is very expensive and not sure if it is the right thing to use for a whole project made with grout(This type of sealer requires reapplying every 6 months). I am not crazy about the straight grout look(even a different color) so I would want some paint on it as well. Here is a link to the other method using plaster of paris - The results were great but the designer is a professional sculpture, so I am not sure how mine is going to look:

    http://www.repticzone.com/forums/Geckos-Le...ges/882379.html

    I have my Polystyrene structure pretty much done(except for some more shaping of rocks and stuff, but am not sure which way to go at this point.

    Foir the poster who wrote the original How to make Fake Rock" thread, can you let us know what sealing process you used, or anybody else who did it this way, by product name.

    Thanks
     
  13. ArchimedesArtifex

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    Wow, that guy made a niceeeeee cage.
     
  14. fathead

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