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Michael Hoaster 10/02/2018 01:59 PM

I'm going to give these a try. I just need them to stick well enough to the back of the egg crate to keep the foam from expanding behind it. I'm crossing my fingers…

http://reefcentral.com/forums/pictur...ictureid=79905

vlangel 10/02/2018 03:01 PM

Good luck Michael, I hope it works like you anticipate.

Chasmodes 10/02/2018 03:05 PM

I was wondering what product you had in mind. Interesting! Hope it works for ya too.

Michael Hoaster 10/02/2018 09:55 PM

Thanks! Hopefully the adhesive will be strong enough for this application. If not, I'll figure something else out.

I'm getting a little excited! The foaming faze is afoot!

After all the structural design and fabrication, this should be the fun part. I remember my first fake wall was kind of a pain. The challenge this time is foaming the skin over a much more dimensional structure. Then I need to transition it to the back wall. I want a natural looking transition, but I don't want it to consume too much space. It should help that I have some prior foam experience, but these additional elements are new territory.

One thing I do that most fake wallers don't, is smooth out the foam with a sander. It gives me an additional control factor. It doesn't hurt that sanding opens a lot of foam cells, so it can absorb water, reducing buoyancy.

It helps that I'm not trying to make my wall look like a reef - more of a mudbank, in a mangrove and seagrass lagoon.

Once I get this done I'd like to test out the pumps and plumbing - especially the wave box. I'm scared to death it won't work in my setup! I've read that some folks don't get good waves. My tank is on the high end of it's range, size wise. In my favor, my tank will be very open, with only the fake mangrove root. I think it will work. I just don't know how well. One way to find out…

McPuff 10/03/2018 06:38 AM

If you do get foam behind the egg crate just shave it down after it dries. You'll probably have to do that anyway but I bet it won't take too long.

Michael Hoaster 10/03/2018 07:48 AM

Right. It's the transitional pieces that I can't access behind that I'm most concerned about.

Michael Hoaster 10/03/2018 01:37 PM

I got the face and transition parts all backed with the laminating sheets. Next up: foam!

Chasmodes 10/03/2018 02:41 PM

Excellent! I'm glad that your are at the exciting stage. It makes the rest go much faster and seem real.

Michael Hoaster 10/03/2018 07:04 PM

Another process pic. Clear, adhesive backing, on the underside of the egg crate. Jeez, I hope this all works!

http://reefcentral.com/forums/pictur...ictureid=79906
Getting' crafty widit.

Michael Hoaster 10/03/2018 07:13 PM

A little inspiration.

http://reefcentral.com/forums/pictur...ictureid=73357
Caribbean Biotope Seagrass Tank, January 16, 2016

vlangel 10/04/2018 04:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster (Post 25504633)
A little inspiration.

http://reefcentral.com/forums/pictur...ictureid=73357
Caribbean Biotope Seagrass Tank, January 16, 2016

I had loved that pic. It felt like I was snorkling along the shore with the fake mangrove roots in the foreground.

Michael Hoaster 10/04/2018 09:17 AM

Thanks Dawn! I miss having it so much. Going through old photos really stirs me up.

Setting up a large aquarium using natural methods and little technology was a proof of concept and an amazing experience. I learned so much. Nature wants to help us. If we just let it, we can sit back and enjoy the show.

Now I'm in the process of refining the system that will support a new ecosystem. Taking what I've learned, and applying it to the new setup is exciting, but arduous. Getting it right is important. I've just got to keep my nose to the grindstone a little longer…

Chasmodes 10/04/2018 11:46 AM

I love that pic too, and your concept. Keep up the good work and you'll be rewarded again!

Question, does the adhesive backing stick to the eggcrate effectively? I assume that the foam will fill up the egg crate squares and stick to the adhesive side of the backing. Hopefully, when the foam expands, it will expand outwardly toward the viewing side and not pull the adhesive backing away from the egg crate. Are you going to brace the other side of the plastic sheets to prevent inward expansion of the foam? I'm just tossing up questions before you apply the foam, in case you think a need to address them.

I guess worse case scenario, the adhesive sheets prevent most expansion and a little might happen, and maybe that won't be material enough to cause a difference in floatation?

Again, not criticism...rather, food for thought as you move forward. I bring up the expansion issue due to some issues that I had with my rock wall that I had to deal with.

Michael Hoaster 10/04/2018 02:51 PM

Thanks Kevin! I appreciate that you get it! Sometimes reading a thread, it's hard to keep up with all the details.

Yes, I think the laminating sheets will be adequate. They're pretty sticky. We'll see how it goes!

Michael Hoaster 10/13/2018 02:20 PM

It's foamin' time! We've got snow coming in tonight, so I got after it this morning.


http://reefcentral.com/forums/pictur...ictureid=79931
Egg crate structure with foil plugging the holes for pump outputs.


http://reefcentral.com/forums/pictur...ictureid=79932
I got this far with one can. I finished it off with a second.

Nasty, messy stuff. I'm glad I wore latex gloves. I forgot how out of control this stuff is. It's the least controllable medium I've ever worked with. Luckily, I have my secret weapon - a power sander. This will give me ability to 'sculpt' it into the shape I desire. Control!

vlangel 10/13/2018 07:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster (Post 25508437)
It's foamin' time! We've got snow coming in tonight, so I got after it this morning.


http://reefcentral.com/forums/pictur...ictureid=79931
Egg crate structure with foil plugging the holes for pump outputs.


http://reefcentral.com/forums/pictur...ictureid=79932
I got this far with one can. I finished it off with a second.

Nasty, messy stuff. I'm glad I wore latex gloves. I forgot how out of control this stuff is. It's the least controllable medium I've ever worked with. Luckily, I have my secret weapon - a power sander. This will give me ability to 'sculpt' it into the shape I desire. Control!

Good for you. I always drag my feet on something that I am not sure how its gonna go. What I can see of it looks pretty good and I am sure after your handy dandy sander it will be great.

Michael Hoaster 10/13/2018 08:23 PM

Thanks Dawn! I know what you mean. Doing this more complex fake wall concept is a new frontier. It's a little scary! I'm just going to stumble along and do it. I assume I'll figure it out. Getting the structure revised really helped me get more excited. Once I had that, I felt like I could make it work. I've got much more to do, to get it done, but I plod on.

I miss my tank. It feels like a part of me is missing. The longer I go, the worse it gets. Getting it back motivates me to keep moving.

How nice of you to say it looks pretty good! It's hideous. But if all goes to plan, I will sculpt it into something not hideous.

vlangel 10/14/2018 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster (Post 25508515)

I miss my tank. It feels like a part of me is missing. The longer I go, the worse it gets. Getting it back motivates me to keep moving.

How nice of you to say it looks pretty good! It's hideous. But if all goes to plan, I will sculpt it into something not hideous.

I miss your tank too. I keep think of doing something along the same lines (only on a much smaller scale) when I do not have seahorses anymore.

You made me laugh heartily with your last sentence. It is no where near hideous! It is in the 'its has to look bad before it can look good' stage. All artists are well familair with that stage.

Michael Hoaster 10/14/2018 02:05 PM

I guess hideousness is in the eye of the beholder! I'm glad you got a chuckle. Let's just call it the the 'pre-beautiful stage'.

I'm curious what you mean about doing something along the same lines. Can you elaborate?

Subsea 10/14/2018 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster (Post 25508437)
It's foamin' time! We've got snow coming in tonight, so I got after it this morning.


http://reefcentral.com/forums/pictur...ictureid=79931
Egg crate structure with foil plugging the holes for pump outputs.


http://reefcentral.com/forums/pictur...ictureid=79932
I got this far with one can. I finished it off with a second.

Nasty, messy stuff. I'm glad I wore latex gloves. I forgot how out of control this stuff is. It's the least controllable medium I've ever worked with. Luckily, I have my secret weapon - a power sander. This will give me ability to 'sculpt' it into the shape I desire. Control!


Impressive eggcrate structure. Very complex looking. Nothing hideous about that. It would be intimidating to me. I would never had tried that mangrove root. Incidentally, I am jealous of your success with the Royal Gramma School. I was successful with Pajama Cardinal School of seven and ecstatic with tiny Hippo Tang School of three. Rome was not built in a day.

Michael Hoaster 10/14/2018 10:06 PM

Thanks Patrick! The structure came out well. The real test is to get the foam shaped well and function well as a finished product. I'm still intimidated with this thing, but I am confident I'll work it out somehow.

Schools are great! Watching their natural behaviors is very entertaining! My Royal Gramma harem was a great experience that I hope to repeat. The gramma caves in my back fake wall worked out really well. The grammas, and a few barnacle blennies, occupied many caves on the vertical surface. I think it was a key benefit.

Once the new blennies and grammas get settled, I'm going try some damsel schools. If I find the right combination, I should have a fun tank of fish! I love their activity levels, their colors, their sturdiness. There are a few species that are more mellow. My tank is deep, with room for several levels of damsels to coexist, I'm hoping. So much to look forward to!

Chasmodes 10/16/2018 01:12 PM

Looking good so far, Michael! I'm sure it will turn out great. Are you building any caves (or holes) for blennies and grammas in the new wall?

It's amazing how much we learn by just trying things. For example, not all blennies behave the same way with how they can tolerate each other in the same species, or multiple species. I've learned that with my tank, keeping way more blennies per volume of water together, or with other benthic species of the same ecosystem, than any book or forum post ever said I could keep. Dawn has also learned a bit of that with her tank now, and also compatibility between species. You're breaking new ground with the damsels, probably, at least from what I've seen, and paving the way for others to do similar things if it works out for you.

vlangel 10/16/2018 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster (Post 25508689)
I guess hideousness is in the eye of the beholder! I'm glad you got a chuckle. Let's just call it the the 'pre-beautiful stage'.

I'm curious what you mean about doing something along the same lines. Can you elaborate?

I like that, 'pre-beautiful' it is!

I would love to do a fake wall or partial fake wall in my tank some day when I don't have ponies anymore, (not that I am wishing that day to get here anytime too soon)! I love your fake mangrove and wouldn't mind using that idea to do something along that line too but it would not be a mangrove. I have (hopefully) lots of time to plan and dream.

I would like to expand the macro algaes which I can start now and add more fish which I can also do now, (at least as funds are available). I am rescaping yet once again to make my tank suitable for a jawfish or 2 or 3. A rusty goby would be nice too.

Michael Hoaster 10/16/2018 05:04 PM

Thanks Kevin!

I don't have any planned caves, but I'm hoping a few will reveal themselves to me, when I sand the wall down. So I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up with a few.

So true about learning by doing! Our little group has learned a good bit about fish compatibility lately. For me with the damsels, I was just looking for a sturdier blue chromis replacement. As I researched mellower damsels, I kept finding more, so I thought I might be able to get 2-3 species in schools going in my tank. I'm so looking forward to seeing if I can make it work!

vlangel 10/16/2018 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chasmodes (Post 25509700)
Looking good so far, Michael! I'm sure it will turn out great. Are you building any caves (or holes) for blennies and grammas in the new wall?

It's amazing how much we learn by just trying things. For example, not all blennies behave the same way with how they can tolerate each other in the same species, or multiple species. I've learned that with my tank, keeping way more blennies per volume of water together, or with other benthic species of the same ecosystem, than any book or forum post ever said I could keep. Dawn has also learned a bit of that with her tank now, and also compatibility between species. You're breaking new ground with the damsels, probably, at least from what I've seen, and paving the way for others to do similar things if it works out for you.

Ha ha yes, I have definitely learned which blennies do not go well together. It seems as long as they are not too similar, they are ok. I wont mix more than 1 type of combtooth blenny anymore or more than one venomous blenny. The yellowhead blennies never seem to threaten the ponies so I lucked into some things even though I did not know what I was doing.


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