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Fake sandbeds (Paint)

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Angelscrx

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I was reading on GARF.org that they make wooden grow out tanks and the interior is painted with an epoxy paint. What do you guys think of painting the bottom of a tank white to simulate the color of sand? It would definitely be a lot easier to clean and would have the benefit of a bare bottom but not the look. You could always paint the bottom on the outside but you may get the glare. Let me know what you guys think?
 

NaH2O

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Interesting thought. I believe someone (mojo maybe?) made the comment of taking some sand and covering it with silicone or similar on the bottom. Not sure how that would be done, but it sounds like it would work for aesthetics??
 

Llarian

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I think this was discussed briefly before, but what about creating an uneven surface on the bottom of the tank with epoxy or some other resin and laying down some sand on the surface while its still wet? You could push down on the sand layer to embed the bottom of it firmly in the epoxy, then vacuum out the loose particles once it dries. I'd imagine that would end up looking a good deal like a sandbed, especially once the corraline starts to grow on it.

-Dylan
 

Angelscrx

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Now that's what I am talking about some brain storming. I like the idea of the uneven sandbed. Hmmmmm! How about layering the paint and sand from back to front? Putting one layer down of paint and pressing sand on it and once it dries add another layer that doesn't go all the way to the front and repeating the process so as to get a downgrade towards the front of the tank? Maybe you don't even need the sand just wait till the paint dries and put the next layer on.
 

Llarian

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I guess you could do it with paint. The reason I was thinking epoxy is that is much more viscous especially once it starts to set, so you should be able to just dump it into the bottom of the tank, form it, and then set a single thick layer of sand into the top. Whatever areas weren't filled with sand will eventually fill with corraline anyways.

You could do a layer-by-layer approach with paint, but I'd imagine that would take a really long time, I'd also be concerned about the possibility of any true paint eventually being dissolved by the salt water, even marine paint eventually gets broken down, but epoxy resin doesn't so much.

-Dylan
 

kimoyo

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Hey,
Some people are using a "faux" substrate. You can do a search on faux on reefcentral to find out more about it. This i what I'm thinking about doing on my new tank. You use starboard (not acrylic because starboard is stiffer) for it and you glue on your sand. The only problem is that the sand is level without ripples but you can't tell its glued on. Take a look at these threads
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=456139&goto=nextoldest
and
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=449002&goto=nextoldest.
Paul
 

mojoreef

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If you really wanted to play with this idea, you could try this. Get a sheet of Starboard that is going to fit the bottom of the tank, then cut (from another sheet) an other piece but make it so it would only cover the 3/4 of the first piece leaving the middle section low glue it to the first piece. You can make the edge cut kind of wavy. Continue to do this (glueing them together as you go) until you have the dimension you want. From their just use a dremel to grind down the edge of the different pieces so they are smooth in transition. Once you have glued it all together and grind the layers smooth just run the wrasse bit over the surface to rough it up a bit.
You should end up with a contoured bottom that looks simular to sand


Mike
 

DonW

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A great fake bottom is to build a shallow box the the dimensions of your tank. Spray the interior with mold release. Mix dry white sand with boat epoxy to a thick consistancy. Spread it into the mold. Keep doing this until you have mounds and dips. You can get the dunes a couple inches tall if you want. After its the shape you want brush on some more epoxy and sprinkle with sand. After it sets up rip cut it down the center on a table saw to get it in your tank. The rocks will cover the cut line.

Don
 

Llarian

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Oh, yeah, the starboard thing would work really well. Be a hell of a lot more work, and more expensive, I guess I was brainstorming for a relativly cheap solution.

I just realized now that I'm awake a sober that my initial idea sucks because epoxy need to oxidize and it wouldn't do that with a layer of sand over it. Oops.

However, a mix of epoxy and sand would be sculptable and inexpensive, but as Mike pointed out, it doesn't last forever.

Also, another possibility is another layer of acrylic itself. You should be able to contour a single sheet of acrylic to have a similar end result as the starboard layering idea, yes? I have no experience working with acrylics, so I'm just talking out of my ass there.

-Dylan
 

Angelscrx

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Thanks for the links kimoyo those are some great ideas. I would love to see the results of some long term testingdue to the types of glues they are using. I like the starboard layering idea that Mojo suggested.

Llarian sorry I meant layering the epoxy not the paint. I knew what I was thinking but my fingers didn't. :D

I think I may be finally getting my bigger tank so I want to start looking at different options.

Thanks all for the input.
 

kimoyo

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Don, thats what I was thinking of doing before myself.

Mike, thats a great idea. I think I might try that in a few weeks. But I was thinking of cutting smaller strips and pieces disbursing them over the bottom layer, not sure if this is what you were saying.

I was only planning on buying a table saw and router this weekend but I was looking for an excuse to get the dremel also. Sears is having a family and friends sale after they close this Sunday near me.

Paul
 

wrightme43

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Would a couple of caulk tubes of aquarium siliocone work? It would take the sand and hold it. It could go into a mold as well and would be flexible enough to go into the tank as well. Just a idea. I love my sand bed!!! I just dont think a tank looks right without one. JMO. Steve
 

Angelscrx

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wrightme43 said:
Would a couple of caulk tubes of aquarium siliocone work? It would take the sand and hold it. It could go into a mold as well and would be flexible enough to go into the tank as well. Just a idea. I love my sand bed!!! I just dont think a tank looks right without one. JMO. Steve
I love th look of a sandbed too which is why I proposed this question. I am experiencing the bad side of a DSB and would love to get rid of it but the aesthetic look of it is just overwhelming. I want the look without the pain. Next time I won't mix Crushed Coral with sand.
 
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