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How do you make Viv backgrounds ?
I have a 29 gallon glass aquarium that i want to start a vivarium in. This will be my first time, and eventually want to get some pdfs for it(also will be a first). I have looked for weeks on backgrounds and have found many different methods. The Great Stuff foam interests me the most, but I can't find any info on how exactly to make it look real. I heard great stuff is the best foam to use, but wether yellow or white it doesn't look real. What is the best way to shape and color it ? What are the best materials to use as well ? Thanx in advance. :lol:
Mine is still a work in progress and I have added a waterfall since this picture, but I like how my black polyurethane foam came out.

I used this as a guide to start off with.
thank you. That was very helpful. I am enjoying the building of this alone. appreciate your help very much Big Grin :!:
i use the balck foam as well from fosters and smith,and then still cover it with silicone and coco bark but you dont have to be as careful not to have foam showing
Something to watch for that some people have had issues with, is the foam shrinking and pulling up aound the edges.
somebody (either here or on another forum) had mentioned often using gray foam and never covering it at all, they just carved it to look like rocks. i'm thinking of trying it in my big tank. i figure it'll look more realistic then a bumpy wall of cocofiber. since, how often is cocofiber found in rain forests looking the same way that it does in many tanks?
The foam can expand to the point at which it cracks the glass. Cindy is also correct about it shrinking after time. This can lead to gaps where frogs/froglets might get stuck, or get into areas where you did not intend for them to be. Also, one mistake I've made is using too much foam and taking up uneccessary amounts of floor space. When I use foam now it is more of an accent and less of my entire backround. Lately, I've seen some really nice setups that include larger pieces of driftwood covering a backround accented by some foam in places just to creat a more realistic look. This is the most appealing and effective method for me. You can find the colored foam at Dr. Foster Smith and I also believe that Viv Concepts carries some kind of mortar, I've always been tempted to try. Just some thoughts.

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