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New Viv *update*
I received a wonderful gift today, the biggest exoterra, 18x18x24. I really like the looks or the trickle type waterfalls over slate. Does anyone have suggestions as to how to secure the top piece to the background and how to create the proper angles? Also, should I be siliconing each piece to the other as I put it together, or is this not necessary? One problem I have is that I am close to a hundred miles from any home depot and sometimes finding the materials you mention here is rather difficult. Can putties and such be used in the place of great stuff? I am considering all suggestions! Thanks.

we have not had good luck with silicone holding slate for a prolonged period of time.
You might try filling in between the rocks with spray foam, it will secure the rocks and adhear them to the back of the tank. You can use the black Handi-Foam that is carried by Drs. Foster and Smith.
I would lay the tank on it's back and work with it that way. Use just enough of the spray foam to hold the rocks , unless you are planning to do the entire background with it.
As for the angle of the rocks....
just going to be a lot of trial and error to get the water to flow the way you want
a small update, I actually aquired a can of great stuff. So now I would use this just like the spray foam you mentioned Cindy?
Yes, you can use the Great Stuff just like the Handi Foam. Just keep in
mind that the GS is yellow and you will need a way of disguising it.

Are you using black slate, or the red?
I am using the blue/black slate. I saw the red and was concerned about the mineral veins running through it..I know in my aquariums, that would be undersireable and was not sure about with the frogs, so better safe than sorry. The pieces of slate are very small, I am not sure I will be able to make it work, but I will give it a try.

On a side note, can spray paints of any kind be used?
hey hara,

i see that you are online now, so i'll go ahead and answer. DO NOT use spraypaint. the most common way to disguise your foam is to use GE siliconeII (be sure it's II which has no mold inhibiters), which comes in brown, or use a "food safe" silicone in black or brown. you apply the silicone in small patches (cuz it skins over fast), and while it's still wet you cover it with coco fiber, small sticks/pebbles, whatever you want the texture to be, then press pretty hard to embed the coco fiber etc. into the silicone. when it's dry you can vaccuum off the loose fiber, and the result looks like mud/earth. the effect is very natural.

make sure that you apply the foam in very thin coats, otherwise you can have problems with it not drying. if it does not dry properly, it will be toxic to the frogs. the foam is also really easy to carve and shape once it's dry.

the last thing to consider is the outside of the tank. you also don't want to look at yellow foam through the glass when viewed from the outside. one option is to paint/ cover the outside of the glass. another option is to apply the brown silicone to the inside of the glass BEFORE you add any rocks or foam so that once you've foamed stuff into place you cannot see it from the outside. if you go with silicone on the inside, put on a much larger patch than you need, because the foam expands a lot. once you are finished you can remove the excess silicone with a razor blade. you just trim it back to where the foam/rocks start by scoring a line into the silicone with the blade then peeling/scraping the excess off.

here's some pics of the process i'm talking about.

good luck,
You might wanna do some more research on the GE Silicone II as GE has stated they have Mold Inhibitors in all of their Silicone II products now. Its called the "Bio Seal". Just read the label carefully.

Whats supposed to be safe is the GE Silicone I for Windows and Doors.
Thanks for the help..Mack, I think I will paint the outside. That is a good idea. I had built "sidewalls" by siliconing moss and coco fiber matting to stryofoam, but yes, the view from the outside is less than desireable.

I will start working with the foam this evening. I imagine it will take several days to build the waterfall/water feature.

Frogtofall, I had already researched the silicone, thanks. I saw the stuff with the mold inhibitot and went with the only ge silicone II I could find that did not have it listed. I believe it did say for doors and windows. I saw the red "bio seal" image on all but 2 containers. Hopefully I got the correct stuff, but I assumed that if it didnt say it on the label, I got the correct silicone.
hey frogtofall,
thanks for the heads up. being a creature of habit i wonder if i would have noticed. i just went to check the tubes i have, but they are okay...i guess from before the change.
Yeah. Its on the new ones. You can still find (as I did today) the tubes without the "BioSeal" on them. Just gotta dig a bit.

One thing I did notice and experiment with is the GE Silicone II for Roofs and Driveways or something like that. I realized its the same thing as the door and window, but it has no mold inhibitors in it. Why would it need them right? So I bought a tube and used it in my 42 hex project and it worked great. I don't have any frogs in it so I don't know about that aspect, but the plants are all still alive and the water section doesn't look discolored or have an odd/foul odor to it. I'm gonna toss some fish in the water section next week just to be sure before I put frogs in it. Its gonna be a month at least.
Obviously still a work in progress, but here is is to date.
That looks VERY nice!! I'm impressed!!
Added a couple more plants and the frogs!
updated pic. I finally found some bromeliads, they are a bit bigger than what I wanted, but they will do.
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