Mossy Rock Reptile Enclosure Background
How To Build A Mossy Rock Reptile Enclosure Background
T-Rex Forest Bedding
The back wall of my enclosure is ~25"x25" and I used one (1) tube of black silicone, two (2) tubes of brown silicone, two (2) cans of Great Stuff, and 1/3 of a brick of the Forest Bed.
This can be a messy project, so protect your work station with newspaper or a drop cloth. You should also use protect gear like gloves and goggles. Avoid skin contact with the items used to create this as irritation can arise. As always, follow the manufacturers suggestions as well.
1. Start by mixing your Forest Bed. There are instructions on the back, but basically break off a chunk of the brick (depends on how big of an area you're covering) and soak it in water for one hour or so. It will expand. After it expands, you will need to spread it out to dry. This will take most likely longer than 24 hours.
I spread mine out on a garbage bag and let it dry while I completed all of the following steps.
2. Once the Forest Bed is drying, you can start to apply the Black Silicone to the back of the enclosure. This will be for aesthetic purposes only, so that the yellow foam doesn't show from the back!
*I used rubber gloves to spread the silicone over the entire back of the enclosure. You can also do the sides if you'd like, or partially on the sides, to follow the contour of the rock wall you'll be creating. Let Dry.
3. After the black silicone has dried, the Great Stuff comes next! Be sure to shake the can vigorously! When you apply the Great Stuff, it will not stick immediately to the bottom, and also will not be expanded. Be sure to cover the majority of the back wall (if you didn't figure it out in the silicone stage, it works best if the cage is lying on it's back... especially for this part!) If there are small bits and pieces of the bottom that aren't covered, don't worry, they WILL BE when the foam finishes expanding!
*The foam expanded MUCH MORE than I'd expected, creating a wall that stuck out a lot further than I'd anticipated! After it cures for 24 hours and is hard, you can cut it to size/mold it if you like. I kept it the way it was for a 'natural' look.
Cured Great Stuff Example
4. Again, after letting the foam completey cure, you can move back to applying silicone. This is a little harder to do with all of the contours of the foam.
A glove will be necessary in order to work the brown silicone into all of the crevices.
This should take much more silicone than the smooth back did.
While the brown silicone is still wet, sprinkle the DRIED Forest Bed onto the back wall.
Forest Bedding Sprinkled: Be sure to cover it all thoroughly!
Forest Bedding Covering Backwall Once it is good and covered, go back and forth across the entire back pressing down, so that the bedding will stick to the silicone.
Forest Bedding Pressed. Let Dry.
Once fully cured, you're done! If there are any spots that need more bedding, simply apply brown silicone again and press on more bedding. You can repeat those steps as many times as necessary to complete the back wall. Once completely dried, I brushed away the loose bedding, and the remaining stuck very well.
Then it's time to add the decorations! I also added fake plants, but may eventually switch to live.
Now the occupants!
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Author: Brent Strande
Images - © Brent Strande