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Fake Rock Background - Pics

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by Shawn, Feb 24, 2009.

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  1. Shawn

    Shawn Elite Member

    OK, so about a month ago I decided to begin building a 4x2x2crossfire enclosure, and fit it with a fake rock background. I have the enclosure built, with lighting, and thermostat wired in. Now all I have to finish in the background...

    Here's what I have got so far...
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    I plan on this being the hot/basking end...
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    This... Well I am not sure any more. I think I may just knock this shelf down and create a hide on the cool side that will also allow him to climb on top and reach that shelf along the back leading to the basking site. What do you all think?
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    Below is a decoration I made to test the grout/paints. a little dark but I am using a "Burnt Umber" sand textured paint on top of flat black which I used to accent and add a "Rock look"
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    Below is where it may end up when all is done assuming it will not sacrafice too much walking area. this will just sit on top of my slate tiles and will be able to easily remove it.
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    for the enclosure I used Oak, and stained then sealed the paints (black outside, bright white inside.

    I installed a dual 36" florescent light fixture running 1 Reptisun 10.0 and one regular tube for added light.

    my spot lights are in the center pointing at the right shelf (Megaray 100w MVB, and regular flood light)

    And hooked a thermostat up to a separate fixture running a 100w CHE in case the night temps drop below 72*

    Still quite a ways away from being complete, and I am so not looking forward to all the grouting, but my BD is still only 9" and won't be moving into his new enclosure for a few more months.
     
  2. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    It's looking good! Keep up the good work. I really like the plant.
     
  3. venus

    venus Founding Member

    I totally agree. It looks fantastic.
     
  4. Drache Dame

    Drache Dame Elite Member

    That looks awesome! Keep up the good work! And keep up the pics! LOL
     
  5. MoogleBass

    MoogleBass Kittes are so nice! Premium Member

    That looks awesome!
     
  6. Lucysfriend

    Lucysfriend Elite Member

    Wonderful! Keep us posted :)
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It looks great!
    But I would be concerned that in the areas where you have the unsupported horizontal areas that the dragon climbing around could break pieces off.
     
  8. Shawn

    Shawn Elite Member

    I do need to do a little more reinforcing, as well as carving a few more chunks of the foam. the glue was just too wet to continue last night.

    I grooved out a good 1.25" into the background for the horizontal pieces... and used a ton of No Nails (3 full tubes lol) they are in the really solid right now... The 2 pieces from the basking spot still need reinforcing

    I once all the grout and paint are on I will double check to make sure everything is strong enough to support the weight.

    I did 90% of all of that last night, if you could only see the mess it left on the floor of my office!! :mad:
     
  9. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    That really looks like it is going to be awesome when done! :)

    It reminds me of when Craig were building my snake enclosures also using polystyrene and foam. I am sure you are, but just in case you did not know, you must use aquarium glue only. Also when you spray it at the end you must make sure that you only buy the non-toxic spray paint. Also do not believe what the sales reps tell you, they know nothing of reptiles and will sell you toxic spray, it must read non-toxic on the can. Unfortunately, those ones are more expensive and not easy to find.

    It is a lot of work, I know, therefore make sure that you only have to do it once. Your dragon is still going to grow a lot and you don't want to see in 8 months time that the enclosure is to small.

    Otherwise, keep up your good work, but most of all, have fun!;) It is so rewarding looking at the finished work for years to come and knowing, I did it myself.;)
     
  10. savannahmon181

    savannahmon181 Elite Member

    How did you make the fake plant? that is a very good looking plant.
     
  11. Shawn

    Shawn Elite Member

    The plant itself is just a fake plant I purchased at a local crafts store for $1! :) has a really long stem on it so I just stacked some foam to look like rocks, and drilled through for the stem to sit all the way in. My plant was plastic so I was able to bake it in the oven. I have heard of other fake plants being made out of material, you definitely don't want to bake those!

    I have to admit that the glue, groute and paint that I am using is not non-toxic, however I was able to find a non toxic sealer that I plan on covering everything with.

    all of this will have at least a few weeks to dry, and bake (with the lights on) before I introduce my little guy to it. and I will be sanding everything down before and after the sealer coats to make sure all the rough edges are gone, and there is no pieces to fall off.
     
  12. savannahmon181

    savannahmon181 Elite Member

    Okay thanks I am going to have to try that.
     
  13. loganBD

    loganBD Member

    that's pretty cool and creative I lke the plant keep it up
     
  14. Shawn

    Shawn Elite Member

    I've just about finished the grouting over the weekend, wow what a chore!! applying 3 coats to everything and 4 to the high traffic areas. Tonight I will be home late, I think I have 1 or 2 spots to touch up, Then on to painting Tuesday. Hoping to install on Wednesday and let the lights bake off the fumes... My goal is to have Iggy moved in by the weekend. I hadn't really noticed his recent growth spurt until his full body shed this weekend, he's not about 10.5" and approx 4 months. Plus I have a pretty big party at my place this weekend, I think he will feel more secure in his new enclosuer with all the people walking around, plus I need my Spare room back! lol Will get picks tonight with final grouting job.
     
  15. Drache Dame

    Drache Dame Elite Member

    Ooooh! I can't wait to see pics!
     
  16. Vegetasmom

    Vegetasmom Elite Member

    It looks awesome... I am planning on building an enclosure as well when the weather warms a lil. My beardie is still not full grown size so I have time to build it. He's actually in a 55 gal, but I want him to have plenty of play space.
     
  17. dannigd

    dannigd Elite Member

    Can't wait to see finished product.
     
  18. Shawn

    Shawn Elite Member

    Went to the Nickleback concert last night and got home around 12am, with a bunch of alcohol in my system and severe lack of sleep I applied the very final coat. I used an entire BIG tub of groute. background in one piece now has to weigh 30lbs!! lol

    Tonight I just have to give it a quick sanding to remove anything that may be sharp, and it's ready to paint!!! I am hoping to get all the paint and sealer coats on tonight!
     
  19. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Don't you just love it although it is a lot of work?;)
     
  20. Shawn

    Shawn Elite Member

    Only thing left to do is seal the paint on the background, then slide it in and put the glass on. all in all a very fun project considering I had so much time to do it.

    Have to admit though the grouting process really really sucked!! I was supposed to do this entirely alone, but near the end of the grouting I recruited some help from my wife and daughter... was just getting so sick of it! lol

    And here it is after all paint applied...
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    And cut out a few holes to add fake plants in various locations
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    Total of 4 cans of paint on there, each a different colour to add some depth to the "rocks"


    If I decide to get another reptile, and do this all again, I will try out the fiberglass/resin method that I have seen others do. Brushing on the resin will be so much easier than grout. and adding coloured sand to the wet resin give it an extremely realistic look!
     
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