18x18x18 Banyan Root Background Build Journal
This vivarium was a very easy build and is something you can do in about a day. The vivarium is an 18x18x18 made from acrylic and is the same internal dimensions as a the Exo-Terra and ZooMed 18x18x18 terrariums. This background can be found on in the shop here. It is a replica of the banyan tree roots found in Hawaii and has excellent detail.
I started off by dropping the Flex-Resin background into the vivarium. The Flex-Resin is supported with a flexible foam but it is not 100% solid foam behind it, so I needed to foam and glue the background into the vivarium. This was done using the canned "Great Stuff" polyurethane foam. Before I sprayed the foam in, I placed onto the back some plastic plant cups.
I allowed the foam to cure for about 5 hours. (Your foam may take much longer depending on temperature/humidity.) I then cut the excess foam around the plant cups.
I next placed the tank on it's back and applied, with a gloved hand, brown silicone sealant onto the foam. Then before it dried, I coated the wet silicone in dry spaghnum peat moss. For a more indepth explanation of this technique, see this tutorial here.
Before applying the silicone, I placed down some blue painters tape onto the acrylic so I could make a clean straight line. Before the silicone cured, but after the applying the peat, I removed the tape slowly. This gives a nice clean edge without having to use a razor, which isn't a good idea on acrylic tanks.
Lastly, I allowed the silicone sealant to dry, dusted off and shop-vac'd off the remaining peat moss, and planted the tank.