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Nick

PVA Backgrounds

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Nick    447

I few people have asked me how to do PVA backgrounds so i took some pics of a viv I'm currently making.

If you need to stick any wood on the background using expanding foam. Let it dry and carve it to remove and excess foam and surface foam.
Foam on it's own does not hold onto glass very well, so paint the foam and the surround glass with waterproof pva. So its evenly coated about 2-3mm think then apply your dry substrate. Once this dry it will be solid against the glass and better than using silicone.

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Once dried you can then do the rest of the background. You need to get a even thin layer of pva i found you can use a paint brush but that leaves streaks and you get bits that are missed. A easy way is to pour pva at the top of the viv and place it at a slight angle. This will then run down and with a bit of guidance give you a even white coat that's not too thick. Once you got a even surface place your dry substrate lightly on top of it so it sits on top of the pva and gently pat it down. If you got pva coming to the surface you need to use more substrate. You know when its dry when you look on the outside of the glass and its gone clear.

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Substrate

You can use any type of substrate you wish as long as its dry. Using the above technique the background is not very good at retaining water so it would be worth while adding small bits of sphagnum moss which will help retain the water. If you want to add more texture to the surface then use foam or rope painted with pva before adding your substrate. The pic below is using tree fern granules with pva. This gets a direct spray from the nozzles and its all natural growth from the substrate.

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rope used on the left.
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This is a good way to cover the sides of a viv with out taking too much space and its only a few mm thick. Make sure your glass is clean and free from grease.

hope this helps.

Nick

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JohnB56    319

Nick, how long does PVA take to go off? basically how long have I got between applying the PVA and then adding the substrate on top.

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Nick    447

Nick, how long does PVA take to go off? basically how long have I got between applying the PVA and then adding the substrate on top.

 

if it's thin about 4 hours there's plenty of time to add your substrate.

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bendy    7

Gonna try this at the weekend

Is dry eco earth ok?

Also where can i Find the waterproof Pva?

Tree fern granules too???

 

Ben

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Nick    447

You can get waterproof pva from bnq. got my treefern from hamm but think dartfrog sells granules too. Eco earth is fine just add small pieces of sphagnum moss which is dried out.

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Aberreef    217

Great post Nick :D

 

I usually use Gorilla Glue and Ecoearth for my backgrounds.  Any idea how the 2 methods compare in terms of cost, ease of application and lifespan please?  I'm planning on getting a few more vivs soon and would like to give this method a try ;)

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bendy    7

I got some pva from wickes yesterday, was 9.95 for a 1 litre pot I think

And expanding foam from b+m for 3.99 for 500ml can

Also Got Brown silicone(uni-bond) for 3.99 so gonna have a play next week:-)

I'll try a build thread depending on how it goes lol

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Nick    447
Mantas    207

I need it to put eco earth+sphagnum moss to side walls , did PVA waterproof defo be alright and not stay white on the end?
My bigger viv sides done with gorila glue, you know Nick who did it... so even for that job dont use them?

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Milesw    191

make the background and leave the glue to turn clear, then leave it a few more days to fully set, then should be fine

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Nick    447

As Miles said, also you know when its dry as it will turn hard and if you spray it with water there shouldn't be any white residue running off the background.

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Mantas    207

So will leave it than for this one :) will do with another one, but think water based glue as stronger humidity - stronger glue are.

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Mantas    207

Before frogs will come, decided to put some moss and barks on back wall of exo terra, can I use gorilla glue, or it will be like in your case Nick? One guy said can use fish tank clear silicone, but don`t know or sphagnum moss like it, what your advice again please?

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Mantas    207

Back wall have that standard exo terra foam backgroun. Another I decided to leave empt, to see true as it in vocorne. Would like to make another side as well, which is just glass. So its right (empty) and back foam .

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Nick    447

Back wall have that standard exo terra foam backgroun. Another I decided to leave empt, to see true as it in vocorne. Would like to make another side as well, which is just glass. So its right (empty) and back foam .

Mantas private message me as not quite sure what you mean.

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