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How do you make a rock waterfall?

This is a discussion on How do you make a rock waterfall? within the Vivarium, Terrarium & Enclosure Discussion forums, part of the General Topics category; Hi Does anyone know how to make a working rock waterfall on the cheap. I want one but they're like ...

  1. #1
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    Default How do you make a rock waterfall?

    Hi
    Does anyone know how to make a working rock waterfall on the cheap. I want one but they're like $80 in the shops and I can't affoird that, any info will be very much appreciated.
    Luke
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    Kevin
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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    Hey there!
    I actually made my own rock waterfall for no more than a few bucks!
    lol It takes time to get it looking how you like it though.
    This is a point in the right direct --
    YouTube - ‪Part 2: Building A Vertical Dart Frog Vivarium HD‬‏
    Watch the video, just remember you have to seal the grout with some clear acrylic or epoxy resin.

    Hope this was helpful!

    -Kevin

    P.S. I highly recommend watching the 4 part series if it is your first vivarium =)

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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    I've never made one like you have pictured (I think the above reply answers that anyway) another alternative is to use real rock.

    I have made several for Mudskipper tanks.

    If you have a pool set up on one end of the vivarium it is easiest but one can also be built in dish.

    I would generally start by hitting the local fish store and selecting some nice rock that matches what you want. The benefit to using this rock is that you know it is safe. Alternately go collecting rocks but being paranoid like I am I would boil them 20 minutes, soak them in fresh water for a week changing the water daily and finally boiling one more time for 20 more minutes. This leeches any chemicals out of them as well as killing any nasties.

    Either way once you have your rocks you get to spend a few hours arranging them so the water flows how you like and finally taking it all apart and using a marine grade silicone to put the whole works together.

    I think the best way to feed the water is from an external sump where you can also have a filter and it makes hiding the pump much easier. But if you have a dish instead of a pool I'm not sure an external sump would work.

    Either way I have more of an idea than an instruction, I apologize. I'll be building one shortly and I'll be sure to take pictures along the way and detail my methods if anyone is interested.

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    Kevin
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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    ohhh i see! hahaha you have more experience and luck than me. I had trouble making a real waterfall out of rocks. Then choosing the pump and what not. The Styrofoam was easy and cheap... thats all =)

    Cant wait to see the progress. Some simple explanations would be nice as well. =)

    Take care,

    -Kevin

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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    Ha haa I thought the Styrofoam way looks way harder more complicated. and it would be easier to do the real rocks.

    I was lucky when I built a lot of my waterfalls because the pet store I worked at through high school closed when the owner retired and she just gave me all the aquarium rocks so I had a lot to work with.

    I suppose it all depends on what you have experience with. Every time I've tried to build something with polystyrene I just wind with a mess that might look good in a post apocalyptic mad max setting tank... Granted I haven't built a waterfall in about 10 years so it will be fun to re-learn everything.

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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    Thanks for the posts unfortunately I'm on dial-up so will have to wait till I go to my brothers tomorrow to watch the video. I have a pool about half the floor space (see photo) that should be okay for an external pump I'm looking for a rock waterfall to fit in with the water substrate. The photo is a few months old so don't worry the water level is deeper and the tank not so bare (logs, bark and plant has been added).
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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    I made one from styrofoam and cement, picture is attached. The styrofoam was free, quikrete+ acrylic fortifier was ~$35 for enough to make a few hundred of these (smaller less cost effective quantities are available). A few more details on how it was built are here: Fire-bellied toad tank under construction
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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    That looks great UncleChester. I haven't decided on anything yet but I had an idea and would like to know what others think. What if I chisel a big stone to make it sink down in the middle and put another one on top do the same but chisel off a corner to make the water drip down. Obviously I'd boil the stones to remove any nasties.

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    Brian
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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    If you have the ability to carve away at stone, then go for it! With pictures of course.

    Be sure whatever stone you use won't adversely affect your viv. Living in limestone land I'm very aware that some types of rocks can raise the pH (much like cement), so it's something to check into.

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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    Hi

    i am just in the process of doing one my self, small 600 litre hr aquatic filter, 10 from ebay, 3 on plastic pipe, a small peice of glass, free, aquaruim sealant 10 x

    Here is the photos of the mk1 version, however, its seems a bit to heavy so will be using a 30mm x 6mm x 300mm next later this week.

    All you do is aquaruim seal the peice of glass, then add stones to build up, aqarium seal every stone in place, when complete, aqarium seal it to your tank, make sure its secure, on a slight angle adjust water flow, waterfall.
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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    That looks great I will have to wait to the weekend but there's so many choices.

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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    Luke your idea sounds awesome. I always get satisfaction and enjoy the results from natural rock shaping. It can be very difficult and frustrating if you've never done it expect to add a little blood to the rock. But to me the result is often worth it because even if you mess up it is all good as rocks will break in natural shapes you might have not expected.

    Definitely listen to Brian's advice. I can tell you from experience limestone is bad for most things that live in water.

    One thing I personally have done when I'm unsure if a rock is leeching chemicals is to test the water before and after I let it soak for a week. A simple test kit at an aquarium store will have the necessary tests with PH being the most important. Sandstone is a really good rock and easy to work with but you need to test for Iron after soaking. Also check to see if the water is discolored.

    Either way the money spent on a test kit and spending the time to do the soak test can save you a lot of money and lives.

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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    I just did a first coat of patch coat with bonding agent today. I'm going to do one more coat and cure in my kids old pool. Should take a week or two to leach the Lyme and balance ph. Could go quicker if this coat is solid.

    Base is all OC pink foam. Foam stump and 20" falls. Picts comming soon!!!

    I'm kinda doing 4 tanks right now with removable background on 2, might be a while before I have Picts posted.
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    Default Re: How do you make a rock waterfall?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanB View Post
    Luke your idea sounds awesome. I always get satisfaction and enjoy the results from natural rock shaping. It can be very difficult and frustrating if you've never done it expect to add a little blood to the rock. But to me the result is often worth it because even if you mess up it is all good as rocks will break in natural shapes you might have not expected.

    Definitely listen to Brian's advice. I can tell you from experience limestone is bad for most things that live in water.

    One thing I personally have done when I'm unsure if a rock is leeching chemicals is to test the water before and after I let it soak for a week. A simple test kit at an aquarium store will have the necessary tests with PH being the most important. Sandstone is a really good rock and easy to work with but you need to test for Iron after soaking. Also check to see if the water is discolored.

    Either way the money spent on a test kit and spending the time to do the soak test can save you a lot of money and lives.
    Dayum this is getting intricate. I know to use Universal indicator to check the pH.
    How do I check for Iron?
    Is sandstone the stone I should use?
    Are there any other stones I can use?
    If I bake and boil the stone will it be safe?
    What will sandstone leech?



    Gingerlee I would love to see some pics.

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