Foam Wall Instructable- A Full How-to, Step-by-Step Guide 26g bowfront First things first, you need to realize that you need a foam wall in your tank! They are relatively easy to make and can transform your tank into one that all of your friends are envious of. DISCLAIMER: I am responsible for any awesome foam walls that may result from this guide. I am not responsible, however, if it turns out looking like crap... A foam wall can be a great way to really take your aquarium to the next level. It can provide a large backdrop to hide ugly power cords and equipment, incorporate caves and tunnels for fish, a very porous substrate for beneficial bacteria, and unlimited mounting solutions for corals. For the purpose of the instructable, I have used a Deep Blue 2.5 gallon glass tank for this step-by-step guide. I will be creating a foam wall covering one short side and half of the long side. There will also be room for an overflow filter, powerhead, and heater: All-In-One concept. I will also be throwing in some pictures of my 2 yr old 26g foam wall build. Here we go! Step 1: Designing your Dream Wall First thing you will need to do is come up with a design that will suit you needs for the tank. Sometimes it is a good idea to draw out each wall of your tank after you come up with a design so you don't forget your plans. Some things you may want to consider when designing you wall: What is the reason for building the wall? Just want a realistic background or do you want to hide equipment or even make an All-In-One tank? Does my tank have plastic rim around the top? This adds a 1/2" that will block the wall from sliding right in. Plan accordingly and think how to maneuver it in place. A center brace can also pose an issue. What materials do I have already that I can incorporate into the wall to save some money? Have any extra rock, sand, eggcrate, epoxy, or equipment laying around? How much is this project going to cost me? Consider what you already have on hand and the cost of materials. What materials will be needed: Eggcrate light diffuser ~$13 Rock - Lace rock ~$2.50 /lb Pond Foam ~$8 Zip ties - cheap Contact cement/epoxy ~$4 Silicone ~$4 Sand - optional Shells or barnacles - optional What tools will be needed: Wire cutter Sharp knife Drill or Dremel Gloves Trash bag Step 2: Start Building! First grab your eggcrate and start cutting it to fit the back wall of your tank. (Marking the eggcrate with a sharpie where you want to cut is helpful.) You can use the wire cutter to cut the eggcrate if working with small sections, but a Dremel with a cutoff disc will speed up the process; especially for large tanks. If you want to make bump outs, curves, corners, etc. you're going to need to join separate pieces of eggcrate with zip ties. Next, once you have all you eggcrate set up how you like, you will need to attach the real rock to the wall. The best way to do this is to use a masonry bit and drill holes in the rock near the edges touching the eggcrate. Rinse the rock first Warning: Drilling lace rock smells like drilling teeth if you've ever had a cavity filled. Lol You can also use multiple zip ties and just loop it around the whole rock, you will just have to cut it off after the foam is dry and the rock is secure. The rock doesn't need to be tightened all the way, just snug. NOTE: over tightening the zip ties may lead to warping of the eggcrate as it flexes due to over tightening. More rock is better as it adds additional texture and shape to the wall making it look much more natural. From a designing perspective, you want the rocks to flow with one another. If you lay the eggcrate flat on the floor, the rock can just be set on top and foamed around. Once dry, the rock will be stuck in place without having to use zip ties. This method isn't my first choice since you can't move the eggcrate until the foam is dry. This method also doesn't work if the wall your designing isn't flat, like this AIO build. Again, don't over tighten the zip ties. You want them walls to be straight as an arrow! Other things you can do is incorporate bottles in the wall or pvc pipe to create caves. Barnacle clusters are also a great addition.