Aftificial Internal Aquarium Background Simulating Natural Rock Formations
Publication Date: 2002-Aug-07
The IP.com Prior Art Database
A light-weight rock simulation used as an internal background decoration for fresh-water and marine aquariums (comercial or private). A method for the creation of a simulated rock background using styrofoam, concreate and epoxy materials.
1. Concise Description of Invention
(1) Product and Process
(2) This is not a new use for an existing technology
(1) The purpose for this invention is to provide the Aquarium Hobbyist, an alternative to external tank backgrounds, as well as a lightweight alternative to internal rock structures, while providing a “rock-like” internal backing for the aquarium.
(2) The invention is both one of process and application. An EPS Type-1 Styrofoam substrate is sculpted into a rough, “rock-like” 3-D surface profile using either a manual hotwire foam cutter, or an automated robotic foam-cutter controlled by a computer to map the surface topology. Once the substrate has been sculpted, 5:1 a mixture of Portland Brand Concrete and pure white beach sand is made into slurry through the addition of water. The slurry is applied via viscous spraying apparatus or paintbrush to the entire Styrofoam substrate and allowed to cure for 24 hours. Once the concrete mixture has cured, an undercoat of A/B Epoxy Paint is applied in the desired color to the entire piece, and is allowed to cure for 12 hours. Once the first coat of epoxy paint has cured, additional contract accents are added by dry brushing epoxy paint of various shades. The dry brushing technique provides the natural or realistic stone appearance of the product. The product is then allowed to cure another 12 hours. Once the product has cured, it is washed using a mixture of dish detergent and hot water, scrubbing with a soft brush. The finished product is then allowed to outgas for 7 days. The product can be configured as a mosaic of smaller pieces or one entire unit. The product can be retrofitted with plastic adhesion surfaces on its backside. The product is packaged with Aquarium safe silicone sealant for installation purposes. The product is manufactured in all standard aquarium sizes, as well as custom dimensions.
(3) The aquarium backing product is intended for use in home or commercial aquarium setups to provide natural aesthetics without the danger of adding heavy rock to achieve similar results. The person maintaining the aquarium must drain the tank and dry it. The person setting up a new aquarium can start the installation process after cleaning the inside glass surfaces and drying. If the backing product is a mosaic configuration, the pieces must be installed following the accompanying instructions, if the backing is a solid unit, the installation is accomplished by adding a liberal amount of aquarium sealant to the adheasion surfaces and press fitting the piece into place. Once in place, the piece sould be lightly clamped using long-throw wooden hand clamps. The silicon sealant should be allowd to cure for 24 hours. Once cured gravel, and ornaments can be placed in the tank, and the filling process can begin. The tank should be filled aa relatively slow rate since the buoyancy of the Styrofoam core will cause some inward and upward pressure on the...