DIY Fake Rock Walls for Reptiles

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You can buy different types of reptile decor and aquarium wallpaper, but fake rock walls and decor can create a realistic custom look for your terrarium. You can transform your reptile's enclosure from a basic setup into a real conversation piece to be proud of. The overall process is fairly simple, and it only takes a few days to complete. Start with a trip to your local hardware store to purchase the needed supplies.

Build Fake Rock Walls

Step 1

Create a blueprint for your rock design using paper or cardboard. Trace the cardboard layout onto your polystyrene foam board. Use a utility knife to shape the sides, ledges and caves with naturalistic curves. Piece the foam board together to ensure it fits inside your reptile terrarium.

Step 2

Glue all the sides together and check again to make sure that the foam board will fit. Ensure enough space is left so that when you add the foam and grout, the faux rock walls will fit. Glue the ledges and caves onto the walls. Use foam-in-a-can to fill in any crevices, gaps and holes.

Step 3

Once dried, use your utility knife or Dremel tool to carve into the foam for a more natural look. Prepare the first layer of grout thin, so that it is watery and apply. After 24 hours, prepare a second coat of grout that is thicker and apply. After another 24 hours, prepare the third, and thickest, coat of grout and apply. Before the third coat dries, you can add play sand to create a more realistic rocky appearance.

Step 4

Apply the first of three layers of sealant with a paint brush. It takes about 30 to 60 minutes to dry in-between the layers. Let the rock sit outside for a day, allowing it to air out. Set the rock walls in your reptile terrarium.

Items you will need

  • Utility knife
  • Paintbrush
  • Polystyrene foam
  • Foam in a can
  • Liquid nails
  • Grout
  • Acrylic (or water-based) grout sealer
  • Sand (optional)

Tip

  • When cleaning the pieces, use mild soap and water. If you notice any of the grout flaking off, clean the fake rock and reapply a coat of sealant.

Warning

  • You can paint the grout any color you wish, but make sure to use an acrylic-based paint. Make sure to always let fake rock air out before putting it in your reptile's enclosure so that any fumes or chemicals will not harm your pet.

    Photo Credits

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