Naturalistic habitat creations

I will update this page with pictures of habitats and other pieces of synthetic stone and wood created for terrarium animals and fish.

Here’s a rooty wood stump for starters:


-pvc conduit

-hot glue

-vinyl string

-tile adhesive



And some roots on top of it:




18 responses to “Naturalistic habitat creations

  • Missy

    Very impressive. Makes me feel shameful about the little Styrofoam rocks I’m working on.

  • Erik Brouwer

    Hallo H67;

    Zeer indrukwekkend wat je doet, neem m’n petje voor je af. Maar je hebt ook gelijk als je zegt en dit ook beleefd, blijf oefenen en in jezelf geloven.


  • Anonymous

    Sick! this saved me from doing really bad stuff for the paludarium im working on! many thanks from norway!

  • Jerry Whidby

    I really enjoy your work. I discovered your work on Dendrboard. You have given a lot of your time answering questions over there. However many of your picture links on that site are now dead. It would be great to see how you transition from PVC to rough foam to smooth foam to a naturally colored and textured root systems. Have you ever considered doing a video tutorial? Youtube is forever, and the process would be so much easier to grasp. Plus you could become a Youtube partner, and get paid a little for the ad views you receive. You already have a great list of popular questions to wok from too. So, yes please.

    • hx67

      Thank you for your comment, Jerry.
      I’m really sorry about that photo bank being down. It’s still at some kind of “we’ll be back”-stage, and I’m frustrated. I’m good at destroying laptops without taking backups, and I’m looking at losing a lot of pics forever. A drag.
      Anyhow, thanks for giving credit for my contribution on the boards. I’m an old school guy. People ask me a lot of questions, private and public, and I answer almost all of them. But sometimes it makes me sad to get no feedback at all for taking time for it. Not even an easy “thank you”.
      I’m a bit lost on how to make the internet work for me, or as you suggest, be worth my while.
      Youtube partnership sounds like an interesting option.
      Of course, this is a very marginal practise and although it seems to inspire a group of people, it might not be up to youtube scale of things…
      Better get my ass in gear and start trying to find a way to make it worth my while, right?
      Thanks again for the comment. It motivates me to hear it from you!

  • Jim

    Your work is amazing HX! I’d also love to see some youtube vids. I’ve followed your threads at loachesonline and sadly did not commented enough. I think may like myself just follow in awe and learn with not much to say. I’m now looking to get into dart frogs and recalling your incredible backgrounds. Please don’t stop posting your methods and creations!
    Many Thanks! Jim

    • hx67

      Thanks for your words, Jim, much appreciated!

      I’m actually fiddling with a few projects at the moment and will update as soon as I get them on gear.

      I like loachesonline dearly. To me it seems somehow uncorrupted among all the fish forums I follow.

      I’m sure you have already found dendroboard? No better source for knowledge and inspiration than DB.

      As for youtube, I will be getting into it more. As soon as I decide on the angle. Presentations or even tutorials? Dunno, yet.

      Thanks again, Jim!

  • Natalia

    That is phenomenal work, beautiful backgrounds. Is it exclusive for terrariums or safe for aquariums too? Would love to see some tutorials on youtube, watching you work would be amazing too.

    • hx67

      Thank you, Natalia.
      I make these mainly for aquariums/paludariums, so yes, they are safe for aquatic life.
      I’ve got plans on youtube tutorials, just takes some time to execute them.
      Thanks again for your feedback!

  • Anonymous

    Truly amazing work. I look forward putting something together that looks remotely as good as yours. I do have a question with your experience using grout. Have you had problems with grout cracking and becoming brittle over time? Have you had any problems with increasing water PH over time?

    I’m a complete noob on this subject and just starting my research.

    Thank you.

    P.S. please keep up the excellent posts it is a great resource and I most certainly appreciate the time you have taken so far!

    • hx67

      Thank sfor your words, Someone.

      Happy to hear anytime anyone’s inspired!

      Grout contains cement, so there’s some effect to water hardness. This reduces with time.
      After the unavoidable curing period of about a month leeching reduces dramatically. I don’t see a problem with it, unless you’re aiming at very soft, acidic water conditions.
      Can’t say I’ve noticed any considerable cracking or brittle. I do mix some acrylic copolymer into the mixture while making the scapings, that might have something to do with it?

      Thanks again for this feedback.

  • Voss

    You are a genius. I can feel the emotion that goes into these works. I am inspired but at the same time feel an immense sense of loneliness and longing.

    I am not trying to be weird. Its just that I want you to know that I get it. It fills a void, it satisfies the soul, it invites healing and helping. Great work. Great love. Great loss. Thank you for sharing this.

    • hx67

      Thank you, Voss.
      You left me speechless there.

      I am no genius. But you might have analysed the fuel that feeds my obsession better than anything I’ve seen before.

      Thanks for your feedback and thanks for sharing your emotions. I don’t see myself as an artist, but am happy every time someone is touched by my work.

      People like you give me motivation to share.

  • Chasmodes

    HX67, there are a lot of us out here that follow every one of your projects, whether it’s posted in a forum, YouTube or your blog. Please keep up the good work and the updates too. I suspect that you’ve inspired far more people than you get feedback from. I go back through your threads and posts all of the time and really appreciate what you have done. You may not think that you’re an artist, but, yes, you are. Thanks for sharing your work!

  • Keni

    Do you have a video on how you make these root structure?

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