--charley cbay at jeppesen_com, cbay at verinet_com wrote:

>For technique (more in line with your question), I know the irregular
>rock faces on many houses start with side board, which they nail
>chicken-wire on top of, then build a cement rock wall in front of that
>with the cement grabbing hold of the wire for additional support.
>I'm going to look into tile supply houses and see about doing a similar 
>thing with rock, grout, and tile adhesive (I don't want to go with
>the plastic back-drop either).  While my sides will probably be glass
>(greater viewing area), the back might be that "concrete wall-board"
>used for tiled areas (totally impervious to moisture, I'm told).

If kept continuously wet, I would expect lime to leach out of the "builder
board" causing the alkalinity to rise in the water. Eventually the cement
will turn to sand. There is a product sold in our area called "water lock" or
something similar, that is a paint for water proofing brick constructions. If
I were attempting what you describe I would use one of these products to
paint and waterproof the wall. Then I would use tile adhesive that is similar
to a thick latex glue that can be troweled on for adhering the rock to the
builder board wall. You could use chicken wire and "thin set" concrete to
modify the flat builder board wall before painting and glueing rock, if you
want something other than a straight flat wall. I'd let the construction cure
for a week or more before introducing and critters.

Just my $.02 worth

PacNeil at aol_com[Neil Schneider]