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Old 01-16-2013, 04:33 AM   #16
driftwoodhunter
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When making backgrounds, I coat mine with Drylock. But if the foam wouldn't be visible, I don't see why you couldn't simply coat it in silicone (aquarium silicone or any pure silicone)
And foam always wants to float. You can coat it and silicone it to your tank glass - whether the back for a background, or the bottom for rocks/added mass.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:41 AM   #17
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Actually, I want it to float. I'd like to shape some styrofoam and coat it with that hard cement stuff and paint it. Then place it in my (soon to be built) indoor turtle pond so they can climb out of the water and bask on it. Thoughts?
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:26 PM   #18
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Actually, I want it to float. I'd like to shape some styrofoam and coat it with that hard cement stuff and paint it. Then place it in my (soon to be built) indoor turtle pond so they can climb out of the water and bask on it. Thoughts?
That might work. If you can source out a dense piece it would float better with the added covering on it. If you go with my source for styrofoam, see if they have anything that is used to protect the ends of leather sofas. Its often VERY dense and I think it would be the ideal piece to work for your project. They're usually big bulky pieces so you would have lots to work on and experiment with.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:14 PM   #19
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How are you guys cutting it? Knife or hot wire?
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:04 PM   #20
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when I did my epoxy/sand pieces, they wouldn't have a problem floating, but then the water only came up about ~1/2 way on them. The sand did add quite a bit of weight. If you want it to sink, you could hollow out some of the excess styrofoam after the expoxy resin has cured.

For the turtle island, I'm not sure if floating would be appropriate for a rock :P also, it may make it harder for the turtles to crawl on if it's not anchored. If it doesn't float, you could always put some supports in. or use a big piece of exposed driftwood.

I don't imagine it would be very easy to coat something with silicone, but I think it's a pretty common technique with the dendroboard folks.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:07 AM   #21
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Very cool idea. Hadn't thought of shaping/using for 'rocks.'

Slightly off topic, but Earth Day is coming up... next time you get something that's overpackaged (i.e., USB drive in a 16" tall plastic shell) please write that manufacturer and ask them to stop. Same goes for the styrofoam. I know with VERY bulky items, it's sometimes the best thing to cushion with. But there's no reason to package a DVR or a smaller item like that in EPS anymore. Reusing it is great; encouraging them to not make it in the first place is even better!

[steps down from soapbox]
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:10 PM   #22
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Latex based drylok with quikrete liquid color pigments to get the earth tones, is used alot. Seals the foam, doesn't effect pH and hardness like cement can and is fish safe once it cures/dries (I'd give it a full day or two)

This is what you want if you go the drylok route
http://www.lowes.com/pd_41348-96-275...fer&facetInfo=
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:47 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteban View Post
Very cool idea. Hadn't thought of shaping/using for 'rocks.'

Slightly off topic, but Earth Day is coming up... next time you get something that's overpackaged (i.e., USB drive in a 16" tall plastic shell) please write that manufacturer and ask them to stop. Same goes for the styrofoam. I know with VERY bulky items, it's sometimes the best thing to cushion with. But there's no reason to package a DVR or a smaller item like that in EPS anymore. Reusing it is great; encouraging them to not make it in the first place is even better!

[steps down from soapbox]
let me first state that I absolutely agree with your sentiment, even if I've never written a letter about usb drive packaging.

I would very much enjoy your reaction to some of the packages I open at work. We do outpatient oncology, and are involved in many drug trials. Money seems to be no issue for some of them, and "overpackaged" is an understatement. We will get a box that's >50lb, 30" x 30" x 30", with layer upon layer upon layer of ice bricks, boxes inside of boxes Russian-doll style, for a single ml of drug. I am not exaggerating one bit. (and 1ml isn't much - 5ml = 1 teaspoon. 15ml = 1 tablespoon.) Every time we get a shipment we either laugh or groan, but we always mock the company. It never gets old because it's SO ridiculous.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:46 PM   #24
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I answered a Craigslist ad last month for styrofoam sheets, and I ended up at a local trucking company. They told me to take everything I wanted, and that I could come back anytime and get more. I ended up filling my entire 2000 hi-top conversion van to the roof. I now have probably 50 4'x8' sheets of 1" styrofoam. I was going to use it as some cheap insulation for a few of our dog houses, but ended up using a 8x10 shed for their shelter. Now I have a metric ********* of styro haha. I will find a use for it sooner or later I guess. Either way I won't find it floating in the water or clogging a landfill.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:07 PM   #25
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Please don't use styrofoam for insulation. It is SUPER flamable and highly toxic when it burns. Not to mention it turns into napalm when it catches fire. I had a freecycle "ad" posted to give away styrofoam and a ton of people wanted to use it for cheap insulation. I'd love to see it be used for a free insulation, but it is just too dangerous.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:18 PM   #26
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Please don't use styrofoam for insulation. It is SUPER flamable and highly toxic when it burns. Not to mention it turns into napalm when it catches fire. I had a freecycle "ad" posted to give away styrofoam and a ton of people wanted to use it for cheap insulation. I'd love to see it be used for a free insulation, but it is just too dangerous.
I am fairly aware of this, as my wife is a full-time Firefighter. The furniture in your house does the same thing, as does poly carpet and linoleum. A couch fire can pretty much take down an entire room under 5-6 minutes, and the gases produced have already filled the rest of the house inevitably killing anything requiring oxygen. 1400 deg F doesn't play around.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:40 AM   #27
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I am glad I came across this again. My BF just bought a used Winnebago and we are going to need styro to fill in places on walls where we have taken rotten wood out! I knew I'd read something somewhere about where to source free styro from and couldn't remember the details. But now...Yay! Now I can remember that its furniture stores that we need to check with before we look to buy! TY for the tip! I know it's got nothing to do with fish, but helpful all the same.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:34 PM   #28
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Very nice tip. I'm thinking about seeing if I can get enough to cut it up and insulate my shop with it. I like green and I like free.
Try some epoxy on a scrap peice of styrofoam first to make sure no unfortunate reactions like the styrofoam melting occur before using it on your background. It seems like I've heard of epoxy melting thru styrofoam cups before when they were used for mixing. I'm not sure if this was due to a chemical reaction or due to the fact that epoxy throws off a lot of heat when it cures.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:48 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Rodneywt1180b View Post
Very nice tip. I'm thinking about seeing if I can get enough to cut it up and insulate my shop with it. I like green and I like free.
Try some epoxy on a scrap peice of styrofoam first to make sure no unfortunate reactions like the styrofoam melting occur before using it on your background. It seems like I've heard of epoxy melting thru styrofoam cups before when they were used for mixing. I'm not sure if this was due to a chemical reaction or due to the fact that epoxy throws off a lot of heat when it cures.
Rodney

I'm pretty sure epoxy does generate some heat when it cures, but I doubt it's enough to melt a styrofoam cup. However, epoxy is frequently thinned with acetone, which I think could cause the cup to melt. I've done quite a few setups involving epoxy and styrofoam, and haven't had melting be an issue (but what's enough to deform a cup may not be noticeable in a background).

Be careful with the shop insulation though, make sure it's protected from fire, it can produce some pretty nasty smoke if it burns, and it can burn pretty readily.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:41 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodneywt1180b View Post
Very nice tip. I'm thinking about seeing if I can get enough to cut it up and insulate my shop with it. I like green and I like free...
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelub View Post
Please don't use styrofoam for insulation. It is SUPER flamable and highly toxic when it burns. Not to mention it turns into napalm when it catches fire. I had a freecycle "ad" posted to give away styrofoam and a ton of people wanted to use it for cheap insulation. I'd love to see it be used for a free insulation, but it is just too dangerous.
...
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