making your own ornaments? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-16-2017, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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making your own ornaments?

Controversial having them in a tank at all instead of all natural, but I'd got a dinosaur theme and darn it, I'm going to keep it. I'd love to add a dino nest with eggs into the scene, but I haven't found any scene or aquarium-safe toys. Thus, I feel like I'll have to make my own.

What sculpting/sealing materials are safe to use in aquariums? On a very small scale?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 12:34 AM
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Terra cotta, steve's White, all the usual pottery type clays are suitable. When I was in high school I was heavy into aquariums and sculpture, so I made a ton of weird ornaments, lots of fake (but very convincing!!!) fossils, and such. You should be able to find some local places that will let you work with real "high-fire" clays to make some neat stuff. Most of the usual pottery glazes are safe, but you need to be careful with some of the blues and greens, as they may contain copper that will hurt shrimp and other invertebrates.

There are other materials, but ceramics are usually considered the safest thing that you can easily do yourself.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lingwendil View Post
Terra cotta, steve's White, all the usual pottery type clays are suitable. When I was in high school I was heavy into aquariums and sculpture, so I made a ton of weird ornaments, lots of fake (but very convincing!!!) fossils, and such. You should be able to find some local places that will let you work with real "high-fire" clays to make some neat stuff. Most of the usual pottery glazes are safe, but you need to be careful with some of the blues and greens, as they may contain copper that will hurt shrimp and other invertebrates.

There are other materials, but ceramics are usually considered the safest thing that you can easily do yourself.
Would places be willing to help with such a small project? Just the nest is the only thing I can think that I need. I read Sculptey works (although it's too porous to be food safe), but I'm not sure how to add color.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 02:15 AM
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Would places be willing to help with such a small project? Just the nest is the only thing I can think that I need. I read Sculptey works (although it's too porous to be food safe), but I'm not sure how to add color.
There are colored sculpeys; I imagine somebody's tried them? It's just a matter of finding the thread where they did it lol. You could probably also cover them in epoxy if you wanted to be extra safe.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 04:17 AM
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Would places be willing to help with such a small project? Just the nest is the only thing I can think that I need. I read Sculptey works (although it's too porous to be food safe), but I'm not sure how to add color.
Sculpey comes in every color you could imagine, I've used it since I was very little, my experience with it submerged has been fine, but it's not too durable long term submerged, it gets brittle over time as the plasticizers leech out. Great for stuff that you will leave sitting on a shelf though. It's a polymer clay that you bake in your oven at home.
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