Aquarium safe self hardening clay for Yoda's hut? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Aquarium safe self hardening clay for Yoda's hut?

I am wondering if anyone has experience with an aquarium safe, self hardening, molding clay that I can use to recreate Yoda's hut on Dagobah.
I'm going to be putting together a Dagobah swamp tank for my baby's room and I think that making a miniature of Yoda's hut would be awesome. And of course I will have a little ceramic Yoda figure standing out front. The tank will have a lot of wood and roots as trees and most of the foliage is going to be christmas moss with some crypts and stuff mixed in. For the background I am going to use a picture of Luke's half sunk X-Wing. I had the idea and then I found this crappy looking Dagobah tadpole frog habitat online. Its pretty much what I want to do, except, you know, not sucky.





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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 03:41 AM
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That manufactured item sure is a wimpy re-creation.

Sorry, I do not know about a clay that does not need to be fired.

How about carving it out of Styrofoam then covering it with mortar and concrete coloring material? This can be aquarium safe, though the concrete does leach minerals for a while, raising the pH and making the water harder .

How about buying the funny looking one and painting it? I'll bet Krylon for plastic would work on it. Get a couple of shades of grey and flat black, maybe a dark brown...
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 03:47 AM
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Self hardening clay will unfortunately go back soft when whetted, and will make your water muddy. Diana ideas with styrofoam is a great idea, look into DIY aquarium backgrounds for more information on that kind of work.

This idea is funny, do post pictures of your final work!
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 04:02 AM
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agree with diana about using that one.with a little paint and some moss attached would not look to bad. we bought some shap together model kits of star wars this year for my son. they had some of the ships and some "scene " kits, but dont know about yoda.they seem pretty nice. they may work. believe they were "testor" and were bought at kmart. more realistic looking than that tad pole one. i love your idea and cant wait to see it. this idea would make an awsome paladarium. post pics you must.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 04:37 AM
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The one recreation in the second picture looks like they may of used a coconut shell, which would work well in an aquarium and won't float. Diana's idea about using Concrete pigments would make it look really sweet!
I'm really looking forward to seeing this, so please post pics
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking I could use a coconut shell as the foundation to build the rest of the hut around.
I've heard of people using spray foam to make roots and DIY backgrounds. I guess I could do that over the coconut shell, carve it up, and paint it.

Are there any non-clay materials that would have polymers and stuff in them that I could use that would still be fish safe?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 04:03 AM
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Post pictures, You Must...
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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It looks like Yoda's Dagobah Resort and Spa is going to have to wait. The wife wants the baby's tank to be full of gaudy ceramic ornaments that she gets to pick out. We compromised and I still get to put plants in it, she gets to put a few ugly pieces of junk in it, but absolutely no air pump driven scuba divers or UFOs. Hopefully I can keep her from noticing the Little Mermaid figures they sell at Petco.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
It looks like Yoda's Dagobah Resort and Spa is going to have to wait. The wife wants the baby's tank to be full of gaudy ceramic ornaments that she gets to pick out. We compromised and I still get to put plants in it, she gets to put a few ugly pieces of junk in it, but absolutely no air pump driven scuba divers or UFOs. Hopefully I can keep her from noticing the Little Mermaid figures they sell at Petco.

I think this would be a really cool idea for a scape, you were on to something with the coconut shells. but the question is, Are you havin a boy or girl? If its a girl i can understand why this theme would probably clash.

If its a boy... Keep badgering her lol or give it 6 months when the fake ornaments look nasty and talk her into switching them out.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 06:48 PM
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When you put the pants of the family back on, search "hypertufa" for something to make Yodas pad out of. Manzanita branches upside down can also help you with the twisted jungle look. If you plan now you can also wrap some fresh grapevines arond it as well. You'll have to let these sit out and season first tho. Good luck with the pants, doent always work

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 07:45 PM
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what about the epoxy that comes in a dual colored roll? you can sand it, paint it, sprinkle bits of wood on it.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 09:33 PM
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Cool project Franco....need to keep it alive and keep this thread going...

Can a piece of driftwood be carved to make the hut...?


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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Can spray foam be carved easily? I could probably spray foam a coconut shell, carve it to perfection, and then stick some roots over the top and around it.

I probably will just set up a tank quickly for the Mrs and then make it get overgrown with algae and say its because it doesn't have enough plants. lol
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 09:46 PM
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Yes you can carve the foam. Might be easier to carve Styrofoam though.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 10:48 PM
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Cement is an option, it certainly is self hardening and waterproof.

Make the cave out of wax or soft clay. Make a plaster mold... Remove the wax with heat.

Pour cement into the mold. Make sure to leave a cave and not fill in the whole thing.

When set, break the plaster mold. Cure the cement by soaking in water for a long time or seal it.


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