Modeling Clay in Aquarium - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Modeling Clay in Aquarium

I'd like to make some very specific looking branches for my 16 gallon bowfront. I just can't find any pieces of driftwood that look close enough to what I want.

I was in A.C. Moore today looking around and saw modeling clay that you can bake to harden that is non-toxic.

I was thinking for maybe $5 I could buy enough clay to thinly roll out and asseble to look like branches so I can attach my moss to it.

Has anyone ever used the baking clay as an aquarium decoration?

Maybe even use it to make some custom shaped rocks that can be covered with moss?

I know people use terracota (sp?) pots from gardening centers in the aquariums, would the clay being baked be ok?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 03:32 AM
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If it claims to be non-toxic I would think it has a good chance of being ok. Like you mentioned clay pots are freq. used, as well as the slew of aquacrap decorations that are made of clay and glazed dayglo colors.

You might want to keep an eye on water parameters though. Or maybe even better, try it out in a tub of water/spare tank for awhile and see how it goes.

It may break down over time being submerged.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 04:16 AM
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Clay has to be fired so it's water proof. You can't bake it in a regular oven. The required temperature is around 1200+ F. The minerals in the clay need to melt & bond like glass.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Clay has to be fired so it's water proof. You can't bake it in a regular oven. The required temperature is around 1200+ F. The minerals in the clay need to melt & bond like glass.
True for the typical artists clay usually used for ceramics, but I believe what he's referring to is the craft type polymer clays which are cured at oven temps.

Even kiln fired clay breaks down over time when exposed to water though. (ceramics, pots, bricks etc.) So the term waterproof should be used loosely for any of the above.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I was referring to the clay that you can bake at home in an oven at 400 degrees.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 12:16 PM
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Hmmmmm.....

You may want to do a test run prior to exposing a whole tank to this stuff. 400 degrees should off gas, some- if not all, of the VOC's if any. But your water chem may play a role long term. I'd do a web search on what is in the clay your planning on using first. Post that here and look for input - there are some very smart people here. Given the recient QC problems with things made in some parts of the world it's ok to play it safe. (Lead paint on kiddes toys, melamine in the cat chow.)

If it looks okay maybe soak it for a few days and do some cheap water tests.

Most "real" clay is Al Si which after fireing is pretty stable stuff - see SMS ect - it's the glazes you have to watch out for - I made some nice mugs in college art class and then learned that due to the glazes they might no be the best things to store acidic liquids in due to the risk of metals leaching out. But then again I live in NJ so I'm already over exposed.

Post your results if you could..

GIL
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 03:10 PM
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Poly clay. Basically moldable plastic. Wikipedia article. I'd think it would be fine once baked and "cured" since they're saying it's basically PVC, but you may want to do a bit more research on it.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't even bought the stuff yet.

Wanted to see if anyone else was a guinea pig first.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-20-2007, 01:05 AM
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Fimo

Well this is a no-brainer, but whatever you do, don't use that "squand" stuff, you know the stuff that is sand when dry but when submerged it becomes moldable... When I worked at a Petsmart in Maryland, someone came in and told me they lost all of their fish due to trying this "wonder" material in their water. I wondered why they used it in the first place. Oh and the "Fimo Clay" which I suppose you are reffering to, has a funny smell to it during and after the baking process. Some of my models still smell odd (at least when I put my nose up to them) so I would be leary of using it, anything that smells weird usually still has chemicals or other nasties lurking inside them somewhere (in aquarium sense that is)...

Sheer Madness!!!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2015, 12:43 AM
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I am building a star wars aquarium prop and I don't know what to use i would like to use something easy to use and non-toxic to fish thats under at least $50.What should i use?

thank you,
Avery Roach 15 yrs old
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2015, 02:28 AM
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You can either build something and then coat it completely in about five layers of acrylic, or you can build it out of clean Legos.


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My current project, a 65 gallon aquarium stocked with vernal pool fauna.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 10:41 AM
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Smile polymer clay safety for fish tanks

i saw a few websites saying that the polymer clay is okay to use in their aquariums, but i think some chemicals would be leeched into the water..
somebody even said to coat the polymer clay in clear nail polish!! pfft, as if! chemicals much??
I think after baking the clay in the oven it wouldn't wear down or anything- i've worked with polymer clay for about 2 years and i don't really think it would do that.
if anybody's tried the baked polymer clay in an empty bucket of water for about two weeks or something, please let us know!
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