fiberglass resin/ epoxy resin safe for fish and drifwood? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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fiberglass resin/ epoxy resin safe for fish and drifwood?

i have been looking at alot of diy backgronds that look like rocks made with styrofoam and epoxy resin... usually west systems brand epoxy resin is applied to these concrete covered styrofoam rocks.

i have wondered about covering the cheap driftwood with a thin layer of resin to stop the tannins and keep it from eventually rotting. im thinking of wood like cypress or natural driftwood, the cheap or free stuff not the 9.99 a pound sinking driftwoods that dont leach tannins.


is marine grade epoxy or fiberglass resin safe for fish?

i have already started my foam rocks to cover with concrete but thats a whole other week long project for sure!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 04:42 AM
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Ever heard of a plywood tank? People make huge tanks out of plywood and put a window in it for viewing. I've never made one but i've seen information on other forums about it. As far as i know, they always cover the plywood with fiberglass and resin. Then they cover that up with epoxy. You can find information in the diy area of http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/

Do you realize that after you cover your driftwood in fiberglass and/or epoxy, it won't resemble wood anymore?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 05:16 AM
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RoyalFizbin is dead on. I was checking out those threads last week and they regularly use fiberglass to do a lot of the large scale projects. It is inert once it cures.

As far as applying it to drifwood goes, I don't know about that. It would seem to kind of defeat the purpose of having a natural piece of driftwood in the tank, wouldn't it?

If you let a piece of wood soak long enough outside of a tank, it shouldn't leach tannins after a certain point.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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i have some old wood that looks like drift wood, it was used for taxidermy purposes. its not real driftwood, i dont wanna spend 25.00 for a real piece that wont leech ,thats just a waste of money for me when im just going to cover it with christmas tree or java moss, you wont see the wood that much after it covers it.

i just wanted to knowif the epoy is safe in the tank, i am going to cover a piece of the fake driftwood with resin to see how it looks, thanks
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 02:12 AM
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"real" driftwood.... that is an oxymoron.
any kind of wood that has floated in water for a length of time is technically driftwood.

You can cure your own...

Go to a local pristine (or semi pristine as I don't think there is such as thing as pristine anymore unless you go to northern canada, alaska, or maybe somewhere in australia), a place where there isn't too much pesticide use or fertilizer use... like the headwaters of a springfed river or spring. Get a piece of nice wood that's been soaking a while. Oak, pecan are nice! Bring it home, soak it in a tub and change the water out every couple of days. I put alum in the water as it will kill any nasties like insects, leeches, parasites and algae. then I rinse rinse rinse and into the tank it goes.

The key is making sure of the source of your wood and it's type. Softwoods like elms and willows will break down quickly, hardwoods won't. Cypress is nice, but it does leech a lot of tannins. I"ve found you have to actually boil it with lots of water changes and it's not worth the effort to me.

Only time I've used ocean driftwood was in a Malwi cichlid tank. I saw it on the beach and it was so gnarled and pretty. I boiled it in a huge pot outside first with alum.. just to make sure no nasties. I haven't found a really cheap source of alum yet... so I buy it in the spice section of the grocery store. It's used in baking some types of things. You can't find it as much as you could maybe 10 or more years ago.. I guess baking is out of fashion, but the bigger stores carry it.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 04:55 AM
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Go ahead and try it. It's always good to experiment. My advice is make sure the peice of wood is going to sink without having to be water logged. After you seal it up, it's going to be water proof. You might have to add some weight to it. Perhaps drilling holes and filling it with lead before sealing it all up.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 05:01 AM
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Perhaps drilling holes and filling it with lead before sealing it all up.
Or drill a hole through a piece of slate and attach a screw or two to the wood. Or use some type of water proof adhesive.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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the pieces of wood i have are driftwood from a freshwater lake,but they are old. pressure washed them and put them in a bucket of water for a week, the wood got soft so its def not the right hard wood to use.
my brother is a furniture maker and he uses heartpine,ash( harder than hell) walnut,cedar and a few others. i thought of taking a piece of ash or walnut and making some fake sticks/look like branches, and leting them soak in water to see what happens. ill figure out a cheap driftwood eventually.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 07:39 AM
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Why not make a mold and leave the resin hollow so it can sink?

I think if you coat driftwood you'll end up with floating and decomposition issues over time...





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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Why not make a mold and leave the resin hollow so it can sink?

I think if you coat driftwood you'll end up with floating and decomposition issues over time...
i know it will float for sure! ill have to anchor it to some slate.

it wont rot though. the diy plywood tank covered in resin dont rot out.

i found some marine grade resin for 30.00 a gallon at benjamin moore paint, cheapier than anywhere else ive seen so far.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 01:06 AM
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So...you'll spend $30. on a gallon of resin,and likely a lot of work, to save $25. on a piece of real wood?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 01:21 AM
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actually that sound just plain fun.

"real cars don't have spark plugs"
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 02:46 AM
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Having built a 110 gallon DIY tank.....
http://webpages.charter.net/tusktek/...osity_pics.htm

"Reg" polyester resin is not a god idea. The ONLY way to be 100% sure it is going to be safe for the fish is if it has a "Potable Water" rating. I read that the "Floor Expoxy" will work, but........ at you own risk

http://www.aquaticeco.com/categories...ng-Foam/169/0/
Where I got my expoy paint..........

You can find nice drift wood on EBay also. The local stores around here didn't have the size I was looking for. A couple of cycles through the dish washer helped with some of the tannins.


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Having built a 110 gallon DIY tank.....
http://webpages.charter.net/tusktek/...osity_pics.htm

"Reg" polyester resin is not a god idea. The ONLY way to be 100% sure it is going to be safe for the fish is if it has a "Potable Water" rating. I read that the "Floor Expoxy" will work, but........ at you own risk

http://www.aquaticeco.com/categories...ng-Foam/169/0/
Where I got my expoy paint..........

You can find nice drift wood on EBay also. The local stores around here didn't have the size I was looking for. A couple of cycles through the dish washer helped with some of the tannins.
the epoxy paint looks like the right idea for sure but the cost is to much for me. i also see pool paint used for painting concrete for sale but dont now about it either. i got the idea of epoxy resin from the diy backgrounds with concrete covered with west systems brand epoxy. that brand ive been told is no diff than the epoxy they use on boats. thats what its made for but i really dont know epoxys that well im a painter not a boat builder. i have some really cool looking pieces of wood i want to use as driftwood. ll have to do some diy searches on the epoxys people use on tank building to get a better idea of what it used. thanks for the info tusk
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 11:53 AM
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The West systems seem to be rather popular in the DIY realm. There is a fair amount of info out there, I should have saved some of my searches.

Good luck. There is always an answer, you just have to keep digging. My tank almost had a date with the landfill more than once


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