What material can I use to make plant pots? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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What material can I use to make plant pots?

Is there an aquarium safe material that I can mold and make custom pots that will hold water, strong enough so plant roots wont break and penetrate? Clay? Can fiberglass be used in such a way?

Actually, it's for a big terrarium that has a 10 gallon tank in it, and I'm trying to create a stream around some of the perimeter, with plants, and hydroponic substrate, but I need something to mold the way I want it, holding water and being strong enough not to let the plant roots thru.

Last edited by mef1975; 06-09-2014 at 04:24 AM. Reason: .
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 01:08 PM
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Try sculpty from the hobby store. Bake it to set permanently.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Try sculpty from the hobby store. Bake it to set permanently.

Come to think of it, that might be waterproof, but it's so expensive.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 02:32 PM
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I use a lot of small pots but never really thought of forming them as such. I can almost always find a plastic item to cut in a way that it fits the spot well enough. They are the ultimate cheap so I don't mind cutting a few to see what fits. Buried, they all look the same.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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I use a lot of small pots but never really thought of forming them as such. I can almost always find a plastic item to cut in a way that it fits the spot well enough. They are the ultimate cheap so I don't mind cutting a few to see what fits. Buried, they all look the same.

I totally hear you! Perhaps some high quality tupperware will be durable enough. I could probably cut some pieces up and silicone them together to provide support for waterflow throughout the terrarium, but it'd be so ugly. Maybe it can be made to look like fake rock with polystyrene spray, limestone finish, and drylok. Ah heck, makes me feel like just buying the polymer.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 03:21 PM
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What about the same kind of rubber they use for pond liners?





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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 03:42 PM
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If you want DIY:

If you want a natural look, you can always make a few reverse molds (google if you don't know what it is) in the shape you want you pots to be and then make a plaster casting, then use the two to make concrete pots. Will this me a simple project? No. Will this be an easy project? Yes. Will it be quick? No. But you will get exactly the shape you want as many as you want and for pennies each.

Non DIY:

Shop around online at different hydroponic and gardening sites, there is a very large collection of preformed plastic, and clay pots out there on the market and you may be able to find some that are ready to go. If you have one locally a decent place to check out would be the Dollar Store, the one near me, which is ran by "The Dollar Store" company, usually will have a decent selection of smaller pots during the spring and early summer, they sell out quickly though.

Advice:

Don't use clear containers, roots don't usually like to be exposed to light, so if you plan to have them elevated an opaque container would be best. If you must use clear containers consider attaching spanish moss or another type of moss you prefer to the containers that will be above the water line, and a nice aquatic moss or better yet subwassertang or Ricca since nether of these will try and grow through the sides of your container. But my ultimate advice is be creative, just take your time and have fun with it!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-10-2014, 12:34 AM
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I wouldn't use the polyester fiberglass resin. It's got some pretty nasty, unhealthy, and unpleasant chemicals in it, and it's hard to get the right balance of catalyst to resin, and even then, there will likely be some leaching off into the water for quite a while.

Epoxy resin, on the other hand, is some pretty awesome stuff. Very little health risks, and a bit easier to work with.

I've done paludarium inserts/backgrounds with epoxy resin/sand mixes. You can carve up styrofoam or something and coat it with epoxy/sand, or you can just try and mold the epoxy/sand mix by itself. If you want to avoid the glossy 'wet' look, sprinkle on an excess of dry sand/dirt, and then brush off/vacuum off the excess after curing.

If you have access to a kiln, you could make stuff out of clay and fire it, that would work pretty well also.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-10-2014, 02:04 AM
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You may be talking different roots than I think of. I just use the thin plastic from soda bottles and such in many cases and have never had the roots come through. They do get root bound sometimes and I cut the plastic off but by then they are big and sturdy enough to not need the protection from diggers. If you want to use them where they will be open to view, I have coated a milk jug cut off at an angle to form a cave on the bottom. By swabbing it with silicone and packing the substrate sand into the silicone, it blended pretty well with the bottom. Was not a good item as I failed to leave openings for water to flow through and it must have been semi-stagnant inside. Nothing ever went in that I saw.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-30-2014, 07:47 AM
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You can use the plant trays that the flowers come at home depot or Lowe's, wash them good and cut them to size, if you are lucky they might have some empty and they will give them to you.
I used them for my turtles with semi aquatic and fully submersible plants, got them for free, like 80 of them and lasted a long time.

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