Can't get a good seal....HELP! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Can't get a good seal....HELP!

Well, I've been asking lots of questions on here about my planted tanks, BUT my fish tanks aren't my only projects.

I'm also building a Vivarium (Paludarium technically i suppose) for my Crested Gecko, but every time i try to fill the water part, i find little leaks and I'm having trouble getting them sealed. I've loaded on the silicone at each seam, I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions of materials other than silicone that I could use? Or something i could just fill a whole layer on the bottom with? Most of my sealing issues seam to be with the seam along the bottom of the wall.

Here are some pictures of what i have so far to give you an idea of what i'm working with. Any and all suggestions are welcome!!!

Thanks in advance!!!

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2008, 06:39 PM
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Hi, I don't know if you found a sollution for your problem yet.

I used a product from Home Depot on a wood tank I built. It is like an epoxy you mix 2 parts in equal amounts and pour and it dries to a clear plastic like solid in like 12 hours. It is for table tops and is 100 waterproof, like when you see a bar or table at a resurant with dollars or other items embeded in it. Also it will be liquid for a bit and you can move the tank around getting it into all the cracks.

It is in the paint area, and it like $20 for 32oz, I think. That should be enough for up to like 1/2" on a tank that size so you may not want to use it all. I think it was called Epoxy resin.

I used it on the back and bottom of my tank and it so far has been working great.

Hope this helps. You can see my tank pics on the forum here.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2008, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Great thank you so much!!! That sounds like it would be just what i need and I could put it on both sides of the wall. I've resealed with aquarium silicone, but i think i might just use that stuff as an insurance policy. I appreciate the advice!

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2008, 07:52 PM
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Thats an interesting idea, might be something to try out in a spare tank. I saw one with sphagnum moss glued in the spots where you have the stone, maybe you could add some in a few spots to give it a more natural look.

Are you mounting a water pump in the tower part to create the water fall?

Looks good so far !
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2008, 07:56 PM
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Are the sheets that the rock is mounted on glass or acrylic? Regular silicone does not adhere well to acrylic so that would be a problem. At lowes, next to the glass and acrylic sheets is a silicone called lexan and it will adhere acrylic to glass and cures in a day.

HTH

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Buck - thanks, i'm going to put a few plants into the water part, and I figure some algae should fill in a bit for the natural look, but thanks for the suggestion with the sphagnum moss. And yes, there's a pump, it will be at the other end of the water area than the waterfall, pump water through the white pipe/tube and then fill up the waterfall reservoir and gravity should do the rest. At least in theory

Hop - yes they are acrylic, I used a small tube of Lexan in some of the areas i couldn't get a large silicone tube in a caulk gun into, and the lexan sealed areas are the ones that dont seem to be leaking, so i purchased a larger tube of that to put into the caulk gun, i'm hoping that will help! And specifically aquarium silicone is what is holding the seams of the wall together, and that doesnt seem to be leaking either. I'm hoping something will work! I might use the epoxy resin as an insurance policy for the bottom seam that will be under the most water pressure, and hopefully i'll finally get this thing leak proof so I can set the rest up!

Thanks for the suggestions!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 03:29 AM
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In addition I would get some 1-2" wide sheets of 1/4" glass cut to brace both sides of the bottom of the acrylic. Just silicone them in place flat on the glass against the acrylic to help with the pressure from the water. I hope that makes sense... The acrylic will bow quite a bit from the weight/pressure of the water and the lower braces will take a ton of pressure off your seams

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spoonmerlin View Post
I used a product from Home Depot on a wood tank I built. It is like an epoxy you mix 2 parts in equal amounts and pour and it dries to a clear plastic like solid in like 12 hours. It is for table tops and is 100 waterproof, like when you see a bar or table at a resurant with dollars or other items embeded in it. Also it will be liquid for a bit and you can move the tank around getting it into all the cracks.

It is in the paint area, and it like $20 for 32oz, I think. That should be enough for up to like 1/2" on a tank that size so you may not want to use it all. I think it was called Epoxy resin.
I would hold off on using epoxy. I just read somewhere where someone used it below a waterline and it became gummy and didn't form a good seal after a period of time. It was somewhere in this forum.

This is the opposite way of how epoxy normally sets. Normally, it becomes as hard as concrete over a period of time. After several years it can actually beome brittle.

When you applied the silicone for the wall, did you lay down a bead prior to setting the wall in place? I might try this method rather than setting the wall and then applying the bead to the joint. Setting the bead prior to setting the wall would ensure that you have silicone between the two areas. You could then lay down another bead on either side of the joint as a precationary method.

Just a thought.

Also, I have heard that old credit cards work well for smoothing out the silicone bead at the joint.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 03:40 AM
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Just a word on the resins, I've worked with them before though not the one described, and they can be vary mess and it should be advised to ware a respirator with it, because a bunch of those resins are really really bad for you

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm....maybe i will hold off on the resin then, I was a little bit wary of anything epoxy in a tank with live animals anyway, so it's back to lexan/silicone. I like the idea of the glass, unfortunately I think the beads of silicone would get in the way, but if i end up having to pull everything out and start again, I'll definitely think about adding the brace! I'm hoping/thinking the fact that the other side will be filled with dirt will help brace that side of the wall as well. Also with the laying a bead don first, it's an excellent idea and one i will do (i honestly don't know why i didnt think of it the first time!) if I have to pull out the wall and start again, but there's only 2 minor leaks, so i'm going to try not to do that if i can avoid it. I'm going to go over all the seams (even where it's not leaking) with Lexan, and do the front seam (i originally didn't want to do it for looks purposes, but i realized that seam will be under gravel and not visible anyway....duh...silly me :-P) so HOPEFULLY slapping on a load of Lexan to reinforce the regular silicone will do the trick. Thank you all so much for all of the input, i'll be sure to keep you posted!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 04:22 PM
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If you tear it out you could put a false bottom in the land area and not have to worry about leakage. You can make a false bottom with pvc and eggcrate.
That way the water area is under the entire viv, but your soil/plants are elevated above the water, allowing good drainage. Not sure if this will create to much humidity for your gecko. Check out the false bottom vivs on Denroboard.com or others in this thread.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion! I think I might downgrade him to a smaller home (i never did get this one to work correctly and decided the tank is really too large for one gecko) but I'd love to still do something like this so I'll definitely look into that! Thanks!


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