Howdy fellow planted tank nerds, first i would like to thank everyone on here for documenting and helping one another achieve things in this hobby most would not attempt. I applaud you all for your efforts, i figure i have some rather useful information after experiments and failures.
So whats the big scoop? Here is the backstory
My first tank this January was dirted, yes! right to the good stuff. After finding this forum i was off to the races, ended up with a super heavily planted tank that just worked. Miracle grow potting mix, 1" cap of gravel, lots of plants, 5 Denison Barb, 4 Filament Barb, 5 Odessa Barb, 6 Tiger Barb, 4 Cherry Barb, Vampire Pleco, Leopard Frog Pleco, and recently added 6 Giant Danio as top swimmers. No problems, not one, because i read lots and lots of these forums. Mind you a month ago the dirt came out for Sand Blasting grit but thats another story.
The good stuff.. I decided to wanted to build a background for my tank. But not my main tank, to many variables to worry about. So i purchased a 10gal to experiment with. Purchased some foam at lowes, spent countless hours carving away with the lady. After days of carving (only a few hours a day) it was all done up and looking great, even decided to build a waterfall under the filter to shush the water up. Somewhere about here i started looking for DRYLOK, i live on canada, Ontario to be somewhat precise. Only 1 store i found could even get it, on order. So i waited a week, and ordered DRYLOK CLEAR, thinking i could use Quickrete under it for color.
I bought some Quickrete hydraulic water stop cement, mixed it rather thin just to get some on. Let it dry for 2 days, and then did 2 more thick coats letting 3 days dry between. It looked great. I let the background sit for 2 weeks after. I did not want any moisture in the cement and made sure it was well cured before putting on DRYLOK CLEAR. I applied 3 normal coats, like painting a wall in your house. All the way around, back, sides, filter and heater cut out, everywhere. Then it dried for another 2 weeks, and it was siliconed in the tank with GE, sat for another week to let the Silicone cure.
Gameday was here, I rinsed the whole tank in the bathtub for a good 40 mins. Dumping the water out maybe 10 times. Then i set it up, dirted the bottom, capped it with black sand, threw in driftwood, and a few plants. Slowly i watched every plant die in 2 weeks, except dwarf sag but being in dirt i dont think it could die lol. The water was cloudy, bubbly and almost foamy on top. I did maybe 10 water changes during this period, plus 3 the first day. I used bio rings and sponge from my cycled tank, and fresh charcoal. Every water test it did was fine, but something was very wrong, something i couldn't test.
DRYLOK CLEAR, that was the problem. It slowly broke down just over 2 weeks, not enough to even notice on the background either. But enough to cause major problems, and something i cannot describe. It has almost coated the driftwood in this weird white mold looking stuff, and even parts of the sand. Which explains cloudy water, DRYLOK CLEAR is not fish safe. I cant imagine what would happen to a fish being in this environment, let alone a few plants. Just wanted to share this with everyone, as i could not find a thing about DRYLOK CLEAR on here!