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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
heya,

just had a quick question with regards to hiding the egg crate false bottom in a vivarium.

this picture demonstrates what i mean. this is not my tank, but it is exactly what i am wondering about.

http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=false...5&tbnw=192&start=0&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0

would it be possible to use GS? i would not be able to seal it with silicone in the back under the eggcrate and it would be constantly underwater. idk if it will last though without being sealed. will it just degrade over time?

anyone have any ideas? i want this to look as natural as possible.
 

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It's my understanding that GS doesn't stick well to glass.

What I've seen others do on other boards is to make/shape the foam parts outside of the tank and then silicone it into place. This way you can seal all the edges also.

I've wanted to try coating it with 2 part epoxy but haven't experimented much yet. My biggest fear is that heat from curing epoxy may melt the foam if applied too thick.

Silicone seems like it would be a real pain to spread over the GS.

I've found that GS doesn't stick at all to wax paper, so you can apply the foam to it and then peel it right off, shape, seal, and glue in to the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's my understanding that GS doesn't stick well to glass.

What I've seen others do on other boards is to make/shape the foam parts outside of the tank and then silicone it into place. This way you can seal all the edges also.

I've wanted to try coating it with 2 part epoxy but haven't experimented much yet. My biggest fear is that heat from curing epoxy may melt the foam if applied too thick.

Silicone seems like it would be a real pain to spread over the GS.

I've found that GS doesn't stick at all to wax paper, so you can apply the foam to it and then peel it right off, shape, seal, and glue in to the tank.
from what i understand, GS does stick well to glass, and the silicone people spread all over the back of the glass is just for cosmetic reasons to hide the ugly yellow foam.

idk how epoxy would react with GS but it melts right through those rigid sheets of blue and pink foam (not sure what they are called) so i assume it might do the same with the GS. i actually have some little mushroom looking things i made when i poured some epoxy into some of that blue foam.





i will definitely try the wax paper idea to make premade GS "covers" though. thanks for the help! :D:D

oh, do you know where to get black silicone? silicone II has the mildew inhibitor now and i can't seem to find any that doesn't. i heard the silicone II always had it from some people though nd they just didn't write it down as a marketing ploy but idk if it is true or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i'm not 100% sure, but from what i have seen in false background build logs and from what i have asked people, everyone just puts the GS straight on the glass or on glass with a fine silicone coating. it seems to be strong enough to support itself and some pieces of wood, although i definitely wouldn't trust it to hold up a lot of wood and rocks without something else under it for support.
 

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i'm not 100% sure, but from what i have seen in false background build logs and from what i have asked people, everyone just puts the GS straight on the glass or on glass with a fine silicone coating. it seems to be strong enough to support itself and some pieces of wood, although i definitely wouldn't trust it to hold up a lot of wood and rocks without something else under it for support.
GS runs the risk of peeling off if you don't put silicone on the glass before covering it with GS...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
GS runs the risk of peeling off if you don't put silicone on the glass before covering it with GS...
hmm i was told the silicone was for decoration, but i suppose it can't hurt to just cover the glass anyway just to be safe
 

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idk how epoxy would react with GS but it melts right through those rigid sheets of blue and pink foam (not sure what they are called) so i assume it might do the same with the GS. i actually have some little mushroom looking things i made when i poured some epoxy into some of that blue foam.
I had a feeling that may be the case. My guess is that it's the heat from curing, not any sort of solvent property that causes this, although I could be wrong. I'm going to do a few tests when I get back to America to see if a thin layer of epoxy will mitigate this effect. When I roll epoxy thinly over a piece of wood, it doesn't really get very warm, but if I leave a half inch of it in the mixing cup, it becomes too hot to even touch.

Theres a guy over on the Dendro board who made probably the most amazing paludarium I have ever seen, and I know that he made his rocks by applying epoxy over regular, white styrofoam and covering it with fine sand.

I'd be interested to see what you think about how difficult it is to work with silicone as far as spreading it. Straight out of the tube it can be spread fairly thin, but I think it will start to congeal pretty quickly. I'm also curious if there's anything that can be added to silicone to reduce viscosity, perhaps acetone.
 

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I recently used Black GS (the pond one) and covered it in Black silicone and then in dark substrate. Messy messy messy, a 3oz tube of the silicone was enough to cover a 6x8 inch area, then glue it to the back of the tank, seal the edges and a little touch up. Did not go far and it was messy, did I mention that? I suggest using cheap long gloves as I still managed to get it on my arms.

I have also seen others use the GS as a dam effect. Having played with it recently I would cover the area in wax paper, make your forms using egg crate then covered in GS. This will allow you to pull it out, carve and cover is fairly easily and then silicone it down in it's final resting place and touch up from there. without an internal frame the GS will settle and turn into a blob. I also found that I has about 7 minutes or so before the silicone started setting up. It was enough time to cover the piece I used. Also from my reading others experiences, the GS will hold up over time but best to cover areas that are exposed to light. Good luck with your build!

Duff
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I recently used Black GS (the pond one) and covered it in Black silicone and then in dark substrate. Messy messy messy, a 3oz tube of the silicone was enough to cover a 6x8 inch area, then glue it to the back of the tank, seal the edges and a little touch up. Did not go far and it was messy, did I mention that? I suggest using cheap long gloves as I still managed to get it on my arms.

I have also seen others use the GS as a dam effect. Having played with it recently I would cover the area in wax paper, make your forms using egg crate then covered in GS. This will allow you to pull it out, carve and cover is fairly easily and then silicone it down in it's final resting place and touch up from there. without an internal frame the GS will settle and turn into a blob. I also found that I has about 7 minutes or so before the silicone started setting up. It was enough time to cover the piece I used. Also from my reading others experiences, the GS will hold up over time but best to cover areas that are exposed to light. Good luck with your build!

Duff
I am actually wondering how i should go about this part. i have my false bottom essentially done, and as you can see from the pictures, i have some sheets of eggcrate hanging down to hide the pvc legs under the false bottom.



i was going to cover those with GS and wood bits and then seal it all and cover with coco coir (not sure how it'll hold up under water so we'll find out) like you would with a background. i would probably do these outside the tank and then place them in afterwards as it is a real pain to reach in there. that would also allow me to seal the back side with silicone.

i am thinking i could just tie wrap them in to the false bottom and put some weight on them to counter the float from the foam. or could i just weight them down and basically just lean them in? it would make getting under for maintenance easier.

other option is to tie rap it all up, lift the whole thing out and do it outside the tank and then lower it back in onto the pvc legs.

would this work or is there some better way?
 

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I would use the tie wraps. It makes everything nice and solid so it doesn't shift or deform when the expanding foam does it's thing.

Do you have a build thread for this paludarium/vivarium you're constructing? It would be very interesting to watch this progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I would use the tie wraps. It makes everything nice and solid so it doesn't shift or deform when the expanding foam does it's thing.

Do you have a build thread for this paludarium/vivarium you're constructing? It would be very interesting to watch this progress.
I will put one up soon, but I haven't yet because this keeps getting put on hold when other things come up so there's long stretches where i don't do much and i'm still trying to figure stuff out.

there's a lot i'm still not sure about which is why i'm going so slow. for example, i was going to build a drip wall, but i'm not sure how the GS/silicone/coco coir would hold up with the constant water flow over it or how the panels across the front would hold up constantly submerged. i know people do make drip walls like this, but i wonder if something like epiweb would be better...

i have read that people cover the front of the false bottom with just black aquarium background paper or acrylic sheets as well. i do have a sheet of nice acrylic i could use to cover the front too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
How does one combat molds in such a setup as shown in the first post?
most of it will go away on its own, but lots of people add springtails and woodlice to the tank and they clean the rest up.

kinda nasty having bugs in there :icon_frow
 
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