The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Newbie
Joined
·
1,983 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've posted this on other forums, but I thought I'd pass along the resource here as well:

I have worked in the retail furniture industry for the last 5+ years and one thing we have always had in excess is STYROFOAM. LOTS AND LOTS. I hate seeing literally hundreds to thousands of cubic yards of the stuff get thrown into a landfill every year (some call me a tree hugger :icon_roll). I've always wanted to find a useful way to recycle the stuff and it just occurred to me this could be a small way to do that. We handle all kinds of sizes and densities. EVERY retail furniture store will have this stuff coming out their ears (I've actually coughed the stuff out of my lungs before) and would be more than happy to give it away for free.

I think its absolutely ridiculous that people have to pay for the stuff when its so readily available for free. If you want some, just go to your nearest furniture retailer (Ashley, Macys, Furniture Row, mom and pop shops, etc) and ask them where their warehouse is located. A lot of stores will warehouse in-house or have one close by that you could visit and take some off their hands. I regularly handle sheets as large as 4' square and up to 1" thick as well as bricks and oddball shapes. Some is quite dense too.

So if you're looking for a place to find free background material (that's why we DIY right?) ask your local furniture store and I'm sure they would gladly fill your car up with the stuff.

If anybody is in Eastern WA (Tri-cities, Spokane or even NE Oregon) I could personally hook you up. Just PM me and I can arrange to get pretty much whatever you'd need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
Thank you for posting this! I would have never thought of that and I have been looking to buy some, now I don't have to! It's so good to reuse and recycle!
Thanks! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I so wish this had been posted the first weekend of January, it would have saved us a bundle I bet. Thanks for posting this information. When I get around to doing the background for the 45 I will definitely be taking a ride to one of the furniture stores. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,691 Posts
i have been using foam that video cards and other electronic devices are shipped in for my planted deliveries. i think they are great for cushioning packages as well as reinforcing the insullation inside the boxes.
 

·
Newbie
Joined
·
1,983 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
you have to coat the styrofoam background in some form of sealant. Most guys create the BG they want then cover it in quickcrete cement then coat the cement in an aquarium safe sealer. There are a couple sites that specialize in DIY backgrounds using various forms of styrofoam.
 

·
Pixel Prestidigitator
Joined
·
4,343 Posts
you have to coat the styrofoam background in some form of sealant. Most guys create the BG they want then cover it in quickcrete cement then coat the cement in an aquarium safe sealer. There are a couple sites that specialize in DIY backgrounds using various forms of styrofoam.
I know people cover it in kwikcrete as a background but is that to seal the styrofoam or just for the look? What if they styrofoam were to be used just to build up rockwork. In a 55 I have empty I am doing a river biotope. There will be a rock waterfall leading into a pool area. For weight consideration and that I want to hide the piping for the filter I want to build up behind and under the rock with styrofoam. Will that need to be sealed or not?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,750 Posts
I understand that styrofoam can release endocrine-disrupting chemicals, so it is probably not a very good idea to keep it in an enclosure with livestock intended for breeding.
 

·
Pixel Prestidigitator
Joined
·
4,343 Posts
If you were using it this way what would you coat it with other than crete?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,317 Posts
I've personally used and had decent results with sand mixed into epoxy resin.

You can usually find small kits of pour-on type epoxy resin at big hardware stores in the paint section, or craft stores in the sculpting/mold section.

just mix up a bit in a disposable container, and then add in some sand. application can be a bit messy, since you can't really brush it on, just glop it on and smear it around.
I usually would put a dusting of dry sand over top of it, and then rinse this off after it was cured, just to cut down on the gloss (wouldn't be an issue for an underwater background, but I was building a paludarium)

You could try brushing it on, and then just sprinkling sand over it, but it wouldn't be quite as durable, and would eventual get rubbed off - especially if you have any sort of rasping fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
When making backgrounds, I coat mine with Drylock. But if the foam wouldn't be visible, I don't see why you couldn't simply coat it in silicone (aquarium silicone or any pure silicone)
And foam always wants to float. You can coat it and silicone it to your tank glass - whether the back for a background, or the bottom for rocks/added mass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
Actually, I want it to float. I'd like to shape some styrofoam and coat it with that hard cement stuff and paint it. Then place it in my (soon to be built) indoor turtle pond so they can climb out of the water and bask on it. Thoughts?
 

·
Newbie
Joined
·
1,983 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Actually, I want it to float. I'd like to shape some styrofoam and coat it with that hard cement stuff and paint it. Then place it in my (soon to be built) indoor turtle pond so they can climb out of the water and bask on it. Thoughts?
That might work. If you can source out a dense piece it would float better with the added covering on it. If you go with my source for styrofoam, see if they have anything that is used to protect the ends of leather sofas. Its often VERY dense and I think it would be the ideal piece to work for your project. They're usually big bulky pieces so you would have lots to work on and experiment with.
 

·
Pixel Prestidigitator
Joined
·
4,343 Posts
How are you guys cutting it? Knife or hot wire?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,317 Posts
when I did my epoxy/sand pieces, they wouldn't have a problem floating, but then the water only came up about ~1/2 way on them. The sand did add quite a bit of weight. If you want it to sink, you could hollow out some of the excess styrofoam after the expoxy resin has cured.

For the turtle island, I'm not sure if floating would be appropriate for a rock :p also, it may make it harder for the turtles to crawl on if it's not anchored. If it doesn't float, you could always put some supports in. or use a big piece of exposed driftwood.

I don't imagine it would be very easy to coat something with silicone, but I think it's a pretty common technique with the dendroboard folks.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top