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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, so I fixed my broken center brace with Devcon Plastic Weld Epoxy. I also used plastic coated wire with stainless steel clamp sets and zinc plated turnbuckles to be extra crazy and super safe. It is a 55 gallon tank.

The last thing I want to do is cover the epoxy so that it can not leech any toxins into the water. Can you all give me some advice on this.

My main idea is to use PVC glue on top of the epoxy. I have read that it is aquarium safe once cured. I have never used this before, does this make sense in theory? Can that work to make a kind of seal over the epoxy?

My second idea was to just go over all the epoxy with RTV 103 black silicone to make a safe seal over the epoxy. (a little more expensive than the above idea)

I have heard that marine grade epoxy resin can be used over anything acrylic painted and then is safe to put in your tank but they only sell that stuff for like $40 worth of it.

Lastly, if PVC glue is an option, do they sell it in black? I would like if I could to have the finished result be black. I also have a tube of Liquitex Mars Black Heavy body acrylic paint. Is it crazy talk to paint over the epoxy with that, let it cure, and then go over the paint with PVC glue!?!?!?

Thanks for your advice, also see pic below

p.s. How do you think the zinc plated turnbuckles will hold up(in a rust sense)? At first the tank will only be filled up about 60% of the way, but one day I may get a turtle topper and fill it up almost all the way.

Wood Art Gas Electrical wiring Jewellery
 

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Once the epoxy cures, it's chemically inert. You don't have to worry about covering it, aside for aesthetics (if you aren't looking into your tank from above, I wouldn't bother, but you could always spray some krylon fusion over it to cover the color).
 

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Pixel Prestidigitator
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Stupid question but why didn't you get a thin piece of plexi and use nylon screws instead of epoxying the old brace?
 

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seconding that I think the epoxy will be just fine by itself.

I've used various types of epoxy (usually clear) for backgrounds and stuff quite a few times.

as to the wire/turnbuckles, maybe put on some shrink tubing - it won't completely stop corrosion, but it should keep a lot of moisture off, and minimize what could get in the tank, as well as being a nice flat-black.

Or maybe the plasti-dip, I've heard that's aquarium safe once fully cured (could use that to coat the epoxy if you want it black, but krylon fusion is probably better/more durable)

by PVC glue, do you mean the stuff they use to glue PVC pipe fittings together? or something else?

the stuff used for PVC pipe is just a solvent, and it effectively welds the two PVC parts together, so it wouldn't really work at all as a sealant, and no clue how if it even affects epoxy
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Wow, thanks for all of the replies. Ok so xmas_one, I didn't do that method because I figured it was easier to know the correct distances and all that to just reattached the perfectly snapped brace. I also have experience with epoxy and hadn't with silicone at the time I was researching the center brace issue (also I would have to go find a place to cut the stuff for me). Maybe next time tho. Same reasoning for GraphicGr8s' advice.

Ngrubich and lochaber, I dig the Krylon idea. Seems like people say it is safe as long as it doesn't chip into the water. Is there anyway that I can prep the surface for a better hold or just put it right onto the epoxy? Also, do they sell the stuff in liquid form to brush on? I do not have much experience with spray paint and to spray the epoxy underneath and all around I feel like I will spray too many things? Can I spray the paint into a cup and then apply it?

Finally, lochaber. I love your shrink tubing idea. The only thing is i do not want to re-clamp those wires again. I know the shrink tubing melts to wire, but will it melt on itself? What I am asking is if I bought shrink tubing, can I cut it length-wise to sneak it around the turnbuckle and then shrink it? (I can overlap it a little maybe?) Also do I need a heat gun or will a hair dryer do the job ok?

So you guys are sure Krylon will be pretty safe up there? I love my turtle :)., oh and yea my PVC glue idea was no good lol
 

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Pixel Prestidigitator
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Hairdryer works on tubing. A lighter does also. I've never had luck slitting it though since it shrinks on itself.

I've got a 30 that I manage to break the center on. Figure I'll just spend the $10 or so and get a new top frame. Just seems easier in the long run.
 

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Yeah, the shrink tubing will only work as long as it's a complete tube. It doesn't really melt (at least, not if you are using it properly), it just contracts. Otherwise it shrinks towards the center, and will peel off of whatever it's curled around. Kinda like cutting a rubber band and then trying to use it to bundle some sticks together, I guess?...

anyways, you wouldn't have to unclamp the cables, you could just 'untighten' the center piece until they come apart, and then scrunch the tubing up on one or both ends, and reattach and tighten the center piece. but that is quite a bit of effort/time still.

Also, I just noticed- is the cable just going through holes drilled in the lip of the rim, or is there more support there?

As for prep, I imagine just cleaning the area with some alcohol or something would probably work, but I haven't used the krylon myself (yet...). I think it's only spray paint, but I don't see why you couldn't spray it into a cup and brush it on. Maybe someone with more experience can answer that. Just make sure you allow it to cure completely (I think I've heard ~7 days, but not certain) before getting it wet/submerged.
 

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I had my center brace melt from my mh on the 45. I replaced the brace with two plexiglass braces and siliconed them in place. It's been a few months and it holds just fine. I was worried about drilling small holes for guidewires and turnbuckles. I didn't want to compromise the integrity of the top rim.


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go to home depot.. they have STAINLESS STEEL turnbuckles in the Hardware section.. it will do better over time..

also.. glasscages.com does sell frames.. but it is for THEIR dimension sized tanks..

i had 75g tank i wanted a center brace.. and they intentionally make their tanks 1/8 short.. and their frames are made to fit this size.. so you would need to MEASURE your tank.. and then call them..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok yea so lochaber, great call. It is actually very easy to do what you said and just untighten the turnbuckle and slip it on. As far as buying stainless steel. I didn't want to spend the money. It was 6 dollars a turnbuckle versus $1.50 for zinc plated so yea...

As for more support for the wires, no, there isn't. it is just in the plastic part. However when I epoxied the center brace I had it filled for five days and it was fine. I mostly put the turnbuckles because I think they are hella cool and just to hold it for long enough if the center-brace did happen to break as a back up. Also I pulled hard on the wires when I put them on and it held pretty damn well.

Anyone know the health risk for a turtle or any creatures if the turnbuckles did rust a bit at the top of the tank? I think I am going to shrink tube them but maybe I should I paint them with krylon? Also, to answer my own question, krylon does sell fusion in a can but I think only a pretty large size that costs $17. So I bought the spray today and I will spray it into a cup and paint it really quick because it dries so fast.
 

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That was going to be my first question!
I have lots of rusty items around my tanks and find no trouble at all. I would cut off the tails to reduce them but just leave the rest. It is never going to be a thing of beauty but that is what covers are for. Hiding things. Many people don't remember filters that were made with metal impellers on the big steel motors! Remember Metaframe tanks? The framework was metal. Ask some shop owners how many times they find metal junk in tanks when they are moving or tearing down. It seems to give them little trouble.
 

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As long as the metal isn't interacting with the water at all, the rust won't affect the animals in the aquarium. You could epoxy dip the turnbuckles for additional protection. There's an old reefer that has a chain in his reef tank. All he did was coat it in epoxy and its been in the tank for years with no ill affects.
 
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