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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience with the new "micro-thin stone veneer" products?

From what I've been able to find, they basically pour a layer of resin onto a flat piece of slate, then peel it up to get the veneer. So the product consists of actual stone and plastic/epoxy/polyester, which should be safe enough in an aquarium.

I'm looking for ideas for backgrounds on a (not at all immediate) future tank, and this one is appealing in that it would effectively be a single piece slate background on the whole back wall. It's only a little pricey at $56 for a 4'X2' sheet of the stuff, but I'm wondering if anyone has any practical knowledge of the stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sadly I don't, but wow - I think that might work for my upcoming bathroom renovation project! Very interesting - and thanks for sharing!
What? Use it for one of its designed purposes? Where's the fun in that?

I'm also contemplating it for a bathroom renovation, but I'm a lot less likely to actually do that. :smile:

I see that they have a sample kit for $15, which I may order at some point, just to have some to play around with a bit.

From the look of the backside on that link, coating the back with some marine epoxy might not be a bad idea ... it'd prowly give silicon a better "grab" than the bare fiberglass would, as well.
 

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I dropped them a note and here is their reply.
"Our product will hold up to continuous submersion but I don’t know if there are any chemicals that may hurt the ecology in your aquarium. To be safe I would recommend using our material behind the aquarium on the outside of the glass."
I thinking about giving it a try in my tank agter a good cleaning to remove any possable wax from the resin. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it is, as I think it to be, just stone and fiberglass, I don't see how it could hurt anything. If I were concerned I would consider a coat of some sort of sealant, marine epoxy, perhaps.
 

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It's nice looking stuff, but I think you'll be dissappointed if you use it for an aquarium background. It's going to look flat, and therefore unatural. I've seen tanks where the project builder glued flat stones across the whole background, and IMO it didn't look very good, even though the stone was 100% real. You end up with a sort of artificial look.

Of course, that only matters if you are trying to make a natural looking scene. I'm sure it can be used in ways that would look great, just not a nature scene.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just ordered a sample kit (the price went up $5 :(), so hopefully I'll have an idea of what the actual product is like before too long. Dunno what the shipping time on the sample kit is likely to be, but the shipping was free, so I suppose I shouldn't complain too much, eh?

Hmmm. Maybe that's why they raised the cost of the sample pack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sample pack arrived today, I was surprised, since the website still says that the order is "processing." I think I can get over the lapse. :smile:

Anyway, impressions of the samples. First impression is that these things are even more awesome than the pix on the website make them look.

The are, indeed, flat, as was previously mentioned, however, there is a significant difference between "flat" and "smooth." There is actually quite a lot of texture to several of these, as much as 2~3 mm worth in a couple of them. None of them is actually smooth. They are clearly not grinding their source slabs smooth before peeling another layer off. I was very much hoping that would be the case.

They are also very, very light, which means that they would need to be glued to remain in place underwater. They also seem to run closer to 5mm in thickness than 3mm. Most of them anyway.

I do smell some sort of residual scent on them, which tells me that there are some chemicals of some sort -- other than just fiberglass resin -- involved in the manufacture. So it would seem that a coat of something like clear marine epoxy is probably a very Good Idea.

On balance, I believe I have found my next tank background. Now If only I can convince my wife that I need a bigger tank ....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It'll be some time, I'm afraid, xjasminex. The wife doesn't seem to like the notion of my adding tanks just now. Something about toddlers being enough to keep us occupied, or some such. ;)

The bright side is that this will be a very well planned tank ... eventually. :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's more or less what I was thinking of myself, Hoppy. As you would expect, what they have available with "minor imperfections" changes. I have my eye on the one they call "ocean black", I'll prowly start watching that page when I get to a point that actually doing this project seems to be moving into "short-term" territory, in order to pick one up for cheap.

Visually, the stuff looks pretty dang similar to the slate floor tiles they carry at Home Depot or Lowe's, just lighter, thinner and a lot more flexible, and, of course, larger. :smile:

As I mentioned above, the texturing is not enormous, but it's certainly not flat either, and the color variation is attractive. Again, rather like stone, unsurprisingly.

I'm still going back and forth on the coat or don't coat with some sealant (such as clear marine epoxy) before trying to use it. Logically, it should be fine, since it should just be stone and fiberglass resin, but I'd really, really hate to be wrong about that. :rolleyes:
 

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Why not just use it behind the back glass? That does force you to keep that surface clean, but that shouldn't be much of a problem. Better that than have to clean the background itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Why not just use it behind the back glass? That does force you to keep that surface clean, but that shouldn't be much of a problem. Better that than have to clean the background itself.
If I were going to do that I may as well go with a film background, it'd be easier to optically couple. :shrug:

Algea on glass needs scraping, algea on stone is atmosphere! :smile:
 
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