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Old 02-05-2010, 03:11 AM
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Default Safe? Coco Fiber and Silicone Mix & Wall Question

Hi all,

Building first vivarium more on a desire for a natural setting for plants than for animals. While coating my "walls" with black silicone and then patting coco fiber to the silicone, I noticed that I was getting more and more of the silicone mixed in with the fiber, turning parts into a kind of paste.

Is this safe for animals (eg frogs) when the project is completed? Also, don't you find yourself with bare patches of Great Stuff exposed after the coat and pat procedure?

Finally, I think I realize why most vivariums have only 1 or 2 textured walls. Inserting into my 20 gallon aquarium was a royal pain and I ended up with exposed fronts to my two side walls. Injected silicone barely covers the gaff. I had to foam together two of the walls to cover my drip system and then had to jam them into the aquarium along with the 3rd side. Is there any secret to 3 walled vivariums?

Thanks for any advice you may have!
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Safe? Coco Fiber and Silicone Mix & Wall Question

One idea would be to make rear background in two pieces. Insert the sidewalls, then the two background pieces one at a time.

You may alaso consider removing the plastic trim to insert the background and then replace the trim. The trim is usually a pain in the rear to remove, but if it makes the end result that much better it may be worth the effort. Keep in mind the pain of removing the trim only lasts a day, the better end result will be enjoyed for years.

I've made "artificial wood" two different ways... both used carved styrofoam as a base...

The first I smeared black silicone over the carved styrofoam. Then I laid the styrofoam on it's back (back = non-siliconed side) then piled cocofiber on top of it, lightly pressing it in place. Using this method I got a nice even coverage of cocofiber with almost none of the silicone being seen.

The second method was using brown silicone and just smearing a nice thick coat over the carved styrofoam base. It was much easier than I expected to get the rough exterior to look like bark.

After using both of these approaches, in future projects the brown silicone will be my chosen method of making artificial wood.
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