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Old 01-22-2007, 01:09 PM
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Default What to use to seal up the wood for a wood tank.

I am currently working on making a wooden tank. I have seen a few done on the forum, my question is, what do I use to seal up the wood so the moisture wont rot it away. And where do I get it.

Thx very much,

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Old 01-22-2007, 01:29 PM
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I used Bondo fiberglass resin, not the glass sheets but just the resin brushes rite on, non toxic stinks like crazy for a while but cures in four hours.
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:12 PM
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Weird. Lets see what some others have to say.
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:28 PM
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I haven't heard of marine paint being used to seal wood vivariums. But in the pet store that I used to work at we made big water holding sumps for the main fish systems with marine grade plywood, then sealed them with marine waterproof paint. Worked great, the ones that we built like this lasted over ten years!
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:58 PM
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I think you may be talking about marine epoxy. I seem to remember that was what most had used. Hopefully Mike (defaced) will chime in here because if I remember right he made a bunch of them over the summer and should have some good ideas.
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:37 PM
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I'm looking at converting a curio cabinet into a viv, and there has been a discussion about this on the Frognet list. Most suggest marine epoxy. However, Greg H had some worthwhile recommendations:

I'm thinking that the 'Stitch and Glue' method, would work very well for making an aquarium tank, since it is used to make up to 28' ft boats, that will handle Alaskan waters.

Check your local library for a book called " A Skiff For All Seasons ".
It's about boat building, using plywood and epoxy, but, it's the best one I
have seen in describing the " Stitch and Glue " method of construction.
In a nut shell, you basically encapsulate the plywood in a thin layer of
epoxy, so it can not absorb moisture ( or dry out ), then shrink or swell,
producing cracks at the seams. The seams themselves are epoxy - epoxy and combine with the outer layer of epoxy, to produce what is basically a monolithic structure - the plywood just acts as a structural member, like the fibers in a FRP lay-up.
And later added (after I inquired about using fiberglass mat along the seams):

Epoxy is exactly what it says, a type of resin. Fiberglass resin is a generic term for resin used with fiberglass. That may mean that it is an epoxy resin, a vinylester resin, some more exotic resin or more commonly a polyester resin.

Polyester resin not only cures, it also dries. Because it also dries, it
shrinks. This means that many tiny pin holes can develop. This is
another reason for the fiberglass mat. Because it has such a large resin
to glass ratio, there is ( in theory ) enough resin to keep from developing
pin holes, and the fine random fibers, keeps the resin from shrinking to
much in any one spot.

Epoxy resin only cures, and it will form a bond with the layer below it (unlike polyester resin ), so the need for mat to keep the shrinking down mat is eliminated. The only real reason for the mat with epoxy is to hide the weave of the fiberglass cloth, but if your careful, and use
microbaloons/microspheres/sawdust, use can use epoxy as a putty/ drywall compound, and trowel it on, filling in the low spots that make the weave visible.

I highly recommend reading a book, Fiberglass boat building for amateurs, as it goes into how to make boats water tight, ( like your cabinet ), and the different resins and what the various types of fiberglass do what, not to mention how to use resins.
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:50 PM
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Good info. Thx alot for sharing it.

I think I am going to go with the pond PVC liners method. Since this tank wont be holding water (it's for my Tokay Gecko) I am going the more inexpensive and easier route. I will only be misting once a day and keeping the humidity as high as 60% thats it. So I think the PVC liner might work best.

I have some plastic sheat material that might even work better than the PVC liner. Its made to keep moisture from leaving your bathroom into the walls. And since me and my fiance just redid our bathroom, we have a ton of it left over. Also, silicone seemed to stick to it pretty well, so sealing the seems should work out really well. I will try this method and post a constrution journal of the whole process as soon as I get the wood and start to build.

Thx alot for all the help guys. I needed a good group brainstorm.
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