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Old 02-05-2019, 04:21 PM
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Question Silicone I or Silicone II for background

So reading through all the threads I can find from all the seasoned tank builders, I am confused as to whether I should use Silicone I or Silicone II to cover the foam in the background. I was sure Silicone II was not safe for use?

Would greatly like to know, or if there is already a thread that is clear about this, point me there. Thanks!

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Old 02-05-2019, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

Silicone I is the good one. It has the old school, smelly catalysts. That's what you want. The newfangled catalysts are the ones that use organotins. It doesn't really have anything to do with whether it says 100% silicone or bio-guard or some other mold inhibition. Those are just marketing jargon. What you want to avoid are the organotin catalysts. Silicone I doesn't have them. Silicone II does.

The sticky part (waca waca) is that you can easily find clear Silicone I at the big box stores, but it is tougher to find Silicone I in black or even bronze (brown). In the past, I usually have had to go online to find black or bronze Silicone I. If you are going online, CR Lawrence is a good option, as is ASI Aquarium Silicone (this may only come in clear and black, but I am almost always after black).

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Old 02-05-2019, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

Ok, so if Silicone I then I am safe. I have cases of the clear stuff so will use that with the coco fibre. The black Silicone I is more expensive here and the clear that I get by the case from construction supply is like $8-$9 a tube. The black foam below should be adequate if and when the coco fibre comes off down the road.

Thanks Mark

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Old 02-06-2019, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

DO NOT USE BLACK SPRAY FOAM.

I did a test, and it peels right off.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

Silicone II is known to contain mold inhibitors, but one DB member wrote the company not long ago, and asked about whether there were any in the GE I. The answer was that they could not guarantee GE I was without mold inhibitors. The thread is somewhere here on DB. EDIT: I'd have to look at the thread again to see what the company had to say about organotin catalysts.

ASI aquarium safe silicone can be found cheaply. The best prices can be found when buying bulk. If getting ten tubes at once sounds like overkill to you, keep in mind that you can trade your extra tubes with other froggers for other items, or you can split a case with a friend. I'll also add that the unopened tubes I have are going on a couple years old already, and the last one I opened still cured the same as if I'd brought it home yesterday. I got mine through Best Materials, who sells both clear and black:

https://www.bestmaterials.com/search...ategoryid=1214
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:44 AM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

I just noticed that they increased the bulk purchase discount to apply to 24 tubes before the price goes down to $5 + change per tube. They're on sale right now, though, and I'd still buy a case of 24. My LFS sells a single tube for $27, so buying the case is absolutely worth it to me.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodswalker View Post
Silicone II is known to contain mold inhibitors, but one DB member wrote the company not long ago, and asked about whether there were any in the GE I. The answer was that they could not guarantee GE I was without mold inhibitors. The thread is somewhere here on DB. EDIT: I'd have to look at the thread again to see what the company had to say about organotin catalysts.

ASI aquarium safe silicone can be found cheaply. The best prices can be found when buying bulk. If getting ten tubes at once sounds like overkill to you, keep in mind that you can trade your extra tubes with other froggers for other items, or you can split a case with a friend. I'll also add that the unopened tubes I have are going on a couple years old already, and the last one I opened still cured the same as if I'd brought it home yesterday. I got mine through Best Materials, who sells both clear and black:

https://www.bestmaterials.com/search...ategoryid=1214
Not sure I saw the thread you are talking about, Woodswalker, but I would be really careful about conflating "mold inhibitors" with the organotin catalysts that are the real problem. Whether or not something is labeled as a mold inhibitor is more of a marketing ploy than anything else. The real problem comes from what catalyst they use to cure the silicone. To the best of my knowledge, Silicone I uses a non-organotin catalyst. Silicone II does not. What they might be talking about is the same situation as when peanuts are used in a product that is made in a factory that also makes non-peanut items. There can be cross-contamination. I am just speculating, though. As you point out, it's safer to just use a product that is known to be safe like ASI silicones.

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Old 02-06-2019, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

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Originally Posted by andrewdingemans View Post
Ok, so if Silicone I then I am safe. I have cases of the clear stuff so will use that with the coco fibre. The black Silicone I is more expensive here and the clear that I get by the case from construction supply is like $8-$9 a tube. The black foam below should be adequate if and when the coco fibre comes off down the road.

Thanks Mark

______
Andrew
Andrew,
The only problem I have had with using clear silicone for the purpose you are planning is that it is kinda shiny and you can see to the bottom of it (because it's clear :-) Eventually, the coco fiber comes off a little bit at a time and when it does, it's as if the underlying material (yellow Great Stuff is especially ugly) is brand new! It's pretty ugly. If I do a GS background (which I don't anymore), I will always use either black or brown to stick the substrate on because of this problem. Maybe have a different trick up your sleeve. Your mileage might vary.

Mark
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

Thanks Mark and Woodswalker for the input. I am doing my research on the "mold inhibitors" and the catalyst to see what is what. I have used GE I in many aquarium applications with no ill affect for over 10 years so will stick to this and not risk it with GE II.

I am now debating between the clear and using gorilla glue. The foam I am using is black so I am not overly worried if a bit of background coco comes off. I would prefer it to be non shiny, but I am hoping the mosses etc will cover it. In the large scheme of things, 80-90% of the background is cork, and only the portions near the branches and creases between will have foam that needs to be covered.

As far as using the ASI sealant, with import, duties, taxes, shipping and the dollar exchange, it comes out to more than GE I. I will search a few more places tonight.
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
Not sure I saw the thread you are talking about, Woodswalker, but I would be really careful about conflating "mold inhibitors" with the organotin catalysts that are the real problem. Whether or not something is labeled as a mold inhibitor is more of a marketing ploy than anything else. The real problem comes from what catalyst they use to cure the silicone. To the best of my knowledge, Silicone I uses a non-organotin catalyst. Silicone II does not. What they might be talking about is the same situation as when peanuts are used in a product that is made in a factory that also makes non-peanut items. There can be cross-contamination. I am just speculating, though. As you point out, it's safer to just use a product that is known to be safe like ASI silicones.

Mark
I didn't mean to imply that mold inhibitors are organotin catalysts. I was simply addressing both as concerns.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

Here's the thread I was referencing. It doesn't really answer the question about the type of catalyst used in GE I, so I wrote them just now to ask.

https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pa...2-info-ge.html
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

Ok, so I have read that link you posted and it still isn't quite clear. Do we know for fact that the ASI product does not have these organotin catalysts?

Even if I order the ASI product, it will come out to $123.60+$55.60 Shipping. With the Dollar exchange and taxes it comes out to $11.15 per tube (and that's excluding whatever duties the border will charge) I get the cases of clear GE I here for under $6 a tube and I pick it up locally.

Other "Aquarium" clear or black silicone is around $20-$24 a tube here. This is why I have the dilemma of trying to find the best product to use to mount the coco fiber with the least possible chance of causing nerve/biological defects to future inhabitants.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

OHHHH, I didn't notice that you were in Canada. I wonder if there's a similar vendor, or a Canadian distributor for Best Materials.

I can't answer off the top of my head about the ASI product's catalyst, but I would think it's not one of the riskier organotins, given that (as I understand it) it couldn't then be labeled Aquarium Safe. If someone has more clarity on that, I hope they'll answer.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

Well, I did hear back from them, but their answer was not helpful. My query:

"Hello,

I'm writing to inquire about the type of catalyst used in your GE I silicone. There has been some debate among animal hobby communities about the use of this silicone, and whether it contains any organotin catalyst(s). I would like to know if they are present or not. Would you be so kind as to clarify this issue for me? Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours,"
[Woodswalker]

Their response:
"Good Morning,

Thank you for your inquiry, however this is proprietary information.

I have included the SDS for your reference.

Thanks,"
[Nothing followed the last comma]
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

Greetings,

I would wager they do not share formula info - even mundane, obvious info - as a general rule. It's all "proprietary".

That said, he did answer your question indirectly. Organotins are potentially dangerous substances and, as such, must be listed in the SDS for items containing them.

When last I checked, GE Silicone I did not list organotin (or the risk for harm associated) in its SDS. This would indicate that GE Silicone I (still) does not contain them.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

The answer he provided brought us no more information than we already have. Additionally, I'd like to add Ed's quote from a previous thread on this topic:

"The MSDS isn't always going to provide that kind of information as they are able to not list proprietary ingredients on the MSDS. See for example The MSDS HyperGlossary: Trade Secret, if the chemical does not have exposure restrictions or toxicity known then they might be able to simply leave it off.

some comments

Ed"

A pertinent paragraph from the link Ed supplied:

"On occasion, you may encounter an SDS that does not list the hazardous components by chemical name. If the trade secret provision of Paragraph (i) is invoked, the SDS must specifically state that the identity is being withheld as a trade secret and information about the properties and effects of the hazardous chemical must still be disclosed."
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Silicone I or Silicone II for background

Woodswalker,

Your question was about organotins. The MSDS does answer your question since organotins do have "exposure restrictions or toxicity known" and they would be listed on the MSDS. A company cannot (legally) hide behind "trade secrets" to avoid listing organotins, and/or the risks associated, in the MSDS. That is, in fact, the point of the MSDS.

Ed's comment was that the MSDS cannot be relied upon to be a complete list of ingredients and that a company might include other chemicals whose danger to plants/frogs/people is unknown or unassessed.

So unless GE is violating the law and failing to mention organotin and/or its risks in the MSDS, the MSDS indicates there is no organotin in GESI. (When last I checked, the MSDS for GESII does mention organotin and/or the risks associated.)

When it comes to this expensive hobby I can certainly understand those who want to exercise an abundance of caution and choose a brand of silicone that the company certifies explicitly as aquarium/animal-safe. But if organotin is your concern, the MSDS for GE Silicone I indicates it does not contain organotin.
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Last edited by kimcmich; 02-14-2019 at 05:40 PM.
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