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Old 08-17-2019, 09:51 AM
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Default Styrofoam

Hi everyone,

Is it ok to reuse "regular" styrofoam?

I have a box from a TV that has some styrofoam that would make a great planter for a vivarium, would it be safe to use this styrofoam?
Thanks;
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Styrofoam

From what I've read, assuming you're using the term "styrofoam" to generally refer to Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam, the chemical properties of EPS foam do not change over a relatively short period of time, apparently. If there a danger to herps present in the foam, it is not one related to only a few years of aging, it seems.

There was or is some controversy about styrene or polystyrene used in continuous contact with a water source that an animal like a PDF may be drinking, but that is way beyond my knowledge.

If you are going to cover the foam with something, anyway, I can't imagine the danger. If you are only going to use it with plants, too, and not have any part of it exposed to animal life, you should be in the clear.

*Obligatory call for more knowledgeable hobbyists to elaborate / correct my information.*
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Styrofoam

I have personally never used EPS in any of my enclosures and have always gotten rid of the foam backgrounds that have come with Exo’s in the past so, I can’t really speak from experience. However, I imagine if you were to completely cover the EPS or ‘styrofoam’ with silicone, drylok and/or something similar, I don’t see it being a problem.

People use at least partially, similar materials to construct backgrounds, artificial rocks, waterfall structures.. etc. When used however, it is always covered by a different, proven to be frog safe material.

Personally, I would probably avoid EPS and use something a little more traditional or proven. That’s just me though.




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Old 08-17-2019, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Styrofoam

Thanks, that's what I was leaning towards as well but thought I'd ask before I threw out what looked like a perfect planter
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Styrofoam

I have used it many times in vivs. I have always covered it completely in a couple layers of epoxy (brushable, or putty) though. I worry about leaching, and also about water-logging. Well, actually now that I think about it - a few times I have built hanging ledges or shelves with it. In those cases I epoxied every side but the back. On that side, I used black silicone to adhere the raw styro to my viv's back or side, taking care to leave no bare styro. You can trim the squeeze-out silicone when it cures. Works & looks killer. Seriously, try it.

The super-puffy cheap crap is, well, pretty much crap. But there are some higher-density grades, usually used with electronics or furniture, that work great. Maybe your TV packing is the better stuff?

The only unavoidable downside (unless you do not cut it) is the annoying static-cling beads (expanded-styro "sawdust"). I much prefer extruded polystyrene, the blue or pink 4x8 sheet goods. But that stuff costs $20-30 a sheet, and hey, it's a whole damn sheet! Ha ha. Sometimes all you want is a little bit. That's when recycling your (or someone else's - I can get all I want at work, at the computer hardware receiving office) garbage comes in handy.

Hey for a totally different planter idea, Google the term "hypertufa". It's cool stuff, perfect DIY bait.

Good luck!
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