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Old 03-14-2012, 10:57 PM
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Default Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

I've run into a few members using Titebond to fix peat/coco/whatever to their backgrounds. I'm considering it, but I wish I had more information.

What's the difference between Titebond I, II, and III? Home Depot only appears to have I and II.

Any toxicity or longevity concerns?

I'm working on three 100g tanks right now, and silicone is getting tedious and the fumes are making my eyes water. I'm getting desperate for an easier adhesive. Plus, much of my coco is still a little damp, which won't matter when using Titebond.

Gorilla Glue -- my old go-to favorite adhesive for this -- just isn't up to this enormous task. It's too viscous so valleys are getting too much adhesive and peaks aren't getting enough. I'm also finding myself touching up areas where it has expanded in unpredictable ways (probably because it was pooled in a valley and too thick). Silicone turned out to be easier to spread on larger areas, but only marginally.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

I have been using type 3 for a while now it is food safe and waterproof. No complaints so far the oldest tank is a little over year.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

I just spent a while peeling off silicone that didn't adhere as well as I thought it did. Definitely ditching it.

I found Titebond III at Lowes. Maybe I'll grab a gallon of it and try it out.

How well does it stick to unsanded Great Stuff? My backgrounds are big, so it's just another looong task sanding every little spot for silicone. With Gorilla Glue it doesn't matter -- it's almost the same stuff as GS so it wants to stick to it rather than having to be coerced into it. If Titebond is similar that'd be a huge plus.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

I have never sanded great stuff.. some of it gets cut to shape, but other stuff stays as is, and sometimes I do it straight to glass... all has been fine. The biggest issue I have had is not using enough titebond when I do the mixes (just the first couple batches I did), so now if anything I add in extra to make sure. Lowes is the cheapest place to buy it by the gallon, Home Depot is cheaper if you buy the small bottles... a gallon jug is def a better buy though for the money.

When I do it, I put whatever I am going to use in a bowl or bucket, wet it down just so that it is moist, and then start to mix in the glue. I keep adding glue until it is kind of like a thick pudding mixture and then put it on the backgrounds. I have done this mix with straight tree fern fiber, ABG mix and a few other custom blends and all have worked well. Usually it only needs a few days to dry as well which is way better than the week to ten days that it takes concrete binder.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions as you are doing it.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Wait, you mix your substrate into the glue? I was just going to add a layer of glue and press the substrate into it. Maybe I should do a combination of both to get the most coverage on the first go.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Yea, I put it all in a bucket and mix it together and then put it on. I dont think putting down glue and pressing into it would give you very good coverage, it isnt thick like silicone, it is very similar to concrete binder IMO, just dries faster and seems to be a better cure per say once it is dry.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Titebond III is a true waterproof polymer, compared to other materials like the concrete bonder which is only water resistant. So once it fully dries out and hardens, it can withstand vivarium conditions, including waterfalls, permanently. Though as with any polymer matrix the more organic filler you add the less long term stable it will be as the organics can degrade leaving pockets. However, when using stuff like sphagnum peat moss this can take a while. Good chance the viv will have some roots to support the matrix by then anyways.

As for the material wanting to adhere to the GS foam, it does about the same as silicone I've found. It's not a urethane of any kind so it's not like gorilla glue, but it will adhere to it well enough for our purposes.

Don't forget you can add in a few drops of food coloring or non-toxic latex paint to help color it brown before you add in your organic filler.

Food safe?! This is new... where did you see that?

The main reason I no longer use this material on a constant basis is the cost and the long cure time it takes for "thick" areas to cure. But it's a MUCH better idea than using the concrete binder only because it fully resists hydrolysis compared the latex copolymers. At least for high humidity, waterfall, and dripwall uses anyways.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Sorry, indirect food safe. I just knew I had looked it up before when making cutting boards.

Titebond - Product
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

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Originally Posted by VivariumWorks View Post
As for the material wanting to adhere to the GS foam, it does about the same as silicone I've found. It's not a urethane of any kind so it's not like gorilla glue, but it will adhere to it well enough for our purposes.
Did you sand your GS or did you find it unnecessary? And did you mix the substrate into it and apply them both as therizman2 did? Or did you apply it to the GS and press the substrate into it?

Quote:
The main reason I no longer use this material on a constant basis is the cost and the long cure time it takes for "thick" areas to cure.
What do you use instead? I'm looking for anything I can apply to huge areas quickly and not worry about it coming off in places that are unsanded, especially if it'll accept damp substrate. It doesn't have to be Titebond. Even a Gorilla Glue thickener would solve most of my problems.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

No I didn't sand the GS foam. I typically don't sand or carve mine much when working with it as I've used it so much I've gotten really good with applying it.

I did mix the peat into the glue to make a sticky messy material that I slopped onto the foam.

I now use a custom material I formulate. (It will be for sale hopefully sometime in the next few months if everything falls into place.)
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:25 PM
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I mix about 2 part titebond 3 to 1 part substrate. It should be real soupy and grayish in color depending what substrate you use. I then slop it over GS( I usually carve it) and then go back and add more substrate on top like you would with silicone. After a day or so I vacuum the excess off and let it dry for another day or so. Also the glue dries clear so it will look like wet substrate

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Old 03-15-2012, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by diggenem View Post
Also the glue dries clear so it will look like wet substrate
That was my last concern. I didn't want my background to look like it was encased in shiny epoxy or something. Great to know.

Thanks for the advice, guys. Off to Lowes.
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Could Titebond III be used to seal (waterproof) concrete and/or GS waterfalls? Does it need to have some kind of filler?
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Wow, this is interesting!!..
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Is diethylene glycol monobutyl ether (DGBE) dangerous to PDFs?

According to DOW,

Quote:
Although some glycol ethers have been shown to cause adverse reproductive effects and birth defects in laboratory animals, DGBE does not show the same pattern of toxicity as these other glycol ethers.
Quote:
DGBE is practically non-toxic to aquatic organisms on an acute basis. It is readily biodegradable and does not bioaccumulate (build up in the food chain). DGBE moves to water when it is released because of its high solubility, low volatility and high soil mobility. It degrades rapidly in water. Because of these properties, DGBE poses a low risk to the environment.
What about prolonged exposure to DGBE?
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Which would be better to glue cork bark panel to glass: aquarium silicone or Titebond III?
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

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Which would be better to glue cork bark panel to glass: aquarium silicone or Titebond III?
Silicone would be better for virgin cork bark to glass.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:28 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Well, I won't know for a few days if I'm a convert, but it was very promising. I finished maybe five square feet in two hours, which is more than fast enough for me. Too bad it took half a gallon of glue to do it. I probably didn't make it soupy enough either; it was like mud or soggy cookie dough. I'm hoping that'll be sufficient. And I'm hoping it'll shrink up a little while it dries so I get some of my detail back.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

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Originally Posted by carbonetc View Post
Well, I won't know for a few days if I'm a convert, but it was very promising. I finished maybe five square feet in two hours, which is more than fast enough for me. Too bad it took half a gallon of glue to do it. I probably didn't make it soupy enough either; it was like mud or soggy cookie dough. I'm hoping that'll be sufficient. And I'm hoping it'll shrink up a little while it dries so I get some of my detail back.
Looking forward to some pics and updates!
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Just did another seven square feet in one night. A little section of last night's work crumbled off, and it was the part I did last when my mix was really starting to dry up. This is actually perfect, because now I know where the threshold is between effective and ineffective -- somewhere between mud and cookie dough. I went a little soupier this time and it was easier to apply.

Hopefully I'll have pics soon. Tank #1 should be hardscaped by Monday. This stuff totally saved my schedule on these things.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

if money isn't a huge deal, I'd absolutely recommend gorilla glue - i've used it on three vivariums so far, and the only hitch is that if it bubbles a bit as it dries because your peat/coco mixture was damp you need to be there to squish down the bubbles so it doesn't show. I think its durable, sticks well and is easy to apply.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JPccusa View Post
Could Titebond III be used to seal (waterproof) concrete and/or GS waterfalls? Does it need to have some kind of filler?
Not to hijack but concrete does not need to be sealed to make it waterproof.

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Old 03-17-2012, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

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Originally Posted by diggenem View Post
Not to hijack but concrete does not need to be sealed to make it waterproof.

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I think this is a bit ambiguous if I can nit pick for a minute. I don't think any concrete product (to my knowledge) is actually entirely waterproof. Most concrete is actually fairly porous which is why concrete counter tops need to be sealed or they'll stain the first time you spill anything.

That being said, it's ok that it's porous as long as it's cured and the materials used as a framework for the concrete are inert (like greatstuff) so it doesn't matter if a little moisture leaks through the concrete.

I'm not sure how this would affect concrete ponds/streams. The majority of the water would surely flow where the concrete directs it, but enough wicking through the concrete may saturate your substrate.

This is how I understand concrete products to work. I'm sure there's a high degree of variability on the porosity based on additives, fillers, etc.

Cue ViviariumWorks for a wonderfully detailed explanation of what exactly happens!
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

The trouble with using Gorilla Glue (which is actually the same as Great Stuff minus the propellent...) is that it dries to a nasty color yellowish... Does the Titebond III take acrylic paints as part of a mixture...or does it dry clear??? Can you paint it and have the paint (acrylic) adhere???
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkanz2 View Post
I think this is a bit ambiguous if I can nit pick for a minute. I don't think any concrete product (to my knowledge) is actually entirely waterproof. Most concrete is actually fairly porous which is why concrete counter tops need to be sealed or they'll stain the first time you spill anything.

That being said, it's ok that it's porous as long as it's cured and the materials used as a framework for the concrete are inert (like greatstuff) so it doesn't matter if a little moisture leaks through the concrete.

I'm not sure how this would affect concrete ponds/streams. The majority of the water would surely flow where the concrete directs it, but enough wicking through the concrete may saturate your substrate.

This is how I understand concrete products to work. I'm sure there's a high degree of variability on the porosity based on additives, fillers, etc.

Cue ViviariumWorks for a wonderfully detailed explanation of what exactly happens!
Well I will rephrase my statement, I don't think it's necessary to seal it. Most people usually seal it when they want to bypass the time it takes to cure and neutralize it.

As far as coloring titebond I've never tried but I assume you can with pigments.

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Old 08-28-2012, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

no update pics?
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

I just bought a gallon jug of Titebond II at Home Depot last week. They didn't have any Titebond III there. What's the difference? Am I gonna be okay using the Titebond II?
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Hey There - Titebond II and III both out line that they are not to be used submersed or below the water line. But III advertises that is it waterproof... Personally I'd take it back and check out Lowes for III - I've had better luck finding it there then at my local HD store. That being said, I don't honesty know if there would be a problem using II. Hopefully someone with more experience can chime in. I have used III submersed and below the waterline and its doing just fine and was a breeze to use instead of silicon...
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

I'm not using it below the waterline, just to stick peat on the GS that's all.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Rusty_Shackleford View Post
I'm not using it below the waterline, just to stick peat on the GS that's all.
I've used it below the water line and it holds up well. Do remember that more organics lessens it's effectiveness. For a background it's better (IMO ) than silicone. Note that it shrinks when it dries so it will pull the foam away from the glass, but filling in the voids with silicone or more glue remedies that.

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Old 08-29-2012, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

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Originally Posted by Rusty_Shackleford View Post
I just bought a gallon jug of Titebond II at Home Depot last week. They didn't have any Titebond III there. What's the difference? Am I gonna be okay using the Titebond II?

Hey Jon,

Your buddy Field helped me out when I was building my first. Around pages 7 & 8 is where he advised me... http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...alu-build.html He suggested Titebond II and that's what I used.

I'm happy with the Titebond II and it is holding up well, except for a couple spots around my water fall that has water constantly flowing across it. If I remember correctly, I think the Titebond II is water resistant and Titebond III is to be waterproof(but cost almost twice as much). I just used II again. I do like the idea of adding a few drops of food coloring to the glue to darken it up. I'll have to try that next time.

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Old 08-29-2012, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Hey Chris, yead it was Field who suggested that I used the Titebond II as well. I think given the price difference and the fact that to get the Titebond III I have to drive another 20 miles, I think I'm gonna stick with the Titebond II and give it a try. I'm sure if you let it cure properly it will be fine. I'm not using it underwater, just on the background of a viv. Yes it might be exposed to some hand misting, and moisture from a fogger, but not an automated misting system. I'm thinking it's gonna work out just fine.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

I'm interested in someone posting how it looks once dry. Let's see those pics!
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

I am getting ready to use Titebond III and peat moss to do my background, so I will post before and after drying pics in a bit. Hopefully what's left of the gallon I bought yesterday will be enough. Almost half of it spilled in the trunk of my car due to the cap not being on tight... sigh... At least my husband didn't flip out on me and I'm still alive.
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

Here is a couple photos that I already had on photobucket that shows the BG a little. Any thinner areas that may be in the pics are from my lack of application. It was my first viv.






As always, I apologize for the low-quality cell phone pics.

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Old 08-29-2012, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

nice job on that first viv...am jealous...what size tank...plants??? air circulation? Details!!!
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

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Originally Posted by Judy S View Post
nice job on that first viv...am jealous...what size tank...plants??? air circulation? Details!!!
Thanks Judy! Here is a couple links. (Being my first viv, I imagine I posted way too many times...lol)

The build thread... http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...alu-build.html

An update a couple months later... http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/mem...ths-later.html

A plant list... http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pla...lant-list.html

Hope this helps and isn't too repetitive.

Feel free to comment, criticize, or ask any questions on any of the threads. (I'll try not to hijack this one any further)

Thanks, Chris
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

I applied Titebond III tonight. It is A LOT easier to work with than silicone. Also, clean up was a cinch! Here's what it looked like when I was done applying it. Let's see how it ends up turning out. I'll post pics of that once it dries up completely, as well as the dry time.

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Old 08-31-2012, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Eiffel70 View Post
I applied Titebond III tonight. It is A LOT easier to work with than silicone. Also, clean up was a cinch! Here's what it looked like when I was done applying it. Let's see how it ends up turning out. I'll post pics of that once it dries up completely, as well as the dry time.

you can also press whatever substrate you use into it like the silicon/coco method, and then just vacuum off the the excess. It looks good though.

Here's a vert I'm working on using titebond II, peat and Seachem Flourite
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:12 AM
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Default Re: Titebond instead of silicone for backgrounds

I took a look at the bottles today at work. We have the 1g jug of Titebond 3 for $22.98.

The TB2 says on the bottle that it is "water resistant" and the TB3 says it is "waterproof". Both are listed as FDA indirect foodsafe for use with cutting boards and both say water clean up and non-toxic.

I may try the TB3 with a couple verts, I've always used Gorilla glue but it dries so hard.
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