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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the midst of a build in which I'm going to attach ghostwood directly to glass -- no background -- something like I did in my InSitus, where I learned that silicone on ghostwood isn't a very strong bond. The wood will only have a couple/few small contact points along the length of the piece, so siliconing directly to the glass won't work. The wood will not contact the substrate, so the mounts have to carry all the weight of the wood, plants, and frogs partying like it's 1999 (a lame garage band, a keg, maybe a bouncy house for the froglets...you get the idea). This is in an ExoTerra, and the wood will be a viv-filling sized branch (likely, a few screwed together), a decent handful of pounds.

I'm considering two ideas (well, three whittled down to two):

1) Silicone some sort of mount to the glass, to which I can attach the wood using fishing line or zip ties. I don't know of any such mount, though. Ideally it would be clear-ish and/or small enough to be not too noticeable. Something like a small stainless steel eye hook with a glass base.

2) I thought to screw the wood to another piece of glass or acrylic and then silicone that sheet to the viv glass (and cover the sheet with a little cork mosaic or something, or not). But, if I can drill glass and attach to it, I'll just do something like that with the viv itself. So, option 2 is to drill a couple small holes in the viv glass, and then feed zip ties (or fishing line around some sort of stopper) directly through the holes, and then a dab of silicone to seal it against water leaking out.

Any ideas or advice? I'm thinking option 2 is going to be cleanest and strongest, but I'm not sure here.
 

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I lucked apon some acryic risers once that i used to pre make and support favorable distance basking areas in some set ups i made for lizards. Some i glued others i did not.

They took the stress of the artifact (mostly slate and grapevine) and quite frankly had a really nice austere floating in suspension aesthetic.

They could be covered with bark coco etc (and also serve as a cubby) but they integrated so unobtrusively i wonder if it would be what you are after. Especially with all thats happening in a frog viv with most folks plant variety wise.

I am a procrasinator i have wanted to acquire more. They are available in a multitude of sizes, heights, densities.

I would like to replace some of the chunky rocks supporting the land area for a turtle i have, giving him more room per spaces under the risers yet creating a floating island or jutting brook edge effect
 

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I'm not too sure how practical it would be, but you might be able to use some neodymium magnets to stabilize the piece of wood if it's not too large. The downside is that one of the magnets would be visible from the outside, unless you found something more eye pleasing to try and embed it into.

Some of the nd magnets sold for aquarium use are rated 18+lbs of holding power, and you shouldn't have to worry about it breaking the glass as long as you are careful with the initial install.

Edit: afaik the only real difference about the ones for aquarium use is that they have a non toxic/water safe epoxy coating. You dont want little shards of rare earth floating around.
 

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Plus one on the magnets that’s what I was thinking as well. Sink some holes in the contact points and glue one side in. Won’t be able to see if it’s in the back plus you can rearrange things as needed.
 

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One major trick to silicone is to use it as physical support and not just as an adhesive. How you do this is basically drill holes in the wood. Then fill those holes with silicone and overflow it and stick it on the glass. The combination of the strong adhesion to glass and the physical strength of it essentially being a silicone bolt in the wood can be way stronger than just the adhesive force on the wood alone. This is especially true where a material does not have great adhesion to the glue. I have used this method to stick things like plastics that have very poor adhesion to silicone with great results that have lasted years with no failures.
You will need to use your common sense to think about how heavy your wood is and if this seems feasible.
A pro tip if you want to make sure the silicone would never slip is to make the inside size of the hole bigger than the entrance hole. Sort of like an internal dovetail. You can do this by drilling multiple times at different angles through the same hole.
 

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If you are comfortable drilling glass, you may want to help stabilize it with a long bolt running from the outside of the tank, through the piece of wood. Use thick rubber washers on the inside and outside of the hole to alleviate weight on the glass itself and keep it from potentially cracking from downward pressure and then use silicone, as mentioned by Pubfiction above, to further help reinforce.

Without physically drilling, you may want to just create a less conspicuous support somewhere in the tank though, to alleviate the downward pressure. Spray foam also can add a lot of stability, if you aren't opposed to utilizing it as well.

Sounds like an interesting build!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Lots of great advice -- thank you all so far! Any more, I'd love to hear it. :)

I'll post a build thread when I get far enough -- I'm also attempting a new (for me) drainage design, so I'm going to take it slowly.
 

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If time is on a priority of getting the necessary done to make way for other myriad of vivaria composition i would like to add that adhering the wood contact point of choice on a clear riser and the butt flush to the glass takes 5 minutes to do, after the dry run of deciding its best seat and placement. The peice is equally if not more stable because its physically braced yet has the benefit of being modular per blade for future project changes, with an unscathed start..

The risers truly 'disappear' . I did some without gluing for boarder environments mostly with slate. As needed to sanitize them between uses.
 

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I mounted several manzanita branches in my largest vivarium to look like tree branches. The sides are embedded in PU foam- which I know you’re looking to avoid.

However- I also made polypropylene rope “vines” with silicone/peat that drape from drilled holes in the top of the viv itself down to wrap around the branches.

That viv is almost 10 years old now and the wood has rotted where they connect to the PU foam. But they are all still in their nearly original positions due to the vine anchors.
 

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Actual support point obstruction to a fall down. Yes ive used some flexible vine-ishments not of my own making similiarly and felt secure.

A other tactic is applying a viv version of "the triangle of life".. a solid object that would stop a solid fall.

Ive had heavier animals with rummaging behaviors that made these tactics implicit.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. :) I think I'm going to drill the glass and bolt through it -- most sturdy option. I ordered some smaller diamond bits (my hole saws are too big).

@Broseph , I'm interested to know more about polypro/silicone vines, if not for this build, then for the next. Got a tutorial stashed anywhere (a search didn't pull one up)? I assume the rope has some optimal diameter for ease of construction and flexibility, and any tricks for keeping silicone in its own lane (only spray foam is worse...) are valuable to know.
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions. :) I think I'm going to drill the glass and bolt through it -- most sturdy option. I ordered some smaller diamond bits (my hole saws are too big).

@Broseph , I'm interested to know more about polypro/silicone vines, if not for this build, then for the next. Got a tutorial stashed anywhere (a search didn't pull one up)? I assume the rope has some optimal diameter for ease of construction and flexibility, and any tricks for keeping silicone in its own lane (only spray foam is worse...) are valuable to know.
I've done something similar to what I think @Broseph was mentioning. I used a piece of garden wire, silicone burlap and peat moss. you cover the wire in silicone, wrap the burlap around it, with more silicone and then roll the "vine" in peat moss to cover it. If you cover the end while you're putting it together you can silicone the end directly onto the glass and it will adhere very well. I've had a piece of vine like this in a tank for a year or so.
 

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Here's a video of the vine suspension. At the end I jostle the branch with my hand to demonstrate how loose it is at the base.

I used polypropylene rope, dipped in a silicone and xylene mixture (xylene was used to prevent the silicone from skinning over too quickly), and rolled in peat moss. You can see that most of the peat has worn off, but algae/moss/mold has kept it looking fairly natural. The rope runs through a hole in the glass with a knot and silicone at the end.
 

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Why not just drill the glass and wood ends, then cover the wood end in silicone and screw together? Use a bit that's a fair amount larger than the screw's diameter. Get it all test-fitted first, then take it apart, do the silicone, and reassemble. Careful on the last few turns - do them by hand.

The suggestion to use a rubber or fiber washer under the screw head is solid.Use a pan or round head screw (nothing undercut), in stainless.

I would avoid any zip ties, wires, or other such devices. Just your basic glue and screw.
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions. :) I think I'm going to drill the glass and bolt through it -- most sturdy option. I ordered some smaller diamond bits (my hole saws are too big).

@Broseph , I'm interested to know more about polypro/silicone vines, if not for this build, then for the next. Got a tutorial stashed anywhere (a search didn't pull one up)? I assume the rope has some optimal diameter for ease of construction and flexibility, and any tricks for keeping silicone in its own lane (only spray foam is worse...) are valuable to know.
Look forward to seeing what you come up with!
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the idea. I've not used Gorilla glue before, but superglue wouldn't hold the weight long term (or even short term on such an uneven connection point).

I did complete this build, and posted a thread about it here.
 
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