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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,
I am setting up a new dart frog vivarium and I am having one huge issue with the great stuff foam. I applied the foam about three days ago and I turned the tank upright this morning and noticed that the foam in the back is still in almost a liquid form. It is not leaking out anywhere and everything else is cured and hard as rock. My first thought is to go ahead and coco fiber the background and let it sit and hopefully the foam will dry by the time the silicon dries. Then my next thought is if it does not cure I might have to tear it down and start over wasting all other materials and money already used. Has anyone else ever had this issue and if so what should I do? I should also say that this tank will have a water feature with a egg crate false bottom ( I don't want this stuff in my water. Its my biggest fear that it will and it will kill the frogs.). Thank you all in advance.
 

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Is the center a different color and texture when you look at it through the glass than the sides and surface in the viv ? I think that it is cured . The center of the background installation for me is usually a darker color and usually a different consistency . I believe its due to the lack of contact to the air .
 

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I use a wire coat hanger, cut it and use it like a toothpick on a cake. Poke holes and wait if it's not cured it will expand and you'll know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is a much darker color than the rest of the foam. Also, When it is turned upright you can see it begin to slowly run down the tank and pool up on top of foam that is already cured. I will try to post pix if my camera will work with me today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea I am going to have to try that out. I would really rather not have to restart this whole build. I will update later today or tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed that it goes as planned!
Again thank yall for the tips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok so I poked a few holes in to the foam. Not sure if I should make more or make them a little bit bigger. I am now nervous about my glass cracking after reading another thread. What do y'all think about it?
 

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With as much unfurled GS as you have there is certainly a chance for Hyde glass to break with the wire tick as there is minimal space for the incurred to expand. Most of the expansion will be in that area which could result in the dreaded glass break (then you're really at a loss with material).

For large (deep) backgrounds, it might be a good idea to go at them a bit slower. Perhaps two applications to allow a base application to cure. How thick is it off the glass?

For the task at hand... I would suggest cutting a few slits (5" long 2" wide) and cut at an angle toward the glass. You'll be able to pull that whole piece out and it will resemble an elongated Hershey kiss. At that point, scrape the projection of the cut from the top layer back to the glass. This method will allow the unfurled GS to expand without being trapped and building pressure. Odds are it will come right out and fill your holes you made. If not, you can tack them back in the holes and move on with you background.

Hope this helps. Let us know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok so here is an update

I decided that there was too much liquid in the back and I didn't want to wait to see what would happen. With that being said, I went ahead and cut out two large areas to get to the uncured foam. Once in there I found out how bad it was. There were huge pockets of this stuff and it wouldn't have expanded. I think that I picked up a defective can of GS and didn't pay close enough attention to what the foam looked like while coming out. Now I have to redo a good portion of my background.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I cleaned it out through the holes. The pieces came out less than perfect so I will just foam those areas in. The big issue I have, now that I cut the foam, is I had to cut out half of the waterfall area. I had it perfect(how I wanted ran) and now I have to hope the foam will form the same way
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I will have to carve it out. The issue I always run into is the water will not flow the way I need it to. I am still pretty new to building vivariums so the water features are my biggest headaches. Anyone have any tips on getting the water to flow the right way ?
 

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The GS isn't defective. This is the classic rookie mistake haha, happens to all of us at one point. When the GS is applied too thick, the outside hardens too quick for the inside to expand all the way and the pressure from that causes the unexpanded foam to turn into that very sticky liquid. Had you not cut that chunk out, it probably would've cracked the back. Only way around it is to do it in 1/2 layers and allow the foam to cure before applying more.
 

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The GS isn't defective. This is the classic rookie mistake haha, happens to all of us at one point. When the GS is applied too thick, the outside hardens too quick for the inside to expand all the way and the pressure from that causes the unexpanded foam to turn into that very sticky liquid. Had you not cut that chunk out, it probably would've cracked the back. Only way around it is to do it in 1/2 layers and allow the foam to cure before applying more.
Exactly. The GS isn't a problem, the application didn't allow the deeper GS layers to cure as well. Happens to all of us. Next time go slower and less deep!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That was the first layer, I waited about an hour before I went to add more. The top was hard like it was working right, it was underneath that where it didn't harden. I have built three other backgrounds without issue, except with the water features, this one has thrown me for a loop. I am actually glad this happened though. I have a whole new plan with the design that I think will look so much better. I am going to add more foam later today and look forward to seeing what happens.
 
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