Dendroboard banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I'm sure I am beating a dead horse with this topic however all of the threads I have found have not answered my questions so here we go

I am starting to build a standard 29 gallon vivarium using this format
New England Herpetoculture LLC - Custom Backgrounds

now I have completed step one by covering the back and parts of the sides with silicone and i found that it is not easy to spread the silicone, I have tried two things
1. using it straight up
2. i left it on the heater for about a 1/2 hour and with this method it was a little easier

so here comes my two questions

1. I have seen a lot in these threads people who make their own vines using thinner and peat do you think that using thinner would make it easier to spread as a "base coat" ?

and
2. Once I have the "base Coat" down (which it pretty much is but its more for future reference since i plan on making a few more in the not so distant future) and I start to construct my Background (using cork bark pieces, vines and GS) once i go to cover it with silicone and peat should I use thinner on the silicone to make it spread easier?

I am using GE silicone black for the base and brown for under the peat and over the GS

surely there has to be a way to spread this stuff easier and the thinner seemed to be the best idea i had reading these Threads...

Please help and thanks for reading
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
The tried and true method of a pair of gloves and elbow grease.

You can find elbow grease at your local hardware store next to the headlight fluid.



On a more serious note, the thinner method has been used for vines as a a thinner mix is helpful apparently. (Have not tried vines yet myself) It's really not needed to do a background. If you are going to employ this method, make sure you do your research and have all the correct PPE. (personal protective equipment)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Hey now, calm down sport. Just little light humor.

The second part of the post is as helpful as I can be. The thinner you would use is typically Toluene. Not fun stuff. I wouldn't use it unless you have to. This method has hit the mainstream, thanks to an impressive build by Grimm on this board.

He had specific reasons for using this method as an experienced viv builder. Search his threads..

It's really unnecessary, in my humble opinion, for most builds. The silicone really spreads quite easily by hand. (this I do have experience with).

:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,415 Posts
Lighten up. He helped with what he could help with. People will try to help with what bits and pieces they can. You'll have to sort through it and decide for yourself what methods you care to use. I'll tell you this though, an outright hostile attitude will cause people to detour your questions completely.
Toluene is nasty stuff. Do you have a respirator? You will need to purchase one to work safely with this stuff. I'm not talking about a cheap, white paper mask either. This stuff can kill.

Toluene should not be inhaled due to its health effects. Low to moderate levels can cause tiredness, confusion, weakness, drunken-type actions, memory loss, nausea, loss of appetite, and hearing and color vision loss. These symptoms usually disappear when exposure is stopped. Inhaling high levels of toluene in a short time may cause light-headedness, nausea, or sleepiness. It can also cause unconsciousness, and even death.

Toluene may make application a little easier BUT, if you are using it to darken the back and sides of the viv, then the thinner, toluene mixed silicone will not darken it as much. If you are using it to press coco fiber into, thinned silicone will not hold the material as well. It sticks better pressed into fresh, thick silicone.
If I understand you correctly, you are applying it directly onto glass and you intend to later, silicone cork bark pieces to it. Silicone does not stick to silicone so your cork bark will fall off. Perhaps you would want to instead, use black contact paper on the outside of your viv to blacken it.
Otherwise, if your decision is made there, I cannot imagine a better way than the tried and true method of using UN-thinned silicone straight up and using a credit card to spread it.
I'm not kidding though, about fresh silicone not sticking to cured sililcone. I have worked with silicone almost every workday of my life for the last 20 plus years. If you are going to try and silicone cork bark to it, it will stick just enough that you think it may work, but it will fall off soon enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I apologiize for my response sarcasm does not translate well through any type of text. I have thick skin and I was not offended by the joke made. I actually chuckled when read it.

With that being said

I was just looking for an easier way to spread the silicone si ce I had a very hard time with it I have work with paints and have used respirators in the past. If its more harmful and more of a hassle then I'll skip on using it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,415 Posts
OK, gotcha. I looked over that method and much of it seems sound but I question the wisdom of attaching the cork with fresh silicone, over the cured bed. It will detach easily. In that example, it is probably held more by the great stuff than the silicone. Personally, if following this method, I would use a handful of fresh razor blades to scrape away the silicone where I was attaching the cork bark.
As far as spreading your initial bed, try an old credit card.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Nope.

Pretty standard methods on that link. They make it look easy. Some of this takes practice.

I don't see any mention of thinning the silicone chemically on there though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There was no mention of thinning that's just something I saw going through threads here and and idea, I tried to explain at earlier but may have done a poor job of it. I just really had a hard time spreading it and was looking for advice maybe somebody somewhere had a better method
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top