Dendroboard banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So it's been a while since I've posted anything on here but I've some ideas floating around inside my head and wanted some feedback. I want to build a natural viv with a tree in it. This isn't going to be for any PDFs but the people on here seem to come up with the best ideas for naturalistic vivs that I've seen. It's going to be for an emerald tree boa or green tree python so the tree (i'm thinking I might make two) will need to have sturdy branches for the snake. I was thinking about starting with some pvc pipe, get a pretty big one for the trunk and then some smaller ones for the branches, coating it with great stuff and then carving it to look like a tree. Do you think the pvc pipe would be sturdy enough for the branches and what would be the best way of going about adhering them to the bigger "trunk" pvc?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Would paper mache be safe to use? I'm thinking I could coat the pvc with it and then cover it all with great stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
I don't think paper mache is meant to last in high moisture environments. I would probably look into carving a rough shape out of foam and using concrete based coatings. I would even look into reinforcing it with wire mesh or something as snakes are much stronger than any amphibian.

I built a fake rock wall out of foam and grout for my boas cage. It worked pretty well but he was able to slow break it apart. They're just that strong. If I redid it, I would use some kind of reinforcement to make it much stronger.

You can also look into the epoxy based clays and pastes. They'll cure 100% water proof but are much more expensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Use fiberglass resin from any store walmart even sells it in automotice the stuff is pretty much indestructable! You can also paint it or use the silicone and peat whatever you heart desires. I mean they make boats out of it because its lightwheight and extremely durable and doesnt mold in higher moister. You could do the PVC then GS it carve it out and put resin on it then sand and go from there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the good ideas. I will have to post some pictures when I start building this thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I do have a question about the fiberglass resin (I think I am going to go that route). I wont have to worry about any toxic fumes or chemical runoff would I? As long as I give it enough time to dry it would be safe for the animal? I only ask because he will be spending most of his time on the branches I make for this tree,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Do not follow the advice regarding Walmart resin.

The kind sold at Walmart and such called "fiberglass resin" is polyester resin which requires methylethylketone to cure. The resin itself is very toxic and does release a large poignant smell for weeks. The MEK catalyst is not adsorbed into the reaction as it is a true catalyst and can/does leach out eventually. Luckly the MEK has a very low vapor pressure so it dispurses into the air readily when it does leachout, but it is watersoluble so it can end up in the water.

I use to use polyester resin as it seemed like a good idea, but it has major drawbacks that I found out the hardway firsthand. Only then did I look into it and figured out the chemical reasoning behind why it didn't work while studying biochemistry and polymer chemistry.

For your purposes, a two part epoxy would be the best rout. You are not using it for aquarium fish so you don't have to worry about a particular issue found in US epoxies so really any 100% solids two part epoxy resin would be ideal. When fully cured it will be non-toxic. Make sure you get a 100% solids system or you could be looking at long outgassing times depending on the type of VOC used.

I wish the polyester resin was the way to go as it would really make a lot of builds a lot easier but unfortunately its not a safe material for animal enclosure use. Works great for boats and cars though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Do not follow the advice regarding Walmart resin.

The kind sold at Walmart and such called "fiberglass resin" is polyester resin which requires methylethylketone to cure. The resin itself is very toxic and does release a large poignant smell for weeks. The MEK catalyst is not adsorbed into the reaction as it is a true catalyst and can/does leach out eventually. Luckly the MEK has a very low vapor pressure so it dispurses into the air readily when it does leachout, but it is watersoluble so it can end up in the water.

I use to use polyester resin as it seemed like a good idea, but it has major drawbacks that I found out the hardway firsthand. Only then did I look into it and figured out the chemical reasoning behind why it didn't work while studying biochemistry and polymer chemistry.

For your purposes, a two part epoxy would be the best rout. You are not using it for aquarium fish so you don't have to worry about a particular issue found in US epoxies so really any 100% solids two part epoxy resin would be ideal. When fully cured it will be non-toxic. Make sure you get a 100% solids system or you could be looking at long outgassing times depending on the type of VOC used.

I wish the polyester resin was the way to go as it would really make a lot of builds a lot easier but unfortunately its not a safe material for animal enclosure use. Works great for boats and cars though.

Hi,

So polyester resin isnt good for dendrobates vivarium ? i bought some to test but if its toxic i will not use it :S confirm me that please
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Properly cured urethane resin works well too, but it's not easily available to the average consumer. You'd have to buy it online. Epoxy is more forgiving in terms of it's ratios, curing environment, cure time, and is generally less hazardous in it's unpolymerized/reacted state. So stick with a good two part epoxy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Properly cured urethane resin works well too, but it's not easily available to the average consumer. You'd have to buy it online. Epoxy is more forgiving in terms of it's ratios, curing environment, cure time, and is generally less hazardous in it's unpolymerized/reacted state. So stick with a good two part epoxy.
Epoxy all the way, your lungs and frogs will thank you! Polys are some nasty stuff!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top