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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.
When I start putting my vivarium together, I don't want to use spray foam and plastic screen and any more chemical adhesives than necessary. I know plenty of people have used them with no apparent ill effects, but just being a person who avoids these types of things as much as possible anyway, I'd feel wrong making my frogs live surrounded by it, I just personally can't do it. I know that I'll almost certainly have to use some silicone adhesive, but I want to avoid any other chemicals that I can. I have some ideas for things that I can use as alternative for backgrounds and planters, but I thought I'd ask if any of you guys have some ideas too.
Putting in a nice water feature becomes more complicated. Any ideas for that would be helpful too. Even just alternative material ideas may be helpful.
Thanks in advance!
 

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Skip the water feature. Far more of a headache than it's worth. Clay is a good background option that is totally harmless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Would I need to use an adhesive to keep it attached to the tank side? Is there a certain kind of clay that you'd recommend? Maybe one that is lighter and therefore more suited for this use than others?
This would make a good liner for a little pond too I think.
Thanks!
 

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Clay doesn't need adhesive, you just need to make it sticky enough. You can either follow some recipes on here(search function will lead you right to them) or you can experiment with kitty litter. Just makes sure you use all natural clay litter. I've been told that clay will really cloud your water so I don't know if a pond could be made using it. You would need someone with more experience to chime in on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've been told that clay will really cloud your water so I don't know if a pond could be made using it. You would need someone with more experience to chime in on that.
Hmm. Thats a bummer. Maybe if I bake the part to use as a little pond to harden it first, none of it would come off in the water. Kind of like making a bowl in clay pottery class. Possibly?
Anyway, thanks for the info.
 

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Would I need to use an adhesive to keep it attached to the tank side? Is there a certain kind of clay that you'd recommend? Maybe one that is lighter and therefore more suited for this use than others?
This would make a good liner for a little pond too I think.
Thanks!
I made mine here without any spray foam for pretty much the same reasons you mentioned.

Now, this one is admittedly experimental for me and I'm not gonna put anything in it unless it's held up for close to a year. But, it's so far so good with this clay I got and the egg crate support. I made another one without the egg crate backing and it was a lot more difficult.
 

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Hello.
When I start putting my vivarium together, I don't want to use spray foam and plastic screen and any more chemical adhesives than necessary. I know plenty of people have used them with no apparent ill effects, but just being a person who avoids these types of things as much as possible anyway, I'd feel wrong making my frogs live surrounded by it, I just personally can't do it. I know that I'll almost certainly have to use some silicone adhesive, but I want to avoid any other chemicals that I can. I have some ideas for things that I can use as alternative for backgrounds and planters, but I thought I'd ask if any of you guys have some ideas too.
Putting in a nice water feature becomes more complicated. Any ideas for that would be helpful too. Even just alternative material ideas may be helpful.
Thanks in advance!
Tree fern panels, zoo med's cork tiles and forest tiles can be used for the background. There is also ecoweb. I rather use these materials over spray foam because its quick, easy and reduces the amount of chemicals used. These all would have to be attached with silicone for best results however.

For false bottoms matala could be used or hydroton but you would need to use window screen or landscaping fabric as a substrate divider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I bought a couple of tanks with clay. I will NEVER do that again. Tanks are VERY heavy, in both clay eventually came off, if it stays wet it is just nasty stuff IMO. I would avoid clay like the plague.
Good to know. I could probably still use it for planters inside of the tank to hand against the background and/or for the little wading pond if I could find some that I can bake. Using such a small amount shouldn't make the tank too heavy and even if they wore over time, small pieces like that would be easy to replace, I think.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Btw, thanks to every one who has replied with suggestions so far, these have given me a lot of good ideas.
For others reading this thread, more ideas are still welcome.
Thanks!
 

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I have moved away from silicone and started using gorilla glue to adhear things to the glass. There is no waiting for a week or more for the silicone to cure and oder to diminish.

I have used many methods and silicone has been my least favorite talk about chemicals. Gorilla glue is the same thing as Great Stuff but in liquid form and once applied there is no chance of it falling off even if glued right to glass.

Clay can be nice but it is a real pita if it gets to moist it falls off....If it gets to dry it cracks and can break apart... it is also extremely heavy and can be a mess..

I have also started using polygem zoopoxy for some of my backgrounds to make fake rocks and tree/roots. It cures rock hard stays realitively light...The zoopoxy is the same product that zoos and public aquariums use for their backgrounds.
 

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Avoiding "chemicals" is a neat idea, but really not necessary. It definitely doesn't mean your animals will be healthier and/or happier.

How many people here put bananas in their vivs to attract flies? Look at all these chemicals:


But... If you really want to follow the "natural is better" thing the clay method that Jason posted is your best bet. It does have some additional benefits that can make it worthwhile anyway.

Pressed cork panels work too. I've used them in several vivs. It also doesn't have the downside of being very heavy like lhoy mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Avoiding "chemicals" is a neat idea, but really not necessary. It definitely doesn't mean your animals will be healthier and/or happier.

How many people here put bananas in their vivs to attract flies? Look at all these chemicals:


But... If you really want to follow the "natural is better" thing the clay method that Jason posted is your best bet. It does have some additional benefits that can make it worthwhile anyway.

Pressed cork panels work too. I've used them in several vivs. It also doesn't have the downside of being very heavy like lhoy mentioned.

Well if you want to be so literal, fine. I want to avoid using NOXIOUS chemicals as much as I can. I'm sorry but I don't see how you can say with any real certainty that avoiding these won't make my frogs any healthier.
I believe that it may. I have read too much about the effects that certain pollutants have on wildlife (and us) to feel that the chemicals that are in some materials used in vivariums are free of risk. Your view is a popular one, but unfortunately, I think also and incorrect one.
We should just agree to disagree right now, because I have debated this too many times, and I frankly just don't want to anymore. Its not worth the effort for me.
Please understand I'm only expressing my views and don't mean any offense, its difficult type things like this in a way that sounds polite.

Anyway, do you mean that the clay or the cork panels are heavy?
 

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Anyway, do you mean that the clay or the cork panels are heavy?
Clay is quite heavy. Cork is very light.

Using cork and sphagnum might be your best bet to creating a background that's more natural than those that use some sort of foam. You'll still need to use some silicone to hold the cork in place.
 

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Your view is a popular one, but unfortunately, I think also and incorrect one.
We should just agree to disagree right now, because I have debated this too many times, and I frankly just don't want to anymore. Its not worth the effort for me.
Please understand I'm only expressing my views and don't mean any offense, its difficult type things like this in a way that sounds polite.

Anyway, do you mean that the clay or the cork panels are heavy?
My view is a popular one because it is supported by the science of toxicology. Either way, you can believe what you want to believe and we can leave the debate out of this thread... that is fine.

I meant that the clay is heavy. Cork panels are very light. You will need to find a way to affix them into the tank as some tend to swell and warp when they are exposed to the moisture of frog tanks. I generally use aquarium silicone for this, so I'm not sure what I can recommend to you for that purpose.
 

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You can disagree, but do you have any evidence to back up your opinion? What exactly in adhesives do you want to avoid? What's in the silicone that is so bad? Because in captivity, these frogs are living to be 15-25 years old. Considerably longer than their wild counterparts. How are they not healthy?
 
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