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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I've recently been practicing building backgrounds, as I've never built one in any of my tanks before. I'm using the GS and Silicone and Coco Fiber method and was wondering (haven't found anything in search) if one could just press the coco fiber directly into the curing GS while its wet and skip the silicone step? I did some tests and it adheres better than the silicone in a lot of ways.

I assume the silicone has something to do with protecting the GS from water, maybe?

Thanks guys
 

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There is this foam stuff that is like GS but black. It is used for ponds, in between stones in a waterfall and adheres the stones together. It costs a little more that GS but is waterproof. You can embed the coco fiber in it, but if you miss a spot, it is kinda shiny. I think the color is the thing that requires the silicone coat more than waterproofing. With either product, I would coat any areas that are in contact with water constantly in silicone
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah color was my other guess--

So if I'm not bothered by the color showing through and I don't have any water features like drip walls or waterfalls then theoretically it should be fine? It's too late on this one but I'd like to see how it holds up next time.

Thanks!
 

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I've built a few tanks and am currently in the process of building another one. One thing that I have noticed about GS is that it is very "light", shall we say, and does not like to be disturbed. If it is disturbed, it collapses on itself. It is the air bubbles within it that gives it the density and strength. Disturb the bubbles and it flattens out. As i am sure you have noticed, the outside of the GS firms up much faster than the body of it.

I was impatient when building one tank and decided to spray more GS on top of GS that I had just sprayed. The result, after it dried, was a really strong and THIN layer of GS that was very difficult to removed to start over. If you do decide to apply the coco directly to the drying GS, the weight of the coco will probably push down on the GS and flatten it out. I also do not think that you will get good coverage from it. The silicone will further seal the GS as well as giving the coco a medium to adhere to.
 

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Gorilla Glue is very quick and easy. Ever since I tried using it instead of silicone I haven't gone back. GS and Handi-foam (what I use) are just too unpredictable for me to try what you're doing. I always have to shave off little eruptions of Handi-foam that appear halfway through the drying process, or reshape features that expanded too much, so I'd need to do coco fiber touch-ups anyway. I may as well do all the coco fiber at the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I did my first GS tank with silicone and coco over it and did the GS way too thick. by the time I decided to cut it out a week later some portions werent cured at all yet (still tacky). I went way overboard, but I cut it all out and redid it about 5 inches thinner, haha.

Oh well, trial and error.

As for putting to Coco fiber directly on the GS I think you guys are right--it would be too unpredictable and would require touch ups later anyway. The tests I did were on too small of a scale to really tell.

On a good note I just introduced my lamasi into the larger tank (the one I just did) and within the first 10 minutes the male is already calling like crazy.

Thanks for all the advice, guys
 

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i did it with the black foam, and like said, there were eruptions and sink holes. I kind of liked the look so i left it, but did have to do touchups when done in spots that did not stick well. it skipped a step, but it was a pain when trying to silicone a little bit more coco in thin spots and the silicone would not stay put on the exsisting coco fiber very well. Kept wanting to roll off the side during application and i ended up with my hand covered in a mix of the two while just trying to apply silicone.
 
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