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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so i just went to home depot, got eggcrate and various other supplies, and was gluing my eggcrate pieces together (i'm doing a recessed false bottom)...

then it occurred to me. is this stuff toxic? does normal 2-part regular epoxy leak any harmful chemicals? i'm using "loctite plastic epoxy".. anyone familiar with it?

if it's toxic, what should i use?

thanks,
sam
 

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I used it for parts (part of the door closure mechanism, total of two beads, probably 1" X 1/8") in some of my ten verts, and haven't had any problems. I'm pretty sure epoxy is supposed to be inert after it totally cures.
 

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Sam,

That is a tough question as epoxy comes in many, many varieties. In general you have a resin and a hardener. From what I understand the resin is very long strings of plastic and the hardener bonds these strings together. One problem with many epoxies is water permeability and hydrolytic instability. That means that constant contact with water may degrade the compound. Finding out exactly what it degrades into is a tough question. To my knowledge many aquarium enthusiasts and zoos use epoxy for modeling, bonding, etc. However, I think that they often coat it with something that has better hydrolytic stability, and like I mentioned, given the number of epoxies on the market, just because they use epoxy, doesn't mean they use one with the chemical properties of what you purchased.

The thing to do if you really want to know is to call the company and ask for the technical section and ask them about permeability, hydrolytic stability, and approval for use in submerged applications. Also, you might want to ask if they have something that is food grade. You can look at the MSDS, but that will only tell you what is in each component, before the reaction, so it probably won't go into detail about how the material stands up over time or what it leaches into the water. For that you can ask the tech if they have a detailed technical specification or whitepaper.

If you are at all concerned, I wouldn't use it without doing some research. Bear in mind that it probably won't kill your animals outright, but like many chemicals might have unforeseen long-term effects. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find too much research about hydrolytic stability of enclosure building materials and long-term health in animal populations that I can refer you to.

Best,

Marcos
 

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Generally, people use marine epoxy for building their terrariums, I don't know if I'd take my chances with much anything else. The stuff is toxic until it cures fully. After that, it's fine. It does take a long time to fully cure though, (a matter of weeks depending upon how warm it is in the area in which it's drying.)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hmm.. sounds like it'd be a good idea to recut and make a new false bottom... i coated the epoxy-work with silicone, which could potentially seal the epoxy from any adverse chemicals leaking into the water, but eggcrate is cheap, and frogs are expensive... hardly worth the risk..

looks like marine epoxy it is.

thanks
-sam
 

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Hey,
I use marine epoxy for the epoxy trees I make...so far everything I have found says it is safe, and I have had no problems. Marine epoxy is completely hydrolytic....it has to be considering it is used as a sealer for wooden and fiberglass boats. The epoxy you used however, will eventually become soggy.
 

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I called West System about epoxy in water tanks, and they told me people were experimenting with it in their aquariums. Since I asked about effects of it, they said that the real problem with epoxy is YOU ADD TOO MUCH HARDENER.

The reason why is because excess amine from the hardener doesn't cross link with the resin.

West System sent me an email with information how to successful coat water tanks with epoxy...for consumption purposes. So if this is for consumption, there's a gaurantee that it will be safe for fish if done correctly.

The trick is to use a resin rich mix, instead of a hardener rich. I have the paper from West System, if you'd like me to email it to you.
 

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Rain_Frog said:
I called West System about epoxy in water tanks, and they told me people were experimenting with it in their aquariums. Since I asked about effects of it, they said that the real problem with epoxy is YOU ADD TOO MUCH HARDENER.

The reason why is because excess amine from the hardener doesn't cross link with the resin.

West System sent me an email with information how to successful coat water tanks with epoxy...for consumption purposes. So if this is for consumption, there's a gaurantee that it will be safe for fish if done correctly.

The trick is to use a resin rich mix, instead of a hardener rich. I have the paper from West System, if you'd like me to email it to you.
I'm certainly interested. I did a bit of reading on the DOW website last night and it seemed that they were saying the same thing. If you send the info along, I would appreciate it.

Marcos
 

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First of all guys, I think I'm going to collaborate with the moderators if I can post it, a "sticky" one like the fruit fly FAQ. Therefore, I won't have to send it out to dozens of people via emails and private messages. I think we need to have one about Great Stuff too.

Just an idea.

Doug
 

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Here's a bit of information for you people wanting to use Great Stuff.

I'm big on researching chemicals, and I read on Garden Forum after I read Marcos' post on his conversation with DOW.

There are a few testimonies that Great Stuff has been used successfully IF IT IS COATED, as it is NOT UV tolerant. Slowly, it will break down.

I'm almost positive now that epoxy coatings will gaurantee that the foam will be sealed up for good...as long as you provide a top coating over the epoxy as strong lighting could potentially destroy/ weaken your epoxy...if you plan on using solacryl with 7% UVB bulbs like me...
 

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Rain_Frog said:
First of all guys, I think I'm going to collaborate with the moderators if I can post it, a "sticky" one like the fruit fly FAQ. Therefore, I won't have to send it out to dozens of people via emails and private messages. I think we need to have one about Great Stuff too.

Just an idea.

Doug
I'm in. I've got tons of MSDS sheets and other stuff about silicone, Great Stuff, etc. I think it is an important subject. Here's a start:

Code:
1.  Silicone
     a.  What to look for
     b.  Recommended brands
     c.  Off-gassing and curing times
2.  Adhesives
     a.  General purpose
     b.  Bonding acrylic
     c.  Bonding glass
     d.  Bonding your background
     e.  Silicone as adhesive
3.  Filling/Sculpting Materials
     a.  Great Stuff
     b.  Clay
     c.  Epoxy putty
     d.  Other foams (polyurethane cast foams, etc)
4.  Coatings
     a.  Silicone as a coating
     b.  Marine epoxy
     c.  Fiberglass casting
5.  Doing Your Research
6.  Reading MSDS and chemical safety
7.  Glossary
     a.  Hydrolytic stability
     b.  low-VOC
     c.  permeability
     d.  food grade
e. etc.

I'm sure I missed something, so please jump in. I think a "Sticky" about pumps and water features would be helpful, too. After that it seems like a lot of questions about tops in general and UV.

Marcos
 

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bump :lol:

Marc, as you've seen, I've posted my epoxy sheet that was sent to me via email form West System. However, Rsines hasn't replied to my PM yet about making it sticky.

I could definitely lend a hand in writing something, as i've dealt with more DIY projects than frogs in the last year. Weld-On 4 and 16, plexiglass, cell cast acrylic, epoxy, fiberglass resin by bondo, pink styrofoam, white styrofoam, Great Stuff red can, Great Stuff blue can, gorilla glue, masonry board, silicone, cork, peat, etc.

The bad thing about whatever I do...I don't show anybody. My camera is the biggest piece of crap there ever was, and I've been tempted ever since to give a tutorial like this. In fact, I still can with my epoxy coatings I can demonstrate, but keep in mind those close up shots aren't going to happen. (no zoom feature).

PS: Thanks to you Blort, I may have to redo my tank AGAIN! :roll: :lol:

However, all I have to do is cut out the Great Stuff behind the cork...

I will be ordering a metal halide soon, so I can give a testimony
 

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Has anyone used Tap Plastics 314 marine grade epoxy ? They mention on there web site product bulletin "Tap Epoxy is not FDA approved for contact with food or potable water. However, it can be safely used in aquariums and ponds without harm to fish, provided it has cured at least 7 days and any amine blush has been thoroughly removed. This epoxy is slightly cheaper than west systems epoxy.They also have a few different mold making compounds and lots of information and how to's. I ordered a few things to try out. I assume it has'nt been FDA approved due to the cost of getting it approved.
 
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