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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guy's,

I have basically completed my first viv, it is a 55 gal. tank. I used GS and attached dried Peat to it with Trubond II.
vivarium_55.jpg
I incorporated a drip wall over a mayan face that I made from Styrofoam that was coated with a product called "Durams rock hard water putty" it is a powder that mixes to a paste that dries to a light sort of grout material, it is supposed to be waterproof.

The problem I am having is the water runs slowly down the statue face and into a small pool that I put at the base of the face, it touches the face and the surrounding BG and peat.

It has been running for 2 days and the water has turned a light shade of yellow and also the face were the water is hitting has begun to discolor.
yellow-water.jpg
face-discolor.jpg
I have shut down the water pump and can not figure out what is fowling the water, the Trubond or the Duram.

I am attaching pics if anyone can shed some light on this I would greatly appreciate it I would hate to have to fill in the water feature it looks great when running.

Bruce
 

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My guess would be the the wood putty. I use that stuff from time to time (I'm a carpenter) and I wouldn't trust it to be water proof at all. I'd at very least coat it with some kind of clear coat to try and water proof it.
 

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You can use silicon. I'm sure there are other options but I'm not sure of them. I'm sure someone here will be able to tell you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for your help!

I figured out what the culprit was, I had used brown silicone to make vines on the statue face and to seal the bottom of the water feature. When I went in to investigate the silicone was mushy and left a residue on my fingers.

I did not want to take a chance on ruining the whole viv so I just removed the water pump and filled in the pool with soil, my viv no longer contains a water feature :(

Well experience is the best teacher, I will know better next time!!

Bruce
 

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Don't feel bad, I rebuilt my tank 4 times before I got it right! I still plan on building a new one this winter.
Just keep reading this forum there is a lifetime of info on here.

If you used tight boned II it is not fully waterproof, but tight bond III is.
If your silicone sticky that is NOT GO. That happened too me with my water garden, it turned out that my silicone was old I replaced it and now it's fine.
Your tank looks good, so just keep trying.:D
 

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The water putty is made up of mostly portland cement with a small amount of plaster. You will likely see high water pH commonly seen with uncured portland cement.

The yellow water you saw was likely only partly due to the silicone. The coloration change was very likely due to the peat. Its good you found the bad silicone and were able to remove it, but I have a feeling the reason the color change was so apparent and quick was due to the tannins in the peat leaching into your water. This is an issue with almost every vivarium water feature, however it can be alleviated by making large volume water changes for the first few months and using carbon filters. The yellow color on your sculpture was the tannins staining the white cement most likely. I say this because the dyes that are used in a true silicone polymer (not latex) are hydrophobic and will not move through the water very easily.

Next time you make a design, consider drilling the tank with two holes and using bulkheads to plumb a small canister filter in. This you could fill with activated carbon and remove 90+ % of your tannin concentration in your water. Plus the extra water movement/volume will help keep the water from smelling. As for using the water putty, its fine to use, just understand that you will need to cure it like any other cement/grout product.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes it helps immensely, I have already removed the water feature from this viv.
My next project will definitely benefit from all the advice and information here.

Thanks Guy's !!
 
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