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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I decided to use greatstuff in my new 18 x 18 x 24 ZooMed build. I'm gonna take my time building this one out. I've been reading all over and think I have everything down but want to make sure.

1.) You use the Large Gap Greatstuff? About how far does a 16 oz can go? I've seen 12 oz cans at WalMarx and 16 oz at HomeDepot. How long should I allow it to cure? 24,48 hrs enough?

2.) Apply a thin layer of silcone to the glass first, let cure. This helps it adhere better? Not quite sure if this is 100% necessary?

3.) You can carve the GS and form it once it cures?

4.) Apply a layer of black/brown silicone to the Greatstuff and then sprinkle on your covering of peat/coco/orchidbark as a substrate? I was going to use a mix of the three.

5.) I'm thinking I will sink clay pots into the background for some plants, broms can just be stabbed in or secured with paperclips/toothpicks? Epiphytes and vines will just grow right over it.

6.) Keep the GS up out of the false bottom? I was going to go down to about 6 inches above the bottom of the tank.

Lots of questions I know. This stuff and this method really needs a how/to type sticky thread.
 

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Hi Doug
I used the large gap on my 18x18x24 and used 2 cans, but went back and removed some. In hindsight, i would have been better off waiting to get the black pond stuff (have 3 cans in the mail now) as the light yellowish-white is hard to cover up. Also, the large gap tends to "grow"that first night of drying :eek: - prob reason for the prior warning about breaking glass. I had one plastic pot that was crushed about 40%. I just cut out the foam so it has plenty of space for the plant now. Its easy to over do the foam. Also I would recommend to put some silicon on the glass and let it dry before you spray the GS per your ques.
 

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So I decided to use greatstuff in my new 18 x 18 x 24 ZooMed build. I'm gonna take my time building this one out. I've been reading all over and think I have everything down but want to make sure.

1.) You use the Large Gap Greatstuff? About how far does a 16 oz can go? I've seen 12 oz cans at WalMarx and 16 oz at HomeDepot. How long should I allow it to cure? 24,48 hrs enough?
You can use the regular windows and doors or the black pond one. As stated above apparently the Large Gap expands too much.24 hours should be good,but it all depends how thick you lay it on. I used almost 3 16oz cans for both of my 18x18x18 and 18x18x24 but again,it all depends how you use it

2.) Apply a thin layer of silcone to the glass first, let cure. This helps it adhere better? Not quite sure if this is 100% necessary?
This is not necessary, but it does make the tank look nicer from the outside because you cover up the back part of the great stuff which doesn't look that nice

3.) You can carve the GS and form it once it cures?
yes

4.) Apply a layer of black/brown silicone to the Greatstuff and then sprinkle on your covering of peat/coco/orchidbark as a substrate? I was going to use a mix of the three.
not sprinkle,more like try to pack it in as much as possible. If you get too thin of a coat you will get parts of the GS showing eventually. Use a lot of silicone to get good coverage.

5.) I'm thinking I will sink clay pots into the background for some plants, broms can just be stabbed in or secured with paperclips/toothpicks? Epiphytes and vines will just grow right over it.
yes

6.) Keep the GS up out of the false bottom? I was going to go down to about 6 inches above the bottom of the tank.
It's a good idea. It really is just a waste to go all the way down since it will get covered up by the substrate/leaf litter. Basically stop where the soil will be at the highest point.

Just my thoughts from my research and experience. Good Luck!
 

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not IMO...it's more of an aesthetics thing in case you miss a spot on the background it won't be noticeable...lowe's or HD have it in my area.

Black pond stuff?

nvrmind found it. Hmmm. Still have to cover it with silcone, it it worth the extra money. And where to buy locally?
 

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Black pond stuff?

nvrmind found it. Hmmm. Still have to cover it with silcone, it it worth the extra money. And where to buy locally?
Putting silicone on GS is the worst part of build. Fumes, hard to tell if you miss a spot until its all done (meaning youve cleaned up etc and a few days have passed) You can still see some white spots in my viv, i am hoping they will eventually get covered over w moss etc.

Its prob a luxury to get the black color... but then again, I did read some reviews that the dow chem (other $$) stands up to water and sun better- so should last really long in a viv - the cheaper brands of black foam had some reviews that foam broke down overtime.

Other prob is its hard to find, so I had to mail order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm gonna check my lowes. They have the best price on the regular stuff, even beating walmarx. I'm going to be covering two sides almost 100%. The back will be entirely covered including about 3" of the right side. The left side will be covered to withing about 3-5inches of the front glass..

I was actually thinking of laying on the GS then carving out the spots for the clay pots.

I just went a little nuts on Tropiflora and have 9 broms coming, most are offsets. I also found a nice what looks like Neo "Zoe" at HomeDepot. It was almost a twofer, as it has a very large offset that is almost as big as the parent.

Man I love doing these projects but I'm gonna have to get a second JOB!
 

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I'm gonna check my lowes. They have the best price on the regular stuff, even beating walmarx. I'm going to be covering two sides almost 100%. The back will be entirely covered including about 3" of the right side. The left side will be covered to withing about 3-5inches of the front glass..

I was actually thinking of laying on the GS then carving out the spots for the clay pots.
I just went a little nuts on Tropiflora and have 9 broms coming, most are offsets. I also found a nice what looks like Neo "Zoe" at HomeDepot. It was almost a twofer, as it has a very large offset that is almost as big as the parent.

Man I love doing these projects but I'm gonna have to get a second JOB!
you can carve it, but I would inset the pots and spray around it. The GS will bond and hold everything in nice and secure - you might practice spraying the foam on some glass and try to carve and see if you get the effect you want. I used an Xacto knife and rough sand paper.

yeah I went crazy on broms myself - blowing past my "budget" HA made the mistake of buying "smart" - picked up 4 glass petco tanks for real cheap (uhhh)... now I have the bug to set them up
 

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Hi Doug,

Check out the links I sent you. I use great stuff, but I use it much more lightly than most people. Just to add some different textures.

I also find that using coco bark (small orchid bark or coconut shell chunks) mixed with peat chunks (which is really hard to find unfortunately) works much better than a straight peat or coco fiber covering. Again, much better texture.

s
 
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