The only time I ever used epoxy was pouring it over pieces. How many coats are usually required when painting or doing a roll on, and if doing this over a cement or grout mixture, do you still need to leach the cement?
I understand that the epoxy would need time to properly cure and off-gas. But I figured doing such a treatment would allow one to get around the need to leach the cement, since the epoxy would be forming a water proof barrier over it
"I understand that the epoxy would need time to properly cure and off-gas. But I figured doing such a treatment would allow one to get around the need to leach the cement, since the epoxy would be forming a water proof barrier over it "
Even if you intend to completely seal the background, I think it is prudent to acid wash or soak the cement before you decide to epoxy it. In the event that the integrity of the epoxy is compromised and the seal you wish to create in using it is broken, it would be best to have done your best to neutralize the situation (literally!). Epoxy is tough, but it can be broken, and with plants growing, movement of a waterfall, etc.. it is not hard to imagine it being compromised in one part of the a large background.
It sounds logical that the epoxy only need some time and no water to clean it out, first I thought the same because it forms a waterproof skin..
After using the epoxy you can notice a very intoxicating smell in the tanks; depending on the material used together with the epoxy this can be more or less intense. (I've noticed with peat it's very intense, probably has something to do with the acid-level).
When I leave the tanks outside without doing nothing further, it can take a long time (more then one month) before the smell is gone, if I flush it with water one or two times a day, it is gone within one week.
To clean out the cement under the epoxy, is offcourse a possibility, I never do that because I just use a very thin layer of the cement (when I use it), and when in time the epoxy would be broken somewhere, it wil be just very small, and not the total skin coming off at once, so I quess that will not give a big impact.
But if you would use a thick layer of cement, it is something to consider offcourse.
It's a large front opening viv. So i was basically trying to get around the need to to build something to large enough to emerse it in
But if I'm going to take the time to build the thing in the first place, it's not going to be much more trouble the build a small pond, or tank using some plastic and 2x4s. Especially if it will help with the off-gassing.
PS I wonder if the issue with peat increasing issues with fumes is due to the larger surface from it acting as a sponge