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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've decided to try a little concrete mix in the background, just to experiment. I picked up a pail of Quickcrete Quick setting concrete mix. So far so good. I mixed equal parts of coco fiber, peat moss, and concrete mix and blended well. Then I added two parts dry mix to one part Quickcrete concrete bonding adhesive and mixed to a lumpy consistency. This was applied to a large scrap piece of Great stuff that had cured completely. The concrete starts to set up in 10-15 minutes, but takes 48 hours to fully cure. Once the mix started to get firm, I pressed in some more coco fiber/peat moss to add a finished layer.

So far the mixture has bonded to the foam very well, as far as I can tell. I will leave it set for 48 hours to dry completely and see how well it sticks. I'm not concerned about anything leaching because the peat/coco fiber layer seems to create a "crust" that hopefully will be water resistant. I'll know in a couple days.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This stuff is great! So far I've mixed the coco/peat mix with quickcrete concrete and added the concrete bonding adhesive until a mortar consistency. I've pressed this mix all over the foam, then pressed in lots of the coco/peat mix. When this all dries for several days, I'll brush off any excess coco/peat and allow it to dry thoroughly. The test piece I made up dried hard and didn't soften when soaked in water but the coco/peat stayed moist. When the gallery gets fixed I'll put up some pics.
 

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I know that in the reef hobby a lot of people have been using quickcreet to make homemade live rock. The problem was that you had to soak it in water that was changed daily for several weeks to allow it to cure. Same goes for concrete koi ponds. The problem was that the ph of the water would shoot through the roof because of all of the calcium carbonate? that was in the concrete. If you want to use it I would check out garf.org for info on curing the quickcrete. it would be ashame to lose some frogs over this.
 

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Hmmm...sounds like a very interesting project, post pics as soon as you can...
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Paul E. Wog said:
I know that in the reef hobby a lot of people have been using quickcreet to make homemade live rock. The problem was that you had to soak it in water that was changed daily for several weeks to allow it to cure. Same goes for concrete koi ponds. The problem was that the ph of the water would shoot through the roof because of all of the calcium carbonate? that was in the concrete. If you want to use it I would check out garf.org for info on curing the quickcrete. it would be ashame to lose some frogs over this.

I wonder what the acidity of the peat would actually do for countering the alkalinity of the Calcium Carbonate in the quickrete. Perhaps it would act as some sort of buffer? Any chem geeks here? I am an anthro student so I am just taking a stab here.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
dmartin72 said:
any other suggestions on how to make a waterfall?
I'm setting up a Viv this weekend with a waterfall. I have 2 cans of black expanding foam (like Great Stuff) that is made specifically for use in ponds and terrariums. It's not toxic to fish/animals, won't discolor and can be carved when dry.

I'm thinking about using a thin layer for the background and covering the foam with coco fiber while it's still sticky.

I'll post pics during the progress.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How much and where did you get the black expanding foam like great stuff...get some good pics
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
dmartin72 said:
Is it stickier than great stuff? I hate trying to glue/silicone coco fiber onto great foam...what a royal pain in the @$$!
I'll let you know after this weekend. This is when I'll be doing the waterfall and walls.
 

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I saw black expanding pond foam, near the pond supplies, at home depot a few days ago. It was only $12 a can.
 

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What exactly are the drawbacks of GreatStuff vs. this black foam? GreatStuff can be carved when dry, and isn't toxic when cured. It will discolor if left uncovered, but do you really plan on leaving the black foam bare anyways?
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dane said:
What exactly are the drawbacks of GreatStuff vs. this black foam? GreatStuff can be carved when dry, and isn't toxic when cured. It will discolor if left uncovered, but do you really plan on leaving the black foam bare anyways?
1) There is a great debate about GS being toxic even when dry. The black foam is made to be 100% animal safe.

2) You have to coat the tank glass with black silcone before using GS or you will see the ugly foam on the outside. The BF is well, black. :)

3) To use GS it is highly reccommended to coat the entire outside with black silcone which from reading many, many posts this is a messy pain in the butt job.

My plan: Spray the BF directly in the tank. On the final coat cover with coco fibers. Carve out a water way. Sounds easy enough. :D
 

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Not to be argumentative, but who is debating the toxicity of GS? I've been skipping the silicone coating and pressing the coco fibers directly onto the wet GS with good results. It's true that you do have to coat the inside of the glass with silicone, but the price alone of GS makes it worthwhile for me. I can get 2 cans of GS from Lowe's for $5.50, which will cover 6-8 vert 10s, whereas I'd be spending $30 or more for the same result with black pond foam. I'm sure it's a fine product, but for a newcomer on a budget, it might not be the best solution. BTW, sorry to hijack the post Jared!
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Dane said:
Not to be argumentative, but who is debating the toxicity of GS?
No one in this thread, I brought it up. I don't trust that GS is non-toxic from things I've read.
 
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