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Discussion Starter #1
So I havent seen this stuff around the forums yet but figured Id post it and see what people think. I am thinking of using to form some trees in my 40 breeder. any chem buffs out there see any reasons to not use it?

Aves Apoxie Sculpt | Epoxy Clay
 

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It looks pretty cool, but at the same time I can't help but wonder if it's more economical, in the long run, to get a two part epoxy with a thickener to accomplish the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was wondering that too, Iv used plenty of epoxy in surfboard building but havent looked into thickening it for the viv. Issue is the thickener does not really allow for much sculpting as it tends to kick with a rubber texture. At least the thickener I am used to, do you know another type? I am talking about divicell and similar. The benefit to this product is it may be very similar to zoopoxy which is just regular epoxy marketed for us for vivs, people just dont know that. Its slightly cheaper than the polygem stuff too. 10 bucks is 10 buck in my eyes. I just sent an email so we will find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
read right over the aquarium part. sounds really promising especially in the sizes available and colors, and price.
 

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I think you'll find most epoxy-clays are too thick for anything other than sculpting purposes.

I've worked with this and about 20 other materials of this exact kind for a while now and was unhappy with them all so I formulated my own with much better results.

Working on getting it manufactured in bulk to drop the price before I start offering it up for sale. Only about 2 years into now. *sigh*

A MAJOR issue to look into with any epoxy is the additive "nonylphenol". Every single epoxy clay manufactured in the US I've surveyed thus far uses nonylphenol as a catalyst and thinner.(Which is why I had to make my own.) It is a true catalyst in that it is not integrated into the final polymer but just encased into the matrix. As such it can be released into the water. Just google search nonylphenol and see what I mean about aquatic toxicity issues. The best part is that it doesn't have to be listed in the MSDS here in the US. So unless you have access to say a Mass Spectrometer at work... you'll really never know unless you ask the company and they don't always want to tell you. But if you get an epoxy from the UK it should be devoid of it as nonylphenol was banned from use in the UK. It's still used in massive quantities here in the US epoxy market because its a really cheap additive and works to prevent epoxy "blushing". (When the amine hardener reacts with moisture/co2 to form a sticky outer coating.)

Sooo you CAN use it, but I don't because of the nonylphenol issue and I can't sculpt to save my life.
 

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I have used this product before. It's pretty cool stuff. you have to use alcohol to smooth it out but it works good for what I do. I don't know if it is safe for a viv or not. Seems like Scott has a better knowledge of the chemical ingredients than I do..lol
If you do choose to use it I would start with a foam core for your tree butress and skin it with this epoxy and sculpt the detail. for the rock get them from vivworks!
 

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For thickeners of regular epoxy, why not just use cellulose powder or talc? Just an aggregate to add bulk that would make it sculptable. Everything I can find on talc makes me thing it would be viv safe, but I think I'd feel more comfortable with cellulose. Just look at any composite supply website at fillers or thickeners, there's all kinds of stuff.
 

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Talc works really well actually. The only issue is that should you ever scratch it, it will scratch leaving a white color. Even if you dye the epoxy like mad. BUT as you can just use baby powder (its just talc with nontoxic perfume) its pretty easy way to achieve a simple thickener.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Vivworks, does Apoxie contain nonylphenol from the MSDS? I cant be bothered to register. also sent you a pm.
 

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I'm not going to say names on an open forum. But with extensive searching I have yet to find a US manufacturer that makes a nonylphenol-free epoxy clay.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So, some interesting information regarding this Aves Apoxie product. I have contacted the company and done some research into the composition. Thanks to vivworks who has considerable insight into the chemical make up of many of these products my knowledge has grown, and now so will yours..hopefully.

with that, here is some info for people wanting to use it.

Aves Apoxie clay does not contain nonylphenol. I cannot get chemical composition data or structures from the company. nonylphenol is illegal in the UK, I confirmed Apoxie clay is sold there for the same purposes as here. The UK is particularly strict on things like this so I am confident it does not contain this compound.

Epoxy needs to be mixed properly in order to leave little or no unreacted material in the matrix. The only way to get near perfect ratios is by using a scale and weighing out each part in a 1:1 ratio. take it to 2 or 3 decimal places to be really accurate. Then spend a long time kneeing and mixing the clay till all color is uniform.

I have not looked into weather zoopoxy contains the substance but the prices are more and quantities are not very useful for small projects. also you have to pay for shipping Apoxie can be found at craft stores.

Apoxie has more available quantities, and colors and is cheaper than zoopoxy.

conclusion is, Apoxie is safe for aquariums, vivariums, terrariums. If mixed properly is essentially inert, and doesn not contain the compound nonylphenol.

I will start my build with the product soon! enjoy
 

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I'm not going to say names on an open forum. But with extensive searching I have yet to find a US manufacturer that makes a nonylphenol-free epoxy clay.
What is the final result in the epoxy based rockwork used in zoos and aquariums? Certain US brands have been used for decades in sensitive and closed coral reef systems, as well as the leading dart frog and amphibian conservation programs in the world. I guess what I'm asking is what is the threat level of mixed and cured epoxy over foam in a contained environment? It would seem that captive amphibians and invertibrates have yet to show any noticable side effects from being housed in epoxy based housing using products from "major zoo suppliers".
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My thoughts exactly, thats what brought all this research on. I have worked with epoxy for quite a while with surfboards. Other than sensitivity with epoxy dust or uncured epoxy I had never known of epoxy as anything other than inert when cured and properly mixed. I had also never known of it having issues except with UV exposure. That said Vivworks brought up the substance nonylphenol. A quick search indeed results with knowledge of its destruction of aquatic habitats. I do not know if the substance is in the other brands used by public zoos and the like. I have messed up a number of surfboard laminations which results in extreme blushing and excess surfacing agents coming to the surface. many of which are water soluble and can cause pretty bad rashes on me let alone my frogs, so i know there are things that can be bad in it. I have not had issues with epoxy products in the few vivs i have made with it and I think zoos use professionals who know how important mixing is with epoxy, so few if any issues have arisen. i cannot find any literature on whether nonyphenol has been studied or even detected from these products once cured but many people eer on the side of precaution. Epoxy, even marine grade is not recommended for water storage tanks used for drinking water as it results in a bad taste and if not mixed properly the surfacing agents can become aqueous. I think this alone says something in the way of whether it is 100% safe and inert. just to be clear here, epoxy is not the trouble its the agents used for surfacing and to prevent blushing that are usually the culprits. But now you know Apoxie clay does not contain this ingredient and is as far as my 48 hours of research can find...one of the safest mediums to use when mixed properly.
 

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An interesting note is that multiple reef forum members have mentioned that after using "reef safe epoxy" they notice their protein skimmers go out of control and produce all kinds of bubbles. A well known surfactant perhaps?

My point is that there is no reason in using a known substance if there are more environmentally and safer alternatives out there. How long have we been using all kinds of chemicals before we find out that it has negative side-effects? Point is, the data is out on the environmental effects of the substance, and so I don't want to use it. And since it doesn't react with the matrix but is a catalyst, it has the possibility to be released into the system. If it reacted with the polymer and was 100% bound in the chain, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

As for it not containing it... well... I can't speculate on that openly until I get my findings replicated from an independent analytical chemistry lab.
 
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