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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am creating a drip wall out of foam and the west system epoxy. I am happy how it is turning out, but how do you dull the finish of the epoxy?
Would sanding the finish coat be enough? What if I added some sand to the epoxy mix? Is there any other things you can do to the finish to assist in growing plants on the backround?
 
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i didn't roughen mine up after i was done, but i imagine sanding the surface would dull it up.

be sure to put on plenty of extra layers of the epoxy where you intend on sanding though, as you will be sanding layers away

-sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
how many coats did you put on your backround? I heard at least 5 coats to be waterproof. did you paint your backround or use dye in the epoxy?
 
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I was just looking online for places to buy the epoxy from. How much did you use on your background? I am just trying to buy the best size stuff w/o getting too much or too little b/c it is so expensive.
 
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Alright, I am really discouraged. I can't afford to pay $80 to buy and ship the stuff. Please, please, please, tellme that is isn't that expensive and where to get it from. Thanks for the help.
 

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Depending on how adventurous you are, you could try something like the Dutch vivarium method using an acrylic or acetate adhesive mixed with dirt. They get amazing results with the stuff and it is much cheaper.
 
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check out go2marine.com

they offer the resin (.82 pt) for under 30, and the resin for like 13. not ultra cheap, but it's a good product, and this was the cheapest i could find it

-sam
 
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Alright, I'm intrigued. Not sure how adventurous I want to be for my first viv. but, still interested. Could you explain to me what your Dutch Vivarium idea entails? I am using a foam backboard base to start and I wish to make a drip wall/waterfall sculpted out of the foamboard. Can this mixture work for this and will it last? Have you tried this?

If not, I guess I will just have to save up and buy the epoxy, which looks great on s.ling's viv. And thanks for listing the website, I'll have to check it out. Oh, and did you buy the mini pumps that are offered?
 
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hey,

yeah i got the mini pumps.. they're pretty nice due to the importance of mixing the proper ratios.. but of course you can do w/o them

-sam
 

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Start here:

http://www.poison-frogs.nl/e030223.html

then look here:

http://www.georgecramer.com/dutchvivariums.html

Long story short, you can use a plastic that is more like weldbond or elmers that dries very hard. When you mix it with something porous like a peat mix, it makes a paste that later dries hard. It is water proof and is used in almost every single one of the vivariums on that second website. For the most part the polymers that go into that stuff are much less toxic and caustic than epoxy. I think bbrock has messed with it as have some others on frognet. If you search the frognet archives you can find reams of information on the stuff:

http://listserver.dreamhost.com/piperma ... ognet.org/

Look through late March 2005 and you will find tons of info. I personally think this is the most promising avenue and seems well tested by the Dutch. I understand that some have concerns about its toxicity, but from what I've read it concerns me much less than some of the other stuff out there especially if you can find some PVA without a bunch of other copolymers or additives. One of my messages is here:

http://listserver.dreamhost.com/piperma ... 14924.html

Also, bear in mind that with the right plants, your background will be covered anyway, so you just have to worry about the look for a couple months while everything grows in.

$0.02

Marcos
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you are looking for the marine epoxy go to a local boat supply store. Most places like that will be the cheapest. I paid about $ 45 total for the epoxy and the hardener( about qt.size). It might be cheaper on the net but you have to rember shipping :!:


I like the idea of the Dutch viv. It also sounds easy enough

Another thing is to use the Great stuff and then put peat or eco earth on it . this also looks real cool. this would also be a cheap solution since it is your first viv
 
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well, the more I hear, it sounds like I might want to consider the dutch thing more seriously. Does anyone know what type I should get, should I choose to go this route?
 

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Tap plastics sells many different types of epoxy. I have been playing around with their marine grade epoxy that they say is safe for fish tanks. I made 2 small batches mixed with coco brick fibers, one I added their dye to and one without. I used a lot of coco to make it lumpy, pasty in texture. I just lumped it and spread it on some black expanding foam that I used to make my basic shape out of for a back drop. I did not have any problem with it melting the foam . I like the texture of it . Looks like dirt or almost lava rock in apperance except for the fact that I do not know how to get it to cure with a dull flat finish as apposed to glossy. Epoxy isn't cheap but tapplastics.com is a little less costly than west systems epoxy that others have used. The Black expanding foam for fish ponds I bought at home depot for $12 a can isn't cheap either. If anyone has a good suggestion on what to add to the epoxy mix to dull the finish let me know. Sanding or scuffing up a backdrop that was build in a tank with lots of cracks and crevices is just not an option for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Im still working on dulling the finish of the epoxy but still no luck. I'm coming to a conclution that you can get rid of the glossy finish. I would love to see pics of the backround that have the coco peat mixed with the epoxy :!: I am thinking about doing this to my next viv.

:idea:
If you put the coco ontop of the black spray foam while it is still guey you get a really cool effect without the shine.
 
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