Great Stuff for Tank Divider?

Otterwoman

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I have an idea for using Great Stuff to make a tank divider (not very high). My question is, does it adhere to glass well enough to create a waterproof barrier?
If it works I will post pics of it here.
 

Nathan

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I've done this and do not recommend it. The Great Stuff adheres fine to glass, that's not the issue. The issue is that you will need to build the wall in numerous passes, allowing them to fully cure between passes (which also allows the nozzle to clog up). The other issue is that it is difficult to build high with Great Stuff unless you create very broad bases, so you will need a lot of it- possibly more than one can for even a low partition. You may also need to carve this chunky partition down.

I suggest you instead cut a piece of sheet styrofoam for the partition; you can use a little Great Stuff as an adhesive or for decoration, if you like. Either way you will need to seal the thing with silicone or epoxy to make it watertight.
 

bewilderbeast

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it sticks to acrylic or plexiglass very very well... I've never tried it on glass... the problem is it tends to shrink a little after a while if in constant contact with water...

hope that helps...
 

Otterwoman

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Thanks for your answers, guys.
If I try my experiment and then decide I don't like it, can I easily scrape it off the glass/tank to get rid of it? With, say, a razor scraper?
 

Nathan

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Yeah, it'll come right off with a razor or glass scraper. Acetone (nail polish remover) will clean up any residue.
 

bewilderbeast

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Yes.. because it is foam, anything that is a solvent for foam will work on Great Stuff... You can even cut it with a hot wire knife very well...
 

AaronK

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I have trouble getting Great Stuff to stick to glass. What I found helps is a light coat of silicone and then apply the great stuff. Wear gloves because the stuff is sticky!
 

SludgeMunkey

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The real issue is the instability of the structure. great Stuff will expand and contract drastically over time, splitting and cracking itself apart in the process.
 

Otterwoman

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Well, here's so far.

a- I put two pieces of paperboard in like that

b & c-and squirted the great stuff in. These are views from the side and top.


d & e-After a few hours, when it'd somewhat stiffened, I thought I'd remove the cardboard so it wouldn't stick so bad. Maybe I should have sprayed the paperboard with PAM or something.
Partly (the drier area) came off better, I scraped it with that spatula, and the wetter area is where the paper stuck. And there was a hole in it!

f-I squirted a little more great stuff in, smoothed it with my (gloved) hand, and I'll let it dry overnight. Tomorrow if I can get to it before work, I plan to scrape off the paperboard on the other side, and trim it down more like I want it. I will update as it goes.
 

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Otterwoman

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Today I took the cardboard off the back, and trimmed it to the size I wanted it. I'll wait a few days and then see how it holds water. If it works out, I want to make another; I have some marmoratus and dobro morphs that I'll end up housing in them (so they can be aquatic/terrestrial as they need). I was planning to leave it as it, and not coat it with anything. I think the morphs will easily be able to climb the rough surface to get from one side to the other. Any thoughts?
 

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Catbeanie

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Does this stuff leach any chemicals into water.... and what would happen if it got eaten... ?
 

Mark

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Once the expanding foam cures, how about coating the whole thing with a skin of black or brown aquarium silicone and sealing the edges to improve it's water tightness? I don't know how well it will work but the silicone/greatstuff combo is well established in the dartfrog hobby - normally for applying textures i.e. coco-fibre, but it may help waterproof it.
 

SludgeMunkey

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I have tried that, and epoxy resin and even concrete! I even resorted to allowing it to cure in to direct sun for over a month. (hence why no updates on the Okinawa project for a while!) The results are all the same, the stuff splits and cracks taking the coating along with it. I suspect that the success over at dendroboards is because they tend to cover the stuff up with a dusting of coir. (which just looks odd to me for some reason...)
 

Otterwoman

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how about coating the whole thing with a skin of black or brown aquarium silicone and sealing the edges to improve it's water tightness?
Is that a glue or a paint? I have a tube of aquarium glue I use sometimes and it's so sticky and viscous I can't imagine 'painting' with it.
 

Nathan

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General purpose silicone is much less viscous than the aquarium stuff. You have to be careful choosing the silicone, as many silicones have added toxins to inhibit mold and mildew. GE Silicone I Window and Door formula is the usual recommended one. You can apply it with a putty knife or gloved hand. There's a nice tutorial here for doing the all-out textured backgrounds with Great Stuff, silicone, and coir: http://www.blackjungle.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=2108. I'm trying this right now for a treefrog viv.

If you don't want to coat the whole thing, you could just use silicone to plug any gaps and unwanted holes, then paint the thing. Latex house paint, acrylic craft paint, or Krylon Fusion spray paint will work; they are non-toxic so long as you avoid pigments based on metals such as chromium, cadmium, titanium, etc. I use black Krylon Fusion in some of my aquaria; it clings well to Great Stuff. Just be sure to mask off the rest of the tank.

I haven't had the problems with splitting that you mentioned, Johnny. Is the splitting occurring soon after construction or further down the line? Are your projects exposed to major swings in temp and humidity?
 

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They sell it in black at you local pond centers. Remember to wear safety glasses. If you get that stuff in you eyes you could hurt your vision.
 

Otterwoman

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Well, I got my silicone today (gray)...I was all set to start, and then I saw, the Great Stuff had shrunk so much it made a gap at the edge of the tank. Here's pics. I'll do my old standby, I'll get a piece of glass cut to fit and glue it in. So much for my big experiment! I guess they can't all go right.
 

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