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3d Backgrounds - Safe Materials

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steverokh

Not so new Member
Hi All,

Just looking at building my own 3d Background to go on the sides of my glass tank.

Was wondering if its safe to use some insulation instead of the styrofoam that most people use. (product I was thinking of using is https://www.bunnings.com.au/knauf-insulation-1200-x-600-x-30mm-xps-multi-use-foam-board_p0811027 ) - mainly because its a great insulation for my glass enclosure!

Grout ill be using https://www.bunnings.com.au/dunlop-1-5kg-alabaster-flexible-coloured-grout_p6650193 (Is this SAFE?)

Any recommendations for the sealant? Pond Sealer or Ornamental Sealer?

Either https://www.bunnings.com.au/crommelin-750ml-ornamental-sealer_p2841705 (Ornamental) or https://www.bunnings.com.au/crommelin-1l-clear-pond-sealer_p0960202 (Pond sealer)

tips or tricks that anyone else has encountered whilst making their own ? Pictures!?

Thanks Guys!

Steve
 

pinefamily

Very Well-Known Member
Can't help you with the insulation because we've never used it. We've used styrofoam by itself, or gapfilla on styrofoam, rendered, painted and sealed it with pond sealer. There are two brands, one is a matte finish, the other shinier. From memory, the one from Bunnings is the shinier one. Pond sealer would be preferable IMO; if it is safe for fish, it's safe for reptiles.
 

steverokh

Not so new Member
It's basically the same thing, both are polystyrene, this one's just a bit thicker and harder to shape, but had better insulation properties.

What did you use to grout or build on top of the foam with? Aka the rendering? And what kind of quality?

Thanks I probably will just use pond sealer, give it two coats, or 3?
 

pinefamily

Very Well-Known Member
We just bought a coloured render in Bunnings. Liquid nails is good to add bits of foam to the background. Otherwise try the gap filla: you just spray it on, and shape it while it sets. A word of warning: wear gloves. Absolutely nothing gets it off your hands. The pond sealer will need at least three coats, do each coat in opposite directions, for example first coat horizontal, second coat vertical, etc.
Even the styrofoam insulates very well. Make sure you make to size, juvenile reptiles will squeeze up the top if there is a gap.
 

steverokh

Not so new Member
Ah cool cool. Coloured render is a little more expensive than tile grout i'll see how the first one goes. And yup ill make sure its to size, doubt my 7 month old woma would get out but would ensure its a non-escapable board. 3 Coats Okay - i'll probably need more than 1 litre then!
 

pinefamily

Very Well-Known Member
I don't mean escape; they will hide away up there and it's tricky to get them out.
Depends how large your background is. The pond sealer goes a long way.
 

Murph_BTK

Well-Known Member
I recommend making sure that you use a good grout mixture and make it strong.. my bloody Ridge Tail found a flaw in my enclosure and without me noticing she dug a big enough hole to climb into and now hides in it 99% of the time.. its a large enclosure and when she is out i try and quickly open it up to block off the hole but she knows and heads for it in record time..lil ****.. i have tried food heating even leaving the enclosure open for her to get completely out and i would trap her in the room. But as of yet no luck! So my current project is being made from Cement . .
 

steverokh

Not so new Member
I recommend making sure that you use a good grout mixture and make it strong.. my bloody Ridge Tail found a flaw in my enclosure and without me noticing she dug a big enough hole to climb into and now hides in it 99% of the time.. its a large enclosure and when she is out i try and quickly open it up to block off the hole but she knows and heads for it in record time..lil ****.. i have tried food heating even leaving the enclosure open for her to get completely out and i would trap her in the room. But as of yet no luck! So my current project is being made from Cement ������. .

Yup - I'll use 2-3 coats of grout at least and it'll be thick. Plus the insulation im using is much much thicker and stronger than the usual poly-foam that is used for this kind of work. Plus my cage is only 900x500x600 so its not a huge job if I have to re-do something! (Cheap too... for now)
 
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