300gal plywood paludarium project

pengu13

Feeder Fish
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Feb 9, 2010
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ya i had ordered 2 of the 1.5 quart kits after thinning and doing two coats it was not to bad, me and my room mate went over it and still found alot of touch ups for the third try so i have a little saved till after the water test.
The body prep spray is suggested on the instruction that come in the kit. i was goin to wipe it with just water then alcohol but my room mate had a can of prep spray so we put it to use
the tape shows all the spots i had to go back sanded and touched up for the third coat

P7190001.JPG
 

jay_leask

Jack Dempsey
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Sep 17, 2007
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amazing work too bad you didnt have this months ago then we could of followed your lead ;) and then we wouldnt have had all these problems, even though i think we have them figured out.
 

Ray'Oconner

Feeder Fish
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Jul 28, 2010
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Put A Couple Of polys Inside !! They Will Look Great.. I Go Crazy For Them
If I Had Such A Tank..:nilly:
 

the_deeb

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Apr 22, 2006
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I went on vacation last week so things have been slow but I've made a little progress.

I cut out my fan boxes and installed them around the top edge of the tank.

I also carved a bunch of tree roots from extruded polystyrene.

I bought my Pond Shield but after hearing about pengu's issues with the Pond Shield fisheye-ing and leaking I got a little nervous so I decided to fiberglass the entire lower half of the tank using West Systems 105/206. The WS is so thin and easy to work with that I felt it will probably do a better job of soaking into the wood than PS. This way I figure that the PS is just being applied as a colored top coat and even if it leaks there will be an extra waterproof barrier underneath.

I'll post some pics when I get them off my camera.
 

john73738

Fire Eel
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Nov 8, 2009
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Looking good. My advice is to use one product, rather than doing the mix and match. If you use the WS just go with that. I used Sweetwater Epoxy and have had no problems.

Good Luck
 

the_deeb

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Apr 22, 2006
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WS by itself would be fine for waterproofing but I want the interior to be black when I'm done (one of the reasons I didn't go with LR/Pond Coat). You can tint the WS epoxy but it just makes it darker, not black (you can still see the wood grain underneath).

Based on the WS manual it's fine to put a topcoat over the cured WS epoxy. Sweetwater would probably have been the easiest to apply but this was not an option for me because of the toxicity and smell (I'm building this in the middle of my small, poorly ventilated apartment). Pond Shield was the only other black two part epoxy I could think of as a top coat. Plus it was available locally from a nearby pond place.

I contacted Butch at Pond Armor and he said that Pond Shield could be applied over WS epoxy as long as it was sanded with 60grit sandpaper first. The PS may have been fine as a standalone product but since I don't have any external framing on the tank I didn't want to take any chances so I decided to incorporate some fiberglass, and the WS epoxy is so much better for wetting out cloth than the thick PS. Probably overkill, but since my test fill is going to be in the middle of my living room I'd rather do this right the first time rather than have to deal with leaks.
 

the_deeb

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Apr 22, 2006
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Ok, as I said before I decided to fiberglass the entire water portion of the tank using West System 105/206 and lightweight Bondo brand fiberglass cloth. This will provide structural strength and an additional layer of waterproofing. Now that I've gotten the hang of it, fiberglassing is actually quite enjoyable... almost addictive according to my wife :) If I had more epoxy and fiberglass I'd probably glass the entire interior but I don't want to spend the extra money and I certainly don't think it's necessary.

Here's a piece of cloth trimmed and layed out



Wetted out with an initial layer of resin. I used a bondo spreader to wet out the cloth and a small brush to do the edges



After it gelled I trimmed of the excess and then applied 2 more coatings with a roller to fill the weave. Here's the tank with the lower half all glassed up. It's almost hard to tell because of how clear it gets!

 
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