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post #1 of 20 Old 04-18-2005, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Any epoxy experts out there??

nothing to do with bikes but rather an aquarium project gone wrong.

i wanted to start my 90 gallon tank up again and i saw on some fish boards some really nice looking do it yourself backgrounds and landscapes that go into the tank.

I decided to embark on this project as well. so i formed the background out of styrofoam , coated it with cement, then applied a marine epoxy to the whole thing to seal it from the water. The product used was called gelcote fiberglass resin. i washed the background then let it soak in the water for a few days and emptied the tank and refilled. i throw in a few fish ( african cichlids) and they look fine. i go for a ride and i come back 3 are dead, the other 2 are gasping for air at the top of the tank.

I can still smell the epoxy in the water; it comes back eventually after water changes. i was talking to some marine shops and they say that it is the gelcote, but more specifically it's the catalyst ( hardener) thats at fault. i must have put too much of it in and the extra didn't combine with the resin, and it's leaching right now. they recommended that i pull everything out and give the background a scrub with scotchbrite and ammonia or acetone, then apply 3 - 4 layers of another epoxy on top. ( east system ), and this time getting the correct mixture of hardener to resin. this one says 5:1, the gelcote actually was 20:1 and i'm sure it was my fault that i did indeed put too much catalyst.

now i can pull everything out but here's the problem. It's going to be a HUGE pain in the ass to pull everything out again. the background has been siliconed in place so it doesn't float plus the tanks already filled with water.

My question to the everyone is can i just keep it as is and keep on doing water changes and that the leaching will eventually stop, or do i have to pull the background and landscape out and start again with another coating. any help would be appreciated. Thanx for reading my novel
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-18-2005, 11:38 PM
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

How much do fish cost?

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not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-18-2005, 11:44 PM
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

Can any plants help clean the impurities out?
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-18-2005, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPinOZ
How much do fish cost?

5- 20 a fish.

here's a pic of the tank. those side modules are loaded with silicone, and bulldog premium to make sure that it didn't float up. i honestly don't think i'd be able to take them off.

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/...4/f4785f89.jpg
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-18-2005, 11:47 PM
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

Gelcoat is carsen.......cersin.............cursan........ it phuk's ya up and will do the same to the fish probably.
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-18-2005, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

Quote:
Originally Posted by ND4SPD
Can any plants help clean the impurities out?
i dunno, but i do have real plants in the tank. they're not shown in that picture.
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-18-2005, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

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Originally Posted by Newfie TLR
Gelcoat is carsen.......cersin.............cursan........ it phuk's ya up and will do the same to the fish probably.
carcinogen??
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-19-2005, 12:22 AM
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

It would seem that the toxin does leach into water so my approach would be to do a few changes of water allowing say a day between changes then reintroduce a couple of cheapish fish to be the "coal miner's canaries". If they survive then you're OK to add more. I guess this depends on what value you put on a fish's life compared to the hassle of ripping your landscape apart.

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post #9 of 20 Old 04-19-2005, 9:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPinOZ
It would seem that the toxin does leach into water so my approach would be to do a few changes of water allowing say a day between changes then reintroduce a couple of cheapish fish to be the "coal miner's canaries". If they survive then you're OK to add more. I guess this depends on what value you put on a fish's life compared to the hassle of ripping your landscape apart.

well here's the kicker. I did have guppies in there for a couple days, they were fine. drop the nice fish in, dead in a few hours. i'm gonna wait a few more days , keep up with the water changes then try again. i guess the obvious test is whether the smell goes away. i'm just wondering if the leaching will ever stop.
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-19-2005, 9:22 AM
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

Just toss some feeder fish in there. They can be had for around a dime around here
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post #11 of 20 Old 04-19-2005, 9:50 AM
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

Quote:
Originally Posted by MACI4LIFE
carcinogen??
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post #12 of 20 Old 04-19-2005, 10:18 AM
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

Quote:
Originally Posted by MACI4LIFE
3 are dead, the other 2 are gasping for air

MURDERER!!!
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-19-2005, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete
MURDERER!!!
I plead the 5th!!!!!!!
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post #14 of 20 Old 04-19-2005, 12:46 PM
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

Quote:
Originally Posted by ND4SPD
Just toss some feeder fish in there. They can be had for around a dime around here
And they don't make a good "canary" as they'll live in damn near anything. Feeder fish will sometimes actually live for quite a while in salt water. (I mean like more than an hour)

I don't know about freshwater fish (I keep reeftanks), but every fish species will have a different sensitivity to certain water parameters.

I don't know enough to know how much or for how long this stuff will leach into your water. One thing that could help is elevated temps to speed up the catalyst. If you have nothing living in the tank, maybe try maxing out your heater and dumping some boiling water in.



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post #15 of 20 Old 04-19-2005, 12:51 PM
 
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Re: Any epoxy experts out there??

Filter the water with large amounts of activated carbon.
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