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Thread: Questions about Great Stuff (foam)

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    Question Questions about Great Stuff (foam)

    Hello!

    I have some questions and would like some clarifications about how to safely use Great Stuff (the foam in a can product) to make structures in a vivarium.

    I've read a few ‘how to's but wanted to ask some specific questions and to make sure I have the right information as well.

    I've normally seen these made with egg crate, or some other kind of mesh scaffolding, with Great Stuff put over it. This is usually done within an empty tank/enclosure and other bits added later. This is my main concern, where the bits are assembled. The tank is currently inhabited (it's a paludarium in a half filled 40 breeder) and I wanted to be double sure that I would still be able to use the same method of foam and scaffolding outside of the tank as long as I let it cure fully. I would ideally like the structures to be somewhat removable anyway for future cleaning.

    The rest of my concerns just have to deal with double checking what I already know before I launch head first into a build:

    With traditional Great Stuff I know you have to wait for the foam to cure and then apply a layer of aquarium silicone, and then allow that to cure. I've also heard that there is a Great Stuff for ponds that is a bit more expensive but allows you to bypass the silicone. Is there any real pros or cons to these minus the need for silicone, or would you recommend coating the pond variety with silicone as well?


    Feel free to ask questions because I don't always word well.

    Thanks!

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    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about Great Stuff (foam)

    In my opinion the black foam is easier to use. You can use clear silicon on it instead of the black you would use on the yellow foam. If you miss a spot it barely shows and that’s always a plus. Just remember to carve the surface so it adheres properly. Another method is to carve the foam and paint it with dry lock tinted with acrylic paint. I’ve made some nice backgrounds this way and it’s safe for all intents and purposes. Using plastic egg crate as a rigid skeleton is fine but it will take some creative carving to get it to sit flush. Remember the foam expands big time.

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    Default Re: Questions about Great Stuff (foam)

    Quote Originally Posted by DanDrobates View Post
    In my opinion the black foam is easier to use. You can use clear silicon on it instead of the black you would use on the yellow foam. If you miss a spot it barely shows and that’s always a plus. Just remember to carve the surface so it adheres properly. Another method is to carve the foam and paint it with dry lock tinted with acrylic paint. I’ve made some nice backgrounds this way and it’s safe for all intents and purposes. Using plastic egg crate as a rigid skeleton is fine but it will take some creative carving to get it to sit flush. Remember the foam expands big time.
    I never thought of using black foam; that may work out better for my limited abilities and space!

    Currently the set up is super simplistic, basically a flat section of egg crate with a fine mesh on both sides sitting on some PVC pipes, making a sort of 'table' or 'dock' that's above the water line the frog can use as a land area. It drains really well and allows for maximum swimming room, but it doesn't allow for much variation in height and landscaping. Before I was using the method of just piling a bunch of gravel on one side and while that allowed for more flexibility in height, the water was very shallow and there was little swimming room, as well as making the tank super heavy.
    I'll definitely start looking at black foam. Do you have any suggestions for brand or formulation?

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    Default Re: Questions about Great Stuff (foam)

    Great stuff pond and stone is what I’ve been using. It’s available on Amazon in a two pack. it takes two cans to do the back side of a 40 breeder so get a few cans in case you run out. Also it will cure faster if you spray it with water.

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    Default Re: Questions about Great Stuff (foam)

    Thanks for the pointers! I appreciate it.

    Looks like I'll be messing with plans and foam now.

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    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about Great Stuff (foam)

    Also one last tip. Try a practice run first. It took me a few times to get the hang of it so I’d advise you to use an extra can on some extra egg crate and see how it works before you do your build. This way if it’s not what you want right off the bat you’ll have a better idea of how it will go with the actual build.

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