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Thread: False sand bed

  1. #16
    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: False sand bed

    Hi, I used a tried and tested 2 component epoxy made over here called Duraloid AL-30 made by a company called Prochima. It is purpose made to come into contact with food and drinkable liquids, even fermenting grapes or vinegar (used to coat the inside of vats). It is also dishwasher safe up to 60C (used to coat decorated wood boards used as plates for eating on or serving). Ideally I would use some kind of heavy (sinking) flat backed support on the top surface ofwhich I could put some 3D relief, so I was thinking cement board with some cement/sand relief on the top, 2 good coats of Duraloid all over and a good dusting of sand over it while the top coat is still sticky. Thinking of maybe making it in 3 sections so I can easily remove them every now and then to clean any detritus that may have seeped between them and the bottom panel of glass.
    Last edited by Paul Sabucchi; 09-10-2018 at 02:41 PM.

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    Registered Member Mattgoanna's Avatar
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    Default Re: False sand bed

    Thanks. I used flat slate roof tiles one time and was surprised how much crap gathers underneath. I will have a play over the next few weeks.

  3. #18
    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: False sand bed

    Same thing I was worrying about, maybe I will use some panes of float glass as support, so the gap between false sand and bottom pane would be minimal

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    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: False sand bed

    Great thread OP and kudos for your efforts of experimenting and sharing Paul .
    Couple of years ago I got very attracted to this idea and have read a ton of experiences about it , but I just never got courage to try it in practice

    The original idea was to make a mushy compound mixing the sand with epoxy straight in to tank .That way the compound sticks to all the sides and bottom glass and it can't trap any debris underneath. You can supposedly scape the sand manually to achieve a 3D effect on the sand bottom before it dries out .
    This idea sounds almost perfect for a discus display tank and only drawback that I see would be cleaning the algae off the solid sand structure.

    Paul I would encourage you to try this experiment with a small 5 gallon tank . Pour all in , make the sand /epoxy compound straight in that tank and see what happens when it dries out .This would be the best solution for a debris free bottom If there aren't any other hiden problems along the process .
    I've read experiences where tank glass cracks once the comound starts to dry and heal and I would like to know if this is true .

  5. #20
    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: False sand bed

    From what I have seen the mushy mix of sand and epoxy can get quite messy to work with particularly once scaled up to big aquarium size. All things considered I think I prefer the look of the sand just stuck on top of the epoxy, this way even if the sand does trap dirt, it is only one grain thick so the actual amount of dirt would be negligible. It is also probably easier to give the support the required 3D shape first and then waterproofing and stick the sand on it and I probably would not want to have it permanently stuck to my tank. I will probably just make a bigger sample and leave it in the goldfish tank a few weeks. I am in no great rush as I was not planning to add any decor to my discus tank for another year or so. By the way the wooden "tree" has long been covered with 3 coats of the same epoxy

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