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Thread: Cork as an alternative to paint/styrofoam for barebottom 'with Substrate Look'

  1. #1
    Platinum Member ODwyerPW's Avatar
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    Default Cork as an alternative to paint/styrofoam for barebottom 'with Substrate Look'

    I have 8 20L tanks that I will be assembling soon. (previous post I removed top and bottom rims and leak tested).

    I wanted to cycle and break in two of them as bare bottom quarantine tanks. I though that I would do a painted styrofoam on the bottom for 'leveling' and to create a 'dirt/gravel substrate look'.

    I experimented with a 9" x 11" square of 3/4" rigid Styrofoam. The results were hilarious:

    TankStyroamPaintedBottom.jpg

    It literally dissolved. Yeah I know, stupid is what stupid does.. Like pouring gasoline into a Styrofoam cup. I thought I could work careful w/ light coats and ample drying time between coats. Nope. So painting syrofoam with Stone Creations is out. But I don't want a flat acrylic paint look.

    As luck would have it, I happened to be browsing the planted tank forum looking for methods of stacking aquariums and stumbled upon a member using bookshelf sized aquariums stacked on shelves with 'Cork' underneath each of the aquariums. I like that look (though I'd try to find just slightly darker):

    TankCorkBottom.jpg

    So, a couple of questions:

    1. My 20L will probably weigh in at about 160 lbs (accounting for about 1/2" offset waterline at the top). What thickness should I use for the cork?

    2. Any cork users? How does it respond to occasionally getting a little wet? (did it mold? does it disintegrate?)
    Last edited by ODwyerPW; 05-09-2019 at 02:53 PM.
    Peter
    Cuerpo en Green Valley, Arizona, USA y Corazón en Alamos, Sonora, Mexico

    learning never stops

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    Administrator jeep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cork as an alternative to paint/styrofoam for barebottom 'with Substrate Look'

    I use Stone Creations and spray directly on the underside of the glass. Any air trapped between the cork and the tank will reflect. Since yours is rimless, I imagine some paint will stick to any foam it comes in contact with if you move the tank in the future...

    Brian

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    Moderator Team Adam S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cork as an alternative to paint/styrofoam for barebottom 'with Substrate Look'

    Once it's filled with water, I'm pretty sure you won't see the cork under the tank.

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    Default Re: Cork as an alternative to paint/styrofoam for barebottom 'with Substrate Look'

    Hey Peter,
    I haven't used Cork, but yes, I tried the styro-route once..messy messy!

    I have a 125 gal tank here that a friend gave me that he used contact "paper" on. Its been on that tank now somewheres around 15 years. At the time the colors available were kind of basic and he chose light blue, but theres so many options now..


    examples...
    1.jpeg

    2.jpg

    might be something to consider...

    al
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    Platinum Member ODwyerPW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cork as an alternative to paint/styrofoam for barebottom 'with Substrate Look'

    Jeep, that sounds like the way to go...
    Al, I like the gravel looking contact paper.

    I'll try the paint first.
    Peter
    Cuerpo en Green Valley, Arizona, USA y Corazón en Alamos, Sonora, Mexico

    learning never stops

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