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Thread: Anyone used Pond Shield on a wooden terrarium?

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    swords's Avatar
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    Anyone used Pond Shield on a wooden terrarium?

    Hey guys I've found this on another forum and was wondering if any of you DIYers have used it?

    http://www.pondshield.com/index.htm

    It says non-toxic & non-hazmat, so... can it be used in-situ to seal an indoor wooden terrarium project without killing the houses occupants? People online are using it to make sealed wood & glass, cement, etc. tanks for fish and frogs. I thought it looks pretty great but my vivarium project will likely not fit through the doors so I will have to build it in the room it's gonna be in and so can't be much stronger than aquarium silicone in stink as it will be mid winter and I can't have the windows open too much more than a crack.

    I know polyester fiiber glass resin is awful smelling stuff which is why I haven't looked at marine coatings. But this is an epoxy and the non-toxic sculpting epoxy I use (Aves) smells like Fritos chips and so that isn't bad at all and actually makes me want chips when I use it!

  2. #2
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Uh, I don't know for sure but I just want to stress that you should be using strong ventilation...
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    No Direct Experience....

    Well,
    I have worked with an array of media, and this indeed looks like it gives good results.
    Any of the epoxy type mixtures do seem to give off an unpleasant odor, however as to
    its toxicity (other than a headache or sinus problems from the smell)
    contacting the company is the best route to answer that question.

    To offer a little "learned the hard way" advice, make sure you have a good, solid "base"
    to apply it to, as even any minor flexing in your unit could break the seal eventually.
    So if you are using this over wood, try to build it with screws and not nails if you can.
    (If you use nails, use a good wood glue.) If you are like me, you hate doing a job twice.

    Thanks for finding the product (I have even bookmarked it for possible future use)
    as it appears have admirable qualities for giving not only a watertight
    seal, but a nice finished look too. My only real concern would be how long it will last.
    Changing out a few layers of plastic (after lasting 10 years!) has been a lot easier for me
    than cleaning out and patching (let alone finding) hairline cracks in my "sealed" terrarium
    bottom. (And I have done both!)

    I guess if we don't hear from you again, we will assume the product gives off toxic fumes
    when mixed!

    Good luck with your project. Would love to see your finished unit
    Paul

    And yes, use common sense and ventilate! Even if its not toxic!
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

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    swords's Avatar
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    Well, here is what I was initially thinking for my project before I found the Pond Armour stuff. I haven't bought it yet cos it is rather pricey.

    First build a wooden case 48"L x 24"W x 36"H with a sliding glass front and glass top.

    Then using an "under bed" sterlite tub 40"L x 20" W x 8"H inside the chamber as the bottom since the tub is waterproof and will hold like 20 gallons or something, so even if the mister screws up and stays on and empties the whole 5 gallon bucket it won't flood the tub.

    Next the tub will be "set in place" by spraying the side and back with the Great Stuff expanding polyurethane foam and then covered in black aquarium silicone and peat to allow vertical moss/plant growth.

    My thought is the foam is waterproof, the silicone is waterproof and all water will run down to the tub which is waterproof and that should be "enough". But I was going to get the Pond Armor just as another step in waterproofing protection between the wood and the expanding foam covered in silicone once I saw someone post about it on another forum.

    I have a bunch of 4 mil plastic from building other plant propagators and things, can you describe how you line/waterproof a box with it? Any pics of the process? That'd be great!

  5. #5
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    That building plastic will decay over time with heat and light - I don't think that's a very ideal material. If I were to try and waterproof something with it, though, I would probably paint the surface with a waterproof glue and then roll the plastic onto it, smoothing out the bubbles as I go with a grout knife or something, like making a lacquer box. But honestly I think something like a thin plexiglass would be a better choice.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Plans

    Well, here is the setup similar to what I have on one of my Grow Chambers.
    Like I said, it lasted about 10 years before springing a leak. I then took it apart
    (other than the plywood base reservoir, the rest of it comes apart easily!),
    and cut it down in size (from 5'w x 30"dp. down to 5'w x 18"dp.) in order
    to fit in a new location.
    At that time I put in new plastic lining. Again, a couple/few layers.
    That was about 6 years ago, and it hasn't leaked or deteriorated at all from what
    I can tell at this point. (Knock on wood!)
    It is in an east window, and has supplemental t5 lighting (4' x 4 lamp).

    I can only speak from direct experience that I have had with it.
    I live in Illinois, and the sunlight from the window is not "cooking".
    I do know that when I have used this method with things in my west facing
    lean-to greenhouse, the plastic does dry and crack quickly.
    The top layer of plastic shades the second & third layer, but indeed it cooks
    in the greenhouse (It can get to 100 degrees in the WINTER!), and so the
    "inner" layers of plastic deteriorates within a couple years. (The top layer within
    about a year.) Anything below water/soil line holds up, but the part that shows
    falls apart.

    Again, I have NOT had this problem at all with the terrarium in the east window.
    You can only see the plastic on the inside, and only about 2 inches shows, as the
    rest is covered with sphagnum. As the plastic is black, its hardly even noticeable.
    And when it did begin to leak, it was inside underneath, not along the top where it shows.
    (I probably poked it enough over the years, or it just broke thru at some point.)

    I hope the diagram helps. There was no need for me to glue the plastic to the sides,
    as it is under the soil line and the sphagnum etc. pushes the plastic against the walls of the
    unit already. The little bit above the soil-line isn't a big deal, and while part of it does buckle a bit, other areas sit against the sides flat.

    And again, in the east facing window it is in, exposure to hot sun doesn't exist.
    I certainly wouldn't recommend this for a terrarium that cooks in a south or west facing window, as then you WILL quickly have a problem. Using pond liner is another route to go,
    however it is thicker and harder to form to the walls. In that case, possibly gluing part
    to the walls might be a good thing.
    If you do want a more finished look, the epoxy stuff might give better results.
    Might, being the key word!
    Well, good luck. And do post whatever you do!
    Paul

    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  7. #7
    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks for the diagram and description. My setup is planned like your drawing but where the plastic is is where I would be putting the large shallow sterlite tub. I never use nails for anything, I'm lazy so my power drill is my best friend! lol

    Ideally I'd like to use all glass but I don't think I can build it by myself at that size cos of the weight of the glass but I'd really like to have just the one big display sized setup instead of 4-6 smaller XL ExoTerras on a plant shelf type setup.

    Why O why don't they sell euro style sliding front vivs in the US.

  8. #8
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I've seen some nice looking orchid cases from stateside companies. Could you hack one of those?
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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