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Polymorph plastics or glue sticks

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Projects' started by MuralReef, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. MuralReef

    MuralReef Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. MASC Vice-President

    I am always looking for a cheaper alternative than what is sold for aquarium use. I know that can result in unwanted results. I am wanting to glue some rocks together and was wondering if people have any experience with polymorph plastic or what hot glue sticks are made from. I know both are just plastic, but I also know some are processed and made of toxic chemicals. Thoughts backed up with experience or factual knowledge appreciated.
     
  2. Andrew_bram

    Andrew_bram Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    Have you thought about the rock cement from Marcos rocks. E Marco 400. I used this stuff on my tank and it worked like a champ. This is what bajamike swore by as well.

    Sent from my MHA-L29 using Tapatalk
     
  3. MuralReef

    MuralReef Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. MASC Vice-President

    I have thought about it but it needs to cure right? I am using existing live rock and don't want it to sit dry while waiting for it to cure.
     
  4. Andrew_bram

    Andrew_bram Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    When I set up my tank I used live rock that had been shipped. I glued in place and filled with water. My structure is most solid I have ever had in a tank. So I would think the rock would dry a little but what I did was use spray bottle to keep rock moist while I built the structure. Not sure if this helps but trying lol.

    Sent from my MHA-L29 using Tapatalk
     
  5. MuralReef

    MuralReef Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. MASC Vice-President

    I appreciate the feedback. I am looking for a way to build a nice strong structure. I know both work well but like many of us I’m trying to save a buck!
     
  6. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    I was just looking this up today as well. I came across several sites that suggested Hydraulic Cement from Quikrete at Home Depot or Lowes. Says it dries firm in 5 minutes and fully cured in 2-4 hours. Something like that might be doable with the spray bottle that Andrew mentioned. And combined with drilling in an acrylic rod or something would make a pretty strong structure.

    A 10# bucket is only $7.75 at Lowes
     
    MuralReef likes this.
  7. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    That's what I used. If you also get the acrylic fortifier it's nearly identical to Marco rock. Only difference is large amounts can cause tank pH to be buffered higher particularly while it cures. If you run a calcium reactor, this can be beneficial, but it can hurt you if you use kalk and use quite a bit.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
     
  8. Andrew_bram

    Andrew_bram Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    Don't use the hydraulic cement. Remember how my rocks dissolved in my old 220. I finally realized that was most likely culprit. What happens is it expands with time hence the crumpling rocks.

    Sent from my MHA-L29 using Tapatalk
     
  9. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Did you use acrylic fortifier or aggregate? If not that may have been why it started to crumble. Mixes advertised as hydraulic cement (technically all cement is hydraulic cement) are very weak because they dont have much aggregate to give it strength. Adding sand, acrylic, or combination of the two fixes that issue. Straight "hydraulic cement" is just Portland cement with additives to make it cure faster.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
     
  10. Andrew_bram

    Andrew_bram Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    I am not going to get into it with you but you can read about it on the internet

    Sent from my MHA-L29 using Tapatalk
     
    JuanGutz likes this.
  11. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I have read hours worth of discussions on the subject and talked to several civil engineers I work with when I was deciding which method I wanted to use and haven't personally found any cases of correct mixing crumbling after years of use (though most forums on the subject die off after a couple years tops). It's not that hard to answer "Yes, I did and it still crumbled", or "No, I didn't and it's possible that played a role". Particularly since Marco rock, which you recommended, is hydraulic cement plus aggregate and acrylic fortifier.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  12. Ambrosio Aquatics

    Ambrosio Aquatics Tuna Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    i have used Hydraulic Cement in pond applications without issues but i usually mix in sand or gravel to give it a more natural look never used it in marine environments
     
  13. larryl

    larryl Copepod

    I've used "InstaMorph" brand moldable plastic that I bought on Amazon, it's not horribly expensive when you buy in larger sizes and it goes a fairly long way. It works fine on wet rocks as long as the surface has lots of nooks and crannies for it to grab into and hold when it sets. For the times it didn't grab as solidly as I liked I just separated the rocks and globbed a bunch of superglue on it and stuck the rocks back together. The trick is getting it at the right temp so it's pliable enough to squish into the gaps, without burning yourself. There are a number of other brands available that also say "non-toxic" but I guess you have to take them at their word.
     
  14. Djmm1177

    Djmm1177 Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    Why not drill and and run plastic rod through it that’s what I did this last time . Oh an water jb weld
     
  15. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    ^this. The plastic or fiberglass rod is the key to a solid structure. What actually binds the two rocks together is of much less importance. Driveway markers at home depot are a very inexpensive way to add some rigidity.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
     

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