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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning to submerse a skimboard... sort of a miniature surfboard... in my new tank. With the materials I'm using, it got me thinking if all this will be safe for my future fish. The board is a gelcoat surface. I would assume that fully cured gelcoat would not be toxic. Anybody with some tech knowledge in this area? Or, is there a way I can test it 1st?

Other materials include plastic 3M hooks (Command Strips) siliconed to the back of the board to tether with fishing line; http://www.command.com/wps/portal/3...0GC1_nid=VJRT254X7RgsC4Z924C3ZHgl8P867CS2Z7bl

Heavy piece of floor tile... to anchor the other end of the fishing line to keep the board submerged.

Should I be concerned over using any of these materials?
 

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I think you are correct on the gelcoat being safe. I might question the inside more but I think I would go with it after testing a bit. Is this a new board or one that has been soaked and dried a bunch? Older might already have any gunk washed off/out. Any smell coming out that indicates a plastic still off gassing a bunch? After that I would soak it submerged in water and look for any shiny film on the top of the water. It might indicate some oily material. Life is a gamble, so we just have to figure the odds and go for it. :?

If there should be something there and you have missed it, extra water changing should keep it diluted.
 

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I'd be concerned about the hook adhesive.

One other problem: Depending on how buoyant the board is, if it should become unstuck from the weights, it could pop up with some force, potentially damaging the top of the tank or lighting.

-Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pfun... the inside of the board is foam but the gelcoat does a good job of sealing it. With boards like this, it's crucial the foam doesn't become saturated with water. The board is brand new. So far no shiny film and no smells. I have the tank filled with just water right now for testing. We will drain once it's time to secure the board.

Ryan... I plan to use GE Silicon I WIndow & Door or Pond Foam as an adhesive for the hooks. Anyone with experience in both that can tell me which might hold better? I'm also thinking of using the hooks glued to the bottom of my acrylic tank instead of just weighing it down with the tile. It would be nice to find more of a clasp with a closed end as with these hooks, it might be pretty easy for the fishing line to slide off. Anyone with a better idea?

Also, this back from 3M when asked about leaching;
"3M Command is not waterproof to withstand being underwater. We have not tested for this
application and do not recomend."

I have a feeling this is just their default response keeping themselves in the clear for any liability.

We've done some testing on the buoyancy and it isn't as much as I had expected. Still, I want to secure this thing so as Oscars & others grow, it doesn't become a pain have to re-secure all the time. In fact, I would prefer to find a way to hold it in place that would never come free.

These pix show about how the board would be oriented. These were taken without water so the board is just resting on the bottom, however, I want the board to be floating above the sand and not have the bottom edge buried in it. It will be on kind of a bank like it's on a tight carve. Securing the top should be easy as I can wedge it up into the top back corner of the tank.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
fmueller said:
As fascinating as the skimboard idea might be, I was under the impression that we had discussed it ad nauseam in this thread.
Haha... well sorry to annoy you with this project, but this thread started on a completely different topic. And since I'm still riffing for a good solution to anchor this puppy safely, it kind of turns back to that discussion as new people bring up new things.

Just waiving this around hoping to get some good ideas from more experienced aquarists while this slow process comes to fruition. I appreciate all input!
 

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When I opened this thread it was a bit of a déjàvu experience, and I felt like saving people from having to type the same stuff again that is already in another thread. But if this is what they want to do, who am I to stop them? Please don't let my pessimism regarding the sunken skimboard stop you :wink:
 

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fmueller said:
I was under the impression that we had discussed it
I was thinking the same thing. :thumb:

I would test everything in a bucket with a fish or two for a week.

I have had fish die when I used a substance in a tank that I shouldn't. I had to tear down a 125G completely to the glass including removing an in-tank background and all associated silicone, and reinstall everything. A lot of fish deaths and work to save a few dollars rather than buy the stuff made for aquariums. I don't do that anymore. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I appreciate all who choose to still partake! :thumb:

The thing is, I don't have any fish to use as guinea pigs yet. Is there any way to test the water for any kind of toxicity during my pre-setup experimentation? Besides what Pfun has mention...
 

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DJRansome said:
fmueller said:
I was under the impression that we had discussed it
I was thinking the same thing. :thumb:

I would test everything in a bucket with a fish or two for a week.

I have had fish die when I used a substance in a tank that I shouldn't. I had to tear down a 125G completely to the glass including removing an in-tank background and all associated silicone, and reinstall everything. A lot of fish deaths and work to save a few dollars rather than buy the stuff made for aquariums. I don't do that anymore. :lol:
Same thing happened to me when I bought some rocks from the local landscaping store. My GH went litterally off the charts. With the value of my Africans its not worth the risk IMO.
 

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On that point, If we stopped discussing things that had been discussed before the forum would quickly shut donw. What to put it tanks, how to clean them and what fish to go with what fish are so constant that it boggles the mind. Then iof one looks at the health and nutrition section ich is a really over worked item. If we cut out all the trash and trivia all we have to talk about is ---What happened to all the people who used to drop by?
 

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WaWaZat - Sorry did not mean this was trash and trivia. I read and respond if it interests me. Sometimes trash CAN be interesting, though. :D
 

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Buy a couple of guppies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No offense taken from anyone! This is all good fun anyway... the subjects, the learning, the chatter... even if it gets slightly off topic sometimes!

Rhinox... now you sound like my 11 yr old daughter who's my partner on this project and DYING to take delivery on her 1st pet Oscar! Too many other projects going on this last year. But alas!... the tank is now on da top of da list! ... so you should see some better progress, following up with some pix when it's through!

Alright, so I think I've gotta plan... gonna toss the idea of any silly little plastic hooks, worrying about toxicity and how to adhere them. Found a thin, 3lb piece of slate rock today and picked up a small masonry bit & some fishing line. Gonna drill some holes in the rock as well as a couple in the board & run the line through to anchor one edge of the board to the rock in 2 places. I'll use some aquarium silicon to seal the holes in the board, which will be just big enough for the line, so the foam core doesn't saturate. Not sure the foam saturating would be any big concern, in fact, it may help keep the board submerged. But I worry about it breaking down and possibly becoming toxic over time. Anyone happen to know if Polyvinyl Foam will cause ill effects in an aquarium if exposed?

I can also use the silicon to tack the slate down to the bottom just in case. BTW... I'm sure this has been discussed and/or debated here but I went to buy the GE Silicon I Window & Door that seems to be used a lot around here and I noticed it says "Not for Aquarium" use on the tube. So I splurged for the much smaller, more expensive aquarium silicon instead.
 

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I'm sure that has been mentioned but my feeling is that is a legal dodge more than a hazard.
"Personal opinion for which I'm not legally liable. Contact my attorney for further information."

Once fully cured I find many caulks are safe enough for me. How about just silicone the rock directly to the board. Maybe add a couple that show the guy missed his wave???? :(
 

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Rhinox... now you sound like my 11 yr old daughter who's my partner on this project and DYING to take delivery on her 1st pet Oscar! Too many other projects going on this last year. But alas!... the tank is now on da top of da list! ... so you should see some better progress, following up with some pix when it's through!
Looking forward to it! :)

GE Silicon I Window & Door that seems to be used a lot around here and I noticed it says "Not for Aquarium" use on the tube. So I splurged for the much smaller, more expensive aquarium silicon instead.
What PfunMo said, its a legal statement. It says that not because it isn't safe, but because GE hasn't gone through the testing and certification process to prove that it is.

Alright, so I think I've gotta plan... gonna toss the idea of any silly little plastic hooks, worrying about toxicity and how to adhere them. Found a thin, 3lb piece of slate rock today and picked up a small masonry bit & some fishing line. Gonna drill some holes in the rock as well as a couple in the board & run the line through to anchor one edge of the board to the rock in 2 places. I'll use some aquarium silicon to seal the holes in the board, which will be just big enough for the line, so the foam core doesn't saturate. Not sure the foam saturating would be any big concern, in fact, it may help keep the board submerged. But I worry about it breaking down and possibly becoming toxic over time. Anyone happen to know if Polyvinyl Foam will cause ill effects in an aquarium if exposed?
Before you drill any holes in your surfboard, you might want to make sure that the silicone adheres securely to the board material AND the fishing line. Otherwise, it won't seal your drill holes. Even if the silicone adheres to the board, if the fishing line can slide freely, you will have a fishing line sized hole in the silicone that water will be able to leak to. Maybe something like tying a big knot in the fishing line and imbedding it in the silicone seal would prevent the fishing line from sliding freely and providing a better seal.

I don't think you have to worry about the toxicity of the 3M plastic hooks. I mean, fish are held in all sorts of plastic containers and bags, so a little plastic hook in a big tank isn't going to do anything. Think of all the plastic plumbing people use and what not. Adhering them shouldn't be a problem. If the silicone bonds securely to the board material, you can use that. People use silicone to glue rocks together all the time. You can use a hot glue gun, but I'd worry about the hot glue's ability to hold up the bouancy long term. There are aquarium safe super glues and epoxies, some of which can even be applied and cured underwater. So lots of options for sticking the hook onto the board. I'd rethink doing that before drilling holes in the board.

If you don't like the plastic hooks, you would probably be just fine if you went to the hardware store and picked up some small stainless eye hooks. You could probably even find some nylon ones if you're worried about the metal (I wouldn't worry about it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Rhinox said:
Before you drill any holes in your surfboard, you might want to make sure that the silicone adheres securely to the board material AND the fishing line. Otherwise, it won't seal your drill holes. Even if the silicone adheres to the board, if the fishing line can slide freely, you will have a fishing line sized hole in the silicone that water will be able to leak to. Maybe something like tying a big knot in the fishing line and imbedding it in the silicone seal would prevent the fishing line from sliding freely and providing a better seal.

I don't think you have to worry about the toxicity of the 3M plastic hooks. I mean, fish are held in all sorts of plastic containers and bags, so a little plastic hook in a big tank isn't going to do anything. Think of all the plastic plumbing people use and what not. Adhering them shouldn't be a problem. If the silicone bonds securely to the board material, you can use that. People use silicone to glue rocks together all the time. You can use a hot glue gun, but I'd worry about the hot glue's ability to hold up the bouancy long term. There are aquarium safe super glues and epoxies, some of which can even be applied and cured underwater. So lots of options for sticking the hook onto the board. I'd rethink doing that before drilling holes in the board.

If you don't like the plastic hooks, you would probably be just fine if you went to the hardware store and picked up some small stainless eye hooks. You could probably even find some nylon ones if you're worried about the metal (I wouldn't worry about it).
These are great ideas... gonna test some of 'em!
 

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Regarding GE Silicone, that was what I used when my fish were dying and I had to tear down the tank. Don't remember the #, but it was one the boards said was safe AND I had used in a prior tank.

However, they changed the formula and added "bio-safe" which turned out to be some kind of killer of living things.

So...I pay a couple extra dollars. Cause you never know when "not safe for aquariums" is just a CYA or they mean business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
When I 1st read the warning, I called. The CSR didn't hesitate when I asked, in confirming the statement. When I asked why, he said they had people calling in that had used it complaining that their aquariums had been falling apart. We didn't even address the toxicity issue. He claimed that the silicon would break down after a while of being submerged. I confirmed we were talking about GE I 100% Window & Door and he claimed it was. So for whatever that's worth.
 
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