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Re: [APD] Diy aquarium backgrounds; does cement stick on glass?

--- Damian Barton <daemondamian at ozemail_com.au> wrote:
> What kind of cement are you talking about? Portland
> cement.
> Plastic (model airplane) cement? Acrylic solvent/cement?
> Rubber cement?
> I was refferring to the cement used in pavements etc that
> is mixed with 
> water and sand and
> sets hard- is that Portland? 

Yes, that is Portland Cement, so named by it's original
creator because he thought the finished product storngly
resemble the stone the Portland Quarry in Britain.

> Although there is a product
> called 
> Watercrete which is like cement but supposedly
> can be used underwater to patch holes etc and even used
> in a pond where 
> there are fish.

Actually, the longer portland cement remains wet, the
better/harder it cures -- water is a catalyst for the
chemical reaction that cures it. Actually, the water mixes
with chemicals in the cement and forms an alkaline
solution, which is that catalyst.

> Cement sounded like the easiet thing to use- mix up and
> slap it on, let 
> dry and add water
> but as you've pointed out won't stick- also pH problems
> :O\.....

It is alkaline and will leech in the water but pond fish
don't seem to mind it much. Also, acidic water tends to eat
away at it. Acid rain in the northeast parts of the USA
eats aways sidewalks, etc. In factories where acidic
chemicals are processed, e.g., tomato catsup/ketcup plants,
cannot use cement floors, they use special tiles and
noncemntitious grout. 

There is a version of Portland Cement called Plastic Cement
(and sometimes, not quite appropriately, waterproof cement)
which has resins added that make it more plastic (hence the
name) while wet and uncured and which is a bit stickier
than regular portland cement. It also impedes water better
(hence the other name).
> Epoxy sounds like fun, I'd buy the stuff from AquaZoo(?)
> if it
> were available here.

Epoxy catalysts are pretty obnoxious and toxic stuff, but
once fulled cured, the remaining material is pretty inert
and nontoxic.

There would also be the additional issue of weight when the
tank is empty and you want to move it. With a lot of
protland cement in the tank, the uneven weight could make
moving more difficult and possible make it easier to break
a glass panel, depending on the amount -- sort of like
moving a tank with a lot os substrate in it, which
generally is not advised.

good luck,

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