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Stand & Canopy Finish

>Most of the U.V. is going to be
"reflected" off of the surface of the
>ater  - the lights should have
reflectors which direct the light down,
>banging off of the hood interior. The
prime purpose of the finish is to
>protect the wood from the moisture
which is generated by the aquarium. Wet
>wood will swell, warp and rot.

The purpose of the epoxy is to
waterproof the hood as well as provide
structural integrity and it does this
very well.

>> While oil base finishes are certainly
>> more waterproof than latex it may not
>> stick well at all to epoxy. Latex on
>> other hand adheres very well and does
>> not peel as readily probably because
>> breathes better. Many boatbuilders on
>> budget use 100% acrylic paint to
>> their boat hulls with good results
>> although you cannot get a good finish
>> with it. It does not matter on the
>> inside of a hood so I say why not use
>> it.

>You don't WANT a surface finish which
will "breathe" on the INSIDE of an
>aquarium hood - you want one which
SEALS the surface from moisture. You
>to keep the water vapour from entering
the wood.

The purpose of the latex paint is to
provide a cheap reflective coating that
protects the epoxy from U.V. The fact
that it breathes doesn't matter as the
epoxy itself is protecting the wood. Do
not use alkyd paint over epoxy as the
alkyds can react with unreacted amines
in the epoxy resulting in poor adhesion.

>  The 2 part epoxy you describe sounds
quite toxic. Maybe not to the fish
> after it dries but what about me,
while I am painting.

100% solids two part epoxies are fairly
non-toxic especially when compared to
products containing organic solvents.
The main hazard is it is a skin irritant
and gloves should be worn. A complete
cure only takes a few days and after
that it is almost inert.

There is a lot of snake oil out there
and it hard to determine what you are
getting when you buy it.
I think the best way to obtain suitable
epoxy is to mailorder it from either
System Three or West System. These
companies cater to the boatbuilding
market  and survive on their

Wayne Jones

Wayne's DIY Aquarium Setup at