Re: NANFA--plywood aquariums?
Mon, 17 Feb 2003 16:39:25 EST

In a message dated 2/17/03 11:33:58 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> I've been toying with the idea of using a material known as "glassboard"
> or
> "FRP" over plywood or chipboard for aquaria. It's easier to work with than
> formica laminate and is just as waterproof. It is the material used to
> cover
> walls and ceilings in public restrooms. The problem, and the benefit, is
> that
> the material has a tetured surface (kind of a bubbly texture) that may
> hinder
> adhesion but also offer an interesting texture for algae growth on the
> of
> the tank.
> Any thoughts or experience?
The main problem I see is the strength of the substance. Will it hold
together full of water? Plywood grips screws very well and has a flat surface
for the glue to hold onto. The FRP isn't as strong as plywood and might not
grip the screw or the glue as well. Those are the main reasons I haven't ever
used it. Of course since I have never used it I can't say for sure it
wouldn't work. When I am making a tank for someone else I really can't take
the chance and experiment with new materials. My favorite plywood is marine
plywood, no voids, nice smooth sides, and water proof to start with and most
expensive. Cabinet grate plywood is nice (and expensive) but you must have
perfect water proofing. B/C exterior grade 3/4" plywood is what I usually
work with. I can fill voids with wood putty and it can withstand a little
moisture if it has to. Two or three coats of "Gluvit" followed by three coats
of a good gloss two part epoxy (white or black is best). The outside can be
covered by regular gloss polyurethane wood coatings. The wood can be stained
(before the polyurethane) any color you want. Of course the hoods and stands
or cabinets are stained to match the aquarium. If you want the maximum amount
of water proofing coat the outside of the aquarium the same way you coat the
inside. It's over kill but it makes some people sleep better. You can use
gloss black epoxy on the outside to make an effect that looks like black
lacquer. I have my first tank I ever made, it is 20 years old and still water

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