Coco Husk vs Peat Moss

Discussion in 'Construction & Parts' started by Dr_B, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. Dr_B

    Dr_B Member

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    Been trying to find a good answer to this via internet and the forum but I am wondering what is the general consensus on peat moss or coco husk. To be specific I am building a custom background so I am trying to find out what’s best to go on the silicone layer. Thanks in advance
     
  2. Drew

    Drew Administrator Staff Member

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    I prefer the look of peat
     
  3. mystah

    mystah Legendary Member

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    I have just used coco husk (the small stuff that can pass as substrate) once I silicone the background I just press it in... I usually dump a whole lot more then is necessary and vacuum it out after it dries to the background.
     
  4. Dr_B

    Dr_B Member

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    Ok so I went the coco husk route and siliconed the heck outta the backdrop but it seems to have some white showing through the husk. Is this silicone coming through? And is there an easy way to fix the bald patches? First tank I’ve attempted
     
  5. 41714049

    41714049 Contributing Member

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    What colour silicone did you use?
     
  6. dawndj

    dawndj Contributing Member

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    Was the coco completely dry when you put it on the silicone? You also need to use a lot of silicone maybe more than you did.
     
  7. mystah

    mystah Legendary Member

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    When I did it, I used Black colour Great Stuff followed by a brown Silicone and spread it on about as think as icing on a cupcake. I then used completely dry Coco fiber and pressed it into the silicone. Once it had ample time to dry I took all the excess coco fiber out and vacuumed the background to have a dust free surface...You can add silicone and coco fiber to the bald spots, it usually sticks at this point
     
  8. Dr_B

    Dr_B Member

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    I used white silicone from home hardware. Oh and I bought the already dry husk from eco terra. I bet I didn’t use enough silicone as the videos I watched always time lapsed that part. Is there a fix? It doesn’t show a ton but being a perfectionist my eyes are drawn to it.

    Sorry I reread Mistah’s reply about the fix so I may give that a try. Going to attempt the back part of the tank now and follow the advice. Really like the analogy of icing on a cupcake. Gave me something to aim for. Thanks to all who are helping. Can be intimidating haha
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  9. Drew

    Drew Administrator Staff Member

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    Could be salt residue in the coco

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
     
  10. Dr_B

    Dr_B Member

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    Here is a pic of the white showing through IMG_0613.JPG
     
  11. afterdark

    afterdark Administrator Staff Member

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    For sure that’s just a light coat of either silicone or coir, or both.

    The first tank I did, I seriously underestimated the amount of silicone to use. I ended up applying it thick and spreading it with a paintbrush and then with a gloved hand into cracks.

    I would then completely cover the area I had siliconed with coir - I’m talking an inch or so thick. And then press down and let dry. When I’d stand the tanks up, probably 75% of the coir would fall away. I then brushed the whole area down with a dry paintbrush to dislodge loose bits and expose any missed areas.

    Best advice, work in patches, use tons of silicone and tons of coir.

    Good luck! Got me itching to build a tank now haha
     
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  12. Dr_B

    Dr_B Member

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    As an update I followed the advice to the best of my limited knowledge and my husk didn't stick to the silicone much at all. I had even worse white patches showing up after 24 hours. Steps I took was:
    1) make sure foam was free of dust and cut off foam particles
    2) apply on about cupcake amount of silicone to around dinner plate sections then pressed in copious amounts of coco husk
    3) Rinse repeat throughout the rest of the background
    4) left for 24 hours only to have my heart sink watching way more than 75% of husk fall off

    Beyond peeling off the silicone and starting over, i'm calling out an SOS on ideas on what to do now as I am honestly feeling very discouraged
     
  13. 41714049

    41714049 Contributing Member

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    I have used white / clear silicone in the past for small items and it never turned out well. Stick with black or brown. If there is any moisture in the fiber it will not stick well.

    Many of us have experienced these types of issues in the past and we all learn a bit more each time we do it. If it makes you feel better I have peeled backgrounds off too in the past due to similar issues.
     
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  14. Dr_B

    Dr_B Member

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    Is there brown silicone that comes in GE1? Heard GE 2 potentially can be not the greatest for amphibians/reptiles. Thinking I may have to peel it off and redo it using a different silicone.

    *added a couple photos of what it was. Peeled part of it away that was almost all white
     

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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  15. 41714049

    41714049 Contributing Member

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    I have a hard time finding GE1 in anything but clear. I now just order in black aquarium silicone... alternatively I have found that my local Home Hardware can usually get it in too (the black aquarium silicone that is).

    Pictures are rather small... bit it does look like you used a clear or light coloured silicone - am I correct?
     
  16. Dr_B

    Dr_B Member

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    Yes it was the white aquarium safe silicone from home hardware. Think the brand was home builders
     
  17. mystah

    mystah Legendary Member

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    if I am being Honest I have used GE2 in a few of my tanks. I haven't seen any ill effects.

    I have also used expired silicone and it never cured . I had to rip apart a freshly made tank because of that...no fun
     
  18. Dr_B

    Dr_B Member

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    Oh gotcha just such a big debate on GE1 and 2. May see if using a different brand when I tear this apart makes a difference. Silicone doesn’t stick to silicone from what I read so I don’t think there’s any point to going back over it
     
  19. Drew

    Drew Administrator Staff Member

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    Ive used ge2 for years no issue so far.

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  20. Dr_B

    Dr_B Member

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    Well I do appreciate all of you guys weighing into this. I'll spend my evening tearing the silicone off the foam and go buy some brown or black GE2 and see if that makes a difference. I'll also try to do smaller sections to avoid the silicone curing too fast. I know i'll look back on this and laugh once i'm 3-4 closures in haha
     

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