styrofoam cave - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-30-2007, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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styrofoam cave

Hi, I just made a cave from the styrafoam used to pack my tv.
I want to know if its water safe, what could I coat the surface with so my fish won't pick at it and what paint is water safe?

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post #2 of 13 Old 06-30-2007, 11:01 PM
Styrofoam is made with some pretty evil chemicals including formaldehyde. It seems to me that it would be pretty lethal to fish. If it weren't lethal, the question I must ask, will it float?
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-30-2007, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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I got the idea from other websites.
So I thought it might be safe. Besides we humans drink out of styrafoam cups
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-30-2007, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by joelfish
Besides we humans drink out of styrafoam cups
Not to poke fun at you, I just want to highlight a point. Humans can eat chocolate, but it's poisonous for cats and dogs (contains theobromine). When dealing with fish, check to make sure things are safe for your fish before putting things into the tank. Formaldehyde is partially used in some medications, such as a lot of ich treatements, but levels are crucial for the fish. The same is true of copper, it's dangerous in tanks, specially for invertebrates, but is still used in meds.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-30-2007, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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gotcha. thanks for the advise. what do with the cave.
I guess I'll let my friend have it for his fire bellied toad. Is it safe for him. Its its not going to be submerged in the water part of the tank.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-01-2007, 12:02 AM
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Invertebrates and scale-less animals tend to be more susceptible than fish to certain things. As long as it's above the water, it might be ok, the problem is you probably want to put a (frog-safe) finish on it. I know that working with polystyrene, shaving off parts leaves little balls which a frog can swallow.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-01-2007, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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here is an updated pic after using fire and I also made a rocky background

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post #8 of 13 Old 07-29-2007, 02:28 PM
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You shoould check out the DIY section at They have used mass amounts of styro for all kinds of creations. They all seem to have great success with this technique. I also dont think it is toxic to fish. check it out before you give it away to a toad
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-30-2007, 08:50 PM
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I have seen numerous styro "rocks" & 'backgrounds"....but all of them were coated in an epoxy resin or a concrete mix, in either case it seems that most folks let them "cure-out" in water and change the water every few days, testing the water with each change and i suppose when the testing stabilizes it would be O.K. for the for floating, a little aquarium silicone sealent should adhere it nicely to the bottom or the walls of the tank.....good luck and keep up the DIY projects!

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post #10 of 13 Old 07-30-2007, 09:33 PM
How will you weight it down? I'm sure its gonna float. Reminds me of an old gag on "Letterman" -- Will it Float? lol
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