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Is Fimo clay safe for aquarium?


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#1 amethyst

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:36 PM

Does anybody know if objects made from polymer clay that is oven-baked to cure it, like Fimo brand, are safe for aquarium use?

I am creating a riparian tank, and I don't want to just fill one side of the tank with lots of rocks and substrate to bring part of it above water level because of the imbalance in weight. I bought a "mountain" to put in one side, but I need to build it out more, and was considering doing this with Fimo. Want to make sure it's safe first. If not, does anybody have any ideas of what to use that will support the substrate without collapsing but is also lighter than a bunch of rocks?

Thanks in advance. :notworthy:

#2 Stormphyre

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:41 PM

I personally wouldn't suggest using it. I would be concerned that it would start to break down in the tank or leech out chemicals. You could always make a barrier out of plexiglass.

#3 Maryanne

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:13 PM

I wouldn't... Once I left some unbaked fimo on a jewelry box and it sucked the finish right out of the wood. Even if baked, that can't be good for fish.

#4 amethyst

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 06:03 AM

Thanks for the response. I'm frustrated. I wish I could figure out how to do what I'm trying to do! :pull_hair:

#5 Stormphyre

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:04 AM

Plexi glass wouldn't work? Is it a straight barrier or a curved?

#6 amethyst

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:59 PM

Plexi glass wouldn't work? Is it a straight barrier or a curved?


It's more complicated than that. I bought a mountain cave ornament which is too narrow on the top to do what I need it to do. I want to build it out on both sides to provide more relatively flat surface to bring the substrate up to just below and just above water level but still look like a mountain. On one side the build-out also has to go above one of the cave openings and around the oval internal filter (a Whisper 10i). I'll be putting a mesh covering over that opening to keep my betta's tail and fins from the intake, but I want the water itself to still flow through. It will then come out the top and flow waterfall-fashion over the top of the mountain, to slow down the current before it gets to the water. So I really need something that I can mold, or has small pieces that I can put together to build the shapes, or something. Polymer clay would be perfect, if it were safe. I have the clay already, and a special little oven to bake it in and everything. :pull_hair:

#7 Stormphyre

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:17 AM

what about building an armature and using epoxy or whatever it is they use to make the backgrounds in aquariums?

#8 amethyst

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:22 AM

what about building an armature and using epoxy or whatever it is they use to make the backgrounds in aquariums?


That's what I was planning to do with the polymer clay! I'm not sure what you mean by "epoxy or whatever it is they use to make the backgrounds in aquariums" - are you talking about the 3D backgrounds that look like a rock wall or something? I would assume they make them from the same type of plastic or polyresin or whatever they use for other tank ornaments. However, I have no idea what that is or how to get my hands on some that is still moldable. As for epoxy - I tend to think of an adhesive of some kind when I think of epoxy, so I'm not sure what you mean.

#9 Synirr

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:29 AM

You could use a coral epoxy, like Holdfast or Aquastik.

#10 amethyst

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:44 PM

What I need is something that is pliable that I can use to build out my mountain. I have aquarium safe silicone to attach it once I get it built. Not sure if or how I could use epoxy for the build out itself, though.

One thought I had was to mix silicone - or I could use one of the above-mentioned epoxies - with dirt or other substrate and using the mixture to cover something made from cottage cheese containers or something. Think that would work?

#11 Synirr

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:02 PM

The coral epoxy can get a little pricey if you need a lot of it, but it is basically the same consistency as modeling clay and would work well for such an application, I think.

#12 amethyst

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:33 PM

The coral epoxy can get a little pricey if you need a lot of it, but it is basically the same consistency as modeling clay and would work well for such an application, I think.


Yeah, after I thought about it, I realized what you were saying about using this substance to cover the armature. I'd forgotten that these epoxies come in colors that are supposed to look like stone. Definitely a possibility.




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