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Making clay caves for aquarium fish...



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 19th 06, 03:22 PM posted to rec.crafts.pottery
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Default Making clay caves for aquarium fish...

Hello,
I'm an aquarist, and many fish like to live or breed in shelters,
referred to as 'caves'.
Normally shattered plant-pots or terracotta tubes are used, like
this...
http://www.planetcatfish.com/images/...sc/sw/hz/7.jpg
....but it would be very useful to be able to make 'custom' caves for
the fish.

When I've looked in to this in the past, the need to use a kiln has put
me off, but now I see there's air-drying clays, as well as low-fire
clays and polymer clays you can fire in your household oven.

My questions a are air-drying/low-firing clays or polymer clays
non-toxic after firing, and would they survive (ie not fall to pieces)
if kept constantly in water for several years?

Ads
  #2  
Old April 19th 06, 04:27 PM posted to rec.crafts.pottery
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Posts: n/a
Default Making clay caves for aquarium fish...

i don't think they'll work, but you can try some home testing to see if
obvious stuff happens - like does it melt in water? etc.

pick a clay you're curious of, make something, and BEFORE adding it to
a tank of water, check the water for basics like PH and calicum with
regular swimming pool water test kits.

assuming your piece doesn't melt in water, confirm the piece doesn't
shift the water properties like PH & calcium, etc.

see ya

steve

  #3  
Old April 25th 06, 12:19 AM posted to rec.crafts.pottery
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Default Making clay caves for aquarium fish...


wrote in message
oups.com...
Hello,
I'm an aquarist, and many fish like to live or breed in shelters,
referred to as 'caves'.
Normally shattered plant-pots or terracotta tubes are used, like
this...
http://www.planetcatfish.com/images/...sc/sw/hz/7.jpg
...but it would be very useful to be able to make 'custom' caves for
the fish.

When I've looked in to this in the past, the need to use a kiln has put
me off, but now I see there's air-drying clays, as well as low-fire
clays and polymer clays you can fire in your household oven.

My questions a are air-drying/low-firing clays or polymer clays
non-toxic after firing, and would they survive (ie not fall to pieces)
if kept constantly in water for several years?



Luckily, I have a kiln, so I will be making my own decorations and stuff for
our coming (SOOOON!!) aquariums.

There are clays that have to be oven-baked, which might not give off as much
"stuff" as air-dry clays. You also have that plastic stuff that just needs
to be heated a little in order to dry hard, and that seems then very
durable.

But I second Steve that you need to put a piece in a water sample that you
test before and after - and long after! You don't want to poison your fish
in the attempts :-)

Marianne


  #4  
Old April 25th 06, 06:30 AM posted to rec.crafts.pottery
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Posts: n/a
Default Making clay caves for aquarium fish...

I use polymer clay for snow globes and, since it is a polymer plastic, it is
ideal for permanent placement in a water/oil situation. The toxicity,
however, is not a consideration in a sealed application so I can't say if
that would be an issue for you or not.

Best of luck with the fishies!
Lori

"Bubbles" wrote in message
...

wrote in message
oups.com...
Hello,
I'm an aquarist, and many fish like to live or breed in shelters,
referred to as 'caves'.
Normally shattered plant-pots or terracotta tubes are used, like
this...
http://www.planetcatfish.com/images/...sc/sw/hz/7.jpg
...but it would be very useful to be able to make 'custom' caves for
the fish.

When I've looked in to this in the past, the need to use a kiln has put
me off, but now I see there's air-drying clays, as well as low-fire
clays and polymer clays you can fire in your household oven.

My questions a are air-drying/low-firing clays or polymer clays
non-toxic after firing, and would they survive (ie not fall to pieces)
if kept constantly in water for several years?



Luckily, I have a kiln, so I will be making my own decorations and stuff
for
our coming (SOOOON!!) aquariums.

There are clays that have to be oven-baked, which might not give off as
much
"stuff" as air-dry clays. You also have that plastic stuff that just needs
to be heated a little in order to dry hard, and that seems then very
durable.

But I second Steve that you need to put a piece in a water sample that you
test before and after - and long after! You don't want to poison your fish
in the attempts :-)

Marianne




  #5  
Old April 25th 06, 10:44 AM posted to rec.crafts.pottery
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Making clay caves for aquarium fish...

wrote in message
roups.com...
Hello,
I'm an aquarist, and many fish like to live or breed in shelters,
referred to as 'caves'.
Normally shattered plant-pots or terracotta tubes are used, like
this...
http://www.planetcatfish.com/images/...sc/sw/hz/7.jpg
...but it would be very useful to be able to make 'custom' caves for
the fish.

When I've looked in to this in the past, the need to use a kiln has put
me off, but now I see there's air-drying clays, as well as low-fire
clays and polymer clays you can fire in your household oven.

My questions a are air-drying/low-firing clays or polymer clays
non-toxic after firing, and would they survive (ie not fall to pieces)
if kept constantly in water for several years?



From experience, I would opt for fired clay, the higher temperature the
better, rather than anything else. Air dried clays are not, in my
experience, water resistant, and I would avoid anything that cold cures
because of possible chemical release.

I used to make pieces for a local aquarium shop, and we found that the
safest option was cone 8/9 stoneware, as it is largely resistant to any
contamination. Porous materials aren't!

Steve
Bath
UK
--
Steve Mills
Bath
UK
 




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