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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi is there anybody out there that knows someone that has the know how to convert models for display in a freshwater aqaurium without it poisoning the fish?

Ever since I got my old Aurora Flying Sub kit I always thought that it would look great in a well decorated tank full of fish.
 

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Hi is there anybody out there that knows someone that has the know how to convert models for display in a freshwater aqaurium without it poisoning the fish?

Ever since I got my old Aurora Flying Sub kit I always thought that it would look great in a well decorated tank full of fish.
That is a REALLY good question!

I always assumed the problem isn't the MEK of styrene cement leeching into the water but the paint.

after all, you get fishtank accessories that are painted plastic. One assumes they're glued together.

Maybe sealing the kit in a coat of Future would be a protective barrier?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hmm ? Funny I used Future for the tips of my jump boots in the army to help them shine!
Its kind leaves an shiny acrylic finish yuck! no we need a non toxic finish.
 

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hmm ? Funny I used Future for the tips of my jump boots in the army to help them shine!
Yet another use for the versatile SC Johnson product. I wouldn't be surprised if it made a delicious dessert topping as well. Does anyone actually use it to shine floors?
 

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There should be nothing in styrene plastic that would poison fish... also the solvent cements typically used to assemple plastic kits should be safe once they've cured completely...
I would be sure that I washed all the parts thoroughly before assembly to be sure that there is no mold release present...
Mold release is probably not real good for the little fishies!
I won't swear that all paints are safe but hobby enamels should be free of lead - again once the paint is dry it ought to be safe...
Any plastic toys that you'd buy for your aquarium would be made of the same materials as model kits and probably painted with similar paints...
When in doubt consult with an aquarium expert....there's got to be somebody that can give you RELIABLE answers not educated guesses - I'd start with Google!
 

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I would suggest contacting a fish tank decoration company like Penn Plex (sp?). They sell painted plastic decorations for tanks... You could probably get a hold of someone that knew something about it...
 

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....there's got to be somebody that can give you RELIABLE answers not educated guesses - I'd start with Google!
As usual, Dave cut to the quick once again! I've been wondering about this for a while myself. So I went searching and I found this. The posters handle had the name "ghost shrimp" in it -- so if she's doing this with fragile ghost shrimp, it should do the trick. Those things are HARD to keep alive for any lenght of time, and require a lot of water changes and such... Anyway, here's what she had to say:


You would have to get some kind of non-toxic, waterproof, marine grade paint. To buy that kind of paint in a variety of colors would probably be very expensive.

If you are interested in making or painting your own aquarium decorations, you might want to try what I did. Instead of investing in aquarium-safe paints and clays in a variety of colors, I just use regular polymer clays and acrylic paints and then coat them in clear, marine-grade epoxy resin. It's great stuff! It air dries and seals the clay and paint so that it's safe for the fish and anything I seal with it is completely waterproof. I've made a lot of my own aquarium ornaments and pleco caves. I bought mine from Tap Plastics online, but you might be able to find some locally. Call around to boat stores and ask for clear, marine-grade resin.

The links below are for the resin I got from Tap Plastics and pictures of some of the decorations I made and coated with the resin.
Source(s):

http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/product.…
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1287/7218…
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1166/7210…
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1215/7491…
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1144/8816…
 

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The posters handle had the name "ghost shrimp" in it -- so if she's doing this with fragile ghost shrimp, it should do the trick.
or all her shrimp are dead!


marine grade epoxy resin? the stuff they use on fiberglass boats?!

Well in true modellers fashion I'd take some styrene treated this way and a fish you don't particularly like and put them together in a bowl for a while and see what happens. Of course you'd need several fish and a control group to be sure. And to be accurate you'd have to blindfold the fishies so they can't see the hunk of resin treated plastic. Oh and you'd have to be blindfolded too (the old double blind test).

epoxy resin in a fish tank? Well, if it's fully cured, maybe.
 

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yes there's that. for fish that grew up watching VTTBOTS, and seeing their cousins badly treated with electrical shocks and whatnot, they may stress out with seaviews and fs1's sneaking up on them.
 

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here's a aquarium thread that suggests using model paints (enamel, not acrylic due to acrylic's tendency to flake and cause fishy indigestion) and coating with a thin coat of aquarium silicone (sealant I assume).

Car model (hobby) enamel - small amounts sold and not expensive... again thin smear of silicone. Enamels, epoxies are more toxic but more durable then acrylic.
link (lengthy post bottom of page)

I'd probably let it cure a few weeks, leave it submerged in water (no fishies present) a few weeks (changing the water frequently) to purge any toxins from the model/paint and then using it without the added coat of silicone. At your own fish's risk of course. (don't try this at home kids!)
 

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One thing to think about, is that the aquarium ornimates are made in China. Makes you wonder.

I had asked this question on another forum, and no good answer, so I am interested in this topic. Having a mini-Flying Sub, or maybe the 1/350 Seaview in the tank, would be awesome.
 

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There are aquarium safe silicone that are used to seal glass seams, & to cement aquarium ornaments together. they are safe for fish. Paints & glue however, will be a problem. if you haven't painted your flying sub yet, why not let the yellow color of the plastic be your finish ? from the pictures I have seen of it, the yellow color out of the box looks fine and will not harm fish. I thought of doing that as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hey thanks guys for your suggestions and comments I will do some more research on this subject, but I figured somebody would have experimented and had sucess doing something like this already. I would like to have both the new 350th scale Seaview and Aurora FS or monogram reissue converted for aqaurium sea:tongue: worthiness.
 

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This is from AquariumPro.com.

I wish to paint something to place in my fish tank. Which kind of paint is safe to use?

We're just as worried about "WHAT" you want to paint as the paint you want to use. We have seen too many cases where fish were poisoned by items placed in the aquarium which released toxic compunds or chemicals. We do not recommend putting anything into an aquarium which was not made to go into an aquarium, so don't take this advice as our approval of your idea: The only paint we would recommend would be marine epoxy, or model hobby epoxy paint, which has been allowed to cure for two weeks before use in the tank. Ceramic objects should be well-glazed and fired before use. If the wrong paint is used or the item being painted is not inert, you may still have problems with this.


Also, I read on another site, to use epoxy paint or finish, if you have algae eaters in the tank, they will eat it off otherwise.
 

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Could you not put the model together with strong neomagnets and some clear silicon, like that used to seal aquariums?

Seems to be the ovbious answer.
 

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Not sure what would be safe but I know what is not safe. Testors tube glue circa 1960's. As I posted in an other thread I built my Aurora Seaview and would play with it in the pool. One day I got the bright idea to display my Seaview in my dad's aquarium and within a few days his fish started dying. He told me that the glue was toxic and he was not that happy with me to say the least! I was 9 and did not know any better!
 

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I remember having my aurora seaview in my fishtank without any problems. It had been several years after I had assembled it though. My feeling is if glue and paint is cured out you would be fine. I would recommend enamel paints instead of acrylic paints though.

model on

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
10-4 my models will not be assembled until I feel confident for a safe method, I also want to experiment with a small aqaurium air pump by attaching small clear flexible hoses to simulate propulsion from the back ends of both the Seaview and the Flying Sub.
 
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