I want to make a tray to contain a thin layer gravel that will lift out of
I thought I would use a plastic box lid cut down to size and with square
section strips of wood screwed to each of the edges to form a lip to keep
the gravel contained.
Since the wood will permanently be under water ( that's fresh not salt
water) would ordinary pine be alright to use (since this is what I have
already), or would I be best getting some kind of hard wood edging to make
this tray more durable over the long term? Thanks for advice.
Why wood? Why not something that's inherently waterproof? Rigid plastic such
as plexiglass would be a much better choice. So would any metal that's not
corroded by water contact, such as aluminum or brass. I think my first choice
for this project would be 1/2" aluminum angle, which you can find quite
cheaply at most hardware stores and home centers.
Or since you're cutting your plastic box lid down to size anyway, cut it about
an inch oversize. Heat it with a heat gun or a hair dryer and use pliers to
bent the edges up to form a half-inch lip all the way around.
Nope. It'll rot. Almost any wood will, if you leave it immersed in water long
enough. Some will rot faster than others, and pine will be one of the fastest.
For continuous immersion, if you insist on using wood, you really need either
lignum vitae or ipe. You might get away with redwood. But the other materials
mentioned above are vastly better, and don't run the risk of leaching anything
into the water that might be harmful to your fish.
On Feb 24, 9:03 am, firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller) wrote:
I agree with Doug. plastic such as plexiglass or polycarbonate.
Readily available and will last forever. If you used thicker sheet
(1/4") you could even cut strips to glue around the edge to help
contain the gravel. Just make sure your glue is compatible with the
plastic and most plastic glues will handle the two materials mentioned
A few minutes in the local hardware or big box store should have you
(BTW polycarbonate is extreme overkill but it is often available in
the glass and sheet plastic display racks).
On Feb 24, 11:38 am, email@example.com wrote:
Fish glue should be compatible with fish, and, if it's not, well,
you'll at least get some more glue out of the deal. ;)
"Glue can be extracted from fish by heating the skin or bones in
water. The purest form of fish glue, made from the membrane of the air
bladder (swim bladder) of certain species of fish such as the
sturgeon, is also called isinglass (fig. 1). Isinglass can be produced
from various species of fish using diverse manufacturing processes.
Depending on the manufacture, the purity of isinglass can vary.
Historic sources do not always specify which part of the fish was used
to make the glue.
There is no record telling us exactly when and where the first animal
or fish glue adhesives were used. However, it is known that at least
3500 years ago these adhesives were used in Egypt. Even though
Egyptian records do not describe in detail the adhesive preparation
process, they do tell us that it was made by being melted over fire
and then applied with a brush (Darrow 1930, 9). "
Yep - have a 1x8x12' in the shop. Cut down to 10' - used 2'.
Veranda is one trade name of plastic bags with color and grain.
Hobby shops - those with models in them have building plastic
in sheets, tubes, (round and square) and the like.
Those big hobby shop stores on the www have them also.
Wood can poison the fish. Tanic acid could be leached.
Brass or bronze would also work. The latter in Naval if available.
One of my other hobbies is raising tropical fish. The best waterproof
glue is epoxy, but wait a week or two after assembly to ensure that it's
There are some sealants designed for aquarium use, but that's a very weak
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
I agree completely with regards to the use it's being put. It's not
going to be a completely anaerobic environment.
OTOH, wood harvested from deep underwater can be worked a hundred years
The wood won't rot. Wood fungus needs damp, not wet, wood to live.
There has been 45,000-year-old kauri dug up in New Zealand that was
still workable, and bog and river logging is very popular. However, I'd
make sure your screws are stainless steel to avoid corrosion. And
regarding durability, how often are you going to handle this tray? I
can't imagine that you would be changing fish tank gravel often enough
to wear out anything harder than balsa wood.
It's not the "nutrient rich" environment, it's the oxygen. There is not
a lot of oxygen in water. Wood will last longer than the fish in an
I don't know about 45,000 year old stuff, but I dug up a 100+ year old,
40 foot long, 3 x 12 that was part of a sunken barge out of the
Allegheny river, which is very "nutrient rich" river supporting tons of
fish and wildlife. Not only did it survive, it was hard as rock. Plenty
of dock pylons are made of wood, including pine, and they last a long,
Personally though, I would use plastic in an aquarium if at all
possible. Much easier to clean than submerged wood.
The reason I carry a gun is because a cop is too heavy.
That bog and river logs are oxygen free.
Fish require oxygen and it is pumped in with a bubbler, and water
flow. That will cause problems. Plants and light will also
generate O2 .
Former fish store boy (Mom and Dad owned) - and fish tank user up to
100 gallons. Now none, but want to get back some day.
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