Pond Foam 8 Months Later

sunfish11

Premium Member
I would be very cautious about putting pond foam in my aquarium. My friend used foam as a background for her 220 and I helped her install it. It sure looks great in a tank. When it is fresh it has a hard shell feel and apearance, but this breaks down under strong lighting. After 8 months under hallides(submerged in saltwater) this stuff will have the consistancy of the green foam used for flower arangements. It was extremeley porous (like the flower arrangement foam) and a potential source of nutrients/toxins. I have seen this first hand on a friends tank that was just torn down. Only the areas of the foam left in complete darkeness have thier original shell/seal. Everything else is soft and easily scraped off with a fingernail. Another thing to note is that she had unexplained algea/cyano issues even with very careful husbandry, phosphate remover, and a top of the line skimmer. In addition the tank has been dry for a month and the foam still smells very funky. I would ask you to think very hard before you put this stuff in your tanks.

I am not trying to be a downer here there just aren't a lot of long term experiences with the foam out there and I know it will be part of the project at tomorrow's meeting.
 

siropa

New member
I wonder if different brands react differently. I used the pond foam outside in my koi pond. It has had 2 summers of sunlight now. It turned an ugly shade of grey/brown, but it has held up its form and not gotten softer. Or if the salt has some additional chemical affect on it.
 

SaraB

Coral Killer
So I'm the person who posted the feedback on using the pondfoam on the "other site". Using the pondfoam to create rocks is the safer alternative as you can always remove that piece from your tank if you ever have an issue down the road. Having a full panel of acrylic in a 225 gallon tank covered with the pondfoam is a whole other issue and it's not easy to remove without taking the whole system down and even then it would be a daunting task!

I too have a pond and the foam has reacted in the same way as you described. I still have the hard crust outside, but inside the house with Saltwater and Metal Halides hitting it, the foam has lost that hard crust. I used the same brand outside in the pond as I used on the tank. It's also the same brand that the other large reef system people here on RC used.
 

siropa

New member
interesting. This was one of my concerns when I used some foam in my reef. i'm glad I don't have too much of it.
 

Hella

New member
The best way to be safe is to coat the foam with a resin, that way you have no worrys. Thats what im doing with mine.
 

customcolor

New member
i have 175 watt halides and i brush off the foam about once aweek to get extra gunk off of it since it at the top of my tank and its be up for about 5 or 6months now. its still quite firm and shelled. may be it could be brand name issue. i got mine at hd and it is the becett brand name. they dont have any now(soon, like a couple weeks i think) i also used salt on mine to give it some texture. maybe that could be the ticket????? ill find out in a few months i quess.
 

siropa

New member
I was far too lazy to epoxy mine. I honestly don't care either way. it was a small part of my rock wall. basically was there to hide some egg crating I used to hold the rocks.

I am curious to see what happens with customcolors tank with the amount he used.
 

MrSquid

New member
Not sure on this exact type of foam, but at the store we have to be careful about storing rigid foam insulation outside for too long because the sun kills that stuff FAST. Sunfish's observation about flowerpot foam is exactly what we see after it's outside too long.

Doesn't surprise me that even pond foam would break down in salt water. When I worked at the LFS I used to go through shoes like crazy because the saltwater tore apart the soles like it was acid.

Apparently foam is foam. ;) Wish I could make the meet tomorrow to see how it's done though. But I'm planning on joining whoever's still in for Madison next weekend!
 

customcolor

New member
ill admit that i am having hair algie problem but i had it on one of my rocks when i moved it to the 125( featherduster rock) i had almost none befor the move. after 3 months it was spreading through the tank. i finaly pined it to the used bulbs i had. i changed the bulbs just 2 weeks ago an added a diy filter sock to the tank(realy clear now) and the hair is receading fast! like i said i have 3 175 watt 15k halides and 2 65watt atinic compacts. the left side of my tank is hair free now(including the featherduster rock) i also have about 60lbs of diy rock that i made with tap water. one of those peices did have hair on it but now its all gone(left side of tank) even the foam on that side is hair free. there is tons of people on rc that are having hair problems now and hardly any of them i bet used pond foam. one last thing i changed is my salt on the last few water changes. i used io and now reef crystals. could hair come from the salt we use too?????
 
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sunfish11

Premium Member
I guess I just wanted to throw Sara B's experience out there because you couldn't tell it was like that when the tank was filled with water. The dissolved plastic/chemicals didn't evaporate they broke down in the water. Sara also had some other wierd issues with the tank that in hindsight could possibly be connected to the foam. I should have pried off a piece to bring back and show you guys at the meeting tomorrow. Hindsight is 20/20 you know.

Lisa
 

customcolor

New member
sunfish
remember i use a tooth brush on it every week and i see brisle worms all over it and in it. so the hard shell has be compermized already.
 

sunfish11

Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11634574#post11634574 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by customcolor
sunfish
remember i use a tooth brush on it every week and i see brisle worms all over it and in it. so the hard shell has be compermized already.

I didn't catch that part, sorry. Doesn't that freak you out?? If it is deteriorating it is disolving slowly in your tank. It is such awsome looking and affordable stuff so it really is the pitts that it could be a problem. I would never use it at this point, although 8 months ago I was very jealous of Sara's pond foam backing.

Lisa
 

sunfish11

Premium Member
I just went to the Handi-foam website and filled out a contact form requesting their recommendation on saltwater use and explaining how the product seems to break down and lose the shell. Hopefully they send an answer...

Lisa
 

customcolor

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11634778#post11634778 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sunfish11
I didn't catch that part, sorry. Doesn't that freak you out?? If it is deteriorating it is disolving slowly in your tank. It is such awsome looking and affordable stuff so it really is the pitts that it could be a problem. I would never use it at this point, although 8 months ago I was very jealous of Sara's pond foam backing.

Lisa
lots of things deteriorate in the ocean so it doesnt freek me out to much. just look at what is put into the ocens of the world by man. granted the ocens can filter it out but look how hard it has to work to do it. do you think there is 1 lb of rock per 1 gal of water in the oceans. we folow that rule to have beter filtering, then we add a skimmer, ozone, uv,ext.....
we over do it just to make it look good and to be proud of something we did that looks so damn good.
 
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