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Aquarium safe screws ?

A

Antipofish

Guest
Hi I am thinking of getting several medium sized bits of wood to create an upside down root affect (I know you can buy redmoor root like this but Im thinking of manzy). What is the best way of connecting the individual bits ? Ive seen some scapes where they were just stuck into the substrate with great results but I was wondering about making the structure a bit safer as I can be a clumsy clutz at times, LOL. Cable ties seem to work for some too but I am wondering if there is any type of metal 'twine' or certain types of screws or nails that are suitable for use in the aquarium ?

Cheers...
 
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I think Zip-ties are the easiest to use because if you want to re-scape you can just cut them, if not maybe some aquarium safe silicone?
 
A

Antipofish

Guest
mitchelllawson said:
I think Zip-ties are the easiest to use because if you want to re-scape you can just cut them, if not maybe some aquarium safe silicone?

Ive read on someones thread that the silicone was temperamental. The ties may be the best option for some but I wonder if they will lend enough stability and be out of sight enough depending on what bits of wood I need to connect. Small screws or nails would also be able to be removed, so Im still keen to find out if there are any suitable ? Galvanised perhaps ? Or stainless steel ?
 
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If you had to use nails you would need to use stainless steel.
 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
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Hi all,
I often use cable ties, or stainless steel screws (you want marine grade "316"). But I now think the best method for larger pieces is to drill holes, and then use dowel pegs to fasten the pieces together. The dowels will swell in the tank and lock the wood together.

cheers Darrel
 
A

Antipofish

Guest
dw1305 said:
Hi all,
I often use cable ties, or stainless steel screws (you want marine grade "316"). But I now think the best method for larger pieces is to drill holes, and then use dowel pegs to fasten the pieces together. The dowels will swell in the tank and lock the wood together.

cheers Darrel

Thats an idea I had not contemplated but it sounds quite a good idea. Just small dowel I presume ? 5mm ought to do it ?
 

GHNelson

Global Moderator
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Hemel Hempstead
Hi
Ive never tried attaching piece's of Manzanita wood together with screws but Ive found on smaller pieces it gets very soft and easily workable with a craft/stanley knife...after its been submerged for a few days.
Darrel, was correct doweling the wood can be a better proposition....you don't want any metal in your aquarium that could cause scratches....if the screws work lose.
Red-moor/Mopani wood is very hard and doesn't soften as much overtime so you could use screws there.
The best idea would be get a few slate tiles and drill holes in them and do the same with the roots/wood and dowel them to the slate.
Or you can get plastic pegs that do a similar job as screws/dowels.
Cheers
hoggie
 

foxfish

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11 Oct 2009
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Guernsey
This is quite a common question & there are several options as have already been described.

I think each individual projects would require individual solutions depending on the size & shape of the design.

Wooden dowels are indisputably useful in certain circumstances (although I would choose hardwood dowels - not pine) but obviously you would be working with pretty big pieces of wood for the dowels to be suitable.
As for glues - silicone has its uses but can look untidy & surprisingly noticeable, I prefer to use black silicone for this type of work but it is still very shiny & visible!
Epoxy glues in various forms are good & can be coloured to match the wood but polyurethane glue will give the best bond & is overpaintable.
Stainless steel screws (316) are good but, you will need to pilot hole the pieces to match the screw & very likely cut the screw to exacting lengths.

You might find elastic bands or elasticated cotton very useful to temporary fix the pieces together while experimenting or holding together while the glue sets or screws sunk.
 
A

Antipofish

Guest
Thanks everyone, that has given me some good food for thought. The plastic dowels, I actually have in abundance, as well as numerous wood dowels (though I suspect they are probably pine as they are from various flat pack cupboards and bedroom units, etc).
 
A

Antipofish

Guest
ghostsword said:
Fishing line has worked in the past for me. :)


___________________________


It could work for me too, depending on the size of the wood. Luis, see your latest pm dude :)
 

Norman

Seedling
Joined
14 Jan 2012
Messages
2
Only screws that are truly aquarium safe are stainless steel screws. Will the deck screws kill your fish instantly ... probably not, but they aren't truly safe either most likely. The only real way to know if they might happen to be safe would be to find out exactly which metals and paints are used in those screws ... probably not an easy feat since you'd have to contact the manufacturer, etc. That's why stainless steel screws are usually used, since you can usually find out which allow is used (most often 18.8) and it's standard across all manufacturers and we know this allow is safe, etc.
 
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