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Floating Pond Island


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I've noticed same ad5 for pre-made floating islands (for pond use) that have recesses or mesh or other structures that permit the potting/planting of certain types of plants, allowing their roots to extend into the water to help keep the pool clean, etc. It seems to me that I ought to be able to fashion some islands of my own, using the kind of stiff foam packaging material that TVs, computers, barbecues, etc come packed in. I could shape the island using a sharp knife and assemble the pieces into a complete unit using aquarium glue.

While I'm sure the rigid foam will float and I can balance the weight of the plants with the buoyant foam, my primary concern is whether the foam material is toxic to the fish. I do know I have to also be careful as to what planting material I use.

Is there a specific buoyant foam I should use. Incidentally, that question was further amplified in my mind when I saw the all the varieties of household sponges in the market, even those with no imbedded soap, were marked as "unsafe for aquarium use."

Oliver

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I'd really advise against using packaging foam: it's usually laced with flame-retardants (a type of chemicals). This is a good thing for when it gets caught in a fire, but recent studies suggest that they are toxic (somewhat like dioxins and PCBs). I don't know to what degree, but in the case of my own fish, I wouldn't risk it. Other types of foams, like sponges will probably not contain those, so they should be safe enough wrt flame-retardants at least, but maybe not due to other reasons. Possibly some other people here will know. With regard to the your other questions, I have no idea.

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Although you can probably obtain expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) for free, wood would be a safer material. See if you can get some blocks of balsa wood: I know they can be found online in sizes up to at least 3" x 5" x 24"

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you could do something with soda bottles and a platform or netting. Like a raft? You might have to put some ballast inside the bottles to keep it stable but it sounds like it could work. :5: :5:

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maybe you could use a ring-shape life saver for kids? If you could somehow attach mesh on the bottom face, and put plants on top of the mesh, the root can go through the mesh and into the water :idont i don't know how the mesh could how soil though LOL, sorry

But I'm pretty sure that it will float! :D

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The idea of recycling water or soda bottles sounds workable... maybe a combination of a hula hoop, the plastic bottles and plastic window screening/mesh. Have to think about it and, perhaps, build a prototype.

oliver

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Balsa wood, that would be safe? I thought only driftwood was safe. My husband is good with wood, but we hesitate to make something for the pond - but it would be great if we could!

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Balsa wood, that would be safe? I thought only driftwood was safe. My husband is good with wood, but we hesitate to make something for the pond - but it would be great if we could!

While I haven't checked recently, I believe balsa wood is prohibitively expensive, not to mention that if it is not protected from water, will have a short life.

Oliver

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Balsa wood, that would be safe? I thought only driftwood was safe. My husband is good with wood, but we hesitate to make something for the pond - but it would be great if we could!

While I haven't checked recently, I believe balsa wood is prohibitively expensive, not to mention that if it is not protected from water, will have a short life.

Oliver

Yes, balsa wood would be a poor choice, I think. It's not very strong and I would think it would rot very quickly despite a sealant. Driftwood, if you can get it in bulk or large size, would be a great natural option for your floating island and would also add to its look!

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Now that I've thought on it a bit, balsa wood isn't such a good choice because it will eventually decay. I like the plastic bottle idea. You could probably superglue them together into a raft.

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