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Fish Safe Diy Ornament Material And Paint


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  • 3 months later...
  • Regular Member

Sorry to dig up an old post but I thought it deserved an answer. If I am digging for new ways to decorate my tank I'm sure others are too :)

If terracotta pots are safe for aquariums then it should also be safe to use terracotta clay to make your own decorations. The clay has a hazard warning when dry, but that might just be due the surface being porous and good place for bacteria to hide out (I will try to investigate further). So while you or I wouldn't want to eat from a terracotta plate, it might be an ideal place for good bacteria to grow in the tank.

Anything made from terracotta clay will need to fired. If you search your area for a pottery/sculpting/clay shop or a school that owns and operates a kiln, you can usually hire someone to fire your sculpture or pot for you.

When making something from clay to be fired there are a few guidelines to go by:

- make sure the item is completely dry before firing

- when you have finished sculpting and are letting your piece dry, as it gets slightly hard be sure to check it over for any sharp pieces and smooth them out. This is also a good time to smooth the texture if desired. Once the piece is fired these are very hard to take care of and might damage the whole piece.

- avoid extreme thicknesses, hollow out any thick areas and leave a hole for the air in the hollow area to escape

- work the clay over by kneading it before working with it. By warming up the clay you are eliminating any air bubbles. If there are any air bubbles in the clay your item will explode in the kiln and destroy any other items being fired with it.

I am sure there are more rules but it has been quite some time since I have worked with a kiln. After the piece has dried but before it is fired there are colored glazes that can be applied. This makes the surface less porous but takes some practice to get very detailed results. Solid colors always turned out better for me. I do not know how safe the glazes are for aquariums. If anyone knows if it is unsafe to put a store bought glazed pot in then I guess we have an answer :)

This site has a bit of an overview


If anyone has information that is contrary to mine I would love to know! I am only going off of common sense in the safety of this technique.

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