Have personal experience with Great stuff gaps & cracks?

BlackOsprey
  • #1
I want to do a paludarium build and expanding foam would be very helpful for building the hardscape. Great Stuff Gaps and Cracks is the most widely available (can actually find it at hardware stores) and the cheapest. I know pond and stone foam exists but it's more costly and I have to order more online and wait for a few days. I have Gaps and Cracks right now.

Now, whether it's safe for aquarium use is mixed to say the least. Of course, most of the people saying it'll release chemicals and never fully cure and kill everything don't speak from personal experience, just what they *think* will happen. I'd like some actual experiences with using Gaps and Cracks in aquariums.
 

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AggressiveAquatics
  • #2
Instead of gaps and cracks use great stuff pond and stone
 

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BlackOsprey
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Instead of gaps and cracks use great stuff pond and stone
Yes, but that was not my question. I already stated that I know Pond and stone exists, but I want to know if the regular stuff is usable.
 
John58ford
  • #4
I have seen videos of people doing it with the cheaper foam but rarely do they resurface and tell you how that tank is doing a couple years down the road. I have used a foam board sculpted, cement coated, then dryloked. I used cement dye in the drylok for color. I say this as I would bet if you were to do the popular bulgy looking "rocks" people do with the expanding foam, then let it off gas a couple weeks and cement+seal it, it would be comparable to my system, which I can personally say has been running near 3 years with no issues. I recommend the cement coat over any type of foam due to rasping fish like plecos, or clawed reptiles and digging insects if that's where you're going in the long run.

Would be good if someone gets back to you though. Sounds like a fun build already.
 
BlackOsprey
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I hope so too. The other reason I'd like to know is because any Pond and Stone I order online won't arrive for an entire month. It's a bit disheartening when I want to do my build this week.
 
Danny002
  • #6
I hope so too. The other reason I'd like to know is because any Pond and Stone I order online won't arrive for an entire month. It's a bit disheartening when I want to do my build this week.
Do you have a Lowe's nearby? I checked their website and it says they sell the pond and stone. Could be worth a bit of a drive if you really want to start soon. (I would check though to make sure they have it at the one you would be going to)
 

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BlackOsprey
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Do you have a Lowe's nearby? I checked their website and it says they sell the pond and stone. Could be worth a bit of a drive if you really want to start soon. (I would check though to make sure they have it at the one you would be going to)
Well I checked, and it turns out they have a different brand of expanding waterfall foam. I think it's more or less the same stuff as Pond and Stone, says it's fish safe. Thanks for the advice.
 
RayClem
  • #8
According to the Dow Chemical MSDS sheet shown on the Home Depot web site for Great Stuff Gaps & Cracks, the product is considered to be a Hazardous Chemical. It contains isocyanates that can cause irritation of mucous membranes. Thus, fish gills could be affected. The propellants/expanders are isobutane, methyl ether, and propane.

https://images.homedepot-static.com/catalog/pdfImages/3e/3e3b7b66-f43f-4148-843e-dc4bdc1523ee.pdf

Thus, this does not sound like a suitable product for use in aquariums or paludariums. I have read that the pink Foamular board by Owens Corning is safe.
 
BlackOsprey
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Pond and Stone and other "fish safe" foams come with warnings against breathing in the fumes or touching with bare skin, and people generally allow the stuff to dry and cure before getting it wet.

I already know both foams are definitely unsafe before curing. However, I do not know if the generic foam has some poisonous substance that remains active after curing that P&S does not. And, no one has been able to tell me "oh yeah Gaps and Cracks poisoned my entire aquarium." All I have gotten are people saying it *should* be unsafe.
 
Dunk2
  • #10
Pond and Stone and other "fish safe" foams come with warnings against breathing in the fumes or touching with bare skin, and people generally allow the stuff to dry and cure before getting it wet.

I already know both foams are definitely unsafe before curing. However, I do not know if the generic foam has some poisonous substance that remains active after curing that P&S does not. And, no one has been able to tell me "oh yeah Gaps and Cracks poisoned my entire aquarium." All I have gotten are people saying it *should* be unsafe.

If you’re not sure whether Cracks & Gaps foam is safe or can’t “prove” that it is, is it worth the couple dollar price difference (compared to Pond and Stone) or being able to get it quick to put a tank full of fish or anything else at risk?
 
BlackOsprey
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
If you’re not sure whether Cracks & Gaps foam is safe or can’t “prove” that it is, is it worth the couple dollar price difference (compared to Pond and Stone) or being able to get it quick to put a tank full of fish or anything else at risk?
At this point it's less abt money or convenience (I found waterfall foam at Lowes) and more about just knowing for the sake of it. It's weird that I can't find a single definitive answer anywhere.
 
RayClem
  • #12
Pond and Stone and other "fish safe" foams come with warnings against breathing in the fumes or touching with bare skin, and people generally allow the stuff to dry and cure before getting it wet.

I already know both foams are definitely unsafe before curing. However, I do not know if the generic foam has some poisonous substance that remains active after curing that P&S does not. And, no one has been able to tell me "oh yeah Gaps and Cracks poisoned my entire aquarium." All I have gotten are people saying it *should* be unsafe.


I guess what you are saying is that you have not been able to find anyone willing to take the risk of using a product that is considered a hazardous substance in their tank. If you want to take the risk, you can let us know how it turns out. It might be safe to use once "fully cured", but who knows how long it takes for that to occur. I would not take the risk with my aquariums.

The manufacturer recommends a different product for fish ponds. I would assume they know more about their products that we do., so I would go with their recommendation.
 

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