Twinwall plastic sheet - a handy material with a couple of tank uses!

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Vincerama2, May 21, 2014.

  1. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Hi guys!

    After my tang decide to jump into the overflow and cost me an hour of draining and trying to net a fish blindly while standing on a ladder, I decided I needed to make a cover for the overflows. I use tinfoil just to prevent another jump, with the plan to cut some acrylic to make a cover. I was wishing I could use cardboard, but that would get soggy and disintegrate very quickly ... so I wished there was plastic cardboard ... well there is!

    It's called "twinwall" and you get it at Home Depot for like $13 for a 6'x3' sheet. You can cut it with a utility knife. It is polypropylene so it basically can't be glued by anything reasonably cheaply (I read that a special 3M hot melt glue works, but it's expensive). You can poke/drill holes and bind it together with zip ties though!

    Anyway, I created the overflow cover, and create an "anti-suicide" barrier to prevent fish from carpet surfing. The suicide barrier I screwed into part of the canopy with a single stainless steel screw.

    Thoughts on it's uses...

    - A light anti-evaporation cover for sumps
    - Splash guards around drain entry in sump
    - Suicide barrier
    - overflow cover
    - spray paint it and tape it to the back of the tank as a backdrop. not sure how well paint would stick to it though.
    - Anywhere you wish you had plastic cardboard!

    - Oh yeah, I have a bunch of those reusable shopping bags that all have flimsy fabric covered cardboard at the bottom to keep it's square shape. They suck so I'm going to use my extra twinwall to make new bag bottoms! Not tank related, but handy!

    here's a picture of the suicide barrier and the overflow cover. And yes, I could have cut a hole for the heater cord at the bottom of the barrier but I didn't because that heater is headed for the sump anyway.


    Anyway, I thought I'd mention it as it's quite handy!

    aquatic mouse, Nav and rygh like this.
  2. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Nice Vince. I've seen a similar product used to aquascape FW tanks. Youtube has a bunch by 'the green machine'. They used black.

    Does the depot have any colors?

    For background you could probably paint with Krylon. It's made to stick to plastics.
  3. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I used the clear version of that stuff for my greenhouse windows/walls. I don't think home depot carries clear, if they do I'm going to be megapissed because trying to find that stuff online and get it shipped economically (normally comes in 4' x 8' sheets) was a pain in the butt.

    Curiousity why did you go with that versus say acrylic? Easier to cut that to the desired shape?
  4. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    For the suicide barrier, it is way lighter than acrylic. Way cheaper too.

    I didn't want to cut acrylic for the overflows (I had 3 overflows to cover, from 2 tanks). And with the standpipes and return pipes sticking out of the overflows, it was just easier to mark and put holes in the right place and if I screwed up I'd just use another piece. Acrylic is just harder to work with and not worth the extra trouble for my particular use case.

    I only saw white at the depot. On the internet I saw that Staples carries black.

    It's also called "Coroplast" and searching for "Corrugated plastic" helps get more search engine hits.

    Apparently if you get the Coroplast brand it has "corona discharge" treatment on the surface that helps it stick to paint and glue.

  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Where in home depot did you find them? So I don't have to ask someone gives me the "I have no idea what you're talking about" stare.
    tr1gger likes this.
  6. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    No matter where you are it's in the furthest corner from you and no employee has ever heard of it!

    It's the HD way! :p:D:p:D

    Thanks Vince. It's also used for signs so I'll take a look there.
    aquatic mouse and FeliciaLynn like this.
  7. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    It was in the section where their acrylic is sold. I actually had to show an employee the item on my iPhone (on the home depot site). The HD website tells you where in the store it is, but in this case, my store indicated "Endcap E" which made no sense. But I gave the SKU to the guy and he brought me there. In San Carlos HD, it was way the heck in the back. But ... ask for where their acrylic or "clear plastic sheet" (or "where the clear window things are that aren't made of glass are" ... depending on which employee you get) and you'll find it.
    aqua-nut likes this.
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I'll check up here at Daly City, although wouldn't be surprised if they don't have it. San Carlos is a bit of a warmer climate, and more might have greenhouse structures.
  9. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    The tape they use for sealing vapor barrier when insulating a house does stick to it pretty well.

    I love the stuff. Great for making canopy fan shrouds too.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

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