Calcium disks

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Calcium disks

Postby terribryant on Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:34 pm

I made some calcium disks with plaster paris. They work great, however I wrapped a few in saran wrap and laid them on my desk and they started to mildew after a few days. Why would that happen?

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Postby Annie Anderson on Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:37 pm

this is just a guess Terri, but I know here in Massachusetts in the summer it is HUMID!!! We get mold & mildew growing on the walls and even under wallpaper if an edge has lifted. Our walls are older and are sheetrock with a skim coat of plaster. If a piece is chipped off and it is constantly humid--like the bathroom--it will grow mold & mildew. Is it humid in the room you keep the disks in? The plastic wrap would hold in the humidity. Maybe if kept in a dry spot or vacuum-sealed it would help? Like I said, I don't know this for sure. I don't know if plaster of paris is the same as the plaster that is used on walls and ceilings.
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Postby badflash on Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:47 pm

They just had too much water in them. Let they dry longer. Fut them is a food dehydrator or in the oven at 170 for a while.
Last edited by badflash on Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby rpilla001 on Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:53 pm

wow, lucky me, I am a builder who deals with mold almost as much as snails.

You are not letting the disks dry out long enough and you are trapping moisture in. Every product you buy or bring into your home has some degree of mold spores. You, your dog, the grocery bag, the air that seeps in through the cracks in your windows, all carry mold spores. Trap that mold in a wet area with a medium as porous as plaster and you have a perfect little place for growth. you do not even need light.

let them sit out and air dry for a couple days at least. maybe even bake them at a low temp just to suck the water out but not so much as to make them brittle. Leaving them on top of the stove while cooking will have the same effect.. It takes 15 to 30 days for plaster to cure properly with a humidity of 70%.

refrigeration is your best defense.. even the freezer for longer time storage.

avoid temp. from 70-90, high humidity, and lowlight. It's molds best freind.

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Postby terribryant on Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:54 pm

thanks for the tips - I'll dry them longer - and dehydrate them some.

Texas = Humid. I should have figured that out :toomuch:

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Postby Pamelajo on Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:53 am

Terri do you have a recipe for these disc. I would like to use something similiar for vacation feeders. It cost $20 dollars last time I went on vacation and they were on sale at the time.
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Postby badflash on Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:25 am

It is just home depot plaster of paris. Mix according to directions on the bag. A 25# bag was something like $11. Mix a little granule food in and you have vacation feeders.
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Postby terribryant on Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:29 pm

Pamelajo wrote:Terri do you have a recipe for these disc. I would like to use something similiar for vacation feeders. It cost $20 dollars last time I went on vacation and they were on sale at the time.



Make sure to use Home Depot brand like badflash said. It doesn't have the added bad ingredients in it like the other brands.

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Postby Pamelajo on Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:21 pm

Thanks, $11 for 25 lbs sure beats $20 for 8 vacation feeders.
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Postby badflash on Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:33 pm

I just made up a batch and they seem to work fine. I made them into feeders to get more interest from the snails. Be sure any food you use has a low oil content or the plaster won't harden properly. At first I tried the Pleco Power Pellets, and these totally screwed up the batch.

Next I tried colorfin sinking goldfish granules and these worked like a champ. I mixed up plaster of paris to a consistency of thick gravy, then added enough fish food granules to be about 1 tablespood per 4 ounces, mixed well and poured into molds.

I let it harden for a couple of days before using. I vacuumed packed the ones I wan't using for storage.
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Postby Pollux on Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:27 am

how do you know if your plaster of paris is pure? could there be anything in it that would hurt the snails?
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Postby badflash on Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:31 am

You really have to take a chance. We've found that the brand Home Depot is using is very pure and have tested in on a number of animals.

That is not to say it won't change. I have a 25# bag that will make up a lifetime supply of these things though. I'll never have to buy a vacation feeder again :D
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Postby Pollux on Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:34 am

lol thanks
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Postby Annie Anderson on Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:51 am

What did you use for forms Badflash? I read that someone used cupcake tins but had a hard time getting the disks out. They were going to use Pam spray on them next time. Would Pam be safe for the fish and snails?
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Postby badflash on Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:23 am

I don't think oriiginal PAM wouldn't hurt. It was made from lecithin. I'm using those little 4oz salad dressing cups you get at the salad bars. I had no trouble getting them out. I waited a few days, then turned them upside-down and dropped them from 12" a few times.

If you use spray oil, wipe as much off as you can. It won't take much to keep it from sticking.
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