Bones as decoration? - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
theshadybird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: KY, USA
Posts: 232
Question Bones as decoration?

Try as I might, I cannot find any information on using bones (turtle shells, skulls, antlers, etc.) in an aquarium. I can imagine that with overly soft water it might be a problem, or if it hasn't been properly cleaned and there is still dead flesh on the bone (ew), but what about a cleaned, preserved bone?

I personally have several sets of antlers that I have a feeling could look AWESOME in a tank, especially if I could get some moss growing from it. My home is in the middle of nowhere, so I tend to find a lot of them 'round spring time ^^. Also, theoretically, might be something good for my poor apple snails to chew on, since their shells have been looking kind of rough.
And just imagine a turtle shell cave! Moss that baby up, and you have a mossy hill even a hobbit would envy.

So guys, whatcha think? Worth the risk, or too much trouble? Anyone do anything of the sort before?

"Less bad" does not equal "good".
theshadybird is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 03:01 AM
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Southwestern Connecticut, USA
Posts: 152
I'd be afraid that bones & antlers would rot, flake, fracture, raise the pH of the water and just generally not work out very well. Mind you, I've never tried it.

I work at a public aquarium on weekends, and they've used skulls and bones in tank decor - but they're pretty much always casts.

~Bruce
Bruce_S is offline  
post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 03:15 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 1,113
Bones would contain calcium correct ? I dont see it being a problem , but to be safe i would clean them up and place them in a bucket and leave it for a week and then test the params.

“We didn’t underestimate them. They were just a lot better than we thought.” -Bobby Robson

“Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.” -Gary Linekar

"Some people are on the pitch! They think it's all over! It is now, it's four!" -Kenneth Wolstenholme
stevenjohn21 is offline  
post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 03:34 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
psalm18.2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NH
Posts: 1,359
I've read of people using antlers and skull bones in tank without issue.

Multiple planted tanks 1.75g to 55g.
psalm18.2 is offline  
post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 03:39 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
NWA-Planted's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bentonville, AR
Posts: 3,399
If your that worried make molds of them!

Sent from a dark corner in my happy place

Sump Pimp #8
RAOK Clubber #28
NWA-Planted is offline  
post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 03:40 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
psalm18.2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NH
Posts: 1,359
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWA-Planted View Post
If your that worried make molds of them!

Sent from a dark corner in my happy place
Or coat them in silicone.

Multiple planted tanks 1.75g to 55g.
psalm18.2 is offline  
post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 03:53 AM
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, MI USA
Posts: 284
If the bone is aged you the organic component should be gone. You will be left with mostly hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2).

It will leech both PO4 and Calcium in water. This will be sped up significantly in acidic water. I can not speak to how significant these amounts would be with reasonably timed water changes.
Sotty is offline  
post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 03:54 AM
flc
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 71
Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenjohn21 View Post
Bones would contain calcium correct ?
Yep- calcium and phosphate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxylapatite
flc is offline  
post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
theshadybird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: KY, USA
Posts: 232
Thanks for the replies!

Quote:
I'd be afraid that bones & antlers would rot, flake, fracture, raise the pH of the water and just generally not work out very well. Mind you, I've never tried it.
A good point Bruce_S, and one of the things that concern me, but I've found horse/cow ribs and vertebrae in the creek behind my home, some of them over a year old, and they'd held together rather well, though the creek is dry for a large portion of the year.
I guess we'll see?

Quote:
If the bone is aged you the organic component should be gone. You will be left with mostly hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2).

It will leech both PO4 and Calcium in water. This will be sped up significantly in acidic water. I can not speak to how significant these amounts would be with reasonably timed water changes.
Thanks for the science approach Sotty :] This is certainly along the lines of what I was hypothesizing, and with the aged, fully dried bones, they ought to be completely "dead" and ought to hold together. That's how fossils are made, right?

Quote:
Or coat them in silicone.
A cool idea, psalm18.2. I wonder if there is a thinner silicone sealant out there you could do this with? Or maybe a way to thin down the silicone yourself? I'd just be sad that moss couldn't be attached, but then again, stark white antlers (or even a small ribcage) stabbing out into the water, as semi-carnivorous fish frolic among them is a rather enticing idea all its own >:}

Quote:
[...] to be safe i would clean them up and place them in a bucket and leave it for a week and then test the params.
Definitely a good idea for anything 'experimental' a practical Aquarist is wanting to add to their aquarium :] Thanks for the advice stevenjohn21!

"Less bad" does not equal "good".
theshadybird is offline  
post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 04:25 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 1,113
If you could use them though i think you could scape it really nice ! Would love to see pics if you do decide to go the bone route !

“We didn’t underestimate them. They were just a lot better than we thought.” -Bobby Robson

“Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.” -Gary Linekar

"Some people are on the pitch! They think it's all over! It is now, it's four!" -Kenneth Wolstenholme
stevenjohn21 is offline  
post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
theshadybird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: KY, USA
Posts: 232
I'm surprised more people don't go in that direction, to be honest! But maybe the simple lack of information, along with possibly a lack of access to the bones in the first place could be to blame?
Not sure, but I do know that the cogs are a-turnin' in my head for sure, haha :]

"Less bad" does not equal "good".

Last edited by theshadybird; 10-12-2012 at 04:59 AM. Reason: typo
theshadybird is offline  
post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 01:54 PM
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, MI USA
Posts: 284
Bones that are thick (femurs, pelvis, vertebrae) would probably hold up well for a long time. Skulls, for instance, have lots of thin intricate spots that will likely weaken quickly and start to fall apart (months to year time frame that is).

I really like the silicone idea, but would be tough for a skull. What about a couple dips in a good clear polyurethane
Sotty is offline  
post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 02:00 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
NWA-Planted's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bentonville, AR
Posts: 3,399
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotty View Post
Bones that are thick (femurs, pelvis, vertebrae) would probably hold up well for a long time. Skulls, for instance, have lots of thin intricate spots that will likely weaken quickly and start to fall apart (months to year time frame that is).

I really like the silicone idea, but would be tough for a skull. What about a couple dips in a good clear polyurethane
I was just about to say some kind of epoxy / urethane coating of sorts. Do they make rhino liner in white? Haha

Sent from a dark corner in my happy place

Sump Pimp #8
RAOK Clubber #28
NWA-Planted is offline  
post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 02:20 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
AquariumNoob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: East Brunswick, NJ
Posts: 812
Im no chemist but i would think if you found some aquarium safe clear coat of some sort and sprayed that on the thing youd be good to go. It would stop any leeching or anything..
Or, coat it in silicone or somethin like that. Paint it on :P

AquariumNoob's 75G Tank!!
My Two 20L Shrimp Tanks!

Eheim Pimp # 434
One 75G Powered by Two 2217's, two 20L Shrimp Tanks, and a 10G QT Tank!
AquariumNoob is offline  
post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
theshadybird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: KY, USA
Posts: 232
Took your ideas and did some hunting, and found some sealant terrarium/vivarium and salt water enthusiasts swear by, called Krylon Fusion and Krylon Clear Polyurethane :} They're supposed to work very well on plastics and wood (and much more!). Luckily, there is actually an auto parts store down the road that sells it for only $8.

If it turns out the antlers I have in mind will work in the tank I am building (a 5gal D.Dario tank), I will definitely let you guys know, though it will be sometime around the beginning/middle of November that I would have pictures of it IN the tank set-up. Might also make a DIY thread for them, if there is interest. Fortunately, the antlers I have are only 3-6 pointers, and ought to be small enough to fit :]

"Less bad" does not equal "good".
theshadybird is offline  
Reply

Tags
bone, bones, decoration

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome