grease/lube that won't harm fish? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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grease/lube that won't harm fish?

rena canister is on its last leg. i have definitely got my money's worth out of it though-- drastically extending its life by taking the time to tear it down a few times to single parts and deep clean/maintenance on it.

i'm repairing a new leak at the moment. it's located in the shut-off valves where cheap plastic has worn thin (thanks china).

anyway i notice there's some grease-looking crud (yellowish) around the moving parts. can't say for sure this area comes in contact with tank water but just to be safe, does anybody know what this stuff is? or something similar to it? i'd be thrilled to lube it up again but something tells me it's not your standard, oil-based engine grease...

thx in advance.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 01:01 AM
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 01:20 AM
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 01:44 AM
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I would use pure silicone grease. I've heard Vaseline will weaken plastic since it's petroleum based, not sure if there's any science behind that.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 01:59 AM
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Plumber's putty

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 02:32 AM
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I lube all my "rubber" O-rings and such with Vasoline. If Vasoline eats plastic, would they sell it in plastic jars? The problem with the internet is that you CAN read almost anything on any subject.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I lube all my "rubber" O-rings and such with Vasoline. If Vasoline eats plastic, would they sell it in plastic jars? The problem with the internet is that you CAN read almost anything on any subject.
Agreed. But there is more to support you.It is the type of hydrocarbon that matters. Petroleum jelly is insoluble in water. It is used on skin and in cosmetics. It is used over wounds to keep a bandage from sticking.

Petroleum jelly is a mixture of hydrocarbons, having a melting point usually within a few degrees of human body temperature, which is approximately 37 C (99 F).[2] It is flammable only when heated to liquid, then the fumes will light, not the liquid itself, so a wick material like leaves, bark, or small twigs is needed to ignite petroleum jelly. It is colorless, or of a pale yellow color (when not highly distilled), translucent, and devoid of taste and smell when pure. It does not oxidize on exposure to the air and is not readily acted on by chemical reagents. It is insoluble in water. It is soluble in dichloromethane, chloroform, benzene, diethyl ether, carbon disulfide and oil of turpentine.[1][3]




Depending on the specific application of petroleum jelly, it may be USP, B.P., or Ph. Eur. grade. This pertains to the processing and handling of the petroleum jelly so it is suitable for medicinal and personal care applications.

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Plumber's putty
Plumbers putty isn't for use in a situation where parts move. Plumbers use it to seal a sink in a counter, a drain in a sink or tub, around a faucet or fixture such as a shower valve. It is never used in a case where parts move or it is under pressure. It is usually made from linseed oil and clay.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-13-2014 at 06:35 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 10:58 AM
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$5 at Home Depot - 100% pure bees wax...


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 02:06 PM
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Eheim makes a maintenance and lubrication spray, it's basically a silicone based lubricant.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 02:55 PM
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$5 at Home Depot - 100% pure bees wax...


I don't think they've been made from beeswax in quite a few years. All info I can see is they are now made from "slack wax". A petroleum product.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 03:10 PM
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Silicon grease.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 03:12 PM
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Silicon grease.

This is what I use on gaskets and orings.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone. silicone grease (why didn't i think of that!) sounds like the winning ticket. can't see how that would be a problem seeing how i've got silicone sealant around other fittings that are completely submerged and i haven't had a problem.

sorry no pic to provide. i really didn't want my bacteria farm (you know, my precious little babies!) to sit another lonely night with no circulation so i went ahead and reassembled. the parts still move ok, just no fresh lube added.

this will definitely be the last use i get out of this rena. i gorilla glued the dice-shaped valves to their shaft. when it leaks again it will have to be replaced. but it worked!

i fully expect it them to break loose again after a few mechanical filter cleanings over the next few months. will keep silicone grease on tap for the next one though.

i think i made it out ok. so far no cycle started from my canister sitting with no pump for 24 hours. i left tank water in it and the room temperature is fairly close to tank temperature so i guess it was ok. we'll know in the next day or two! fingers crossed.

thx again
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
I don't think they've been made from beeswax in quite a few years. All info I can see is they are now made from "slack wax". A petroleum product.
Oh man... Heck if you ain't right! It serves me right not to chase the MSDS down for them. Thanks for the heads up. Sheesh...here I was believing it too.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 06:06 PM
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I've always used lithium grease... no apparent side effects.

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