Cow vertebra in tank?
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:13 AM   #1
Betta132
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Cow vertebra in tank?


I have a decent-sized cow vertebra, about 4" long, which I was thinking would look cool in a tank. As I recall, it spent awhile in a field with other bones, then was boiled to clean it, then sat in a wheelbarrow for awhile before I bought it and soaked it in a bucket of water for two weeks. How can I make sure it doesn't have any chemical stuff on it? I think it would be a cool thing to have in my 65G...
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:22 AM   #2
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Don't have much in the way of advice, but that's one of the most interesting post titles I've seen in a while. I'd just boil it again for good measure, unless it was in an agricultural field in which case I'd be too freaked by the possibility of herbicides to do anything with it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:32 AM   #3
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It might have been boiled with Borax in the water, then bleached to whiten it.
You should be able to smell any cleaning products on it.

Chances are it's O.K. If your worried soak it in water with Prime 10 drops per gallon.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:11 AM   #4
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It doesn't smell like chemicals, just smells like cow pasture. I'll boil it again with an overdose of water conditioner in there, and that should probably do it...
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:05 PM   #5
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Is white or does it have a yellow tint? White would be completely dried out. Yellow would still have some animal fats/oils in it. If it's yellow, then research Taxidermy, preserving a skull.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:06 PM   #6
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depending on what is in the tank it could really cause problems. the longer the bone is in water the more it will break down. it could take several years to do so but as it does it will leach calcium into the water and alter the chemistry of the tank. if you are really set on doing this boiling is good. i would then let it air dry for a while a couple weeks or so to make sure it was completely dry all the way though. i would then find a clear acrylic spray and seal it several times.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:43 PM   #7
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It's pretty much white, except for where algae grew on it when I was soaking it. Do you think coating it in aquarium silicone would seal it?
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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Can I just say YUCK!! LOL!
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:23 PM   #9
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lol - I just posted on your squirrel skeleton thread. I really want to see pics of this tank - I used to collect animal skulls when I was young, and I bet this will be interesting!
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:37 PM   #10
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It'll probably end up with more bones when I find them... Hmm, I think I'll just thickly coat the vertebra in aquarium silicone. I'm totally gonna put a fish skeleton in here if I get one intact enough... Not one of my fish, of course.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:31 AM   #11
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You gotta post some pics!!!
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:35 AM   #12
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I could see using bones in a Pygocentrus nattereri aquascape
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:55 PM   #13
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Yeah, they would look great in a pirhana tank! Especially if you let them clean the bones themselves.
I'm going to post some pics as soon as the tannins clear up a bit, it's kind of hard to see clearly right now.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:38 PM   #14
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Just posted in your squirrel thread, but pretty much same thing, I wouldn't worry too much about it deteriorating/affecting water parameters, just chuck it in. When I've come across animal skulls in streams, they have usually been completely coated with algae, (more so then the surrounding rocks) so I'm guessing that will happen in a tank as well.

If you are concerned, I'd coat it with a clear epoxy resin, it will be easier to deal with then silicone, and it will just make the bone look wet/glossy (which won't really matter when it's submerged)
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