Is brass dangerous to lifestock? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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Is brass dangerous to lifestock?

I just realized I may have done something stupid...

I have a 5 gallon glass beverage dispenser with a brass spigot. Inside the jar is a 1/2" brass nut that secures the spigot to the jar. Also in the jar are approximately 7 shrimp, a lot of plants, and about 2" of Eco Complete.

Is the brass a danger to the shrimp or the plants? Is there something like aquarium sealant that I could use to cover the metal part? What I'd like is to make a blob (think used chewing gum) to seal off the metal from the tank, but I'm not sure it would stick under water. Will I have to drain and dry the jar?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 09:19 PM
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Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, the first of which is deadly to shrimp. What I don't know is at what rate brass can corrode and release free copper into the water. I believe that the blue to greenish patina it develops is due to copper oxidation, but unsure at what level it could leach into your water. I would replace the fitting with PVC or plastic if possible. If you did want to seal over, that would need to be done out of water and given ample curing time while dry. Sorry I don't have an exact answer, but I sure wouldn't chance it.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-18-2019, 03:33 PM
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Water is an electrolyte. In order for corrosion to occur you need an electrolyte, a metallic pathway (in this case it will be the metal it self) and an anodic spot and cathodic spot (again in this case it will be parts of the same metal structure). In order to stop the corrosion you would need to eliminate one of the four conditions. Sealing the brass with silicon could eliminate the corrosion. But in the industry there is the old adage that there is no perfect coating. Anywhere the brass is not sealed it will create what is called a pinhole and in these areas corrosion is accelerated.

Brass is a rather stable metal (the reason it is used in many fittings)

That being said there is a reason that all water conditioners on the market work against heavy metals. I would get it outta there.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2020, 01:56 AM
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Is the brass nut easily accessible? Do you ever have to remove it when the container is used for aquatics? If you can get to it, and don't ever have to disassemble the spigot, I'd try coating the nut with silicone - that should keep it away from the water.
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