Lead plant weights - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Lead plant weights

Hello. I bought a few plants today, and they came with lead weights attached to the root balls. The store clerk told me to remove and discard these before adding the plants to my tank, because it would poison the fish.

I'm curious if there are other precautions I should do to remove residue of lead, that may be on the leaves, aside from rinsing the plants. I use a quarantine tank to check for snails, etc. Water conditioners remove heavy metals. Would adding a dose of water conditioner to the tank make the lead residue non-toxic?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 04:30 PM
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I use them from lime to time, especially when you get new trimmings of stem plants. They typically lack roots and are hard to plant without them.

I have left some on for long preriods (and I'm sure that there are a couple inbedded in my substrate) and have never noticed any ill effects.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 05:46 PM
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I agree wholeheartedly with the previous post by dubvstudent. My experience has been exactly the same... and, in my opinion, the person who told you that the currently available, flexible metal plant weights are toxic is mistaken. Also, to the best of my knowledge, the metal alloy used to make them does not contain lead.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 05:52 PM
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Leave 'em on. Plant weights will not hurt your fish.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 08:20 PM
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never had a problem with them before either
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 09:00 PM
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I think they are made of pewter.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 09:32 PM
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Zinc. And when I cleaned out the substrate in my 65g after 8 years I stopped counting at 50 of them. I had to remove fish and shrimp out of this tank to get the substrate out. These things definately dont hurt your tank in any way.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 12:35 AM
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Lead isn't soluble in water to any extent that would cause it to poison the fish anyway. Once lead combines with other anions to form compounds of lead, it may be slightly soluble in water, but that occurs other than in water. If your water was very acidic, which by itself would kill the fish, it could dissolve some lead into the water. This is my understanding of lead and water. If someone more knowledgeable wants to correct that understanding, I would be very interested.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 05:10 AM
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nope lead won't do anything... but don't drop pennies in your tank!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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Symptoms of lead poisoning in fish would be difficult to notice.

I found an article about a home in Saskatoon, Canada, with 23ppb lead in the tap water, after it sat in the pipes for 10 hours. I imagine that the concentration goes up when it remains in contact with the lead pipes longer. The city water is virtually lead-free before entering the home.

Aquarium water is usually a bit more acidic, and warmer, than tap water. Saskatoon's tap water is reported to have a PH of 8.6.

I'm not pretending to be a scientist, but I have found this topic on search engines with similar responses, that there is no observable toxic effects to fish. But if the above numbers are correct, that lead-free water gets to 23ppb after sitting in lead pipes for 10 hours, with a PH of 8.6, then I believe the lead plant weights could cause toxic levels of lead in aquarium water.

My particular weights had small amounts of rust on them, and I don't know for sure whether they actually contain much lead.

Have any of you, who use these weights, tested your tank water for lead?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 06:11 AM
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wont hurt your fish but i think it may hurt shrimp..... atleast thats what ive been told, please correct me if im wrong because i would even want to use lead weights
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 08:39 AM
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Lead weights are not made of lead at all.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 08:46 AM
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Ive just heard any metal in general will hurt shrimp and inverts

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Lead weights are not made of lead at all.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 08:53 AM
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Ive just heard any metal in general will hurt shrimp and inverts
Not true. See post #7.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashes View Post
Symptoms of lead poisoning in fish would be difficult to notice.

I found an article about a home in Saskatoon, Canada, with 23ppb lead in the tap water, after it sat in the pipes for 10 hours. I imagine that the concentration goes up when it remains in contact with the lead pipes longer. The city water is virtually lead-free before entering the home.

Aquarium water is usually a bit more acidic, and warmer, than tap water. Saskatoon's tap water is reported to have a PH of 8.6.

I'm not pretending to be a scientist, but I have found this topic on search engines with similar responses, that there is no observable toxic effects to fish. But if the above numbers are correct, that lead-free water gets to 23ppb after sitting in lead pipes for 10 hours, with a PH of 8.6, then I believe the lead plant weights could cause toxic levels of lead in aquarium water.

My particular weights had small amounts of rust on them, and I don't know for sure whether they actually contain much lead.

Have any of you, who use these weights, tested your tank water for lead?
That is why you flush the standing water out of the pipes before collecting some to add to the tank. The longer water is standing in the pipes, the more likely it is to dissolve a bit of lead, lead solder, copper, etc.

Most of the plant weights I have used were some I made myself. I had a sheet of lead I bought for another project, so I cut thin strips off, and used a hammer to flatten them. I find that LFS don't selll plants with a lead weight now.

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