Aquarium safe metals? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Aquarium safe metals?

I attached some of my java ferns and annubias to some pieces of drift wood (didn't soak them first). I was wondering what type of metal is safe to put in aquariums so that I can either put a screw in each piece or I was thinking maybe fishing weights. Any input?? Thanks

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 03:44 AM
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Titanium or platinum are the only truly inert metals, though I have heard stainless steel works. Just keep in mind water is the universal solvent, and stainless means it will stain less, not that it is magically corrosion proof. any solution involving plastic will be better, but again it depends on the type of plastic.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 03:59 AM
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316L will last longer than any of us will live


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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. This will only be temporary, I just want to weigh them down long enough to become water logged.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 05:15 AM
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i think gold and silver pretty safe too
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 05:41 AM
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galvanized will work great... I usually use some lag bolt on pesky driftwood... or silicone it to some slate rock on the bottom.


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 05:45 AM
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galvanised hmmm zinc who knows what else, bad idea
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by willknowitall View Post
galvanised hmmm zinc who knows what else, bad idea
There is practically no leaching of zinc from the galvinization process. Even if left in the tank for years the zinc wouldn't accumulate to anything near detrimental... then if your doing water changes there's even less to worry about.

I've never experienced a problem with it, though I've just started keep plants. At any rate I can safely say from experience that fish aren't sensitive to it (at least the species I've kept.)


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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 06:03 AM
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they put zinc metal strips on roof tops , the water leaches zinc to kill mosses
also what other metals are mixed in to there galvanized concoctions
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 06:16 AM
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Free zinc ions are definitely toxic, as is Zinc Oxide, one of the stages of galvinization. The finished product is zinc carbonate.

I have enough experience to safely say it will not negatively affect your fish if you do a monthly 10% water change. I'm also confident that it will not harm your fish with fewer water changes.

They're shouldn't be any other metals mixed in because the zinc carbonate finish is what you're actually after... it's what makes the bolts and nails look dull grey. Other metals would generate a different compound and negate the purpose of galvinization.

No worries either way... there are other methods to accomplish the same goal.


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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 06:33 AM
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hmmmmm sound like you know more then me
do you have any idea what the effect of carbonic acid is on zinc carbonate
lime calcium , phosphates nitrates etc
what is the purity of this zinc carbonate compound when applied steel
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 06:38 AM
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I used stainless steel, just use something that people have had experience with.

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by willknowitall View Post
hmmmmm sound like you know more then me
do you have any idea what the effect of carbonic acid is on zinc carbonate
lime calcium , phosphates nitrates etc
what is the purity of this zinc carbonate compound when applied steel
As far as I know it is pure molten zinc with some lead mixed in to promote the fluidity in coating. I'm not sure of the exact % but in my experience it seems no different than the lead weights used to keep plants down.

this lead, since its mixed with the zinc leaches very little.

I'm not sure about carbonic acid, to be honest. Lime Calcium would generally have no effect in aquarium use and I wouldn't expect any difference with phosphates, nitrates, etc. Galvanization is meant to me highly non-corrosive so in terms of general aquarium use I wouldn't expect any problems.


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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 08:23 AM
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well to keep this going hahaha , carbonic acid is a major ingredient in planted tanks
lead that doesn't sound good ether
certain shrimp and mosses are highly sensitive to heavy medals
lead weights for plants are almost pure lead. not generally ruled safe
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 04:53 PM
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Well, keeping in mind that galvanization's purpose is to prevent corrosion in a great many situations. With this is mind if the lead leeches that means the galvanization is pointless.
But still I can understand being weary if your dealing with shrimp and moss.

Carbonic acid is common enough that I highly doubt it will affect it. I mean we're just talking about CO2, yes I know it's technically H2CO3 but once infused into the water it's just regular old CO2. And while I don't have any practical experience I would be amazingly surprised if the CO2 levels used in plant growth broke down the zinc.


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