Metal Weight Plate ? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Metal Weight Plate ?

Hi: Can I use a simple Golds Gym Metal Weight Plate to weigh down my drift wood? I believe it is cast iron and it says it is coated in baked enamel. 2.5 pounds. This thing you can just get for $2.17 in Walmart. (cheaper than loads of fishing weights). It kind of looks like this, except smaller of course, and no yellow paint. It is all black: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Golds-Gym-...Plate/16622350 Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 02:46 AM
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I would doubt the coating would be water proof and that the weight would rust, especally cast iron.

Why not use a piece of slate and some stainless steel screws to secure the driftwood to?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FatherLandDescendant View Post
I would doubt the coating would be water proof and that the weight would rust, especally cast iron.

Why not use a piece of slate and some stainless steel screws to secure the driftwood to?
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh.. slate and stainless steel screws. I did not think of that. I have slate and tried to silicone glue it but it did not hold. Thanks. dbw
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 03:53 AM
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Ohhhhhhhhhhhh.. slate and stainless steel screws. I did not think of that. I have slate and tried to silicone glue it but it did not hold. Thanks. dbw
You'll need a high speed bit to drill it out, and the bit should be for concrete applications. If not you'll break the slate in half at the drill point.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Okay thanks. I can ask my friend who is in painting/construction to do it. :-)

Thanks!

dbw
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 03:38 PM
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High techie name is "masonry bit". Just use lighter pressure to avoid breaking the slate.
I do not find any need of stainless screws as the small amount of rust is not a problem and my tanks never stay in one form for the years it requires for most screws to rust off totally to let go.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 11:53 PM
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You can probably get a single masonry bit for not too much. Or if you have a dremel, you could try using one of the grinding or diamond bits, but that would take a lot longer. Try to keep the spot you are drilling wet, or even drill with the piece of slate submerged. It keeps the dust down, and makes it a bit easier to drill through.

I'm fairly certain I once drilled through a piece of slate with just a regular high-speed bit (granted, it pretty much ruined the bit), so if you have a regular bit you don't like...

Anyways, I really like bolting driftwood onto slate, aside from just holding the piece down, it also allows you to place it in positions that gravity alone wouldn't support. I don't think there is too much to be concerned about with the metal in the screw, but I'd at least avoid brass. I use nylon machine screws, but I happened to have a 1/4" tap lying around, so I drill and tap a hole in the driftwood, and then just screw into the wood. If it's a piece you can drill through and keep covered in substrate, you could but a nylon bolt on it as well.

Probably just easiest to use a wood screw though.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 02:52 PM
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I have used a gym weight to hold down a huge piece of driftwood in a sand-bottomed 180 gallon tank. We had zero issues with rust.

1- The baked on enamel is probably powder-coat. If so, it ain't going anywhere. It's like epoxy almost. Maybe it is epoxy. Either way, it's strong and almost definitely waterproof.

2- Corrosion is slowed dramatically in submerged environments. That's why sunken steel ships stick around for a hundred years or so. Dunking and drying dramatically accelerates the corrosion process. That's why your shaving cream can leaves a rust ring on the sink. It got wet, then it dried a little, then it got wet again, then dried a little, etc.

3- I used those weights to hold down strings of duck decoys in saltwater. They were exposed to the wet-dry-wet-dry process that I talked about earlier. Even then, there wasn't massive corrosion. There was definitely some, but not a lot.

Point is- slate is a great option. Slate and stainless is even better. However, if you can't find either or if you already have the parts laying around, a gym weight isn't going to ruin your tank.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 04:02 PM
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Slate floor tile is available almost everywhere. Part of the reason I use it is that it is real easy to find as well as cheap and easy to work.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 04:13 PM
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Slate floor tile is available almost everywhere. Part of the reason I use it is that it is real easy to find as well as cheap and easy to work.
Yep, just picked up a box from Home Depot for this. 5 square foot tiles for $7 and change.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 10:07 PM
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Also, if you want smaller pieces, you can sometimes find small tiles for doing walls/counters/etc. at the big box stores. I think you have to buy an entire pack of like, 4 or 5 at once, but it's an option if you don't want to break/cut (hacksaws work) the bigger tiles.
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