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Shrimp with non ss metals

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I'd like to discuss the effects of metals put in a shrimp tank that are not ss (stainless steel) and would appreciate hearing what others have researched/experience with this.

My research:
Can't link sites off the top of my head but from researching shrimp keeping as well as DIY-ing some stuff for inline heaters and aquaponic set ups over the past year it was made quite clear the only metal safe long term exposed to aquarium water and fauna in the tank is stainless steel (for DIY this meant no brass parts which made some parts a little more challenging to find locally).

My experience:
I bought a dwarf baby tears mat that was wrapped in non ss mesh, most of the wire was covered in a green rubber but all cut parts were exposed metal (quite a few metal tips in the water). I put 3 of these mats in a 12g tank that had no changes for nearly a month, and ammonia/nitrite readings of 0ppm, nitrate 0-5ppm (too light to be the '5') temp 76F, pH 7.5 and gh kh 4 and 8 tds around 210 (if that makes any difference).. 2 days after adding this non ss metal mesh plant mat 1/2 of the shrimp colony was dead. I had to remove the mats and do several water changes to get all the corpses out and remove the metal leeched waters. After that there was no more die off and the shrimp population is gradually coming back. They are a mix: cherry, sakura, fire red,painted red colony so a decently hardy shrimp (hard used loosely as we know how delicate they are). There had been no change in pH, hardness, temp, or anything else leading up to the non ss metal going in. I had not done a water change in over a week before this event as all readings were so good so not an issue of newly added water messing with parameters.
Why did I add this non ss metal knowing it wasn't safe? Well I didn't now the mats were wrapped in metal until I got them. I asked the seller about it and they insisted it was fine so I stupidly believed them and paid for it.
To verify it was not something weird about the coco fiber the metal wrapped around or the plant I removed the non ss mesh and bought some real ss mesh I used to sandwich the coco-fiber and re-tied the plants to it.. no deaths in over a month, maybe 2 months now?

Anyone else try non stainless steel metals in a shrimp tank and meet with disaster?
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Stainless steel behaves very similarly to regular steel as far as corrosion goes when it is continuously submerged... It requires regular exposure to air to build up a rusty proof petina, your higher grade stainless just lasts longer... It's the reason a lot of your continuous submersion boat parts are brass (at least where strength is less of an issue ) there is a very good article in one of the professional boat builder magazines about stainless corrosion and how it relates to properly shafts and plumbing if you can find it

That being said I don't have any metal in any of my tanks, not out of fear, just no need... It's also possible there was some pathogen in the mats, something they used to clean the such as h202, or even just localized die off that raised ammonia levels to high for some of the shrimp, is even possible though unlikely there was something in the mat the shrimp are that was fatal as well...

It's also good practice to quarantine plants before adding them to an established tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your input!


I think the metal mesh that killed 1/2 the colony contained some copper (not pure copper).
 
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