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Old 05-16-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
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Egg Crate, food for Algae?

Hello all,
I was surfing the net and found some sites claiming that egg crate leaks some chemicals that can be food for algae. Anyone heard of this? I do notice that my white eggcrate basket I made to hold chaeto seems to have 1000 times as much brown whispy algae on it than anything else in the tank!

A few people suggested its mearly the shape of the egg crate, but a few others said they had done tests and found small levels of phosphates being released as well as some other type of chemical that winds up being used by algae.

This spells YIKES to me if true!

Any thoughts, experiences?
Matt
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:13 PM   #2
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:14 PM   #3
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You mean the plastic crates? I don't think so. They should be mostly inert... But you never know. I think it might be the color white reflecting the light so that the algae gets a double dose of light. It may also be simply the texture of the egg crate being conducive for algae to latch on. Of course it would be impossible to tell without some controlled experiments or mass spectrometry.
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:35 PM   #4
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I just read through 6 pages on another forum about the stuff. Seems white egg crate IS a major problem! The folks there are now washing, bleaching, soaking in vinegar, and then spray painting their egg crate with Krylon Fusion black paint.

90% of the people that responded all said they had this tan algae form immediately despite their perfect tank husbandry. I will wipe it off, and the stuff is back in a day. I think I will find another way to hold my chaeto algae. Any ideas?

The consensus is that this is only a problem for the HomeDepot and Lowes egg crate, as its made of polystyrene and the new manufacturing methods use both phosphates and other odd stuff to help release the egg crate from the molds.

Seems the best way to stop the algae is to paint the stuff. Maybe I will have to look into acrylic afterall, as I dont want to play with bleach and vinegar and whatnot and then spray paint.
Shucks!
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:49 PM   #5
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i find it kinda hard to believe. egg create has been used for a long time in tanks. why would it be all of a sudden that it causes major algee issues. i would think it has to do with maybe they have an algee issue and algee sticks to plastic really easy. lots of algae will stick to power heads and glass before rocks because it sticks easier for some reason.
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:47 PM   #6
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:05 AM   #7
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Eggcrate is inert, but that doesn't mean the warehouses and packaging aren't without their contaminants. Any plastic, acrylic, etc. added to a tank is surface area for bacteria to colonize, which is why diatoms seems to "appear" as if by magic in "well kept" aquaria. Bottom line is algae is as much a part of your aquarium as is the water and always will be. Wash the eggcrate in bleach prior to use, simple as that. I've yet to have a problem with standard white eggcrate in the past 5yrs+
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:33 AM   #8
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Okay, so I should bleach it then? How much bleach? Capful per gallon or so? How long should I soak it in the bleach for? Should I then soak in vinegar, how long?

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:06 AM   #9
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If you choose to bleach, use 3/4 cup - 1 cup bleach per 1 gallon of water (virtually a 1:1 ratio). I've only needed to bleach them if used in a QT situation or transferring to tanks, but good practice nonetheless. For those that paint them, Krylon Fusion eventually flakes away, becoming brittle and all spray paints (non aquatic purpose) will scrape off easily. Rustoleum has better adhesion ime. You really can't stop re-exposure of the eggcrate surface with a standard paint spray. SweetWater (aquatic eco) makes a fabulously durable epoxy paint, but not available in spray as far as I know.
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