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Old 12-28-2003, 11:41 PM   #1
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Will my project hurt my reef tank?

I am currently refinishing my kitchen cabinets. So far ok, I am just doing the doors right now and am taking them into the garage to do all of the work. I will get to a point however where I need to do the cabinet facing which will have to be done in the house. My reef tank is in the adjoining room, will the fumes of the stripper, the mineral spirits affect the tank? I am planning to open all of the windows etc. but I am worried about this. Does anyone know if this will have any adverse effects? 8O
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Old 12-29-2003, 12:01 AM   #2
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well, not being much of a reefer yet, but can tell ya the fumes from all of those things are more than toxic enough to crash a tank (or a human)..and if you can smell the fumes in the room where the tank is, then they will get in your tank if it's not covered. So take any precautions you can to seal the room off as well as possible.
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Old 12-29-2003, 12:01 AM   #3
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well, not being much of a reefer yet, but can tell ya the fumes from all of those things are more than toxic enough to crash a tank (or a human)..and if you can smell the fumes in the room where the tank is, then they will get in your tank if it's not covered. So take any precautions you can to seal the room off as well as possible.
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:23 AM   #4
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Obviously moving the tank would be a chore, but if at all feasible, I would do it. If not...make sure the room getting the work is well vetelated with fans in the windows pulling the air and fumes from the kitched to the outside. I would also have a fan in the door seperating the rooms, blowing into the kitchen. As an extra precaution I would run a high quality GAC AND Polyfilter during the entire project, replacing the Polyfilter as needed and the GAC every 3 days.
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Old 12-29-2003, 12:28 PM   #5
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What is a GAC? I do not have a sump, where could I put a polyfilter? I just run a skimmer and chiller. The skimmer is a deluxe prizm. I plan on using industrial sized fans, at least three of them. I live in Phoenix, so I will do this in Feb , March when the weather is perfect, and I will have all of my doors and windows open. (I hope the kids will not escape!) I also plan on using my acrylic tank covers, and I will set up my icecap fans to both blow out. I figured that someone must have at least painted or something, goodness the fumes in Kilz are really potent. Those did not affect my creatures, but I had all of my windows open.
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Old 12-29-2003, 07:04 PM   #6
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GAC = Granular activated carbon. You might consider buying penguin filter or something like that to put the GAC and polyfilter in. With the fans, it is probably not necessary, but I tend to be paranoid about these things
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Old 12-29-2003, 07:45 PM   #7
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I have no idea what I'm talking about but here's some guesses:

Suranwrap the top of the tank... lol

If you have an airpump in there, turn it off. It'd be injecting air (with fumes) into the water.

When I strip furniture I use Gel based stripper. It's a gel and has no fumes. You just slop it on, wait 10 min and then scrape with a plastic scraper.

Mineral spirits will do you absolutely no good as far as paint removal goes so don't even bother with it. Are you finishing the wood with Tung oil? That's the only reason I could think of to use Mineral spirits. If you are, I've heard of guys using rubing alchahol instead. The fact is, you just need to thin the tung oil out so it impregnates the wood deaper. You could just put more coats on and get the same effect.

Also, there are Vegitable based finishes out there for use on childrens toys, plates, bowls, and other things that would come in contact with peoples mouths. They are totally non-toxic and would probably be safe around your reef also.

Finally: Go to a REAL wood shop and explain what you need. The guys there might know of something. Home Depot is notorius for not having special needs items like non-toxic finishes. Any tung oil you get at home depot probably doesnt even have any real tung oil in it!!! (I'm serious here... I once read a list of Faux tung oils... it was pretty much all of the major brands)

Here's a supposedly eco-safe stripper: http://<a href="http://shop.woodcraf...6911436CDC</a>

And here's REAL tung oil. The best finish in the world IMO:
http://<a href="http://shop.woodcraf...6911436CDC</a>

I use this stuff on everything I make... eccept on lathe-work... I use Beeswax for that because it smells like cookies... yum
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Old 01-01-2004, 03:30 PM   #8
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Thank you for all of your input. Kevin, I will buy the filter you suggested. I would prefer to be safe rather than put my tank at risk. Pain, thank you for the advice, I was most worried about the fumes from the mineral spirits. I am not using tung oil. What stripper do you recommend that does not have fumes? I am using Bix now.
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Old 01-01-2004, 03:34 PM   #9
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Paindevine that is a good idea

every piece of oak in my mom & dad's house was finished with tung oil (i remember well, because we spent weeks rubbing the stuff on the doors, railings, etc)

It goes on easy and makes a beautiul finish and there are no harmful fumes.
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