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Old 11-10-2005, 01:29 AM   #1
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Safe metals in freshwater tanks.

Before i start im sorry if this has already been brought up, i tried a search and didnt find anything!

Now...
In making up my new 3 foot tank setup i'm aiming for something unusual and striking, a kinda merge between my fish keeping interest and my construction interest, so i've drawn up a few designs, but one thing which would be very cool to incorperate would be some metal (like thick sheet cut into funky shapes). Only problem is im well aware of most of the properties of most metals... they really dont like water (especialy salt water but this is fresh... salt causes chaos on almost all metals save titanium 8O )
Does anyone know what metal would be best to use, if any? Im not sure about aluminium... and Ti is sorta out of my budget (though i do have some for other uses). Im thinking stainless steel maybe?
Thanks!
Angus
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:26 AM   #2
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the only safe metals to my knowledge are, aluminium stainless steel and titanium. as you might know there are thousands of different alloy contents of aluminium and i am not sure if all are usable or if only a few alloy contents are. Titanium is by far the best and safest to use, stainless is safe - its even used in some algea scrapper's, and aluminium would be after we check out on the alloy content.

i am not exactly sure what sort of disigns you were wanting to make, however there is a cheap way to get titanium, it will cost you 2-3 USD a peice but go to your local bike shop and ask them for a titanium (Bike-wheel) spoke, it should only cost a few bucks, and you can bend that to a shape pretty easily. your probably wanting to get the metal in sheet form, but if you can use a spoke instead you might save a few bucks and have a safer aquarium.

hth

bry
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JProx
the only safe metals to my knowledge are, aluminium stainless steel and titanium. as you might know there are thousands of different alloy contents of aluminium and i am not sure if all are usable or if only a few alloy contents are. Titanium is by far the best and safest to use, stainless is safe - its even used in some algea scrapper's, and aluminium would be after we check out on the alloy content.
going to agree with everything here. just posting really to second your comment about alluminum alloys, IIRC it was mostly in regards to alluminum alloys in SW. If this is a FW system, Stainless will likely be your best option both for it's working properties (compared to alluminum) and its resistance to corrosion in a FW system.

welcome to AquariumAdvice.com! looking forward to seeing plans!
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:04 AM   #4
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You can add gold 14k or higher to that list as long as there is no electric current, but at that point you have other far worse problems. 8O

But for the most part, if the metal will rust or tarish, you should keep it out of your fish tank. This is why most everything in your fish tank is plastic or plastic coated...
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:13 AM   #5
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lol yeah you don't really want a current through your tank! 8O
Thanks for all the advice, i've decided on stainless as it seems most suitable. The basic idea is a large about half inch thick strip of stainless bent or hammered into a half mobius strip sort of design, and another piece cut into a shape simmiler to the end of a spanner supporting that, other things are falling into place in my ideas too. The main concern is that there is no sharp edges that the fish can hurt themselves on, so thats why ill use thickish material and grind the edges down so its blunt. Still also working out the fish involved, but may be some halfbeaks, scats or monos (bred for fresh water) or something else black and silvery, maybe even mollies, lol the price is right for them anyway!
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:43 AM   #6
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well goodluck, i would like to see some pics when everything is finished.
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:58 AM   #7
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the only safe metals to my knowledge are, aluminium stainless steel and titanium.
NO METALS ARE SAFE.
I can't believe anyone actually said it was.
Every metal corrodes in a matter of time, oxides form on the surface and will poison your fish and entire aquarium. It's just a matter of how long it takes.

Note: Oxygen also sets off corrosion, add a minute electrical current from a powerhead or whatever and watch the oxides form.

Stainless steel is the worst, it takes longer to corrode but the effect is five times worse then any others, it lodges into your system and does not dissolve, it just keeps rotting.

Mild steel is better it DOES dissolve through the system eventually but still causes serious harm.

Aluminium is more dangerous in the fumes it emmits from the corrosion. It will be like running a diy c02 with the poisonous gases into your system.

I am a qualified metal engineer, corrosion is a part of the process.
I shudder everytime someone says they screwed a piece of driftwood down with stainless screws. IT WILL KILL YOUR FISH AND POLLUTE YOUR WATER.
Do not say you weren't warned.

Matt.
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Old 11-11-2005, 02:36 AM   #8
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Ah... i suspected as much...
So if stainless is dangerous, would coating it in something make it less so? I mean... if something did get through it would be pretty obvious and a half yearly or yearly re-coat to keep waterproofness would be needed.
Would that be effective? If not i'll have to scrap the whole idea...
lol or mod it insanly
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Old 11-11-2005, 08:50 AM   #9
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DeFeKt, i'm willing to bow out to your experience, but I have a couple questions. There are a number of standard pieces of equipment of almost any aquarium that has at least a small amount of metal, usually stainless steel. Such as filter impellars, power head impellars, the titanium heaters especially. Is it that these are usually such small pieces that we don't see them causing detriment?
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:21 PM   #10
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Hmm thats a good point, perhaps its the fact its only a small amount compared to the massive chunks i wanted to use... does anyone know if pvc plumber piping is ok?
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