Originally Posted by Lohoyan
Are you sure the unrinsed coral is what killed your fish, I wouldn't have thought it was that dangerous. It is a natural product and I'm sure they do some rinsing before they package it. I can't see what would have killed your fish as long as the silicone was properly cured? Your idea should have worked. It looks cool!
I'm 99% positive. The silicone has a 24 hour full cure time. I let it sit for 3 full days before putting it into the tank. I didnt rinse the coral at all and the powder from the fragments leached out into the water and turned it so cloudy that I could hardly see the back of the tank. When I changed the water there was a film of the powder left on the glass that had to be removed. As soon as I changed the water the surviving fish started behaving normally.
What makes me feel foolish is that I preach so often on how everything must be cleaned before putting it into a tank, then I failed to do it myself. Even stuff that is supposedly "pre-rinsed" needs to be done to remove dust from the packaging process, shipment and storage.
I posted the thread just to show how important the small details can be and hoping someone can learn from my mistakes.
Oh, and thanks for all the compliments on the looks of the thing. I havent given up on it, I just have to rethink my strategy. I can just redo it like this (after cleaning the remaining coral) or I am considering a white/black sand mixture.