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Old 08-18-2014, 07:15 PM   #1
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Rubber Mat - safe for aquarium?

Was picking up some Black Diamond for a planted freshwater tank today, and ran across this:

Rubber Horse Stall Mat, 4 ft. x 6 ft. - Tractor Supply Co.

(If the link doesn't work I'm pasting in the description at the bottom).

The actual one I got is about 4x3.5 and $20 not this larger. It is VERY heavy rubber, doesn't look like it is foam at all, not even closed small cell, and it says vulcanized rubber.

I picked it up thinking to put it under some heavier rocks. It wouldn't form pockets of dead water (it's solid), and it's thick enough I could stack 3-4 of them and do a bit of terracing for the sand around the rocks.

But... is it aquarium safe?

From what I've read, a lot of pond liners are vulcanized rubber. I found a guide book for the NY Aquarium that says their supply lines are vulcanized rubber (amazing what Google digs up). I also think rubber bands (which I know are used in aquariums by lots of people) are vulcanized rubber, but I assume there are different types as well. I found some very hard reading at the FDA on maximum vulcanization components of certain types but obviously don't know what's in this.

I see a lot of "yes" and "no" elsewhere on forums but never with a reason.

I thought I'd cut a piece off and dunk in a drinking glass for a while to see if I see any oil on top or other effects, but....

Anyone have any idea?

To me this looked much better than egg crate, besides being more protection, it's solid, so no anaerobic pockets of trapped sand/water, stacks better, and was solid black (and I'm using black substrate).

----

Description:

Give your horses the protection and comfort they deserve with the 4 ft. x 6 ft. Rubber Horse Stall Mat. These mats are the perfect balance of cushion and durability for your horses. They promote good hoof and joint health for horses, and cushion allows you to save on bedding, reducing waste and producing a more comfortable environment for your horses.

Diamond plate top for maximum skid resistance

Easier waste handling lets you use much less bedding

Unique grooved bottom specifically designed for equine use provides the perfect combination of comfort and support while promoting good hoof and joint health

Vulcanized for maximum strength and long life

Each mat weighs 100 lb.

Full 10 Year warranty
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:40 PM   #2
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I wouldn't put it in the actual aquarium, i use a similar material under the tank for auto leveling and overall piece of mind.

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Old 08-18-2014, 08:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brookster123 View Post
I wouldn't put it in the actual aquarium, i use a similar material under the tank for auto leveling and overall piece of mind.
This one has trim, so I understand only wood under it (Marineland says otherwise warranty voided, though by making the stand I probably did that anyway).

But is your recommendation just being cautious (because you don't know it is safe), or because you know something unsafe about it?

Frankly I bought it first, then started to wonder, so I am not arguing for it, just so much as trying to determine if there's a known issue, or just that it is not known to be safe.

PS. So far in a very clean glass of water there's no oil slick, but that's all of about 3 hours.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linwood View Post
This one has trim, so I understand only wood under it (Marineland says otherwise warranty voided, though by making the stand I probably did that anyway).



But is your recommendation just being cautious (because you don't know it is safe), or because you know something unsafe about it?



Frankly I bought it first, then started to wonder, so I am not arguing for it, just so much as trying to determine if there's a known issue, or just that it is not known to be safe.



PS. So far in a very clean glass of water there's no oil slick, but that's all of about 3 hours.

I would err on the side of caution because finding out too late that it is not suitable may result in sick/dying fish and a tank rebuild.
I searched for food grade silicone mats and found several at the top of this page (with the assumption that if it is food grade then it is okay for your fish): http://m.aliexpress.com/search.htm?k...igSaleSwitch=y
Perhaps something along these lines would be a safer alternative.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:55 PM   #5
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Well, I looked, I thought, I google'd, I wrote to Tractor Supply (no answer)...

I can find nothing useful. Interestingly I can also find almost no cases of types of rubber which are explicitly not safe, either (I had no idea vulcanized rubber is part of many chewing gums).

Lot's of people say "I wouldn't since I don't know it is safe".

They are wise. But someone has to go first, so there's now a slightly terraced layer of this under my substrate and the tank is filling.

6 months from now if I haven't posted, someone remind me, and either I'll tell you "don't do that" or "nothing bad happened".

Someone has to volunteer to do stupid things to know if they are...

It's like the guy eating the first oyster. I don't like sea food so I'll do this first.

PS. I still have a piece floating in clear water in a glass on my table. If I start seeing a film or getting an odor or taste (yes, I have actually tasted the water) it wouldn't be all that hard to pull it out for the next few days (filling a few drops at a time from an RODI filter).
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:01 PM   #6
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Good luck. Was the idea to use it to displace the weight of the rocks? I think most use eggcrate/light diffusers for that.


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Old 08-19-2014, 07:15 PM   #7
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Good luck. Was the idea to use it to displace the weight of the rocks? I think most use eggcrate/light diffusers for that.
Protect the glass, spread the weight a bit, I also wanted a bit more height (this raised the rocks about 1" by using two layers, terraced).

Eggcrate wouldn't raise it much. I read all the discussion about whether the dead space in egg crate is good or bad, and thought something solid meant I didn't have to figure out whether it was an issue. Also, it's all black sand, and if any of the eggcrate showed (I can only find white at Home Depot) it would be ugly. The mat is solid black.

If this works though, one could build really good terraces with it, it's nicely thick, very heavy so no floating, and it's almost impossible to slide around either on the glass or each other once placed.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:00 PM   #8
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I cut up 6 2x2 squares and put them under the 4 corners and middle front and back.. I've had a few tanks fail recently, I think it has something to do with the old apt I live in and the deflection in the floors.. nothing is level and in order to level my tanks I literally have to shim the front left corner over an inch. This leaves lots of opportunity for warping/cracking a tank.. another issue I've addressed with this is the "jurassic park" factor. When the glass of water tremors from the t rex, that's my tanks when my big body comes stomping by...

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Old 08-19-2014, 08:06 PM   #9
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I cut up 6 2x2 squares and put them under the 4 corners and middle front and back.. ....
I think you are speaking of UNDER The tank.

I'm speaking in INSIDE the tank, under the rocks.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:10 PM   #10
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I get it geesh, i was just explaing, don't put the rubber in your tank, it will probably result in tradgedy. No need to reinvent the wheel here, Google cichlid tanks or read threads here. What about sheets of pvc? Azek brand at home depot is cheaper than the mat..

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