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Old 07-06-2007, 06:58 PM   #1
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Aluminum foil OK in planted tank (CO2/ferts)?

Hey everyone,

So I finally got down and dirty and corralled my tiger barb that needs some treatment. I have a small breeder cage that floats at the surface and he's in there for at least a week. This way he won't get nipped and I can feed him some antibiotics (fin rot and buoyancy issues).

Problem is the breeder cage is clear acrylic and so my dwarf gourami and alpha male tiger barb spent the last hour trying to nip the caged barb. This obviously was not a good situation, as he was smashing and thrashing all over (when I want him to R&R).

So I spent 30 minutes and a beer trying to think how I can block the vision of the contents of the cage. I thought of paper, but was worried about leeching and just as importantly it breaking down or getting the fish caught at the surface. I really wanted a food safe black piece of plastic that I could cut to fit the bottom, but then the sides were still easily visible.

Finally after 30 minutes of wracking my brain I settled on simple aluminum foil. I bent it around the breeder cage and so it blocks all visibility except for where the gill slits are (for water exchange). The fish in the tank can't see in, and the barb seems to be much more at ease.

So my question is in my CO2 injected EI fertilized tank is there any concern about the foil? My plan is to have him in there for 7-10 days. I have no problem replacing the foil after a couple days, but if its safe I'd rather leave it in place.

Oh, and its just plain old Reynolds Wrap. Dull side facing in of course (wouldn't want to BBQ the little guy). It's also in the corner of the tank so it won't be in the path of the tank lights.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:58 PM   #2
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I cant see why it would be a problem for only a week or two. It is food safe after all.
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:01 PM   #3
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That was my thought as well, but I was worried about the carbonic acid from the CO2 and possible issues with the fert dosing (corrosion and such). I just got back from dinner and everything looks fine. I checked the temp inside the cage and it is within 0.2degrees of the tank. I was worried it would be much warmer than the tank since its near the surface and relatively enclosed.

Now if only I could get the barb to eat the friggin' Jungle antibiotic food! Any tips? I'm about ready to just wait it out with him. He will eventually want to eat something I would guess....
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:19 PM   #4
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Have you considered black netting? There must be a dense, closely woven type that could shield their prying eyes while giving the fish the much needed R&R.
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Old 07-07-2007, 10:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin
Have you considered black netting? There must be a dense, closely woven type that could shield their prying eyes while giving the fish the much needed R&R.
I was looking for an immediate fix from around the house since the caged barb was under a LOT of stress. I'm going to see how this foil works out, right now it shows no signs of breaking down, and I checked the temp in the cage and its very similar to the tank water. So far its working perfectly but if I see any problems I'll be sure to do a large PWC and find another option. I was thinking of panty hose. I don't know if they stretch as much as I would need, but that should block the view while still allowing water to move through it.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:08 AM   #6
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I was thinking black pantyhose too. I have a box of black knee-high hose, primarily for use as a filter intake cover when I bring my cheap Whisper QT filter out. Cut off the top elastic band, and the hose will stretch out pretty far while still maintaining a light grip. I got a dark black, not just an opaque black, at the grocery store. I think this will be more than adequate to block the other fishes' vision to the QT "cage".
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:41 AM   #7
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Have you thought of sand paper? The one thing we always try to avoid with acrylic may just work in your favor. A fine grit sandpaper will give the acrylic an etched look. This will still allow light in but the fish will no longer be able to see through the breeder.
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparKy697
Have you thought of sand paper? The one thing we always try to avoid with acrylic may just work in your favor. A fine grit sandpaper will give the acrylic an etched look. This will still allow light in but the fish will no longer be able to see through the breeder.
That was one of the first things I thought about but since light still will get through the gourami would probably become interested in the cage. I may try this out when I'm done.
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Old 08-07-2007, 04:27 AM   #9
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The aluminum shouldn't corrode much at all. That's one of the reasons it's used on boat hulls. Even if it does corrode, it should only produce aluminum oxide, probably as a sandy form of bauxite. It's harmless and unreactive unless you put drano in your tank.

The real question though is if there is a coating on the aluminum. I have no idea what waxes or resins they might use. It should be safe though, figure it has to stand up to acidic foods as well.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:35 AM   #10
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It should be fine. At work I regularly use tinfoil to wrap tissue sampes for later chemical analysis, and I've never heard complaints of contamination. Tinfoil is actually what the EPA specifies for fish tissue storage. If it doesn't contaminate that it should be fine in the tank.
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:20 AM   #11
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Thanks!
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