Aquarium safe materials?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Dark Sky, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. Dark Sky

    Dark SkyValued MemberMember

    I'd love some input into aquarium safe materials. I'm planning a little water feature/fountain in one of my tanks, but when I go hunting for ideas (usually at a hardware store, or garden centre) most of the items which are just about perfect leave me wondering just how safe they are.

    I presume that 'food safe' plastics would also be aquarium safe?
    How about plastic plant pots? I know terracotta is commonly used, but they may be too heavy for this project (which will be suspended from the side of the tank). I have found an idea size/shape planter which is plastic with an "enamel finish". On the base is an area where the colour hasn't been applied evenly, from the edges it looks like it's coated with a regular high gloss enamel paint. They look great, but I'm dubious about the enamel paint, thoughts?

    I've been looking at how to suspend the whole contraption, I had considered wooden dowels running across the tank, but most dowels being made of soft woods (i.e., pine) I imagine they would become a mould farm before too long. How does dried bamboo fair? I've seen dried sticks used as decoration before, but of course, this photos are usually from right after the tank was decorated, not after they've been soaking for six months!

    I have considered pot hanging hooks (your standard "S" shaped hooks of various lengths", I presume metal is out, possibly unless it's high grade stainless steel? What about the metal hooks with a plastic/rubberised coating? As long as the coating maintains its integrity I'd imagine water ingress wouldn't be possible, or is it not worth the risk, because there's no way of knowing what sort of metal is underneath? I'm yet to find plastic hooks of the right dimensions, I'd guess they're either PVC or ABS, should be pretty safe, right?

    I would love to hear any opinions/experience anyone has on using different 'household' or gardening materials in the aquarium. Thanks!!!
  2. FiscCyning

    FiscCyningWell Known MemberMember

    I'd be really hesitant to use the wooden dowels. Maybe the plastic bamboo garden stakes if you want a natural(ish) look that won't break down in water. I do know people make decor with PVC so maybe you could use small diameter PVC. You can also cover something like that with silicone and gravel to hide the fact that it's PVC.

    You might look into how some people make 3d backgrounds out of styrofoam. They have a sealant product that they spray on the styrofoam that might work to make things like that planter aquarium safe. I can't recall what it is called right now but it should be easy to find.
  3. OP
    Dark Sky

    Dark SkyValued MemberMember

    As luck would have it, I actually found something that should pretty much suit my needs without having to rig some extra apparatus. A nice, black planter, with built in hooks designed for a balcony terrace system. They were new at the hardware store, had just come in yesterday morning. It's 100% Polypropylene, so should be nice and safe.

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