Coins as decoration?

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Mikey Doodle

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Hello Fishlorians!

*sorry if this thread is in the wrong place!!*

Probably a silly question, and I probably shouldn't even ask it, but does anyone know if it would be safe to put coins into my tank as decoration? I have roman ruins, so I figured some roman coins might look quite nice in there! Obviously the coins would have to be big enough not to be swallowed! (although a fish would have to have a pretty large mouth to swallow a coin!!)

Thanks
 
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ryanr

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Never a silly question on fishlore

I would probably avoid coins. They could leach traces of their metals back into the water column.

Just my 2 cents [pun intended ]
 

Theepum

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my 2 cents... research it. i made my overflow box out of aluminum, and i did my research on the effects on the fish, and how much it would leach over time. my findings were very minimal (for alum. at least) and it would only happen if the alum. oxidizes which would take 20+ years to start doing that.
 

JRDroid

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I agree that they could put metals into the water column. I would be very careful for this reason. If the coins contain copper that could be bad for inverts and scaleless fish. However if you knew what metal the coins were and that the fish you were keeping were not affected by that metal, than go for it.
 
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Mikey Doodle

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That's great, thanks I have seen it in public aquariums, but obviously they have masses of water, I have 25 gallons! lol. I did try and find stuff out about it, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of helpful info out there. Will search more later on it, and the metal contents of coins... this could be interesting...

Thanks again
 

gremlin

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You could also seal the coins. There are fish-safe epoxies or water sealants that you could coat the coins with to make them safe for in your tank.
 

JRDroid

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^^^Great idea!
 

funkman262

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I was surprised that the issue of metals leaching was the main concern here. The first thing I thought of when reading the OP was the possibility of FOREIGN contaminants. Unless it's a mint, unused coin, who knows who's touched it and where it's been? Am I missing something? I was thinking if they were fake coins, they'd be plastic but we're talking about metal leaching here. Sorry, it's late and I'm probably not understanding something here. I'll try to go sleep now...
 

JRDroid

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I was thinking the coins would get a good washing before going in the tank. If they were plastic though, you'd have to worry about if they'd even sink or float
 

gremlin

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I figured the coins would get thoroughly washed first. I wash anything that goes in with my fish as a decoration, even if it is brand new. I would be more concerned with long term exposure in the tank - such as the leaching of metals - which is why I suggested sealing the coin in some way. You could always use silicone to glue a "pile" of coins and smear a thin layer of the silicone over all surfaces. That way it would make a pile large enough to sit on top of the substrate, it would seal all surfaces, and it wouldn't matter what size the coins are since they would be glued together into a large enough clump that the fish would not be able to eat any of the coins.
 

funkman262

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Personally, I wouldn't trust anything that not only isn't designed for aquarium use but has been used and contains who-knows-what chemicals. I don't know if I'd be ok with simply washing them and dropping them in my tank. Maybe boiling them? I like the idea of coating them in a sealant as suggested by gremlin.
 
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Mikey Doodle

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Yep, they would definitely need to be thoroughly cleaned first. Not really sure about it, just thought it might look quite good. The sealant is a great idea, though!
 
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