Trying to compile a master list of aquarium-safe DIY materials - Page 2

  • Thread Starter
waterlilykari
Member
Plecomaker said:
Clay is often added as wet balls in the soil to provide plant minerals, firing wouldnt make much difference.
The paint and other sealants sometimes contain lead. That's why itCAN be dangerous, butdepends on thhe individual piece.
Ok, thanks. For use in soil tanks, does it cause additional clouding if not capped? (The clay specifically, not just the soil itself)
 
  • Thread Starter
waterlilykari
Member
Another question I was asked recently that I thought would be good to include here if anyone has an answer: Is there a way to prevent silk plants from fraying? Alternatively, have you found that fraying is either a quality issue and upgrading to better silk plants if a user is intent on having them as opposed to real ones solves it or are they just going to fray no matter what is done to prevent it?
 
Danjamesdixon
Member
  • Thread Starter
waterlilykari
Member
Danjamesdixon said:
Buy better quality fake plants
That's what I thought. I will pass it on. Personally I prefer live plants in my own tanks but I will admit there times when are a fake ones would be warranted. For example: when fish eat live ones or a kids tank where the kids enjoy getting to "rearrange" frequently - most live plants aren't appreciative of routinely being uprooted so decent looking fake ones are better in those instances than staring at perpetually dying plants day in and day out.
 
  • Thread Starter
waterlilykari
Member
Sorry for the delay! Now that school is out, I think I FINALLY might be able to write up this list. That being said...

Does anyone have a preference or opinion either way:

Option 1: list each individual who suggested the idea immediately after each idea is listed? Such as: "For doing X, you can use materials A, B or C safely (credit: @examplename1)...For doing Y, you can use materials D, E or F (credit: @examplename2)" or in the case that more than one had the same/very similar suggestion: "(thanks to @examplename3 & @examplename4 for input/ideas)"


Or option 2: Include a single list at either beginning or end of the write-up naming everyone that contributed in the process of compiling this list? It would be something such as: "this was compiled thanks to input and ideas contributed by @examplename1, @examplename2, @examplename3, @examplename4, @examplename5 and @examplename6" although I have yet to do the write up so I don't know what the exact wording would be yet.

One last thought: would this overall master list be better as a post to *hopefully* be stickied once done, or as an article as others have done on things like plant care, fish profiles, etc?
 
FishtailBraid
Member
Il add coconuts shells and crabapple wood. Ive hoolowed out and boiled the cocnuts to make cichlid caves, plecos gnaw on the tops.
If you don't mind my asking, how did you prepare the coconuts, in particular cutting "doors" (if any) and removing the hairy fibre from the outside? Is sandpaper safe to use on something you're going to put in the tank? I would LOVE a coconut shell in my betta tank!

On that note, for newbies like me it would also be great if people could explain what's fish-safe for use on things FOR the tank; for example, can you cut things intended for aquarium use with a regular saw? Should you clean the saw first? Is sandpaper okay for preparing coconuts?
 
  • Thread Starter
waterlilykari
Member
FishtailBraid said:
If you don't mind my asking, how did you prepare the coconuts, in particular cutting "doors" (if any) and removing the hairy fibre from the outside? Is sandpaper safe to use on something you're going to put in the tank? I would LOVE a coconut shell in my betta tank!

On that note, for newbies like me it would also be great if people could explain what's fish-safe for use on things FOR the tank; for example, can you cut things intended for aquarium use with a regular saw? Should you clean the saw first? Is sandpaper okay for preparing coconuts?
To my knowledge, most of the warnings and red flags are centered around what NOT to use on anything going into a tank such as cleaners. I would think a saw (as long as it is not contaminated with anything like a lubricating oil or whatever else might transfer to a coconut shell) should be ok but I am not 100% on that. Maybe someone else can chime in on the subject.

The same goes for sandpaper - if there is transfer of anything toxic such as if it was previously used to sand a painted surface then used on the coconut shell, who's to say the paint won't rub off onto the coconut but if it is a brand new sandpaper I would think it'd be ok assuming you washed it VERY thoroughly to get any particles of sand off once you are finished and my guess is something like sandblasting would be the same as well if anyone ever felt the need to go that in depth with it.

If you intend to use anything in a betta tank, be aware that it needs to be absolutely smoothed out so there are no sharp or rough spots on it anywhere to avoid snagging and tearing fragile fins and tails. Otherwise, I think a coconut cave would look great in a betta tank!


 
FishtailBraid
Member
Thanks waterlilykari!

Continuing from my earlier question, does anyone use special scissors for stuff they're putting in their tanks? I need to trI'm some filter media to fit a different cartridge. When I first got my tank I used my regular metal paper scissors to cut my filter baffle, but I was less knowledgeable about fish back then too...
 
Dom90
Member
I heard as long as the scissors are stainless steel, it should be ok to use.
 
  • Thread Starter
waterlilykari
Member
In that situation, I agree about the point of using stainless steel which most scissors people use usually are anyway but I think there are factors about how much water exposure will there be on the scissors that may dictate a specialized set vs. just regular pair from your big box store of choice.

For example, if all you are going to use it for is cutting is the occasional piece of filter foam under the following conditions:

-the filter foam is completely dry when you cut, so zero water exposure to the scissors
-the foam would be washed prior to use which minimizes risk of transferring anything like dust, oils, etc. that could have hitched a ride on the scissors
-since the foam itself is (obviously!) a soft material so no risk of any metal scraping off onto it such as if you were using it to cut something equally hard as the scissors,
-and the scissors will never be entering the water such as to prune plants in the tank

...then I doubt it matters too much what scissors you use, however, just to be on the safe side I would still keep whatever pair you use reserved just for tank related cutting. Obviously, your spouse grabbing a pair of household scissors that just happens to be nearby when they're going out the back door to work in the garden & using them to cut open the bag of fertilizer for the lawn then later you (not knowing what the scissors had come in contact with earlier in the day) grab a pair that also happened to be nearby when you needed them, then used them to cut filter foam that will be going into your tank's filter is a major recipe for disaster! For this reason, everything I use in or around the tank is aquarium use only, even if it's not an aquarium specific item and I also have made sure everyone in the house knows it.

On the other hand, if you will be taking a pair of scissors and submerging them frequently to prune back that plant that just seems to take over your tank if you don't attack it regularly with some form of shears...best to buy a set that is made for aquatic use or if not that, then it's also possible to buy ones intended for medical use just as easily online. Among other things, we don't always know what lubricants may have been used in the joint between the blades on regular everyday types of scissors, and we also don't know what cleaners or the like that may have been used while an item sat on the shelf in Target/Walmart/etc. to keep it free of dust or smudges. Aquarium specific or medical use specific tools will be free from such contaminants.

Either way, no matter what tools you use, I would make sure to clean them thoroughly before using anyway. I have heard of some people choosing to go so far as even recommending any joined tool like scissors or clamps be disassembled and cleaned that way to remove ALL traces of lubricant from the joints but I don't know if that's needed or not. (In theory anything in the way of tools that is safe to use within the body during a surgical procedure should also be safe to use within a fish tank, but don't quote me on that) Beware of anything on Amazon or similar places claiming to be "medical grade" or "surgical" that is painted, powder coated or otherwise colored. Even if the stainless it's made out of is safe, the paint may not be for a vast number of reasons. No actual hospital uses blue hemostats (clamps) to clamp of a vein or purple scissors to snip with during a procedure for good reason so stay away from any and all colorants applied to the metal!


 

Latest threads

Top Bottom