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Old 05-25-2013, 08:31 PM   #1 
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mhunki's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: arizona
Smile unsafe ornaments?

I found this really neat sculpture at the dollar store, but it looks like its made out if cement. Is this safe to use in my tank? Or is there some type of way to test it?
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:53 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Utah
I wouldn't go with a cement thing for your tank, so there's no risk of poisoning you fish. Try petsmart, they have a sale on fish supplies right now for memorial day.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:59 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Florida
Gass, ceramic, and plastic should be safe (if you look at plastic items and see the recycling triangle thing, there are numbers and certain ones are food safe but I don't remember which, lol). Most things food-safe are aquarium safe. Absolutely no metal and be aware of paint and small holes. Also, soaking in water to see if any color leaches or any weird smells come about is a way to test, but there isn't anything that's 100% certain, honestly. Even some decorations made for aquariums are dangerous so it's really a personal decision safety-wise.

IMHO, the safest things are live plants and silk plants with no metal wires, or terracotta pots with the holes filled as they are simply baked clay. It's probably not likely that MOST things would be an issue but there is always a risk. If you put in a new decoration and your fish starts to act lethargic or strange soon after, it should be removed, followed by a couple large water changes.

I know that sometimes buying decor not specifically made for aquariums is cheaper. It's done often but you need to use a bit of common sense and watch any new decor closely for a week or two. Also if you're really not sure what the sculpture is made out of then it's probably best not to use it, but if its really neat you could always set it next to the tank for looks, lol :)
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:03 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: MA & VT
I'm pretty sure that people make fake rock backgrounds using cement, since when it's cured it's should be inert (depending on the formula). My concerns would be that concrete is usually porous so it might be holding unto chemicals, and you have no idea what ingredients were used in that particular mix.

One option if you really loved it would be to cover it entirely in a layer of silicone sealant, and then just be extra careful not to chip it. Theoretically aquarium-safe spraypaint would work as well, but I'd be even less inclined to trust that.
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