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Old 09-05-2013, 12:35 PM   #1 
CritterNut
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Thermometer broke in tank!

Hey guys, I was just doing water changes and moving all my tanks to their new locations in my room. While I was trying to get a thermometer loose to reposition it, the bottom part smacked against the side of the tank and shattered. I instantly scooped Bacchus out of the tank.

My question is: Is it ok to just remove the glass and the little black beads and put him back in, or do I need to do a 100% water change and put in new gravel and everything?

I'll wait on a response, for now Bacchus is in a large cup of his tank water. He seems totally fine!
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:57 PM   #2 
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Which thermometer was it? It could just be lead balls that are used to weigh the thermometer down, or it could be mercury, which would be the bad kind. The lead balls should be removed of course, but if its mercury, you should re-do the whole tank, it's highly toxic to fish and humans.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:06 PM   #3 
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I believe it's lead balls, it's definitely not mercury, unless mercury could be solid, and the only mercury I have seen is liquid.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:19 PM   #4 
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I googled to be sure, and apparently the little balls can also be mercury, so I've put Bacchus in one of the empty tanks waiting for the new arrivals, and I am going to clean his tank, wash off the plants, and totally replace every bit of gravel just to be on the safe side. I would feel awful if he died!
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:20 PM   #5 
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Then no worries! Just get out all the glass and the lead balls, and it should be fine. Lead will leech in the water but verrrrrrrry slow, so if you miss one, its not that big of a deal. You could do a 100% WC if you're worried though.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:25 PM   #6 
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Well. It would help if you knew what brand the thermometer was. Or you can probably tell by the feel of the balls. They could be steel also. Steel would be very round and shiny. Mercury is very rarely found in thermometers anymore.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:32 PM   #7 
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I can't remember the brand, and I tossed the thermometer. I will do the WC and toss the gravel. I'm afraid of missing glass shards too, so replacing the gravel and changing the water will make me feel safest!
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:47 PM   #8 
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Yea I'd be worried about slivers of glass too! That'd be my main concern after determining that its not mercury.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:12 PM   #9 
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Very few thermometers now have mercury, it's pretty rare for any company to use that any longer because of the cancer and toxicity risk.

I've had the same thing happen, and I just cleaned out the tank because it was almost impossible to get all those lead balls out without using a damp sponge...which required all the water out of the tank. :)

I hope that makes you feel better! :)
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:21 PM   #10 
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As was said, virtually all thermometers now are alcohol. The liquid in alcohol thermometers is red, while the liquid in mercury thermometers is silver.
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