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Household products or situations that can damage your tank

Posted 10/17/2015 at 12:22 PM by Sk8r

Household products or situations that can damage your tank
1. pesticides
2. ammonia- or petroleum-based glass cleaners
3. scented candles
4. carpet fresheners
5. paints, refinishers and other associated products like thinners and cleaners, including from hobby.
6. smoke, including heavy tobacco smoke
7. air fresheners
8. Lysol and other cleaners
9. antimicrobial or antibiotic sponges or cleaners or gloves
10. flea treatments

In general, these may be part of modern living---BUT you have to take precautions and read labels AND use your nose.

A basic fact of biology---if you can smell it, volatile (flying) particles are coming off the stuff into the air and entering your nose. They are also entering your unprotected tank. In sufficient numbers, and of particular kinds, they can cause problems.

A basic of language: anti- is Greek for 'against' or 'preventing', -bio or microbio- means 'life' or 'microlife'. Anything that says antibiotic or antimicrobial is intended to kill things. Sometimes this means disease-causing germs. But sometimes, as in an antimicrobial coating on your gloves, it is going to kill the GOOD bacteria.

A basic way to think of protection. Just remove the bad stuff from the vicinity of your tank. EG: Spray the glass cleaner onto a cloth in an adjacent room and carry the cloth to your tank front or coffee table. Be CAREFUL not to drip it. And if you are fortunate enough to have someone doing stuff FOR you---be sure you make it clear how they have to protect that tank.

Having a canopy IS a major protection against pets, children, well-meaning uncles, and housekeepers with a mission. Securing the feeding/access is a good move if you have someone who doesn't listen. Superglue and a small lock, eg.
To solve the heat issue even for metal halides, you can get a fan array, as many as 4 small fans in a bar, which will mightily work to cool down the problems a canopy creates.

Opening the windows wide, no matter the season, if you have an Issue going on, is a good idea. So are a few potent fans. Dilution helps, be it air or water.

Water changes and carbon can help. So can a product called PolyFilter. Because the latter absorbs organics and saturates fast in a live tank, it's not as helpful as might be, but it will sop up heavy metals and all sorts of problems, too: you might just have to keep renewing it, and it's not cheap.

In the ultimate, when you have to fumigate the premises, or in case of nasty volatiles which must be used, turn off your lights to prevent heat buildup, turn off your main pump, and saran-wrap or tent your tank. Into the tank, and possibly needful, the sump, place airstones with a potent airpump OUTSIDE THE HOUSE, running airline through a window or door, which will keep pumping good outside air in, keeping water aerated, while everything is wrapped up tight. Doublecheck to make sure workmen have not closed the windows or messed up the lines.

When painting a room, you can get away with paint if you choose a 'mild' smelling paint, do all brush cleaning with water or elsewhere, and open the windows.

Fish are a bit more tolerant than, say, birds, but a lot harder to take with you.

Hope this list will help you be alert for problems and save you some headaches.
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