Mercury in reef tank...is it bad???

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by lanzo, 29 Jul 2009.

  1. lanzo

    lanzo Sponsor

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    9,396
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Centurion
    hi guys

    What will happen to the tank inmates if a glass thermometer brakes in a reef setup?

    Will the mercury Beads have a drastic effect on corals? if so...i long before corals start dying?
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. lanzo

    lanzo Thread Starter Sponsor

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    9,396
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Centurion
    :bump:
     
  4. Dewald@Dorry

    Dewald@Dorry

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Johannesburg (Alberton)
    I'm not an expert but know that mecury beads rust like the speed of light when they get in contact with sea water. One of mine broke and after two or three days they are totally disolved! (I think). Likely I did not have any live stock in as yet, only live rock and they seem to be fine!!

    I would recommend doing water changes to get the metal out of your tank quite frequently.

    Maybe the experts can shed more light!!??
     
  5. lanzo

    lanzo Thread Starter Sponsor

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    9,396
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Centurion
    thanks man
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    23,142
    Likes Received:
    1,228
    Location:
    Centurion
    Lanzo, the liquid should not be a problem, but the metal balls, they will rust and cause problems

    Take the magnet from a powerhead, and move it around the area where it broke.
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    23,142
    Likes Received:
    1,228
    Location:
    Centurion
    Also, its been years that mercury is not used in thermometers, but a red dye that is not poisonous.
     
  8. lanzo

    lanzo Thread Starter Sponsor

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    9,396
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Centurion
    will try the magnet thanks riaan, will see if its red....i'm a bit colour blind:p
     
  9. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    14,530
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Gonubie East London
    im not sure its that simple, mercury is fairly hazardous to us as humans but i have seen thermometers break in tanks releasing the mercury before and have witnesses little ill effect to the fish etc, i actually recieved an e-mail about energy saving globes that i wanted to post here on masa, it is a guidline of what to do should one break in your room.. its pretty scary i just cant find it at the moment. judging from this i would say you should be cautios and if its seen as harmful to us it will most definatley be harmful to all lifeforms.. as you know saltwater saltwater is a body of many chemical reactions taking place, so im not sure if by some process (unknown to us) it renders the mercury "safe"

    thats my 2c
     
    lanzo likes this.
  10. lanzo

    lanzo Thread Starter Sponsor

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    9,396
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Centurion
    thanks leslie:thumbup:
     
  11. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,974
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    KZN
    It would also depend on the size of the system 3000L compared to a Nano, effects on a Nano could make a difference. But i an not sure if the balls in the thermometer are mercury???
     
  12. Midasblenny

    Midasblenny

    Joined:
    11 May 2007
    Posts:
    855
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Randburg-Gauteng
    The balls are made of lead and probably too small to cause a problem unless in a goldfish bowl size tank. The red liquid is not mercury either but a dyed alcohol so also not really a worry IMO.
     
  13. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    No, they are not. In my experience, *most* hobby-type thermometers are alcohol thermometers, with the "round balls" being small metal balls which acts more like a ballast than anything else (although they do transfer heat from the outer glass to the inner tube of the thermometer). Proper mercury thermometers are rather expensive, and have a silver coloured mercury column, instead of the red coloured column of an alcohol-based thermometer.

    I don't have any personal experience with broken mercury thermometers, but I di believe that the mercury would be toxic to many of our tank inhabitants, but, as Alan said, the toxicity would depend on the concentration of the pollutant.

    Hennie
     
  14. lanzo

    lanzo Thread Starter Sponsor

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    9,396
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Centurion
    thanks guys...great info... i always thought that most thermometers are all mercury.

    i picked up most of the little balls:)
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    23,142
    Likes Received:
    1,228
    Location:
    Centurion
    The balls are steel, else a magnet can not pick it up.
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Mercury reef tank Forum Date
[wtd] Seneye reef Wanted Wednesday at 09:57
[wtd] reefoctopus xps 5000 skimmer Wanted Tuesday at 09:03
Reef Octopus int5000 General Discussions and Advice 24 Nov 2016
Jaun's 240 mixed reef Medium Tanks 22 Nov 2016
Gauteng Reefer Bring and Braai and Frag Swap - 10 December 2016 Local Reefing Clubs 18 Nov 2016
New sponsor - Marine & Reef Connection Marine & Reef Connection 10 Nov 2016
What local caught butterflies can i try in a reef tank? Marine Fish Discussions 3 Nov 2016