Stainless steel in aquariums

sherryazure(6)August 14, 2005

First I know metals are toxic to fish, but have a large piece of wood which needs to be mounted.... most likey will go with acrylic but was wondering and did searching with no answer... can stainless steel rods be used? Any help much appreciated... Thanks Sherry (freshwater)

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I'm know expert, but I had a divider that had metal supports- the fish were unfased. Sorry I couldn't give a direct answer! Good Luck!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 2:26PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

I would say it is safe. They make stainless steel heaters that are unbreakable for larger fish aquariums. I do not know if there are different grades. I have seen some stainless that also says surgical steel and do not know if there is a difference. If you are needing this for a frame you could also use PVC it is aquarium safe and the cement/cleaner/primer becomes inert after a few days of curing.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 2:35PM
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kirap(TN z7)

There are alkl kinds of stainless steel alloys ourt there, and some will rust.........most however will not. Iron/steel won't hurt a fish, but it makes the water off color, and gets nasty in time, but the rust process adds iron to the water, and can be beneficial to plants. I have a pice of Iron laying in thr bnottom of a half barrel which rusts and makes the water a more natural tea color and my plnats before loooked anemic, bvut after the iron they are nice and green......bronze and brasses wil not harm a fish either.......Acrylic would be fine if its able to be shaped formed or made to do what you want. I just bought a couple of 36" long 10/32 all threaded rods and also 1/4-20 all threaded rods made from stainless steel for use in aquariums and water barrel gardens. IIRC the 10/32 which is some strong material was only like $1.90 each and the 1/4 was 3.10 each for a piece 3 feet long.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 3:27PM
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First thanks one and all for your replys... with regard to kirap, I am in midtown Manhattan NY and wondering where you would buy such a product, any hardware store.... I think plastic would be more invisible but maybe not since gravel will be dark and plan to plant small bunches of plants in between wood so this would hide supports... thanks again Sherry

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 3:31PM
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kirap(TN z7)

I can't say for sure in your area, but having been in New York and LOng Island I know if its made its sold there somewhere, as they have it all. You may be able to pick up stainless all thread rod at any marina or boating supply..or you could order online at places like McMaster-Carr or MSC. I buy mine locally at a major supplier that deals only with threaded fasteners, a place called House of Threads, or Alabama Bolt and Nut. Look in your yellow pages for Bolts or NUts or fasteners etc........Then again some of those hardware stores may just have some in stock.

Here is McMaster-Carrs website.

Here is a part number for a 36" long all threaded rod of 316 alloy stainless with thread size of 10-32....which is approx 3/16" in diameter, and pretty darn tough. $3.62 each
Part Number 93250A120

Here is part number for 36" long piece of same stuff but with 1/4-20 threads cost for these are $3.84
Part number 93250A125

You can go to their website and once it loads, you can put those part numbers in the search feature and read abaout them. Or off the main paage you can go to the section on "FASTENING and SEALING" on the lower right side which lists fasteners, bolts etc etc etc and look for "threaded rod" and it will give you all kinds of products to search threaded rods and studs, then material (stainless) then diameter, then threadsize and finally length.....They have about 8 different alloys listed and 316 would be about the best for submersion in water etc and is one of the cheaper alloys as compared to some of the others, you only need a standard fit and thread so no special tolerances are needed.........just common threaded rod in 316 stainless steel. Odds are they have a distribution center near you anyway as they are all over the country.

Have fun

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 9:08PM
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Wow, Kirap, what a fantastic site... Actually now that I've seen what you were mentioning, I have seen these 'things' many times and use them for my sculpture (had no idea what they were, lol) I will ask about the grade of steel at my hardware store and hopefully they know.. is the next one up even better, 400 one (off the site so not sure exact number) again thanks for everyone's help, much appreciated and feel I am ready to go forward... also, I already use a little peat to balance my water, so a bit of tea color is ok, actually when plants are in, and with certain lighting, looks sweet..... thanks again Sherry

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 9:28PM
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kirap(TN z7)

400 alloy stainless has different properties and would certainly be overkill. It is also harder to cut, and file (dress) the threads up on after cutting. I owuld use the cheapest grade you can find as it will be just fresh, brackish or salt water conditions. Most big box and local hardware stores carry common carbon steel with a zinc or cadmium coating which will not last long when used in a pond or aquarium.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 10:01AM
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