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Thread: styrene poison?

  1. #1
    dh1
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    styrene poison?

    Hello to all,
    I am new to this forum so here's my first post - as most new people on forums I start with a question and would like some advice, I've built a small skimmer filter, it's a fiberglass trough with a spraybar (shower), media is crystal bio, the idea is to get it running on my pond so it can be removed when I buy new fish for a quarantine tank - I'm told the crystal bio also buffers, so this could be ideal for my QT (if it's true).
    I bought the fiberglass trough from a garden centre it's original intention is as a planter, so it's a re-enforced fiberglass and has been gel coated on the outside - a thought crossed my mind about styrene poison, as I have no idea on the quality or origin of the fiberglass or what fillers have been added is there any way I can check to see if I have will any contamination problems without actually putting fish in?
    Any thoughts on if I could detect anything with the usual water quality checks?


    Am I just being paranoid?

    I joined this forum only a couple of weeks back and have been reading posts for hours, what a superb source of information

    Dave

  2. #2
    Daihonmei
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    It used to be a common problem but these days you don't see it too often. The first issue is the content of course but the second is how the fiber resins were applied ( temperature, drying time, wax content).

    If you have styrene you can usually smell it if you rub your hand on it and sniff! But in low concentrations, you might not. The symptoms in the fish are -- no appetite, add jerking movements and fin twitching. They als dart around the pond and often run into walls.
    Any tests need to be full blown lab tests so I'd contact a fiberglass company locally to get a lab referral.

    Styrene, mostly comes out of the suface quickly initially and then slowly over time. One way to cope with the wax and smell if you used a activator with wax in it that traps some of the styrene from leaching is to use epson salt as a rub/scrub.
    Today, there are many plastics that leach things into water. In the marine hobby, for instance, we avoid plastic trash cans that are used to hold RO water or salt water. The chinese products tend to leach chemicals into the water--so we use food grade containers and brute tubs.

    the same is try of liners-- you ahve to be very careful where you buy your material.
    In the end, nature will help you a lot, look to see if diatoms and algae grow on the surface. If they do, the will tell you that it can't be too toxic. If you see dark green slime algae everywhere I'd be concerned. JR

  3. #3
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    Welcome to this BBS and to the divine madness of koi keeping!

    Am I just being paranoid?
    LIkely. But most wise koi keepers have a bit of the paranoid and obsessive behaviors.

    You should consider sending two water sample to a lab for analysis. The first would be from your tap/facet. The second would be from the pond. It is a good idea to both check to see what is in your source water (minerals, heavy metals like copper or iron)...and to see if anything in the pond system is leaching any nasties. If all the epoxies associated with the filberglass or pond sealntans were properly cured, there should not be a problem. It never hurts to clean a pond or filter with a steady dose of PP and then rise well....before being put into service. Of course PP will nuke any organics it finds including bacteria, virii, parasites.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  4. #4
    dh1
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    Thanks for the quick responses
    It has no obviouse smell or "oily' deposits so I will set it up on my QT tank, PP it for a few hours, then leave it running and see what grows on the sides, might need to wait a few weeks as temprature and sunshine is a bit low in the U.K. (as usual), although I will stick some heat on.
    If it looks suspect I'll do the lab option, I've already got the source water tested and it's fine so long as it's de-chlorinated.

    Dave

  5. #5
    Nisai MikeS's Avatar
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    A good wipe down with acetone to remove wax and oils before filling wouldn't be a bad idea either.

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