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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

In the past 4 years I have had more struggles with my tanks that I had in the 10 years prior. Part was due to personal struggles... the ohter: Magnets. I am going to remove all the magnets I can.

Ok, lets be clear... we use magnets in our tanks all the time and often without issue. Some, by design, are better than others. However, these are major risk items. They can and will leach heavy metals and toxic materials when they fail.

The "odd" think was these were not "cheap" magnets. Vortechs are not cheap. Suregrip/Algaefree was not "cheap". Tunze is not cheap (but I am not 100% positive Tunze was a failure... as it really should not have had the issuue... maybe spurious).

I provided a general date/time for these failures. The common thread is that they were mostly magnets housed in plastic. The seams failed and spilled their guts.

Summer/Fall 2014 (honestly, I do not know if this magnet was failing or capturing the failing Vortech... but that was 6-12 months later when noticed.)


Winter 2015/2016


Winter 2017/2018


So, as a PSA, go check every plastic-encased magnet you have in your tank. Don't let this happen to you. :(
 

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I actually add some rust in my tank. But thats just me. :)

You are correct, there may be metals other than iron in there.
 

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I am not surprised about that Futuredoc. Bick in early 2000s I had a long mysterious decline in my 75/55 g system. It wasn't till I shut the return pump down for some maint then it failed to restart that the light came on. On pulling the shaft and impellor I discovered a split in the epoxy coating on the armature and subsequent rusting inside.
I spoke with Spanky and Galleon about that and they gave me a long detailed lesson on the effects of iron toxicity in SW. Short version is that increased ferrous levels cause xooanthella to expel higher levels of oxygen that cause distress in the polyps themselves.
I have tried to find the old threads we talked about this in but it was years back and I have not been successful finding them.
 

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I am not surprised about that Futuredoc. Bick in early 2000s I had a long mysterious decline in my 75/55 g system. It wasn't till I shut the return pump down for some maint then it failed to restart that the light came on. On pulling the shaft and impellor I discovered a split in the epoxy coating on the armature and subsequent rusting inside.
I spoke with Spanky and Galleon about that and they gave me a long detailed lesson on the effects of iron toxicity in SW. Short version is that increased ferrous levels cause xooanthella to expel higher levels of oxygen that cause distress in the polyps themselves.
I have tried to find the old threads we talked about this in but it was years back and I have not been successful finding them.
I have never ran GFO, but always wondered why a little rust can do a lot of damage, but adding GFO is "not bad" :arg:
 

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I have never ran GFO, but always wondered why a little rust can do a lot of damage, but adding GFO is "not bad" :arg:
I am not a chemist and both the people who walked me through it back then are. Iron occurs in seawater but in certain concentration and as certain Ferrous compounds. One of the main issues with rust is that not all metal is just pure iron, hard telling what else is in a particular product. Not sure about armature cores but I know a lot of the newer generation super magnets are likely alloyed with different , sometimes exotic metals
 

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Granular ferric oxide is chemical compound Fe2O3 (the same thing used to make thermite....FUN). The cutting edge magnets are made of rare earth elements and the more traditional magnets are made of ferrous compounds. Even if a ferrous magnet is used, they are mixed with other metals and the chemical properties may be altered to create a harmful compound, given the presence of Na+ and Cl- ions and cations, respectively, in the water. The rare earth elements may have who knows what effect.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Guess what folks...






Well, we get to test this Tunze theory afterall. :(

As you can see, there is a lot of rust-material that formed in my mushroom attachment basket and on the magnet itself. And I am not even mad. I am past mad.

Now, before I just start going "darn all the magnets to the places we would not even send acropora eating crabs", I think, THINK that this magnet is innocent... or could be innocent.

It was located right at the return outflow so it was one of the first things in the display to get sump-water. The rust material appears to have been on the side facing the outlet. The "failed magnet" was in the sump in the 3rd of three sections with the return pump. So, I am going to see if it was just accumulating magnetic material leached off into the return section of the sump and it was the first magnet in line to "collect".

The other reason why I am thinking that it is innocent is that the rust was really easy to brush off with a toothbrush. I cleaned it up, and put it back in. However, the rust did stain the plastic basket. No worries. The 20-something ounce bottle of "emergency" Prime on-hand is getting well used.

II have dosed the tank again. Plus, I am running about 5oz of Prime in my RO/DI reservoir. About 1oz per gallon of top-off so the tank is getting a nice "IV-like" drip from being topped off.

So, I am going to sit and wait to see what happens. I actually moved the basket forward for easier observation. I checked all my other magnets and no material was observed.
 

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Shark..but a friendly one
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I hope that train of thought pans out for you Doc....saves some money. To borrow a phrase from Jaws, 'Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water......', I have gone back to wanting magnets in our tank over these ridiculous suction cups. Which all must die in my humble opinion! With the constant failures of our suction cups over the years, and with the thoughts of magnets that one hears of their failings, I had given serious thought to making acrylic brackets and hang over the sides of our tank, and use some nylon bolts to fasten the pumps to it.....BUT, the thought arises that if the plastic housing the magnets fail, what stops the plastic holding the pumps together from failing as often? Just one of those 'hmmmmmms?'.
Hack
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Man, I am having more trouble with images...



Did anyone see the pics or is it just my side having issues. Uggg...

When it rains, I get golf-ball sized hail. When it is sunny, I get grapefruit sized hail.

I hope the thinking also pans out too. It is now absurd, andI have to take the absurdity of it all and slowly descend into madness.
 

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Shark..but a friendly one
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NOPE! No pictures here either.
Hack
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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15,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Uggg. I can't use TRT's image hosting. I can't use postimage.org. Post image was working. I wonder...

I don't want to go back to photobucket because they can join that dark place with failed magnets, acropora eating crabs, and all damsel fish. This is just isn't my day.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, I think postimage.org was having a hiccup this morning. It appears fine now and actually double-imaged as I re-uploaded and kept the original [im.g][/im.g] code.

Go figure. Just my luck of late.
 

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Shark..but a friendly one
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YEAH!!!
Hack
 
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