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Discussion in 'Basic Principles' started by Garf, Jun 30, 2013.

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  1. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    Most of us use the 7 count canvas. But if anyone uses anything else, Green Grabber, Perspex, aragonite etc please post your findings here. I personally think the trusted 7 count mesh is king but willing to be swayed by others experience.
  2. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    I had a discussion on RC I think with a user that claimed that the material that we all use, the #7 Darice Plastic Canvas, actually will break down in saltwater and especially in UV light. The discussion item came up specifically because of someone posting that they wanted to try using UV LEDs or UV fluorescent to see if that helped.

    He found a screen material that is supposedly very similar and is food safe and stable in saltwater. He had a bunch of this and was going to send it to me as he couldn't use it.

    Here's the site he was getting it from

  3. Ace25

    Ace25 Member Trusted Member

    I saw that discussion on RC. First questions/request... show me 1 plastic (not acrylic) that doesn't 'break down' in saltwater given enough time? Yes, UV (and Ozone) are known to speed up the process, but who uses UV (below 400nm) on anything in this hobby, and if someone does (other than a UV sterilizer), why? I strongly believe it is the bacteria that 'breaks down' plastics in a saltwater tank more than any other process, and I have yet to find a plastic that is immune to that effect. The only difference I have found with different plastics is the harder the plastic is the longer it lasts. My screens usually last about 14 months before they become too brittle and start falling apart at cleaning. My old rubber maid sump lasted about 24 months before it became brittle and started to crack. As soon as I noticed the issue I took it out of the system and I was able to barely put pressure on it upside down on my porch and it shattered, showing how brittle and close I came to a major disaster if that were to have broken when it was in use as a sump.

    Back on topic.. I also think the Darice #7 mesh is hands down the best material to use but like Garf, I am certainly open to other ideas of someone else has had success with a different material.
  4. The only other main plastic that comes to mind is the PVC piping, I assume that holds up almost as good as acrylic. Aren't a lot of the black powerheads and other aquarium plastics some sort of ABS plastic? All are hard plastics though. I have a couple of these 10 gallon bins from usplastics:
    they are polyethylene and flex like the rubber-maid bins, but the walls are probably twice as thick, so they seem tougher. But you're right about the bacteria, I've kept plenty of salt water in them, but it's just my mixing tub for fresh salt, so there is no bio-load in them...

    I've always been curious about an aragocrete casting of a #7'ish mesh for a algae scrubber screen, it would be breakable right from the start, so maybe worse than 14 month old brittle plastic one.

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