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Are resin ornaments safe for fish


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I have a small 8 gallon rimless tank that I'm cycling in prep for new fish.  I have some small Seiryu stones in the tank, Eco-Complete black substrate, and was thinking about getting my first resin ornament, but I'm concerned about water safety for future fish.  Does anyone have experience with resin ornaments and is there a brand that's more safe than others?  Should I stay clear of resin?  I researched ceramic, as well, but concerned about the glaze.

Your ideas will be greatly appreciated. 

On 6/6/2023 at 1:27 PM, Flipper said:

I have a small 8 gallon rimless tank that I'm cycling in prep for new fish.  I have some small Seiryu stones in the tank, Eco-Complete black substrate, and was thinking about getting my first resin ornament, but I'm concerned about water safety for future fish.  Does anyone have experience with resin ornaments and is there a brand that's more safe than others?  Should I stay clear of resin?  I researched ceramic, as well, but concerned about the glaze.

Your ideas will be greatly appreciated. 

@Odd Duck @xXInkedPhoenixX @Guppysnail

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Hi @Flipper. I have used both ceramic and resin items in my tanks. I have not personally had any issues with anything made specifically for aquariums and there is something man made in all of my tanks. I have used items made for the garden and while I don't think they caused any issues i wouldn't recommend them as they can deteriorate over time (as they are not made for the aquarium) so they had to be removed. Generally ceramics made that are food safe and lead free will be fine. Paint can often flake off of some resins even when they're made from aquarium safe product. I tend to stick to the known brands but they are all hit and miss. Again though, no speciific issues with them at all. 

With anything just make sure you clean them off really well before putting them in your tanks! 

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On 6/6/2023 at 11:27 AM, Flipper said:

Does anyone have experience with resin ornaments and is there a brand that's more safe than others?  Should I stay clear of resin?  I researched ceramic, as well, but concerned about the glaze.

some are absolutely safe.  Some will wear over time and then the paints and coatings leech into the water.  Unfortunately I can't say which works well and which doesn't because there's not really a certain brand that always does it one way.

I'll give you an example of a few I had:

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^^ Both of these are relatively small.  Ultimately used for bottom feeders, catfish caves, but they are either open or very small for the fish.  The fish quickly outgrow them.  I would prefer standard slate / ceramic caves because they can be generally larger.  I also use food stacked now to provide the same affect.  Below is another example of these type of decor pieces.  it is very exposed and open on all sides.  Fish would go in and basically try as hard as they could to avoid light.  4 big openings on the piece and it's very hard for them to feel safe with that.

1833162.jpg.55b8d57a3b23c618c6dca89890b54651.jpg
The ships, most of them are similar in flaws or things to look out for...
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Fish can swim in, but sometimes they just get lost and get stuck.  Some of them have holes that go up the masts to let the air bleed out.  I had to plug all of those with silicone after some fish went in, got lost, and then went in and got stuck quite a few times.  There's not a lot of swim throughs on the sails, etc.

This bit of decor is probably one of the biggest issues around. It's been reported many times to cause issues with fish.
5009079.jpg.ffd52cf614777de0b6dda68035c591fd.jpg

The bottom of each leg is hollow all the way to the top of the piece.  There is a very large 1" diameter hole and then there are several smaller ones for air.  I lost a few fish and then had to go back to sealing up all of the holes.  Pinholes are fine.  small holes are fine.  but the majority of holes in these things are sizes that fish will want to use as a hide.  It's very dangerous because they can get in pretty easily, but have a hard time getting out.

Paint and all that other stuff aside, that's the main issue.

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I've had no issues with resin  ornaments but as said above check that any paint won't flake off give it a good wash and  rinse, and you should be fine 

Some fade in tanks even those sold as tank ornaments can go very white  over time.  

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Posted (edited)

@nabokovfan87 brings up good points. I guess I take for granted that every fish keeper thinks about what they are using the decor for, what fish would be around it and other safety issues. I ALWAYS inspect everything I put in the tank that is hardscape. And since my Nabokov friend brings up holes I will bring up sharp edges- since they are all molded (resin mostly I don't have issues with ceramics) there can be sharp edges where the mold opens up into the holes. I always run fingers over the whole thing and if I find anything remotely pokey or sharp I use a metal nail file and sand it down. This has always worked. I don't usually buy anything I'm not 100% certain my fish won't get stuck in or hurt by- so that can be hard. Just inspect each potential hide very well! Any doubt, I just don't buy it. I've found things like arches or larger more open resin much easier. I also generally make sure the hardscape itself is not up against glass and has at least a finger width between it and any other hardscape or glass- this is because my fish are smaller than finger width, if I kept wider fish I'd use that more as the standard. 

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
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I just wanted to try something different in a tank for a change. Your ideas and cautions will be with me when I choose something.  I feel more confident now.  I try to always be careful when my fish buddies are concerned.  If I find something cool, I'll post a pic.

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I enjoy seeing others find cool pieces (like @xXInkedPhoenixX’s pieces) but my personal preference has always been natural stuff or ceramics/terra cotta.  I’ve seen so many resin pieces that just don’t age well, or kids toys from other countries that get recalled due to lead in the paint, that I’m very untrusting of manufactured items when I don’t really know the content of the paints, etc.  Items specifically made for fish tanks should be fine, but I see peeling paint in so many pics where people are selling used items that I worry.  🤷🏻‍♀️ 

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I’ve had no issues with water safety with resin. Steer clear of painted ones. 
The issue I have had is with the ones @nabokovfan87 pointed out that look like hollow twisted tree roots. 
Fish go in mostly my young pleco and shrimp. There is not enough circulation and the water becomes stagnant inside. I was fortunate enough to not lose fish but lost shrimp and a batch of pleco eggs that was laid inside. 
 

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I have avoided the resin decore as they dont tend to age well.  
 

I wouldnt mind finding a natural rock carved into a 6-8 inch tall Easter Island Moai figure to put in a tank nestled into and surrounded by plants…

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On 6/6/2023 at 8:20 PM, Galabar said:

How are you cycling the tank?

 

@Pepere  I used biomedia from my other tank and Dr Tim's ammonia.  Then when I had some some nitites show up, I added 5 ml FritzZyme TurboStart.  I need to test the water again.  I got busy.

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On 6/7/2023 at 2:23 PM, Flipper said:

@Pepere  I used biomedia from my other tank and Dr Tim's ammonia.  Then when I had some some nitites show up, I added 5 ml FritzZyme TurboStart.  I need to test the water again.  I got busy.

I should have tagged @Galabar on his cycling question. 

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On 6/7/2023 at 6:35 AM, Pepere said:

I have avoided the resin decore as they dont tend to age well.  
 

I wouldnt mind finding a natural rock carved into a 6-8 inch tall Easter Island Moai figure to put in a tank nestled into and surrounded by plants…

I love the rock Moai figure idea.  I'm trying to make this little tank completely different from my planted 20 gal.  Something kinda modern artsy.

On 6/6/2023 at 7:53 PM, xXInkedPhoenixX said:

The right figure can really add to the character of the tank. My whole theme usually goes around something I find that is man made. Done right they are amazing! Have fun and do post pics! 

image000000(342).jpg

Those look so cool.

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On 6/8/2023 at 4:15 PM, xXInkedPhoenixX said:

@Flipper Thanks! That tank is called The Angry Man everyone who saw it thought he looked mad, or severely ill. I know I get angry when I throw up so Angry Man it was! The tank was entirely inspired by the resin sculpture. 

image000000(343).jpg

Well, I love the tank and I keep Harlequin Rasboras, myself.  I love all your tanks.  I'm still looking for the right decoration.  You have inspired me!

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If you look at my Angry Man shot on the right side of the tank there is a coconut house attached by a suction cup to the side of the tank. I've had it since Oct 2021. It sheds lightly but it is still very much intact. So, they last quite a long while!

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