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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Buyer Beware Of Aquarium Decorations!

Buying decorations is one of the most fun parts of having an aquarium but beware of the dangers that lurk with buying aquarium decorations!

In this struggling economy, buyers are always looking for the best deal of the day (especially for us fish hobbyist since everything "fish related" is soo expensive!) But getting the best deal isn't always the best or safest bet.

I bought a few aquarium decorations from an unmentioned "bargain store" before with no problems. Recently, I bought a cool-looking aquarium decoration made of plastic that looked like a piece of wood. That's when the problems started.

I had started to experience some problems with my water quality. It was dumb of me not to think that the aquarium decoration was the problem but I didn't realize it at first. Normally my tank doesn't experience problems and I've never had a problem with keeping fish alive but once I bought that decoration and placed it in my tank, fish started to die off.

Before I realized this fact, I noticed that my fish didn't seem like they were feeling well so I thought I should test the water. The water was giving abnormal readings so I thought that maybe they needed a water change. I did the water change and no difference in the fish behavior.

A day went by and then fish began to die off over a period of a couple of days. So then I decided to test the water again and I found that the water was getting worse. So I decided to do another water change the next day.

While doing my water change, I decided to do a really good cleaning by removing all the decorations and plants so that I could clean the gravel really good and whatnot. Once I lifted the "bargain store" decoration out of the water, I smelled a putrid smell of something chemical being emitted off of it! I immediately removed the decoration from the aquarium and tossed it in the trash. After pulling it out, I noticed that the water smelt funny in the tank. (I have a bad sense of smell so I didn't notice it earlier). After I finished my tank cleaning, I noticed that the water smelled better and the fish seemed to feel a little better. Since I removed that decoration from my aquarium I haven't had any other fish die.

Whatever you do, be VERY careful with buying decorations. When you do buy decorations, make sure to buy them from a place that sells aquarium supplies. Don't trust your bargain stores to be the most "quality checked" when it comes to aquarium decorations.

If you are looking for some safe bets on aquarium decorations, use the sites below.

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Frankie said...

Wow that's crazy how a decoration for your fish was killing them! :( Glad you took it out!

Mrs. JayMay said...

Yeah... It was so sad that I didn't realize it sooner! All my babies were dying. :(

Terry said...

any idea what was in it? and what kind of smell?

Mrs. JayMay said...

My husband smelled the decoration and he thought that it wasn't properly cured all the way. He said it smelled like resin.

Dee Rice said...

I went through the same problem a few days ago. I bought a decoration from a tropical fish supplier. I have pruchased items from them before with no problems. But this piece was from PennPlax a well known "trusted" company. I was a broken jug decoration. I did the exact same thing as you posted with the water changes and medications, when I did a cleaning and removed the decoration i noticed the smell, and the paint had been chipping off on the inside. My tank is an established tank over 2 yrs. I lost 2 Parrots and a loach. I have a question about this. How are we to know about the decoration before it is too late? are we going to start smelling them before we purchase? I also found that my Marineland stealth heater has been recalled, months after it blew up!

Mrs. JayMay said...

Sorry to hear that you lost some fish as well.

It's really hard to know which ones are good and which ones are bad. One thing that I do though is smell the decorations now before I purchase them. I know it sounds weird, but I have smelled a few decorations that didn't smell like they were fully cured.

Another idea would be to soak a new aquarium decoration in some water for a few days. If it begins to smell after the few days, then I would suggest turning it in to the manufacturer, not the store. The store will most likely just put it back on the shelf for resale.

Hope this helps, Dee. Again, sorry for your loss; I loved my fish dearly and still miss them. I wish I could have saved them.