Help needed - used silicone with mold inhibitor

tptguy

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Hoping someone can give me advice on how to remedy. When I started my tank 3 years ago, I built my own sump and put in glass baffles with silicone. I thought I did my due diligence to find fish safe silicone, but I was new to the hobby and didn't know what specifically made silicone not safe. I was once again shopping for silicone the other day for another project, and it hit me that I may have used GE Silicone 2, not 1. I remember searching back then and reading somewhere reliable (to me) that GE Silicone 2 was safe, but I didn't realize the mold inhibitor is the dangerous part. After searching my house, I finally found the tube, and it is in fact GE Silicone 2 with mold inhibitors.

My tank has been up for a long time now and I've always struggled to keep LPS, and occasionally lose a fish here and there, never a crash. I posted a thread about it here and got some advice which I followed, same story. ICP testing didn't turn up anything of concern. I asked for help from others and they said if my inverts/fish/softies are alive, the silicone isn't toxic.

Now that I do have proof I screwed up, is it critical that I swap out my sump ASAP? I'm willing to do so and will get one right now, I just want to make sure I'm not over reacting.

Thank you all for your continued help!
 
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tptguy

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Very good points. I’m upset with myself for making this mistake and don’t want this to be the thing that is hurting any coral or fish, so I jumped to replacing it as my first thought.

The tube says 7 years mold resistance but I get what you’re saying. I wasn’t sure if it was possible that tiny bits of silicone were worn away over time for the same reason tanks leak, leaching chemicals into the tank.
 

Nano sapiens

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Resistance to mold penetrating the silicone can be different from the mold inhibitor actively releasing into a particular environment. When freshly applied, I can see the inhibitor potentially leaching into the water. But after 3 years of aging underwater and coverings of biofilms, microalgae and other microorganisms, I'd think that the chances of any substantial leaching that could cause issues would be very slim.

You mentioned issues with LPS. I think that the biggest mistake reefers often make with them is treating most LPS like SPS (so, over lighting, too much flow), followed by not feeding frequently enough. Check out Tidal Gardens's videos on LPS for some great pointers.
 
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ca1ore

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It’s never been clear to me that there actually is an added mold inhibiting compound. Checked the material data safety sheet years ago and didn’t see anything. The main difference is that GE2 is a neutral cure silicone that gives off ammonia as it cures so it’s important that it be fully cured before use. GE1 is acetoxy cure .... the vinegar smell. I’d concur that it’s not likely the source of any coral problems.
 

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