High levels of TIN in my tank

ryshark

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Unfortunately I can't rule anything out really, but the tin on float glass is a layer. It doesn't leach, so I wouldn't expect it to suddenly appear. If you'd not done water changes since starting up, then it's possible, but I think unlikely given water changes.

You are right in that corrosion would result in more than one metal. Since tin is a common plating metal, I would expect to see Nickel, Chromium or Copper showing too.

For a new tank, wash everything down (wiping it) with citric acid solution. Do this with pipework and anything plastic. PVC plasticisers and stabilisers are probably the biggest source of tin contamination, which is why I asked if you'd added any new equipment.
With this particular tank I have always struggled with acros. I think the Tin was in there from the beginning and didn't suddenly appear.
 

daelie

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If you are conducting water changes, I would expect you could rule out tin from float glass, unless you have added some between tests. Anything rusting needs to come out. Next, have you added any ceramics, equipment or pipework?

Lastly, another possible source is your RO.

Also, whilst toxicity is dependent on the tin compound (an ICP doesn't tell you this), it's effects are also multiplied if the corals are stressed with other parameters being out of spec, especially phosphates. So keep the water chemistry bang on whilst you deal with the Tin. Water changes will remove it, so I would continue doing these, aiming for a series of 15-20% changes.

Cuprisorb has a poor tin affinity, Metasorb is reported to be much better. There is a carbon being tested here in the UK which removed Tin completely from my tank. I'm not sure if it's supplied in the US though.
Out of curiosity, which carbon is this that removed tin from your tank?
 

subnet88

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I fought with growing SPS for years. Tin was definitely the culprit. TLF Metasorb fixed it for me. It removes a bunch of things. Look up Chelok from Periodic Products for a complete list of what it can remove.
 

ryshark

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I fought with growing SPS for years. Tin was definitely the culprit. TLF Metasorb fixed it for me. It removes a bunch of things. Look up Chelok from Periodic Products for a complete list of what it can remove.
Did you ever find the source? My issue is that the tin keeps coming back. I guess I could use Metasorb consistently, but that can't be good.
 

tastyfish

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Out of curiosity, which carbon is this that removed tin from your tank?
It's a product in its test phase from Aquarium Connections in the UK.

Did you ever find the source? My issue is that the tin keeps coming back. I guess I could use Metasorb consistently, but that can't be good.
I've heard metasorb can remove tin, it will remove other elements also (I believe it can be regenerated as it's very expensive). You need to find the source of the tin though...
 

thejuice24

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I have a thread from last December I had a similar situation. As many have said, I would start with you equipment. All of it, everything. As Humblefish recommend to me, go through a maintenance cycle on all your equipment, dismantle clean and inspect. Even your fresh seawater mixing equip. Mine was a Rusty heater in the mixing bucket, I was lucky I didn’t die it was so bad.
 

TX_Punisher

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I’m fighting the same issue. Trying to narrow t down. I do have a few rusty hinges but not sure if that is it.
 

Chris Villalobos

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I still battle Tin but it's not that bad now, 7ug/l after six months of zero water changes. The worst offender was my Coralife UV filter with an exposed metal reflector.
 

ryshark

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I still battle Tin but it's not that bad now, 7ug/l after six months of zero water changes. The worst offender was my Coralife UV filter with an exposed metal reflector.
I'm not familiar with UV sterilizers. Is the reflector something submerged or just something that goes around a bulb and it rusted?
 

Chris Villalobos

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I'm not familiar with UV sterilizers. Is the reflector something submerged or just something that goes around a bulb and it rusted?
It was a metal reflector inside the UV housing that was completely in contact with the water flowing by.
rusty.jpg
 

gtrider

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Got a triton test done recently and have high tin levels.
Had a 15yr old tunze powerhead I used to mix water and it had a little rust around the Mahoney and washer. I tossed it.
Also have a corroding door hinge in my cabinet. Im going to replace that too.
Checked all my other pumps and possible sources and those are the only two things I can find.
Fingers crossed!
 

gtrider

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Okay so I couldn’t find new hinges.
I have decided to remove them and coat them with acrylic pant, them put them back on and tape plastic around them.
Does anyone think this is a bad idea?
 

ryshark

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Okay so I couldn’t find new hinges.
I have decided to remove them and coat them with acrylic pant, them put them back on and tape plastic around them.
Does anyone think this is a bad idea?
Do you think the hinges ended up being what it was coming from?
 

gtrider

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Do you think the hinges ended up being what it was coming from?
I checked everything else. I found some rust in an old powerhead I mix water with, so I bounght a new MJ1200.
The top hinges on my cabinet are about 3” from the top of my sump and the top left one was rusting..I open and close them all the time so I def think it’s a possibility.
I plan on getting another icp test in a couple months and will def update this thread.
 

Hot2na

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Always run a POLYFILTER somewhere in your system. keeps heavy metals in check.
 

nullbreached

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I know SPS are more sensitive in general so I'm answering my own question but have people found that it's very specifically the SPS that are most affected by Tin? I've been having issues with SPS frags and my tank has tested high for Tin (6.8µg/L) but some of the other corals seem fine. (notably a Montipora seems OK, though they are often the most tolerant). Otherwise I am experiencing total RTN within just a few days. It seems other people might not be having such rapid problems and there are some here that have listed dramatically higher Tin.
 

gtrider

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I know SPS are more sensitive in general so I'm answering my own question but have people found that it's very specifically the SPS that are most affected by Tin? I've been having issues with SPS frags and my tank has tested high for Tin (6.8µg/L) but some of the other corals seem fine. (notably a Montipora seems OK, though they are often the most tolerant). Otherwise I am experiencing total RTN within just a few days. It seems other people might not be having such rapid problems and there are some here that have listed dramatically higher Tin.
I have/had high tin levels per my last ICP test. I have an SPS dominant tank and have only lost 2 frags out of a few dozen over the past year.
 

tastyfish

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I know SPS are more sensitive in general so I'm answering my own question but have people found that it's very specifically the SPS that are most affected by Tin? I've been having issues with SPS frags and my tank has tested high for Tin (6.8µg/L) but some of the other corals seem fine. (notably a Montipora seems OK, though they are often the most tolerant). Otherwise I am experiencing total RTN within just a few days. It seems other people might not be having such rapid problems and there are some here that have listed dramatically higher Tin.
Some corals are definitely more sensitive than others. It also depends on environmental conditions - for example, high PO4 seems to multiply the effect of relatively low levels of tin in my experience.

The main thing to also consider is that we do not know what compound the tin is bound in. If it's from float glass, it's likely to be pure Sn. If from PVC, then it's likely to be organotin stabilisers, which are arguably more harmful. This could explain why some tanks seem fine with higher levels of tin, but others have SPS wipeouts with comparatively low levels.

An ICP only tells us which elements are present, not the chemical compounds they may be in.
 

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