Tin issue solved!!

David Zencak

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
36
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I was fighting with tin for last 6 months. SPS were slowly dying, all home tested water parameter were fine. ICP confirmed high level of tin several times - 0.17mg/l, 170 ppb. I bought new thermometer sensor, new heater, new pump…corals kept dying, new ICP tests proved high level of tin. I decided to change 40% of water volume every two weeks. No improvement. I discussed possible causes with local fish store, people in local forums, read all articles about tin, no help. I had bad dreams, being very tired from this hobby. Then I met a friend who is working in chemical industry and he introduced me to chemist doing a research for large chemical factory using their own icp machine! In my home town! First, we did 5 tests to isolate the major source. We tested RO, new salt water, balling parts, tank water…tin was in fresh salt water and in the tank of course. Then we did another set of tests for all items used in the process of new salt water preparation - white plastic 50l barrel, eheim pump, hose, salt…all soaked in the bucket with about 3 liters of RO water. The test results were very clear - my 6 month nightmare was caused by 130cm of green hose!!! Tin is used as a softener in PVC. It was the hose that came with

aquarium syphon gravel cleaner​

I hope my story can help many of you!
 
Fragtacular After Sale

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,490
Reaction score
46,175
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Thanks very much for the info!

Others have also found that tubing is an issue for them, so folks with high tin might want to check that:

 
OP
David Zencak

David Zencak

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
36
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Thanks very much for the info!

Others have also found that tubing is an issue for them, so folks with high tin might want to check that:

Yes, Jim did amazing job! I read all posts about tin here and elsewhere and he was totally right. The major trick in my case was that every ICP test I did was showing less and less total amount of tin after large water change…but it was caused by the fact that the hose was leaking less and less tin over time but I was adding a tin with every water change! I naturally thought that water change is improving it…opposite was true!
 
Nutramar Foods
OP
David Zencak

David Zencak

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
36
Review score
+0 /0 /-0

Attachments

  • 12232.jpg
    12232.jpg
    102.5 KB · Views: 164

mdb_talon

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
Messages
4,268
Reaction score
6,670
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Illinois
Wow. Thanks so much for sharing. Never in a million years would I have guessed a small length of hose could lead to problems with tin in the tank.

I know some question the accuracy of ICP tests, and I dont necessarily disagree I am sure they are far from perfect. However I think for some of the crazy things like this they are a gamechanger in the hobby compared to 10+ years ago.
 
OP
David Zencak

David Zencak

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
36
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Does the tin eventually reach non leaching levels? Would simply recirculating rodi water for a few days solve the issue? (maybe with a di cart on the output before recirculating) ?
Based on my experience, the levels are getting lower over time but very slowly. In my case, it was leaching for more than 6 months and the last test - just submerging (no pressure) of the hose into 3 litres of RO water for 24 hours resulted in 490 ppb/l of tin!
 
BRS
OP
David Zencak

David Zencak

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
36
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Wow. Thanks so much for sharing. Never in a million years would I have guessed a small length of hose could lead to problems with tin in the tank.

I know some question the accuracy of ICP tests, and I dont necessarily disagree I am sure they are far from perfect. However I think for some of the crazy things like this they are a gamechanger in the hobby compared to 10+ years ago.
I cannot imagine to solve this puzzle 10 years ago...the precision of ICP test is not ideal in super low concentrations (I had a chance to discuss it with the operator if ICP machine directly) but the results were very stable across multiple measurements.
 

AquaOps1223

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 29, 2021
Messages
145
Reaction score
70
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Austin, Texas
I cannot imagine to solve this puzzle 10 years ago...the precision of ICP test is not ideal in super low concentrations (I had a chance to discuss it with the operator if ICP machine directly) but the results were very stable across multiple measurements.
Hi David, I just posted about high tin in RO water. What other tubing can cause the issue?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,490
Reaction score
46,175
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States

Karen00

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
3,414
Reaction score
6,163
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Toronto
I was fighting with tin for last 6 months. SPS were slowly dying, all home tested water parameter were fine. ICP confirmed high level of tin several times - 0.17mg/l, 170 ppb. I bought new thermometer sensor, new heater, new pump…corals kept dying, new ICP tests proved high level of tin. I decided to change 40% of water volume every two weeks. No improvement. I discussed possible causes with local fish store, people in local forums, read all articles about tin, no help. I had bad dreams, being very tired from this hobby. Then I met a friend who is working in chemical industry and he introduced me to chemist doing a research for large chemical factory using their own icp machine! In my home town! First, we did 5 tests to isolate the major source. We tested RO, new salt water, balling parts, tank water…tin was in fresh salt water and in the tank of course. Then we did another set of tests for all items used in the process of new salt water preparation - white plastic 50l barrel, eheim pump, hose, salt…all soaked in the bucket with about 3 liters of RO water. The test results were very clear - my 6 month nightmare was caused by 130cm of green hose!!! Tin is used as a softener in PVC. It was the hose that came with

aquarium syphon gravel cleaner​

I hope my story can help many of you!
Wow, this is crazy! It makes me question every bit of plastic tubing, etc that touches my tanks! You are lucky you were put in touch with that chemist who had the ICP test available. So was this tube/hose in your water all the time or did it leach that much using it as a substrate cleaner which is usually in and out of the water fairly quickly?
 
OP
David Zencak

David Zencak

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
36
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Wow, this is crazy! It makes me question every bit of plastic tubing, etc that touches my tanks! You are lucky you were put in touch with that chemist who had the ICP test available. So was this tube/hose in your water all the time or did it leach that much using it as a substrate cleaner which is usually in and out of the water fairly quickly?
I used this hose only for mixing my new salt water. But the last ICP test was done in a way I left the hose in the bucket with RO water, no water movement, only for 24h and the water was deadly 100%!
 

Karen00

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
3,414
Reaction score
6,163
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Toronto
I used this hose only for mixing my new salt water. But the last ICP test was done in a way I left the hose in the bucket with RO water, no water movement, only for 24h and the water was deadly 100%!
Oh wow!! Very scary! I've been thinking of doing an ICP test for awhile (not for any reason other than for my info). I guess I'll know where the possible tin is coming from of that shows up! Thanks for posting this info! Who would've thought?!
 
World Wide Corals

Karen00

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
3,414
Reaction score
6,163
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Toronto
I wonder if mainstream hoses like the python have this issue? I do not recognize the brand you are using.
I was wondering the same thing! Is tin used to soften most plastics like this or just the cheaper/no name brands? I have a python and another one (I think a Fluval) and I'm looking at them with a worrisome eye.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,490
Reaction score
46,175
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
I was wondering the same thing! Is tin used to soften most plastics like this or just the cheaper/no name brands? I have a python and another one (I think a Fluval) and I'm looking at them with a worrisome eye.

Just to be clear, I do not think tin is used as a plasticizer or softener of plastic, I think it stabilizes the plastic against degradation.

I also do not think it is something done only for cheaper products.

That said, I do not know what tubing and plastics manufacturers use which products.
 

Is there such a thing as an "easy" acro?

  • YES (tell us about it in the thread)

    Votes: 110 44.4%
  • NO

    Votes: 55 22.2%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 80 32.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 3 1.2%
Pacific East
Top