Can Brass+Aquariam Salt be a bad thing ? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-11-2007, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Can Brass+Aquariam Salt be a bad thing ?

I've been running my redone tank for a couple weeks now. I had a power outage, and the pump shut off and siphoned the water out of the tank through the return and spilled over my filter all over the place. I've since added a big brass check valve, and I'm using aquariam salt. It's a tropical community tank, I'm not getting a funky orange slime coating on the inside of my return line where the brass valve is. Got me wondering, is the salt and water going to cause some sort of reaction with the brass ? I know some metals and salt dont mix too well

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post #2 of 5 Old 08-11-2007, 05:57 PM
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It shouldn't be a problem. They used to make ships propellers out of brass...not to mention a lot of other parts used on ocean going vessels.

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-12-2007, 02:42 AM
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brass should hold up just fine to the salt water. all the old navy style fire gear we used to fight fires with many many many moons ago is almost entirely made of brass.

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post #4 of 5 Old 08-12-2007, 03:31 AM
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salt alone will not corrode brass you have to have a significant amount of benzotriazole in the saltwater to start the ion exchange process

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-12-2007, 04:05 AM

I doubt very seriously if there "is a problem here" but several items.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and is much more corrosive than bronze as bronze is an alloy of copper and principally tin and is very "strong and tough". (hence the Bronze Age and not the Brass Age).

Again brass will corrode in the presence of a salt, obviously faster in the presence of a potassium salt instead of a sodium salt, but the corrosion should be minor. (please note that this is why when a water softener is installed in a new home plumbers employ PVC piping, PVC fittings and "plastic" tubing wherever possible in lieu of copper tubing and brass fittings [please note that a water softener does not remove calcium hardness from the water but only reduces CaCl to mostly NaCl and KCl])

If this were my "setup" I would not be worried about the induction of the elements in the brass fittings into the tank water, as their concentration will be virtually negligible, but I would operate the valve "every month or so" in order to prevent it from "sticking".

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