Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   My thermometer boke inside my BRAND NEW 55 gal! (

LyzzaRyzz 06-24-2012 08:58 PM

My thermometer boke inside my BRAND NEW 55 gal!
So, im stupid.
Really stupid.

I got a used 55 gal today,a nd was going to start filling it up, so i stuck the thermometer to the side. I came back in the room, and it had fallen, the tip was broken, and the little mercury balls were everywhere!!

Me and my boyfriend washed it out, and spent the last 45 minutes picking little balls outta the tank. There is now no water, and i believe we got all the balls. There are droplets of water, and were leaving it outside til the water drops are dried...Will this get the mercury out?!

I feel so stupid...What should i do??

jaysee 06-24-2012 09:18 PM

The good news is that those balls are not mercury - they are weights. Most thermometers are alcohol now.

Tazman 06-24-2012 09:52 PM

Since the 90's most aquarium thermometers are made with alcohol which is in small enough quantity to make the fish sleepy but not enough to kill them.

Unless the thermometer was very old and did have mercury in (which if it did you have to report it local authorities IMMEDIATELY, as mercury is highly poisonous! and requires specialist equipment to remove it), then I would not worry about it too much.
The balls as mentioned are usually weights to hold the thermometer down and stop it floating and potentially being exposed to dry conditions which will crack it anyway(they are not lead so dont worry about that either).

If the tank is not fully filled up, then find a magnet and that should remove most of the balls.

LyzzaRyzz 06-24-2012 10:49 PM

Oh my god...
That's such a relief!
I bought it about a year ago, so no mercury!

Thank you so much guys!

Just a question, if we missed any balls, will they harm the fish?

Tazman 06-24-2012 10:52 PM

They might once they start to rust but as I mentioned, run a magnet over the area they dropped and it should pick them up. A simple algae magnet will pick them up...actually anything with a magnet on will work.

LyzzaRyzz 06-24-2012 10:55 PM

I'm so glad I have you guys.
If I didn't, I'd go nuts!

Tazman 06-24-2012 11:09 PM


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