Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   HELP!! Mercury Spill in Aquarium! (

ArKitEKt47 09-01-2007 01:46 AM

HELP!! Mercury Spill in Aquarium!
I'm building my first aquarium and I dropped a lightbulb inside the tank... a lightbulb that contains MERCURY! There's like a white powder in the tank and I was wondering what was the best way to clean this? I'm not sure if just a water and rag will do the trick and its too big to rinse out. I'm worried about excess mercury being in the tank and me not noticing it and it killing my fish when i fill my tank.

fish_4_all 09-01-2007 05:43 PM

Well I would venture that a simplye clenaing with an absorbent cloth and plenty of water should remove most of it. I assume the bulb broke in which case the powder is likley the coating that is put on the glass to give a specific spectrum. Again, clean with a very absorbent cloth and warm water.

Make sure to use gloves so you don't absorb the mercury through your skin.

Mercury will dissolve in the water and if you fill the tank and do a fishless cycle, a few large water changes should dilute it to barely noticeable levels. Also, only a small drop of mercury is added to a bulb so I am guessing the amount is small and will be easily diluted to levels that you might find in nature.

ArKitEKt47 09-01-2007 10:24 PM

thank you. i was worried that it would be hard to get all the mercury out and i didnt know how much mercury was in there or how harmful it could be. thanks for the help :)

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