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What effect would a rusty common iron nail have placed in the substrate next to a large Sword. Why would it be different than a root tab for iron? Would it be toxic to the fish? I am not doing this but the thought has entered into the ole head. I am always looking for ways to save or stretch the money in this hobby.
Just for a money saving tip to you guys one of the best I have seen is the use of Thiosulfate for a chlorine killer. It is dirt cheap and works perfectly, it is used extensively in the chemical industry to kill unwanted chlorine and works in our little aquariums as well. One cheap bag will last like 5 years or more!
Seachem Root Tabs: insert once every three months:

Total Nitrogen 0.28%
Available Phosphate 0.17%
Soluble Potash 0.16%
Calcium 14.9%
Magnesium 0.06%
Sulfur 12.2%
Boron 0.029%
Chlorine 0.55%
Cobalt 0.001%
Copper 0.001%
Iron 2.2%
Manganese 0.23%
Molybdenum 0.0009%
Sodium 0.14%
Zinc 0.0024%

Derived from: Potassium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Copper Sulfate, Magnesium Chloride, Ferrous Gluconate, Cobalt Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Boric Acid, Sodium Molybdate, Zinc Sulfate, Protein Hydrolysates.

Rusty nail.... Iron ?? anything else that happens to be used in the alloy or processing along the way. In a closed environment there could be very detrimental affects of just plopping metals in the tank. I think that too much iron (too much of anything really) could cause some fish issues too... but I don't know iron specific ones off hand.

I don't think that Thiosulfate handles chloramines, just chlorine (can anyone confirm or refute this?). I use well water at home and the little bit of Prime that I use in the office tank is insignificant enough that a small bottle will last a long time.

There's a point where unresearched cost savings end up costing more than was ever saved... good ideas on the surface but the results may be uncertain. DIY is one thing and I don't mean to slam anyone for wanting to keep fish, but if the budget is tight enough that a few extra dollars spent to do something is going to break the budget, maybe find a cheaper hobby.

Jeff.
 

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Hey, I never said the question was dumb, far from it, the jab about "unresearched cost savings" did not come off quite as I intended it, you are obviously asking and researching before trying it... that's often not the way it goes.

I have multiple hobbies (some more expensive than others - used to do R/C planes and built my own from scratch.... time was the issue) and have found that some things are best to not scrimp on... mainly from having to buy something twice when I could have bought a better product the first time. While it's a little tougher to justify buying more expensive consumables, as they are purchased over and over again already, there are still many times that you do get only what you pay for.

Sorry but if it is okay I would like to keep doing planted tanks and asking dumb questions from time to time.
Have at it... and they aren't dumb questions unless you ignore the answers that you get.

Oh, some of my hobbies are riskier than many so I got used to not scrimping as needing the best supplies and parts was the norm as my life, literally, depended on it. deep SCUBA and rock climbing the two main ones.

Jeff.
 
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