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  1. #1
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    ABS is it really bad?

    I have a 13inch section of ABS in my sump to keep the overflow quiet. I haven't used any solvent just the pipe.
    I got it from Home Depot.
    Will this pollute my tank or leach any chemicals into my system?
    ________
    Tanks: 400 gal Reef, 180 gal FOWLR, 300 gal Sump, 40 gal Frag Tray plumbed as one system - 900 gal total water volume.
    DIY Calcium Reactor, Nielson Reactor and Skimmer

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fishysan's Avatar
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    I'm not sure anymore, but ABS used to be only for waste water, not potable water because it leached shit. This may have changed.

    If you've had it for a while, it's probably leached stuff (if it was going to) and all is well, and then it's coated by bio-residue (slime, etc.) which might also prevent anything else..

    ABS may now be potable, but I don't think so. I've always avoided it and used PVC instead. You can get black PVC too now.

    Don't want to scare, just mentioning what I have seen. A lot of reefers have used it I"m sure.. I've seen it mentioned, & pics, etc.
    Fishysan ><>
    ---
    180g display main floor, 150g trough, 75g, 20g in basement
    SPS, LPS, softies, many clams & 14 fish
    main: 250w AB DE HQI x 3, 5' x 3 VHO actinic - trough: 400w venki

  3. #3
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    I found this on Reef Central:

    Here is a list of different plastics and some common uses. Not all are used in the aquarium trade directly. Any and all input on this subject would be appreciated as this seems to come up quite offen.

    Anyway...

    1.) Acrylics (brand name is Plexiglass)
    Used to construct aquariums.

    2.) ABS
    Used in just about every aquarium product in existance from
    glass aguarium frames to filters to pump and powerhead
    housings. Typically black, but sometimes white.

    3.) Vinyls
    4.) Polyvinyl Cloride (PVC)
    5.) Clorinated Polyvinyl Cloride (CPVC)
    Used in most potable water supplies and in aquarium plumbing.
    Typically safe unless heated to the burning or smoking point,
    where (deadly) toxins are released. I believe this to be > 300F.

    6.) Polyethylene (PE)
    7.) High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
    8.) Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
    9.) Polypropylene (PP)
    10.) High Density Polypropylene (HDPP)
    11.) Low Density Polypropylene (LDPP)
    Used in most potable water containers. Very easy to mold and
    safe. FDA and USDA approved for potable water storage. Again,
    safe until heated, though this seems to be the case with most
    plastics. Caution needs to be taken when using a trash can for
    water storage. Some manufactures add fungicides and mold
    inhibitors which can leach out. Typically, the white, translucent
    containers can be considered safe.

    12.) Butrate
    I remember seeing on RK2's web site that their 48" diameter
    skimmer was made of this. Could be wrong, their site is
    currently under remodeling...

    13.) UHMW-PE or just UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene )
    Chemically inert and very slick. USDA and FDA approved for food
    contact surfaces. Used in bearings, cutting boards, chutes, etc.
    Used as a bearing in kalk reactors where a magnetic stir bar is
    used.

    14.) Aceltal (Delrin)
    John Guest fittings are made out of this.

    15.) Polyurethane
    The black plastic pipe fittings and hose barbs are commonly
    made out of this.

    16.) Polycarbonate (Lexan)
    I do not know of any aquarium related use for this. Used in
    some green house roofs. Lexan is commonly used in home
    windows.

    18.) Nylon
    Used in bolts, screws, bearing, bushings, pipe fittings and hose
    barbs. Very common in the aquarium trade.

    19.) Teflon
    Chemically inert and FDA and USDA approved for food contact
    surfaces. Very slick and offen used in bearings. Used as a
    bearing in kalk reactors where a magnetic stir bar is used. Also
    used to coat the stir bar.
    ________
    Tanks: 400 gal Reef, 180 gal FOWLR, 300 gal Sump, 40 gal Frag Tray plumbed as one system - 900 gal total water volume.
    DIY Calcium Reactor, Nielson Reactor and Skimmer

  4. #4
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    reeferboy,

    Good find! :thumb:
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Fishysan's Avatar
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    Cool info for sure.

    I've seen this too "Food-grade ABS resin"

    So maybe it's an old wives tale, or there are different grades, and say the plumbing grade at Rona/HomeDepot may be just for waste water, and not potable water.

    Or, maybe no matter at all anymore.
    Fishysan ><>
    ---
    180g display main floor, 150g trough, 75g, 20g in basement
    SPS, LPS, softies, many clams & 14 fish
    main: 250w AB DE HQI x 3, 5' x 3 VHO actinic - trough: 400w venki

  6. #6
    CAT
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    Senior Member CAT's Avatar
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    My worry with ABS is that, because it's used for waste water, I wonder if it's been treated with fungicides etc. I don't know one way or the other if it is, but since I could always find the same size in PVC, I bought that instead.

    Reeferbpy, since you've been using it in your tank with no ill-effects, you're probably ok by now.
    Don't take life too seriously; no one gets out alive.

    photo gallery: http://aquariacanada.com/PhotoPost/showgallery.php?ppuser=424

  7. #7
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    I along with others have been using ABS for certain things ( my Durso standpipe is built with this) and have seen no effects what so ever. I'm no expert in the composition of the different plastics, but I think it is safe. In the list reeferboy provided, it said that many, many things are made from ABS for the aquarium hobby. I have even used a matte finish black spraypaint from Krylon to paint some pipes that are in the water and no effects. The important thing in this case is to leave the pipe to dry for a few days just to be absolutely sure that it is completely dry and not releasing anything while it is dryng. Many people do this too.

  8. #8
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Just a quick note...

    My standpipe is also ABS 1 1/4"....
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Fishysan's Avatar
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    Cool, financially I'd much rather use ABS from Rona/HD cuz it's hard to find short pieces, or cheap, large diam PVC piping ( over 2" etc. )

    Mind you, there are different kinds of cheaper PVC that has large diams (3, 4, 5+) there now, but sometimes they are very brittle. Over time, who knows.
    Fishysan ><>
    ---
    180g display main floor, 150g trough, 75g, 20g in basement
    SPS, LPS, softies, many clams & 14 fish
    main: 250w AB DE HQI x 3, 5' x 3 VHO actinic - trough: 400w venki

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up ABS

    from all I've read black ABS should NOT be used as it does leach chemicals from the plastic. I do not have a link but I've read this more than once and plumbers have said the same. They are not aloud in anyway to use it for drink water purposes because of the leaching problem. I wouldn't chance it as I think that salt water would be even worse than fresh.IMO

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