Corian revisited

strtrodreefer

New member
Several weeks ago I had a thread regarding the use of Corian in place of cutting board for a bare bottom tank. Randy, Boomer, Bertoni and a few others provided some interesting feedback. One potential concern is ATH ( alimina trihydrate ) in the composition of the material.

So, my tank continues to struggle and I've narrowed it down to two potential causes. Something to do with the Corian, or my water source. I am on public water, and process through ro/di with a zero tds reading. Can there be something hanging in the water that will not read on a tds meter? Or is "0" truely "0".

I am at witts end and ready to take the tank down and remove the Corian. Hate to do that, but I haven't even been able to get any info directly from the maker.
The alumina trihydrate makes me think (after reading Randys articles), the coral response is similar. Poor pe, limited growth, loss of color etc.

As stated in the previous post, parameters have been pretty much ruled out, it's something strange goin on!!

Any ideas or additional concerns with the ATH?

Thanks Guys.
 

strtrodreefer

New member
Yes, I did confirm calibration but still curious as to what zero tds actually implies. Does this mean any and all possible contaminants are removed? I understand the minerals and such, but for example flouride and other public treatments.

Thank you.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
No, zero TDS only implies that the ionic content of the water is low enough that the meter can't detect anything of interest. Fluoride is F<sup>-</sup>, and would be detected by the meter if there were enough of it. Non-ionic compounds aren't going to be detected.
 

dots

Premium Member
What about Volitile compound outgas (unsure if ATH is) as most composites do to a certain extent over the course of their lifetimes, hence plastics "drying out" and becoming brittle. How about researching the UL burn test or emission test as most of these indoor products are required to have?

I am particularly tuned into these volatile gasses from composites as my girlfriend gets MASSIVE headaches within 5 minutes of entering a Blockbuster.

Even then, what could be undetectable or "allowable" by UL standards, in a closed system could cause havoc. Do yourself a favor and and remove it. This hobby can be hard enough without working against oneself especially for a "just in case" precaution.

FWIW, the starboard isn't needed in a BB system. With careful selection of your base rocks, and pinning them with acrylic, and conservative stacking mindful of locking pieces together, you can eliminate this variable that could plague you and only cause you frustration. If at all, puts a little action and risk into an otherwise low adrenaline hobby eh?

I think Corian is a great product and should be used on the stands to create that smooth, flat surface everyone is trying to fix with Styrofoam.

IMO, that is....
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
What is the symptom in the tank?

An RO/DI with zero ppm TDS is very unlikely to have anything in it that might case an apparent tank problem. Most things that might be in the water that would not impact TDS (like neutral organic compounds) will not get through an RO very well.
 

Boomer

Bomb Technician (EOD)
Premium Member
We all know that activated alumina is insoluble in water and has a Moh's Hardness of 9, just below a diamond. But we do know form Randy's test that at least the powder from it can effect some corals. What I did not know, till now, is Corian has Moh's Harness of 2.5 - 3.5 and that bothers me. That is the same hardness as limestone or a sea shell, basically soft. So, it makes me wonder, if moving stuff around has scratched it enough to put enough fines in the water to give it the same effect as activated alumina per Randy article.
 

strtrodreefer

New member
Thanks Guys. This is the type of feedback I'd hoped for. I'll try to briefly explain why the concerns exist.
A year and a half ago, my tank(mixed at the time, and bb) was all I could have hoped for. Absolutely beautiful. I was keeping two lfs's well stocked with frogspawn heads, montis, gsp's etc. Everything just exploded in my tank. Unfortunately, the sps bug bit hard, and all of my rock was encrusted in gsp's, mushrooms, ricordia etc. and the decision was made to sell everything off and start over. I bought 120 lbs. of curred Marshall(nicest rock I've seen) curred a few weeks additional time, transferred some sps frags and kept one basketball size frogspawn, I wanted a more natural look in the bottom instead of bare glass this time, and decided on the Corian, which had a convincing sand like appearence,(other than perfectly flat!)

To shorten this a bit, I stocked up on some additional frags. From that day on, a year and a half ago, the tank has not recovered or improved in any way. It is plagued by some strange very short white algae like substance I've never seen before, although someone posted a pic recently of the same stuff and nobody knew what it was. It looks like 1/4" down feather. Plumbing loves it, the rock has a dusting of it everywhere, but is harder to see.
Corals are hating something. Very minimal polyp extention, terrible color, nearly no growth. The frogspaw has been cut back several times for die off. Monti caps growth stopped dead in it's tracks. Even the rock looks lifeless. Just a bland gray with minimal spattering of coralline(very minimal). About 10 fish, seemingly not bothered at all by this.

So, for a year and a half I'm left feeling like I've never done this before and the only potential cause in my mind is the Corian.

At this point I'm leaning towards "dots" reply and taking it out, although i'm now wondering if it is a leaching from the Corian, is it too late for the rock? Ugh.

Thanks again to all who read and replied. I appreciate it.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
I'd probably focus on things like activated carbon, polymer resins for binding organics, skimming, maybe ozone, maybe UV sterilizer. I'd be pretty surprised if the Corian was the concern, but in case any organic materials are being released from it, the carbon/skimmer/and ozone may help.
 

strtrodreefer

New member
Thanks Randy. I am running black diamond, pura-phos in a reactor, uv, and some purigen in a bag within filter sock. Skimmer is a rs250 euro-reef pulling well. I have no ozone.

Appreciate your reply.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
If I were in your situation, I might remove the Corian. I'm not convinced it's the problem, but the mental wear and tear might get to me.
 

strtrodreefer

New member
Thats where I'm at. I'm just running out of energy. This has been eating at me for better than a year. I'm still not convinced myself, but having done the normal systematic checks I guess pulling it will be the only way to know. I don't want to give up the tank, but I've been trying to keep people from seeing it. Yes it's that bad.

Hopefully in the next week I can pull the corian and see what happens. I'm hoping there is not a residual bound in the rock.
That would be a show stopper for sure!

Thanks!
 
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