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Posted byTevo Tornado & Tarantula1 year ago

Using PLA in an aquarium?

This is more of a shower thought than anything else, but has anyone used PLA to print aquarium decor or filter media? I was thinking the properties that make it unsuitable for food use would be beneficial in an aquarium environment; the porous nature would be useful for ammonia/nitrite eating bacteria to colonise, as well as provide rooting points for aquatic plants.

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level 1

I printed pla pipes over a year ago and I have no problem with it today.

level 1
C-bot 14"^3, Makerfarm 8" i3v3 points · 1 year ago

I think PLA will be fine. PETG or PET is known to be biologically 'safe' so that could be worth exploring. I'm actually gearing up to setup a new tank myself. I plan on printing parks and stuff in PETG. there are a lot of water bottles made of PETG/PET.

level 2

3D solutech PETG prints at almost the same temps as PLA. It's rad

level 3
C-bot 14"^3, Makerfarm 8" i3v5 points · 1 year ago

That's great to know, because I love their PLA. I think solutech is one of the best values out there. Always super solid.

level 1
Modded/Upgraded Tevo Tarantula1 point · 1 year ago

I could be wrong, but doesnt contact with water make PLA more and more brittle over time ?

level 2

A bit, but are your fish forcefully headbutting aquarium parts?

level 2
Prusa Mk2.5, CR-10S5 points · 1 year ago

Yes, but "over time" is at least a few years if not more.

level 1

Used it to make an endcap for a part of a tube for my filter in my turtle tank. Works fine, and myturtle hadn't died yet for a year...

level 1
1 point · 1 year ago

Should be fine. I'm planning to print some terrain type things that I can stick to the back wall in hopes of making a place for algae to grow for my Otos, as well as some parts to stick moss to. Just keep an eye on shit getting stuck between the layers, and it would probably be a good idea to take it out if you need to dose the tank with anything so it doesn't trap and slowly release medicine/copper/whatever

level 1

Pla is a bioastic... there are things called biopellets that are used in aquariums to feed beneficial bacteria, these bacteria will break down pla. Best plastic for aquarium use is nylon.

level 1

If you're worried, is there something you can coat it with to help protect? PLA is not food grade plastic.

level 2
Prusa I3 MK33 points · 1 year ago

There was a TV show about making ridiculous aquariums that used some kind of epoxy or coating to coat things to go into an aquarium. Not sure what it's called or what the name of the show was.

edit: Pond Armor is one.

level 3

The show is called Tanked.

level 2
2 points · 1 year ago

PLA is used to make drinking straws. 3D printed PLA parts are generally not considered food safe because of dyes or the porous surface 3D printing tends to leave.

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