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Tired

Bones in tank- as in actual bones from animals

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Tired

What would it take to make animal bones safe for a saltwater aquarium? And I don't mean just coating them in something to seal them. I'm wondering about actually using a few small bones as textural pieces. If it's sun-dried into not having any more moisture in it, it's just the bone structure itself and not any meat or juice or anything, what would that do? What could it potentially leach? 

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Ratvan

Have a look

 

 

 

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Tired

Oh, cool! I'll have to give it a try. 

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mcarroll

The OP never updated that thread again, so I don't know if you want to take that as a positive or a negative indication.

 

IMO be prepared to treat it like uncleaned, uncured boat rock or like a recently-dead coral.  You might find that it's totally clean, but you don't wanna find out you're wrong the hard way.

 

I would expect it to be a good phosphate source (important and misunderstood..similar to live rock..goid to be aware of) and for corals and algae (including coraline) to grow well on it.

 

As to whether it proves durable, I think folks in the other thread brought up some concerns worthy of consideration about collagen.

 

I would only add that I've watched an awful lot of Blue World TV (youtube) with my daughter, and there seems to be an awful lot of animal bones still intact underwater.

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Tired

image.png.db1d6ea2646d1b74ebc11e1d179f873f.pngimage.png.63dffc3375168ca458c0da81153f2e1b.png

 

That's the skull I want to use. It's not in good enough shape for me to want as a specimen, so I'll try it out as aquarium decor! That's some dry rock underneath it that I'm putting in to see if any neat algae shows up. This was baking in a very hot sun for awhile, so it feels dried out and rough. I think the collagen is mostly gone- bones with the collagen still in them feel smooth and a bit more dense, but the collagen can get broken down by the elements, leaving a lighter-weight, rougher, more fragile material. I have an armadillo pelvis I had to dip in resin to preserve it because the sun had fried all the collagen out (I assume) and it was incredibly fragile.

I'm not going to have the actual setup until late December, so I figure I'll soak this until then and see if it does anything. I don't expect it to do much, but I figure this is the best way to test it. If it doesn't do anything in 3 months, it's not likely to do much, period. 

Bones degrade eventually underwater, but it's more due to the actions of scavengers than to rotting. There are underwater caves out there with decades-old skeletal remains still relatively intact. This will break down eventually, but without scavengers that specifically feed on bone, I'm expecting it'll last awhile. I also looked this up and found more people keeping bones (and turtle shells and antlers) in their aquariums as decor, and it looks like it's generally fine if the skull is clean.

 

I think this could wind up looking really cool. Line the broken side with something like zoos or clove polyps to fill that empty space up, maybe see if I can get a rock flower anemone or some shrooms to take up residence in an eye socket, try some macroalgae on it. The braincase is broken out, so it'll make a nice cave for small creatures to hide in. Epiphytic (clinging, non-dirt-resident) plants do great growing on bones, they love the texture and the trace elements, so I'll bet algae will love it too. 

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