Possible chemical contamination from plastic tubs

xxianxx

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I am researching the possible effects of plastic containers releasing chemicals into water which may have an adverse effect on aquatic amphibians and a possible build up in invertebrates which will be used as a food source. It appears to be common practice to keep young larvae in food safe containers and plastic tubs, I do it myself when I am using baby brine shrimp with high volume water changes but change to cycled glass tanks when they get bigger and have reduced water changes. My main concern how ever is the use of plastic containers outside as grow on tubs for baby axolotls, they are set up with plants and have a low water change rate, is there a possibility of a chemical build up over a period of time ? Do these plastics contaminates have any ill effects ? Are there any plastics which are safer to use outside, where they will be exposed to the elements and could degrade relatively fast compared to tubs used inside ? I have read some background material but the science is beyond me and I would appreciate some advice on safe(r) plastic containers and possible dangers of using them, thanks.
 

oceanblue

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The real baddies for leaching poisons are PVC which was usually plasticised with pthalates and Polycarbonate which can leach bisphenol-A. Both are not very common as containers now.

The most common plastics are Polypropylene, which does not contain plasticisers and PET which is used for 2L pop bottles. Both are reputed to be safe, as is polythene usually (HD PE ) for containers. The recycling labels help identify what you are dealing with. (PP = polypropylene)

PET does not seem to photodegrade ( a bottle in full sun with an alga culture for the last year is still ok) but polypropylene and polythene do if exposed to Ultraviolet. Containers with pigment in (such as black buckets) are a lot more light resistant but get a lot hotter in the sun which can be a problem in its own right.

A polypropylene tub became brittle within a few months in bright sun and some take away food containers I used as seed trays deteriorated within weeks. However a tub up against the north side of a wall is still fine after 3 years.
 

Lugubris

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All plastics, rubbers, foams ect.. leach chemicals to a certain extent, none of which are good news for amphibians (or you for that matter). I am currently in the process of phasing out as many plastic products involved in keeping my salamanders (and in my food consumption and preparation too) as possible. It is not something that is likely to cause sudden death or illness but it can slowly build up in body tissues causing physiological stress; lowering life span, weakening the immune system, and causing genetic damage among other problems.
 
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  • Jaeger:
    My axolotls were doing fine until the cycle int heir tank crashed. I currently have them tubbed and they wont stop shedding their slime coat, and my golden albino looks a little red, and his gills dont look too good. Theyre both flaoting and im keeping the tub at 18 degrees celsius and doing 100% water changes everyday, any help on anythingelse? can anyone help?
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  • AkemiYousei:
    @Jaeger I would try to double up on Prime to combat the slime coat shed when doing the 100% water changes. Also, if it's bad, might want to consider a tea bath as a preventive measure.
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    I just wrote this on the post ^
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    Haha, great minds, right?
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    They sure do 😄!
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  • Jaeger:
    @AkemiYousei thanks so much. Will do. I have also given them a tea bath before, seems to work their gills are looking so much healthier, my golden albino is swimming around frantically trying to jump out, should i be worried? my wild type is fine
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  • AkemiYousei:
    Might be the stress, or the shedding bothering it
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    Make sure s/he can't jump out, and maybe keep her in a undisturbed, darkened place for a bit. See if that calms the goldie.
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    I woke up to my golden axolotl covered complete white. what do i do
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    Just found out, hes dead. :(
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    :'(
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    @Jaeger, Oh no! Sorry to hear. :(
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    my axolotl has white balls on its gills and the feathers have shrunk
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    We have an axolotl called Jasper who is approx 3 years old. He was being attacked by his companion so we separated them. He has healed his wounds now but has got very thin. his lips have turned black. he was just looking still and dead at times but ears moved so we knew he was still alive. Hold earthworms right in front of him which after some time he will take you think good he is eating but then it pops straight out again. At the moment he is in the fridge. Not sure what else to do if he can't or won't eat !!
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    Hi Jasper 2021,
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  • Wyn1993:
    I am new to axolotls myself and one thing I learnt was that earth worms when in distress give off an awful taste - have you tried live river shrimp? Mine really like these and are always happy to 'bite' - I also give them live crickets and pellets which are really pungeant in smell and they always take these - even wait at the glass for them! So sorry to hear he was being attacked by his companion!
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