WTF is Non-Toxic Lead?

Posted 2009.07.20 16.29 in Aquaria, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Not long ago I went through a whacky adventure while trying to deal with plants in my aquarium that wouldn’t stay rooted in the gravel substrate. Lest anyone want to give me a slap and tell me that there are already products on the market that make plant-anchoring easy, I promise you I am already aware of them.

That’s the first thing I looked into, in fact – I went to my LFS (local fish shop) and tried to find a good product that would keep the plants down. There was one such product they sold. I looked at the packaging. I read it. I read it again. And then I asked, What the F***?


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The first bullet-point tells you that the product does what you want – keeps those pesky plants planted. Great!

The second bullet-point tells you that it’s safe and non-toxic. Also great! I don’t want to put dangerous or poisonous stuff in my aquarium, I like my fishies and snailies.

The third bullet-point… says it’s made of soft lead? Excuse me? Since when was lead considered safe and non-toxic?

What exactly is non-toxic lead? Is it some other metal that is like lead? Something tells me, if it was made of bismuth they’d have said bismuth instead of lead. No, I think lead is lead. It certainly is soft and would be easy to wrap around the stems, and it is heavy, so it would keep them down. But, I mean, really? If lead were safe and non-toxic, then we wouldn’t have words like Lead Poisoning in our vocabulary, our regional water processing people wouldn’t be making a big deal over Testing for Lead in our drinking water, and we wouldn’t make fun of the Romans for using lead pipes to deliver their water.

So.. how can they claim that a lead product is safe and non-toxic? Especially when you’re supposed to put it into a tank full of water in an enclosed system, and let it sit and soak in there…

I’ve sait it before and I’ll say it again – WTF?

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