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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #27

Hello Mark,

I was just considering use of a diatomaceous filter when you posted to list. 
I've wondered whether allowing some to escape into the tank during use could 
be detrimental to the fish. DE dropped outdoors, for instance, is supposed to 
be helpful for insect control, including ticks (supposed to kill them, I 
believe).  Wouldn't the small particles injested through gills or otherwise 
be somehow harmful?



<< Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 08:47:21 -0600
 From: Mark Fisher <Mark.Fisher at tpwd_state.tx.us>
 Subject: re: tank setup questions
 > 3) If you use diatomacious earth (spelling is wrong I'm 
 > sure), be careful 
 > when creating a siphon to fill the canister. This earth is 
 > believed to be 
 > carcinogenic (cancer causing) so you would be much better off 
 > creating the 
 > siphon using the little tool that Fluval provides for this service.
 Diatomaceous earth, which is composed of the frustules (the silica "shell")
 of fossil diatoms, is not carcinogenic.  You must be thinking of
 "silicosis", which is a condition caused by the inhalation of fine, sharp
 particles of silica.  This is an occupational hazard of construction
 workers, miners, sandblasters, ceramic workers, or anyone exposed to silica
 The irritative action of the sharp-edged silica in the lung results in the
 formation of nodular lesions; these may coalesce and form massive areas of
 fibrous tissue.   You can find more detail at: