Re: lead in tank?

Zeb Swinney wrote: 

>I've seen the small lead stips that are wrapped around the stem of plants to
>keep them ancored down.  Will the lead harm the plants or leach into the
>water and hurt the fish?  It is toxic to humans and I am leary of putting it
>in my tank but it would be useful to ancor the plants without using the peat
>blocks.  Are there any other alternatives?

Zeb, I think you may be mistaken about the toxicity of lead to humans (and 
plants or fish). I don't know where you got your information, but it keeps 
cropping up, and I would like to find out where it's coming from.

Lead is very inert in water that isn't fairly acid. Sure, a child (or 
painter) eating a *lot* of lead-oxide paint can slowly develop some 
heavy-metal poisoning symptoms, but that's not the same thing, at all. This 
paint problem has lead ( :-) ) to a hysterical press reaction comparable only 
to the asbestos scare, and a regulatory zeal that provides jobs for a huge 
number of government employees, certified lead-removal contractors, etc. 

To my knowlege, the deadly form of lead is propelled by an explosive 
discharge, at high velocity, through some vital organ. Hundreds of people 
have lived long useful lives with unremoved bullets somewhere in their body. 
Toxic? Why do doctors leave them in, then?

If someone out there can document the toxicity of metallic lead, not 
dissolved by gastric acids, I would like to know of it. Then I can shut up 
about this little piece of urban folklore. Until that happens, I'll happily 
use lead anchors when I need them (which is almost never). I'll also repond 
whenever anyone uses that emotion-laden press word, "toxic," without 
justifying the use of such a scare word.

Please don't feel I'm picking on you, Zeb. I am just sick of being told what 
to do by a bunch of control freaks that use misinformation to get more 
control over our lives. These urban myths become their strongest tool in 
getting what they want, if left unchallenged.



Wright Huntley (408) 248-5905 Santa Clara, CA USA huntley at ix_netcom.com