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Air Tubing Turning White


viscosity2004

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I'm back home for the holidays and I'm helping my brother and my mum set up a 10-gallon tank I left behind. Right not I'm in the midst of a MAJOR disinfection (my little bro tried to keep a fish a few weeks ago and it died in just one night!).

I told him to just unplug everything except for the filter and I'd handle it when I got home. As I was taking everything apart, I noticed that the portion of the airline tubing that was left in the water had turned completely white. What could cause this? I immediately thought hard water, but my mum had a water softener installed quite a while ago.

Has anyone experienced this before? Should I replace the tubing?

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This actually happens to all of my air tubing. I'm not sure what causes it though, but I just left it in my tank for now because I see nothing going wrong with it. But I think the white part is also a bit stiffer than the non white part. I'm not sure if its safe or not so maybe wait until someone with more experience replies. :)

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I've experienced this as well. When it got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore I just bought new tubing. It's cheap and looks better than the white. I wouldn't worry about it. I never had the problem with well water, but with city water it has started happening.

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The clear plastic suction cups and clear plastic tubing commonly sold for fish tanks contains a fair amount of plasticizers - chemicals that keep the substance flexible and soft. Immersing the plastics in water will eventally cause the plasticizers to leach out of the tubes/cups causing them to become hard - not "plastic". They also become opaque - white - when this happens.

There is no harm to your tank - the tubes will work just fine (the suction cups not so much). In fact - they are better than before because all the plasticizers are gone now.

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