What you are describing is a very common chemical
reaction that occurs when steel is exposed to
water, and especially in salty water. The problem
is that steel contains a lot of iron, which will
eventually form rust in a humid environment.
Youre quite correct that galvanized steel is
supposed to prevent it from rusting. However,
over time, even this protective layer will erode
away, exposing the iron underneath.
rust, or brown and red foam is just iron oxide.
The fact that some of it has appeared both on the
surface of the water and at the bottom of the
container just means that some of the rust has
been knocked off from the steel surface. I bet if
you looked closely, you would see some rust
forming on the steel mesh as well.
news is that I wouldnt expect that the presence of
a small amount of rust should affect the growth
rates of the calcium and magnesium carbonates.
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