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A "new algae killer" chemical and yes, it's very cheap

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Tom Barr, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, no so new to me and many other folks, mostly from the pond folks.

    Sodium percarbonate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    This is a contact algicide, meaning you toss it in as granular pellets which land on plant leaves, kill the algae and then it sloughs off.

    Now it does give off H2O2 and raises KH.
    So you can not go wild using it, but you can spot treat by dropping some powder in each region and in a few days, maybe a week or so, you can clean up the algae.
    I've seen it clean up lakes and ponds of attached algae on rocks and plants very effectively.

    I've tried it on several plant species, it had no effect, it very well might harm some plants and some one is bound to add too much and kill their fish and plants because they think "more is better" or just do not bother to read the instruction label.

    No way to prevent folks from making mistakes.

    It looks a bit like a KNO3 powder, you just take a jar and spread it out in the infected area, it'll sink and in about 1-2 hours, the deed is done.

    You can retreat the following day etc so there's no rush to do the entire tank all at once, just realize that it does raise the KH a fair amount and adds H2O2. However, like liquids, this slowly and locally adds the carbonate and the peroxide, this causes both high pH/strong oxidizer and then slowly dissipates into the tank water.

    I was hoping it might kills weeds, unfortunately it did not, but cleaned off the weeds really well.

    Cheaper than heck too, ADA would sell a tiny bottle for 18$
    Sodium Percarbonate by The Chemistry Store.com Inc

    Old thread in the koi world:
    Sodium percarbonate uses in fish ponds - Koiphen.com

    I tested it for killing weeds for Green Clean some years ago.
    I'm not big on killing algae like this in planted tanks and have not been willing to test it under plant tank conditions.

    Still, it's much easier and better than bleach.
    GreenClean, Algaecide - BioSafe Systems - Pond Algicides, Pond Supplies

    This gives some indication about how to use it.
    I'd do a water change before and after just in case.

    It will kill any species of algae BTW, hair algae etc.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm not excited or anything like that, but I did have $27 available until a few seconds ago - now I will have this miracle drug, 4 pounds of it, in a week. Ho hum!

    The MSDS for this is a little bothersome, but not too much. Anything that is effective does have the potential for being irritating, and this is no different.
     
  3. jeremy v

    jeremy v Guru Class Expert

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    Do you think this would work as a mild algae inhibitor or as a floating algae spore killer if it was dosed to the water instead of being poured directly on the algae? I am thinking of it possibly being beneficial as a substitute for baking soda when increasing the aquarium's kH a few degrees after a tank cleaning and/or water change?

    The info on the link said that the sodium percarbonate will remain active in water for 5-6 hours, so wouldn't that mean it would be the equivalent of a mild hydrogen peroxide algae inhibitor/killer for the first several hours and then when it is done breaking down it would just be a good kH source for the tank not unlike baking soda?

    Have a good one, Jeremy
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The "active ingredient" is hydrogen peroxide, and that has no inhibitory effect on algae that I know of. First, as you noted, it doesn't stay in the water very long, so unless you dosed it daily or more often, all you would be adding is carbonates. A steadily increasing KH would not be an advantage, as far as I can see.

    As I see it, it is effective only because it releases its peroxide right on the leaves, where the crystals land, so the peroxide is right where you want it, and for a long enough time to be effective at killing algae. I can't even see how it would be effective against green water, and for GDA, only effective for the green beard colonies on the leaves. I'm hoping it will be effective against BBA that is hanging around on random leaves, stems, hardscape, etc. in the tank, allowing the increased CO2 to prevent a reinfestation. We should find out pretty quickly just how worthwhile this is and what harm it can do.
     
  5. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you didn't want to use this stuff in your tank for any reason (incl. KH issues), I could see pulling your problem plants, rocks or driftwood from the tank and transferring them to a 1 gallon container of water and treating them there.
     
  6. jazzlvr123

    jazzlvr123 Guru Class Expert

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    let us know how it works out for you Vaughn i know tom said in the above post he hasn't really used it in planted tank environments just lakes and ponds let us know the results in your tank. I noticed it had a little Na in it too :O
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It really kicks butt in a pond, with that hairy nasty algae attached to the rocks and other surfaces. I know it did not harm plants(I tried sponge plant, Hyacinth, Parrot's feather and Azolla).

    It is more a contact algicide.
    I ttakes about 1-2 hours and the algae just sloughes off.
    I think if folks can stick to the normal dosing routine, 1.5 table spoons per 100 Galllon, do a water change 1-2 hours after, should roast a lot of algae on plants and rock, wood etc.

    Turn off filter and current, toss it in there and wait.

    I think it ought to work, but honestly I have not tried it in a home aquarium.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. Chiya

    Chiya Prolific Poster

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    Hi all,

    How about for shrimp tanks?

    Is this 'algae killer' safe for shrimps?

    Crystal Red Shrimps are sensitive to a whole lot of stuffs so if it's safe, I'd be getting a bottle :D

    Regards,
    Ryan


    P.S How abt guppies? I'm inducing algae in a Guppy tank and a 'quick fix' will allow me to test stuffs without creating many tanks in my room.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do not think anyone has tried ti with shrimp.

    It's like adding baking soda and H2O2, but since it's solid, it drops on surfaces where the algae generally are the most trouble, then dissolves locally.

    That's the advantage.
    As far as toxicity, unless you are willing to accept some losses, do not try it.
    I do not even know how it might respond to different plant species.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    We should view this as Version 1.0 of the Beta version of an algae killing "drug". Don't you just love testing Beta versions?
     
  11. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I received my 4 pounds of sodium percarbonate last night, so today I plan to test it on my tank. The parameters for my tank are:
    45 gallon tank (nominal size)(about 35 gallons of water)
    SMS substrate with underlayer of river silt
    110 watts of GE9325K PC light raised 6 inches above tank, on 8 hours per day
    Pressurized CO2
    Water temperature 75F to 85F, depending on room temperature.
    Water changed continuously, with dripping flow of inlet water, about 5 gallons per day.
    Plants are:
    Anubias nana petite
    Anubias nana
    Microsorum pteropus narrow leaf
    Cryptocoryne wendtii, various varieties
    Isoetes iacustris
    Fish are:
    2 - Yoyo Loaches
    8 - “Lambchop” Rasboras
    4 - Otocinclus
    About 15 Guppies
    About 4-5 Endlers Live Bearer
    Hardscape is:
    Structure of African bog wood roots
    Small pieces of same wood, with plants tied to them
    Filter outlet pipe
    Filter inlet pipe
    Drain fitting

    Present condition of tank: Small BBA areas on some leafs, mostly anubias and Java ferns. Small amount on hardscape. Small areas of GSA on anubias and Crypt leaves. Small tufts of BBA on protruding old roots in substrate.

    Fertilizing: By EI method, adjusted for daily dosing, with all fertilizers dosed at one time using two solutions, one of CSM+B+extra iron plus epsom salts, one of KNO3 and KH2PO4. Excel dosed at 10 ml per day, squirted on BBA areas under water. CO2 at bubble rate to keep drop checker in yellow-green area all day, off at night.
    [​IMG]

    Sodium Percarbonate recommended dosage - 1.5 Tablespoon per 100 gallons
    For 35 gallons, recommended dosage is about 1.5 Teaspoon

    First dosage, .5 teaspoon, will be sprinkled over wood structure, with filter and Koralia pump turned off, about one hour after fertilizing and feeding fish.

    But, first I have been looking into what possible bad effects I might run into. Sodium percarbonate is a compound of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide, which releases hydrogen peroxide when in water. The possible effects would be from the peroxide, from the sodium or from the carbonate. Sodium percarbonate is about 29% sodium, compared to sodium bicarbonate, which is about 27% sodium, so the effect of the sodium should be about the same as for dosing baking soda to raise the KH. Sodium percarbonate is about 38% carbonate, compared to sodium bicarbonate which is about 71% carbonate, so the increase in KH due to sodium percarbonate should be about half of that for baking soda. Neither of these is at all likely to be a problem, when dosed with amounts comparable to that used for baking soda to raise KH. Hydrogen peroxide can be a problem for plants, fish and algae, but it lasts only for a short time in the aquarium water, so it isn't likely that it will be harmful to the plants or fish, given that some people dose 3% hydrogen peroxide in their tanks routinely when trying to kill algae. But, this is the big unknown, where the effect of the sodium and carbonate are not unknown.

    .5 teaspoon of sodium percarbonate will only raise my KH about .4 dKH.

    I will measure my tank water KH, GH and pH before and after the test. I will decide whether to do a major water change after the test based on what I see in the tank.
     
  12. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    My water tested at 6.2 pH, 2 dKH, and less than 1 dGH (softer than I expected). So, I added 1/2 tsp of sodium percarbonate, sprinkling it over the wood structure. It immediately began generating a mass of microbubbles:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After 10 minutes this had decreased by over half, a few guppies were grazing on the bits of chemical left, and swimming through the bubbles. Some white scum was floating on the surface above the wood.

    After 20 minutes the bubbling was reduced to about 10% of what it was originally, and my continuous water change system had skimmed off almost all of the white scum.

    In 25 minutes there was very little fizzing going on so I restarted the filter, the Koralia and the CO2 injection. No fish seem the least bit distressed at this point.
     
  13. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    After 75 minutes, the tank looks just as it did before I started this. The pH is 6.2, GH is less than 1, and KH is up to about 3, as expected. I increased the flow on my automatic water change sysem by a factor of about 3, probably about 15 gallons a day now, and will not do a big one time change.

    I'm thinking I will wait a couple of days, so most of the old water will be replaced, then dose the full 1.5 teaspoons, trying to spread it evenly all over the water surface. That will also give me time to see if any fish show any ill effects.
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd try it when you do a water change, sprinkle it on the wood/rock etc.

    I got a nastygram from some clown.

    As it's just H2O2 and Na2CO3, this is not "Oxiclean", some fools seem to think it is and cruel to critters, however,m the same can be said for adding CO2, and yet folks never balk at that or using H2O2. Why is that? Is Na@CO3, sodium carbonate bad as well?

    As we know everything about the chemical and it's disassociated salts in solution, as well as it being EPA approved and Cal EPA approved for pond use as an algicide with critters I think it's fairly safe.

    It is sad how illogical, fearful and downright stupid some folks are.

    It's a dry form of H2O2.
    But dissolves right on the surface, not so much in the water.
    So it's got better targeting than liquid H2O2.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I suspect the "clown" may be the person who accused me of cruelty to animals, and suggested someone rub detergent in my eyes on APC. I was amazed at the fact that my fish showed no reaction at all to this stuff, neither while it was fizzing nor afterwards. And, guppies were nibbling at the leftovers before the fizzing even stopped.

    I now think it would be best to only treat about half of the tank at a time, just so any fish bothered by it could find a place to stay out of it. Or, I may use a pipette to try to apply it where I see a need, keeping the total applied below the 1.5 tbs per 100 gallons.
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The person PM'd me. I do not publicly post PM's, I do not know who it is, don't care much either, but I know their isp now.

    I do not go to APC, so ............sounds like a hater came here looking to stir up garbage. Maybe it's the same person, I don't care.

    As far as this product, it's Na2CO3 and H2O2.
    We know what these do.
    It's EPA registered.
    We have used it on a 6 million gallon lake with rare breeding trout in it.
    Trout are about as sensitive as they can get.

    Still, I am cautious about this product.
    I freely tell folks I have not yet tried it myself.

    But this clown wants to use political emotional appeals and arguments, not logic, not testing, not a darn bit of research on their part, it's like they are from PETA or sell snake oil or diet pills. Bad mouth others to make yourself look better. Forget the studies, forget it's already registered for use for ponds, lakes etc as an algicide where fish are present, forget to look up the chemical salt itself on wikipedia.

    Damn, I'm amazed how stupid the person was.
    I feel sorry for them. Perhaps they said it to get a rise out of me:D
    So I can only hope it was a troll that knows better but is playing "the game" to get a rise out of folks.
    If it's not that, then heaven help them.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
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    If that was said (I'm not doubting you Hoppy, just don't care to go to that site and read it for myself) that really is an ignorant response.

    Are we to go to Seachem and call them out on cruelty to animals for some of their products?

    Would we rub Excel in our eyes? Would we rub Acid Buffer (highly corrosive KH reducer) in our eyes? If we looked at the chemicals in half of the items that get added to aquariums on a regular basis and applied that same logic, I'm afraid we would be left with close to nothing.

    I think it comes down to having the intelligence and dilligence to dose any chemical in our aquariums at safe levels.

    I have confidence in ya Hoppy.

    But just in case. Might I recommend.

    Goggles
     
  18. guy tillmans

    guy tillmans Guru Class Expert

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  19. Chiya

    Chiya Prolific Poster

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    Dear Hoppy,

    Thanks for the initial test results.
    I'll go search for a local source for sodium percarbonate to try on my guppy tank.

    However, I'm still a bit apprehensive about adding it into my shrimp tank (Main tank).
    It's where all the sensitive stuffs are.

    Just a thought, with no offense intended, but if we tried it on guppies and crypts (which are more resilient to changes), will it represent the rest of the fish / plant species?

    I might make a solution and spray it on algae rocks though. It'll be a cheaper alternative than Excel.

    Regards,
    Ryan

    P.S. Saw the usage of NA2CO3 in a trout breeding lake from Tom's post. Shrimps anyone?
     
  20. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Would it be easier/safer if possible to place the wood/rock/object in a separate bucket for this?

    Then you can rinse off well before replacing, and the majority of the chemical and reaction will take place in the bucket.

    If the algae sloughs off, then it should end up in the bucket and not the tank.
     
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