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

Tom Barr

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guy tillmans;30128 said:
Doesn't the ph increases because of the sodium that comes free??

Here a link for those who want to read more about "dry h2o2"

http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides/ingredients/tech_docs/brad_128860.pdf

Yes, it raises KH via the Na2CO3, sodium carbonate.

But relative to the tank, it's not much and we do a water change at the end of the treatment and the KH goes back down.

It's somewhat like adding baking soda to increase KH.
Perhaps that has some impact on algae, but not much I'd say.

I have some species of algae I've managed to culture to try on in a tank. I keep a tub of weeds in back and some get some algae on them. While no new algae will grow if I take these and place them in my planted tanks inside, I'm less concerned about that.

I just want to see a good method to kill the algae with a contact herbicide.

So I'll stop the filter, sprinkle, wait and see.
The algae is a nasty black hair like algae, more like Staghorn, Compsopogon, which we all know and hate.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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Gerry yes, we can do that with H2O2, bleach, spray with liquids like Excel etc etc.
We have many choices then.

The percarb works as a contact sinking algicide.
We burned the lilies in a lake using it, but it did not harm to submersed plants near as we could tell.


Given that Seachem Excel is a toxic herbicide, general biocide, used in leather tanning, sterilization of medical equipment, tissue fixadent for microslides, I find the claims made in the PM extremely hypocritical as well. Why isn't PETA going after Greg Morin at SeaChem? Why not slander any number of companies based on that logic?

Why not slander every CO2 gas user?
CO2 is toxic and is not "good" for fish and inverts that we keep either.

So are many things we add and remove from our tanks.
The issue is dose.
Dose makes the poison.
Dose = Concentration X exposure.

Caffine is highly toxic, yet a little is fine.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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One factor I'm a little concerned about is that the reaction of percarbonate with water is exothermic - it releases heat. I didn't check for any effect on my tank water temperature, not that my contact liquid crystal thermometer is sensitive enough to pick up such an increase. Where the granules land could cause relatively high temperatures, enough to damage plants, and if any fish were to allow it to remain on its skin it might damage the fish. These are unlikely to be problems in my opinion.

Sodium percarbonate is, in some ways, solid oxygen! That concerned me until I realized that I cool my drinking water with even more nearly solid oxygen.

The cloud of gas given off in the water is O2. O2 is poison to fish, if there is vastly too much in the water. But, the fish swim in virtually pure oxygen! (Water is almost 90% oxygen!)

This morning I see nothing unusual in the aquarium. At least 15 gallons of water have been removed from the tank, from my continuous flow of tap water into the tank and out an overflow. When the lights come on at noon I will look closer to see if anything at all looks different, either better or worse.
 

Tom Barr

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Turn off low for about 1 hour when you do this Vaughn et al.
Then turn it back on.

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Tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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Tom Barr;30149 said:
Turn off low for about 1 hour when you do this Vaughn et al.
Then turn it back on.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Tom, do you mean when I dose the stuff? I did shut down the filter and the two powerheads in the tank, but not the dripping replacement water flow. That tiny flow was enough to remove the white scum from the water surface pretty quickly.

Tomorrow I will try another dose, probably concentrated on the filter outlet and the overflow fitting, where quite a bit of BBA is growing. For that I will push some of the water out the overflow, so no water will be leaving until it builds back up to the lip of the overflow. And, again shut off all in-tank circulation.

Looking at the tank today, over 24 hours later, I have use some imagination to see anything at all different from before yesterday's test. Possibly there is a bit less BBA on the wood where the crystals landed, but I don't see any white BBA, which I expected to see, since that is what dead BBA looks like. No fish are behaving anything but normally.

I have some pipettes, which hold about 5 ml, and which I purchased on ebay hoping they would allow me to squirt the crystals where I want them to land, but I don't think they will work for this. I suspect the percarbonate will drop out of the pipette as soon as I point the opening down, plus water getting in it would start the reaction, which could just blast all of it out at once. Just spreading it from a measuring spoon seems to be the most practical way to distribute it.

Another curious thing: the only detailed MSDS on sodium percarbonate is a Chinese one. It is downloadable from Sodium Percarbonate,spc - [Hongye Chemical]. That MSDS has some information about toxicity to fish that look fishy:D to me. One ppm supposedly kills fish in 96 hours. First of all, 1 ppm is an incredibly small concentration, but worse, the percarbonate will have decomposed to sodium carbonate, oxygen and water long before 96 hours elapse, so unless the sodium carbonate in that tiny concentration is toxic, and it isn't, the toxicity data is wrong.

MSDS from other countries provide nothing to indicate any toxicity at all for fish, and very little even for humans. Something is fishy:D about that?
 

tedr108

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One factor I'm a little concerned about is that the reaction of percarbonate with water is exothermic - it releases heat.

Careful, Hoppy, the previously mentioned "clown" will now probably say that you should be placed in a vat of boiling water. :)
 

jeremy v

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Vaughn,

Here is an MSDS (from a U.S. source) that I found for sodium percarbonate. It is in .pdf form.

MSDS Sodium Percarbonate from Solvay Chemical

----NOEC----

It shows that the NOEC concentration for Fathead Minnows is 1.0mg/L (1.0ppm).
They used Daphnia Pulex as their test crustacean and their NOEC is 1.0mg/L (1.0ppm).

The NOEC concentration is the "No Observed Effects Concentration", and the timeperiod over which this particular test was performed was 96 hours for the minnows and 48 hours for the Daphnia.

----LC50----

It shows that the LC50 concentration for Fathead Minnows is 70.7mg/L (70.7ppm).

It shows that the LC50 concentration for Daphnia Pulex is 4.9mg/L (4.9ppm).

LC50 is the exposure level (concentration) at which 50% of the test subjects die. The time period over which the test was performed is not mentioned, but I think that 96 hours is pretty much a standard. I have seen that duration repeated quite often as I have read other MSDS sheets that show LC50 tests on fish.

Have a good one, Jeremy
 

Tom Barr

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Vaughn, that is a good routine for the treatment.

For BBA, I do not think it'd work if you went light, perhaps for some green algae.
For the rocks, filter items, anything up high, a spot of Excel is really good.
Or most any salt.

The BBA is pretty tough stuff.
It is tough to kill mildly without also killing some plant tissue.

The sodium percarbonate might not work, I do know it cleans the ponds really well of the green filamentous algae that's attached.

You should be able to see a change in 2-4 hours.
If not, it likely will not do much.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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jeremy v;30158 said:
Vaughn,

Here is an MSDS (from a U.S. source) that I found for sodium percarbonate. It is in .pdf form.

MSDS Sodium Percarbonate from Solvay Chemical

----NOEC----

It shows that the NOEC concentration for Fathead Minnows is 1.0mg/L (1.0ppm).
They used Daphnia Pulex as their test crustacean and their NOEC is 1.0mg/L (1.0ppm).

The NOEC concentration is the "No Observed Effects Concentration", and the timeperiod over which this particular test was performed was 96 hours for the minnows and 48 hours for the Daphnia.

----LC50----

It shows that the LC50 concentration for Fathead Minnows is 70.7mg/L (70.7ppm).

It shows that the LC50 concentration for Daphnia Pulex is 4.9mg/L (4.9ppm).

LC50 is the exposure level (concentration) at which 50% of the test subjects die. The time period over which the test was performed is not mentioned, but I think that 96 hours is pretty much a standard. I have seen that duration repeated quite often as I have read other MSDS sheets that show LC50 tests on fish.

Have a good one, Jeremy

Well, that does make my day! So, the NOEC concentration of 1 ppm for 96 hours, means that no fish deaths were observed at that concentration. That doesn't mean that 1.1 ppm would cause fish deaths, or even that 10 ppm would. It only means that 1 ppm didn't. Right? That's like me saying that 2 ounces of beer, after 96 hours doesn't muddle my brain.

The LC50 dose for the minnows of 70 ppm equates to 1.8 tablespoons per 100 gallons, so the 1.5 tablespoons per 100 gallon mentioned by Tom is less than that. And, my initial dose of .5 tsp per 35 gallons is about 30% of that, meaning I was far from the LC50 dose for that particular fish species. Still good news.
 

VaughnH

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Tom Barr;30159 said:
Vaughn, that is a good routine for the treatment.

For BBA, I do not think it'd work if you went light, perhaps for some green algae.
For the rocks, filter items, anything up high, a spot of Excel is really good.
Or most any salt.

The BBA is pretty tough stuff.
It is tough to kill mildly without also killing some plant tissue.

The sodium percarbonate might not work, I do know it cleans the ponds really well of the green filamentous algae that's attached.

You should be able to see a change in 2-4 hours.
If not, it likely will not do much.


Regards,
Tom Barr

I strongly suspect that you are right about the BBA, since I can see no sign that I did anything at all to the BBA. I will try it tomorrow in the obvious BBA on piping just to see if it will even make it turn reddish.

This looks like it will be a possible treatment when you just can't get rid of green thread or green brush type algae, or other algae that can virtually cover the carpet plants at times. But, not for any other algae that is hard to get rid of by other means.

If so, my next problem will be how to dispose of 4 pounds of a strong oxidizing chemical. I don't want to hand it out to others unless a really strong case is made for doing so, or unless it is to be used in a pond. It is scary stuff to use, and is just hazardous enough that keeping it on a shelf in the garage isn't a good idea.
 

tedr108

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A little pleco will keep BBA off of your driftwood, I'm sure. Tom is fond of rubber noses (bulldogs or Chaetostoma) from what I remember. I couldn't find a rubber nose, so got a clown pleco instead. Both of these species only get up to a few inches, tops.
 

VaughnH

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I didn't start this for any reason other than the ease of getting the stuff, the low cost, the interesting way it would work, and because I enjoy trying new things to see what I can learn. I have most of my BBA gone now, by pruning, spot dosing of Excel, jacking up the CO2 bubble rate, etc. In another couple of months I doubt that I will have any. And, if I were willing to work harder at it I probably could have eliminated it much sooner.

This has been a good learning experience - I had no idea there was any such chemical in existence, let alone what it might be able to be used for. So, I have no regrets about trying it.
 

Tom Barr

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I tried it on the staghorn.

I let it bubble for about 20 min first, then turned the flow back on.
I have rare plecos, rummy's and various other soft water fish and used 1 table spoon in 100 gallons of water.

You could see the product targeting the local area and sticking to the algae directly.
Nice.

However, I'm not sure how well it will work till later.
How long after treatment should we wait?
1-2-3 days?

It works very fast in lakes/ponds.

Vaughn, if you drop it off, I'll take it, a client with a pond uses it.
I'm still testing it, the plants out back had no damage(Java fern).

I'll give the product another try on the staghorn.
I think it's better for green algae it would seem.
Amazing what it does for attached algae in ponds.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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I tried it on the staghorn.

I let it bubble for about 20 min first, then turned the flow back on.
I have rare plecos, rummy's and various other soft water fish and used 1 table spoon in 100 gallons of water.

You could see the product targeting the local area and sticking to the algae directly.
Nice.

However, I'm not sure how well it will work till later.
How long after treatment should we wait?
1-2-3 days?

It works very fast in lakes/ponds.

Vaughn, if you drop it off, I'll take it, a client with a pond uses it.
I'm still testing it, the plants out back had no damage(Java fern).

I'll give the product another try on the staghorn.
I think it's better for green algae it would seem.
Amazing what it does for attached algae in ponds.

Bottom line however, does it work and have little side effects, no impacts on the non target organism, plants and critters.

I can vouch for the non targets, but not as of yet for the above about algae.
Still, it might affect green algae more than the reds.

So there's little conclusions to made just yet.
Still, we really do not want a sledgehammer to kill algae, we want a mild easy to use product that kills the algae a bit and does no harm to the plants.

But, the other issue, something I've long argued for going back to the APD days, good conditions for the plants addresses the root cause of algae. Still, folks will still play around with various items, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to do this one as well.

Excel is a pretty good temp solution for a number of algae, and perhaps this one might offer a better solution vs H2O2 and Excel, bleaching plants etc, as well as being very economical.

It does not appear to harm plants or fish, so it's worth a test to see if it might work.

Then we know rather than being the fearful myth driven emotional bunch so many(us as well many times- nobody is above that) appear to be.

Then come to some understanding about it before someone runs around claiming "a miracle". For ponds, it very well might be a miracle;)
We have far more control over our environment however than they do.
So that is where most of our energy ought to be spent.


Regards,
Tom Barr[/QUOTE]
 

VaughnH

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Tom Barr;30186 said:
I tried it on the staghorn.


Vaughn, if you drop it off, I'll take it, a client with a pond uses it.
I'm still testing it, the plants out back had no damage(Java fern).


Regards,
Tom Barr
I will try the stuff on BBA on flow pipes, near the water surface, today. If I get similar non-results I will drop it off at your house probably tomorrow. If it does kill BBA in those circumstances I may try it again on some more BBA deeper in the tank, probably on wood. In any case, I won't want to keep the stuff around for very long.
 

VaughnH

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Today I shut down the filter, the Koralia pump and the little powerhead that I use to chop up CO2, then pushed some of the water out the overflow, so it wouldn't overflow while I was dosing this stuff. I sprinkled it on the filter return fitting, and on the overflow fitting. Before starting the filter return fitting looked like:
IMG_2749.jpg


I used one tsp this time, and sprinkled it very heavily on the return fitting. The fizzing was much the same as the last time, and again the guppies tried to eat some of the fizz bubbles and the granules of percarbonate. After 20 minutes the fizzing had pretty well stopped, but the scum of white on the surface, which was largely, if not exclusively tiny bubbles covered most of the water surface. So, I restarted the filter and other circulating pumps. At 40 minutes, the filter return and overflow fitting looked like:
IMG_2750.jpg

IMG_2751.jpg


As you can see, the percarbonate didn't turn the BBA white or red, but green. It looked like it bleached out the colors that make it look black, leaving only chlorophyl green behind. No algae detached, and nothing floated to the surface other than bubbles.
 

Tom Barr

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I tried it on the hairy nasty staghorn algae on some erios.
Did nothing to the plants, seemed to turn the algae white, the algae is not doing well now.

Looks like it is not as good as it is on pond concrete etc, but it does not harm fish, plants etc.

However, perhaps several treatments, say 2-3 might work.
More trouble really than it's worth I think for the BBA.

Seems like it might take 2-3x and then wait a few weeks for it to fall off.

Still, the concept of an algicide that is spread over an area like this, a contact dry powder, has a certain appeal.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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It looks like a great idea...for ponds. And, in a fairly new setup, when we sometimes wake up to a tank full of assorted hair, thread, etc. green algae, perhaps it would be satisfying to sprinkle this over it and have it self destruct.

Now I'm thinking maybe making a superconducting magnet coil, big enough to go around the tank, then after chilling it thoroughly with liquid helium, give the algae a jolt of super magnetic field.:D Of course BBA would survive even that.
 

Gerryd

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Vaughn,

Now I'm thinking maybe making a superconducting magnet coil, big enough to go around the tank,

Didn't McGuyver make one out of a spare powerhead, a hose clamp, and a venturi in episode #34? lol