Three 'chemicals' you can use to solve certain problems --- with some caution.

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
1. white vinegar. DOesn't need rinsing. You can use it to clean pumps without worry that the pump may have some left in it. It's acidic, but the tank self-corrects. Run a pump in pure white vinegar. Cleans out all disposits. Will also clean your bathroom faucet of that white deposit. (Calcium carbonate.) WHen you see a white-caked second-hand tank, vinegar can solve that problem overnight.

It's also used in 'carbon-dosing', qv, which feeds bacteria. Never, however, dump it or the alternative (vodka) into your tank because you heard some people do it, or you can do serious damage, even kill your tank, not to mention getting one massive bacterial bloom of gunky white stuff. There is a precise CHART for that dose, which is not for new tanks. It will be something you may want to research for a later time, just to know about it, and undertake it only with great caution.

2. bleach. Ordinary Clorox in a dose of 1/4 Chlorox to 3/4 water can be used to sterilize equipment outside your tank, in case of disease. The product 'Prime' can then be used to remove chlorine. It can also take that nasty smell off your hands. Chlorox is however, dangerous, can bleach or burn a hole in your clothes if it splashes on you. So don't let it near your tank, and don't have it on your hands when you reach into your tank.

3. hydrogen peroxide. Where water is H2O, hydrogen peroxide is H2O2. Meaning it's got extra oxygen (the -per- prefix) . This stuff can kill. Be careful with it. But it also will sterilize equipment and is safer than bleach. To kill a caulerpa clump that had turned up on a removeable rock, eg, I extracted the rock, scrubbed off the pest algae with a toothbrush, dipped the affected area of the rock into a bowl of 3% hydrogen peroxide for 30 seconds, then dipped the area into a bowl of discard tank water to rinse most of it off. I then replaced the rock in the tank, where it continued to bubble pure oxygen for about 30 minutes...I have no delicate coral near its bubbling, so that was ok. Otherwise it should have gone to the sump to recover. I put the piece bad-side-down into the sand and have had no recurrence. It could not kill the bacteria INSIDE the rock because nothing can soak very deep into a rock in 30 seconds.
Again, use your head, be cautious, observe precautions, follow directions. It will kill caulerpa. It will kill xenia. Might it kill aiptasia? Dunno. Might it kill hydroids? Dunno. But it sure did a number on the unwanted algae.

I cannot emphasize enough---if you are going to use a chemical treatment---be careful, be cautious, read instructions, and ask before doing it. Have a plan in mind and do not get rattled and do anything in haste. Above all: read the instructions and do not do it near delicates.
 
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toothybugs

New member
Side note: in a pinch, if you can't find (or afford) enough Prime or other dechlorinator, H2O2 neutralizes clorox in a ratio of 1 molecule to 1 molecule, and gives you table salt in a water solution which means that its safe for a saltwater application with no harsh leftovers. Use only enough until it juuuust stops bubbling (don't worry, that's just O2 - oxygen gas - not chlorine gas like it would be if you used an acid to neutralize the bleach). And it doesn't stink like sulfur if the smell of Prime happens to bother you.

However, the same rules apply to neutralizing bleach with H2O2 as if you were using H2O2 on its own for some other purpose.
 

Ron Reefman

New member
Sk8r, RC needs to take all these bits and pieces you post up (that will get lost in time) and put them together in a single thread and sticky it so it's easy to find. Even I find tid-bits in your post that are useful... or that I had forgotten!

Good job.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
SOrry.---good call. 3%. Same that is called 'topical' or treatment for minor injuries. Just don't try to dilute it.
 
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jason2459

Premium Member
Another useful chemical for a new setup:

When setting up a new tank and you just got some nice white "clean" dry rock it's most like chock full of phosphates. Lanthanum chloride can be your friend. Get a bucket/tub/vat of some kind to place your rocks in. You can even use saltwater to start cycling the rocks and making them live rock also called curing them. But during this time use some Lanthanum Chloride to pull out the PO4. This will reduce the amount that is leached into your tank. I found out long ago dry rock doesn't mean free from troubles. I started with some pukani dry rock before it was well known to be full of phosphates. Spent a good year battling high PO4 and algae of all types. It was fun and a learning experience.

Some people may use a Muriatic acid bath first to strip off the top layer of any organics BUT be very careful with muriatic acid. It can be found at a hardware store usually around paint thinners. Again be very very careful. Do not get it on your skin, eyes, lungs, etc. If you are not comfortable with this step skip it. There's also been reports if done wrong will dissolve more of your rock then you wanted.

Lanthanum Chloride is a fairly safe chemical to use. I bought a bottle from a pool store and made sure it was just Lanthanum Chloride in it via an msds sheet for the product. However it may be safe for your rocks but it may not be safe for everything in your tank so don't just start dumping it in your tanks thinking it will get rid of your PO4 problems safely. It can and will strip out PO4 very very effectively with just a little LC which is actually not good for your tanks. You don't want to strip out to much to fast as it can actually stress things in your tank like corals. I have used it in a tank with extremely high PO4 just to slowly bring it down to a level that GFO could then handle effectively. I also used a 1 micron or better filter to remove the precipitation. This precipitation can also cause damage to filter feeders and fish gills. SO BE VERY CAREFUL with dosing it to your tank. It's cheap and effective but does bring risk compared to something like GFO.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Hydrogen peroxide as a dip WILL take care of problem algae and xenia, possibly an infestation of aiptasia, majanos, or hydroids. I haven't had the chance to experiment on those. The method I used on the xenia, which were growing like wildfire, but still confined to one rock---was a scrubdown with a toothbrush, rinse of that area of the rock in tapwater straight from the kitchen tap, immersion of that side of the rock in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide, a dip of same area into a bowl of discard tank water, then replacement in the tank, problem side down. Worked 100%. If you EVER have xenia or caulerpa algae get started on a single rock, and need to kill it definitively, this is definitely the method. As Sugar Magnolia says, if you've got a small syringe and can inject a problem with a very small quantity in situ [where it is, in your tank], it's not going to hurt your tank.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
[ Cleaning filter socks. I throw 2 or 3 old ratty towels into the washing machine with filter sock with no soap, and it works to get another water to really give the filter socks a scrubbing. ]
 
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