My gluteraldehyde overdose experience - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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My gluteraldehyde overdose experience

I figured I would let you know of my recent experience with a gluteraldehyde (Excel substitute) overdose. I have been battling BBA in my tank due to the absence of CO2 for a 2-3 week period. I decided to make up a 4.5% gluteraldehyde solution from 25% stock. I started dosing 2mL a day, which is roughly equal to a double dose of Excel (assuming Excel has a 1.5% gluteraldehyde concentration). When I didn't see any immediate results, I slowly upped the dosage to 3mL (3X Excel dose).

Still nothing, so I got frustrated a week later and dosed 5mL one day, equal to a 5X Excel dose. I left for work and come home to a nice, sticky kind of froth on the top of the tank. My fish were acting erratic, almost like a CO2 overdose, gasping at the surface. I immediately did a 75% WC to reduce the gluteraldehyde concentration in the tank.

That was a week ago, and my tank is still looking horrible, with melted stems and such. Overall, I lost 1 tiger barb, and probably permanently injured the other fish in the tank (peppered cories, otos, and BN pleco). My Hygrophila corymbosa took the biggest hit, with almost every single leaf melting off (probably 75% loss). The wisteria was also hit hard, I estimate 60% loss. Brazilian pennywort is just now showing the effects, where 25% of leaves have melted. Rotala was a 100% loss, but wasn't that healthy to begin with, so I cant blame it solely on the overdose. Bacopa looks to be a roughly 40% loss. My Amazon swords have shown no ill effects thus far. Almost all of my floaters (giant duckweed, red root floater) died or started to brown. BBA has not reduced significantly, so the only damage I did was to my plants and livestock.

I guess this is just a warning to others out there to not be impatient and do something stupid like I did. I really should have known better, as I have worked with gluteraldehyde extensively in my research. Once I get the tank healthy again I will dose 2X max to beat back the residual BBA.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 02:45 PM
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is this possibly metricide we're talking about?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 02:46 PM
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Hi h2oaggie,

Sorry to hear about your experience. I too use Glut; mix it to 1.5%; and dose at 2X the recommended Daily dosage. It takes a couple of weeks, but the BBA will die. I also find an SAE helps the control process. Although SAE have trouble eating the BBA when it is healthy, they love to graze on the BBA that has been weakened by the Excel / Glut.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, the active ingredient in Metricide is gluteraldehyde. I simply made the 4.5% solution I used from 25% lab grade gluteraldehyde stock I use at work.

And I will be the first to admit this was a stupid mistake based on frustration, I just want to warn others that 5X overdose is not healthy (though it would seem to be pretty obvious).
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 04:49 PM
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It's safer to spot treat every week. Measure out the appropriate dosage and apply directly at the algae with filters off for 30 minutes. It will die off within a week. Don't worry if you can't treat all of the BBA, it's not going anywhere.

If it's on plants, trim the plants. If it's on equipments, remove the the equipments and bleach dip it. Spot treat where you can't remove like rocks and driftwood.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
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It's safer to spot treat every week. Measure out the appropriate dosage and apply directly at the algae with filters off for 30 minutes. It will die off within a week. Don't worry if you can't treat all of the BBA, it's not going anywhere.

If it's on plants, trim the plants. If it's on equipments, remove the the equipments and bleach dip it. Spot treat where you can't remove like rocks and driftwood.
Agreed! I used this method to kill BBA, Staghorn and used H202 to kill Clado.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 08:09 PM
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I thought CO2 at high levels would reduce BBA production and then you did the rest manual, like bleach dip stone, wood, etc., then trim out leaves, etc.

I have green water right now and a burnt out UV bulb, but someone recommended Excel at a rate of 3, but I really am not sure if this helps GW. I did a 50% WC, light for a couple hours in the morning and the same at night, added circulation pumps for added O2and it is lighter (I can see the back of the tank) but I'm really scared to try the Excel after this post. Also the bottle require a first dose of 5 ml per 10 gallons for the first day and 5 ml per 50 gallons there after, so I would just triple that for a week to 10 days???

I have seen no mention of Excel and GW at any algae site or blog.

BTW what is Metricide made for and where can you buy it???


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 08:13 PM
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Nevermind

High-Level Disinfectant and Sterilant
MetriCide is a 2.6% buffered glutaraldehyde that can be used and reused as a sterilant and high-level disinfectant on immersible, lensed and delicate instruments for up to 14 days.

Found this on the web, but if it's a 2.6% solution how did you make it 4.5% or it come in different strenths.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 09:59 PM
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Nevermind

High-Level Disinfectant and Sterilant
MetriCide is a 2.6% buffered glutaraldehyde that can be used and reused as a sterilant and high-level disinfectant on immersible, lensed and delicate instruments for up to 14 days.

Found this on the web, but if it's a 2.6% solution how did you make it 4.5% or it come in different strenths.

He said he used his lab's stock gluteraldehyde. It's 25% generally they come in big glass jars or ampoules at that concentration and higher. Higher concentration glut takes a special lab institution permit. We use it to fix samples and sterilize stuff in the lab ourselves.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2011, 09:28 PM
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It isn't a great idea for untrained people to play with gluteraldehyde. That stuff is dangerous to your health. People do it and get away with it, but people play Russian Roulette too, and get away with it.

Hoppy
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2011, 10:21 PM
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I purchased a gallon of 25%
Well ventilated exterior mixing area with a fan at my back, wearing rubber chemical gloves and safety glasses.
Setting the ratio to mix at Excel like levels. (1.5%) Any higher consentration and you risk your health.
I have enough to dose like a zillion gallons of tank water but use EXTREME care handling the 25%.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2011, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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It isn't a great idea for untrained people to play with gluteraldehyde. That stuff is dangerous to your health. People do it and get away with it, but people play Russian Roulette too, and get away with it.
Just want to say that this is certainly true. I have been working with the chemical for several years and everything is done under a proper fume hood while wearing chemical resistant gloves. I would never mess with the highly concentrated stuff without access to a dedicated lab space with the proper precautions.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2011, 11:27 PM
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We use it at the hospital for cleaning/sterilizing endoscopes and bronchoscopes. Nasty stuff.

Steve


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