Metricide--Help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Metricide--Help!

So sometimes it is better not to have "help". My friend added the activator to my new quart of Metricide 14. Can I still use it in my tanks or do I have to throw it out? I have read tons of posts about Metricide vs. Excel. People mention not using the activator but don't say why or what it really is. I obviously do not want to risk any of my fish or plants. Does it just change how long it is effective? I know the 14 refers to the number of days the Metricide is good after the activator is added but as we don't use it for its intended purpose I wasn't sure if this mattered either.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 10:07 PM
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Hi Soxfandowd,

I believe the activator that comes with the Metricide 14 is a powder; is that correct?

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 10:22 PM
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http://www.metrex.com/sites/default/files/content/education-file/education-file-upload/msds-us-en-metricide-powder-activator.pdf

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 10:25 PM
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did a quick google search for metricide and found a thread from 5 years ago - here's a piece of one post on that thread . . . you might want to toss your stuff VERY carefully!

We consulted with our chemist in regard to your email and
this was his response:

"First, I should tell you that Flourish Excel is not a 1.7
per cent glutaraldehyde solution.

Second, the "-cide" portion of the name "Metracide"
indicates it kills living organisms. That is why Metracide
is sold in the first place. If it were sold as an additive
for aquariums, I'm sure that the strength would be
adjusted to achieve the desired goal of enhancing plant
growth. As it is, it has the strength to kill microbes.
This means that it should be diluted, and carefully.
(Glutaraldehyde does real damage to the eyes, so I would
wear safety goggles.)

Remember that glutaraldehyde is a reducing agent. The
activator that comes with Metracide sounds like an agent
to increase the reducing ability of the glutaraldehyde. I
would most certainly avoid that. But it makes me wonder if
there is something other than water in the inactive
ingredients list, perhaps a buffer to help the activator
work better.

As a general rule, it is a good idea to wear gloves, and
to make sure that glutaraldehyde doesn't come in contact
with skin. Some chemicals are sensitizers, meaning that
repeated exposure to the chemical can cause a person to
break out in a rash, or worse. Glutaraldehyde is such a
chemical. I copied this from the OSHA (Department of
Labor) website:

"Long-term (chronic) effects: Glutaraldehyde is a
sensitizer. This means some workers will become very
sensitive to glutaraldehyde and have strong reactions if
they are exposed to even small amounts. Workers may get
sudden asthma attacks with difficult breathing, wheezing,
coughing, and tightness in the chest. Prolonged exposure
can cause a skin allergy and chronic eczema, and
afterwards, exposure to small amounts produces severe
itching and skin rashes. It has been implicated as a
possible cause of occupational asthma."

The stronger the solution of glutaraldehyde, the greater
the chance of acquiring a chemical sensitivity. For the
record, somewhere in my 35 years of working in the
chemical industry I picked up a sensitivity to
glutaraldehyde. I also use Flourish Excel in both my
planted tanks, with no adverse reaction.

To play it safe, I would recommend continuing to use
Flourish Excel, and not substituting something that was
designed to do something other than deliver organic carbon
to plants. Of course, I work for Seachem, so you would
expect me to say that. But we develop our products with
the hobbyist, and not the hospital, in mind. Flourish
Excel is safe when used according to directions. It does
not have to be diluted. You don't have to worry about
developing chemical sensitivities. We do recommend that
you keep it out of your eyes, a good recommendation for
all our products."

I hope this information was helpful and please let us know
if you have any additional questions. Have a wonderful
day!

Seachem Support 100215

Bump: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1019513-post1.html

here's the url to the original thread from 2010

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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yes it is.

Bump: I read that as well but the warnings and the msds are the same for Excel. I have been reading how to dispose of it as well. The claim it can go out with the septic waste.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 10:52 PM
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So I have a bottle which has not been cracked open yet.
So you are saying DO NOT USE the activator in it ?
I have only been using 2 ml of Excel in my tanks daily. I am close to running out.
But the Excel in a store cost $15.97 per 500ml.
The glute cost $12.50 per quart so I got that since so many recommend it.
But none of them said anything about the activator.
I have not added the activator so far. But have not used the Glute either.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Everything I have read in past posts said not to use the activator. I wasn't intending to either but.....
That being said I don't know what the activator actually is and whether it is safe or not. I have PM'd Hoppy as I know he has used Metricide for a long time and he may know. I will keep you updated.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soxfandowd View Post
Everything I have read in past posts said not to use the activator. I wasn't intending to either but.....
That being said I don't know what the activator actually is and whether it is safe or not. I have PM'd Hoppy as I know he has used Metricide for a long time and he may know. I will keep you updated.
I've used metricide for a long while, it works great for killing algae. I've never added the activator, it appears to contain inorganic phosphates. Its going to mostly raise the PO4 in your tank depending on the dose and how often. Also the MSDS says that some rainbow trout were exposed to a 100mg of the activator and half of the fish died in 96 hours.


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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According to Hoppy it should not be used!

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by greaser84 View Post
I've used metricide for a long while, it works great for killing algae. I've never added the activator, it appears to contain inorganic phosphates. Its going to mostly raise the PO4 in your tank depending on the dose and how often. Also the MSDS says that some rainbow trout were exposed to a 100mg of the activator and half of the fish died in 96 hours.
I saw that in your last post. I wasn't as worried about the phosphate as I was by the other unknown ingredients.....
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 08:52 PM
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I doubt that Metricide is exactly the same as Excel, even without the activator. But, many, many planted tank keepers have been using it, either straight from the bottle or diluted with some water, for several years. So far I don't think I have read of anyone who had problems doing this. I've been using it, undiluted, dosed at 10 ml for 50+ gallons of water, for almost a year now, and I get it on my fingers just as I did with Excel, but nothing bad has happened. My plants have made it clear to me that they want me to keep using it. I plan to do so. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015TDIOU?
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 10:37 PM
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I have kept up/w this thread and I have just found that I may have complicated this
issue for myself. I kept reading Metricide 14 and just went and read the label on my bottle and it is Metricide 28. It says 2.5% glutaraldehyde. So is this the same thing
or have I just bought something that I can't use?

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
I have kept up/w this thread and I have just found that I may have complicated this
issue for myself. I kept reading Metricide 14 and just went and read the label on my bottle and it is Metricide 28. It says 2.5% glutaraldehyde. So is this the same thing
or have I just bought something that I can't use?
I don't no the difference between the 2, my metricide 14 says 2.6 glut. I've been adding 3ml in a 40B for a while now. I've noticed not adding it I get a little more green dust/gsa
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 03:44 PM
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I've been using metricide 6ml in a 40 for a while now and I think it's helped with BBA. I posted some pics of BBA once and everyone said it was dying (reddish) so it has to be the metricide. I don't think Excel worked for that when I was using that at double dose.


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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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I thought I read that the 28 has something else in it. Grrrr can't remember where I read it or what the added ingredient was. Phosphate, surfactant??? I just remember that it made the Metricide last 28 days rather than 14. I don't know if this is in the actual glut or in the additive that we've all learned not to add anyways.....
Sorry not much help....
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-29-2016, 06:58 PM
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Hate to bring up a dated thread... I just purchased some and wanted to know if anyone keeps a smaller portion in a separate bottle. If so, can I use any bottle, or do I need something special? I believe a read once that excel needed a dark bottle.

Thanks!
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