How do i make a sanitizing solution-DSM - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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How do i make a sanitizing solution-DSM

getting ready to start with DSM but first need to make everything as sterile as possible, didnt come up with much luck on the search bar for how to make a good solution to clean the tank and hardscape before i put in the substrate and plants. do i use bleach or peroxide solution? do i rinse it out ater i use the solution? how long do i let the solution sit before i wipe it off? might be overthinking things here just want to avoid mold as best i can.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 11:48 PM
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Both items you mention are oxidizers and will do the job. bleach is cheap while peroxide is not so much and I keep in mind that bleach has the chlorine that we normally find in tap water as it is deemed to be the most cost effective. The difference between bleach and tap water is how much we dilute the chlorine, so that leaves me using it for almost all my cleaning. The tricky part often comes in how much we want to dilute it as that depends on how much grunge we have to clean up! For a used tank where I don't know what has been in it, I often just go for pretty light like a half cup in a 55 and let it all set overnight, but then I also bought a house with tank that had a pleco carcass rotting away and I used half a jug on that one! So it takes a bit of guessing how much is enough without wasting the bleach?
I often let it soak for overnight, or until I get time to get back to the job but once the soak is done, it is treated the same in almost all cases. I drain the bleach water, watching where I put it. Not on my clothing, nor in the yard to kill the grass? Then I rinse the stuff to further dilute any mix hanging around and let it dry totally and as the gassing off is done, I no longer smell the bleach and treat the tank as I would a new one that I felt good about it being safe.
I do all the parts like the filter body, decor, and such at the same time, except I don't run any soft media that I want to keep through a really strong soak and I do watch for things which the bleach may take the color out of like rocks which I might want for the nice coloring as it may change when bleached.
Main item of worry? Have you seen the tie-dyed jeans with holes in them? If you don't want your jeans like that, keep the bleach off! Cheap, simple, no scent, no color bleach is good for this job.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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this is a new tank and hasnt been used before, it was sealed in a box but has been since taken out of box and setup. its still empty and id rather not have to fill it up and mix in bleach or peroxide. was wondering more along the lines of spraying everything down letting it sit for how long? and then wiping off, then do i need to go over and rinse it all out after i clean it even though im doing DSM.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 12:18 AM
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Okay, not so tough as what I had in mind? For a new tank, there may only be some light stuff and it doesn't really need too much as regular tap water will have some residual chlorine or chloramine left in it and that will do two things. First it will still work to kill most any bacteria, fungus, etc that would be a real problem and then if it is chlorine treated, we can just let it set and it gasses off, or if it is chloramine, we can use a dechlor product like Prime just like we would normally do things.
I'm not a DSM guy but I don't think of the tank as being a problem as much as the stuff which is normally just blowing around in the air!!!
Others should have much better detail on that process.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the insight rich! the airbourne stuff that may or may not be in there right now are what im concerned with taking care of. still not sure what dillution mix to make

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 04:27 AM
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A new tank doesn't really need to be sterilized, just rinsed to remove any dirt/dust.
For other sterilization of an empty tank, I'd suggest a 50/50 bleach/water solution in a spray bottle. Spray all interior surfaces taking care not to breath any fumes! Let sit for a few minutes, then rinse clean.


Edit: Having 'said' the above, I wash tanks (even daphnia bins) with dawn dish washing liquid and rinse well. Works great, never a problem. (oh, I know the hobby myth about not using soap but as long as you rinse well it's just fine.)
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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 02-11-2019 at 12:41 PM. Reason: update
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenIntentions View Post
this is a new tank and hasnt been used before, it was sealed in a box but has been since taken out of box and setup. its still empty and id rather not have to fill it up and mix in bleach or peroxide. was wondering more along the lines of spraying everything down letting it sit for how long? and then wiping off, then do i need to go over and rinse it all out after i clean it even though im doing DSM.
I have found the bleach may (and I stress may) leave residue if not rinsed thoroughly. Peroxide after a short time breaks down into H2O with an extra O. Water and an extra oxygen.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 02:57 PM
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I have found the bleach may (and I stress may) leave residue if not rinsed thoroughly. Peroxide after a short time breaks down into H2O with an extra O. Water and an extra oxygen.

Well true, rinsing is important, but any slight chlorine residue won't last long and since most would be using a dechlorinator water conditioner anyway, it's nearly a moot point.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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sounds liek peroxide may be the better option here. now for my next question what ratio should i make the soultion 1:9 for 10% or what would be best %

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 02:50 PM
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This is often where the idea of using bleach soaks gets into some pretty weird areas!
Maybe we need to drop back and look at what a bleach soak is compared to what most health groups recommend for sterilization. We use bleach to make water safe to drink and it is regulated to keep it between 3-10 PPM and that figures out to be something like a teaspoon of 5% chlorine bleach in 50 gallons. Of course this will vary depending on the quality of the water source. Water has dirt and debris mixed in and that means the amount of chlorine has to be adjusted to fit the water. So if that tiny amount is good for killing most of the things in drinking water where we don't expect to find snails, etc with hard shells, it may not be enough to do what we want in a tank cleaning. So the logical thing, since we do want to kill snails and we DON'T plan to drink the water is to bump the amount of chlorine used up higher. But that still takes a little thought, doesn't it? It doesn't mean we need to jump from a teaspoon in fifty to a quart or more! There will be some residue left if you use a quart of bleach but that is mostly the sodium which is used to keep the chlorine in the bleach until we open it to use. Those who have worked around pools and spas where chlorine is stored will know that chlorine is a gas by nature and it will gas off out of the chlorine supply to rust everything nearby, if you don't keep it closed really tight.
So, while it is true that you may get some residue if you use a quart of bleach, the amount of sodium left if we use a cup or left is not going to be anything to worry about and the chlorine is certain to gas off as soon as it is open to the air!
Another way to think of it? If bleach is 5% sodium hypochlorite mixed in a whole bunch of water and we use a cup of bleach, how much actual sodium is left? The answer of how much is sodium and how much is chlorine is open but even if it was ALL sodium, you get 5/100 of a cup full at the very worst!
So, the question becomes, how much do you worry about 5/100 of a cup of salt residue left in the tank? Don't we often use more like a half cup of salt to treat ich? Maybe instead of looking at it as a problem, we could just look at it as a very light treatment for ich? Or we could just do a rinse to remove the salt if it really worries us!
You may have that much detergent residue on the dishes you use for breakfast!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 06:56 PM
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Peroxide you buy in the store is already only a 3% solution. use it straight up no dilution. I have seen it as high as 15% and the highest I've ever seen is 35%. But that is laboratory use if I recall.
Chlorine bleach regular strength is 5% chlorine.

I sometimes use chlorine without diluting. Just found out it is not as potent as when diluted. Never knew that.

Hey Rich, thanks. At least now, since you tied my hands behind my back and made me go research it I did see where it breaks down to salt and water.

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