Got 2% Fat Free Milk? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Got 2% Fat Free Milk?

So, yesterday my niece (3 years old) and my daughter (1 year 4 month old) decided to do a little experiment of their own on my 75 planted tank.
(Keep in mind this all happened when I went to take a quick bathroom break)

They each had their bottle of milk with them and decided the "fishes were hungry" according to my niece. She said "Uncle, fishes not hungry now" and my daughter said "fishies" as I walked out of the bathroom door. I was like what? As I turned my head to look at the fish tank, in my head I was like OMG!!! The tank looked as if the bacteria's in the tank has gone on a strike. It was fairly milky!!

So long story short.... I had to change out 90% of the water. After refilling it, you can still tell there had been an accident in there ROFL. I ended up telling the girls that only daddy/uncle can feed the fishes because only I can speak their language and they can tell me when they are hungry or not. My wife and I laughed so hard after the fact. (Probably worst lie ever in my life.. but I couldn't come up with anything at the time.)

Anyhow..... Since I am still new to planted tanks as well. My question is: Do plants/fishes need milk? (JUST KIDDING Hahahah)

My real questions are:
1) What steps should someone take in a situation like this? (Whether it be milk, pop, beer...etc)
2) What effects can milk cause to plants and/or fish?


Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 06:33 PM
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Was it organic or conventional?

I think what you did is perfect, but I would think it might have changed your PH a bit with the calcium in the milk.

I think your fine though because you caught it in time. You could run some carbon to remove any D.O.C.'s
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 06:35 PM
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Yes, big water change + run some activated carbon for a few days.
Calcium does not change pH.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, glad I was there too...otherwise I don't know what would of happen to the tank and it's inhabitants.

It was conventional milk. Okay.. so water change and active carbon - got it! I don't have any active carbon and I run a canister filter. If I run my older HOB filter with the active carbon in it for a few days.. will that be sufficient?

What is D.O.C ? Also just so I am understanding this correctly. Adding in the active carbon is meant to do the following: 1)clear up the water 2)remove any odors ? Or am I completely lost here.

Thanks for the quick replies.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 09:11 PM
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D. O. C. is "dissolved organic compounds" or "dissolved organic carbon". Or "depth of cut" if you're on the Home Shop Machinist thread. I wish people would use fewer acronyms.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 09:45 PM
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Activated carbon will attract the remnants of the milk. Yes, it is good for removing odors, too.
Activated carbon attracts many, many molecules, especially molecules that include carbon, but also many that do not.

And, yes, it is just fine to add the HOB stuffed with carbon instead of opening the canister to add it. The AC will get full in just a few days. I would run it for a week, then toss it.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 10:12 PM
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Smile Well... per cup

Hi,

Obviously, it was a good thing you were there… And, when in doubt a water change is always a good idea.

The milk would have to be thick enough to clog fish gills to be an immediate threat. My guess would be 8-gallons plus of milk in 63-gallons of water (12-15% milk, assuming a standard 75-gallon tank setup) would constitute an immediate threat to the fish. Potential changes in pH and Osmotic pressures present a longer term threat at higher dosages of milk.

Arguably, the milk would be beneficial to the plants.

Assuming for the moment the total 2% milk added was about a cup, call it 240-ml to 63-gallons of water, call it 240-liters (kinda makes the arithmetic easy) the kids added about:
  • 51-ppm C₆H₁₂O₆,
  • 34.8-ppm protein
  • 20-ppm fat,
  • 6.2-ppm K⁺,
  • 1.2-ppm Ca⁺⁺,
  • 2.9-ppm PO4⁻,
  • 0.42-ppm Na⁺,
  • Bunch of trace stuff, none bad

While not devastating, the sugar, fat and proteins are the problem, the little beasties would love the sugar the protein and fats will be broken down, if you have excess capacity, your biological filtration should produce something in excess of 55-ppm Nitrates, though depending on your plants and water pH a good bit may be consumed as ammonium.

  • As pH (and temperature), increase the risk of ammonia poisoning, increases.

The real problem is there is not likely to be that much biologic filtration reserve. The result becomes higher levels of total organic carbon (TOC); often this is measured as chemical oxygen demand (COD) or biological oxygen demand (BOD), though technically not the same, for our purposes pretty much interchangeable.

As a down and dirty check on this, I recruited a couple of sunset platys, Xiphophorus maculatus, a few pond snails and some water wisteria, Hygrophila difformis for a little time in a 7% 2% milk in solution with aquarium water. Two hours in the solution and now in a quarantine tank no one seems the worst for wear, but I will keep an eye on them for a couple of weeks to see.

Respectfully,
Joe
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Last edited by JoeRoun; 12-04-2014 at 12:34 AM. Reason: wear not where
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Plantastic - thanks for the suggestion.
ZillionGuppies and Diana - Thanks for explaining - much appreciated!
Joe's reply was truly amazing even though it went over my head a little eheheh. Would be interested to see the result of your experiment.

Thanks for the feed back everyone. I found the replies very useful and interesting.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRoun View Post
Hi,

Obviously, it was a good thing you were there… And, when in doubt a water change is always a good idea.

The milk would have to be thick enough to clog fish gills to be an immediate threat. My guess would be 8-gallons plus of milk in 63-gallons of water (12-15% milk, assuming a standard 75-gallon tank setup) would constitute an immediate threat to the fish. Potential changes in pH and Osmotic pressures present a longer term threat at higher dosages of milk.

Arguably, the milk would be beneficial to the plants.

Assuming for the moment the total 2% milk added was about a cup, call it 240-ml to 63-gallons of water, call it 240-liters (kinda makes the arithmetic easy) the kids added about:
  • 51-ppm C6H12O,
  • 34.8-ppm protein
  • 20-ppm fat,
  • 6.2-ppm K+,
  • 1.2-ppm Ca++,
  • 2.9-ppm PO4-,
  • 0.42-ppm Na+,
  • Bunch of trace stuff, none bad

While not devastating, the sugar, fat and proteins are the problem, the little beasties would love the sugar the protein and fats will be broken down, if you have excess capacity, your biological filtration should produce something in excess of 55-ppm Nitrates, though depending on your plants and water pH a good bit may be consumed as ammonium.

  • As pH (and temperature), increase the risk of ammonia poisoning, increases.

The real problem is there is not likely to be that much biologic filtration reserve. The result becomes higher levels of total organic carbon (TOC); often this is measured as chemical oxygen demand (COD) or biological oxygen demand (BOD), though technically not the same, for our purposes pretty much interchangeable.

As a down and dirty check on this, I recruited a couple of sunset platys, Xiphophorus maculatus, a few pond snails and some water wisteria, Hygrophila difformis for a little time in a 7% 2% milk in solution with aquarium water. Two hours in the solution and now in a quarantine tank no one seems the worst for wear, but I will keep an eye on them for a couple of weeks to see.

Respectfully,
Joe
FBTB
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRoun View Post
Hi,

Obviously, it was a good thing you were there… And, when in doubt a water change is always a good idea.

The milk would have to be thick enough to clog fish gills to be an immediate threat. My guess would be 8-gallons plus of milk in 63-gallons of water (12-15% milk, assuming a standard 75-gallon tank setup) would constitute an immediate threat to the fish. Potential changes in pH and Osmotic pressures present a longer term threat at higher dosages of milk.

Arguably, the milk would be beneficial to the plants.

Assuming for the moment the total 2% milk added was about a cup, call it 240-ml to 63-gallons of water, call it 240-liters (kinda makes the arithmetic easy) the kids added about:
  • 51-ppm C6H12O,
  • 34.8-ppm protein
  • 20-ppm fat,
  • 6.2-ppm K+,
  • 1.2-ppm Ca++,
  • 2.9-ppm PO4-,
  • 0.42-ppm Na+,
  • Bunch of trace stuff, none bad

While not devastating, the sugar, fat and proteins are the problem, the little beasties would love the sugar the protein and fats will be broken down, if you have excess capacity, your biological filtration should produce something in excess of 55-ppm Nitrates, though depending on your plants and water pH a good bit may be consumed as ammonium.

  • As pH (and temperature), increase the risk of ammonia poisoning, increases.

The real problem is there is not likely to be that much biologic filtration reserve. The result becomes higher levels of total organic carbon (TOC); often this is measured as chemical oxygen demand (COD) or biological oxygen demand (BOD), though technically not the same, for our purposes pretty much interchangeable.

As a down and dirty check on this, I recruited a couple of sunset platys, Xiphophorus maculatus, a few pond snails and some water wisteria, Hygrophila difformis for a little time in a 7% 2% milk in solution with aquarium water. Two hours in the solution and now in a quarantine tank no one seems the worst for wear, but I will keep an eye on them for a couple of weeks to see.

Respectfully,
Joe
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Nice post, and good luck on your experiment!

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 01:38 PM
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Indeed. JoeRoun, thanks for taking the time to write out that estimate and explanation. You are an asset to the forum!

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The coolest fish I've ever owned were some fish sticks in my freezer.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-22-2014, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Yes, big water change + run some activated carbon for a few days.
Calcium does not change pH.
I was thinking of how it interacts with Alk which might affect the PH but could very well be wrong.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-22-2014, 11:15 AM
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Good thing it wasn't chocolate milk.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-22-2014, 01:07 PM
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2%? Kids that drink REAL milk wouldn't do that. LOL
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-22-2014, 01:17 PM
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The harm would have been leaving it in the system for bacteria to capitalize on the excess protein and sugar, resulting in an oxygen shock.

the milk itself isnt very harmful to anything in the tank, but in that dilution it would have been bad in a day or two imo

wanna see a ten thousand dollar reef aquarium that has milk put into it? google it, I thought that was a trip. milkfish lol,but he uses very small amounts....still, ya didnt know people actually put milk in their tanks till now so good fun that is lol.
couple bottles full of milk in the tank was a bacterial risk on day 2
the water change was ideal, do a 90% even when you dont have milk every year or two, and carbon was spot on call. its not the worst thing to be put into a tank. id pick that over any juice or tapwater for things in the tank delayed a bit until I could change water.

small old reef tank:

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