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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My 180g dirt bottom planted aquarium has been cycling for about 3 weeks now. IT HAS NO FISH IN IT!

Although I have other aquariums and plenty of mature bio media to harvest I opted to do go for a slow startup. When building the dirt bottom of the 180 I used a fair bit of dirt out of our mature (several years old) 35g planted tank to supply some starting bacteria to the dirt. I added mechanical filter media (sponges and floss) squeezings as well as a large sponge filter from another tank to introduce some nitrifying bacteria. Water tests showed that my 180 was fish worthy after about 9 days. Household ammonia added to the tank disappeared in about a single day and Nitrate levels went up. I never had any significant nitrite readings.

I went whole hog on the dirt for the 180. I used Miracle grow potting soil, Mississippi red clay, crushed red lava rock (from my driveway), volcanic soil (from my back yard), Aragonite sand, Sphagnum peat-moss, Azomite for trace minerals, Dolomite Lime, Potash, horticultural carbon, Medium (~6mm) gravel, Amazonia soil, Amazonia powdered soil and a little black blasting sand. The deepest substrate is about 5" (about a single inch deeper than our 5yo 35g planted tank). I put the most active materials on the bottom and built up with a layer of the horticultural carbon as a buffer between the more active and less active ingredients. I chose a darker medium river gravel as my cap layer and sprinkled the Amazonia, Amazonia powder and black blasting sand on top of the gravel to give the plants a bit finer top layer to grab onto. These ingredients kind of fell into the gaps between the medium gravel.

Before filling the 180g I planted it pretty heavily with Dwarf Hair Grass, S ripens, Ludwigia Repens , Amazon swords, miniature Anubias and a couple others. In a lot of places I had to add some little piles of Amazonia soil to keep the Dwarf hairgrass in place.

I immediately started blasting the poor tank with very high light for about 14 hours a day and VERY heavy CO2. I am using a fan type powerhead to push a good amount of circulation through the tank. I am trying to keep the temperature around 76-80 degrees F. Within 3 days I had an expected brown algae (diatoms actually) powdery layer on everything including the plants. After another couple of days I had green string algae starting to develop. I added a cleaning crew of a couple dozen rams horn snails. After another day the green powder algae started to develop on the walls of the tank.

EDIT: "The first thing I did was throw out the activator that came with the Metricide 28! It should not be used in an aquarium. I chose Metricide 28 because the commonly recommended Metriside 14 was not available."

At this point I added the first dose of Metricide, 2ml. I waited 2 days and the algae was thicker.

I added 10ml of Metricide. After two more days the green string algae was getting a pretty good hold on the tank.

I did a 100% water change then added 25ml of Metricide. After 2 more days the brown algae (diatoms) seemed to not be getting any thicker. The Ludwigia Repens were pearling heavily and seemed to grow very vivid new growth of about an inch in 2 days. The s ripens weren't doing much. I started knocking off the diatoms from the Dwarf Hair grass with a stick.

I added 50ml of Metricide. In the next two days the green algae seemed to be leveling off a bit. The rams horn snails were growing noticeably on the algae rich tank. The s ripens and Anubias seemed to start taking hold and showing the first signs of new growth buds. The Ludwigia Repens grew at least another inch. So I let the tank brew for a couple more days at which the green string algae wasn't growing or spreading a lot but wasn't disappearing.

I did another 100% water change and added 100ml of Metricide. In 2 days the green string algae was starting to turn brown. The rams horn snails laid egg clusters all over the sides of the aquarium and the first signs of life from the Dwarf hair grass appeared.

I add 50ml more Metricide and let the tank sit another 2 days doing nothing but knocking off dyeing algae and diatoms from the plants and rocks which brings me to today. The tank is noticeably clear of algae. The snails are even bigger. The Dwarf Hairgrass is starting to send out some runners and new blades are popping up close to where they were originally planted. The Ludwigia Repens have doubled in size. The Anubias is starting to put out new leaves. The S Ripens is adding several new leaves and growing (It seems to be growing up instead of spreading). The Amazon swords have shed most all of their original leaves and have a healthy growth of new leaves. The clear rams horn snail egg clusters are starting to develop little black spots. My DE filter is noticeably plugged and starting to slow down even after regenerating the existing DE... I think I am going to have to change the DE.

I have about 3/4ths of the tank hardscaped and planted. I had a little setback when my rotary hammer died and I was no longer able to make cap rocks for the bottom returns. When the new motor brushes come in next week I will finish drilling the basalt rocks to be return diffusers and finish up the hardscape and the planting. I am hoping to add fish in another week or two.

My take (you are welcome to come to your own conclusions) is heavily dosing Metricid is effective at killing off Green string Algae and Green powder Algae. Rams horn snail seem oblivious to the heavy concentration of Metricide as do the plants. I am a definite believer in bringing up a new planted tank and holding off on adding fish until the inevitable algae battles are mostly over with. I am also a very big fan of Rams horn snails!
 

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What is the strength of your Metricide. Without knowing the ppm of Glutaldehyde you are dosing, your narrative is meaningless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
What is the strength of your Metricide. Without knowing the ppm of Glutaldehyde you are dosing, your narrative is meaningless.
MetriCide 28 is a 2.5% glutaraldehyde concentration --which is what I am using
MetriCide 14 is a 2.6% glutaraldehyde concentration

EDIT: Apparently Seachem has changed the concentration of glutaraldehyde in their Excel product to 2.6% and the following is no longer correct.
Seachem Excel
contains a concentration of 1.5% glutaraldehyde.

So Metricide 28 is 1.67 times stronger than Excel.
Metricide 14 is 1.73 times stronger than Excel.

My tank is 180g. My sump is 55g. I estimate my total actual water volume to be about 200g.
 

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You shouldn't use 28 as it contains a surfactant (soap).
Met14 is the usual suggestion.

1ml/gal. is fairly common.
There sre sensitive plants/organisms at those levels (and less part. vals and possibly discus and shrimp)

Also looking at the msds for both you see that metricide 14 contains only water and glut and metricide 28 contains water, glut and "other ingredients"
.
Current Excel has the same glut content as 14. Wasn't always the case. Check the bottle.

I did my research and found that the formula for Excel appears to have changed. Old posts said that Excel was 1.5% Glutaraldehyde. New Excel label says that its 2.5% Polycycloglutaracetal , but the dosing instructions remain unchanged:
 
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Metricide 14 is what is typically used WHERE metricide is used. Metricide 28 has surfactants, which are not good for your tank. I prefer Excel, which has no expiration and, since I use it infrequently (usually when I accidentally leave my lights on 24/7 after manually turning them on to clean), I don't use much. I hope you didn't use the "activator" that comes with Metricide.

Glut generally only kills red algae (various hair algae and BBA) and I would not use it in the way you are. With pressurized CO2, you don't need it for the plants, assuming you can get a 1-1.5 drop in pH with the CO2. I usually recommend 1ml / gal of Excel (I've gone as high a 3ml/gal with no harm to fish, snails and some shrimp) in a single treatment and not repeated for about a week. That would be 180ml of Excel in a 180 gal tank (about .67ml/gal of Metricide 14).

Speaking of surfactants, I noticed that you mentioned you added household ammonia for the cycling. Many household ammonia mixes contain surfactants. You may want to check that before adding any fauna.
 

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Based on my calculation, dosing 100 ml 2.5% Metricide to 200g of water is equivalent to 2 ppm Glutaldehyde, which is the initial high dosage recommended by Seachem Excel. If you add another 50 ml to 150 ml, you increased the dosage to 3 ppm Glut, still near Seachem guideline, and well below toxicity level for fish and shrimp.

For your info, I have compiled toxicity test results of Glut from different sources below.

Toxicity of glutaraldehyde
96h acute Bluegill sunfish LC50 = 11.2 mg/L
Bluegill sunfish NOEC = 10 mg/L
48h acute Oyster larvae LC50 = 2.1 mg/L
96h acute Green crabs LC50 = 465 mg/L
96h acute Grass shrimp LC50 = 41 mg/L
48h acute Daphnia magna LC50 = 0.35 mg/L
Daphnia magna NOEC = 0.32 mg/L
96h algal growth inhibition Selenastrum capricornutum ILm = 3.9 mg/L
Algal inhibition Selenastrum subcapitata IC50=1 to 1.8 mg/L
96h algal growth inhibition Scenedesmus subspicatus EC50 = 0.9 mg/L
Bacterial inhibition Sewage microbes IC50 = 25-34 mg/L
96h O. mykiss (Trout hatch rate) IC50 = 1.82 mg/L
96h C. dubia (Daphnia reproduction) IC50 = 4.7 mg/L

*EC=Effective concentration; IC=Inhibition concentration; LC=Lethal concentration;


NOEC=No observed effect concentration
 

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Metricide 14 is what is typically used WHERE metricide is used. Metricide 28 has surfactants, which are not good for your tank. I prefer Excel, which has no expiration and, since I use it infrequently (usually when I accidentally leave my lights on 24/7 after manually turning them on to clean), I don't use much. I hope you didn't use the "activator" that comes with Metricide.

Glut generally only kills red algae (various hair algae and BBA) and I would not use it in the way you are. With pressurized CO2, you don't need it for the plants, assuming you can get a 1-1.5 drop in pH with the CO2. I usually recommend 1ml / gal of Excel (I've gone as high a 3ml/gal with no harm to fish, snails and some shrimp) in a single treatment and not repeated for about a week. That would be 180ml of Excel in a 180 gal tank (about .67ml/gal of Metricide 14).

Speaking of surfactants, I noticed that you mentioned you added household ammonia for the cycling. Many household ammonia mixes contain surfactants. You may want to check that before adding any fauna.
I prefer Metricide 14 over 28 for the same reasons you cited, but 14 was out of stock in my last order so I took 28 instead. I hate the surfactant when I dosed 28 which foamed up for a while, but I don't notice any harmful effects. One item that you should never add is the stabilization agent which is sodium nitrite known toxin to fish. I don't know the reason Metricide instructs adding the stabilization agent in normal usage.

I dose Metricide to my high tech tanks at the initial high dosage after weekly water change as an algae prevention measure. I don't know if it will make a difference if I stop dosing it since I haven't had algae for a long time, but Metricide has a shelf life of about a year, so if I don't use it up, it will just go expire.
 

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I dose Metricide to my high tech tanks at the initial high dosage after weekly water change as an algae prevention measure. I don't know if it will make a difference if I stop dosing it since I haven't had algae for a long time, but Metricide has a shelf life of about a year, so if I don't use it up, it will just go expire.
If you need to dose Glut in a high tech tank, then something is not right.

In a well balanced tank, Glut has no positive impact, and in fact can be detrimental.

You should try not dosing it. You might find the tank is even better
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I am well aware that Metricide 14 is the preferred mixture for use in aquariums. I could not locate Metriside 14 so I decided to give Metricide 28 a try. I have read countless threads with comments about the surfactants in Metricide 28 and that they are harmful but I could not find a single reference to back up this claim. I could only find someone reciting what someone else told them about Metricide 28. I could find no posts on any of the boards reciting first hand experience with Metricide 28, or even Metricide 14, with any sort of detail. This is the reason I made the post, to add a first hand testimonial describing how I used it and the results I achieved. This wasn't a scientific study, just a testimonial, for what ever a testimonial is worth these days. I am sure no scientific magazine is going to knock on my door asking to publish my account as written but it is more than I have been able to find after some rather extensive internet searching. It is simply a loose record of what I did and the results I observed.

My overflow generates a good amount of bubbles when the tank water hits the sump. I saw no changes in this and saw absolutely no signs of foaming with the concentrations of Metricide 28 I described.

I did not use the Metricide 28 as a carbon supplement for my plants. I can crank up the CO2 levels in my tank to the point that it will fizz if I wanted to. I will be doing some experimentation before I add fish to make sure I do not go over safe levels of CO2. My sole use of Metricide 28 was to kill off algae and it did that... very well... MUCH better and quicker than I had expected! Like I said in my original post my tank is only 3 weeks old. I have other planted tanks and I was expecting an algae outbreak and had the Metricide 28 ready to go when the algae appeared and started to take hold. My tank is not any where near balanced yet and is full of all sorts of great algae promoting compounds.

When I researched Seachem Excel for the last tank I setup it was sold as a 1.5% solution of glutaraldehyde. Apparently Seachem has upped the concentration of glutaraldehyde to 2.5% but made no changes to their dosing recommendations. I have added an edit to my post with this correction.

I have seen no proof that adding Metraside or Seachem Excel on an ongoing basis is harmful to an aquarium. If someone has some reference material about this I would be very interested in reading through the study.

Metricide 14 is what is typically used WHERE metricide is used. Metricide 28 has surfactants, which are not good for your tank. I prefer Excel, which has no expiration and, since I use it infrequently (usually when I accidentally leave my lights on 24/7 after manually turning them on to clean), I don't use much. I hope you didn't use the "activator" that comes with Metricide.

Glut generally only kills red algae (various hair algae and BBA) and I would not use it in the way you are. With pressurized CO2, you don't need it for the plants, assuming you can get a 1-1.5 drop in pH with the CO2. I usually recommend 1ml / gal of Excel (I've gone as high a 3ml/gal with no harm to fish, snails and some shrimp) in a single treatment and not repeated for about a week. That would be 180ml of Excel in a 180 gal tank (about .67ml/gal of Metricide 14).

Speaking of surfactants, I noticed that you mentioned you added household ammonia for the cycling. Many household ammonia mixes contain surfactants. You may want to check that before adding any fauna.
"I would not use it in the way you are" - I do not understand this? I am using it to kill off algae in a brand new tank. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, which is perfectly fine. Do you have any resources that have lead you to this conclusion?

"Many household ammonia mixes contain surfactants." I use pure cheap generic household ammonia. Nothing added, I checked the label. I have started up at least 4 tanks with this exact bottle over the years.

"With pressurized CO2, you don't need it for the plants, assuming you can get a 1-1.5 drop in pH with the CO2." - I have said nothing (nor have I even decided anything) about long term use of Metricide in my tank.
I will, of course, double check your Delta PH recommendation when I setup my automated CO2 dosing... but this seems like it is inline with what I have read else where, thank you.

I dissolve CO2 in chilled water under pressure to supersaturated levels before I add it to my tank. My automated CO2 dosing will be a bit different configuration than most.

Based on my calculation, dosing 100 ml 2.5% Metricide to 200g of water is equivalent to 2 ppm Glutaldehyde, which is the initial high dosage recommended by Seachem Excel. If you add another 50 ml to 150 ml, you increased the dosage to 3 ppm Glut, still near Seachem guideline, and well below toxicity level for fish and shrimp.

For your info, I have compiled toxicity test results of Glut from different sources below.

Toxicity of glutaraldehyde
96h acute Bluegill sunfish LC50 = 11.2 mg/L
Bluegill sunfish NOEC = 10 mg/L
48h acute Oyster larvae LC50 = 2.1 mg/L
96h acute Green crabs LC50 = 465 mg/L
96h acute Grass shrimp LC50 = 41 mg/L
48h acute Daphnia magna LC50 = 0.35 mg/L
Daphnia magna NOEC = 0.32 mg/L
96h algal growth inhibition Selenastrum capricornutum ILm = 3.9 mg/L
Algal inhibition Selenastrum subcapitata IC50=1 to 1.8 mg/L
96h algal growth inhibition Scenedesmus subspicatus EC50 = 0.9 mg/L
Bacterial inhibition Sewage microbes IC50 = 25-34 mg/L
96h O. mykiss (Trout hatch rate) IC50 = 1.82 mg/L
96h C. dubia (Daphnia reproduction) IC50 = 4.7 mg/L

*EC=Effective concentration; IC=Inhibition concentration; LC=Lethal concentration;


NOEC=No observed effect concentration
Thank you, this was VERY informative! Thank you for doing the math that I was too lazy to do! Since I don't have any fish in the tank and won't for a couple more weeks I just kept upping the dosage until I saw some results. Very unscientific... but it was very effective! :) (My high school chemistry teacher would NOT be impressed with my unscientific method!)

I prefer Metricide 14 over 28 for the same reasons you cited, but 14 was out of stock in my last order so I took 28 instead. I hate the surfactant when I dosed 28 which foamed up for a while, but I don't notice any harmful effects. One item that you should never add is the stabilization agent which is sodium nitrite known toxin to fish. I don't know the reason Metricide instructs adding the stabilization agent in normal usage.

I dose Metricide to my high tech tanks at the initial high dosage after weekly water change as an algae prevention measure. I don't know if it will make a difference if I stop dosing it since I haven't had algae for a long time, but Metricide has a shelf life of about a year, so if I don't use it up, it will just go expire.
Yep, that is also how I ended up with Metricide 28. I couldn't find Metricide 14 anywhere that actually had it in stock. The places that advertised it had 30 days or more for delivery. It is almost like there is a world wide pandemic going on or something. I appreciate knowing that others have also had success with Metricide 28 when Metricide 14 was not available.


I should put the note about the activation agent in my original post incase someone not familiar with Metricide comes across the post when searching. --I will see if I can still edit it. - Note added.
 

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If you need to dose Glut in a high tech tank, then something is not right.

In a well balanced tank, Glut has no positive impact, and in fact can be detrimental.

You should try not dosing it. You might find the tank is even better
My set up is not the norm as I keep dirty cichlid with very high bioload. I have many exposed surfaces of rockscape, filter plastic and glass top that are open to algae attachment even though my healthy plants are algae resistant. One time I stopped dosing glut after my set up was balanced, bba popped up on some hard surfaces so I resumed dosing and never stopped. I am not convinced that glut is a significant carbon source and use it strictly for algae prevention. At the 2 ppm rate, glut is way below toxicity thresholds for shrimp and fish based on reported toxicity test results I compiled. There are lot of scientific data on glut as it is the most widely used biocides and disinfectants. It is very effective against red algae but less so to green filamentous algae. I dosed the same amount occasionally to my zero tech shrimp bowl and it is harmless to my snails and shrimp, but also useless against green spirogyra and clado in it. Glut degrades in 24 hour and has no bio accumulation effect so I feel safe using it prophylactically.
 

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I have read countless threads with comments about the surfactants in Metricide 28 and that they are harmful but I could not find a single reference to back up this claim. I could only find someone reciting what someone else told them about Metricide 28. I could find no posts on any of the boards reciting first hand experience with Metricide 28, or even Metricide 14, with any sort of detail. This is the reason I made the post, to add a first hand testimonial describing how I used it and the results I achieved. This wasn't a scientific study, just a testimonial, for what ever a testimonial is worth these days. I am sure no scientific magazine is going to knock on my door asking to publish my account as written but it is more than I have been able to find after some rather extensive internet searching. It is simply a loose record of what I did and the results I observed.
Nothing wrong with reporting on your experiences. That is what draws others in to share their experiences and, perhaps, complete a picture.

Regarding Metricide, here is some additional info:

From the manufacturer’s website: Metricide 28 “Contains surfactants”
From the manufacturer’s website: Metricide 14 “Contains no surfactants”

MetriCide™

Regarding surfactants: they are well known to cause problems with fauna (I’ve done it myself). Not all surfactants are bad, although most are and the quantity matters. If you don’t have much, your fish will be fine until w/c’s remove it. If you have too much, they will die. It is, basically, soap. Surfactants reduce the surface tension of water and prevent the fish’s gills from absorbing oxygen.

"I would not use it in the way you are" - I do not understand this? I am using it to kill off algae in a brand new tank. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, which is perfectly fine. Do you have any resources that have lead you to this conclusion?
By this, I meant that I would simply use a much stronger dose, one time, to achieve the algae knockdown. Perhaps that wasn’t clear in my post.
 

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It’s true that surfactant is a physical disinfectant as it can disrupt the surface tension function of cell walls and this is why CDC recommends washing hands with soapy water. CDC also recommends soaking reusable cloth mask in soapy water for disinfection. Foamy water can also coat and disrupt gill function of fauna. But the impact depends on the dosage. When I used Metricide 14 the first time, I was concerned and watched the response of my fish carefully and ready to do large water change to reverse the effect. But the dosage was low and foaming was mild and dissipated soon after the filter was running. I have done it 10+ times and don’t notice any negative effect so I feel safe to continue. But I much prefer Metrice 14 without the surfactant. I cannot find any MSDS on the surfactant so I assume it is no difference from household surfactant that contains no hazardous chemicals. The most likely chemicals could be nutrients such as phosphate in the break down products.

It is interesting to learn that Seachem increased the % of Glut from 1.6 to 2.5 in the Excel formulae suggesting that it is safe and more effective to use higher dosage. I and many aquarists have experimented with higher dosage and have not found any negative effect suggesting the recommended dosage is conservative, as evidenced from the toxicity test data I compiled.
 

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All that build up and no pic! Lol

I guess the point of your first post was to share your experience and ask others thoughts on it? I have found the lifecycle of the algae’s mentioned to be fairly similar to my experiences in setting up tanks and not using glutaraldehyde. Love the detail of your post though.


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But the dosage was low and foaming was mild and dissipated soon after the filter was running. I have done it 10+ times and don’t notice any negative effect so I feel safe to continue. But I much prefer Metrice 14 without the surfactant. I cannot find any MSDS on the surfactant so I assume it is no difference from household surfactant that contains no hazardous chemicals. The most likely chemicals could be nutrients such as phosphate in the break down products.
I've never had Met14 foam even w/ 1ml/gal doses. Didn't add the activator (little bottle that should be discarded) did you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
All that build up and no pic! Lol

I guess the point of your first post was to share your experience and ask others thoughts on it? I have found the lifecycle of the algae’s mentioned to be fairly similar to my experiences in setting up tanks and not using glutaraldehyde. Love the detail of your post though.


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Sorry! :)

About the time of my first post in this thread:
1026821


About a week ago:
1026822


I can't share a more recent pic because the super red ludwigia grew to the top of the tank and received a REALLY bad haircut! It will need to recover a touch before I post another pic.

There has been a bit of green dust algae on the glass that I just wipe off with a rubber squeegee... but that is with 14 hours of high lighting a day.
 

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Pretty tank! I could see Glutaraldehyde being useful with the amount of plants you have. I think you would find less of a need for it with a more densely planted aquarium.

I’m loving the red of the hra?!


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I've never had Met14 foam even w/ 1ml/gal doses. Didn't add the activator (little bottle that should be discarded) did you?
It’s true that surfactant is a physical disinfectant as it can disrupt the surface tension function of cell walls and this is why CDC recommends washing hands with soapy water. CDC also recommends soaking reusable cloth mask in soapy water for disinfection. Foamy water can also coat and disrupt gill function of fauna. But the impact depends on the dosage. When I used Metricide 14 the first time, I was concerned and watched the response of my fish carefully and ready to do large water change to reverse the effect. But the dosage was low and foaming was mild and dissipated soon after the filter was running. I have done it 10+ times and don’t notice any negative effect so I feel safe to continue. But I much prefer Metrice 14 without the surfactant. I cannot find any MSDS on the surfactant so I assume it is no difference from household surfactant that contains no hazardous chemicals. The most likely chemicals could be nutrients such as phosphate in the break down products.

It is interesting to learn that Seachem increased the % of Glut from 1.6 to 2.5 in the Excel formulae suggesting that it is safe and more effective to use higher dosage. I and many aquarists have experimented with higher dosage and have not found any negative effect suggesting the recommended dosage is conservative, as evidenced from the toxicity test data I compiled.

Sorry, I have mis quoted it in my post. Met 14 has no surfactant. Met 28 has. I always used and preferred 14, but in my last order, 14 was out of stock everywhere. There are other brands of Glutaldehyde that contain surfactant and even citric flagrant that are unneeded.
 
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