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  #1  
Old 01/03/2008, 07:00 AM
tspors tspors is offline
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Killing Apstasia Opinion / Curiosity

I had an 80g that had some Apstasia that started to take over. Not an issue because I was bringing the tank down to install hardwood floor and replace with a 150g. I tried various options to kill the little buggers with not much success. I know everyone deals with these guys and they are quit normal just not wanted. Anyway, my wife found one the other day. I found a post from 2004 and I am copying it here for opinion. I did it, it worked but I am curious as to everyones opinion.

2004 Post:
OK, here is my sure fire way, 100% success rate, never to return again method.

Use a saturated solution of Sodium Hydroxide (Drain Away, Draino, whatever you like to call it) and water. Using a syringe, squirt about 0.5 mL into the mouth of each aiptasia. This will kill even the stubborn foot tissue.

I initially used kalk paste like pies, by found that the success rate wasn't that great. Sodium Hydroxide is much more soluble than Calcium Hydroxide, and is more alkaline, completely nuking the aiptasia.

Again don't dose too much at one time. It is not harmful to your reef, unless you directly squirt it onto corals. Just a warning that Sodium Hydroxide will cause sever chemical burns if handled, you can tell if you have it on your hands 'cause they will feel "soapy" and slippery. If you feel your hands becoming slippery, wash with a LOT of cold water. Preferably wear gloves when handling.

As dangerous as the chemical sounds, it is really quite safe for your reef.

Draino is surprisingly pure sodium hydroxide, and is really no more dangerous to your tank than calcium hydroxide (kalk). Any tank with a reasonable alkalinity (greater than 2.6) should have no problems adding it. The hydroxide ion reacts relativly quickly with dissolved carbon dioxide producing, there are also other mechanisms for the neutralisation of the free hydroxide. Which reaction is most significant is determined by the pH.

2(OH)- + 2CO2 ---> H20 + 2(CO3)2-

The only difference between this and the kalk method is the spectator ion (Ca2+ as opposed to Na+).
Kalk will do the same thing to your hand as sodium hydroxide, at a much much slower rate.

If anything this method is easier on the fish, I had problems with fish eating, or trying to eat the white kalk paste. I for one wouldn't like a mouth full of kalk. The sodium hydroxide method is much safer in that it is completely soluble, such that any solution which doesn't make it into the aiptasia, is quikly netralised by surrounding water by the above reaction, and no solid remains to be eaten by fish.

Thanks for the responses in adavance.
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  #2  
Old 01/03/2008, 07:53 AM
superchargeme superchargeme is offline
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Sounds like I'll have to try this in a seperate system!
Thanks for pulling the old post back up. I'll let you know how it works for me.
  #3  
Old 01/03/2008, 08:14 AM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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This is a method that some folks have used, but bear in mind that sodium hydroxide will boost alkalinity and pH rapidly. Do it in small doses, and possibly dose calcium to the tank if you use a lot of sodium hydroxide so that you do not skew the balance between calcium and alkalinity.

FWIW, if you have a 55 gallon tank (assume 50 gallons of water) and you add 3.8 grams (less than a teaspoon of solid lye) you will boost the alkalinity by 0.5 meq/L (1.4 dKH). That will also boost pH overall by about 0.7 pH units, although it will come down over time as the tank draws in CO2.
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  #4  
Old 01/03/2008, 08:17 AM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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If anything this method is easier on the fish, I had problems with fish eating, or trying to eat the white kalk paste. I for one wouldn't like a mouth full of kalk. The sodium hydroxide method is much safer in that it is completely soluble, such that any solution which doesn't make it into the aiptasia, is quikly netralised by surrounding water by the above reaction, and no solid remains to be eaten by fish.

You've tried this? You did not get precipitated magnesium hydroxide solids?
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  #5  
Old 01/03/2008, 08:25 AM
tspors tspors is offline
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I have a 150g and used 1/2 ml very small dose. It nuked the little bastard and there is no sight of him. I am doing water change today and just tested the PH it still is sitting at 8.3 I got very little solids from this. I have my plumbing in the basement and do my water changes from down below. I will however use a hose and siphon a bit from the location and see if I pull any solids from that area. It seems to work great though.
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  #6  
Old 01/03/2008, 08:29 AM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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There will be substantial precipitation of magnesium hydroxide when such a high pH solution is added to seawater. The magnesium hydroxide will eventually redissolve and is likely not a problem, but I was surprised when you said you saw no solids. Perhaps the flow rate was high enough to sweep it away.
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  #7  
Old 01/03/2008, 08:35 AM
tspors tspors is offline
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SMall amounts and the pumps were shut down when I did this. Turned them back on about 5 minutes after injection. There is some white around the area. Remember 0.5 ml is a small about. Much less than Lime or Lemon juice I used in the past.
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  #8  
Old 01/03/2008, 12:08 PM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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Did you inject it into the aiptasia, or just pile it on them? In general, most folks find the best success with these chemical treatments by injecting it directly into the aiptasia.
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  #9  
Old 01/03/2008, 12:20 PM
eshook eshook is offline
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I found a similar solution to my aiptasia problem. This page recommends using pure sodium hydroxide from a chemical supply store instead of draino.

http://www.reefscapes.net/articles/b...a_control.html

It also gives some details of the process involved. I wasn't brave enough to use this method or draino so I used lemon juice and pep shrimps and it seemed to have killed them all. If I get a bigger outbreak I will most definitely consider it.
  #10  
Old 01/03/2008, 01:12 PM
tspors tspors is offline
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I attempted to inject but it retreated into the rock. I followed it in with the needle and when it bottomed out I slowly released chemical. It is DEAD! The best way I have read is to inject into the stem. Going into the mouth is difficult. This was not a large one however, after my 80g outbreak I will swin in after them this time. Call it a bit on edge.
Be Brave eshook!
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  #11  
Old 01/03/2008, 01:18 PM
tspors tspors is offline
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The amount if any copper in draino is so small there should not be a concern. I have since made a couple of calls and found draino is pretty pure in it's form. the 0.5ml used per injection breaks down fast and will not harm corals unles you spray it on them.
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  #12  
Old 01/03/2008, 01:22 PM
JediReefer JediReefer is offline
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The problem with these methods is you are only killing the VISIBLE anemones. I battled them for a few years, did everything, even if I killed all the visible anemone there are still some behind rocks and in unreachable places. I ended up drying all of my rock completely and cured it over again.
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  #13  
Old 01/03/2008, 08:02 PM
LisaD LisaD is offline
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I have always had very good success controlling aiptasia with peppermint shrimp. where peps could not work was in my tanks with predator fish that eat shrimp. getting nutrients down in those tanks helped a lot with getting the populations manageable. in one tank with a moray eel, I took out one rock at a time, put it in a bare bottom 29 gallon tank with peps, and let them have at it (offering no other food). I cycled the rocks through several times, and eventually eliminated almost all the aiptasia.
  #14  
Old 01/03/2008, 08:08 PM
volunteerguy volunteerguy is offline
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Aren't berghia nudibranchs a safe way to rid your tank of aiptasia since that's all they eat?
  #15  
Old 01/03/2008, 08:11 PM
JediReefer JediReefer is offline
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Yes they are. But do not add them if you already have peppermint shrimps in your tank, they will eat the berghia.
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  #16  
Old 01/04/2008, 01:59 AM
Mr. Ugly Mr. Ugly is offline
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Check the MSDS's for Drano.

The liquid one contains sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and surfactants in addition to sodium hydroxide.

Drano crystals contains sodium nitrate and aluminum chips in addition to the sodium hydroxide.

Best bet would be Red Devil lye or something from a chemical supplier.

Red Devil has been hard to get nowadays due to all the meth labs.
  #17  
Old 01/04/2008, 02:03 AM
Mr. Ugly Mr. Ugly is offline
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You *could* separate the hydroxide from the nitrate in Drano crystals if you had nothing better to do

The nitrate is the round pellets. The hydroxide will be the flat flakes. The aluminum is.... well, the aluminum looking stuff

Yah, I did that when I was a kid playing mad scientist in my mom's kitchen. Don't ask what I did with the sodium nitrate
  #18  
Old 01/04/2008, 09:59 AM
tspors tspors is offline
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MSDS you say... I did before I posted. The ingredients in Drano are:
HYPOCHLOROUS ACID, SODIUM SALT; (SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE)
SODIUM HYDROXIDE

Broken down:
HYPOCHLOROUS ACID= This is a derivetive of Chlorine (not chlorine)

SODIUM SALT= Is a dietary mineral essential for animal life, composed primarily of sodium chloride.

SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE= Is not Beech, Household bleaches usually contain about 5% sodium hypochlorite (about pH11, irritant), and more concentrated bleaches contain 10-15% sodium hypochlorite (about pH13, corrosive).

SODIUM HYDROXIDE = Is lye and caustic soda. (The killer)

Again the injection is less than 0.5ml per shot. Thanks to those who hung on the subject.
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  #19  
Old 01/04/2008, 10:03 AM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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I would not use that material. Red Devil Lye is the way to go if you want to use sodium hydroxide. You do not want to be adding aluminum metal or bleach (which is sodium hypochlorite; aka hypochlorous acid, sodium salt ).
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  #20  
Old 01/04/2008, 10:05 AM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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FWIW, I discuss the toxicity of oxidants like hypochlorite here:

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-03/rhf/index.php#15
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  #21  
Old 01/07/2008, 11:49 AM
superchargeme superchargeme is offline
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JUst got back from lowes. I purchased" Roebic Drain opener" Only ingredient on label is sodium hydroxide. I'll be tring it out on tuesday. Will let you know how it works. Thanks for the info everyone.
  #22  
Old 01/11/2008, 08:24 AM
superchargeme superchargeme is offline
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Sorry for the delay, internet was down. Ok I've started using the product above. I was tspors procedure and felt the need to start out with less then .5 ml. I started and contiune to use .25 ml

Each dose that I have placed on not one ,but up to four of the little critters. within three minutes they are totally gone.

One thing that I donot like is that the precipation of calcium" as discussed earlyer" lets me know that the sodium hydroxide is floating around and could damage another coral. the first time I did this was in a seperate tank, the latter three were in main display. with the flow in the display at about 27 times the volume not much sits still for to long. No adverse affects that I have seen.

I have doesed .25ml in the am and .25ml in the pm. will update over next couple of days.
  #23  
Old 01/11/2008, 05:57 PM
tspors tspors is offline
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It will be OK with the coral. One of the little buggers I shot was right next to a toadstool coral all was well. Moderation!!
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  #24  
Old 01/11/2008, 07:01 PM
superchargeme superchargeme is offline
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Need for upudate!! This am dosing I wanted to test out the product a little closer to my corals. I had an apstasia between a sponge and my green Psammocora, this coral I got from Mr. Tyree about 8 yrs ago it was about 8" x14" i've lost about 1.5" sq from killing that asptasia. I know that the contact with the coral was minimal as I used my hand to fan the coral off. I also killed the aspasia that was on my Tridacna Gigas,16"+ Some of the sodium hydroxide came in contact with the mantle just brushing over it the calm immediety withdrew from the the small cluod that past over it. The clam is fine now.

I will not be using this in my main tank I have a tank that I am setting up to put in line with my system I will be removing what I want to put in my next tank and using it only in small doses "under.25ml" and only in that tank. Any one else trye this out?
  #25  
Old 01/11/2008, 10:45 PM
tspors tspors is offline
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It will be OK with the coral. One of the little buggers I shot was right next to a toadstool coral all was well. Moderation!!
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