Citric Acid - show and tell

Discussion in 'Algae' started by f-fish, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Read on the use of Citric Acid to kill algae on plants, I have algae, I have plants - got some citric acid - R4 14g checkers.

    The experiment: anubias and buce that has loads of nasty algae, lets see if they recover.

    14g of citric acid, 1.2l of water - soak for 10 min.

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    The recovery tank - note this tank has not had any algae outbreak.
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    Cleaning crew are immediately on the job.
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    [​IMG]

    This is what they are dealing with.

    [​IMG]

    Even soaked some moss

    [​IMG]

    Time will tell.

    Later Ferdie
     
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  3. Pierré Schoonraad

    Pierré Schoonraad Rainbow Freak

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    Nice idee. How save would it be to use in a tank for spot treatment?

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  4. OP
    f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    NO, please do not. I it will cause havoc with your ph, could even be toxic for the fish etc.

    As a dip well lets see.

    Later Ferdie
     
  5. Pierré Schoonraad

    Pierré Schoonraad Rainbow Freak

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    Thanks. Going to google a bit now and see what I can learn

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  6. Rainstorm

    Rainstorm

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    That buce looks loads better after a dip. The funny thing about my water PH is that the same BBA that I have on the buce is just dying off. Water PH stands at around 6.8 - 7.5. To be honest, I've never seen my tanks develop BBA except for the vallisneria which actually came with it and it continued to grow but now I just see it dying off slowly, like I mentioned elsewhere.

    Take a look at this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can barely see it now - it was worse 4 weeks ago. Not sure what I am doing right though.
     
  7. OP
    f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Are you talking to your Buce .... rumour has it that will also work :)

    Yeah ph can be a bit factor.

    Later Ferdie
     
  8. Pierré Schoonraad

    Pierré Schoonraad Rainbow Freak

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    Ok found this on the web

    Citric acid is one of algae’s favorite things to use as a food source. It not only drops the pH into a range that they enjoy it also is an organic acid…providing a buffet of Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H) and Oxygen’s (O) for the organisms to stuff themselves with. Organic acids are a perfect food source to set off a fantastic bloom either by themselves or as a hidden addition in your fertilizer formula ( you won’t find that info on the label)! Growers often use citric acid as a weak acidifier, yet they don’t realize some of the other problems that can follow if left out in the elements of a normal greenhouse.

    Now why the heck will it remove the algae when you dip it and not feed it? I should have paid more attention at school it seems.

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  9. Rainstorm

    Rainstorm

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    Hmmm, seems like I"m not the only one that talks to my plants. LOL. Good one, Ferdie. Maybe it could be that or whatever else it is - will always be a mystery but I also think plants are sentient, like animals, can detect the human's feelings and what they are thinking too. I'm a spiritual person so seeing them grow so well makes me happy and that makes them happy too. Happy me, happy plants and happy tank (except for the darn green algae that keeps coming back).
     
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  10. OP
    f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    It is all about the concentration ... well lets see. Give a few day, maybe it works or maybe it blooms.

    Later Ferdie
     
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  11. Pierré Schoonraad

    Pierré Schoonraad Rainbow Freak

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    According to what I could find it should work. 1 teespoon on a cup of water for 10 to 15 minuts should kill it. Reason I asked was all my anubias is attatched to my wood and there is no way that I can remove 1m pieces of wood for a dip.

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  12. OP
    f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Then H2O2 is the way to go.

    Yeah a 1 m dip bowl - eish.
     
  13. Pierré Schoonraad

    Pierré Schoonraad Rainbow Freak

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    As if you read my mind. Just looked up H2O2. Sounds like a safer option as it breakes down safely, as long as you don't OD

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  14. OP
    f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    H2O2 works great ... the cirtic acid is just another alternative - and something that is cheap, less likely to expire. H2O2 once you open the bottle it starts to loose potency, well my experience.

    Later Ferdie
     
  15. dorff

    dorff

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    H2O2 is not moss-safe. It will not kill kill flowering plants and ferns like Java fern and Bolbitis, as long as the treatment is brief, but Java and Christmas moss will suffer. It is a potent oxidant that zaps anything on the microbial level, including the Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas in your biofilter. So the safest way to use it is to remove the plant and treat it out of the tank, or to enclose the plant in the tank to be able to apply a very local treatment. If the plant is on a flat bit of substrate, I put a tumbler glass over it, and inject a bit of peroxide under the rim, and then leave it for a quarter of an hour. If that won't work, I tie a plastic bag around the affected plant, and inject the peroxide through the side. If that is not feasible either, the only alternative is to switch off the circulation, so that the water is completely still, then use small doses very locally. A typical shot is 1 ml of 30 volume (9%).

    I am not sure why citric acid would stunt or kill algae. It may be that the algae has a narrow band of pH in which it flourishes, but citric acid on its own can reach a pH of well below 4, and most things do not survive under such conditions. Higher plants have more complex structure, and at least part of the puzzle is that it takes much longer for harmful molecules to diffuse through the denser structures. The problem for an algae is that apart from a basic cell wall, it does not have structures that protect the internals.

    After killing algae with peroxide, it releases a large amount of decay products into the water. So if the treatment is on a grand scale, one should do water changes to remove the nutrients, otherwise the algae will simply bounce back. In my humble opinion, it is not a lasting solution, but one to use when one tries to get a tank balanced initially. In my one planted tank, my theory is that the aquasoil I used simply was too nutritious, and major water changes are a bit difficult since the tank is standing in my office, very far from a water supply or drain. My plan for the tank was to be a very low maintenance, almost self-sufficient planted tank, with a minimum of fuss and water treatment. While I am not entirely unsuccessful in that respect, I have had to deal with algae more than I wanted to, and for that the peroxide is probably the best out of a limited number of options.
     
  16. Pierré Schoonraad

    Pierré Schoonraad Rainbow Freak

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    Thanks @dorff that helps a lot

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  17. OP
    f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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  18. OP
    f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Pleased with the results of the cleaning ... 24 hours later - wow.

    [​IMG]

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    Will want to try 14g + 1l soak for 10 min next time.

    Later Ferdie
     
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  19. Rainstorm

    Rainstorm

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    Wow that's awesome.

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  20. OP
    f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Yeah this is working way better than I expected.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Later Ferdie
     
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  21. OP
    f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Yeah so here I am also not sure ... it is really a very weak acid by the time one does the dipping. I parked mine in clean tap water after the 10 min bath, while cutting and remounting, placing it into a new tank. As you can see it has done a good job at getting the algae either dead or to a point that the tank cleaning crew chomped it without any issues.

    What I was really surprised by, the moss showed no issue with the bath, but the algae that was bad on that bit is now MIA.

    Later Ferdie
     

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