Please help I poisoned my tank

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry Forum' started by steved13, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. steved13

    steved13 Well-Known Member
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    I squirted about 3/4 of a bottle of this stuff into my tank by accident (I thought it was the bottle of tank water) Please no lectures, if you were here you would have been very close to seeing a grown man cry.

    [​IMG]

    How bad is it? I tested for everything, phosphates went up a little.89 Ammonia is through the roof 8.0. All else that I can test for is where it's always been. SG 1.023, PH 8.2, dkh 16, calcium 460, nitrite 0, nitrate 13.2.

    It's a new tank less than 2 weeks, and I hadn't seen any ammonia. I put in a deli shrimp and it rotted away with no ammonia spike, and I thought the cured live rock was good and I wouldn't see a spike. I hadn't checked ammonia today until after the mishap. I think it's wishful thinking that the ammonia spike is a cycle and not from the toxins. I had been seeing the phospahte and nitrate so I was doing water changes to lower. After this evenings water change, nitrate were down from 20 - 13.2 and stayed there after the mishap. The phosphates went from .86 to .55 after water change and then up to .89 after the mishap.

    I have no water to do a water change until tommorrow.

    What should I do? I do have some crabs and snails and they seem OK so far. Also, copepods still active.

    Have I ruined the whole system?
     
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  2. steved13

    steved13 Well-Known Member
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    Good news...I called lamotte the manufacturer, they tell me the MSDS (material safety data sheet) for the reagent states that it > 0.1% copper sulfate. I asked 5 times and he said it says 0.1%. He said the bottle must be wrong, the MSDS would be more reliable. I went to their site and pulled up the MSDS myself and it says >0.1%

    That puts it at .2ppm instead of 2 ppm
     
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  3. Boomer

    Boomer Reef Sanctuary's Mr. Wizard

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  4. steved13

    steved13 Well-Known Member
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    Boomer, it's an RSM 250 250 liter tank. Ammonia was the darkest on the color chart 8.0 or higher using API test kit. Phosphates were .86ppm using hanna checker. I bought an API copper test kit. I tested the water before water change and it didn't read any copper? Maybe there was less in the bottle than I thought, but I know it was more than half full.

    Yes it was a lamotte nitrate test kit.

    I have changed almost all the water about 1/4" above the substrate.

    New readings are ammonia ~.75, nitrate ~2.2, phosphate .16, PH ~7.8, nitrite 0, copper 0
     
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  5. steved13

    steved13 Well-Known Member
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    As far as the math goes, I'm a little over my head. My thought was .1% of 50ml would be 50 x .001 = .05ml .05/250000= .0000002 or 2 ten millionths .2ppm

    I used 250000 ml in a 250 liter tank .05 went in out of 250000. Might not be right just what I was thinking, and frankly when others chimed in (on other threads) and told me that was right, I took it as confirmation.
     
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  6. Boomer

    Boomer Reef Sanctuary's Mr. Wizard

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  7. steved13

    steved13 Well-Known Member
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    Boomer,

    First off I'm confused, you asked wheere did we get the .2ppm copper and now your taklling about the ammonia which nobody mentioned any concentration other than what the test show.

    "It does not make any difference how big the bottle. It is the concentration of the bottle."

    Second you are wrong in saying it doesn't matter what size the bottle is. If you don't know what size the bottle is you can't possibly know how much of the ingredient went into the tank. According to that logic there is no difference in dumping ten liters of .1% copper than drop 1 drop of .1% copper. Obviously you need to know how much was put in. You need the quantity of the solution and the concentration, without either, the other is meaningless. I may not have said the bottle was a 60ml bottle and I believe it was about 50ml left in the bottle, that may be where I confused you.

    Third, it IS .1% of the bottle, I have a bottle it is .1% copper sulfate, it has 50ml in the bottle, that means it's .1% of 50ml. If it were a 1 liter bottle it would be .1% of a liter.

    Fourth ppm or % is not necessarily based on 1 liter, it can be but it could be based on anything as in 5 out of every million satrs are a white dwarf that would be 5ppm

    What the tech told you is that yes .1% is the same as 1,000ppm, just like 2/4 is the same as 1/2, but 1/2 of what. If you want to know how much you put into the tank you need to how many parts per million or part per hundred (%) of what quantity and that quantity is I'm saying about 50ml.

    Fifth, you state 127,500 ppm / 250l 127,500 is not a quantity, it is a concentration, 250l is not a concentration it is a quantity, you can't divide the concentration of the source, by the quantity of what you're pouring it into, the answer is meaningless. You divide the quantity of the addition by the quantity of the tank to get a meaningful number, that will give you the % you can then convert that to ppm if you like (and that's where I often make the mistake moving to many decimal places).
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2010
  8. GrendelPrime

    GrendelPrime New Member

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    water change water change water change problem solved :)
     
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  9. dmatt88

    dmatt88 Has been struck by the ban stick

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    agreed. Well put Grendel. Matt:fishy2:
     
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  10. GrendelPrime

    GrendelPrime New Member

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    i just hate to see people start to argue when u get down to the basics the solution is a simple round of water changes, dosent matter what % this or that is
     
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  11. steved13

    steved13 Well-Known Member
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    Grendel, no argument here, I just didn't want anyone having bad info.

    As far as the math goes, I was trying to figure out how much poison went in, so how much damage was done, IE did I need to start over or can it be saved.

    Some have said that the copper has poisoned the tank and it will stick to everything in it (regardless of wtaer changes) and then leech out later and be lethal to some inhabitants.

    I was trying to figure oout how much copper went in and is there a safe amount where it's small enough not to matter.

    I've done, as close to a 100% water change as possible ( about 1/4 above the substrate). It's lowered everything, ammonia is still about .5. My theory is that if enough bacteria still lived to lower the ammonia, I think I'm OK. If not I may have to make it a fish only system. I think the copper that went in is a small enough amnount that I will be OK.

    Thanks for the input to all.
     
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  12. dmatt88

    dmatt88 Has been struck by the ban stick

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    very well put, now I think I need to scoot home and do a water change........haha
     
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  13. Boomer

    Boomer Reef Sanctuary's Mr. Wizard

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  14. Jeremy0322

    Jeremy0322 New Member

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    im just gonna go ahead and agree with boomer because this stuff is wayyy over my head hahaha Havent gotten that far in chemistry yet I guess, but from past experience he knows what hes doing
     
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  15. GrendelPrime

    GrendelPrime New Member

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  16. steved13

    steved13 Well-Known Member
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    Boomer,

    I don't want to argue with you. I spoke with a friend of mine who is a chemical engineer...I asked him to look at this thread and he confirmed my assertions are correct.

    He said this does happen sometimes when we are in the real world and your assuming the lab world, (I'm paraphrasing there). I also called Lamotte back it is 0.1% of what is in the bottle.

    If I took something you said the wrong way I'm sorry, but when you said "all in this tank should be dead or will be dead" it sounded to me as if you were doubting my statement that nothing has died. Again if I took it the wrong way I apologise.

    Again I don't want to argue, we can agree to disagree.

    Thanks for helping I do apreciate the effort.
     
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  17. Boomer

    Boomer Reef Sanctuary's Mr. Wizard

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    First off Steve I deeply apologize as I was wrong in my assertion. It is Not as I gave it as all is to 1 l . You MUST go by the 50 ml. That means it is is 0.2 ppm Copper Sulfate. So a test kit should have read 0.2 x 37 % or 0.074 ppm Copper. All I can say it was stupid on my part and will delete my other post, as I do not want somebody assuming I was correct on those other posts, as it is me. I will also edit yours of the same. I hope this is OK with you.

    Every once in awhile even those that think there are so right need to be slapped to wake them up :D Even that lab tech that agreed with me. I talked to a chemist at the Sigma Chemical Company that set me straight. I never in my years of posting have made such an ass-9 error.
     
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  18. steved13

    steved13 Well-Known Member
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    Boomer, I'm sure I added to the confusion as I don't speak chemistry, only layman.

    As I said, I could tell in your previous post that you were trying to help and I meant it when I said I appreciated it.

    I takes a big man to admit his mistakes, (I hope that's true, cuz I've been a big man often enough).

    Whatever you would like to edit ids OK with me.

    No hard feelings on this end, Sounds like none on your end.

    I hope I cdan depend on your help if I need it in the future, and you can definitely depend on mine if ever needed.
     
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  19. Boomer

    Boomer Reef Sanctuary's Mr. Wizard

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    My hobby Steve is to help people and you are one of those people . So, I will always be here if you need me or anybody else. I will just mark this a a bad Boomer day :lol: When one is wrong and shown wrong or they find out they are wrong, even if nobody see's it wrong, it is their JOB to admit they are wrong, otherwise it sets a bad presence. I have many times on forums corrected my own errors that nobody caught.
     
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  20. steved13

    steved13 Well-Known Member
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    On a different note, I love that definition of an explosion.

    I also like your User name considering your occupation.
     
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