[SOS!] or be glad I didn't get the octo yet

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Hayek, May 18, 2009.

  1. Hayek

    Hayek GPO Registered

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    I think I finally understand what you guys mean when you say ABSOLUTELY NO COPPER can be in the tank.

    It is the time of year when all of the college students move, and they sprayed for bugs upstairs. My mushrooms and other corals literally melted before my eyes in a couple of hours. The invertebrates and fish don't look good but are still moving around.

    I found out they sprayed a permethrin spray which is apparently incredibly toxic to aquatic life.

    I sealed off the tank, turned off the skimmer, and I added new charcoal. I'm afraid to do a water change because I can still smell it in the air.

    Does anybody have any advice? I'm desperate. What can I do that might give them a chance. None of the invertebrates or fish have died yet, but the coral is down for the count. Any ideas?

    Can I even use this tank again?
     
  2. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I think that you need to find a way to do two things:
    1) Get the toxins out of the tank, mainly by doing a massive water change ASAP, using uncontaminated water, and also, carbon might help.
    2) Prevent more of the toxins from getting into the tank, by continually delivering lots of fresh air to the surface of the water in your tank, sump and wherever your water contacts air.

    doing number 2 without doing number 1 first probably won't help.

    You should also google the chemical by name. Somewhere, someone has had this exact problem, and there may be something that neutralizes this particular toxin in water.

    Can you find a location where there is fresh air, that is close enough to the tank so that you can pump clean uncontaminated air into the tank and sump. A balcony? Any where outside and up wind should work. Then put a fan on one end of an air duct and let it blow air to the tank. All you need to do is pump the air with enough pressure to displace the bad air at the water's surface. Then do a couple of bug water changes, enough to get close to all of the bad water out of the tank.

    If it were me, I'd use clear plastic (painting tarps) and duct tape to build a bubble around my tank. Then pump air into the bubble so that it blows up like a bounce-house. Then do a few massive water changes (be sure to match the temperature)

    suggestions for parts:
    Fan: the bigger the better. Thrift stores often have fans cheap, or Wal-Mart, or borrow one. You can even rent big powerful fans used to dry carpeting after a flood. attach a garbage bag around the fan to act as a funnel, cut off a corner and duct tape it to one end of your ducting. don't use an air compressor because they are lubricated with oil, which will get into the air.

    ducting: Garden hose will only work if you have a really high pressure fan (like the one you can rent to dry out carpeting) and a super strong funnel to get it into the hose. If you only have to go a short way you can use flexible ducting for a clothes drier. You can even make ducting by cutting the bottoms out of tall kitchen garbage bags and duct taping them together.

    once your tank skimmer etc is in the "bounce-house" do the water changes. Don't let the new water get contaminated by contact with bad air.

    Good luck.
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I wish I could offer a suggestion, my stomach hurt when I read the post. I get a few complaints from my grandchildren (and sometimes my children) because we live in the woods on a lake and the spiders and occassional other bugs make their way into the house and I refuse to spray, not only for the dogs, iguana, fish and until recently bird but for the humans as well. If you CAN open your windows, I would do that and run a fan for the whole room for yourself as much as for the tank.
     
  4. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Lots of charcoal...If you can add a few bubble filters full of charcoal...This was my fear when I was moving as I had to treat the basement and the outside of the house for termites. They said it would not effect my animals/tanks etc., but who knows! Keeping fingers crossed...
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Carol,
    Did Oscar die before or after the termite treatment. I have also been told it is harmless but because Oscar's death was so unexpected I thought I would ask.
     
  6. Hayek

    Hayek GPO Registered

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    I followed your advice and it worked. I lost some coral, but all of the large inverts and fish survived. I may have lost a hermit or two. There will no doubt be lasting damage to many of the species living in my tank, but it appears I am lucky enough that LD50 levels were not reached.


    What did I do?

    I opened the window next to the tank to get it some fresh air.

    I did a 30% water change.

    I added the charcoal from four prepackaged filters to my filter.

    I covered the tank with tape and trash bags.

    I put a large fan in the window and set it to full blast.

    Let me say this: Even extremely small amounts of chemicals which are MEANT to kill bugs will devastate an aquarium.

    Although heart wrenching, in retrospect it was and is at this moment fairly interesting to watch. One active ingredient in bug bombs is permethrin, and it is a neurotoxin. Side effects range from increased aggression to the loss of coordination. It looked as though my fish and inverts had been drugged, and my cleaner shrimp is a little whore. They still aren't quite back to normal as far as behavior is concerned.
     
  7. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Glad to hear you were able to save most. Good information to have should this become an issue for others.

    Oscar died before the house was treated. One huge fundraiser to get through at work and then the new octopus search begins!
     

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