Potassium permanganate in plant sanitizers...

SludgeMunkey

New member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
73
Points
0
Location
Bellevue, Nebraska
Country
United States
Display Name
Johnny O. Farnen
Aquatronics no longer sells OTC to consumers.

This means that their excellent live plant sanitizing product, Lime-it is no longer available.
It was absolutely incredible for getting rid of ride alongs, like hydra, snails, snail eggs, and the like, without damaging your plants. That and it was definitely caudate friendly.


My own gallon jug of it is finally empty. I was browsing around the web looking of a replacement product of similar composition, however, I have not found any lime based ones available.


Seems other manufacturers are using Potassium permanganate solutions.

Is this caudate friendly? I am having trouble finding definitive information on this.



I have read that a solution of water and alum (10 teaspoons to a gallon) also works well. I suspect it is an attempt at the whole "alkalinity" bit that makes the lime work so well. Anyone tried this? Is alum caudate friendly?

I am off to the DIY store to buy some lime and make my own sanitizer, but often here on the forums folks ask about plant cleaning and quarantine and I would like to be able to suggest a readily available OTC product to them. I do not feel comfortable suggesting folk mess around with dangerous stuff like quicklime...
 

Irvin Loblolly

New member
Joined
May 9, 2009
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Country
United States
I am interested in the outcome of this as well. Having planted tanks I have never heard of this to get rid of snail eggs and sanitize plants. Please keep us posted onthe outcome of this.
 

SludgeMunkey

New member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
73
Points
0
Location
Bellevue, Nebraska
Country
United States
Display Name
Johnny O. Farnen
I am going to experiment with the alum method today- just waiting for the momNpop pet shop with their snail and hydra infested plant tank to open. I have a real shortage of non-food item invertebrates in my critter room.:rolleyes:

The quicklime method is very, very easy to do, however, DO NOT mess with this stuff unless you know what you are doing. Quicklime is dangerous stuff that can result in serious alkali burns, defatting and horrible scarring when used improperly. Also it reacts with water initially, so this makes it all the more dangerous. Even with proper PPE and so on, this stuff is nasty. I do not reccomend anyone without proper HAZMAT training to mess with it.

I do not even feel comfortable giving out directions to make the plant sanitizing solution, so I will not post it on the public forum here.

Alum, on the other hand, supposedly works very well, and is not dangerous to humans. It is actually used in making pickles and can be purchased at any grocer in the spices/canning section.

As for the potassium permanganate, I can not find any definitive data on any harmful effects to caudates. I can find plenty of veterinary texts on its use in treatment of infections, however, it is definitely toxic to amphibians in general in high doses. I have also found that every single OTC plant sanitizer in the U.S. contains this as the active ingredient, except the defunct Lime-it.

If anyone can suggest a p.p. free product I would be forever greatful!

I am hoping a couple of the vets and chemists we have floating about can throw their two cents worth in on this topic.
 

Abrahm

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
1,465
Reaction score
44
Points
48
Location
Saint Paul, MN
Country
United States
In general I would recommend sanitizing in a way that doesn't contaminate your amphibians, period. Potassium permanganate, KMnO4, is a very strong oxidizer and reacts readily with most organic compounds, such as your snails and other hitchhikers. KMnO4 is pretty easy to neutralize or rinse away and you know it's there because it tends to be bright pink/purple if in any sort of concentrated solution. It doesn't have a long shelf life in solution and it dyes pretty much anything a disgusting brown, so be forewarned.

I personally prefer to use something like KMnO4 because then I know exactly what I am putting on my plants. Commercial pet products can often be a mystery. This webpage had some good tips for disinfecting plants.
 

SludgeMunkey

New member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
73
Points
0
Location
Bellevue, Nebraska
Country
United States
Display Name
Johnny O. Farnen
The staining issue is what led me to the Lime-it back when I first got into live plants. i tested out the alum method, it definitely wipes out snails. Hydra have bunched up, but appear to be still alive, planaria were unaffected. I'll wait a few more weeks to see how it affected snail eggs if at all.
 

SludgeMunkey

New member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
73
Points
0
Location
Bellevue, Nebraska
Country
United States
Display Name
Johnny O. Farnen
The experiment is complete.

Upon further research, I suggest avoiding over the counter plant sanitizers containing potassium permanganate for use in caudate tanks. (I did not use this in the experiment) I had trouble finding and accessing any pertinent data on this chemical's effects on caudates.


I tested alum versus a lime based solution.

I concocted two solutions, one of alum and one of quicklime, utilizing bottled spring water. Each substance was added in to the heated water to form a super saturated solution. Once cooled, each supersaturated solution had additional spring water mixed in until the target pH of 10 was achieved.

Next, I tested each solution on cabomba sp., elodea sp., java moss, and anubis sp. plants from the snail, hydra and copepod infested plant tanks at the local mom and pop pet shop. Each plant samples was seperated into three separate samples. Control samples were rinsed with spring water. One sample of each plant was treated in the alum solution for fifteen minutes. The remaining sample was treated with the lime solution for the same amount of time. Each sample was segregated in its own jar.

After 15 minutes, each plant was thoroughly rinsed with untreated tap water, then placed in new, clean jars (Thank you spaghetti sauce companies) and properly cycled tank water was added from a known pest free tank.

Results: (forgive the crude chart)

Control samples Alum Solution Lime Solution

1 day X O O

3.5 days X O O

1 week X S,P P


X= All pests present
O= No pests Present
S= Snails
H= Hydra
C= Copepods
P= Planaria*


Conclusions

* The planaria were most likely introduced AFTER sanitization was done, as upon further investigation, the tank water source did contain an active colony. I made the mistake of sampling the water whit the aquarium lighting off, resulting in free swimming planarians contaminating the sample.

The Quicklime solution was effective at removing all pests from the plants.
The alum had no effect on snail eggs.
The controls responded as expected.

No adverse effects were noted on the plants.
 
Last edited:

Lugubris

New member
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
40
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Location
Rohnert Park, California
Country
United States
Display Name
Scott
Potassium permanganate is bad news for anything living. It can be used safely but you must make sure there is none left behind. Like bleach it is a strong oxidizer, which makes me think Sodium hypochlorite (the chemical in bleach) may be a better alternative since you can use water conditioner to neutralize it. Here is a good article describing the effects and use of potassium permanganate.

To provide an example of its oxidative power, I have actually used potassium permanganate in home chemical reactions, mixing it with glycerine will actually cause it to spontaneously combust!
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Saturn:
    @Paige1warren, Thanks hun and you're absolutely right, axolotls are so sensitive it would've showed signs. Glad your lotl is ok :)
    +1
    Unlike
  • Pookisoo:
    Hii my tiger salamander has a black bump on his head, its looks like a little spot but its forming into a bump and its like making a hole..? You can tell i need help , please help😁
    +1
    Unlike
  • Pookisoo:
    Do i just give him a salt bath?
    +1
    Unlike
  • madcaplaughs:
    You need to take him to the vet if there's a hole that's forming in his head.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Tanker:
    New to site. Have a Golden Albino and a Black Melanoid
    +1
    Unlike
  • Tanker:
    Tank size 40 gal. 2 filter pumps /substrate roughed ceramic easy to clean / feed each one night crawler every 3 rd day
    +1
    Unlike
  • Murk:
    Ceramic substrate? That sounds interesting. What should I imagine by that?
    +1
    Unlike
  • AMurry24537:
    Can't say if this is what's being referred to, but I had some ceramic tiles in an aquarium for a while. I used a silicone sealant to secure them to the bottom and to each other. It worked well for about 6 months, but eventually a little water got through my imperfect seal and started creating mold problems
    +2
    Unlike
  • Murk:
    Ooh, tiles of course. I was thinking of those ceramic rings/balls you can buy as filter medium, but tiles make more sense. Thanks
    +1
    Unlike
  • Stacy:
    Hi there, I am a new Axolotl lover & owner of two cuties! They are little over 6 months old now. I have a divider and decided to see how they would be together because they always tried to get to each other threw the border/wall.
    +1
    Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    In PowerSchool, what is your current grade for this class?Do you have any missing or incomplete assignments for this class?If yes, what assignments do you plan to complete before the end of the marking period (March 25th)?What can I do to help you get your grade to where you need it to be before the end of the marking period?
    +1
    Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    Oh shoot wrong thing
    +1
    Unlike
  • Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    Looolllllll
    +1
    Unlike
  • Axiegel & Edgar:
    i need help!
    +1
    Unlike
  • Murk:
    With?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    liz. has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    @Axiegwhats el & Edgar,
    +1
    Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    What is wrong?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    JoyJiang has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    JoyJiang has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Hi guys, I was wondering if I possibly crashed my tanks cycle? I’ve had a cycling tank for months now, changing 25% water weekly. I never had any problem until a few days ago when I did a 50% water change. I did this because the tank was looking extra dirty for some reason and also I siphoned too much water out trying to vacuum the sand. I noticed since that water change, my axolotl has been hiding more, barely eating, and only moving from time to time. I checked the water perimeters and they are .25 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 10 nitrate. I normally have 0 ammonia, I haven’t had above 0 since I was first cycling the tank. Did I make an error or is this just a fluke? What should I do?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Im worried about my lil girl, she’s normally fairly active and a pig when it comes to food. Should I tub her until I figure out the tank situation? Am I overreacting lol?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Also, she is about a year old. Her tail is perfectly straight and her gills are perky (not curled forward). She’s looking perfectly fine, just acting weird
    +1
    Unlike
  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Sorry one more thing, when I changed the water last I removed a few plastic plants that I realized were taking up too much room. Would the removal of the bacteria on the plants mess it up?
    +1
    Unlike
    Toothpickthelotl: Sorry one more thing, when I changed the water last I removed a few plastic plants that I... +1
    Top