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Old 02-28-2017, 09:55 PM   #1
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Using Bleach to get Surfactants Out of Tank?

Long story short, I unknowingly put surfactants in my tank while cleaning it.
I've been rinsing it multiple times each day since Sunday, but I worry it won't all be gone by Friday (when I need to set the tank up).
Should I just keep rinsing or use bleach to get it out?
I really don't want to kill my teacher's fish. Please help.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:11 PM   #2
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Disclaimer - Not the especially scientific type.

By the nature of an ammonia surfactant, they would make cleaning them out easier I think.

Maybe just soak the things in 5x dosage Prime water. If you do not notice any foaming you might be alright. You might try a critter like a few Ghost Shrimp. (better the Ghost shrimp than the teachers fish) Shrimp are pretty sensitive to issues with water, to see if it lives after the rinsing and Prime soaking. I'd say if they survive for 3 days the tank should be safe. They might molt, and they might eat their cohabitators body too. You can feed them a tidbit of meaty food.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:26 PM   #3
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it's not sure if it's an ammonia surfactant, but you think bleach would be good? I've rinsed it so many times and there's no foaming at all.
Is prime the same as my water conditioner?
Thanks.
I would try a ghost shrimp, but I'm not sure what I'd do with it afterwards if it survived. I could put it in my community tank, but I was hoping for cherries and I've heard ghosts and cherries don't get along. Could it go live with my teacher's betta?
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:37 PM   #4
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I'd try Prime, and yes it is a good type water dechlorinator but more as it will bind/neutralize heavy metals and Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. This is an all around useful tool for new tanks too.
Seachem - Prime

Try the shrimp. You could return it if it is in good condition, or use it in a planted vase. VERY true the sweet, busy little Cherry Shrimp are not good tank mates for the Ghost Shrimp.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:43 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help. I don't know if I'm worrying too much, I've rinsed it out so many times I've lost count, but I'm so scared, I don't want to kill the fish. Local Petco has two ghost shrimp left... so I could try to grab one tomorrow.
Could rinsing alone do the trick? How many rinses would you think?
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:50 PM   #6
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I couldn't even guess especially not knowing what the surfactant is. I'd use Prime though, especially for a new set up and unknown for sure about the cycle progress.

One thing about the Prime is, it very easy to use more than you need and waste it. I bought a 3 pack of empty bottles for travel shampoo, lotion, etc. For $1. and used the lid off of one of the flip style. That way it is much easier to see how many drops you are using. Or get a free medicine cup from your local pharmacy (or medicine syringe they give little kids liquid medicine with), easier to dose smaller amounts.
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:02 AM   #7
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It was Oxivir, an accelerated hydrogen peroxide cleaner that breaks down into water and oxygen after twenty four hours, so its environmentally friendly. However, it says there are surfactants and chelating agents and wetting agents in it and I don't know if those break down with the peroxide.
I got it from a zookeeper who said it would be fine (long story, my boss gave it to me). She knew it was for a tank and just said to rinse it very well.
The tank doesn't doesn't smell or foam anymore. I have rinsed it at least five times, soaked it overnight each night, and let it sit with clean water each day. Dump it out then repeat.
Tank was bought used, has been unused for a year but will be set up Friday for a betta at school, I have safestart and other bacteria and test strips to get cycle going. Can also bring filter media from my tank.
I'm thinking I'll just rinse it as much as possible and try the ghost shrimp on Thursday.
I've been told by multiple friends that I'm worrying too much, till be fine if I rinse it, but I don't want to harm the fish.
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:30 AM   #8
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Probably worrying too much.
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:25 AM   #9
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You're right. I think I tend to worry a lot, especially if the task is something important I don't went to mess up.
Thank you for all your help!
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