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Old 03-08-2009, 09:43 AM   #1
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No phosphorous = no surfactants?

I'm setting up my first tank - it's actually a big brother gift for our son, we're expecting son #2 in a few weeks. I'll be taking care of it, he'll be stocking and feeding it. I want to do a fishless cycle. The last thing we need right now is to have to explain what death is to our son.

My lovely husband bought me a bottle of ammonia at the hardware store. It is labeled for institutional use and is "professional strength." It is clear, does not foam when shaken, and says it "contains no phosphorus." However, it doesn't say anything about soaps or surfactants. Does the labeling of "no phosphorus" mean "no surfactants?"

TIA!
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:55 AM   #2
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In addition, I looked up the MSDS on this product. http://www.jamesaustin.com/product/M...te_Ammonia.pdf

Under section 2 -- composition / information on ingredients the only thing listed is Ammonium hydroxide. Would they have to list surfactants or other things or is this just the active ingredient?
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:58 AM   #3
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If there are no bubbles when shaken you are OK.
Not just foaming, it should act about the same as if you are shaking water.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:03 PM   #4
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Well, it bubbles a little and some of the bubbles stick to the side of the bottle (under the water line). I guess I'll have DH return it and look for an Ace Hardware or see what Home Depot has.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:07 AM   #5
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The info sheet list "hazardous ingredients" in section 2, so it does not need to list all ingredients. <The label of: sudsy, pine ,lemon, clear on that sheet would indicate to me that at least some of that brand contains something other than pure ammonia ... no phosphate does not mean 100% no soap - as there are non-phosphate detergents on the market.>
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibley View Post
...I guess I'll have DH return it and look for an Ace Hardware or see what Home Depot has.
I would suggest skipping Home Depot. So far, the only places I've heard of people getting the right type of ammonia is at ACE Hardware and Piggily Wiggily.

Any other sources anyone has encountered?
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:54 PM   #7
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In fact I tried both Home Depot and Lowes before I went to my local ACE hardware. Ace hardware stores are not always called ACE hardware so you have to look around. Lumberjack Hardware are the ACE stores around where I live.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:59 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone. I found an Ace Hardware store and picked up some of the official AA approved ammonia.
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