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Old 06-17-2014, 01:34 AM   #1
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Soap and Aquariums

For many years now, it has been bred into aquarists time and time again, all over the world, to NEVER USE SOAP !!

Now I'll shed a little light on the subject for all to see. This is not exactly true. There are two brands that are not only SAFE, but WIDELY USED in day to day activities involving animals.

The first is Simple Green. Aquariums, Zoos, and Other Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers, use it DAILY !!!!

Cleaning Uses

The second is Dawn Dishwashing Detergent. Many have seen it used primarily for oil spills. If you're old enough to remember the Exxon-Valdez or young enough to remember the Gulf oil rig explosion.

Why Dawn Is The Bird Cleanser Of Choice For Oil Spills : NPR

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Old 06-17-2014, 03:25 AM   #2
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I think people don't use soap with aquariums because it's an enclosed system. In the ocean, the toxins can spread out and don't build up in certain areas.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:48 AM   #3
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Are we talking on our hands or on the actual aquarium?

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Old 06-17-2014, 09:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by treemanone2003 View Post
For many years now, it has been bred into aquarists time and time again, all over the world, to NEVER USE SOAP !!

Now I'll shed a little light on the subject for all to see. This is not exactly true. There are two brands that are not only SAFE, but WIDELY USED in day to day activities involving animals.

The first is Simple Green. Aquariums, Zoos, and Other Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers, use it DAILY !!!!

Cleaning Uses

The second is Dawn Dishwashing Detergent. Many have seen it used primarily for oil spills. If you're old enough to remember the Exxon-Valdez or young enough to remember the Gulf oil rig explosion.

Why Dawn Is The Bird Cleanser Of Choice For Oil Spills : NPR

There's a whole new world out there. Enjoy it.

where to begin...

First Simple Green is not a surfactant (sudsing) cleaner, it is a mild solvent mixture, BIG difference .

Soap Molecule -- How Does Soap Work?
"How does Soap Work?
Nearly all compounds fall into one of two categories: hydrophilic ('water-loving') and hydrophobic ('water-hating'). Water and anything that will mix with water are hydrophilic. Oil and anything that will mix with oil are hydrophobic. When water and oil are mixed they separate. Hydrophilic and hydrophobic compounds just don't mix.
The cleansing action of soap is determined by its polar and non-polar structures in conjunction with an application of solubility principles. The long hydrocarbon chain is non-polar and hydrophobic (repelled by water). The "salt" end of the soap molecule is ionic and hydrophilic (water soluble).
When grease or oil (non-polar hydrocarbons) are mixed with a soap- water solution, the soap molecules work as a bridge between polar water molecules and non-polar oil molecules. Since soap molecules have both properties of non-polar and polar molecules the soap can act as an emulsifier. An emulsifier is capable of dispersing one liquid into another immiscible liquid. This means that while oil (which attracts dirt) doesn't naturally mix with water, soap can suspend oil/dirt in such a way that it can be removed. The soap will form micelles (see below) and trap the fats within the micelle. Since the micelle is soluble in water, it can easily be washed away."

The portion in bold is why/how soap kills aquatic animals.

As for Dawn, seriously??? you want to compare cleaning oil off a birds feathers to animals who's entire existence is in the water???
The reason why Dawn works so good for oil is what is in bold above,
so no, Dawn isn't good for use in fish keeping.
There is no comparison.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:50 AM   #5
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Interesting reading through. It's tricky in this household as soap always seems to vanish on the weekend or when shops are shut. Ditto for toilet paper really..

I generally give hands a quick wash. Fairly careful. Generally do fish tank first then any gardening just in case.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:42 PM   #6
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I have no qualms about running equipment and small tanks through the dishwasher. Show tanks come out spotless.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:14 PM   #7
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I have no qualms about running equipment and small tanks through the dishwasher. Show tanks come out spotless.

That's an idea! Do you run through without soaps or does the dishwasher rinsing cycle sort out?
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB_Smith View Post

where to begin...

First Simple Green is not a surfactant (sudsing) cleaner, it is a mild solvent mixture, BIG difference .

Soap Molecule -- How Does Soap Work?
"How does Soap Work?
Nearly all compounds fall into one of two categories: hydrophilic ('water-loving') and hydrophobic ('water-hating'). Water and anything that will mix with water are hydrophilic. Oil and anything that will mix with oil are hydrophobic. When water and oil are mixed they separate. Hydrophilic and hydrophobic compounds just don't mix.
The cleansing action of soap is determined by its polar and non-polar structures in conjunction with an application of solubility principles. The long hydrocarbon chain is non-polar and hydrophobic (repelled by water). The "salt" end of the soap molecule is ionic and hydrophilic (water soluble).
When grease or oil (non-polar hydrocarbons) are mixed with a soap- water solution, the soap molecules work as a bridge between polar water molecules and non-polar oil molecules. Since soap molecules have both properties of non-polar and polar molecules the soap can act as an emulsifier. An emulsifier is capable of dispersing one liquid into another immiscible liquid. This means that while oil (which attracts dirt) doesn't naturally mix with water, soap can suspend oil/dirt in such a way that it can be removed. The soap will form micelles (see below) and trap the fats within the micelle. Since the micelle is soluble in water, it can easily be washed away."

The portion in bold is why/how soap kills aquatic animals.

As for Dawn, seriously??? you want to compare cleaning oil off a birds feathers to animals who's entire existence is in the water???
The reason why Dawn works so good for oil is what is in bold above,
so no, Dawn isn't good for use in fish keeping.
There is no comparison.
+1
You beat me to it. This was basically going to be my exact statement.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:40 AM   #9
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I always use bleach water to clean my tanks. Two caps to a small bucket of water. I then rinse it off real good and then let it air dry. It is safe to use then but some folks when they start the tank up they put some dechlorinator in there just in case which is fine but not needed.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:54 AM   #10
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I do that for the fake rocks when they get unsightly about once a year. For some reason every time I do them it rains so they just sit out in that for a bit.
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