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Shark.Bait
08/10/2017, 08:36 PM
My build thread seemed to attract some interest in the topic of dosing bleach. I was asked to start a thread in the chemistry forum, so here we are!

You can catch up here: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2646695

This was not my idea, but something I've learned from Bob Stark, the owner of ESV. He has been doing for some time and understands the topic well. I think its best that quote him and answer what I can! Discuss!

" Yup! Adds about 0.1 ppm chlorine (the lowest you'll find in tap water is about 0.2 ppm). It puts a hit on bacteria in water column but doesn't kill all of them. My theory is it preferentially kills gram negative bacteria which pretty much makes up most of the coral pathogenic types. There are references which support this theory for freshwater and interestingly enough ozone, while dropping total bacteria counts, does not selectively target gram negative bacteria as well as chlorine. There seems to be some vulnerability of the gram negative membrane towards chlorine compared to ozone. We can't completely extrapolate that to saltwater because bromide gets involved. I'm sure there's also some breakdown of refractory DOC similar to ozone. Bottom line is my corals never looked better..sps, softies, and LPS. We are emotionally repulsed when we first hear using bleach but it's all in the concentration used. I've been dosing since Feb. Tank never looked better and haven't lost a single coral or fish. Maybe the real benefit of doing a water change is a quick reduction of harmful bacteria. The bleach dose might be an easier, more effective way of doing that. Bleach has been experimented with for many years in the hobby. I think the key is zeroing in on a therapeutic dose which doesn't harm our beneficial critters and substrate dwelling microfauna. I'm confident the 1 drop per 10 gal dose accomplishes this. If you search on R2R you'll see others using higher amounts more often. Google "Adding bleach to reef tank"."

Shark.Bait
08/10/2017, 08:45 PM
Hach makes these heterotrophic aerobic bacteria count kits. Basically dip it in your water sample and screw it back into the vial and let it incubate a few days. The tube on the left is an initial test on my tank water. After taking that sample I added the 1 drop/10 gal dose of bleach, waited 5 minutes, and took the sample on the right. I have in the past dosed 1 drop per 5 gals daily with no adverse reactions other than some brief polyp closure so I have high confidence the 1 drop/10 gal weekly dose is safe. It must be dropped in front of a high circulation pump in display or pre-diluted in a cup of RO/DI water before adding. I'm very curious how effective this technique might be on preventing/curing some coral disease. Anyone willing to try it and share observations pls FB message me or post something. It would be most appreciated. Remember though..1 -DROP- per 10 gals aquarium water. I use 8.25% unscented household bleach.

karimwassef
08/10/2017, 09:55 PM
If it's undiscriminating, how do you know that it's killing good vs bad life in the water.

This is the same issue with peroxide, UV or ozone... the question is whether one technique is more targeted at the "bad" guys vs. indiscriminately killing life.

I have no mechanical filtration or protein skimming, and I find that it's important to "tap the brakes" on life or it can run amuck... so I use a UV. It's reduced the explosion of some life that I couldn't limit in the past. This isn't limited to bacteria.

Shark.Bait
08/10/2017, 10:56 PM
If it's undiscriminating, how do you know that it's killing good vs bad life in the water.

This is the same issue with peroxide, UV or ozone... the question is whether one technique is more targeted at the "bad" guys vs. indiscriminately killing life.

I have no mechanical filtration or protein skimming, and I find that it's important to "tap the brakes" on life or it can run amuck... so I use a UV. It's reduced the explosion of some life that I couldn't limit in the past. This isn't limited to bacteria.

I agree that the buildup of certain bacterial strains (and other life) can act as environmental stressors for the coral. It's most likely killing everything it touches immediately if not well mixed, but at a dilute dosage gram negative seem to have a sensitivity to it.

Dan_P
08/11/2017, 03:06 AM
Adding low levels of bleach to an aquarium will very likely have little if any impact on bacteria because the dissolved organic matter in the water will react with the chlorine to produce nongermicidal organic chlorides. This chlorine demand could consume several tenths of chlorine before any free chlorine is available to interact with bacteria. There is a chance that some of these organic chlorides can be toxic or cause cancer, for example halomethanes, though the levels will be low. Foam fractionation, skimming, may not remove these organic chlorides. GAC has a better chance.

Dissolved organic compound levels are not constant. Adding a fixed amount of chlorine would produce variable levels if any of free chlorine. This blind approach to additive addition is risky.

pisanoal
08/11/2017, 08:20 AM
Adding low levels of bleach to an aquarium will very likely have little if any impact on bacteria because the dissolved organic matter in the water will react with the chlorine to produce nongermicidal organic chlorides. This chlorine demand could consume several tenths of chlorine before any free chlorine is available to interact with bacteria. There is a chance that some of these organic chlorides can be toxic or cause cancer, for example halomethanes, though the levels will be low. Foam fractionation, skimming, may not remove these organic chlorides. GAC has a better chance.

Dissolved organic compound levels are not constant. Adding a fixed amount of chlorine would produce variable levels if any of free chlorine. This blind approach to additive addition is risky.

I'd have to agree. Organics tend to tie up free chlorine way before it effects pathogens. The chlorine oxidation of organics happens very fast. The chlorine needs contact time in order to kill bacteria/pathogens. This is why a 30 minute contact time is required for waste water treatment plants. And that is at much higher concentrations then you are aiming for.

Shark.Bait
08/11/2017, 01:57 PM
I think the key is to start low and figure out what the therapeutic dosage is. From the bacteria count kit, there's less in the water column, no?

bertoni
08/11/2017, 08:46 PM
Adding low levels of bleach to an aquarium will very likely have little if any impact on bacteria because the dissolved organic matter in the water will react with the chlorine to produce nongermicidal organic chlorides.
I agree that's likely, and that's the best case. Bleach is highly toxic, and I wouldn't put it into the water my fish were going to pass over their gills.

I don't know what is meant by "buildup of bacteria" in the water column. That doesn't seem very realistic. Bacteria generally are limited by nutrients. I don't see how they can "build up" over time. They won't last long without food, and they usually can grow quite rapidly when it's present.

Shark.Bait
08/14/2017, 02:31 PM
I agree that's likely, and that's the best case. Bleach is highly toxic, and I wouldn't put it into the water my fish were going to pass over their gills.



I don't know what is meant by "buildup of bacteria" in the water column. That doesn't seem very realistic. Bacteria generally are limited by nutrients. I don't see how they can "build up" over time. They won't last long without food, and they usually can grow quite rapidly when it's present.



I'm not saying that bacteria just grows uncontested. They are limited by nutrients but also outcompete each other. Putting a hit on a gram negative or "harmful" bacteria would will hopefully allow others to grow. Less stressors on coral leads to less RTN incidents. If gram-negative is indeed a stressor to coral, then an added benefit of the oxidizing effects of bleach should be less RTN incidents (hopefully)


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netsequent
08/14/2017, 02:56 PM
I would not ever add any of the chloride based supplements to my tank from ESV or any other vendor. Consider using a UV filter.

bertoni
08/14/2017, 03:44 PM
I'm not saying that bacteria just grows uncontested. They are limited by nutrients but also outcompete each other. Putting a hit on a gram negative or "harmful" bacteria would will hopefully allow others to grow. Less stressors on coral leads to less RTN incidents. If gram-negative is indeed a stressor to coral, then an added benefit of the oxidizing effects of bleach should be less RTN incidents (hopefully)
I don't see any reason to assume that bleach is going to kill what we want to kill. I also don't see any reason to believe that this is going to decrease coral stress.

Shark.Bait
08/14/2017, 08:49 PM
I don't see any reason to assume that bleach is going to kill what we want to kill. I also don't see any reason to believe that this is going to decrease coral stress.



If you look at the picture I posted in post #2 you can see a difference in the bacteria levels in the water column between before adding bleach, and 5 minutes after adding bleach.


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bertoni
08/14/2017, 10:11 PM
I believe that bleach will kill bacteria. I don't see any reason to believe that killing bacteria is useful. They can grow at a very high rate when there's food available.

dartier
08/15/2017, 05:04 AM
I was curious about this and wanted to read more about what Bob Stark had posted, but have been unable to find anything discussing it (from him) online. Can you give a more direct reference as to where he has posted about it?

Dennis

Shark.Bait
08/15/2017, 11:09 AM
I was curious about this and wanted to read more about what Bob Stark had posted, but have been unable to find anything discussing it (from him) online. Can you give a more direct reference as to where he has posted about it?



Dennis



I don't believe he has posted about it online. He said he's working on getting a Facebook group together, but I haven't seen anything yet.


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Tripod1404
08/15/2017, 11:36 AM
If you look at the picture I posted in post #2 you can see a difference in the bacteria levels in the water column between before adding bleach, and 5 minutes after adding bleach.


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I think for that experiment to be reliable, you need to repeat it at least 2 more times (even that would be a statistically insignificant data from a pure scientific perspective). Ideally you should also do it with varying amounts of bleach to show there is a correlation between increasing bleach used and drop in total bacteria. And you should also look at the recovery rate of population after bleach addition, if the bacteria populations reach to the original level after, say ~ 30mins, it might not be killing them but just causing them attach to substrate or etc.

Shark.Bait
08/15/2017, 01:31 PM
I believe that bleach will kill bacteria. I don't see any reason to believe that killing bacteria is useful. They can grow at a very high rate when there's food available.



This is a study on freshwater and there's no guarantee the same selectivity would occur in saltwater, which has a much more complex redox chemistry when an oxidizer is added. The other interesting thing to note in this study is the integrity of the biofilms stayed the same.

In a reef tank this could be good in that it shouldn't effect the substrate bacteria..only those in the water column.

Since there is very little peer reviewed science for anything we decide to do with a reef tank, you could challenge skeptics to provide a peer reviewed reference to lend support to the theories they employ with their maintenance procedures for most methods.

That's the point of my build thread, to test a hypothesis and add another data point. I'm not saying its the best or the most well understood.


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bertoni
08/15/2017, 03:36 PM
I believe that you might affect the bacterial population if the dosing is frequent and regular. I'm just not sure what the goal might be. I haven't seen any evidence that bacteria in our tanks are a general problem. Disease organisms could be an issue, but I don't see any reason to believe that this could help.

If you want to kill bacteria in the water column, a UV filter will do the job.

tmz
08/18/2017, 01:30 PM
Bleach destroys organics ickuidng living organics and other organic matter and adds chlorine. It's deadly,adding it to a living reef tank even in small amounts is is at best frought with unnecessary risk to living things in the tank and the orverall organic mix.
The notion that it kills gram negative bacteria preferentially is just a notion which even if true offers little comfort. Many beneficial bacteria are gram negative ;such as most nitrobacteriae( nirosomonas/ ammonia oxidizers, nitrobacter/ nitirite oxidizerrs for example) as well as acetic acid bacteria.