• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

What's in AE excel/easycarbo

Status
Not open for further replies.

JohnC

Member
Joined
14 Nov 2008
Messages
1,067
Location
On a mountain in the Highlands of Scotland
davidcmadrid said:
I dont believe so. Did you notice the pong when dosing easycarbo ? have you seen the health care industries take on gluteraldehyde ?

My end of the bottle of easycarbo stinks. havnt seen the health care advice.
 

JamesC

Member
Thread starter
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
1,276
Location
Bexley, Kent
hijac said:
I read somewhere else in a large thread about using these products to treat BBA that the reason they keep the ingredients secret was due to licensing laws on selling algaecide and pesticides.

I wonder if any have actually been screened properly through the relevant health & trading standards bodies for sale over the counter in aquarium shops due to the toxic nature of the contents.

John

I would think the reason Seachem keep it secret is to stop it from being copied.

They keep quiet about the algaecide properties to keep the EPA from being involved. As Excel is being used as an aquarium fertiliser the EPA couldn't care less about it, but if they marketed it as an algaecide and where there was a possibility that the water it was added to would make it's way into the water systems then they would be very interested. This would then mean that Excel would have to be approved amongst many other things and would be a major headache for Seachem.

James
 

davidcmadrid

Member
Joined
21 Jun 2009
Messages
115
Seachem are very keen to avoid saying it kills algae because then its a pesticide and subject to much more stringent federal health and safety laws in the US and Europe.
 

davidcmadrid

Member
Joined
21 Jun 2009
Messages
115
hijac said:
davidcmadrid said:
I dont believe so. Did you notice the pong when dosing easycarbo ? have you seen the health care industries take on gluteraldehyde ?

My end of the bottle of easycarbo stinks. havnt seen the health care advice.

The smell about my home but for sure in the tank room is quite strong when i dosed it water change dose. This is what the medical profession thinks of the active ingredient.
http://www.rcn.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf ... 001362.pdf Nurses have won claims agains the NHS having developed problems using it too so dont spend too much time sniffing the bottle. Firstly i may be drawing the erroneous conclusion that Seachems product is somehow different but in any case health and safety issues are being skirted and in some cases , perhaps through ignorance, being ignored by vendors. If liquid carbon is a must then the Excel is the product to use. I am not a plant guru and perhaps there are thousands of happy clients using the DIY excel but I have based on the research I have done ( sources NHS / MSDS and professional chemists ) reached from a laymans perspective the conclusions outlined above.
 

JohnC

Member
Joined
14 Nov 2008
Messages
1,067
Location
On a mountain in the Highlands of Scotland
Can you repost that link again. It doesnt seem to work for me.

You have me worried now since this bottle sits 2 feet from my bed and I dose both tanks in my bedroom which is also my home office.

John
 

TBRO

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2009
Messages
947
Hmm quite worrying to think that bottle under my tank is potentially dangerous. Is gluteraldehyde carcinogenic or is the main problem respiratory tract irritation?

Tom
 

davidcmadrid

Member
Joined
21 Jun 2009
Messages
115
The MSDS covers a lot of stuff , i get the impression they err on the side of caution whats of note though is that the medical procedures are different in the case of say ingestion of bleach to this with the emphasis being on trying to limit exposure by purposefully not inducing vomiting over say bleach. The Royal College of nurses report shows potential problems if inhaled at .2 ppm for a period of 15 minutes so reduced the MEl , or Maximum exposure level to .05 ( page 7/16 of the report above ). The primary thing they seem to worry about is respitory problems but there are all kinds of secondary concerns for them to include organ failure.

I firmly believe that there is a moral and legal requirement for the producers of these products to be clear about what is being used and what the concentrations are. Furthermore I believe that there is also a moral and legal obligation to correctly label the bottles to outline some of the safety procedures that should be employed when using it. Even things like ventilation.
 

JohnC

Member
Joined
14 Nov 2008
Messages
1,067
Location
On a mountain in the Highlands of Scotland
davidcmadrid said:
I firmly believe that there is a moral and legal requirement for the producers of these products to be clear about what is being used and what the concentrations are. Furthermore I believe that there is also a moral and legal obligation to correctly label the bottles to outline some of the safety procedures that should be employed when using it. Even things like ventilation.

well said.

The grand total of the warning on the back of Easycarbo is -

Caution:
Do not overdose. For use in aquariums only.
Keep out of the reach of children.


John
 

plantbrain

Expert
Joined
2 Aug 2007
Messages
1,946
davidcmadrid said:
I have stopped using AEs carbon product totally and sent a sample of it to the Spanish State lab via my wifes sister who works there for a breakdown. The Excel product whilst even as above has dubious contents if the holes in the cheese lined up ( really do keep out of reach of children ! ) its from a company i would assume with a broad experience and resources to get the product to work and with broad quality control measures given the sensitve nature of the product.

Why hold them to a higher standard than say Seachem or Easy Carb?
They have the same types of labeling and warning.

I know what is in all 3 products specifically and have the equipment test methods to get that information. It's not different and the toxicity and concentration are the same for 2 of them. One is more concentrated. If you want to buy Seachem, go for it, but this and the other are quite similar. I've used it (same thing AE uses) for years now and have long suggested Seachem Excel to folks.

Testing chemicals cost $ and takes time and you need to be sure. If you want to spend a lot of $ to test and time, nothing is stopping you, perhaps your sister will do it for free. Testing for unknown organics using HPLC columns ain't easy. Sample shipping, preservation and other issues also play some role. Been there, done this. PITA.
I have strong doubts they have that much idle time at the lab to just play around for free. I dunno, maybe she does.

Seems easier for everyone just to go to SeaChem and not hassle with it, either that or use CO2 gas since there's this attitude of paranoia going about "chemicals".

CO2 is pretty mellow and you breath it all day long 8)

If you want to wig out on labeling of ingredients, there are much larger fish to fry here.
Fragrances are not listed typically and folks apply these directly on skin, their body etc. Some have been found to endocrine disrupters.

Essentially what I'm saying is that the risk............is low with Excel, Easy Carb or AE's product. You do not leave it out with the bottle open, you do not sniff it, drink it, get it in your eyes, you add it to the tank at a low concentration and then it dilutes even further and is metabolized by plants and bacteria, not vaporized into your lungs directly.

Use common sense and follow the directions.

I have not had a response from AE to a request for a copy of the MSDS , nor details of potential toxicity to both humans and fauna alike in sufficent ( or what dose ). Initial investigations via the UK HSE and a number of other bodies suggest there is no MSDS available but in that sense its early days. Im not interested in the blurb on protecting trade secrets since it seems to me you would want to be nuts to try to make this stuff at home .. I wont be going back to using it for a number of reasons which i dont feel it appropriate to discuss just yet but i am in contact with more experienced members here than me and the local aquariast group.

At this stage , suffice to say " Go with the Excel if your using liquid carbon , no price difference and the muscle of a big lab behind the product ".

There's no need for the MSDS from AE, there's already one.
The same MSDS applies.
The same toxicity applies.

See above referenced post from Aaron.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

plantbrain

Expert
Joined
2 Aug 2007
Messages
1,946
davidcmadrid said:
The MSDS covers a lot of stuff , i get the impression they err on the side of caution whats of note though is that the medical procedures are different in the case of say ingestion of bleach to this with the emphasis being on trying to limit exposure by purposefully not inducing vomiting over say bleach. The Royal College of nurses report shows potential problems if inhaled at .2 ppm for a period of 15 minutes so reduced the MEl , or Maximum exposure level to .05 ( page 7/16 of the report above ). The primary thing they seem to worry about is respitory problems but there are all kinds of secondary concerns for them to include organ failure.

I firmly believe that there is a moral and legal requirement for the producers of these products to be clear about what is being used and what the concentrations are. Furthermore I believe that there is also a moral and legal obligation to correctly label the bottles to outline some of the safety procedures that should be employed when using it. Even things like ventilation.

Medical field workers are exposed to repeated and often longer term concentrations than aquarist, they also are exposed to vapour much more so and higher concentrations, rather than adding it to water rather quickly from a small bottle at low concentration.

For these reasons, the risk is much higher for them than aquarists.

This is not an issue between Seachem Easy Carb and AE, it's an issue of your perception of risk.
If you think the risk is high, them use CO2 or go non CO2.
Folks have killed more fish using CO2 however than any single thing they have added to a planted tank.

So if livestock concerns are the larger issue, then perhaps non CO2 is your method.
If "chemicals" are the larger risk, then perhaps CO2 gas is better for you.

Risk assessment is done for many things, nothing is risk free. Most things are highly toxic in the right dose, even salt, CO2, caffeine, Beer etc are quite deadly.

The question is at what dose do these things become dangerous?
Not with these products if you follow directions, the beer is likely more risk to life and limb;)

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

JohnC

Member
Joined
14 Nov 2008
Messages
1,067
Location
On a mountain in the Highlands of Scotland
plantbrain said:
Not with these products if you follow directions, the beer is likely more risk to life and limb;)

I'm holding a bottle of beer in one hand and a bottle of easy carbo in the other.

Living on the edge. 8)

edit - obviously put them down to type.
 

Drouthie

Member
Joined
20 Jun 2009
Messages
70
Location
Liverpool
plantbrain said:
Essentially what I'm saying is that the risk............is low with Excel, Easy Carb or AE's product. You do not leave it out with the bottle open, you do not sniff it, drink it, get it in your eyes, you add it to the tank at a low concentration and then it dilutes even further and is metabolized by plants and bacteria, not vaporized into your lungs directly.

Use common sense and follow the directions.


I completely agree, everything has risks and I find that msds are usually worst case senarios of the 100% chemical. There are many things you come into contact everyday that are just as/ more dangerous. Oh and for the record (from a couple of posts up) no it isn't a mutagen so most probably not carcinogenic. I read that in a msds and something on rat studies where they feed them 1000ppm in their water and see the long term health effects (nothing).
 

davidcmadrid

Member
Joined
21 Jun 2009
Messages
115
plantbrain said:
The question is at what dose do these things become dangerous?

Inhaled ( as i assume this was the manner of study since the near scuba kit they are mandated to wear doesnt allow skin absorbtion ) at .02 parts per million for 15 minutes or more according to people more qualified than us if i read the Royal College of nurses assessment correctly ? They were unable to assertain what level was actually safe not only in concentration but also addressed the lenght of time of exposure. Take a read of it , its quite explicit and not a matter of perception. There was a time where asbestos was considered safe too , just because "people had been using it for a long time".

The notion that im wigging out is ,, ermm nice but i just happened to start asking a few questions about this product got nowhere because of the secret that you say is not a secret and dug a bit deeper.


Why did I select AE product because its the strongest of the 3 on the market in terms of concentration and several questions surrounding the product many of straight forward were ignored. I also feel that its likely that a major company will have developed quality control tests both during and post production to ensure there is just the right amount in the concentrated form . Incidentally I am not paranoid for the fish but for the kids , wife and myself. Took the decision that its not what I want to be using maybe others will to ( would probably have passed it up but for the RCN report ) . This thread has been quite useful i feel as from what I can gather it collates data from several verifiable sources and looks beyond the how do i make this stuff at home which was the extent to which many people have explored it, ill wig away :D . I understand that the MSDS can be somewhat generic but when i asked for one , one specific to the registered manufacturer wasnt available as per the law in the UK and Europe for AES product which is not the same in makeup as excel. so ..

plantbrain said:
do not leave it out with the bottle open do not sniff it
.. as a safety precaution , thats the first time I have seen an aquariast say that so something has been achieved from this already. :D

The RCN reports that MELS for the substance should be at no more than .02 ppm either short term ( 15 minutes ) or cumulative long term ( 8 hours for them is considered long term ) and according to the American conference of Government Industrial Hygienists Humans detect the odour of the aldehyde above 4 ppm or 80 times the RCN limit although there is conflicting data with some data sources saying that its detectable at 4 parts per billion. Particularily when strongly dosing the product i recall a strong smell of the product in the room for 5 or 6 hours straight i,e after a water change and in the corridor into the fish room about 6 meters from the tank. That was with AEs product ( the higher concentrate one ) , I cant recall one way or the other with Seachems as i barely used it.

In any case as i pointed out , theres just enough anecdotal evidence to me personally not to use it and I guess thats what it comes down to.


Generally speaking as I said above that users of the product should be made more aware of the risks through more comprehensive labelling and advice ( even simple stuff like wash you hands if contaminated , open window if dosing high levels, do not sniff, do not leave bottle open. Seachem point out get this in your eye and your in trouble to be fair that is the most comprehensive labelling there is of the 3 ) etc , im not suggesting that it be sent to the local nuclear waste dump and buried lest its owners drop dead . People more qualified than ourselves in human toxicology will and should make determination beyond that . Instead its " its been used for years ".. there was a time doctors reccomended smoking.

Here is what the American Center for Disease control says about handling the product:

" Furthermore, it is important to note that individuals can protect themselves from exposure to glutaraldehyde by following specific guidelines outlined by the Center for Disease Control, which includes the use of local exhaust ventilation, keeping glutaraldehyde baths under a fume hood where possible, using the minimum amount of glutaraldehyde to perform the required procedure, avoiding skin contact by using gloves and aprons made of nitrile or butyl rubber, washing gloved hands after handling glutaraldehyde, wearing goggles and face shields when handling glutaraldehyde, and sealing or covering all containers holding glutaraldehyde solutions "

Photographers also won claims as Gluteraldehyde was an element in low concentration of developer fluid at one point.


There are other and potentially worse risks out there of course I agree but its besides the point at the minute.
 

GreenNeedle

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,729
Location
Lincoln UK
I agree this is quite a fascinating thread. However I have a seperate question on home brew aldehydes.

What is the take on Formalin / Formaldehyde? I make my own from a bottle of 40% Formaldeyde and DI water.

1 part of 40% Formaldehyde and 12 parts water.

What is the assessment of risk on this? And if equally bad how was it I was allowed to buy the bottle of 40% Formaldehyde over the counter so to speak?

On the subject of Excel being algaecide, Seachem have always stated that it was never intended as an algaecide nor was it something that was expected. More of a side effect that was discovered later on. therefore this is why they say they don't put that in their marketing. It is the user themselves that have spread this message.

AC
 

davidcmadrid

Member
Joined
21 Jun 2009
Messages
115
SuperColey1 said:
What is the take on Formalin / Formaldehyde? I make my own from a bottle of 40% Formaldeyde and DI water.

1 part of 40% Formaldehyde and 12 parts water.

What is the assessment of risk on this? And if equally bad how was it I was allowed to buy the bottle of 40% Formaldehyde over the counter so to speak?

http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/FO/formaldehyde.html

Kinda went eek when i read the toxicology on it. Lachrymator i think means something to do with chemical weapon or tear gas depending on the page you look at online.
 

JamesC

Member
Thread starter
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
1,276
Location
Bexley, Kent
SuperColey1 said:
What is the take on Formalin / Formaldehyde? I make my own from a bottle of 40% Formaldeyde and DI water.

1 part of 40% Formaldehyde and 12 parts water.

What is the assessment of risk on this? And if equally bad how was it I was allowed to buy the bottle of 40% Formaldehyde over the counter so to speak?
Terrible stuff. What on earth do you want it for? Are you embalming bodies? :wideyed:

SuperColey1 said:
On the subject of Excel being algaecide, Seachem have always stated that it was never intended as an algaecide nor was it something that was expected. More of a side effect that was discovered later on. therefore this is why they say they don't put that in their marketing. It is the user themselves that have spread this message.
Seachem have always known that it acts as an algaecide. They just don't say it is an algaecide otherwise they would have the EPA on their case. It's much easier to sell if it's just an aquarium fertiliser.

James
 

JamesC

Member
Thread starter
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
1,276
Location
Bexley, Kent
Being doing some more investigating as I like to do and stumbled across this:
Commercially, glutaraldehyde is typically available in 2%, 25% and 50% solutions in water, with other dilutions occasionally seen and used. In acidic media, which is typically how glutaraldehyde is supplied to users, glutaraldehyde, being a highly reactive aldehyde, exists as a mixture of hydrated and nonhydrated forms. Therefore, monomer, open-chain mono-hydrates and di-hydrates, a cyclic hemiacetal and an acetal polymeric form all exist in a complex equilibrium. In acidic conditions, the cyclic hemiacetal and the acetal polymers of varying chain length are the preferred form and predominant.
Now if you remember from before I mentioned that Seachem had created a generic name for their isomer called polycycloglutaracetal. Well looking at the quote from above you may recognise some of the parts for the name. So glutaraldehyde in solution actually exists as many different compounds including acetal polymers (poly.........acetal), cyclic hemiacetal (poly-cyclo.......acetal) and not forgetting glutaraldehyde (poly-cyclo-glutar-acetal). Put it all together and what do you get?? So it would appear that possibly Excel is just a solution of glutaraldehyde after all with a made up name to try and confuse people.

If anybody wants to waste a bit of Excel and measure the pH for me it would be appreciated. I have a betting it will be acidic, possibly around 5.5.

James
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top