Jump to content

Outdoor pond chlorine problems


Simi
 Share

Recommended Posts

@Cory So, I had another thread going with pond questions and chlorine, I'd like to condense it and add more info. I asked during the live stream on 5-2, and Cory mentioned the aerator on the indoor faucets (which made total sense)(also, ty very much) But I feel like he wasn't getting the whole picture, hence this long post.  I recently set up a 125 gallon preformed pond. Each time I refill it the chlorine is out of control. I have dosed with Prime at each refill. Using my coop test strips, the outdoor water tests at 3.0 ppm chlorine, Prime says 5ml/50g, the first time I used 4 whole capfuls (16ml), even after 2 hours, water tested out at 3.0. Waited a few days, did another test, STILL 3.0, another water change and added 40 ml Prime, tested before and after the water change, still 3.0. Today after 2 weeks of not adding new water from the hose, I tested the water and it's down to 0.8 ppm. My city does not use chloromines to treat the water, so I've been super stumped as to why this stupid chlorine isn't going away. Should I be using a water conditioner meant for ponds? I do have a filter/fountain running all the time, so there is aeration happening. I use a python to water change/refill my aquariums in the house and the pond outside, so my indoor faucets have the aerator removed for they python. Which is also why I don't understand why so much chlorine outside vs inside? I test my tap about once a month, and my tanks weekly, the inside taps barely reach 0.8 chlorine, but the outside ones are always stupid high. And there are no water filters  in the house, and I checked under the house, all the pipes are stemming from the main street source.

Edited by Simi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Cory said:

Logically, this doesn't make sense. Testing the water from your indoor faucet is 0.8, and the outside one is 3.0? I assume both tests use the same strip.

I use fresh test strips for each source (The wonderful aquarium co-op strips!) And I know it doesn't make sense, that's why I thought I'd ask here. Some people suggested maybe the liner was leaching it, or the garden hose, but neither are PVC which I was told PVC will leach a little chlorine. And I know for sure it's not chloramines, so why is it not gassing off? I'm totally stumped and  dismayed with the whole pond thing now to the point I just want to burn it all down!

I've even tried filling a 5 gallon bucket (not a Yeti, because a bucket is a bucket) dosed with prime, waited, still 3.0. Would the Fritz A.C.C.R. be a better fit? Is it stronger than Prime?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Cory said:

Logically, this doesn't make sense. Testing the water from your indoor faucet is 0.8, and the outside one is 3.0? I assume both tests use the same strip.

Couldn't in theory the sink have a carbon filter or something that removes/reduces chloramine/chlorine but the outdoor spigot not?

Also to Simi, some municipalities flush with chloramine but use chlorine as standard so that wouldn't show on the water quality reports. so its possible when you filled up the outdoor tubs was during a flushing and you added chloramine to the water however the fish would have certainly shown signs of stress. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Simi as you know I’ve been having issues with chlorine in my tubs too. And to add to the mystery, I’m on well water. No chlorine or chloramine coming from my water source at all.

However I believe I may have solved the mystery!!!!!! (I’ve been so excited to share it with you!)

I treated my tubs for chlorine and then as I mentioned to you I haven’t added any water to them at all. A day or so after dechlorinating my parameters were:

2742097E-7958-4313-8974-AB4DAB468B44.jpeg.37f445e9a66dbf537205c308e6fce264.jpeg

That was three days ago. Today the readings look like this:

CD503C61-FC04-4D02-9D8A-17592A8C0EBA.jpeg.22e4b3abd4d842facdc8aaab30331859.jpeg

Like I said, I haven’t added water at all.

So I called Home Depot (where I got the tubs) and went through the phone tree asking if someone could help me figure out if there was any coating or something on the tubs that contained chlorine. I got someone who had no idea, but was reading me whatever numbers and codes and such he had associated with the product in their system. (Just for reference, here’s the link to the product.)

https://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-27-Gal-Tough-Storage-Bin-in-Black-HDX27GONLINE-5/205978361

Lo and behold, he had an EPA hazardous waste code associated with the product: F002. As far as I can tell, it’s a code that indicates the product contains a certain subcategory of solvents. You can look it up and get the full list. And guess what all of the F002 solvents contain??? 

Chlorine!

So I’m pretty confident now that the chlorine is coming from the plastic. Yes, the plastic itself is polypropylene, but somewhere in the manufacturing process they’ve used a chlorine-containing solvent on it. I tried researching how plastics are made to try to figure out where the solvent may have been used, but I didn’t get very far.

I feel like your ponds shouldn’t have this problem because you’re actually using a container intended to be a pond, while I’m just using a random sturdy-looking storage tub. But it may be worth calling the manufacturer and seeing what you can find out.

Edited by Hobbit
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting topic to me. I've spent the majority of my career making bulk plastics. Nothing I've seen would add chlorine at the initial stages. However, there are a number of additives the various manufacturers use as processing aids when they form the various products. There are also a number of manufacturing processes, and I've only worked in a few. If it is an additive, I would think it would leach out for a while then begin to stop showing up. It should also leach faster at elevated temperatures. Most of the additives I am familiar with are forms of plastic and don't have chlorine, so not sure what would he causing this. Most likely its not the plastic, but an additives or liner applied to the plastic by the final manufacturer of the mold. I'd try to get an SDS of the final product to see if it has anything listed as Hobbit seems to have been doing. Hope this helps!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you @Hobbit and @ChemBob, all of it makes more sense. I've still got a few more hours before the test Cory mentioned is finished. Had to get up around midnight to drag it all inside, storms rolled in along with a tornado! It didn't touch down in my area, but did hit Tupelo pretty hard 😞 This has been a really great learning experience for me, and as usual it taught me I need to be more patient. I was too excited about getting it all up and running that I skipped a few crucial steps...1. I didn't wash the liner before hand, and 2. I didn't rinse my lava rock before adding it to the water (LOL I had even gotten a mesh trashcan for a previous project to RINSE THE LAVA ROCKS!) Thank you everyone for you're input, and ty to Cory for taking time to answer my questions! I'll post my chlorine test results later this evening. 🙂

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could the temperature of the water be impacting the test results?

Also I know for me to get my tap water to about room temperature it takes a little warm water mixed this time of year which means you could be getting water that has been sitting in a water heater tank or water getting heated through a tankless heater. 

Just more theoretical stabbing in the dark to add to your mystery 🙂 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/3/2021 at 7:13 AM, ChemBob said:

Interesting topic to me. I've spent the majority of my career making bulk plastics. Nothing I've seen would add chlorine at the initial stages. However, there are a number of additives the various manufacturers use as processing aids when they form the various products. There are also a number of manufacturing processes, and I've only worked in a few. If it is an additive, I would think it would leach out for a while then begin to stop showing up. It should also leach faster at elevated temperatures. Most of the additives I am familiar with are forms of plastic and don't have chlorine, so not sure what would he causing this. Most likely its not the plastic, but an additives or liner applied to the plastic by the final manufacturer of the mold. I'd try to get an SDS of the final product to see if it has anything listed as Hobbit seems to have been doing. Hope this helps!

I wonder if perhaps another, similar, reactive molecule is being detected by the test strip indicator? Chemical indicator assays (vs photo-absorption, aka spectrophotometer) rely on the interaction of the tested substance with an indicator chemical. All the halogens—fluorine (F), chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br), iodine (I), and astatine (At)—are pretty strong oxidizing agents. Perhaps the plastic is leaching out one of these halides (halogen salt), which is reacting with the assay indicator? 😎

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Simi said:

This is way over my head, but I get the idea of it, of course I'm only 4'11", so it's not hard to go over my head! LMAO I really appreciate the info! I wonder if using something like Wonder-Shells would keep it safer than using just prime? Since the wonder shells dissolve over time, rather than dilute immediately?

Haha, I'm vertically challenged too! 😅

I believe Wonder Shells and Seachem Prime serve two very different functions. I have seen claims that Wonder Shells remove chlorine and chloramines; however, I have no idea where this comes from because none of the listed ingredients do that. I believe Wonder Shells primary function is adding minerals—calcium, magnesium, and some trace minerals—to your water. The only way I can imagine that Wonder Shells may help neutralize chlorine/chloramine is by raising the pH of your water, which reduces the toxic effects. As someone with a science degree who also writes marketing content for a living, the claim that Wonder Shells remove chlorine feels like unsubstantiated marketing hype. 😜

On the other hand, Prime or Fritz Complete Water Conditioner contain chemicals that specifically bind to and permanently degrade chlorine/chloramines (and ammonia) into non-toxic substances. So, if I were having the same problem as you, I would first dose my tubs and test the water to see if the dechlorinator fixes the problem. If it does, then I would set up a regular dosing schedule to address the slow leaching of chlorine-like chemicals into your water. One bottle of Fritz Complete treats 2,400 gal, so it's not expensive to use. One caution → dosing frequently may reduce oxygen levels in the water so you may want to provide some aeration to counter this effect. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I have 20 gallon wine barrel pond insert from Lowes with the same issue. It has been set up for a few weeks outside with plants, an airstone, and snails. Added prime when I filled it and it's been sitting out there without any new water added (besides some rain) for weeks.

I tested with a couple of the Aquarium Coop test strips today and it is showing Chlorine. Wish I knew what was going on rather than just trying to add more prime (I'll still try this and add a wondershell).

I do also have some plants that are carnivorous and have a soil blend...but I don't think it would be adding chlorine. The gravel used is aquarium gravel. Can't think of anything else. I don't think it is possible for acid rain to cause this, but it has rained a few times.

Are the test strips finding something else as suggested? Wish I still had an API master test kit to compare. I love the test strips for my aquariums (which don't show any chlorine).

I hope to see more comments on this thread. Maybe someone can confirm the plastic additive theory. I emailed MacCourt to see if they can provide some information or an MSDS: https://maccourt.com/
 

Thanks!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Grubhead interesting that you’re having a similar experience. I don’t have a whole lot to add to what I said above, other than I haven’t seen any new chlorine in the tubs for at least two weeks. I’m hoping this means the solvent is finally all neutralized, but I did have to bring the tubs inside due to cold temperatures. So if the chlorine is coming from something breaking down in UV light, I may see more chlorine again once they’re out in the sun. I’ll let everyone know!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maccourt did send the SDS. No comments from them at all,

Some of the content, since I can't attach a .pdf and it is pages long:

"Insoluble in cold water."
"Stable under recommended conditions of storage and handling."
"Under normal conditions of use, hazardous decomposition will not occur."

I'll do a water change today and add more prime. It would be interesting to see if another test kit shows any chlorine. Maybe I'll take a sample down to the LFS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I realized the API kit doesn't even have chlorine. Doh! The LFS thought I was crazy when I brought a sample in I think. lol

Anyway, I did pick up a chlorine test kit, but it would need to be 1.5ppm to register above the lowest 1ppm reading.

Interestingly, the aquarium coop test strip didn't register the chlorine today! Makes me wonder if something in the rain or maybe washing down through the carnivorous plant soil caused it to spike.

I'll test some of the soil alone in some of the aquarium water to see if it spikes up again.
 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Grubhead said:

Interestingly, the aquarium coop test strip didn't register the chlorine today!

You did use Prime yesterday, right? You may have just neutralized it all. Which would be great! Check again in a few days—for a while I would see chlorine again 3-ish days after treating.

I think testing the soil alone is a good idea too, just in case.

The SDS sounds good!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Hobbit said:

You did use Prime yesterday, right? You may have just neutralized it all. Which would be great! Check again in a few days—for a while I would see chlorine again 3-ish days after treating.

I think testing the soil alone is a good idea too, just in case.

The SDS sounds good!

I had not added any prime, so not sure what changed. I don't think the soil is the issue either as the carnivorous plant soil/media is quite inert for those type of plants to thrive. I did put some into a jar with aquarium water, stirred it around, and tested. No chlorine detected. It's been sitting overnight so I'll test again.

I'll also test again after the next rain, although it seems very unlikely to be the cause. So odd...



 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...