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#149891 - 02/19/09 12:27 PM Fish Kill with Bleach
chadwickz71 Offline
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Not wanting to stir up a hornets nest or anything afterall I don't see one post regarding killing fish with anything but rotenone. but after a failed attempt at rotenone I found a website about chemicals and organics that are used to do a fish kill. Turns out household bleach on a small puddle after the pond is drained is very effective. I have done it twice and probably one more time this year on my last pond.

Bleach supposedly breaks down really fast in the water and becomes ineffective. I saw this happen the first time around. I put in about 4 gallons in a puddle about 25ft across and 3ft deep in the middle. Probably got a 95% kill immediatly. Came back the next day and saw a few fish swimming. Hit'em with 8 gallons and ended the story. I waited about a week after I did this just to observe the water. It did knock back the huge mass of coontail that was left in the bottom which was what was keeping me from pumping it dry. The water though looked fine. Filled the pond back up, everything looks just like it did. This particular pond is .5 acres and 18ft when full. I'd bet I could dump a 55gallon drum of bleach in the pond when full and not kill the fish before it diluted to nothing.

I have never used any other agent so don't really have anything to A/B it to but it sure did work very fast.

here is the link with all the other stuff that is used. http://www.ag.auburn.edu/fish/international/unwantedfish.htm

Just thought i'd share my experience, if anyone runs into a brick wall with rotenone.

Bleach= $2.50 per 1.5 gallons around here.
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#149895 - 02/19/09 12:45 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: chadwickz71]
chadwickz71 Offline
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By the way I found a pond volume calculater online and in a puddle like I had it supposedly had 5500 gallons of water if the internet was right (25ft circle 1.5ft average depth). And I put 8 gallons of bleach in for the 99.9% kill. When the pond is full its estimating a number approaching 1 million gallons. That would mean I'd have to dump in around 1450 gallons of bleach to get the same mix.
So I don't think I am doing any harm with 8 or even 50 gallons of bleach.
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#149901 - 02/19/09 02:27 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: chadwickz71]
Theo Gallus Offline
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There are also several posts here (somewhere) wrt using hydrated lime to kill fish, and at least a couple of members experienced with it.
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#149910 - 02/19/09 03:02 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Theo Gallus]
chadwickz71 Offline
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yeah i read one a while back but can't remember what i searched to find it.
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#149927 - 02/19/09 04:25 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: chadwickz71]
bobad Offline
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True, I bet lime is the cheapest and quickest way to kill fish in a drawn down pond.

I know from experience that when fish swim though a cloud of it they jump out of the water and usually die. Just a handful of it will cloud up a 2-3 cubic yard area of water.

But I get what you're saying about dilution. Bleach is very safe for humans and aquatic life unless it's really concentrated. One day a distraught fellow barricaded himself in his house and threatened suicide by drinking 5% household bleach. Well, he drank it and it didn't hurt him but he sure had a bright smile. Don't try that with 5% lye or lime.
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#149929 - 02/19/09 04:47 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: bobad]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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You guys aren't going to believe this but I limed a drawn down pond and had a few fatheads survive. I honestly don't know how unless I missed a puddle, which I tried not to.
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#150014 - 02/19/09 11:16 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Cecil Baird1]
burgermeister Offline
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You know they call them 'tuffies' down south.
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#150016 - 02/19/09 11:22 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: burgermeister]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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 Originally Posted By: burgermeister
You know they call them 'tuffies' down south.


Yes I've heard about that. Makes sense. They do survive low oxygen well.
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#150023 - 02/20/09 12:23 AM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Cecil Baird1]
CJBS2003 Offline
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As a matter of fact 0.3 to 0.4 ppm... Impressive!
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#150025 - 02/20/09 12:35 AM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: CJBS2003]
Rainman Online   content
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IIRC, bleach leaves behind some nasty longterm by-products like halomine? and other stuff. Others here have posted the info before. The by-products remain in the fish and are only hazardous to those that eat the fish.
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#150043 - 02/20/09 06:26 AM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Rainman]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Rainman
IIRC, bleach leaves behind some nasty longterm by-products like halomine? and other stuff. Others here have posted the info before. The by-products remain in the fish and are only hazardous to those that eat the fish.


Rainman,

I don't doubt what you say, but that leaves me puzzled. If household bleach is calcium hypochlorite, isn't that the essentially the same thing that city water supplies are treated with? Are we leaving some nasty by-products behind in city water then too? And why does most of the literature I find on it's use as a fish toxicant list it as nonpersistant in the environment?

http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/003/B0465E/B0465E05.htm


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (02/20/09 09:40 AM)
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#150171 - 02/20/09 02:07 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Bill Cody Offline
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Okay. I will post at least part of this info once again.
Bleach aka sodium hypochlorite (not calcium hypochlorite) should NOT be used in aquatic water bodies especially in ponds where fish are for human consumption. The chlorine ions react with DOCs (dissolved organic carbons) or organic substances which are prevalent in natural waters. The various chlorine free radical reactions as by products form trihalomethanes a group or family of fat soluable chemicals that are bioaccumulative in the environment (move up the food chain). Relatively new scientific research has shed light on this chemical topic. For more info search it out on the web.

Trihalometehanes (THM, or TTHM - total trihalomethanes) contain such chemicals as Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Dibromochloromethane; all suspected problematic toxins in one form or another as they accumulate or deposit in the tissues of humans from eating contaminated fish who got them from the food web.

Since chlorine is a very common additive to public water supplies, THMs are also now a concern of municipal water plants and the EPA as they mandate and monitor public water testing. NORMALLY formation of trihalomethanes is not a real big concern of potable water since chlorine is added in the final treatment process where often, but not always, the presence of dissolved organics (DOCs) is not very high. Water as in natural waters with high DOCs definately form proportionally more trihalomethanes when exposed to free chlorine ions (bleach). Water treatment plants are always mindful and concerned of this feature. Water from wells usually contain few if any DOC's or bacteria thus the need for chlorine is minimal or nonexistant.

Thus adding chlorine to natural waters almost always creates relatively or comparatively large amounts of THMs that are stable in the environment and bioaccumulative. Adding reactive chlorine ions to natural waters is a very environmentally unwise practice. Don't blame ignorance if you or someone you love gets some sort of illness later in life from eating THM contaminated fish or aquatic life. Often it is not just the THMs that are a problem, it could be the synergistic affects of variouis THMs reacting with other chemicals as the body ages.

Why create unnecessary toxins when trying to eradicate unwanted fish? Is the enviornmental damage to your pond ecosystem and the resulting health risk worth doing it improperly based on todays scientific evidence.

One of the problems is that old outdated literature does recommend using chlorine to eradicate fish. HOWEVER new technical information does not support this philosophy.

Chlorine does have a valuable place and use in society, but its use in natural waters to eradicate fish is IMO NOT very responsible or wise especially when there is a perfectively safe alternative fish toxicant (rotenone) that relatively quickly deteriorates or can be made to breakdown very rapidly into benign compounds that are not bioaccumulative.


Edited by Bill Cody (02/20/09 02:35 PM)
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#150175 - 02/20/09 02:11 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Bill Cody]
2catmom Offline
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Thank you for posting this important information. People from the city engineering department actually suggested to a man living on our lake to put bleach in the drain on his property where the outflow was/also a street drain in the same system there. One person in the fish business told me that bleach would kill fish too, thank you, thank you!
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#150182 - 02/20/09 02:20 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: 2catmom]
Bill Cody Offline
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2catmom, Unfortunately there are a lot of uninformed people, some of them supposedly knowledgable, government employees, or people with credentials dispensing unwise information. To check out all my information all one has to do is perform some searches on the internet to learn more about trihalomethanes or total trihalomethanes, their formation and their risk to humans.


Edited by Bill Cody (02/20/09 02:22 PM)
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#150187 - 02/20/09 03:01 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Bill Cody]
CJBS2003 Offline
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#150189 - 02/20/09 03:03 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: CJBS2003]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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I don't eat my fish. They are too valuable to eat.

Bombs away with the chlorine when I drain my ponds!


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (02/20/09 03:05 PM)
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#150190 - 02/20/09 03:30 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Cecil Baird1]
bobad Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
I don't eat my fish. They are too valuable to eat.

Bombs away with the chlorine when I drain my ponds!


I don't KILL my fish. I try my best to keep them alive. However, if I do decide to kill them, I won't be eating them. So it doesn't matter if I use a plutonium/lead/chrome/cadmium/mercury cocktail.

All seriousness aside, I doubt that bombing a pond with Cl every 5-10 years will build up enough byproducts in the soil to harm fish or fish predators. Regularly dumping swimming pool or clothes washing water into a pond would be far more likely to cause a buildup.
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#150191 - 02/20/09 03:34 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: bobad]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Actually Bobad i think Bill meant it builds up in the soil etc. and ends up going up the foodchain.

IMHO, If the government wouldn't be so restrictive with a rotenone, which allegedly is less harmful for the environment, maybe some people wouldn't use the chlorine products. I do know there is some conjecture that repeated use of rotenone could eventually cause Parkinson's disease for the person applying it. I suppose there is a downside to any chemical we use.


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (02/20/09 06:35 PM)
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#150268 - 02/20/09 11:09 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Bill Cody Offline
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Bioaccumulative behavior of THMs in my understanding is the chemical becomes infused throughout the pond ecosystem. Most everything gathers traces of the fat soluable chemical from the chemical absorbing plants and plankton and is passed to everything up the food chain that consumes the plants, algae and plankton. Contaminated organisms that don't get consumed die, decompose and the stable THMs are released to again to be recycled through the food web. Longer lived organisms continually accumulate amounts of the accumulative chemical as long as they live or are consumers. Consumed fat soluable chemicals deposit in each organism and build up over time since they are not passed through the digestive tract like many other water soluable chemicals.

The repeated chemicalization of a pond is why I would never buy a second hand water body unless I performed some sort of sediment and residual chemical survey. Why buy someone elses chemical dump?


Edited by Bill Cody (02/20/09 11:13 PM)
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#150270 - 02/20/09 11:10 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Cecil Baird1]
DJT Offline
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Bill what do you think about using caustic soda aka sodium hydroxide in a fish killoff? It can easily put the pH too high for the fish but will it leave any nasty byproducts?
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#150272 - 02/20/09 11:23 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: DJT]
Bill Cody Offline
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See the EPA facts sheet for sodium hydroxide. I am not sure why one would use it when a better alternative is available.
http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/factsheets/4065fact.pdf
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#150274 - 02/20/09 11:33 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Bill Cody]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
See the EPA facts sheet for sodium hydroxide. I am not sure why one would use it when a better alternative is available.
http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/factsheets/4065fact.pdf


Availability, lower price, quicker detoxificaton? You can buy as much bleach as you want at the local grocery store and very cheap. Rotenone is only available to licensed pesticide applicators and isn't cheap.

Note: I'm not necessarily disagreeing with Bill. I'm playing devil's advocate here.


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (02/21/09 12:41 AM)
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#150279 - 02/20/09 11:53 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: Bill Cody]
DJT Offline
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It's funny the EPA says it is not used directly on food. It is used to peel the skin off potato's in processing plants and is what gives pretzels their brown color.

I don't recommend to anyone else to use it because of the dangerous nature of the chemical if you get it on your skin/eyes. I was asking for for my own purpose as I handle it daily. I sure it would be more effective at raising pH than pellet lime pound for pound.
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#150280 - 02/20/09 11:58 PM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: DJT]
DJT Offline
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Whoa......Cecil I am talking about sodium hydroxide not bleach(sodium hypochlorite). Sodium hydroxide doesn't contain any chlorine.
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#150281 - 02/21/09 12:15 AM Re: Fish Kill with Bleach [Re: DJT]
chadwickz71 Offline
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Whoa, this thread just went off, I thought it was done.


I know there are downsides to everything and I am one of those people that like to keep everything clean and in order.

I had to do this, couldn't get rotenone fisably, heard bleach is highly effective and that even some fish farmers have been known to use it, so I will never do it again but feel that it will be alright for this one time occasion.

I'm looking forward to filling it up and dumping in all my forage fish as this pond will be used as a bass growout pond this year.

I mean whats worse, this, or eating fish from a pond that I later found out that the people were tossing in Karmex to try to control moss. I bet people would be astonished if they only knew half of what was going on...
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