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CAUTION: Hydrogen Peroxide as an oxygenator.

 Well, we can all be idiots sometimes, and I guess I now fall into 
that category.  I recalled reading somewhere on the APD in the past
few months how hydrogen peroxide could be used as an emergency 
oxygenator.  Last night, my 2 discus in my heavily planted 55 gal
tank were looking stressed out and I decided to do something about 
it.  Over the past few weeks, they have not been eating well, getting
more and more lethargic and more labored breathing.  I lost one discus
a couple weeks ago, but it was the runt and he had not grown at all 
since I owned him (the others are now around 4" size at 6 months).  I
had also lost one of the SAEs and had no idea why that occurred.  

Using test kits,
I determined Ammonia was 0 ppm, nitrite less than 0.2 ppm (very slight
color change), nitrates about 5 to 10 ppm, KH less than 17.9 ppm, GH around
53 ppm, pH around 6.5 or so (up from 5.5 since the last two water changes 
used sodium bicarbonate during the pretreatment phase) and my iron
still undetectable by the Sera test kit, despite adding florena iron
once a week as per recommendations.  Nothing 
there looked wrong to me, so I decided that I was going to put the
two of them into a 10 gallon filled with water, 1/2 from their 
tank, and 1/2 from my 30 gallon bare grow-out tank where my other 4 
discs are doing quite well and eating and are active.  I seriously 
considered adding them back into the grow-out tank, but didn't want
to jeopordize the other 4 in case these had something contagious.

  (Aside topic: There is definitely something amiss on the plant tank: 
despite 160W of Chroma 50's, CO2 injection, Flourite substrate, heating 
cables, and liquid and dry tab fertilization (trace elements only,
no plant sticks or other nitrates) I have very little growth on
most plants - the two exceptions are some water sprite and a few pygmy
chain swords).  Most barely maintain, but two ruffle sword have just
disintegrated in the 6 months the tank has been set up.

Anyway, I mixed the water, kept a small aqua-clear running on the 10 gal,
and for some unknown reason decided they might not have enough 
oxygen so added a couple of glugs of hydrogen peroxide (oh, maybe
a few ounces!) as per something I vaguely remembered reading 

I netted the fish, acclimated them to the water fairly quickly
with a fast drip (maybe a bit too fast) and tossed 'em in the 
tank.  Almost immediately, they showed what I considered "good"
signs: their fins unclamped, they began to slowly swim around 
again, their breathing slowed.  I thought "wow... this is great!"
I watched them off and on over the next hour, then went to bed.
During that time, they seemed more comfortable than the past month.

I woke up this morning to find them stuck to the filter, dead as
dinner plates.  Half the slime coat had been eaten away, gills 
were a terrible scarlet.  I really burned them in that high
concentration- this was just terrible to see.  So now, after the 
fact, I searched for the article
I remembered: the guy used 4 oz in a **55** gallon tank, and strongly
cautioned that this might be too much.  And he did it to try to
get rid of BGA, not oxygenate the water.  

Next time, I'll just use an airstone or something.

Hope this prevents others from being as foolish... what on earth
prompts us to "just try something" without looking up the reference
first?  If anyone knows of the primary reference that says "use
hydrogen peroxide in case of emergency oxygenation problems" please
let me know - I'd like to know what the original source recommended.
Not that I ever plan on trying it again!


cnc291 at nortel_ca