Welcome to OrchidsForum.com. We are a friendly online community for Orchid Growers all over the world. If you haven't joined yet we invite you to register and join our community. Hope to see you on our forums!

Pool algicide and orchids

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Alexis, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

    Messages:
    2,893
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Redland, Miami FL, USA, Earth
    There is an interesting, thorough article in this quarter's Orchid Digest about Boisduval Scale. I was surprised to read, "(Quaternary ammonium chloride solutions show)...there is some effectiveness on scale crawlers and other delicate insects. Quaternary ammonum chlorides also seem to mix well with most insecticides and fertilizers, functioning as a surfactant."

    I have been using 20% pool algicide (which I understand to be a Quat) as a lightweight anti-fungal, anti-bacterial agent for years, mixed with my fertilizer at weekly applications. I find it interesting that this may have been helping me control scale, too, all along.

    I have never experienced any signs of toxicity, and I rarely have fungal problems, despite keeping my shadehouse very wet. Therefore, I think there is some benefit to using the algicide.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,516
    Likes Received:
    3,316
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Very interesting.Can you tell me, if you were mixing up a gallon of water, what would be the amount you would put in? Or if you are running in through a proportioner, what is the ratio of the proportioner and the amount of the chemical in a gallon of concentrate?
     
  3. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

    Messages:
    2,893
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Redland, Miami FL, USA, Earth
    Marni, I use 20% algicide at 1.5t per gallon. HOWEVER, please keep in mind that the algicide is not labeled for orchids, so this is a guess on my part and has worked for me. Also, I don't grow a lot of delicate, soft leaved orchids such as Pleurothallids; so I strongly recommend you test the algicide on a spare plant before you unleash it on the whole collection.

    Hopefully there are some other forumites using algicide, and will pipe up regarding their mixing proportions.

    Just found this, written by Martin Motes, PhD, a well-known grower here in S FL: "As orchids grown outside are so frequently wet in September, it is often difficult to apply fertilizer or fungicides to the plants because they are already damp. Catch 22!- the plants need extra protection because they are wet and because they are wet one can't apply chemicals to protect them. In these circumstances, many growers find Quaternary ammonium compounds useful. Sold as Physan, Consan, Greenshield or Triathalon these disinfectants dissolve totally in water and can be applied to wet plants. Strengths vary so follow the label. Although Federal regulations say they should not, many growers substitute the cheap and readily available pool algicide which contain the same active ingredient. Home Depot sells a brand called ''Pool Time'' which could be purchased legally to disinfect walks and pathways at the rate of 1 to 2 tsps. per gallon and would certainly do no harm at that rate, if it came into contact with the orchids no more frequently than every 7-10 days."
     
  4. Forrest

    Forrest Really Neat

    Messages:
    2,300
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Northern California
    you know what else works good on scale? Fire.
     
  5. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,516
    Likes Received:
    3,316
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Thanks, Forrest. And you know this from personal experience?

    Alexis, a friend has often suggested using the Quat from the pool shop in place of Physan. My understanding is that it isn't as strong as Physan. I don't use much Physan, so haven't gone that route.
     
  6. abaxter

    abaxter New Member

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    6B Southeast KY
    Thank you for the info., Alexis. We have tons of pool chemicals and I've often wondered
    if the pool algae stuff might work in the gh.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,733
    Likes Received:
    534
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    The term "quaternary pool algaecide" does not narrow the chemistry all that well.

    I did a little bit of googling and found one that was identical in chemistry to Physan, but at half strength, and several others that had totally different chemistries - still quats - and I would have no idea at what strength to use them, but I'd guess you could safely use a "Physan-equivalent", with Physan being 20% quats.

    For example, if you want to use Physan at 1 teaspoon per gallon, the first algaecide I mentioned above, at 10% quats, would be used at 2 teaspoons per gallon.

    The first one I saw that was not the same salt was 15% quat, so I'd think that 20/15=1.33 teaspoons per gallon would be fine.

    Marni - to use a chemical with a dosing pump, all you do is take the amount wanted in a final gallon, and multiply it by the proportioning factor. For example, Physan at 1 teaspoon per gallon to be metered at one ounce per gallon (1:128) would require 128 teaspoons (2-2/3 cups) to make up a gallon of concentrate.
     
  8. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

    Messages:
    2,893
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Redland, Miami FL, USA, Earth
    Thanks, Ray, I was hoping you'd chime in.

    The product I use is called "Pool Time 20% Algicide" purchased at Home Depot. It has the exact same active ingredient as Physan, namely dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride. I had never before compared this to Physan, so this has been educational for me, too!
     
  9. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

    Messages:
    4,437
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Denver CO, USA
    Didn't Ed demonstrate Physan's negative effects on flowers?
     
  10. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

    Messages:
    2,893
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Redland, Miami FL, USA, Earth
    From what I've found, Ed was using Physan at 1T/gal a month, with a lighter weekly application. He found this to damage the leaves and the flowers, especially in Phalaenopsis.
     
  11. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,516
    Likes Received:
    3,316
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Anecdotal information, but I have heard of nursery worker's who develop an allergy to Physan over time.
     
  12. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

    Messages:
    4,437
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Denver CO, USA
    I'm not one to use chemicals prophylactically. I only use them for curative purposes. Mainly because of unknown or unintended side effects and potential chronic exposure in my GH.
     
  13. This_guy_Bri

    This_guy_Bri weirdo

    Messages:
    868
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    here
    anyone know if greenshield would be similarly effective? it's a quat, i think
     
  14. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,733
    Likes Received:
    534
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    Actually, they are not the same, chemically.

    Pool Time 20% Algaecide is 20% Alkyl (50%C14, 40%C12, 10%C16) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride

    Physan is 10% Alkyl (60%C14, 30%C16, 5%C12 5% C18) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride and 10% Alkyl (68%C12, 32%C14) dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride

    Greenshield has the same active ingredients as Physan, but also contains a propriety denatured ethanol, and is not intended for contact with plants.
     
  15. shari

    shari New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, Alexis, Ray and Marni and everyone else....I have been using Physan successfully for over 5 years. I use it alone, 1 X month as an antiseptic with a dilution rate of 2tsp./gal as directed. I saturate every plant, and once they stop dripping, I reapply and my plants are thriving! The proof is in the pudding.
    Alexis, now that I know that you can combine this type of chemical safely with a fertilizer I am delighted!
    thanks Alexis....you're my guru!!
     
  16. FLcarol

    FLcarol Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    So. Florida
    Hi All, New member here. I also use Physan once monthly 1 t/gal mixed with fert on my collection to control black rot and fungus. I've not observed any negative effect on flowers or leaves. I believe that RF Orchids in Homestead uses this approach. I don't routinely use pesticides but fungus control in So. FL with heavy rains we get is needed.

    I grow approx. 450 mixed collection, mostly catts and dens in my pool cage, eastern exposure.

    Carol
     
  17. This_guy_Bri

    This_guy_Bri weirdo

    Messages:
    868
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    here
    right... thanks
    just saw that on the label....
     
  18. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,733
    Likes Received:
    534
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    I limit my Physan application to no more than a teaspoon per gallon, and have never seen an issue with doing so.

    I know a grower who adds a tiny amount to his irrigation water supply (1 tsp/50-60 gall), and claims he has seen a significant reduction in infections of all sorts. He was particularly pleased to have eliminated botrytis spotting altogether.