Deer Spray in Aquarium

mohican
Member
My neighbor had their bushes sprayed for deer. Whatever odor or chemical was in it came in through our windows. My aquarium is in that front room and I know absorb quite a bit of the odor. My tank water smells awful. Luckily this tank has no livestock as it was just done cycling and I was on vacation. I cleaned my filter, which smelled awful, and did 50% water change - not on same days. The odor is still there. Should I cut my loss - drain all water and filter and restock filter with new material and refill tank? This will have to recycle too dang. Thanks!
 
awilkinson871
Member
Try adding carbon to the filter- either a filter with carbon or a media bag filled with activated carbon. It should help remove the smell, but it may take a day or two.
 
Sofiafish17
Member
Yeah, carbon is great for removing chemicals and stuff too. If possible maybe talk to your neighbor or something to find out what brand or company of spray they used. Then look into it and figure out what chemicals are in that certain one. I know it might not work because that is a lot of digging around for info though.
 
mattgirl
Member
Did the actual spray come in or just the odor of the spray? If just the odor then I don't think your tank will be affected. Kinda like when I use Pine-sol to mop my floors. The smell lingers but doesn't affect my fish tanks.
 
John58ford
Member
Oh man, I am unfortunate enough to know a little about "deer spray". Grandma had a friend that didn't like dogs (as pets they keep the deer away just fine) and decided to use a spray. Young me had no idea and went to play in the bushes, we threw away my clothing.

To the uninitiated, this stuff is usually incredibly foul-smelling. Common smells are spoiled milk rotten eggs, mace/pepper spray, and rotten meat. I don't think there's any actual "toxin" but I would worry that the carrier oils are likely bad for fish as most oils are, at least gas exchange issues, if not to the animal itself.

Since there are no animals in tank, I would *not* drain the water. Shut down the pumps and bubbler, let the oils float to the top and skim it with a bowl several times to get any sheen. If there's no sheen floating within a day, you probably didn't get any oils, which would be lucky. From that point I would flush the tank, again make sure not to take the water level below the substrate as most of these odors will float high in the water column, if you take it down to substrate level it will make things harder. After a good flush, I would put some carbon in there and give it a couple days. Hopefully you're good to go.

Bummer your neighbor went with the spray, there are other ways to handle deer without smelling like a garbage dump. My sympathy to your nose.
 
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