Pest Exterminator Planning

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Avectasi, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. Avectasi

    AvectasiValued MemberMember

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    In my house I have a bad German roach problem I try my best to keep it out of my fish tank does well.

    I recently contacted an exterminator to set up the payments and the date and told about the fish tank. They told me to cover the whole tank with plastic and turn off the air pumps.

    After all the treatment has been done how long should I be kept with the plastic intact? Should I have my filter on?

    I also to remove all the supplies so they don’t get contaminated

    Since this is a 29 gallon tank it’s impossible to move it.
     
  2. JayH

    JayHValued MemberMember

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    What kind of treatment? Spot spraying or setting off aerosol bombs of pesticide? If the latter I don't think there's much you can do. The fish will suffocate without oxygen exchange at the surface and they aren't going to get much of that if you seal the tank with plastic.

    I'm no expert at this but I would remove at least 50% of the water. That will provide a much larger space for oxygen. If you need to be away for an extended time I'd give serious thought to finding some way to fill that space with oxygen right before you leave.

    The other alternative is to net out all the fish and find some place safe, like at a friend's house, to keep them until it's safe to go back in. Then you can unwrap the tank and bring them home. I'd do a big water change before putting them back.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Avectasi

    AvectasiValued MemberMember

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    I think it’ll be spot spraying. I can’t use the other alternatives since there’s no one around here to keep them safe. I’m not sure if placing the air pumps outside with the window open would work..
     
  4. JayH

    JayHValued MemberMember

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    If it's spot spraying you'll probably be okay with reasonable precautions. Turn off the heater. Turn off the filters and/or air pump. Drain half the water. Seal the top of the tank with plastic wrap just before you leave. They should be fine for a few hours. Be sure to thoroughly wash the buckets and utensils.

    I would also add that you should err vastly on the side of caution with this. I've accidentally ingested a very small amount of pesticide from overspray and the results of that little bit on a rather large human were not something I'd wish on anyone. Closest I've ever come to dialing 911. I have to think that same amount of pesticide in an aquarium would spell instant death to all the inhabitants. And that was an over-the-counter product, not a super-strength industrial concoction.
     
  5. PascalKrypt

    PascalKryptValued MemberMember

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    You could get the air pump outside of a window perhaps, and connect it with a really long tube to an airstone in the aquarium. The pump will just take in whatever air surrounds it, so the clean outdoor air in this case. You'd have to seal the window well though, since it would also be cracked to let the tube in.

    Or you could just put your air pump in a garbage bag with fresh air and seal it really well with duct tape around the plug chord and airline tube. I know that is how some people create no-cost CO2 setups, by inflating the bag with their breath and then sealing it around an airpump like this.

    Not sure if you can have appliances running during the 'session' though.
     
  6. GuppyDazzle

    GuppyDazzleWell Known MemberMember

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    Wow. Just wow.

    Anyway, ask the exterminator. They knew the right precautions to take with aquariums. They should know how long it will take for the chemicals to dissipate.

    I've never quite heard of anything like filling a garbage bag with fresh air and sealing the pump inside. I hate to differ, but you'll need a lot bigger bag than a garbage bag. If you have some kind of bladder the size of a hot air balloon, that might work for a while.
     
  7. JayH

    JayHValued MemberMember

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    That air has to go somewhere. If you seal the top of the aquarium so no pesticide gets in, that means no air can get out. At least not until you've increased the pressure inside to the point you blow the plastic wrap off. Either that or you burn up the air pump because it's not designed to work against that much pressure.

    The garbage bag is also unlikely to work since even a Whisper AP10 moves about 20 gallons of air an hour. You'd need a pretty big bag if you need to be out of the house for several hours.
     
  8. AvalancheDave

    AvalancheDaveWell Known MemberMember

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    The use of an insect growth regulator is the recommended treatment for roaches. These are less toxic to fish than insecticides and have better residual activity. Gentrol is one IGR that's non-toxic to fish. There's another that's very low toxicity but I'm not sure if all IGRs are non-toxic to fish or just a few of them. You can usually Google that information.

    The pros like to use insecticides like pyrethrin either alone or in combination with IGRs because it has a more immediate effect killing adult roaches and fleas. Customers are happy when they see dead adults but you really need to attack the whole lifecycle and most of the other life stages are immune to insecticides.

    You can actually just buy a big bottle of Gentrol, a sprayer, and DIY it. You only need to ventilate the house during its application due to the petroleum distillates used to solubilize the main ingredient. I didn't even cover my tanks at this time.

    I think the idea is to create positive pressure so that air from outside the home is coming out of any leaks in the plastic. It's the same principle as Level IV biohazard suits and chemical, radiation, and biological weapon protection for military vehicles.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2019
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