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Interiorscape Forum / Scaper Talk Discussion Forum / Plants / Foliglo (Paraffinic Hydrocarbon) dangerous to fish???
Posted:  05 May 2013 19:15  
Hello everyone! I'm new to this forum. I am the Horticulturist for the Downtown Aquarium in Denver. So! In our rainforest exhibit I have kind of a unique problem. We have misters that go off all over the area to give the feeling of a misty/humid jungle, but the water vapor eventually leaves the leaves with a dull whiteish finish. The 'powers that be' require that all the leaves be super shiny and clean but the glass ceiling on the place is like 100 ft in the air and though manually wiping off the leaves is of course a good solution for keeping the leaves clean it is just not feasible. PLUS! There is, of course, the issue that anything I use has to be fish safe in case it were to get in the tanks. In the past, the way to deal with this was to just get on ladders and spray as many leaves as possible with Leaf Shine, but I find that that only looks good for about a week on these dirty leaves, goes quickly, and is not cheap. So I did some research and discovered the product Foliglo. I used the sample they sent me and really like it but my boss wants me to make sure it's fish safe. Does anyone have any experience using this around fish? The active ingredient is apparently called 'Paraffinic Hydrocarbon' but I can't find much info on it in regards to fish.

  Help!
Posted:  05 May 2013 19:22   Last Edited By: Elfquessica 
Also, the reason I like the Foliglo is because unlike Leaf Shine, it actually cleans OFF a lot of the residue instead of just covering it. It dripped off the leaves and into the tanks some, but not a lot.
Posted:  06 May 2013 04:42  
Here is a link to the MSDS sheet for Foliglo on the Primescape Products website:

http://www.primescapeproducts.com/downloads/m ...

According to the document, Foliglo is a "non-hazardous material", but being a hydrocarbon, it probably has some level of toxicity to certain organisms (typically fish, birds and amphibians are more sensitive to chemicals than other organisms, but that's a generalization), especially if present in higher concentrations than what is recommended on the label.  So if your water features are circulated, filtered and/or diluted periodically with fresh water, the inhabitants shouldn't be adversely affected.

The cause of the film on your plants is simply the soluble salts in your water supply that are left behind when the mist dries.  Unless you use pure (i.e., distilled or reverse-osmosis) water, this will be a continual problem.  Foliglo will help clear up the unattractive appearance of the foliage, but it won't cure the root problem of hard or heavily mineralized water.  That can only be addressed by source reduction using a very thorough water treatment system for your misting water.

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