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  #1  
Unread 08-06-2012, 02:23 PM
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Default locally available Physan-20 substitute

Physan-20 has been handy for various things. But I usually have to order over internet. I was looking around the active ingredients of bunch of house-hold cleaning solutions. Now I found out that I can easily get a substitute locally. It's a humidifier bacterial treatment, available in local grocery stores.

-- Physan-20 active ingredients:
10% n-alkyl (60% C14, 30% C16, 5% C12, 5% C18) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride
10% n-alkyl (68% C12, 32% C14) dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride

For orchids, 2tsp per gallon
For inanimate surfaces, 1Tbs per gallon

-- Bemis (or Essick Air) Humidifier Bacteria Treatment, No. 1970
Exactly same active ingredients, but the concentration of each is 1.125% instead of 10%.
I think that other humidifier bacteria treatments probably have the same active ingredients.

So you can use following dilution:
For orchids, 6Tbs per gallon
For inaminate surfaces, 9 Tbs per gallon

The price is pretty similar. About $33/qt for Physan-20. I think Bemis was around $4/qt. But you need 9 bottles to make the 1qt of Physan-20 equivalent, so $36 or so.

This could be handy for people who can't easily get Physan-20.
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  #2  
Unread 08-06-2012, 02:59 PM
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Benzyl alkonium chlorides are used in many disinfectant formulations - for sanitizing swimming pools and spas, water systems, animal kennels etc.
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  #3  
Unread 08-06-2012, 03:28 PM
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Recently I have been using Fantastik Scrubbing Bubbles spray and it works very well for contact cleaning and it's claimed disinfecting properties.

Also effective as a contact insect killer. Best used on well watered plants that are out of direct sun. I have witnessed some leaf burn when these precautions are not followed.

Physan20 and Fantastik appear to have similar active ingredients (Disclaimer: I am no chemist!). Hopefully there is one in the house and can help explain the difference and similarities.

Fantastik
n-Alkyl (C14-60%; C16-30%; C12-5%; C18-5%) Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride - .11%

n-Alkyl (C12-68%; C14-32%) Dimethyl Ethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride - .11%


Fantastik is available at Costco in Canada for $9.99 for 3.8 L jug and 946 ml in a spray bottle of ready to use product.
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  #4  
Unread 08-06-2012, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarman View Post
Recently I have been using Fantastik Scrubbing Bubbles spray and it works very well for contact cleaning and it's claimed disinfecting properties.
I don't know. I'm a little leery about using that directly on plants. I just happened to buy scrubbing bubbles last week for my bathtub and used it on the plastic shower curtain as well. Besides cleaning off the mold and soap scum, it actually removed the color patterns from the shower curtain.
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  #5  
Unread 08-06-2012, 04:40 PM
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Dave, Fantastik have exactly same active ingredients, too. The final concentration of Phyton-20 recommended for orchids is about 0.026%, so if you dilute it by 4x (e.g. 1/4 cup of Fantastik + 3/4 cup of water), it's the same concentration.

Yes, they are used for general disinfectants, and there are others with similar (but not exact) active ingredients, such as Lysol, 409, etc. They have slightly different carbon counts mixture, and I don't know the advantage/disadvantage of each mix.
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  #6  
Unread 08-06-2012, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarman View Post
Also effective as a contact insect killer. Best used on well watered plants that are out of direct sun. I have witnessed some leaf burn when these precautions are not followed.
I wonder if it really works for insects because I haven't heard people using Physan-20 for insects.

When I catch Erwinia or Pseudomonas infection early enough, I apply the undiluted Physan-20 locally, and poke holes with the needles around the region (some other people use razor to scratch the surface of infected region). This works well, but it does bleach the surrounding region (and it eventually become something like leaf burn).
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  #7  
Unread 08-07-2012, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naoki View Post
Dave, Fantastik have exactly same active ingredients, too.
Be very careful with that kind of (incorrect) assessment!

While it may have the same quaternary ammonium salts in it, the Fantastik also has lots of stuff Physan does not, and as has been stated, they can be damaging to the plants.

Someone posted at the "Official Semi-Hydroponics Forum" questioning how much of a Bayer, 0.15% Merit-containing product to use. Normally, I simply compare the percentages and ratio them as you have done. My experience is 1 ounce per gallon for a 1,47% Merit product, so that would suggest you would use 10 ounces per gallon (wow!) of that product.

However, the particular formulation purchased also contained a fungicide that I don't know anything about, and was a 9-14-9 fertilizer.

Had that been applied at 10 ounces per gallon to give the equivalent amount of Merit, the plants would also have been fed at a concentration of 8300ppm N, which would surely have killed the roots, if not the plant in its entirety.
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  #8  
Unread 08-07-2012, 02:38 PM
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That's true, Fantastik probably has other ingredients not listed as active ingredients. But I guess that the goal of humidifier bacteriocide is similar to that of Physan-20, so maybe it is safer?

With regard to Dave's comment about using Fantastik for insects, in AOS site, there is an article mentioning 409 mixture (1/8 cp 409 + 1/8 cp 70% Isopropyl alcohol + 3/4 H2O) may be used for spider mites control. But I'm guessing this is using the "detergent" aspect of 409 (and Fantastik).
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