Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Does anyone know what is in most/all of the API products (Stress Coat+, Stress Zyme, etc.) that could be harmful? Most of their products apparently state "For ornamental fish use only; not to be used on fish intended for human consumption."

I'm afraid I haven't been reading as much of the fine print as I should have been, until I recently purchased their "Pond-Zyme with Barley". I read the "For ornamental fish use only." part and since it didn't specifically state not to be used on fish for human consumption, I emailed them. Their response was that NONE of their products are to be used for that!! I've been using the tap water conditioners for about three years! So...they didn't elaborate on the consequences of eating the fish...cancer?...some other life altering difficulties? (Yes, I returned the product and got my money back.)

Is there some other product everyone here uses to remove the chlorine when replacing tank water, or adding to raise the level back up due to evaporation?

I wasn't sure whether to place this in the Water Topics, or Fish Topics. If not much response here, I may re-post under the Fish Topics.

Thank you!

Views: 911

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Pam, all you need to do to get rid of the chlorine in your tap water is to put the water in a barrel or bucket (or whatever) and let it sit out in the sun for a few days. That's it.

If you have an air pump and a diffuser (air stone) and live somewhere where it's not convenient to have barrels or bockets of water outside (like a 4th floor apartment without a balcony) aerate your tap water for 24 hours to off-gas the chlorine.

Now, if your municipality has switched to using chloromine instead of chlorine, well that's a bit tougher to eliminate.

And good luck actually trying to make heads or tails of the API products. i.e are they labelled "for ornamental fish only" because the company doesn't see a market worth jumping through all the different regulatory hoops (FDA, FIFRA, EPA etc...) which would drive up the cost of their product, or are they harmless substances already used in food production chains? We'll never know since API lists no CAS no. and claims "proprietary ingredients".

Acetic acid, or sodium thiosulfate?...or something(s) else?

Thanks Vlad...

Well, I know about the leaving it out to air...I do that with topping off. But, when I have a large volume (26, 40, 55 and 760 gal tanks) to replace, that's not always convenient. Today, we are removing all of the larger tilapia (some up to 2 lbs.) from the big tank for harvesting and returning all of the smaller ones to the same tank, which we needed to drain to get all the fish. The water in this large tank has not had any API chlorine removal product used in it since over a year ago...I would just add a few gallons by hose as needed to offset evaporation. I guess the ones to go back in will have to stay in the aerated bucket for the next 24 hours while the water goes through its process. The pump will be moving the flow of water through different tubs, while being frequently exposed to the air, and there is a large bubbler in the big tank as well...perhaps I can return the smaller ones first thing in the morning before going to work.

So, I guess my question right now is, would you consider these harvested fish safe to eat or not? I've left a message on the API 800 line, but since today is Labor Day, I likely won't hear back from them until tomorrow. At this point, the harvesting process has gone far enough that we must process the fish. Whether we get to eat them or not remains to be decided.

I obviously won't be using the API products any more, but since I have a lot of fish, of all the long run...once the tilapia have been exposed to this stuff, are they inedible ever because it eventually passes through their system or becomes so dispersed that it's no longer relevant, or shall I just make fertilizer of the 100's I have? My mama Blue currently has a very full mouth of eggs...

If I have to do that, I might as well just can the whole project...I've put so much effort (almost 3 years!) into this that it's heartbreaking! 

If/When I hear back from API, I'll post their answer... Based on your reply, Vlad, that answer may be just as vague as the ingredients of their products.


I'm sure that API will tell you to not eat the fish. That's the lawyers talking. I, personally, would not worry. As long as the fish are for personal consumption everything should turn out fine.

ps: please let us know how tasty the fish end up being!

i talked with a de chlorintor manufacturer on this subject.. he claimed the product wouldn't harm humans,, that it was a labeling thing..

the product with barely should be harmless.,, it should just be an extract..

federal labeling laws have this and the fertilizer industry jumping through all kinds of hoops to avoid expensive testing for

i would simply stop using any treatments, but dont sweat it otherwise.. if youve had tilapia at TGI Fridays, or Chillies, or any other chain restaurant that uses frozen fillets from China and beyond, you've probably eaten worst

Thanks for the encouragement guys...and I'm in total agreement about the fish from China!

The white tilapia we had in 2013 were indeed, quite tasty...certainly better than store-bought! Made for really good fish burritos! We weren't aware then of what we are now...

I will go ahead and fill the big tank, as originally planned...let it sit until tomorrow...and add the smaller ones back in. Where it all goes from there depends on answers tomorrow.

Really trying not to let this get to me...hubby is very hesitant to eat the fish unless we get a definitive reply.

Yeah, see that's the whole quandary isn't it? 

"Should be"..."lawyers talking" etc...etc...etc...

While that kind of stuff happens quite often, that that being, a company not hiring and paying for professional "hoop-jumpers" to obtain certificates for perfectly 'certifiable' substances/products...we don't really know if that's the case in this instance or we?

Rob, the "should just be an extract" portion of the API product you spoke of is just one component (1 to 10% by weight) and has a CAS No 85507-69-3 and is an aloe extract with known composition etc...The other component of  said product (also 1 to 10% by weight HAS NO CAS no. and is listed as 'PROPRIETARY ingredient', or (blend of ingredients). So that makes it really, really difficult to make any claims to safety...or un-safety. Make sense? 

I'm not saying that it is, or that it isn't fit for use on fish intended to be consumed by humans...all I'm saying is that it's not really possible to make a decision one way or another without, even knowing what the one out of the two major active ingredients are (the other 80% of said product is water)...

But yes, it is very expensive and time consuming to jump through those, and other regulatory hoops...but then, some things just aren't fit for use for human consumption...who's to say when the information (ingredient list) is lacking..?

What about us who have not, or do not ever eat at TGI Fridays, Chililes and certainly try not to "eat worse" Just sayin'


I have been using an RV hose filter to remove chlorine from NYC tap water.  Some are rated to last 50,000 gallons and they are in the $20 - $50 range. Useful when you don't have a tank to let your water sit or don't have the time. Many remove chlorine and chloromine as well as other nasties.

Excellent! I see Walmart carries a Camco filter that runs about $15...sounds like a good investment!

I was unavailable when API called me back; they left a message that further reiterated not using API products for food-fish. I called the landline back and got the same 'leave a message' runaround I got with the 800#...left another message...hopefully, I'll be able to take the next call.

A co-worker made a couple of suggestions: (1) call the EPA and see if they can shed any light on this; (2) contact the (local) University of Arizona (which has an Aquaponics course) to see what they know, and/or if they'd take one of my tilapia for testing purposes.

Will update here as I know more...

Thanks everyone!

Jonathan Kadish NYC AA Chair said:


I have been using an RV hose filter to remove chlorine from NYC tap water.  Some are rated to last 50,000 gallons and they are in the $20 - $50 range. Useful when you don't have a tank to let your water sit or don't have the time. Many remove chlorine and chloromine as well as other nasties.

RE: API returned call.

Everything she said, as I expected was vague. She indicated that studies had not been done with reference to food-fish, but that if one of your pets happen to drink some of the water it probably wouldn't pose a problem ('safe'). I asked her if the company was simply unwilling to go through the hoops and expense to be approved by the FDA, EPA, etc and she verified affirmatively. (Was kinda surprised by that admission!). So, I thanked her and indicated I would not be purchaseing any further API products.

Still need to look up info on the UofA program...


This is what I heard back from a respected professor with the UofA Aquaponics course (printed here with his permission):

"Hi Pam,

I agree with the majority of the comments regarding the API products. They are not willing to make any claims for food safety of fish for human consumption as they would need to invest significant amounts to get approvals. And the market is still small.

As Tucson water does use chloramines, you will need extra time to aerate the compound out when you do a big water exchange.  But adding a few gallons at a time will not hurt fish at all. In fact, if water is green you would have to add a lot of tap water before there would be any chloramine left to bother the fish. The RV hose filter is interesting. Not sure how much chloramine it can remove in a short time, but I do not see any downside to using it.

Regarding the safety of the API de-chlor and other products. I would have no qualms about eating the fish myself or feeding to family and friends.

By the way, I work a lot in China with the tilapia farmers. And I have eaten vast amounts of the fish and trust it."



Has anyone else been using ascorbic acid to remove chlorine from their water?


I found a discussion here about that (Tropical Aquarium website). Consensus seems to be not advised.

RE: the RV hose filter previously mentioned...I purchased one of these to do a 75% water change in my 55 gal tank full of baby tilapia. They are thriving very nicely. I used a small pump, dropped into some netting to keep the babies from being sucked in, with the attached hose inserted in a length of PVC - out the window to some plants. At the other end of the tank, coming through the window, is the garden hose with the RV Filter attached. The swap-out goes don't seem to be stressed out at fact they 'romp' in the incoming stream.

Reply to Discussion


© 2024   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service