Borates in Australia ?

Scollops

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Continue the Australian theme, have been looking into Borates addition. Not been able to find a non commercial boric acid supplier - looking at pool math seems I am looking at 12+ Kilos. I don’t fancy Borax route too much messing around.

just seeing if any Aussies have done this, thoughts and suppliers ?
 

mgtfp

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Another option is "Optimiser" by Bioguard. Fancy name, but 100% boric acid. More expensive than the stuff mentioned in the post before. But if you're worried that your family might complain about adding an "insecticide" to the pool, it could be an option.
 

acKsw

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Jan 19, 2021
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Sydney, Australia
But if you're worried that your family might complain about adding an "insecticide" to the pool, it could be an option.

They shipped it to me with white paper wrapping around the bucket so you couldn't see what it is. Just don't unwrap it (y)

Saw another comment on here saying at 50ppm you should aim to drink less than a cup of pool water a day. So.. if you have kids or pets that drink the pool water then don't borate your pool. But for anyone old and sensible enough not to swallow water that may have graced someone else's butthole moments ago - borates are fine.

BTW.. Boric acid is AMAZING for cockroach control. Forget the stupid baits and sprays. Sprinkle a little bit of boric acid behind the fridge, at the backs of cupboards, along skirting boards etc. Don't put it on food prep areas and don't put it where kids or pets could ingest it. Just the areas pests like to use. A little 200g baggie has lasted me for several years.

Also.. the act of labelling a chemical as an insecticide does not change its behaviour one bit.
 

mgtfp

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.. the act of labelling a chemical as an insecticide does not change its behaviour one bit.

True. Important thing is to make sure that it really is 100% boric acid, no coatings or dodgy fillers.
 
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Scollops

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Cheers guys will look at getting some for both applications.
 

brendio

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Queensland, Australia
I bought a 25 kg bag from an agricultural supply store. Cost about $50 from memory. Boron is also a plant nutrient, not just an insecticide. There are three different forms from memory. Mine bag says 99.9 % H3BO3 min.
 

Scollops

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I bought a 25 kg bag from an agricultural supply store. Cost about $50 from memory. Boron is also a plant nutrient, not just an insecticide. There are three different forms from memory. Mine bag says 99.9 % H3BO3 min.

wowser $25kg for $50 where’s that from ? I guess the main thing is how do you test for Borates reliably ?
 
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mgtfp

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I do a titration as described here:


BTB indicator (it's a blue pH-test reagent, Bromothymol Blue) you can buy at Bunnings where the pond supply is (not in the pool section), Mannitol you can get on eBay, I ordered 50g which will last me years (it's a sweetener).

I scaled the test to a 40ml water sample and use the test tube that came with my Smart Stir (CCL's version of the Speed Stir), that gives a resolution of 5ppm per drop.

All the other ingredients are part of the CCL kit. JoyfulNoise describes the test in above thread with Taylor ingredients. Just check out CCL's compatibility chart for the equivalents:

 
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setsailsoon

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I found the boric acid test strips as bad as all the other tests. Impossible to read reliably even after I had just introduced 40 ppm. A couple months ago I bought the two chemicals required for Matt's post and it works like a charm! People claim a lot of subjective benefits and I haven't really been able to tell it has done anything other than make pH much easier to control. But that's all I needed it for so I'm happy. It does also make a great insecticide - Just make sure pets can't get into it.

Chris
 
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mgtfp

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People claim a lot of subjective benefits and I haven't really been able to tell it has done anything other than make pH much easier to control.

Totally agree. Borates do a great job as a pH-buffer, but apart from a more stable pH the pool looks and feels exactly like it did before.
 

Scollops

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Interesting - if I can get a reliable read on ph as it’s so subjective to colour match it can 7.2 or 7.6 on my CCL - doesn’t help being red green deficient anyway. I might have to take Borates route to get some stability.
 

acKsw

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Jan 19, 2021
13
Sydney, Australia
I found CCL's Rainbow Chart (under "pH test is hard to read" heading) to be far more helpful than the sticker on the bottle, but that's with "normal" male colour perception (primary colours only, please :LOL:). Ultimately I'll get a GOOD pH meter (HannaInst or Atlas Scientific). Bought a $10 cheapie off ebay but it's much worse than trying to judge shades of phenol red so don't bother (also loses its cal without telling you because the battery connection is Darn).
 

brendio

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May 18, 2020
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Queensland, Australia
wowser $25kg for $50 where’s that from ? I guess the main thing is how do you test for Borates reliably ?
I got it from where farmers buy their fertiliser. I got it from a local mob. Nutrien also had it from my searches. They might have more branches around the country. I searched for the SDS first to work out what I wanted, and then contacted the wholesaler, who told me who the local distributers were. It might be harder to get in the city, if they are not many farms around.

I tried the titration test with a pH meter on some standards I made up, and I got terrible results. I have bought the BTB indicator from Bunnings, but I have not yet tried it.
 

acKsw

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Jan 19, 2021
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Sydney, Australia
True. Important thing is to make sure that it really is 100% boric acid, no coatings or dodgy fillers.

Just to follow up on this, I asked boricacid.com.au for their MSDS and it’s stated at >99% boric acid. You won’t get better than that!

It also lists the EC50 (50% kill, 96hrs) for algae at 15ppm, half what I plan to use. First time seeing a number for the algaecidal benefits so that’s neat.
 

mgtfp

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It also lists the EC50 (50% kill, 96hrs) for algae at 15ppm, half what I plan to use. First time seeing a number for the algaecidal benefits so that’s neat

From what I have gathered here, the algaecidal effects of Borates seem to be vastly overrated at pool relevant concentrations. Members were quite excited in the earlier TFP days, but that seems to have calmed down. Current opinion seems to be, that they are a great ph-buffer, but that's it. That's also my personal experience, apart from more stable pH, I wouldn't notice any change to the pool.
 

AUSpool

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I bought test strips for borates from this here. Borate Archives - Test Strips Online

I got my boric acid from an Aussie chemical supply company that had it listed on ebay, so technically I got it from ebay.

If you want to get your pool nerd on and chemistry kit out there is the mannitol test for borates. I found mannitol hard to find. I got it in the end but found xylitol worked just fine too.


Testing and dosing via the strips and PoolMath wasn’t that hard. I added enough boric acid from PoolMath to get me to 50ppm and when it had drifted down to 30ppm I added enough to get me back to 50ppm. My mannitol and xylitol testing was just for the fun of it but confirmed my levels and the guess strips. I didn’t always add borate testing to my normal testing so to calculate my CSI I would adjust my borates according to my salt level trend.

I got some borax from Aldi in case I feel the need to put it in our new pool. But for now I’m content without it. Running through my CSI numbers at various levels adding it will negatively impact on where I want to be with a new pool.
 
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