Sciencemadness Discussion Board

The Pet Store

DDTea - 15-3-2003 at 15:57

Has anyone ever used Pet Stores as a source of chemicals and supplies? During today's search for chemicals and equipment, I made a stop to the Pet Store and found many interesting things. From my observations, I've found that the most useful materials for our hobby are found as Fish supplies and chemicals.

Some examples of things that can be found at pet stores are Sodium Nitrate, Concentrated Iodide solutions, Strontium solutions, Molybdenum solutions, Activated Charcoal, Sulfuric Acid (Dilute and Expensive), Sulfates, Sodium Thiosulfate, DMSO, and even Sodium Cyanide.

For equipment, there are lots of PH papers and Aquarium Bubblers... That's all I can think of right now, but be sure to stop by your local pet store the next time you search for chemicals!

Polverone - 15-3-2003 at 21:21

Sodium cyanide? :o What sort of pet store was this?!

Aquarium bubblers, plastic tubing, and activated charcoal can be found at pet stores at reasonable prices. Most chemicals seem to be dilute and expensive. But stores that stock products for farm animals... now those are some useful places.

DDTea - 16-3-2003 at 01:35

I didn't see it at my local pet store, but I know some stores carry Sodium Cyanide... It comes under the brand name, "Agae Destroyer." It was used once in a murder by some woman against her husband. It's an aquarium chemical =). It's not 100% pure, because it's a green chemical.

Darkfire - 16-3-2003 at 12:14

No, no no, you got it all wrong. (I think)

I pretty sure that what happend was that the alge destryorer was ground in the same mortar and pestel as the cyanide.

This is what i saw on tv so it might not be true.


vulture - 16-3-2003 at 13:05

DMSO?? They stock DMSO??? *Droooool*

Where would you need that for??

Oh wait, I remember something. Isn't it used as a carrier for drugs because it solvatises apolar hydrocarbons in water?

DDTea - 16-3-2003 at 13:54

Actually, I think you are right, Darkfire. I just did a quick Google search and found that what you say is true...doh! Luckily for me, I live in a state where purchases of Cyanide are completely legal, although after some idiot kid slipped a bit of cyanide into his friend's drink...i'm not sure how long this policy will last :( .

The list I provided above was not a list of Chemicals I had actually seen on my visit to the pet store (although I did see a lot of them), it was a list of chemicals that I know can be found at Pet Stores :D.

I have heard that DMSO can be found at Petsmart, along with Sodium Thiosulfate.

[Edited on 3-16-03 by Samosa]

DDTea - 16-3-2003 at 17:15

Bah! I seemed to have learned an expensive lesson! :mad:

When you buy Chemicals from the Pet Store, be sure to do thorough research into them first! I bought a bottle of what was listed as "Concentrated Iodine," but it turns out that "Concentrated" is not as Concentrated as it claims.. 22.5 mg/oz, I believe is the exact Concentration! And this cost me $13.00 :( .

Now, after looking on the Internet, I've found that something called "Lugol's Solution" is more concentrated...but that is $9.99 , money which at the moment I do not have... I think I may just stick with my tincture Iodine.

Just a warning to you all.

DDTea - 26-3-2003 at 12:38

On another visit to the Pet Store, I found another chemical that could be of interest... Formaldehyde! It is sold in the Fish section, and its purpose is to treat various fish diseases. It is sold under the name "Formalin."

However, it is quite costly: 9.99 for 37% Formaldehyde. Another 50% is water, and the rest is Methanol... However, if you are really desperate for Formaldehyde, this could be the place to look.

madscientist - 27-3-2003 at 10:11

How much (as in, volume) of that formalin solution does $9.99 buy? :)

DDTea - 27-3-2003 at 14:57

9.99 will buy you 240 ml of the solution...that's 1 Cup (8 fl oz). Of that 240 ml, 88.8 ml is actual Formaldehyde. For 14.99, you can buy 480 ml of the same solution. Twice as much, but for $5 less than buying two of the smaller bottles. :)

Other store chemicals

KaptainKrap - 24-9-2003 at 06:33

Potassium perchlorate is also available in some cases as an oxygenator or something. I'm not sure about the concentration, but it is pretty soluble. Nitrates can be found in soot removers, along with smoke bomb ingredient NH4Cl. Aluminium powder can be bought from various places including paint manufacturers' suppliers.

MnkyBoy - 23-1-2004 at 17:56

Pet stores are great, but ANYTHING one finds in the aquarium section needs to know what is ment by 'concentrated'. For aquariums 'Concentrated' means basically you have to add a fewer drops of the contents to raise the tanks level of that item by a few PARTS/BILLION. (Only a drop or two is added for every 'x' number of gallons)

The iodine for Salt Water Fish also contains IODIDE. This product even when used as directed is expensive, hence the reason I switched to Lugol's solution of my tank. One small bottle will last years for my tank. The Formaldehyde Fish Dip also contains a strong dye.

If one is in a serious pinch and in desprate need of items from a pet store, go for it...But most items are extremly diluted as far as chemical's are concerned.

chemoleo - 23-1-2004 at 19:45

Vulture... I hope I won't disqualify myself with this... but why are u so much after DMSO? I got it in my lab, we use it for a number of things, but none I could envision to use it in a mad-scientist's way! Pls help me out ;)


chloric1 - 24-1-2004 at 11:52

DMSO is not so hard to get but it is useful. For one, it is an ionizing solvent where there is NO acidic hydrogen as there is in water and alcohol. Basic reagents are MUCH stronger bases in DMSO than water or alcohols. FOr instance, say you want to convert isopropyl bromide to pure propylene. In alcoholic KOH it takes heat and many hours, but DMSO solutions of Potassium t-Butoxide covert isopropyl bromide to propylene in 60 seconds at room temperature!(Morrison and Boyd;ORGANIC CHEMISTRY second ed. 1966)

unionised - 25-1-2004 at 06:25

I thought that you could deprotonate DMSO to get the dimsyl ion. If so then any of the 6 hydrogens in DMSO are acidic.
It's still a useful solvent, not least because it is a lot less acid than water.

vulture - 25-1-2004 at 07:30

Potassium perchlorate is also available in some cases as an oxygenator or something. I'm not sure about the concentration, but it is pretty soluble.

Somethings not right there, KClO4 is very insoluble.

I just harvest as much solvents as I can get, because they'll eventually dry out.

Pet Stores

chloric1 - 25-1-2004 at 08:52

I feel this is a source better left alone. Most products are not going to be good for this hobby. But I do like to buy activated charcoal for filtering and reductions though.Oh, how I long for the days when I could go to Hook's drug store and pick up many reagents. Hydroponics and agriculture supply houses are OK. Some purification may be necessary but it is no big deal.

guaguanco - 26-1-2004 at 10:35

Originally posted by Samosa
I think I may just stick with my tincture Iodine.

I know that chemical acquisition on ebay has been discussed before, but there's a lot of reagent-grade iodine for sale there.

hodges - 26-1-2004 at 16:23


I know that chemical acquisition on ebay has been discussed before, but there's a lot of reagent-grade iodine for sale there.

Yeah, only around $150/lb. But I hear if you buy at least 10 lbs they throw in some free red phosphorous :)


thunderfvck - 30-1-2004 at 11:42


Yeah, only around $150/lb. But I hear if you buy at least 10 lbs they throw in some free red phosphorous

Good old speed freaks, so generous. heh.
I read that KMnO4 can also be bought at pet stores as some kind of anti-bacterial agent used in pond treatment. Any truth to this? I did a little shopping a couple of weeks ago and couldn't find anything of the sort. Very disappointing.

static_firefly - 9-2-2004 at 21:41

I reciently bought a kilo of potassium permangate under the name Condies Crystals at a large pet store for $11. They seel quite a lot of useful things, i did see DMSO and many other things. They also sell needle less syrings too.

hodges - 10-2-2004 at 03:45

You can also make KMnO4 from MnO2 (which you can get cheap at pottery stores). I'm pretty sure there is a thread here - search on KMnO4. I did it by mixing MnO2, KOH, and KNO3. I melted in a small test tube. A tiny bit made a strong green solution in water, which turned purple upon adding dilute H2SO4. Of course that says nothing about how much product I got since a tiny bit of KMnO4 produces a strong purple color. I'm not sure how you would separate the products either - I had no use for KMnO4 so just did it to see if it would work and didn't go any further.

Geomancer - 20-4-2004 at 18:57

I went looking for syringes today. The ones they had were crappy but cheapish. I also had a bit of a brain malfunction and paid 17USD for a pound of sodium bisulphate; I thought it said bisulphite. What really caught my attention, though, was the assortment of ion-exchange type things. Are these any good for general purpose? Also, the zeolite cation exchange stuff, might it be usefull as a catalyst?

[Edit: They also have Raschig rings. They claim to be very porous, though, so column holdup might be a problem.]

[Edited on 21-4-2004 by Geomancer]

jimwig - 21-4-2004 at 13:37

Looking for DMSO are we now?

Just remember that your HORSES' HEALTH may be at stake here.

And try not to GOOGLE about.

$22 a gallon. plus lots of shipping coming to over $30 per.

Magpie - 20-10-2009 at 13:11

I went looking for formalin at pet stores today. PetSmart (or stupid?) doesn't carry it. A mom & pop used to carry it but the owner said that the EPA is clamping down on his suppliers on many chemicals. :mad:

Therefore I just ordered 500ml (37% strength) from a pet store over the internet for $10 while I can still get it.