Fiesta Kills Fish?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ecoguy, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. ecoguy

    ecoguy LawnSite Member
    from Duncan
    Messages: 234

    Hey all. I have a customer who is convinced one of our Fiesta applications killed the fish in his small garden pond last year. We spot sprayed some buttercup 6-10 ft away on a non windy day and apparently the fish died immediately after. Nothing was said by the customer until now, several months later. At the same time, the water in his pond somehow turned clear. We advertise all our products as Children and Pet Friendly so this is very upsetting to hear especially since Fiesta claims their products are safe for pets and people.

    I would like to know if there is any research proving this could occur? I would appreciate any helpful feedback.

  2. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    I think your customer is full of crap
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,050

    Find out if there were any aerial spray for the West Nile virus at around the same time you sprayed.:waving:
  4. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    You're positioning Fiesta as children and pet friendly?

    The active ingredient in Fiesta is a chelated Iron. Do you know that Iron poisoning is the third leading cause of death in elementary school age children, behind car accidents and lead poisoning?!
  5. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,161

    That's quite a spin.
    Iron overdose has been one of the leading causes of death caused by toxicological agents in children younger than 6 years. Iron is used as a pediatric or prenatal vitamin supplement and for treatment of anemia. Iron is particularly tempting to young children because it appears similar to candy.

    It would be extremely difficult for a child to orally ingest enough iron from spot treatments of Fiesta.

    Regarding the possible fish kill, I have made an inquiry with the manufacturer of Fiesta and will share the response here. Personally, I have not heard of any complaints of this nature, but all things are possible.
  6. ecoguy

    ecoguy LawnSite Member
    from Duncan
    Messages: 234

    Great, thanks Barry. I've emailed them too.
  7. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    It's no larger spin than saying that any of the conventional synthetics are dangerous or otherwise not kid and pet friendly.

    If you're going to apply that standard to Fiesta, you need to apply it to 2,4-D as well.
  8. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,161

    Skipster, I'll agree that there are risks involved with any actions.
    I'll have the research on Fiesta regarding possible fish kill to share sometime this weekend.
  9. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    Go get a fish tank, buy some fish, and spray a little in the tank and find out what happens
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,763

    I'm going to have to agree with you here. But I'll go on with some reasoning behind this.

    Here is the Fiesta MSDS:
    (you did have this handy, since you applied it, right?)

    Sodium nitrate is slightly toxic to fish, but only in quite high concentrations.
    You'd have to pour Fiesta by the gallon into a pretty small pond to raise the nitrate concentration to dangerous levels.

    NTA is toxic. The Sigma Aldrich MSDS for NTA
    shows an LC-50 as low as 100mg/l over 96h exposure (so it looks like this was indeed tested against fish in other contexts, but other LC-50 numbers are as much as 4x higher; I'm just using the lowest one to prove the point beyond question).
    Assuming a pond size of 50 gallons (ludicrously small), you'd need 19g of NTA (directly applied to the pond water) to get to this dose.
    Back to the Fiesta MSDS, they say NTA is 0.5% to 0.8% of the herbicide, so you would need a little over a cup of Fiesta poured directly into a 50 gallon pond to reach this level. And runoff is NOT the same thing. NTA rapidly breaks down into much less toxic products and also binds to things in the environment, so I'm not sure how many gallons of Fiesta you'd have to pour around the perimeter of the pond for runoff to cause harm, but it would certainly be a lot, and overspray being an issue is just ridiculous.

    The iron salts themselves range from nontoxic to slighly toxic to fish.
    Here's one reference to that.
    But ponds frequently get fertilizer runoff (it's still bad for them, but that's another story), without the iron salts used in many fertilizers killing fish. In fact, I've seen chelated iron salts sold as an aquarium and pond supplement to help green up your underwater plants.

    Landrus2 said to "Find out if there were any aerial spray for the West Nile virus at around the same time you sprayed."
    and he's absolutely right. Pyrethroids used for this can be VERY toxic to fish, at seriously low concentrations.

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