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Sunburst Ant Nectar- Question About Abnormal Appearance


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Serafine - Posted August 13 2017 - 7:29 AM

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There's some stuff in my Sunburst. It doesn't really look like mold (could be bacteria though), could this be components of the liquid that have fallen out? Shaking and swirling it dissolved most of it but not everything.
It also looks a bit milky and less clear compared to when I bought it. Has it exceeded it's life expectancy? The ants are still drinking it (actually more than ever).

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There's also some stuff at the side of the feeders (only used them with Sunburst). It doesn't look too organic, more like calcium oxide deposits. Is this from drying sunburst (the level of the deposit kinda fits that explanation)? Or is it actually mold/bacteria that settles on top of the Sunburst in the emerging air bubble where it's kinda safe from the methylparaben disinfectant?

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Edited by Serafine, August 13 2017 - 7:31 AM.

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#2 Offline drtrmiller - Posted August 13 2017 - 11:37 AM

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Some ingredients will settle at the bottom of the solution.  If the bottle is not shaken before dispensing, then over time, there will be less liquid into which those ingredients may be incorporated, resulting in the cloudy appearance.  It is non-harmful, but I do recommend shaking the bottle prior to each use.

 

The second set of photos aren't sufficient for me to identify the object of interest.  If there is unidentified material in the glass vials, simply take a cotton swab and clean them out from time to time.  Always rinse with water before adding more Sunburst, water, or other liquids.


Edited by drtrmiller, August 13 2017 - 11:40 AM.

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#3 Offline Serafine - Posted August 13 2017 - 1:19 PM

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You can increase the size of the picture to 2048 x something by clicking them and then right-click -> show picture/graphic.
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#4 Offline drtrmiller - Posted February 27 2018 - 11:54 PM

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I am updating my response to this in light of new information.

For the past few months, I have been conducting several studies on Sunburst Ant Nectar in order to improve the formulation, manufacturing process, and label guidance.  In this time, I have learned a lot about the chemistry of alkaline aqueous solutions.

A key phagostimulant in Sunburst Ant Nectar is a strong base, such as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. These strong bases dissociate in aqueous solutions into their respective Na- or K- ions and OH- ions. Carbon dioxide in regular air interacts with water to form a weak and unstable acid, OC(OH)2, which then reacts with the dissociated, unstable (-) ions present in order to form carbonates and bicarbonates, neither of which are harmful, but are indicative of qualitative changes in chemistry with respect to the reaction with CO2. Because these byproducts are poorly soluble in this saturated sugar water solution, they precipitate out of solution and present as faint turbidity (cloudiness) after reaching a certain threshold.

This visible change also corresponds with a decrease in pH, which, if allowed to drop to low enough levels, can allow the solution to become more susceptible to the growth of certain organisms. However, it is important to note that cloudiness alone is not indicative of a drop in pH to unsuitable levels, as non-uniform mixing of ingredients during filling may possibly account for some bottles being more susceptible to cloudiness even with small and insignificant pH changes.  This will be addressed in future batches.

The tentative guidance for storage and care of Sunburst Ant Nectar is as follows:
 

Product quality diminishes rapidly with exposure to air. Keep bottle tightly closed at all times. Shake well before use. Do not add contaminated fluid to bottle contents. Best if used within 6 months after opening.

 

This guidance may change as I complete my study, which I may publish at some point.


Edited by drtrmiller, February 28 2018 - 12:08 AM.


#5 Offline Serafine - Posted February 28 2018 - 3:09 AM

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Shouldn't putting the bottle into the fridge also help as it slows the speed of chemical reactions in general?


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#6 Offline drtrmiller - Posted February 28 2018 - 3:11 AM

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Shouldn't putting the bottle into the fridge also help as it slows the speed of chemical reactions in general?


I haven't tested the role temperature plays on the rate of gas diffusion, but intend to do that within the next week or so. Without knowing for certain, I'd say "It is possible."

One of my associates working on this project adds the following:
 

In long term storage, the reaction rate will be limited by the diffusion of CO2. Higher temperatures should make gas diffusion faster. I'm not sure how much faster for this particular situation without learning a little more about gas diffusion through plastics.

You might expect slower diffusion if you store the container in a refrigerator. However, you might then run into the problem of losing moisture, as refrigerators have very low humidity.


Edited by drtrmiller, March 1 2018 - 5:56 PM.


#7 Offline VoidElecent - Posted February 28 2018 - 10:23 AM

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Shouldn't putting the bottle into the fridge also help as it slows the speed of chemical reactions in general?


I haven't tested the role temperature plays on the rate of gas diffusion, but intend to do that within the next week or so. Without knowing for certain, I'd say "It is possible."

 

 

Decreasing temperature will almost always delay chemical reactions. I store all my nectar in the fridge.


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#8 Offline Will230145 - Posted February 28 2018 - 10:24 AM

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I cannot find any of your sunburst nectar on amazon?

#9 Offline drtrmiller - Posted February 28 2018 - 1:14 PM

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I cannot find any of your sunburst nectar on amazon?


It's sold out right now. It will hopefully be the first to return back to Amazon once I've completed my improvements.


#10 Offline Will230145 - Posted February 28 2018 - 1:24 PM

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Ok, thank you!




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