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Recently I discovered for myself an interesting way to easily produce home made plant fertilizer that is quite effective (tested myself on the plants). It's fish emulsion (so can be used also in a hydroponic system) - 1 part fish wastes(skin/bowels) to 2 parts water placed in an airtight container in a sunny spot for ca. 1-2 weeks. The problem - it stinks unbearably. Both - the gas that is produced during the decomposition and the liquid(/fats).

  1. Is it possible to neutralize the stench somehow without loosing the fertilizing qualities of the emulsion? Especially of phosphorus.
    1.1 Ideally of both - the gas and the liquid. But at least of the liquid - as that is what is used actually and then continues to spread the smell after being added to the plants.
    1.2 Ideally it should be done using some usual household substances/wastes - maybe adding of lemon/orange peels along with the fish wastes? Or maybe ash/charcoals?

  2. Ideally the resulting emulsion should be acidic as many plants like the pH range of 5 - 6.5 .

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  • $\begingroup$ You can try to boil acetic acid/vinegar in the space that you have been working. Mixing it with the products will probably be harmful to your plants. $\endgroup$ – TAR86 Aug 14 '20 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ The recipe looks mighty like garum. Wonder how the Romans countered the smell, or maybe they did not mind it at all. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Aug 14 '20 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ Plants like fully decomposed (composted) organic materials just like human prefer cooked food. The solution which you are preparing, is going to hurt the plants very badly. For example, cow dung is a good organic fertilizer but fresh manure will burn the plants. Why don't you bury this fish waste in ground, mix it with old leaves and let it compost? No smell because soil bacteria will take care of it. $\endgroup$ – M. Farooq Aug 15 '20 at 3:33
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Plants like fully decomposed (composted) organic materials just like humans prefer cooked food. The solution which you are preparing, is going to hurt the plants rather badly. For example, cow dung is a good organic fertilizer but fresh manure will burn the plants. Why don't you bury this fish waste in the ground or soil, mix it with old leaves and let it compost for 1-2 months? No smell should arise because soil bacteria and perhaps worms/insects will take care of it. Above all everything will be well covered with soil.

Do not add vinegar or lemon juice to your liquid (which should go to waste anyway). Vinegar has salt and plants don't grow well with salty water.

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  • $\begingroup$ (1) I use it in a hydroponic system, i.e. in water solution without ground. (2) it decomposes ca. 2 weeks on the sun. (3) I have tested it and results were quite amazing - just over night melons started produce small fruits... (4) I actually do add acidic stuff/vinegar to the hydroponic solution, otherwise the pH is too high - ca. 8. $\endgroup$ – user1876484 Aug 15 '20 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, good to know that your hydroponic system is working. You may add this part in the main question. $\endgroup$ – M. Farooq Aug 15 '20 at 20:03
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Actually, I discovered a way of eliminating fish odor that was apparently generated from an old can of salmon, which was in the process of bursting and leaking. The can was hidden on a lower shelf in my kitchen.

I originally believed there was an issue with something on the floor and kept on treating the floor until I produced results.

The exact process I employed, however, remains the subject of a future patent.

But, I will disclose that the apparent active agent is Singlet Oxygen (or, O(1D)). The latter could interact with oxygen in air further creating reactive oxygen species (see, for example, Equation (4) presented here). Apparently, O(3P) may be formed from severe collision quenching of O(1D) atom with oxygen and acts as the major oxidant, for example, in the work by Huan Yue and colleagues ‘Exploring the working mechanism of graphene patterning by magnetic-assisted UV ozonation’. Note, O(3P) is also known as highly reactive ground-state 3P oxygen and a form of atomic oxygen.

Of practical importance, singlet oxygen has a half-life of around 45 minutes and should be considered toxic, so treated areas should be evacuated prior to treatment. On contact with water, it forms hydrogen peroxide.

Note, unlike other de-odorizing agents that disguise smells, this path actually results in a chemical breakdown with no toxic or carcinogenic residual products.

Also, an associated 2008 patent: "Use of photosensitizer for cleaning air, water or contaminated surfaces and in filters, where the photosensitizer is covalently linked and/or linked over physical interaction to surface and activated by visible light to form singlet oxygen" discussed here.

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