Choosing a Holding Tank Treatment

Tired of getting on your boat after a few weeks away only to be greeted with a dire case of BBS (bad boat smell)? At Fisheries we are proud to supply a wide variety of holding tank treatment products that can help you resolve even the worst case of BBS with very little effort on your part. Following, we break down some of the options to help you decide which product will work best in your holding tank.

Bacterial, Chemical or Enzymes – Oh My!

Most of the products we carry will fall into one of these three categories – so here is how each one works and some things to keep in mind when choosing.

Kills Odor Holding Tank Treatment from RaritanBacterial Treatments

Basically these are products that contain live “aerobic” bacteria that you introduce into your holding tank. While slightly more expensive, they pay off in the long run because given the right environment these bacteria will continue to reproduce on their own and so last longer with fewer treatments – plus they are totally environmentally friendly. These guys work by crowding out the “anaerobic” bacteria (the super smelly odor producing guys) while they break down the raw sewage in your tanks and hoses. Sounds great right – so what's the catch? Aerobic bacteria need good ventilation to survive and reproduce – so if your holding tank is not well ventilated, this is not the product for you. If your boat's ventilation is good and you want to give this a go, just make sure there are no other residual treatments left in the tank as they will likely kill this “good” bacteria before they can get started. Bacterial treatments we carry include the K.O. and C.P. products from Raritan.

Zaal Noflex Digestor Holding Tank TreatmentChemical Treatments

There are a whole slew of chemical based options from several manufacturers – but lest you think chemicals are automatically bad, most of the products we carry are actually classified as environmentally friendly and biodegradable. Max Control products from Sealand work by breaking down “organics” and toilet tissue without using the formaldehyde based chemicals of yesteryear. The Aqua Bio line from Thetford is another effective way to break down the holding tank contents and tissue without and formaldehyde or bronopol, meeting all of California‚Äôs new regulations. Or you can try the super effective and highly recommended Noflex Digestor from Zaal – which is a Peroxyl based powder that releases micro-bubbles of oxygen that break up the sludge and promote the growth of naturally occurring aerobic (good!) bacteria – which inhibit the odor-causing anaerobic process (the super stinky gas). Noflex needs to be added regularly and like some of the other treatments, must not be combined with any other treatments or chemicals to work effectively.

ECOsmart Holding Tank Treatment from ThetfordEnzyme Treatments

These environmentally friendly products work by introducing enzymes that will quickly digest the “organics” while also neutralizing the odors they produce. Like the bacterial solutions, they need a fair amount of ventilation to be effective and you need to make sure there are no other residual treatments as it will render the enzymes useless. Unlike bacterial treatments, enzymes need to be added regularly and they won't work nearly as well in really hot, or really cold climates – so keep that in mind when making your decision. Products we carry in this category include Tri-Zyme or AquaMAX from Thetford.

We hope this Navigator has helped clear the air when it comes to choosing your holding tank treatment – but if you still have questions, please don't hesitate to contact our product experts at (800) 426-6930.