Goobers in my selenium toner.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Worker 11811, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I just got out my bottle of selenium toner that I have used a few times to make prints and I found goobers floating in it.

    No, not the black precipitate that falls to the bottom of the bottle after the solution has been used a couple of times. These were whitish fungus-like globs similar to what grows in Kodak Photo-Flo that's been sitting around too long.

    I just filtered the solution as I often do before I used it. No problems after that.

    I just thought selenium toner was fatally toxic to all life as we know it. :wink:
    Have I discovered a new life form? :confused:
    Maybe I shouldn't have thrown it out with the trash? :blink:
     
  2. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Or does this mean print soaking in bog water is an effective archival process?
     
  3. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    The print I made was just a test print. I'll make up a new batch when it's time to do the final prints.
    I just thought it would be an unnecessary waste of chemistry to throw it out and make new for only one print.

    I just didn't think that anything could grow in selenium.
    You always hear people talking about how toxic the stuff is.
     
  4. clayne

    clayne Member

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    It's not really fungus, it's like some kind of wispy, floating, clearish looking things that float around as you tone, right? If it's that, it's just normal cruft and can be ignored. The toner is not at risk and it won't adhere to your prints.

    If it's green, algae looking, etc. then that's something else.
     
  5. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Yes, they sort of look like jellyfish.

    I just filtered them out but I'm still going to make a fresh batch soon, anyway. The stuff's probably getting worn out.
    Sure, it's possible to replenish by adding more stock to the solution but, as Bill says, "Why tone your prints in swamp water?"
     
  6. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Because it's a waste of selenium and it won't hurt your prints. :smile:

    I've thought for a while it might actually be random pieces of gelatin picked up along the way. If they look like jellyfish, yeah, same stuff, just filter it.

    I don't think fungii will get too far growing in that solution anyways....
     
  7. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    I have experienced this as well. I really do think it is some kind of "life form," probably a bacterial sludge of some kind.

    That said, I've just filtered it out and re-used the toner with absolutely no problems. The sludge, whatever it is, organic or inorganic, seems to hang together and filter out well.

    As many here know, I am a real advocate of replenishment and re-use of selenium toner.

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  8. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I've also seen this. It's time to replace solutions when fluids change colors, black specs build up, or slime forms. Why invest your time and use old solutions/materials which may keep you from your best results. Chemicals don't cost that much considering the cost of the entire work-flow.
     
  9. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Because this is just paranoia and it's not exactly too environmentally conscious to just dump Se toner because there is a bit of crud in it.

    First off, the black specs are obviously silver related - and pose little harm other than being in the way. These usually settle to the bottom of the container but in some cases can be kicked up by moving the toner containers around, etc. The second stuff is just randomness and is not affecting the toner or any of the toning process.

    Throwing out toner over things like this is like having a few leaves in a swimming pool and rather than just catching the leaves, instead the entire pool is drained and refilled. Being aware of the materials and processes and what to actually worry about results in less mystery and greater understanding of the tools.