Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   how to clean disinfect new plants (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/how-clean-disinfect-new-plants-108422/)

Chesh 07-24-2012 12:48 PM

how to clean disinfect new plants
 
What is the best way to do this? Like everything else in the underwater world, I'm finding a lot of contrary information on this one. . .

I am aware that certain nasty things can hitchhike in on the plantlife we bring home for our tanks. Various Fungus, bacteria, algae, and snails - to name a few. . .

I'm wondering what exactly it is that we *should* be looking/treating for (I know there are many who welcome snails into their tanks, I'm more worried about other, more detrimental yuggies), and what you guys think the best way to clean new plants is. I know this might depend quite a bit on the type of plant at hand, as well. . .

I've read recommendations on everything from Potassium Permanganate, Alum, Malachite Green, and even bleach! Many others say the best thing is to keep the plant in QT for a period, as most of the things that can infect fish will not survive for very long without them in the tank. Most people don't seem to worry about the plant-life at all, and just drop it right in . . .

I'm not getting any new plants at the moment, and not attempting to treat a specific plant. This is just a think I've been curious about since I brought my first plant home from the shop!

Thanks in advance for any information you can share!

(P.S. Is there an article or a sticky that I've somehow missed on this?)

1077 07-24-2012 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chesherca (Post 1169416)
What is the best way to do this? Like everything else in the underwater world, I'm finding a lot of contrary information on this one. . .

I am aware that certain nasty things can hitchhike in on the plantlife we bring home for our tanks. Various Fungus, bacteria, algae, and snails - to name a few. . .

I'm wondering what exactly it is that we *should* be looking/treating for (I know there are many who welcome snails into their tanks, I'm more worried about other, more detrimental yuggies), and what you guys think the best way to clean new plants is. I know this might depend quite a bit on the type of plant at hand, as well. . .

I've read recommendations on everything from Potassium Permanganate, Alum, Malachite Green, and even bleach! Many others say the best thing is to keep the plant in QT for a period, as most of the things that can infect fish will not survive for very long without them in the tank. Most people don't seem to worry about the plant-life at all, and just drop it right in . . .

I'm not getting any new plants at the moment, and not attempting to treat a specific plant. This is just a think I've been curious about since I brought my first plant home from the shop!

Thanks in advance for any information you can share!

(P.S. Is there an article or a sticky that I've somehow missed on this?)


I should think the Potassium Permanganate would be the choice for a good soak before planting.(overnight)
My concern is pesticides used on plant's in large green houses to prevent insect's from damaging the plant's and snail egg's which are not easily seen.
With that said,,I must confess that I have only ever rinsed the plant's under cool tapwater, and soaked them in dechlorinated water overnight.
Have heard of other's with unexplained fish losses after adding new plant's to otherwise healthy system's and clues seem to point to possible treatment of plant's with chemical's at larger grow out facilities to possibly prevent damage from insect's .
In any event,It gives pause for consideration ?

Termato 07-24-2012 01:44 PM

To get algae off of them you an just rub the plant with a clean cloth. I would trim the roots before planting and the plant itself. It still stimulate more plant growth.

As far as disinfecting it, I have no idea. Hope others can help on this!

If you want to treat any hitchhiker on the plant than you will have to specify the type of threat. Fungus, bacteria or parasite etc. Once you do that you can do a general treatment. That's basically what you know though.

Good luck chesh!

Byron 07-24-2012 01:54 PM

The only safe and effective method is to quarantine new plants in a tank with no fish for a couple weeks. This is no different that adding new fish.

As Rhonda Wilson wrote once in her TFH column, any preparation that is strong enough to deal with algae and snail eggs will have to be so strong it will kill many plants. Not worth it.

Consider ich as a simple example. If cysts were present on a plant, nothing that did not kill the plants would kill the cysts no matter how strong. We all know you can only kill ich during the free swimming stage. And the same is going to apply to many other pathogens.

Byron.

Chesh 07-24-2012 02:13 PM

Thanks, guys!

It doesn't surprise me to hear that QT is the best way to go with any type of new arrivals, and why I have a QT tank just for plants. Also good to get through any type of melt/adjustment period without constant pruning dead bits out of the main tank. It's odd that there are so many recommendations out there if none of them actually work without killing the plant.

All that said. . . what is the best way to set up a QT for plants? Or, rather. . . how should a planted aquarium for plants only differ from a normal setup with fish-in? This question also applies to my grow-out tank for the plants I have already in-house, and how best to set that up - without fish.

Would you be best off to add additional or different fertilizers during the time that your plants are without fish to help feed them?

From my understanding, plants are actually fine with chlorine in the water - I've never bothered to use the removers, as I was under the impression that these were solely for the fish?

Should water changes be preformed on a plant tank w/o fish?

Byron said 'a couple of weeks' How long, exactly, does it take. . . I guess the nastiest type of hitch-hiker to die without a host?

Is there anything that could be done for Algae? I've seen Potassium Permanganate recommended highly as a dip for this, but it's looking like that actually wont' work?


Really... just been wondering about this stuff for ages! Thanks all for the clarifications!

Byron 07-24-2012 02:39 PM

Quote:

All that said. . . what is the best way to set up a QT for plants? Or, rather. . . how should a planted aquarium for plants only differ from a normal setup with fish-in? This question also applies to my grow-out tank for the plants I have already in-house, and how best to set that up - without fish.
I now have a 20g "spare" tank permanently running. Sponge filter, heater, light, sand substrate, a couple bits of rock and a small branch. I planted it with cast-offs, like pygmy chain sword runners removed from the other tanks, excess floating plants; and snails. It has a water change weekly, usually, of 1/3 or 1/2. Ferts same as other tanks. I do use dechlorinator at water changes only because of new fish [see below].

Quote:

Would you be best off to add additional or different fertilizers during the time that your plants are without fish to help feed them?
I use the same, Flourish Comp and Equilibrium. Ammonia will obviously be less, but Flourish does contain nitrogen and there are snails and breaking down of organics producing ammonia and CO2 to some exteent.

Quote:

From my understanding, plants are actually fine with chlorine in the water - I've never bothered to use the removers, as I was under the impression that these were solely for the fish?
Correct. I do use dechlorinator as this is the QT tank for new fish, and I do not want to risk killing any bacteria. New fish are acclimated to this tank directly.

Quote:

Should water changes be preformed on a plant tank w/o fish?
Yes. The hard water minerals normally arrive via water changes, and these minerals are not in sufficient levels in prepared fertilizers.

Quote:

Byron said 'a couple of weeks' How long, exactly, does it take. . . I guess the nastiest type of hitch-hiker to die without a host?
It is safest to quarantine new fish--and thus plants which might conceivably be carrying many of the same pathogens--3 weeks minimum, some recommend 4. This is usually sufficient to detect most things that are likely. If the plants come from fish-less tanks, the risk is much less obviously.

Quote:

Is there anything that could be done for Algae? I've seen Potassium Permanganate recommended highly as a dip for this, but it's looking like that actually wont' work?
This I never worry about. Anything that will kill algae will harm some if not all plants. And not all types of algae will be suceptible to various treatments. Plus, an aquarim without algae is not normal and probably in trouble biologically. We control algae with the light.

Byron.

1077 07-24-2012 02:43 PM

After consulting with those who utilize the potassium method,,they suggest as you mention, a quick dip (differing solution's) rather than the overnight soaking I mentioned.
They then, (after the dip) soak the plant's in bucket of water before planting.
Some add hydrogen peroxide to the soak bucket to counter act the effect's of the potassium.
Seem's to be more effective at preventing snails than perhaps parasites,bacterial pathogen's but then i have not tried it.
Perhap's I shall for next new plant arrival's but for now,,,I have enough clipping's from one 80 gal planted tank to easily plant three other's (smaller tank's) so i prolly won't be ordering any new plant's unless i decide to try something new.
My tank's are low light ,non CO2 enhanced so plant choices are fewer, but I am pleased with the tank's .

Chesh 07-24-2012 02:44 PM

All very good things to know! Thank you for taking the time (again) to answer my zillions of questions! http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/v...-thumbs-up.gif


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