So im up visiting my grandma, and i asked if she had any duckweed growing in her pond so we went out and looked and sure enough she does, so im planning on taking some home for my tanks, but i wanted to know if i need to clean them or not and if so how do i do that? lol i know may be a weird question
Not a weird question at all. Collecting plants from ponds and streams can be a lot of fun. you can also introduce unwanted snails and other parasites unintentionally. There are a couple of ways to disinfect plants, but with floating plants that can be a little more challenging. One method is potassium permangenate. That can be difficult to get hold of and, from personal experience, does not kill snail eggs well. The other common option is to make a bleach dip. Some people use a 5% bleach, others 10% bleach. Here is a pretty good reference link:
Jake’s Planted Aquarium Pages | Disinfecting Plants – Before or After
Some plants are bleach-sensitive, so I'd say use two small containers (I use 1-quart plastic wonton soup containers form my local Chinese restaurant!). Separate your duckweed into two groups. One group, do a bleach dip, submerging the duckweed by using a paper towel or rag. Remove the now-bleached duckweed, put it into a plastic container, fill with clean water and add a good amount of dechorinator. Let stand, mixing gently. Drain and replace with some dechlorinated water. Put the now-treated duckweed and untreated container of duckweed into a spot where it gets some light and wait a few days. If it doesn't die, treat the other bunch and add to your tank!
Keep an eye on both treated and untreated containers for snails or other things you might not want in your tank!
The real danger in my view are pathogens, bacteria and parasites. I don't know if the previously-mentioned treatments will kill all of these. One must remember that a pond in nature (whether outdoors in the back garden or in the "wild") has a host of bacteria and microscopic life that cannot be seen. Some of these might be harmful to fish.
For example, one should absolutely never use plants, wood, rock etc from a pond which ducks frequent. I can't remember the particular bacteria, but it is there.
Most fish stores have duckweed in some of their tanks, and would be happy to give some to you. Only last week I brought home several plants in a couple of bags of fish. I keep it (under control) as I like what it does. But from the fish store it will not be any less "safe" than the fish themselves.
Bleach will kill viruses (Ebola on down!) and most non-spore forming bacteria easily at the 5% concentration, but disinfection success does depend on exposure length. Microbiology laboratories use bleach solutions to disinfect surfaces but leave it on for 10 minutes - not good for plants!
There is always a risk of pathogens from fish stores that don't maintain their stock in a healthy manner, but as Byron indicated, the risk of other unusual "stuff" should be reduced by purchasing from an LFS. Forum members may be a good source also! Quarantine of plants is recommended for plants as well as fish after purchasing or wild-collecting!
I prefer hydrogen peroxide- that way there are no traces to be introduced to the tank. (H2O2 decomposes into water and oxygen relatively quickly.)
Also, on the potassium permagranite, try a wal-mart or pet store. There's a product called 'clear water'
that's mostly potassium pomagranate. Add it to water until you get a very purple, yet translucent, solution and soak the plants for a few hours, or for more durable plants, overnight.
Also kills snail eggs, and adds quite an interesting touch to wild-found driftwood. (Doesn't dye it purple, but darkens it to almost black)
Hmmm... I might have to try that on some pieces. Thanks for the tip. ;-)
Not sure I like the sound of that. If this product kills anything like bacteria and snail eggs, I would not want it leeching out of wood in a fish tank. Presumably it colours the wood by staining it, so this would be a concern.
I agree, Would be very careful adding anything like that to my tank. Fish first, plants, wood later.
Well i was thinking maybe set up my 10 gallon and put it in there with all new water besides the little bit of water thats in the bag with it right now, so this way once it starts to take over my tank i can take some out at a time and add it to my other tanks, my tought is that there isnt going to be anything else in this tank so eventually all those other small things die off, i can see them when i look at the bag of duckweed under some bright light, yucky in my opinion lol
I use this to kill anything on plants I get from outside auctions that I bring home.
Alum- in the spice rack at grocery stores like a white powder
Prepare 1 gal. of water to 2 TBS. of Alum soak for 2-3 days then rinse well before planting in tanks.
This is what I use to kill snails or algae on aquarium decorations
19 prt/water to 1 prt bleach 2 min. soak/ rinse well before adding to tanks.
Are you sure you want duckweed as it grows like crazy in tanks. I got some( Salvia Minima)- Looks like duckweed but has larger leaves so it is easy to remove in tanks unlike duckweed.
I took down my outside tub pond and have a little bit of it I can send you. I do not have alot but it will grow and expand once it starts to grow for you.(PM) me if you want some in an envelop sent priority mail.
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