Do you quarantine your plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Do you quarantine your plants?

Do you quarantine your plants for pests? if so how? Pest snails and worms have been driving me bug O lately. I've thought about starting a quarantine process and bleach dipping plants. Except I don't know how the plants will react to being bleach dipped. Crypts seem to melt easy as it is let alone bleach dipping them. I'm afraid if I bleach dip my crypts they'll melt.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 12:04 PM
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Crypts will definitely melt with bleach. Some do quarantine plants, I have in the past when I buy from an unknown seller. These days I tend to order plants in to my LFS who I trust. I've been buying from them for over 3 years and have never found any snails. They are pesticide free too!

If you don't want to use bleach, you could look into alum or potassium permanganate as suitable alternatives.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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I have to order most of my plants online. I have some potassium permanganate but I've heard it isn't 100%. I haven't tried it yet. I'm just sick of pests.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 12:22 PM
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Unless your LFS grows the plant, they get them from a supplier. At my LFS people will also 'trade in" plants/fish, that have outgrown tanks or they do not want for some reason. (The LFS often gives them a slight discount on something else for this). So you will not totally know the source of the plant. I think that quarantining them is a good idea, especially for snails. Depending on the plant this could mean a bucket by the door. Do you think that the chloramine, chlorine in regular tap water would kill off any baddies? It's bleach and most people drink it without thinking about it.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Kalyke View Post
Unless your LFS grows the plant, they get them from a supplier. At my LFS people will also 'trade in" plants/fish, that have outgrown tanks or they do not want for some reason. (The LFS often gives them a slight discount on something else for this). So you will not totally know the source of the plant. I think that quarantining them is a good idea, especially for snails. Depending on the plant this could mean a bucket by the door. Do you think that the chloramine, chlorine in regular tap water would kill off any baddies? It's bleach and most people drink it without thinking about it.
I think this might be as close as practical for the situation when one does not want to risk dipping. But it also may not do the job for several reasons. The tap may be treated with chlorine and that makes it really easy for the chlorine content to gas off and a bucket may not actually have any treatment left! Chloramine is meant to persist longer but it is also used at a lower level due to being more durable and that means either chlorine or chloramine may not be very strong in the bucket. Combine that with the treatment level being calculated to be just strong enough to deal with bacteria, rather than hard shelled items like snails and you can see that there may not be enough treatment left to do the job of eating through the shells of snails.
The problem is that tap has to be weak enough to not totally ruin our good bacteria in our digestive system, so is not likely to do in a snail!
Qt and wait for results may be the only solution, given the restrictions involved.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 11:03 PM
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I have not seen snails since I last bought plants and that was before I re-homed my yoyo loaches. They ate any snail that dared to appear. Yoyos run in packs, but 3 of them might get rid of the snail issue. Just saying. They are fun to watch, but will also kill smaller weaker fish like endlers guppies.
That is why I eventually got rid of them. If I bought a new plant now, I would definitely quarantine it for at least a month, but I was not worried about snails when I had the yoyos. I have nerite snails now and they do not breed in fresh water.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 11:25 PM
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to effectively "dip" for pest snails, bacteria, potential insects and leeches, a multi step process is needed...
first bathe in Pot. permanganate.. then rinse well with tap water.. then bathe in alum solution and again rinse well after.. then for good safety measure if a potted plant house them in a bare tank or bucket for a few days starting with plain untreated tap water.. the amount of chlorine/chloramines in tap water is not harmful to plants and therefore not harmful to pest snails or insect eggs or leeches and the list goes on.. I have a lot of new plants coming in sometimes and I quarantine everything after the bathing. I have 143 tanks and numerous ponds and cement vats.. keeping critters out is much easier than treating once they are inside. I skipped the bathing once and ended up with a china moth infestation within my grow room. never again for me..lol

and duckweed! woo hoo the quarantine bucket or tank gives you time to net out all duckweed before it surprises you.. trust me on this one, duckweed is a battle I fight daily in my grow tanks because of that one aforementioned lazy moment.

Last edited by n-seine; 08-22-2018 at 02:04 AM. Reason: added duckweed
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 01:02 AM
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The procedure I follow is this:

Potassium Permanganate – Jungle Labs “Clear Water” is Potassium Permanganate. 1˝ teaspoons of Jungle Clear Water per gallon of water or until water turns purple, soak the plants for 30 minutes.

Worked for twenty years ...until I got careless. Now I have snails and have grown to appreciate their value in monitoring my feeding habits (feeding the fish, that is). When you overfeed, the snail population explodes. When you feed correctly (or underfeed) the population drops to having only a few visible.

I don't think quarantining them will work without taking aggressive chemical steps to kill the eggs. I seem to remember that they can survive a long time under very harsh conditions.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Kalyke View Post
I have not seen snails since I last bought plants and that was before I re-homed my yoyo loaches. They ate any snail that dared to appear.
The glorious tale of magical snail-eating yoyo lives on... No matter how many different yoyo I tried, I have never seen any of them to eat MTS.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 11:07 AM
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I wouldn't encourage the use of chemicals on anything that's eventually going into the tank. When I get new plants, I just rinse them in tap water and leave them in a bucket of some of my tank replacement water. The majority of the snails, if there are any, move off the plants. Those that end up in the tank don't reproduce too much as long as you don't feed the fish too much. Some snails are a good thing. They'll clean up the left over food and remove dead plant material. They won't eat waste material from the fish and do add to the waste material in the water.

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