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Hygro Balsamica- Toxic?

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Another member mentioned to me they heard H. Balsamica gives off some sort of toxin that can poison your fish/shrimp. I have never had any problems in the tank I keep it in, but was wondering if anyone else has any solid scientific or anecdotal info to share on this plant. What are your experiences?
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Sort of...if its is grown emersed and then put into the tank, it could leach toxins, BUT if you receive any of the plants from someone on this board, it will be grown submersed so completely safe.

I think Diana Walstadt's book describes the toxicity.

The stuff grows pretty well in tanks, ONCE it gets established.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just sent a piece to a friend, it had just bearly topped the water line- less than an inch should I warn him! I don't want to kill his fish!
Let me rephrase- He brought it up to me, and I am glad I foudn out and he knows that emerged can be poisonous, but I didn't think it was something he should worry about since it had just barely hit the surface, but do you think I am wrong?
 

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Yeah, the entry in Kasselmann's Aquarium Plants says:

Culture:This species looks very similar to H. difformis, but is less suitable for aquarium cultivation. Furthermore, emersed shoots have to be soaked for 3 days prior to introduction into the aquarium because H. balsamica contains a very dangerous, concentrated substance toxic to the fish, as the author's research experiments have shown. Even though submersed cultivated shoots may be used without hesitation, an urgent warning not to cultivate this plant must be issued! If this rare species is nevertheless cultivated, soft to medium-hard water, a high light intensity, and temperatures above 25 degrees Celcius are recommended. In its emersed state the plant will flower often.
Other:The species was briefly commercially available in about 1980, but was not distributed further due to loss of fish stock.
 

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You'll be fine. It takes longer than a few days to convert to emersed form. I've let mine break the surface for a few days at a time with no ill effects.
 

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turbosaurus said:
Do emersed leaves have a different shape? That would pretty much clear it up since all the leaves are the same.
Yes, they do look very different. I'm not sure if there's a pic online, but if you have access to the Kasslemann book there is a pic of it emersed in there.
 
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