Can we talk plant dips? Did bleach mess up my water lettuce?

Katie Dawn

Hi all!
If there's a sticky with all this information that I've missed please let me know!

I'm new to plants. Currently have 3 Java ferns, 3 golden anubias, and 1 gold coin anubias - all from Aquarium Co-op, and it's been going well.

The first thing I'm wondering is what are the pros/cons of the various plant dip options? Bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and alum are what I've seen mentioned so far. Are those the main options? Do they all kill worms, pest snails, and any diseases that could hurt fish? I've seen a couple of people say they felt bleach dips were a little too harsh for their plants, but I haven't read much else.

About 6 weeks ago I bought 2 water lettuce plants from a LFS. I did a 19:1 bleach dip, following the instructions I saw on here. Over the next 2 days all of the tendrils that hang down had detached from the top of the plants. Could the bleach have caused that? They appeared to be well attached when I put them in the tank, and I was super gentle with them as they seemed so delicate.

I'm considering getting some frogbit, which is why I'm specifically wondering about dips for floating plants.

But I'd also like to decide on a dip option for any future plant purchases, not just floating plants.

Thanks in advance!
 

Aprilbeingbasic

Dont plant dip i dont know why people do it. If you get snails its a good thing. Just torturing your poor plants hahaha nah but really it is unnecessary.
 
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RayClem

I know some people do bleach dips, but depending upon the plant, they might be affected differently by the concentration of the bleach and the length of the dip. I just rinse my plants under running tap water which contains a low level of bleach, low enough to be safe to drink. It may not kill snail eggs, but it will remove most live snails, worms, etc. It is certainly safer for your plants. Hopefully, your water lettuce will recover.
 
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Fisch

I bleach dipped water lettuce as I did not need more uninvited guests in my tank.
Yes, they lost the roots, but they put out new ones and now are very thick and long.
They may need a bit more nutrition, do you fertilize? My first badge died as the water column could not provide enough nutrition. Since I started Thrive they really took off.
 
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Kribensis27

Dont plant dip i dont know why people do it. If you get snails its a good thing. Just torturing your poor plants hahaha nah but really it is unnecessary.
I think this is more a matter of opinion. Things like hydra and planaria can also come in on un-dipped plants very easily. I love my pest snails, but I also got a bunch of hydra with them.

I learned the hard way multiple times that dipping can be a necessary evil, and when done right, doesn't harm plants. All water lettuce I've ever bought for my betta tank, whether dipped or not, has shed its old roots. It's basically how this plant adjusts to new conditions. It's always grown back healthy new roots within a couple of weeks and thrived afterwards.

Unless it comes from someone I know or someone who I've bought from before with good results, all plants are dipped. I've never lost a plant or had one grow less because of dipping. I don't like doing it, but I also don't like trying to eradicate hydra and planaria.

It doesn't take much bleach or peroxide to kill either of these, so I only use a tiny amount. If I'm using peroxide, I add a bit more, but still a minimal amount. It doesn't even kill most snail eggs. Just enough to get rid of the nasty stuff that can come in with the snails.
 
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StarGirl

I think this is more a matter of opinion. Things like hydra and planaria can also come in on un-dipped plants very easily. I love my pest snails, but I also got a bunch of hydra with them.

I learned the hard way multiple times that dipping can be a necessary evil, and when done right, doesn't harm plants. All water lettuce I've ever bought for my betta tank, whether dipped or not, has shed its old roots. It's basically how this plant adjusts to new conditions. It's always grown back healthy new roots within a couple of weeks and thrived afterwards.

Unless it comes from someone I know or someone who I've bought from before with good results, all plants are dipped. I've never lost a plant or had one grow less because of dipping. I don't like doing it, but I also don't like trying to eradicate hydra and planaria.

It doesn't take much bleach or peroxide to kill either of these, so I only use a tiny amount. If I'm using peroxide, I add a bit more, but still a minimal amount. It doesn't even kill most snail eggs. Just enough to get rid of the nasty stuff that can come in with the snails.
Agree! I got some Suswassertang from the lfs one time and it had Planeria in it. I told them the next time I went back and have not seen any since. I have not had the joy of Hydra yet! :cool: The last batch of Java moss I bought had all kinds of good stuff. I got some MTS and Scuds. They are cool.
 
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Bluejay010101

I hydrogen peroxide dip and rinse them. Then I rinse them off well, pick off anything I can see. Then, I soak them for 3-5 days before using.
 
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Katie Dawn

I bleach dipped water lettuce as I did not need more uninvited guests in my tank.
Yes, they lost the roots, but they put out new ones and now are very thick and long.
They may need a bit more nutrition, do you fertilize? My first badge died as the water column could not provide enough nutrition. Since I started Thrive they really took off.

Thanks for letting me know it's normal to lose the roots and they will come back!

So after I bought the water lettuce I learned that the top of the plants need to stay dry. I knew water condensed on the underside of the tank lid quite a bit and saw the top of the leaves were definitely getting wet. After several days some of the leaves started to turn brown on the edges. I assumed that meant it was rotting, so I just threw it out. In retrospect, though, it wasn't actually mushy, it was just turning brown. So I may have thrown them out when I they actually would have been fine if I'd just been patient?

I was hoping frogbit didn't have to stay dry on top but needed to look it up. Do you happen to know?

I do use Easy Green every week. My Java ferns and anubiases are doing really well!

I think this is more a matter of opinion. Things like hydra and planaria can also come in on un-dipped plants very easily. I love my pest snails, but I also got a bunch of hydra with them.

I learned the hard way multiple times that dipping can be a necessary evil, and when done right, doesn't harm plants. All water lettuce I've ever bought for my betta tank, whether dipped or not, has shed its old roots. It's basically how this plant adjusts to new conditions. It's always grown back healthy new roots within a couple of weeks and thrived afterwards.

Unless it comes from someone I know or someone who I've bought from before with good results, all plants are dipped. I've never lost a plant or had one grow less because of dipping. I don't like doing it, but I also don't like trying to eradicate hydra and planaria.

It doesn't take much bleach or peroxide to kill either of these, so I only use a tiny amount. If I'm using peroxide, I add a bit more, but still a minimal amount. It doesn't even kill most snail eggs. Just enough to get rid of the nasty stuff that can come in with the snails.

Thank you for letting me know it's normal to lose thr roots at first!

About dipping as a necessary evil: I recently dealt with a huge explosion of detritus worms which I know may not have even come from the plants. But regardless of how it got thay way I Hated it (I know they aren't harmful, but still...) and it took so much of my time trying to get them under control (my fish didn't eat them)... I'd like to avoid bringing in anything like planaria or hydra or diseases if at all possible... Just not worth the stress and loss of time! Therefore I'm pretty sure I am now officially a dipper (haha!)

Is there a reason you choose bleach sometimes and hydrogen peroxide other times? Still trying to sort out the differences between the two methods.

Also if you happen to know the answer to my frogbit question above (or whether or not you think the water lettuce might have been ok if I had just waited) I'd love to hear your thoughts there too!
I hydrogen peroxide dip and rinse them. Then I rinse them off well, pick off anything I can see. Then, I soak them for 3-5 days before using.

Here's a newbie question for you. When you soak them 3-5 days do you just do it in a bucket? Not heated? (my house stays about 70 degrees all year) Just treated with declorinator?
 
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Kribensis27

Thanks for letting me know it's normal to lose the roots and they will come back!

So after I bought the water lettuce I learned that the top of the plants need to stay dry. I knew water condensed on the underside of the tank lid quite a bit and saw the top of the leaves were definitely getting wet. After several days some of the leaves started to turn brown on the edges. I assumed that meant it was rotting, so I just threw it out. In retrospect, though, it wasn't actually mushy, it was just turning brown. So I may have thrown them out when I they actually would have been fine if I'd just been patient?

I was hoping frogbit didn't have to stay dry on top but needed to look it up. Do you happen to know?

I do use Easy Green every week. My Java ferns and anubiases are doing really well!



Thank you for letting me know it's normal to lose thr roots at first!

About dipping as a necessary evil: I recently dealt with a huge explosion of detritus worms which I know may not have even come from the plants. But regardless of how it got thay way I Hated it (I know they aren't harmful, but still...) and it took so much of my time trying to get them under control (my fish didn't eat them)... I'd like to avoid bringing in anything like planaria or hydra or diseases if at all possible... Just not worth the stress and loss of time! Therefore I'm pretty sure I am now officially a dipper (haha!)

Is there a reason you choose bleach sometimes and hydrogen peroxide other times? Still trying to sort out the differences between the two methods.

Also if you happen to know the answer to my frogbit question above (or whether or not you think the water lettuce might have been ok if I had just waited) I'd love to hear your thoughts there too!
I mostly just use whichever is closer, but peroxide isn’t quite as harsh as bleach. You can actually use a bit more peroxide than bleach as long as exposure is more brief. If I actually see any hydra on plants, that’s what I do. Otherwise, it’s just a tiny amount of either just as a precaution.

As for frogbit, it really doesn’t like water on its leaves. Mine melted because of it. Some floaters better suited to wet leaves are red roots, salvinia, and azolla.
 
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Fisch

Both do not care for wet leaves. But I have a lid on my 55, and though big drops form on the underside of lid the plants thrive.
It depends on good nutrition from the bottom and the right conditions. For 5 months they were not happy, now all of a sudden I have to empty them by the handful.
It started to take off after I treated my staghorn algea with Flourish excel, and then switched to Thrive.
Bleach or Peroxyde, it depends on what is just in reach. Peroxyde looses effectiveness after being opened for a while. So I make sure I have small unopened bottles in the house. (Side note: Found that out from the vet after I gave it to my dog to puke out stuff she was not supposed to eat and it did not show any effect)
 
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