Cleaning Plants?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Bee1, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Bee1

    Bee1Valued MemberMember

    Hi! I was hoping I could get a question answered. I have a 20L with a lot of nice plants that has been decimated by columnaris. I fought the good fight, but all of my guppies died. I know how to clean and disinfect the tank, but is there any way of saving the plants without risk of reintroducing the problem? Thanks!
  2. ashenwelt

    ashenweltWell Known MemberMember

    Honestly never done that. So bumping... Will say have treated and never had the problem resurface. I have cleaned diatoms with hydrogen peroxide... But this is an interesting question.
  3. MattS99

    MattS99Well Known MemberMember

    Not to be a stocking snob as I'm a very liberal stocker, but 20L is a little too small for guppies. How many were in there? And I'd probably just get new plants at that point.
  4. smee82

    smee82Fishlore VIPMember

    columnaris can survive for over a month without a host so one option would be to qt your plants for 6 weeks to be safe. Another option would be dipping your plants in a solution to kill the bacteria but ive never had to deal with it so im not sure what solution would work best.
  5. Jocelyn Adelman

    Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    First sorry for your loss :(
    I've also had columnaris, it's a tough thing to beat. If you get it again I've had success treating with kanamycin and nitrofuran together, Also the addition of aquarium salt.

    Smee82 is right, columnaris can stay in the water column for just over a month with no host. Treating what is left (even just plants) is a good idea.

    Oxididizers help to kill it off, I would fill the tank and add 2ml peroxide per gallon to help kill off anything else you can't sterilize. I would also dip each plant separately.
    After about 24 hrs I would add salt, while it's not going to help your plants, it will help to kill off any remaining columnaris. You'd probably be fine with just the peroxide, but I lean to better extra safe then sorry.

    In the future make sure you quarantine all new fish (petco is having their dollar per gallon sale, you can pick up a spare ten gallon for $10 to keep on hand). Also be sure to net out any new fish, adding store water to your tank is like opening the door for all the pathogens their water contains. Also any equipment you have used on the tank (nets, siphon, bucket, etc) also needs to be sterilized. Never use the same equipment on other tanks as the virus spreads easily that way.

    As a side note, obviously your biofilter will be gone with no fish and meds present, make sure you have a plan in place for recycling your tank :)
  6. OP

    Bee1Valued MemberMember

    Thank you for the replies! MattS99, my original intention for the tank was to just be a pretty planted tank. Maybe add a few invertebrates after the plants were grown out. Then my kid wanted guppies and I figured it wouldn't interfere with my plans too much to have a couple of males in there. So, to answer your question, there were three males. It took me a while to figure out what was going on with them, as I had never dealt with columnaris before. They were all three gone before I even started to get a good handle on it.

    Thank you smee82 and Jocelyn, I was unaware of how long columnaris can live without a host. I'll treat and clean and just go back to my original plan to keep it a nice planted tank. I'll wait a few months to add the invertebrates as I have to cycle it again anyways. Thank you again for your replies. Everyone here is always so helpful.
  7. Culprit

    CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    @MattS99 pretty sure he meant 20 long correct?
  8. Jocelyn Adelman

    Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    On the tank size a 20 long is totally fine for three guppies... can add a few more as well... however a 20 liter (5 gallon) is too small for guppies.
  9. OP

    Bee1Valued MemberMember

    Yes! 20 long! The only thing I have in my 5 gallon tanks are single bettas. I wanted a shallow tank so I could get plenty of light to the plants. I love a nice planted tank with current. It makes me feel peaceful.
  10. OP

    Bee1Valued MemberMember

    So, as I was cleaning the tank I found a bunch of small snails. Can they carry columnaris? Or will they be ok after a quarantine period? I'd hate to do away with them if I don't have to. I can't believe they made it through all the meds.
  11. Jocelyn Adelman

    Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    Ha! Pest snails live through everything!!!!!!
    They can carry other things but I don't believe columnaris is one of them... not 100% though... I would place some veggies (cucumber, zucchini, spinach, etc) in there. Don't feed the tank otherwise. Snails will migrate to veggies where you can remove them.

    Overall all the advice is leaning on the side of caution. When I had it it wiped out most of my stock at the time, however those that were left remained in tank and it did not return.
    I believe that columnaris, like ich, is possible to be present a lot of the time, but it needs a vulnerable host to infect, then it spreads like mad. Assuming all fish are healthy and not stressed they shouldn't develop it. That being said, I still think fishless cycling after the cleaning is done is the way to go, just to be cautious. It will last for about the same time as columnaris needs to die :)