How Do I Sterilize And Quaratine Plants?


Hey everyone,

I'm planning on ordering some aquatic plants for the first time once the weather evens out a little bit here in the Midwest. I just have a few questions:

- What should I sterilize my plants with, how much, and for how long?
- Do tissue cultured plants need to be sterilized, just quarantined, or is there little to no risk at all?
- How do I go about quarantining plants?

I'm planning on ordering a tissue culture of staurogyne repens, a pot of bacopa monnieri, a pot of java fern, and a little mat of fissidens nobilis. Can these all be dipped and quaratined the same way, or are some incredibly sensitive? I know the java fern isn't, but I'm not too sure about the others.

I'd like to think I'm ordering from a pretty good source, but I still want to sterilize and quarantine as necessary just to be safe. It seems like when it comes to aquarium pests, and ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!


There are a couple of people who are more experienced in sterilizing than me, but I typically just put my new plants in a 10G with my senile GWK, and if I see any snails, the GWK gets moved into the 20 for the week while my pea puffers come and clean it up.


I bleach dip them.

• Make a 19/1 water/bleach mix in a bucket
• Dip your plants for about a minute (I usually gently shake them in the water left to right)
• Remove from bucket
• Put under running water. I use the mist or rain setting of my hose nozzle
• Put in another bucket with water and add water conditioner/dechlorinator
• Wait a minute or two
• Put in tank

I have never had snails or water parameters effects doing this. I even did it to java moss which was filled with tiny snails. It got rid of them all.


The only thing I disagree with is that the water conditioner should already be in the bucket of water.

Also, try to have all of the water be about the same temperature. The plants can go into shock if they go from super cold to warm to cold again.

I've also done a peroxide dip. Same thing but with peroxide. The bleach is cheaper though.
  • Thread Starter


Thanks so much for the info everyone! I'll see about getting some buckets and bleach tomorrow and get those plants ordered!

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