Is it safe to collect wild plants and put them in your tank?

Nikn

Hello. Today on a walk I found some cool plants in a nearby mountain pond with a small stream going through it. The plants looked familiar so I took a little bit home to find if I can grow it in my tank. I have a tank, in which I will try to grow them if it turns out to be safe. Is it ok to collect wild plants and put them in your tank and what are the dangers of it? I should mention that I found them in the Swiss alps and the pond was probably frozen a few days ago, so I don't know if the plant would do well in 27° C water. But I swear I saw this plant before, either in an aquarium or in a store. Here is a photo, hope someone can help me identify it.
 

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FishareFriends6

I would say yes - there could be negatives such as snail eggs or other bad bacteria. As long as you clean it and do as much as you can.
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It’s hard but that doesn’t look dirty to the eye.
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Edit* looks similar to staurogyne repens
 
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Mudminnow

I've collected my own plants many, many times. In fact, when I lived in SE USA, I rarely ever bought any.

I don't think I ever added anything to a tank that caused me any issues, and I never bothered to clean anything. Well, once I got a dragonfly larva that liked to eat anything smaller than itself. But, personally, I like seeing what other critters and things show up with the plants.

In the USA anyway, the only real risk is collecting illegally. Every state has its own laws. I have no idea what the laws are like in Switzerland, but it might not hurt to check.

Sorry, but I have no idea what that plant is....
 
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2fishinabowl

Absolutely NO reason why you can't. First quarantine-soak them in a 5 gallon bucket for a few days and to kill snail eggs or worms etc. We add a tablespoon of Alum to our quarantine bucket.

Click here to read about that. Alum for plants

Best of luck and please post pictures of your results.
 
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Kelvin12

Part of the interest is collecting your own stuff. Would think the Swiss Alps were be pristine.
 
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MacZ

In the USA anyway, the only real risk is collecting illegally. Every state has its own laws. I have no idea what the laws are like in Switzerland, but it might not hurt to check.

Outside of nature reserves it's usually legal to collect plants and animals, according to a swiss friend of mine, but depending on the Kanton.

If it's found in the swiss alps there will likely be nothing harmful on them, as this is one of the still barely ecologically compromised regions in all of Europe. The standard temperature in a tropical tank would actually make me also wonder if it could work.
 
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Mandy627

I do sometimes, but always keep them in a jar of tank water next to window for about a week or so to wait for possible unwanted microbes to die off. Usually parasites die off without a host and if it's a clean source you are probably safe anyway. I want to start a tank of only plants and fish that are in my ecosystem and see what happens.
 
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Nikn

Thank you all for you responses. I check and it legal to take plants if they aren't an endangered spices. I'm planning to go back and get some more, and keep them is a temporary set up and see how they get on. I will be sure to post some pictures of the process. I'm really excited because I really do enjoy collecting things from nature for my aquariums. I'm thinking about starting a little project with these plants and it should be a fun experience.
Quick question: Would sea salt work as well? Or does it need to be alum? I know when collecting rock or driftwood you can either boil them or put them in a salt bath.
 
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MacZ

Quick question: Would sea salt work as well? Or does it need to be alum?

Actual salt can kill plants.. Going by the description of the source I would say there is nothing like that necessary. Plant-quarantine is enough in my opinion.
 
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TClare

It will be interesting to see if yours survives at 27 C. I once collected a little Myriophyllum from a lake high in the Andes, it survived for a while in one of my tanks, but did not take root and eventually died off, from the bottom upwards. I think it needed cold water.
 
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Nikn

So I went back to the place and got some more plants. I washed them and put them in a bucket with tap water. The pond was full of algae as I already mentioned. They were string algae (pic below-not mine from the internet but it looks the same). Is this a problem? There is farm land near by but I don't think the stream passes through it.

I think I will try to use dirt as a source of nutrients, primarily because I don't have any aqua-soil or something like that, but also because I think I would be a fun project. Thoughts?
 

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mrsP

Concidering that the pond has soil bottom it shouldn't be a problem in a tank either? This will be interesting to follow, I would love to do the same when it gets warmer and plants in nearby river start to grow. I just might collect one or two. :rolleyes:
 
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Nikn

So I gathered some dirt from my garden. I microwaved it for 10 min to dry it and kill off any unwanted organisms. I'm going to crush it into smaller peaces and put it in the tank together with a layer of sand to make it easier to plant into. I won't put a heater or a filter and just see how the plants get on. If they are doing fine and growing I might keep the tank as it is and maybe add some fish/shrimp. It's a very small tank and I'm not planning to add a filter so I don't think that will be possible. Are there any fish or even better shrimp I can keep in a small tank (3 gallon)? Hopefully the tank will be heavily planted.
 
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betta06

oh wow cool! i found a ton of hornwort last summer so would be cool if i could put in in my betta tank
 
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MacZ

Are there any fish or even better shrimp I can keep in a small tank (3 gallon)? Hopefully the tank will be heavily planted.

Too small for fish, but shrimp are definitely possible, as long as you put it somewhere somewhat temperature stable.
 
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mrsP

Check in youtube "Foo the flower horn". He has excellent no tech shrimp tank, and it shows the whole process from the start. It's really interesting to watch.
 
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Nikn

So I just set the tank up. I put dirt and sand on top. I'm guessing I used too little sand because some of the plants started floating. The water is also murky (because of the sand most probably). I'm not planning to add a filter so I'm just hoping it sorts itself out. I will upload some pics tomorrow.
 
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Nikn

As promised here are some pictures of the process. I haven't noticed any problems or any rot. I will see how it goes and if the plants are gonna grow. Later I might add some shrimp or snails. I will keep the tank really low tech so nothing to fancy.
 

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