Your Favorite Method For Disinfecting Aquarium Plants

Vegan Bubble
  • #1
Hello, Fishlore!

I am currently in the latter stages of cycling my 55 gallon tank (Should I Dose Ammonia As Nitrites Take Their Time To Drop?).

As that comes to a close, I would like to prepare for my second phase of putting together my aquatic home: Plants!

Plants, as is with cycling my tank, is a whole new world for me. When I first set up my old tank, not only did I know nothing of the nitrogen cycle/good bacteria/how to properly clean filters/test water parameters, but I also had fake plants as part of my decor. Granted, there is nothing wrong with plastic plants, but I have decided that with my new tank, I would like to take on the added challenge of planting and growing live aquarium plants for a more organic aesthetic. It is a personal ambition of mine and, as I evolve as an hobbyist, I feel inspired to explore new aspects of aquarium keeping.

As you can imagine, learning about how to fishless cycle a tank was/is a major project in and of itself. While spending hours on end reading, I also explored the topic of aquarium plants. I decided on a low-tech tank with hardy and low-maintanance plants.

What I Have for the Plant Side of Things:

Seachem Fluorite Black ("all natural porous clay" as my substrate)
Seachem Flourite Tabs (as my root tabs)
Seachem Flourish Excel
Seachem Flourish
Marineland LED (for plant light)
Shoulder-length gloves
Vases/pot

Plants I Plan to Get:

Java Fern
Java Moss
Anubias Barteri
Amazon Sword
Italian Jungle Val
Bacopa
Anacharis

What I Think I Know About Keeping Each Plant:

Java Fern:
can anchor to rock/driftwood, or can plant in substrate

Java Moss: can anchor to rock/driftwood, or float it

Anubias Barteri: can anchor to rock/driftwood, or can plant in substrate but DO NOT bury rhizome

Amazon Sword: plant in substrate, use root tabs

Italian Jungle Val:
plant in substrate, DO NOT bury past the root system

Bacopa: plant in substrate, use root tabs

Anacharis: plant in substrate, or float it

How I Plan to Disinfect the Plants (for unwanted bacteria/parasites/pests):

Water, bleach (clorox), and Prime

1- rinse plants in running tap water
2- mix water and bleach in a bucket (19 parts water to 1 part bleach; 19:1)
3- rinse plants in bleach solution bucket and let them soak for 5 minutes
4- treat plain tap water with Prime
5- rinse plants in Prime-treated tap water and and let them soak for 5 minutes
6- rinse plants in running tap water one last time
7- plant and/or anchor the plants

***

Does that plan sound feasible? Any thoughts/advice/suggestions/cautions? Am I forgetting/overlooking anything? I am only just learning, so if it seems I have the wrong idea about something, please let me know. Your feedback is much appreciated! hantom:
 
david1978
  • #2
If you have chlorine in your tap just soak in tap water for awhile then into declorinated water.
 
Vegan Bubble
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
If you have chlorine in your tap just soak in tap water for awhile then into declorinated water.

Will that be enough to get rid of pest snails, for example? I actually do not know the level of chlorine in my tap water. I just know the pH is 7.4, ammonia is 0ppm, nitrItes is 0ppm, and nitrAtes is 5.0ppm.
 
david1978
  • #4
I like snails and what ever creature that could come with them. Lol. I put them in my pest snail tank for a week or 2 then to the main tank.
 
david1978
  • #5
Not sure. Pest snails can probably survive a nuclear bomb. Lol
Will that be enough to get rid of pest snails, for example? I actually do not know the level of chlorine in my tap water. I just know the pH is 7.4, ammonia is 0ppm, nitrItes is 0ppm, and nitrAtes is 5.0ppm.
c
 
Vegan Bubble
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I like snails and what ever creature that could come with them. Lol. I put them in my pest snail tank for a week or 2 then to the main tank.

LOL! But I don't have a pest snail tank so I don't want to take that risk! I have read horror stories about Malaysian Trumpet Snails. *shudders* I just have my main 55 gallon tank. My old terrarium will be taken down once my 55 gallon is done cycling and is fully set up with plants.

I will probably get an apple snail or two down the road, however.
 
Vegan Bubble
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Not sure. Pest snails can probably survive a nuclear bomb. Lol

c

Roh oh! So, the best I can do is examine the plants thoroughly and rinse them? Is there any benefit to washing the plants as I have describe in my OP? Also, do you have any thoughts on my list of plants and how they should be planted?
 
david1978
  • #8
A lot of people do the bleach method. When you first rinse them just go over them good to rub off and snails or eggs then dip in your bleach solution.
 
Vegan Bubble
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
A lot of people do the bleach method. When you first rinse them just go over them good to rub off and snails or eggs then dip in your bleach solution.

Will do! I get them in on Thursday and I cannot wait!
 
EbiAqua
  • #10
Excel dip, 2 capfuls in 2-3 gallons of water, let sit for 5 minutes.
 
bitseriously
  • #11
Excel dip, 2 capfuls in 2-3 gallons of water, let sit for 5 minutes.
For snails, algae or both?
Thx!!
 
EbiAqua
  • #12
For snails, algae or both?
Thx!!

My method is mainly for algae.

Excel can kill snails as well, but then again I like my "pest" snails.
 
75g Discus Tank
  • #13
When I was little, I just dumped a lot of salt on new aquarium plants. Iodinized salt will kill all snails, leeches, and microscopic organisms. I did this for 10 minutes and washed it extremely well before addition to the tank.

Now, I just do a 1:20 bleach to water dip for 2-3 minutes and rinse in tap water.
 
Vegan Bubble
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Has anyone used pharmacy grade 3% hydrogen peroxide instead of a bleach solution?
 
AntsRule
  • #15
I have used it to kill blue green algae, no poor effects on the fish if anything the perked up a bit from the increase in oxygen. I used one ml per gallon.
 
david1978
  • #16
To dip plants you can go much stronger than that.
 
The Rover
  • #17
Will that be enough to get rid of pest snails, for example? I actually do not know the level of chlorine in my tap water. I just know the pH is 7.4, ammonia is 0ppm, nitrItes is 0ppm, and nitrAtes is 5.0ppm.

I use 5ml of bleach per gallon of water. That should kill any pest snails. But I have had a couple survive that. It’s good to do an inspection of each plant to try and find any.
 
BraedonB
  • #18
You may have a little issue with the difference in lighting needs of the plants. In my experience, java fern and java moss thrive in lower light conditions and tend to melt back in bright light, while amazon swords and vallisneria like the opposite. All our species are pretty hardy, however, so the only consequence may even just be reduced growth. Best of luck! BTW, I actually like my malaysian trumpet snails. They keep the substrate fresh and don't eat plants (or algae really, unfortunately).
 
Vegan Bubble
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
I use 5ml of bleach per gallon of water. That should kill any pest snails. But I have had a couple survive that. It’s good to do an inspection of each plant to try and find any.

Interesting! I watched some YouTube videos of aquarists spot-treating their plants with hydrogen peroxide to get rid of algae.

I don't have any algae, but I am about to disinfect my new plants before adding them to my tank. I don't have any bleach on hand (my original strategy), so I went hunting for an alternative and some say they have used an equal amount of hydrogen peroxide (3%) and water to disinfect their new plants. I may also give them a swish in Excel, rinse with clear water, and then plant.
 
Vegan Bubble
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
You may have a little issue with the difference in lighting needs of the plants. In my experience, java fern and java moss thrive in lower light conditions and tend to melt back in bright light, while amazon swords and vallisneria like the opposite. All our species are pretty hardy, however, so the only consequence may even just be reduced growth. Best of luck! BTW, I actually like my malaysian trumpet snails. They keep the substrate fresh and don't eat plants (or algae really, unfortunately).

Thank you!

Sadly, I did not end up with all the plants I originally wanted in my OP. But I am still very much excited about them! I have been envisioning live plants in my new aquarium once I made up my mind to abandon plastic ones months ago. I have:

Amazon Sword
Cardinal Plant
Dwarf Aquarium Lily
Anubias Barteri
Contortion Val
Jungle Val
Anacharis

I am honestly not too concerned with reduced growth - I just don't want them to die. I am already preparing myself for the completely normal "melt" plants go through when getting accustomed to their new environment.

As for Malaysian Trumpet Snails, I have seen videos of tanks overrun with them and it's a sight to behold to say the least! I certainly won't purposefully add them to my tank (I am getting Mystery Snails tomorrow *^___^*). But, I have heard they do a good job of preventing toxic gas build up in the substrate, so there's that!
 
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