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Treating Plants
April 19, 2011
8:02 pm
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ender2811
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Heya, was wondering if there is a way you treat the plants before putting them into the tank, to get rid of snails, algae and other potentially harmful stuff, i.e. read about washing them in salt solution. Suggestions please.

April 20, 2011
11:23 am
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Bluedave
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I just rinse mine in tap water and give the leaves a wipe - usually does the trick.

Some people like to dip them in a bleach soloution (20 parts water to 1 part bleach) to get rid of algae etc and then rinse through really well. I don't like to do this and find that it's not really necessary if your plants come rom a good dealer.

Not sure about the salt solution - some plants won't like this but I imagine it's a similar thing to the bleach solution?

April 20, 2011
11:53 am
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ender2811
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When you say bleach, what do you mean? Because there is a million types nowadays. Do you mean the old ones which are hypochlorite based?
As for the salt it sounded strange to me too. Wouldn't the osmotic pressure do more harm than good? Its what we did in biology class. Throw some salt on a lettuce leaf and watch it dry up.
Who knows. Maybe if you dilute it enough.

April 20, 2011
12:01 pm
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Bluedave
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I've used an unfragranced house hold bleach before - very very rarely do it though.

Just a very good rinse in tap water for me and a check for snails/eggs.

April 21, 2011
7:45 am
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ender2811
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Thanks Dave.
Rinse and repeat huh??? I was actually asking primarily because of snail eggs, but if you can see them plainly by visual inspection than it shouldn't be a problem. Some people can get pretty, shall we say, dramatic on the interwebs. I've read an article where people claim that the only way to get rid of eggs is to soak the plants in something which I'm guessing is some kind of garden snail repellent. Your method sounds good to me though. You can't beat simplicity.
On a different note, you mentioned once you used to live in a hard water area. Can you think of a red plant that I could get. Something that could grow with no added co2 though, 2w/gallon. Anything come to mind?

April 21, 2011
10:00 am
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Matt
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I'm an advocate of the 'rinse and shove in' method too. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Can I ask why you don't want snails in your tank?

Cake or death?
April 21, 2011
5:23 pm
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ender2811
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@Matt /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" /> /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" /> /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" /> Don't they eat the plants and multiply like crazy??? Are there advantages in having a snail population in the tank?

April 21, 2011
6:29 pm
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Matt
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Maybe depends on your view? Of the common 'pest' ones the wee Panorbis/Helisoma eat algae and (mostly) decomposing vegetation, but also possibly fish eggs, while Melanoides help prevent the substrate from turning anaerobic by moving through it, among other things. Populations of both should be controllable provided you don't overfeed and/or are prepared to do a bit of manual removal, but of course you might find their mere presence unsightly?

Cake or death?
April 21, 2011
8:57 pm
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ender2811
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Wait, isn't the Planorbis the Ramshorn Snail? They sell them, for money /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" />. I wouldn't have expected to get them on a plant. I don't have any problems with snails from an estetic point of view. Was even thinking of introducing some on purpose. I would like to have a natural look in the tank. Not a strict biotype per say, but not something ''sterile'' either. But I was under the impresion that the snails u get on plants were by default a ''bad'' thing. Will read up some more on the subject. Oh and Matt if u read this have a question specifically for u. Well, not specifically but I saw some pics of a setup of yours in a thread, balithorids... Noticed a lot of stones which look a lot like the stuff I have here at home, sedimentary stones, with more or less limestone in the composition. And I remember also u said once that u have very hard water. Do u take care that all the rocks are basalt, granite, etc. or not? Does it stand to reason that if u put limestone in soft, acidic water the affect will be far greater than if u put the same stone in water which is slightly alkaline and already hard, say 12-15 dH? Found mixed info on this. Some say No, never ever anything with limestone, and other say go ahead, the effect will be marginal at best /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" />

April 21, 2011
9:23 pm
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Hokum
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I'm not Matt but my opinion on stones is that if you are looking at keeping softwater fish you want hard igneous stones. If its harder water fish it shouldn't matter too much but be careful some sedimentary stones can contain dangerous elements.

April 21, 2011
10:05 pm
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ender2811
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Ya, thanks Hokum.
If you are referring to metal deposits, there aren't any. Its surface rocks which have been washed by rain and the stream they were in for who knows how long. No ore in them, but then again I'm no geologist. What else could be in them. Organic matter? Wouldn't even bother with colecting rocks but LFSs have non. Just coal, which doesn't appeal to me very much.

April 24, 2011
5:44 am
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Bluedave
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Sorry about the delayed response - been away for a few days.

Snails are actually beneficial to a planted tank - they don't damage he plnts at all as Matt said.

They can multiply quite quickly but you should be able to manually remove a large proportion of them (quick rumage around once a week or a bit of lettuce/cucumber in overnight before a water change).

As to red plants - most require high light, CO2 and softwater. I've had success with Nymphaea Rubra in hardwater before but nothing else springs to mind, i'll have a little flick through the library when i've got a minute mate and see if I can find anything for you.

April 24, 2011
6:50 am
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ender2811
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Thanks a lot Dave. On the snails, like I said, lot of drama queens on the net, thats why I double check everything I read with you fine people. No rush on the plants. Will have enough to keep me busy as is. Tank's coming real soon.

Happy Easter to you and your family.

April 25, 2011
11:22 am
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poshsouthernbird
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If it's any help on the red plants, I have hard water too and had reasonable success with alternanthera reineckii 'rosaefolia' and ludwigia repens as well as some of the redder colour crypts. I'm not 100% sure what the crypts were though as they came in a random mixed collection some time ago. The alternanthera and ludwigia both fell victim to the goldfish eventually but they did grow and retain their colour while they had the chance so I'd guess they'd still be doing ok if it wasn't for the lawnmowers. I have medium lighting, no co2 and just a plain gravel substrate. HTH /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

www.injaf.org
April 25, 2011
12:25 pm
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Matt
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QUOTE (ender2811 @ Apr 21 2011, 08:40 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do u take care that all the rocks are basalt, granite, etc. or not? Does it stand to reason that if u put limestone in soft, acidic water the affect will be far greater than if u put the same stone in water which is slightly alkaline and already hard, say 12-15 dH? Found mixed info on this. Some say No, never ever anything with limestone, and other say go ahead, the effect will be marginal at best /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" />

I omit any rocks that appear to have traces of metal in them but that's about it to be honest. All were collected from a very clean, unpolluted stream which does flow over limestone but surprisingly is quite soft.

Adding pure limestone to a tank with soft water should indeed have greater effect than in hard water systems I'd guess?

I've moved house since posting about having hard water and have yet to test it here to be honest. The fish seem fine though!

Cake or death?
April 25, 2011
2:30 pm
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ender2811
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@poshsouthernbird Your input is very helpfull indeed. The ludwigia looked like something that might fit the criteria, at least from the stuff I've read. Glad to hear something positive from someone who had it fur realz. Will give it a go deff at some point. Thanks a bunch.

@Matt Yea, thought so. Thats it, nice clean stream, no industry or farming anywhere near. Plus, as far as limestone goes, it's not even that reactive. Shows no reaction with vinegar, had to use a 10% solution of phosforic acid to get it to fizz up. Have kept it in water for near 20 days and testing the Gh. Nothing. And what really bugs me is the notion of paying for rocks. Anywhere I look outside my window there's rocks, more rocks and if you look real real carefull you can see some rocks of a different color and all of those look better than the stuff at the LFS.
Still might go the safe route but doubt it. This way if something goes wrong I can just blame it on the rocks.
Sorry for rambling on a bit. Thanks a lot for the info.

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