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Sanitizing Plants


Josie

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I am considering tearing down my tropical tank.  I have not had it very long, but I have decided I would rather just have a second goldfish tank than a tropical tank.  The tropical tank is heavily planted, and I would be paranoid about putting the plants into the new goldfish tank I am planning without sanitizing them first.  The fish in the tropical tank had ich when I got them, so I am just a little nervous about it.  Would a diluted bleach solution work?  I have about $100 worth of plants so I would like to reuse them if possible...another though I had was maybe rehoming the tropicals, then letting the tank run for a month without any fish in there?  Would that kill off any nasties?

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Potassium permanganate is the most oft used treatment for sterilising aquatic plants. You just need a slightly pink colour to the water and dunk the plants for around 10 minutes.

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How long have you had the tropical setup? Any history of diseases or deaths in the tank, especially recently?

If you've had the tropical tank for a while, I would not consider doing anything.

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Any history of diseases or deaths in the tank, especially recently?

 

 

The fish in the tropical tank had ich when I got them, so I am just a little nervous about it. 

 

The OP says that the fish had previously had ich, Alex. :)

 

How long ago was this outbreak? I feel as though a bleach dip with a period of QT around 1-2 weeks would suffice, being that ich requires a host to survive. But if this happened a long time ago I wouldn't be too worried about it.

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Could you make a list of what you have?

 

With PP, I thought you had to make the water purple. :idont

 

Maybe with anubias, but with the majority of soft leaved tropical aquarium plants pink won't harm them. Purple will set some back dramatically or kill them.

 

I have traded hundreds of cuttings of plants via mail with other aquatic plant nuts over the years and always used just a pink colour. I never killed a plant nor copped an anwanted disease in any of my tanks.

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One addendum I will add when using PP is to be safe and to treat it with respect and always wear eye protection.

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Potassium permanganate is fine for purpose such as this, but really...I assume the ich is long gone if it was treated properly.

 

We'll wait for the OP to fill us in with a bit more details, and then make a firm recommendation. :)

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Hey thanks everyone for replying.  I will try to answer all the questions.  The tank is a 10 gallon and has been set up for only about 6 weeks, but I just don't think tropicals are for me-I would much rather tear this tank down and restart my old 29 gallon with one or two small goldfish.  The ich happened when they tank was new, I treated it using heat, salt and water changes.  There have not been any deaths (aside from 1 neon tetra who died from ich) or any other illnesses.

 

What I would ideally do is:

 

1) Set up 29 gallon

2) Clean/sanatize plants, get them planted in the 29 gallon

3) Sterilize the 10 gallon that housed the tropicals

4) Use the 10 gallon as a QT for a new goldfish

5) After an approximately 4 week QT, transfer new goldfish to 29 gallon, where the plants have been for a month now with no fish or living organisms

 

Sorry if this is confusing!  I am thinking that during the time the goldfish is in QT, any ich that might remain will die off since it won't have any host in the 29 gallon tank.  I just want to be sure there isn't anything else bad that could be lingering on those plants!

 

Here is a list of the plants:

-Anubias (different species)

-Java Fern (different species)

-Italian vals

-Swords (variety of species)

-telanthera reineckii

-Brazilian pennywort

-wisteria

-moneywort

-water sprite

-Banana Plant

 

Those are all the plants I can remember, there might be a few more in there that I forgot about.  I know that some of these could be eaten by the goldfish, but in my current goldfish tank I have had great luck with all the above named species.

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You must do what you feel most comfortable, but most fish pathogens cannot persist without fish. So, if your tank is simply all those plants and no fish for 4 weeks, that is quite enough.

I wouldn't go through all the efforts to sterilize. I don't think you would gain anything from going through all those extra steps.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do. :)

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You must do what you feel most comfortable, but most fish pathogens cannot persist without fish. So, if your tank is simply all those plants and no fish for 4 weeks, that is quite enough.

I wouldn't go through all the efforts to sterilize. I don't think you would gain anything from going through all those extra steps.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do. :)

Thank you, that is what I thought, but I am still pretty new to this so I wanted to be sure there wasn't anything I was overlooking.

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I'm envious that your goldfish doesn't eat those plants! I can only keep anubias in my tank.

Heehee I know, I feel so lucky...but then again every day I inspect the plants thinking "did anybody eat a plant while I was at work today?"  :rofl I feel like it is just a matter of time before they realize what they have been missing out on LOL :)

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Well....I went for it!  I have been working hard on this project the last two days.  I tore down the tropical tank and sanitized everything.  Then I set up the 29 with the plants and no fish.  Then I got the two goldies that I had my eye on at my LFS and started them in QT in the newly cleaned 10 gallon.  Whew, a lot of work, but in the end I think it will really pay off.  The new fish won't be done with their QT for at least 4 weeks so in that time any nasties on the plants should die, and the plants will have time to take root.  Hopefully the two new fish are as gentle on the plants as my current goldfish are, although that seems like it would be almost too good to be true.

 

My question is: With no fish in the 29, should I be using ferts on the plants?  Root tabs or flourish?  Right now I don't have anything in there except the sand and plants.

 

Plants in the 29 gallon tank:

ykwxWb8l.jpg

 

New goldfish in their QT:

buxXtoql.jpg

Edited by Josie
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Beautiful! I love the way you set that up!

Thanks! I wanted to have a lot of plants but still leave room to swim since two in a 29 will be maxed out as far as stocking levels go. There are a lot more plants than you can see in the picture, they are just too short and are hiding behind the java fern :)

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And woah, they're in a ten gallon? I thought that must be a twenty because they look SO tiny! How many inches, bodily, are they?

I assume you're doing root tabs on the plants? I've been super happy with them in my sanded, planted tanks. It's not a perfect solution, but so much more targeted and economical than a CO2 system.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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And woah, they're in a ten gallon? I thought that must be a twenty because they look SO tiny! How many inches, bodily, are they?

I assume you're doing root tabs on the plants? I've been super happy with them in my sanded, planted tanks. It's not a perfect solution, but so much more targeted and economical than a CO2 system.

Haha I know theyare tiny, esp the ranchu. It makes me feel more comfortable though since I am using a ten gallon for the QT! I haven't measured them yet since I wanted to give them time to get settled before manhandling them LOL. I would guess the ranchu is about 1" body only.

Normally I use root tabs and nothing else in my planted tanks. I did not have any when I set this tank up, but I will be adding some as soon as I can get to the store. I also plan to dose with flourish and excel until the fish finish QT. I dont like to use flourish and excel normally though because I like to keep the cost of maintenance as low as possible, and fish poop is a great free fert :)

Edited by Josie
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That's a solid plan. I've had issues with algae blooms and Cyanobacteria with the liquid Seachem supplements, unfortunately, so I have unfinished bottles of them. Maybe I'll get brave and try again one of these days.

I think you're just fine on that QT. I have two very large goldfish in a ten gallon right now and it's awful, I actually just contacted someone on Craiglist about their twenty gallon for $20, to replace it. For a hospital tank I love tens. It's cheaper for medicine. But longer term at on multiple fish it's just too tight!

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