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Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Default Disinfecting live plants

    0 Not allowed!
    Please forgive me if this has been posted before...the search function is not giving me any relevant stuff. I am going to be rescaping my 10 gallon tank, and I'd like to add some new plants as well as move around my existing ones. However, they have to be disinfected or at least really really clean before they are added/moved. How can I do this?
    I know the weak bleach solution, very diluted, right? And I've heard alum works, but I don't know the ratio on that at all. Is there any other way to do it? I would really appreciate any help...part of the reason I am doing this is to reduce the BGA load in that's gross, so I'm cleaning it out. Thank you!

    *note - I actually did an abx treatment and got rid of the BGA once, and then a new bunch of plants apparently reintroduced it. Gah! So I want to do this right.
    1 - 55 gallon planted community
    3 - 10 to 20 gallon planted betta tanks
    My advice: slow down, think, and be willing to learn. Then you'll be fine, no matter what.

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Wow, nobody ever answered this question.

    Are we supposed to clean our plants when we buy them? I mean, other than checking for snail eggs and algae?

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    I used salt water to clean mine (aquarium salt, not table salt). It seemed to do the job with the first batch of plants I got, as I was trying to avoid snails in my tank and none appeared after adding them. Got them from someone off Kijiji. Then added some more from the lfs, did the same treatment and soon had some itty bitty snails crawling on the glass. So, does it work? Maybe...sometimes.
    Don't poke the crazy

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    I've had success using diluted bleach to disinfect, then rinsing with water mixed with dechlorinator. Mix up a 1% bleach solution (assuming most household bleach is 5.25% in the bottle, you'd need a total of 19% bleach, 81% water) and soak your plants for 30 seconds or so. Have a bowl water/dechlorinator handy to rinse the plants in after, and they should be safe for your aquarium.
    Last edited by mcphatty; 08-20-2013 at 07:10 PM.

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    How do you measure success in this case?

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    If there was algae/eggs on the plants before I dipped, they sure were dead after.

    EDIT: I'd like to add that the plants were still living, after the dip.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    According to there are three ways to disinfect plants to try to kill snails and algae:

    Potassium Permanganate Dip
    This is the milder and safer method for the plants. Use a bucket filled about 1/2 full of water. Add enough Potassium Permanganate to color the water a dark pink. To disinfect and kill most algae use a 10-20 minute bath in this solution. Rinse the plants under tap water thoroughly and add dechlor to your neutralizes Potassium Permanganate too. You also could rinse by dipping in a bucket with dechlor and then rinsing under running tap water.

    CAUTION: Potassium Permanganate is a strong powerful oxidizer. Treatment should be made outside the will kill your bio-filter. Like all chemicals you should wear protective eye wear and gloves. Potassium Permanganate will stain clothing, carpeting, skin, etc. Never combine Potassium Permanganate and Formalin, this will result in explosive results and dangerous gases.

    Bleach (Chlorine) Dip
    This is a more effective and sure-fire way to kill algae but also has the risk of killing the plant in the process. Regular household bleach (i.e. Clorox) is diluted to a 5% (19 parts water to 1 part bleach) solution in a bucket. Have a second bucket filled with rinse water containing 3X the normal dechlor. Dip large leaf plants for 3 minutes, immediately move to the dechlor rinse bucket, then rinse under running tap water for a few seconds. If you still smell chlorine, repeat the rinse process again. For small delicate leaf plants and mosses dip for only 2 minutes in the bleach. To be safe, add dechlor to the tank after adding the plants back. Also, if you are dipping a lot of plants you may need to add more dechlor to your rinse water.

    Remember, the bleach dip can and may kill your plants, so use with caution. Use the same caution handling bleach as recommended for Potassium Permanganate.

    Alum Dip
    The Alum dip is more for killing microscopic bugs. Use at 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. Soak the plant for at least an hour, longer soaks of 2 to 3 days are needed to kill snails and snail eggs. For snails and snails eggs a 2-3 hour soak in a stronger solution of 3 tablespoons per gallon of water is a better choice. Alum isn't nearly as effective as the prior two for killing algae.

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by mcphatty View Post
    If there was algae/eggs on the plants before I dipped, they sure were dead after.

    EDIT: I'd like to add that the plants were still living, after the dip.
    So... you're running an algae free tank now?

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    So... you're running an algae free tank now?
    Not currently, but at the time I introduced the plants there was no living algae or snails on them.

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