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Old 04-04-2013, 07:30 PM   #1 
bniebetta
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Plants have bugs??

Soooooo I bought duckweed, anubias, and some kind of tall thin grass. They are great, but there are these little critters in there that are like those water spiders but tiny. they are clearish-tan w/ six legs (I think, they are so small its hard to see).

Two questions:

1. What the heck are theses things, will they hurt my fish, and how do I get rid of them without killing the plants themselves?

2. The plants were in with other fish because it was from a LFS. The tanks there could be cleaner but the plants just came in today and I figured they would probably be okay since they hadn't been there that long. How long and how should you quarantine plants?? How will I know that they are safe to put in my tanks to prevent spreading anything from the fish at the store? Is there a way to sterilize them?

Thanks guys!!
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:45 PM   #2 
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Well, I'm new to plants myself but...the long way is to QT them for a couple of weeks doing frequent water changes all the while removing and pesky critters as you see them...
The quicker is a PP solution dip...(potassium permanganate) just be careful because it really stains everything it touches...
The other (but less recommended ) is a bleach dip...some plants have a hard time bouncing back from this one...
Here's a 'how to' link http://www.aquariumplants.com/Articles.asp?ID=111

Dunno what those critters might be....my batch just had a couple of pond snails...
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:55 PM   #3 
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I had the same question, but that website helped a lot Mermaid. Currently have duckweed and some weird bunch plant from a local pond.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:42 PM   #4 
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yeah thanks!! I didn't even read to the bottom before I bookmarked it :)
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:48 PM   #5 
ao
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possible aphids?
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:50 PM   #6 
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bniebetta - How are you QT/cleaning your duckweed? I cant get mine to stick together long enough to sift it apart from the bucket and debris I want to remove. Its all in little tiny segments.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:50 PM   #7 
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could be.. Ive never actually SEEN an aphid so its hard to tell haha
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:57 PM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeatherStone View Post
bniebetta - How are you QT/cleaning your duckweed? I cant get mine to stick together long enough to sift it apart from the bucket and debris I want to remove. Its all in little tiny segments.
I dont have very much of it and it's tiny. It's the main thing the bugs were on, so i got one of those wire mesh kitchen strainers and caught it all. Then I rinsed and swished it for a while until the bugs were gone (that I could see). I put it back where I am keeping it until I really disinfect it with the permanganate dip or whatever else, for which I plan to use the same strainer method.

That stinkin thing has actually come in pretty handy since I stopped trying to use it for cooking. I used it to clean gravel when i got a used tank (however, since then I found a much more effective way to clean larger amounts of used gravel) and it worked great.

Another way I have thought of how to handle it for sterilization is to get two of those little wire mesh things you can put over your kitchen sink drain (pretty much a small version of the kitchen strainer) to keep stuff from falling in and hold them together with the duckweed in the middle so you can submerse it completely instead of having it float all over the place.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:12 PM   #9 
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Kitchen strainers are called "colanders".

  • Make sure you sanitize the colander after it's used so you don't infect yourself with fish related pathogens.
  • Most likely aphids or springtails if they're bouncing around like kangaroos on the surface of your tank.
Not sure if you'll be able to locate the Potassium P for a LOW price. I spent $40 to buy myself a LIFETIME supply of it.

  • Highly recommend using goggles so you don't burn your eyes

Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:15 PM   #10 
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Its not a collander, its a strainer :) it had much tinier holes http://www.target.com/p/oxo-strainer...i_sku=13567296

I think youre are right about the bugs, thats exactly what the are doing!! Also, is there a cheaper but still safe way than the potassium permanganate?

Thanks for your help!!
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