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I would like to get a new plant to add to my aquascaped Betta aquarium. In the past I have always just added new plants directly into my main tank and hoped for the best. I have been lucky so far and not introduced any parasites or snails.

Now I am really invested in my nano aquascape and don't want to introduce pest snails that could eat my plants and increase the bio-load. I also don't want to introduce parasites that could harm my Betta.

I could use some advice on how quarantining plants works. How long do you quarantine for? What should you look for while quarantining? What can be accomplished through quarantining (i.e., do parasites die off without a host?)? How do you care for plants in quarantine?

I know there are several options for dipping plants to sanitize them or attempt to kill snail eggs. Some plant species are more sensitive to plant dips. The plant I want to get is supposed to be really sensitive to most dips and I don't want to kill the plant. Will quarantining alone be enough? Is there a way to safely dip really sensitive plants?

The plant I want to get is Najas guadalupensis, commonly known as guppy grass. It is notorious for carrying snails and snail eggs. I've had one person tell me that dipping guppy grass in potassium permanganate for 30 seconds did not kill the plant, but it didn't kill the snails/eggs on the plant either. I have a feeling that 30 seconds isn't long enough to kill other potential pests on the plant either.

Any advice or experience you can offer is much appreciated. Attached is a picture of the plant species I want. If you have experience with a reputable source where I can buy it, please let me know.
 

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How I finally got rid of snails

Snail Nerd story.
For the last year I've had an epic infestation of ramshorn snails (like, hundreds a day). They survived: Lettuce traps, drastically reduced fish food, bleach dip for plants, 2 large yoyo loaches, assassin snails, complete change of gravel and decor, and 5 one-week doses of copper at maximum concentrations. While copper significantly reduced their number, a handful of the little buggers would show up every day, cruising around in 5.0 ppm copper seemingly without much distress. What's the deal?? None of these methods controls eggs. How did I finally get rid of them? I went nuclear. I bought potassium permanganate (PP) formulated for a pond. This stuff is really toxic to snails, parasites, and other fish diseases. First, I removed the fish and biomedia. Then I did some fancy calculations (1 ounce per 375 gallons...how do you get the correct dose for a 30-gal tank? You use higher math and a 1-ml syringe, that's how.) I potassium-permanganated the hell out of my decor and gravel. I had to repeat the dose a couple of times over the course of 6 hours (tells you on the bottle if the water turns brown, the PP is being used up killing stuff and you should redose...). I also did a PP plant dip, about 10 minutes in a 2 ppm solution. THAT is what finally rid me of snails. They've been gone for a week now! Yesterday I was at a local aquarium store inquiring about plants, telling my snail tale. The salesperson shrugged and said "yeah, our plant tanks have snails. Nothing we can do." Yikes. At least she was honest. I will never, ever get another plant without doing a PP dip.
Good luck.
 
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