Re: Live food... or parasites?

On Monday, 10 July 1995,  Mark Pellegri wrote:

[description of organisms snipped]
> Do any of these sound like a familiar threat? If so, my preferred =
> solution would be to treat the tank with a plant safe drug, dye, etc. =
> that would wipe out all of these inverts, then do a water change, rather =
> than tear down and sterilize the tank.

The organisms you've described are probably harmless to your fish.  If
you're not sure, wait a few weeks before letting the fish loose; most
parasites die rather quickly without a host, except for argulus which
can hold on for about 3 weeks (if memory serves me correctly).  Snails
are intermediate hosts for a number of parasites, so if you're paranoid
you may want to wait a snail generation. 

> Even if none of these require =
> immediate action, can anybody confirm some plant safe medications for =
> future use?

Many medications are relatively safe for plants, including the familiar
malachite green / formalin preparations.  Watch out for acriflavin and
copper, however, as they'll terminate most plants with extreme prejudice.
Methylene blue, metronidazole, tetracycline, and a number of
other common medications will damage sensitive plants but won't usually
kill them.

> I have learned my lesson and will sterilize any new plants =
> from now on.

Try bathing your plants for five minutes in a solution of 1 heaping
teaspoon alum per liter of water.  Snails will sometimes
survive this treatment.
Kevin Conlin   kcconlin at cae_ca   "We're Canadians.  We HAVE to be polite"