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Re:Parasites, etc.

Aaron Liepman wrote, July 1:

............. I am from Michigan and recently collected a bunch of cool
>aquatic plant species on the west side of the state. Some of the plants
>are from a stream and others are from a pond. Unfortunately I do not know
>the species identity of these new plants. Currently the plants are in a
>bucket (which I filled with tap water - not pond water) under a growlite
>in the basement. I wish to add these plants to my newt tanks, but am a bit
>concerned that they may harbor parasites or other potentially harmful
>organsims that could kill my pets. ........................

The bleach treatment (two to four minutes in one part liquid bleach plus 19
parts water) is good for getting rid of hair algae, but there could well be
eggs or cysts of unwanted critters that would survive this treatment.  I
think that it would be a good idea to give these plants the bleach
treatment and then set them up in an aquarium or some gallon jars without
fish and grow them for a few months before introducing them to an aquarium
with fish. Keep some snails and Daphnia with them during this time and feed
the snails little pieces of dry dog or cat food every few days.  I think
that the usual protozoan and bacterial parasites of fish do not survive for
a long time in the absence of fish.  To be extra safe, you could only
introduce new growth that has appeared after you planted them.  Another
value of this quarantine period is that if the bleach treatment did not
completely kill some type of hair algae, it will soon become visible, and
you can avoid introducing it into your other planted tanks.

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174, in
steamy Jackson, Mississippi.