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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #807

Subject: Re: Tetra Web Site

There are plenty of applications where live plants won't work and plastic
plants make sense.  It is great to have realistic looking plastic plants
available for your Silver Dollar tank!  

But Tetra/Second Nature is doing a great disservice to their customers 
and the hobby as a whole to suggest that managing a planted tank is to 
difficult for a beginner. It is a lack of good information that keeps 
beginners from succeeding, not the inherent difficulty of a planted tank.
Tetra has to decide whether they want to be part of the problem or part
of the solution.  Their current web site "infomercial" positions them with 
the problem makers.

The decision whether to use live or plastic plants should be an informed 
one, based on the goals for that particular tank.

In the end, those companies who rise to meet the needs of the aquatic 
gardener will be those who gain the greatest market share in this fast 
growing segment of the hobby.  Tetra produces some reasonable plant 
products, but in their position as a well respected major aquarium 
product manufacturer they could do a whole lot better.


Subject: Parasites, etc

>I am new to the list and wondering if anyone here can provide me with some
>information (or at least a good reference) about how to rid wild plants of
>parasites. I am from Michigan and recently collected a bunch of cool
>aquatic plant speciies on the west side of the state. 

While there is always the possibility of introducing pathogens to your tank
with wild collected plants, the risk is not really that large.  Wild
collected plants already have to deal with the shock of being uproooted and
moved to majorly different conditions.  Bleaching them could easily send
them over the edge.  

I like to collect and use native plants myself, and this is my method of
preparing them for a display tank.  I rinse them carefully at the sink,
looking particularly for dragonfly larva, which are large enough to catch
small fish.  Then I plant the plants in a holding tank set up properly for
good growth. (you know, good substrate, good light, etc.)  I take a tip
from Innes and throw a number of female bettas into the tank.  These
voracious little predators will soon pick all the animal life hitchhikers
out of the plants.  

Within a month or so, you will know which plants are responding and growing
well under your tank conditions, and can start moving them to display
tanks.  You will also have plants that just don't adapt.  By keeping them
in a holding tank, you are preventing them from deteriorating in your
display tanks.  

Handled in this manner, I have never introduced an unwanted
parasite/pathogen into my display tanks.  Not saying it can't happen, but
it's probably at least as safe as using the bare rooted "aquarium plants"
grown in and imported directly from ponds and ditches in S.E. Asia.
Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association