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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V5 #202

Hello Gordon,

Nothing is 100% guaranteed to kill all pests, without harming plants! 
A dip in a 100-200 ppm solution of ammonium nitrate for several hours is
quite effective in killing invertebrates (and fish!), but not harming
A dip in diluted household ammonia might also be effective.



> Date: Sun, 7 Jul 2002 14:16:24 -0400
> From: "Gordon L. Mc Lellan" <gordon2 at dimension-x_net>
> Subject: local plants
> I recently tried to acquire some local plants from a small
> lake in Northern Michigan, but was unable to use them
> because of serious insect infestation.
> The main plant I gathered was a floating plant with red
> stalk and stems, and very fine green leaves (needle like,
> like a pine tree)
> The other plant was growing in the sandy bottom near
> shore and was very small (1/2" max) tree like plant,
> with lots of roots.
> I took these plants home in a bucket and was sorting,
> preparing them for their bleach dip.  I noticed LOTS
> of little critters swimming around, as well as various
> clams and some zebra muscles.
> I originally thought bleach was the end-all, kill-all
> kind of poison you didn't want to mess with, but I
> learned last weekend this is not the case.
> I originally started with a 10 to 1 bleach dip, and
> gave the plants a 6 min dip...  The plants looked ok,
> and so did the insects!  Some of the clams fell off
> their plants, others looked ok.  So I rinsed the
> plants, and put them back under for a few more
> min.  The plants were starting to loose their color
> and become slimy, but the insects were doing fine.
> Another dip killed all the plants (their color was all
> gone, their cells were breaking down into mush)
> But the insects were happily swimming around.
> ...I took the concentration up to 2 to 1, and it still
> took nearly two hours for the insects to die.
> Any ideas on how I can kill these bugs without
> killing the plants?  How about a fish-safe pesticide
> or something?
> Also, can anyone recommend a website that
> would have pictures of freshwater pests, so I can
> identify what these critters are?
> Is it worth worrying about the larvae?  Maybe the
> fish will enjoy the tasty treat?   My fish are all
> community type, mollies, platys, various tetra and
> an angel.
> ttyl
> Gordon