Aquarium Plant Quarantine- Is It Necessary?

If you wish to bring life to your tank, including some aquarium plants is a great idea. Just a few plants in the tank can make it look amazingly gorgeous. You can find multiple plants that are suitable for aquariums- big or small. However, you have to be alert while buying the aquarium greens.

Firstly, the plant you are buying from the store or order from the website must be reliable. Also, ensure that you are getting healthy and rooted plants to establish well in your tank.

There are numerous benefits of aquarium plants-

  • Make any dull aquarium lively and greener
  • Improve the eco-system of the tank.
  • Provide an area for the water animal to hide and play
  • Convert carbon dioxide into oxygen
  • Improve the overall quality of the water
  • Increase the aesthetics of the tank

While there are multiple advantages of introducing aquarium plants in the tank, they can also pose a danger to the well-being and life of the fish if you do not take the necessary action.

It’s an assumption among the aquarists that aquarium plants do not require any special treatment before introducing inside the tank. Generally, people throw new and different stuff inside the tank without treating them properly and then baffle why their fish get sick.

Have you ever experienced anything odd in your tank after placing a new aquarium plant? Does your fish also get sick or die without you knowing? If yes, this article will unfold some important yet often ignored information about aquarium plants, that is, Aquarium Plants Quarantine.

Aquarium Plants Quarantine. 

We often see many aquarists discussing in different forums about the algae, parasites, worms, and snails that have created distress in their tank and, in one way or another harmed their fish. Have you ever wondered from where these distress-causing organisms enter the tank?

If you ask people whether they quarantined their aquarium plants before placing them in the tank, most of the time, the answer is NO. And it is one of the major reasons why the fish in the tank also suffer.

It is always advised to quarantine new plants- whether you are getting them from a store or buying them online. However, this suggestion is often overlooked. When you quarantine your plants, you treat them and make them free from disease-causing microorganisms.

Importance of Plant Quarantine 

One should always quarantine the aquarium plants before introducing them into the tank. It will make sure that the health of the plants and fish will not suffer in any way.

Imagine you bought new plants for your tank and put them inside immediately. After a few days, you may see that something is not good in your tank. Your fish are showing the signs of illness, and even the plants start to die. Moreover, new snails are popping out everywhere. This havoc could be the result of putting non-quarantined new plants inside the aquarium.

While some people think that just washing and trimming the new plants will solve the purpose, some believe quarantining is an essential and crucial step. On the other hand, the truth is until you don’t quarantine your new plants properly, the chances of your fish getting sick and the entire tank getting dirty are always high. Often the fish die when a new plant infected with microbes gets entry into the tank without quarantining.

What may happen if I don’t quarantine my new plants?

If you are lucky, your fish will not suffer if you introduce a new aquarium plant without quarantining. However, the chances of things happening the other way around are more.

Plants carry a lot of microorganisms with them like bacteria, viruses, fungi, spores, algae, snails, etc. let’s find out how these microorganisms can harm the fish and alter the overall environment of the tank.

Fungus- Disease-Causing Microorganisms 

Aquarium plants coming from the stores carry a lot of disease-causing microorganisms. If your plants are also infected with dreadful microbes like bacteria and fungi, they may pass to the other inhabitants of the tank as well. If you are getting plants from the most reliable place, disinfecting them is still necessary. It will help them get completely free from microbes that could pose any threat to the lives of animals in the tank.

Therefore, disinfecting the aquatic plants before introducing them into the tank is necessary. Do it by dipping the plants in a potassium permanganate solution.

Snails’ Outbreak

Have you ever witnessed a sudden outbreak of snails in your tank? While one or two snails may look cute in an aquarium, too much of them will make things look awful and create other problems in the tank too. A sudden explosion of snails is definitely a big problem that needs an immediate solution.

How about avoiding such a situation by disinfecting the aquarium plants before putting them in the tank? Generally, snails make their way into the tank by laying eggs on the leaves of plants. When these plants are planted inside the tank, the tank ends up getting snails’ outbursts in no time.

You can avoid such a situation by putting your plants in an alum bath.

Algae Growth 

Although algae growth is pretty common in every aquarium, you can make efforts to avoid their outbreak. No matter how hard you try, algae will surely make their way to the tank, but treating the plants well before introducing them inside the tank can limit the outburst.

Algae outbreak poses a lot of problems in the tank, which is discussed in many articles. If you add an aquarium plant that already has algae growth, it will definitely increase its quantity and make the tank unpleasant.

Make sure you free your aquatic plants of algae by soaking them in the bleach solution. It will prevent the growth of algae.

Change in Water Parameters 

Maintaining the water parameters is essential for the upkeep of the fish in an aquarium. If you have bought your new plants from a reliable store and they, do not carry any disease causing microorganisms, yet they can disturb or alter the water chemistry and change the environment inside your aquarium.

As we all know that plants are good for a tank as they increase the oxygen content and decrease the carbon dioxide in the tank. In this way, plants are supposed to positively impact the water chemistry of the tank. However, on the other hand, an immediate influx of oxygen may put fish under stress.

Therefore, it is advised to put only a few plants at a time. Let the water and fish get accustomed to the changes in the oxygen level and subsequently add more plants. In this way, you will give time to the fish to adjust to the new water parameters and withstand the changes.

All in all, it is very clear that whether you bring your plant from a store, pond, river, or any other place, its quarantine or disinfection, or treatment is an essential step, especially if you care about your tank animals.

How to quarantine your aquarium plants in the right way?

Aquarium plants quarantine is an important step. The following are the different treatment processes that you can adapt to treat your new plants.

Dipping plants in salt

Take non-iodized salt in a bowl or bucket and add water into it. For each gallon of water, add one tablespoon of salt. Stir it and mix the salt properly. Now dip your plants into this solution for around 10 minutes. Later, rinse them properly.

This method will kill snail eggs and snails as well on the plants.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide Solution 

Hydrogen peroxide helps to disinfect the plant. In this method, all you need is to add 2ml of hydrogen peroxide in one gallon of water and dip the plants in the mixture. Keep the plants dipped for at least 10 minutes. Later, rinse them with fresh water. You can easily find hydrogen peroxide in the drug store.

If the plants are very delicate and sensitive to chemicals, use a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide- 1 ml per gallon of water for treating them. An overdose of this chemical can kill the plants. So, make sure you prepare the right ratio.

Using Potassium Permanganate Solution 

Like hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate also works as a disinfectant and helps kill the microorganisms from the plants when used in the right dosage. Take some quantity of potassium permanganate and add it into a bucket of water. Mix the solution continuously until the water turns deep pink.

Later, dip your plants in this mixture of potassium permanganate for at least 10 minutes and remove. Rinse them thoroughly. This method will kill all the algae present in the leaves of stems of the plant and make it algae-free.

Alum 

Take a little alum and mix it with water in a bucket. Soak the plants in this solution for 2 to 3 days. After that, take the plants out and rinse them thoroughly with fresh and clean water. It will remove the traces of alum and make the plants disinfected.

Quarantining the Aquarium Plants 

Just the way we quarantine our new fish, we can quarantine the new plants as well. It’s a simple and easy process. Get a small tank that doesn’t have any fish and place your plants inside it. Keep the plants as such for at least 5 to 6 days.

All you need is to ensure that the plant quarantine tank fulfills all the prerequisites of a normal planted tank. For instance, it has sufficient light, controlled temperature, and aquarium fertilizers that can normalize the growth of the new plant in a new tank. Once the plant completes its quarantine period, you can transfer it to your main display tank.

Final Words 

Aquarists love to collect new plants and add them to their aquarium. It is indeed a wonderful practice with multiple benefits. However, before introducing anything in your well-established tank, it is vital to treat or disinfect them.

When it comes to fish and aquarium plants, quarantining them for a certain period is the right thing to do. If you escape this important step, the fish may suffer, and the entire aquarium environment may alter. So, never forget to disinfect, treat and quarantine your new aquarium plants and enjoy your aqua-gardening hobby.

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