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Can you clean the fertiliser from a plant?

snailaquarium

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Hello,

I had a small aquarium with two shrimp in it, and added two plants and the shrimp ate at them, but within 24 hours they turned red and died. I am told by the seller of the plants their supplier used fertiliser with them. Another ebay seller said If I put the plants in water, do regular water changes, I should be able to clean them and then future shrimp may be ok, is this true or not? I don't want to kill anymore shrimp but I don't want to waste money buying more plants either. the plant in question was elodea densa. Thanks in advance.
 

Colin_T

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

The plants won't have fertiliser on them. There might be some in the pot around their roots but even that is unlikely because most aquatic plant farms use a liquid plant fertiliser, which drains off when the plant is lifted out of the water. Any residual fertiliser would be in such low levels, it won't harm the shrimp.

Depending on which country you live in and where the plants came from, they might have been treated to kill invertebrates like snails and shrimp. The chemicals used to treat aquatic plants is extremely toxic to shrimp and this might have been what killed your shrimp.

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If you do a 75% water change and gravel clean the tank every day for 2 weeks, it should dilute anything in the water or on the plants. Then get a couple of cheap glass/ ghost shrimp and put them in the tank. If they live then get some other shrimp.

If you get new plants, take them out of the pots (assuming they are in pots) and throw the pots and any gravel away. Rinse the plants under tap water. Put them in a bucket of tap water under a light. Change the water several times a day for a week. Rinse them and the bucket each time you change the water. Then after a week of water changes, the plants should be safe to go in the tank.
 
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snailaquarium

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

The plants won't have fertiliser on them. There might be some in the pot around their roots but even that is unlikely because most aquatic plant farms use a liquid plant fertiliser, which drains off when the plant is lifted out of the water. Any residual fertiliser would be in such low levels, it won't harm the shrimp.

Depending on which country you live in and where the plants came from, they might have been treated to kill invertebrates like snails and shrimp. The chemicals used to treat aquatic plants is extremely toxic to shrimp and this might have been what killed your shrimp.

-------------------------
If you do a 75% water change and gravel clean the tank every day for 2 weeks, it should dilute anything in the water or on the plants. Then get a couple of cheap glass/ ghost shrimp and put them in the tank. If they live then get some other shrimp.

If you get new plants, take them out of the pots (assuming they are in pots) and throw the pots and any gravel away. Rinse the plants under tap water. Put them in a bucket of tap water under a light. Change the water several times a day for a week. Rinse them and the bucket each time you change the water. Then after a week of water changes, the plants should be safe to go in the tank.
Thanks for the response however that's a lot of effort to get clean plants.

What should I do before buying a new plant, just ask which pesticides they are using and see how they fair against shrimp?
 

Colin_T

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You can ask the shop all you want, but they might not know. If you want plants that are free of chemicals, you have to assume they are all contaminated and clean them all. If you don't, you could lose shrimp.

You should quarantine all new fish and plants for at least 2 weeks.
 
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snailaquarium

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You can ask the shop all you want, but they might not know. If you want plants that are free of chemicals, you have to assume they are all contaminated and clean them all. If you don't, you could lose shrimp.

You should quarantine all new fish and plants for at least 2 weeks.

Thanks,
 
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snailaquarium

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Hi,
Yesterday I bought two shrimp and they are still alive more than 24 hours later so it looks like the cleaning / quarantine worked! Just hope I haven't jinxed it saying that lol
 

seangee

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If you are in the EU any plants imported from outside the EU MUST be treated with pesticides. I now only buy plants from reputable dealers who certify all their plants are shrimp safe (which means grown withing the EU). A good alternative is to use plants grown from tissue culture. Even if you aren't in the EU a similar approach does mean better quality plants and no risk from pesticides.
 
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snailaquarium

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OK well I must have jinxed it because they are dead. One is red.

The Malaysian and rams horn snails were never killed by the plants from the same seller mind you first lot of plants were bought last November.

Assuming the possibility the shrimp got too cold would they still die red or would they stay the same colour?
 

seangee

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I can't speak for Ramshorns but Malaysian snails are virtually indestructible (and they don't eat plants).
For peace of mind I would get rid of the plants. Just FWIW Elodea Densa does not do well in tropical aquaria so unless its a cold water tank chances are the plants will die anyway.
 
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snailaquarium

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Well it's a cold water one. I'm pretty disappointed however as these plants are described as for aquarium and they also had the cleaning process as per the thread. I'm a bit sad this has happened on my watch too. Are shrimp resilient or are they prone to small environmental changes? The way I see it the only thing wrong is the plants. I will buy plants directly from the shop in future. And buy seeds to grow my own.
 

Colin_T

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Most shrimp are pretty tough but if they are inbred like some of the cherry shrimp, they will be more sensitive to environmental changes.

If you buy aquarium plants, you can grow them in pots in a bucket or storage container and just keep the roots wet. Fertilise them each week with a liquid garden fertiliser and let them grow. Then take cuttings from the new growth and use the cuttings in your tank. That way they will be free of chemicals.
 
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snailaquarium

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Hi,
I'm a little concerned that some people considered elodea to be a poisonous plant to shrimp and other aquarium life, do any of you have thought about this and could you recommend any different types of plant that can oxygenate the water and provide shrimp algea to eat? Thank you in advance!
 
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snailaquarium

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Wow today I discovered one of the shrimp has shed its skin!
 
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snailaquarium

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Sadly one of the two shrimp I bought two weeks ago has died. They were fine however yesterday I added quite a few of the Malaysian snails into the aquarium and did about 75% water change. The snails were originally subject to the plants that previously came from the same seller that's sold plants that killed the shrimp before. However I had quarantined the snails for well over a week. Maybe two before adding to the shrimp. It was the bigger shrimp that died. Surely the snails aren't poisonous to the shrimp?
 
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snailaquarium

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Surprised to see that the small shrimp is still alive this morning!
 
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