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Old 01-07-2013, 09:44 PM
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Default Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

OK, bought a nice Hemiontis arifolia a few weeks back. Plant was dipped prior to planting. No sign of aphids. As soon as new leaves started to unfurl....I noticed green aphids on the fresh fronds. THe plant has been growing, aphids have been molting and turnign into flyers. I need to kill these things now. Is NEEM oil safe? Its supposed to be all natural. What about diatomaceous earth? Again, all natural. But diatoms are super tiny and are supposed to work there way into the bug cutting them up, blocking respiratory function, etc. Dosnt sound safe. Its a front opening Exo Terr, cant flood the tank. No frogs in now, but was planning on putting a breeding trio of Lecs in there in the next day or so. Tips? Quick fix? Or should I just pull the plant. I understand aphids are host specific.

On second thought, shoudl I have placed this in the plant forum area? Mods move if need be.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

LEAVE THEM IN! The leucs will eat all the flyers, and probably a lot of the juveniles if they can reach them
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Free food!
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

I wouldn't put neem oil into an enclosure with frogs. That stuff might be all-natural, but it's pretty nasty.

If your frogs don't eat them all and if you see them on just one plants I bet you can just kill them off by hand. If you carefully inspect the plant every day and squash every aphid that you spot you will eventually kill them off.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

I'm guessing when the frogs discover them they will clean them out quickly. I used to collect wild aphids for dart frog food.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Well I know lady bugs will eat them. I'm not sure if these would be safe for frogs or not though. Anyone have any suggestions on this subject? I have heard frogs won't eat them because of the smell and more importantly taste of them but they will dispose of the aphids quickly.
How soon do you plan to introduce frogs into the tank?
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Well, heres my attempt. We'll know in a day or so if it worked. It wont kill the eggs though. So I need to know ASAP what the life cycle of aphids is. That way I can gas the hatching baby aphids before they can lay more eggs.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Can you guess whats in the bucket? I'll give you a clue. Its 3 pounds of dry ice. The CO2 is heavier than air, so I used a computer fan to circulate the gas for a total kill. There goes my newly introduced springtails, micropods, orange Iso's, white iso's, dwarf striped iso', and anythign else good and bad reproducing in there. Repeated the procedure twice for good measure.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

And heres what the tank looked like after 1 minute or so. Looks like Monte verde clound mountain rainforest.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

only problem with what you did is you killed all your springs and isos too when you did that. Plants loved it though I bet.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Also, incase you are unaware ... you may have alot of plant die-off.

But don't worry, they will grow back in even nicer then they were ... in a few weeks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Hmmm, I was thinking a crazy boost in growth beign as CO2 is what they process as energy/food for photosynthesis. Why the die-off?
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

A CO2 concentration that is too high can cause a reduction in photosynthesis in some plants. "More is not always better".
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

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Originally Posted by pdfCrazy View Post
Hmmm, I was thinking a crazy boost in growth beign as CO2 is what they process as energy/food for photosynthesis. Why the die-off?
It will grow back much better than it would without the CO2. It just goes through a period of dieoff first before it gets to that point. Watch, you'll see
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

And, despite the massive gassing, I'm finding live adult aphids 10 hours later.......GRRRrrrrrr
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

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And, despite the massive gassing, I'm finding live adult aphids 10 hours later.......GRRRrrrrrr
Why the urge to kill them anyways?

My thought reflected the others ... just more food for the frogs.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Im curious to know if anyone has any more to say about the neem oil. Im sure it will probably kill everything, like what was expected from the dry ice bath, but if you must get rid of them for personal satisfaction, neem will definitely work for the aphids. It doesn't kill the living aphids but it will attack the eggs and cause them to not hatch. You can research it more if your interested in exactly how it works.
Any way does anyone have any knowledge whether or not neem is safe for frogs. I've read it can cause lab rats to actually re-absorb the fetus but still be completely healthy. This test was performed by forcing the rats to ingest a sizable amount which is somewhat misleading since the rat is actually ingesting the neem oil.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

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This test was performed by forcing the rats to ingest a sizable amount which is somewhat misleading since the rat is actually ingesting the neem oil.
I do NOT know the effects, but as far as being misleading, when applied to frogs it would not be. Remember that our frog's skin is very permeable and will absorb whatever it is touching.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Are ladybugs bad for frog tanks? I know a lot of people buy them buy the thousands to release in their gardens. One adult will eat a lot of aphids. One problem is that they will eat other bugs too. They may be a danger to your microfauna.

They are usually pretty inexpensive as well.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

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Are ladybugs bad for frog tanks? I know a lot of people buy them buy the thousands to release in their gardens. One adult will eat a lot of aphids. One problem is that they will eat other bugs too. They may be a danger to your microfauna.

They are usually pretty inexpensive as well.
I tested a couple of ladybugs to see if they would eat mites. I found they would rather starve.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

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I tested a couple of ladybugs to see if they would eat mites. I found they would rather starve.
That's interesting. They are pretty popular around here for small insect control. I thought they ate just about anything small and soft.

Mites were the only food available?
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Yeah, I've read a few threads on NEED oil, and talked to someone at a garden center about it. Very hesitant to try it. Right now I wanna try other options, be it organic and plant derived or not.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:57 PM
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LEAVE THEM IN! The leucs will eat all the flyers, and probably a lot of the juveniles if they can reach them
Why not follow Frogparty's advice?
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Well, while I like additional food sources for my frogs, this is my ONE showtank that I've put alot of work into. Aphids suck the fluid from young fronds, severally weakening new growth and distortign new fronds. I JUST put a bunch of Microgramma and Microsorum in there that I want to do well. I don't dig plant pests. And, aphids move SO slowly, I doubt a Leuc would even see them. The flyers are smaller than gnats....so I doubt a leuc would even bother. Plus, because the adult form are flyers, that presents the risk of them spreading to other tanks, and house plants.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

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Originally Posted by Dartfrogcaretaker View Post
Im curious to know if anyone has any more to say about the neem oil. Im sure it will probably kill everything, like what was expected from the dry ice bath, but if you must get rid of them for personal satisfaction, neem will definitely work for the aphids. It doesn't kill the living aphids but it will attack the eggs and cause them to not hatch. You can research it more if your interested in exactly how it works.
Any way does anyone have any knowledge whether or not neem is safe for frogs. I've read it can cause lab rats to actually re-absorb the fetus but still be completely healthy. This test was performed by forcing the rats to ingest a sizable amount which is somewhat misleading since the rat is actually ingesting the neem oil.
Generally the main active ingredient in Neem oil is Azadirachtin. This has been shown to have negative effects on anurans at concentrations as low as 0.4mg/l (0.4 ppm). See for example Effects of azadirachtin on mortality, fertilization, and swimming speed in larvae of the cane toad, Bufo marinus (Anura: Bufonidae) - Tags: BUFO marinus AMPHIBIAN populations

Care has to be taken when attempting to extrapolate mammalian responses to frogs as often these are not equal..as another example, canthaxanthin is safe for frogs but in primates it can deposit as crystals in the eyes impacting vision...and can result in the liver of rats producing higher levels of "bad" cholesterol.

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Since this terrarium is currently unoccupied.....and I can keep i that way for a little while.

From Azadirachtin

"Breakdown of Chemical in Surface Water: The formulated product Azatin-EC which contains the active ingredient azadirachtin is considered a water pollutant. It breaks down rapidly (in 100 hours) in water or light, and will not cause long-term effects."

and in Neem Oil General Fact Sheet

"What happens to neem oil in the environment?
Azadirachtin, a major component of neem oil, is rapidly broken down. Microbes and light break down the pesticide in soil, water and on plants. The half-life of azadirachtin in soil ranges from 3 - 44 days. In water, the half-life ranges from 48 minutes to 4 days. It also rapidly breaks down on plant leaves; the half-life if 1 - 2.5 days. The remaining components of neem oil are broken down by microbes in most soil and water environments."
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:48 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

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Originally Posted by LizardLicker View Post
That's interesting. They are pretty popular around here for small insect control. I thought they ate just about anything small and soft.

Mites were the only food available?
Yes. I put an inch of clean substrate in the bottom of a fruit fly culture container (32 oz) I took a tablespoon of mite contaminated Giant Orange Isopod culture, and removed every isopod. You could still see plenty of mites. Dumped it in the culture and added 2 ladybugs. The container was vented and the substrate kept moist. Eventually, both ladybugs died. I never witnessed the ladybugs eating the mites, and there were plenty of mites left alive after the ladybugs passed. It was an experiment for my own knowledge. It had no control groups, and I only tried it once. Not up to par for any real experiment, but I felt it told me what I wanted to know.
I was checking to see if I could add ladybugs to a contaminated culture, to try to eliminate mites.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

I have seen ladybugs for sale at hydroponics stores as aphid killers. Maybe they are a different type? (are there different types?).
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdfCrazy View Post
Since this terrarium is currently unoccupied.....and I can keep i that way for a little while.

From Azadirachtin

"Breakdown of Chemical in Surface Water: The formulated product Azatin-EC which contains the active ingredient azadirachtin is considered a water pollutant. It breaks down rapidly (in 100 hours) in water or light, and will not cause long-term effects."

and in Neem Oil General Fact Sheet

"What happens to neem oil in the environment?
Azadirachtin, a major component of neem oil, is rapidly broken down. Microbes and light break down the pesticide in soil, water and on plants. The half-life of azadirachtin in soil ranges from 3 - 44 days. In water, the half-life ranges from 48 minutes to 4 days. It also rapidly breaks down on plant leaves; the half-life if 1 - 2.5 days. The remaining components of neem oil are broken down by microbes in most soil and water environments."
In general, it is the blue to UVB end of the spectrum that breaks down pesticides that are affected by light. In most enclosures this isn't likely to happen as in areas sheltered by the light it can take significantly longer. Both screening (and especially fruit fly proof screen) and regular window/aquarium glass is going to screen out a significant amount of the active light.

With the information your provided, you are going to have to leave the tank frogless for an extended period of time since the upper range halflife is 44 days, which means only half of the pesticide has degraded at that point. Since only half of the pesticide may have degraded by that point, depending on the initial concentration, you could in theory need to wait three or four (or more) months.

Some comments

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Some comments

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Sorry this detoured, PDFCrazy. This is my last comment on this. Anybody else needing more info or questioning ladybugs and mites can either PM me, or start a new thread. He is not fighting mites. He is concerned about aphids. This mite detour does not belong here.

Quote:
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I have seen ladybugs for sale at hydroponics stores as aphid killers. Maybe they are a different type? (are there different types?).
I was commenting on ladybugs and MITES. I made NO comments regarding ladybugs and aphids. Yes, ladybugs DO eat aphids.

I only made the comment in the first place, as a reply to the comment that ladybugs could work for aphids, but may be a danger to other microfauna.

Thanks for your interest, but please, let's move this back to aphids.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

I was commenting on ladybugs and MITES. I made NO comments regarding ladybugs and aphids. Yes, ladybugs DO eat aphids.

I only made the comment in the first place, as a reply to the comment that ladybugs could work for aphids, but may be a danger to other microfauna.

Thanks for your interest, but please, let's move this back to aphids.[/QUOTE]

Sorry about that, i misunderstood.

How bad are the aphids? Are they causing alot of damage? Would it be possible to remove them over time or do they need to go immediately? Ive never had aphids, how bad of damage can they cause?
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Why not just pull the plant? You could attempt to treat it while it's quarantined and not have to worry about the problem getting worse, or you could just replace it if you didn't want the hassle. A new plant will cost you less than any aphid control you could buy.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:50 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

It sounds like you are just pissed at the aphids for defiling your awesome terrarium. Get some frogs in there, and your aphids will leave pretty quick. I had a major aphid infestation on one of my show-tanks once. I thought my ferns and syngonium were done fore... but I put some frogs in there, and within a day or two I couldn't find a single aphid. Several of my tanks had aphids during their start-up period, and as soon as I got frogs in them they disappeared. Black aphids, green aphids, flyers, red aphids... any and all of them so far. I haven't seen an aphid since the last time I set up a tank, which has been about 8 months.

I wouldn't waste your time, money or effort on pesticides or more dry ice. Frogs are nature's aphid assassins.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:14 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Well, the leucs ended up going into a smaller tank as I contemplated how to deal with this. So Neem is still a possibility as long as there is a total breakdown in 44 days. I do not want to count on frogs eliminating the aphids. Since it is organic, breaks down, and I can afford to wait some weeks to put frogs in the tank, I'm thinking I will go that route. I guess I was holding out for some cool tip/trick that was 100% safe for the frogs, but apparently thats not going to materialize. I think trying ladybugs would be worth a try, but alas, they are outta season at all greenhouses that normally carry them. I wish there was something that effectively predated on MITES, short of maybe nemerteans
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:10 AM
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No, only half of it breaks down after 44 days. You'll get 3/4 of it out after 88 days, 7/8 of it out after 132 days. Even after 176 days (35) weeks, about 6% will still remain.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Well........instead of just haphazardly spraying it around the viv where its free to soak into tree fern panels, wood, and soil, I intend to use a modelers paint brush to apply it to only the affected plants (ferns only). My understanding is it soaks into the plant where the plant predator (aphid) feeds on the plant, ingesting the Neem, blocking its reproduction and feed drive. That will at least mitigate to an extent
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Aphids on my fern!! How to kill?

Update!!!
So, I've noticed over the last few days, I cannot find any aphids anymore. No frogs, no NEEM, and there were aphids after the dry ice. They miraculously disappeared. WTF? I'm not complaining, it's just kinda weird. Only change has been I sealed up the vents, and increased misting frequency a bit.
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