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Old 06-09-2009, 02:40 AM
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Question 10% Bleach Solution

Hey everyone!

I was wondering how everyone used there bleach solutions when soaking the plants, and because it is bleach wouldnt it kill the plant?

And also where can i get 10% bleach cuz i have never herd of it!
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by dartboi101 View Post
Hey everyone!

I was wondering how everyone used there bleach solutions when soaking the plants, and because it is bleach wouldnt it kill the plant?

And also where can i get 10% bleach cuz i have never herd of it!

Soaking in a bleach solution can damage some of your plants, and a few species will be entirely destroyed, but it's kind of a neccessary evil to prevent contamination. The majority of the plants that I've sanitized over the years have come through it just fine, though.

Edit: A 10% concentration refers to a solution of 90% water and 10% household bleach, or 3/4 cup bleach per gallon of water.

Last edited by Dane; 06-09-2009 at 03:26 AM. Reason: added content
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

There are a handful of threads on this subject. A quick search should yield some decent info.

In my experience I've had better results with 5% bleach solution and soaking for 20mins.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

agreed. i typically use a 10% solution specifically for cleaning, and a 5% with live plants.

the residual bleach can be neutralized afterward using your typical water conditioner / de-chlorinating agent.

rinse items [including plants] until you can no longer smell the bleach on them. i usually rinse vigorously and repeatedly with very hot water [warm for plants]... then i use the water conditioner to bust up any remaining chlorine that i can't smell.
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Last edited by batrachiophyle; 06-09-2009 at 12:36 PM. Reason: added a detail.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

Hello,
I'm new on the board. I'm in the process of constructing a vivarium and this board has been very useful. So I wanted to contribute something. I read in another board about someone using a chemical free method to kill hitch hikers that came in with the moss. This person had a snail and milipede invasion. What they did was take dry ice, put it in a container, and added hot water. They placed this over the vivarium (with animals removed) and sealed the tank. The hot water released co2 from the dry ice. The co2 killed all of the bugs overnight and the plants even experienced a boost of growth from the added co2. Again, this was not my idea but I thought it was a clever way of sterilizing
His tank.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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Originally Posted by Sake135 View Post
Hello,
I'm new on the board. I'm in the process of constructing a vivarium and this board has been very useful. So I wanted to contribute something. I read in another board about someone using a chemical free method to kill hitch hikers that came in with the moss. This person had a snail and milipede invasion. What they did was take dry ice, put it in a container, and added hot water. They placed this over the vivarium (with animals removed) and sealed the tank. The hot water released co2 from the dry ice. The co2 killed all of the bugs overnight and the plants even experienced a boost of growth from the added co2. Again, this was not my idea but I thought it was a clever way of sterilizing
His tank.
Co2 processing doesn't "sterilize" the tank - it kills most smaller and larger bugs. (isopods, millipedes, slugs, mites, etc) Bleaching plants kills almost everything (most bacteria too!) in the plant before adding it to a vivarium... Bleaching is more preventative care while Co2 bombing a vivarium is more of a "fix" to a problem.

I'm a big fan of bleach... We do 1 cup/gallon for three minutes with most types of flora. Bromeliads are sensitive tho - as are most carnivorous plants... Otherwise most other things handle bleach pretty well. In wholesale florists - bleach is used in nearly EVERY bucket to keep bacteria growth down and the plants do better due to the lack in harmful bacteria.
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

okay cool thanks for everyone posting something my question still is how do u make it? and how long? and are bromiliads sensitive? so how do i disinfect them?
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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Originally Posted by dartboi101 View Post
okay cool thanks for everyone posting something my question still is how do u make it? and how long? and are bromiliads sensitive? so how do i disinfect them?
All these questions have been answered in this thread.

Mix water with bleach (6 oz bleach/gal of water for 5% mix). Stick plants in solution for 20 mins. Remove plants and rinse in clean water.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

I am not an expert here, but the general logic here seems flawed. If the bleach is so effective I imagine the plants themselves would die. Since the plants do not die, I am sure many bacteria must survive. Especially since many bacteria are quite hardy. Can someone please shed some light on this subject with a little science? I am not trying to step on anyones toes, I just like to know exactly why things work and not just blindly do things.
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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Originally Posted by tachikoma View Post
I am not an expert here, but the general logic here seems flawed. If the bleach is so effective I imagine the plants themselves would die. Since the plants do not die, I am sure many bacteria must survive. Especially since many bacteria are quite hardy. Can someone please shed some light on this subject with a little science? I am not trying to step on anyones toes, I just like to know exactly why things work and not just blindly do things.
I'm not an expert, but bacteria cell walls and plant cell walls have differering structures. The plant cell wall is more rigid and lets in chemicals more slowly than a bacteria would, which has a far more permeable cell wall. Thus, it is more likely that the bleach would 'burn' the bacteria far more easily than it would 'burn' a plant---but the hardiness of the plant against bleach usually has to do with its structure.

A plant with fine fronds, leaves or thin foliage will probably get very damaged by bleach solutions---this includes mosses, ferns and insect-eating plants. Mosses and carnivorous plants are more drastically affected by things that touch them.
A plant with more rigid leaves like gesneriads, bromeliads, begonias, etc., will hold up better to bleaching.
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by dartboi101 View Post
Hey everyone!

I was wondering how everyone used there bleach solutions when soaking the plants, and because it is bleach wouldnt it kill the plant?

And also where can i get 10% bleach cuz i have never herd of it!
You would have to use math to figure it out---mix 5% of bleach with 95% distilled water, and 10-15 seconds is usually the max safe exposure for thick-leaved plants...
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

10-15 seconds isn't gonna take care of the bugs. Maybe you meant to say, 10-15 minutes?

A lot of bacteria and tiny, simple creatures die from just a rapid pH change. Fresh air to submerged in bleach will do in many bacteria.

Bleach is also great against many species of fungi, 1 being Chytrid. I had an article with the effectiveness of bleach on Chytrid but it escapes me at the moment. I'll post it when I find it.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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Originally Posted by earthfrog View Post
A plant with fine fronds, leaves or thin foliage will probably get very damaged by bleach solutions---this includes mosses, ferns and insect-eating plants. Mosses and carnivorous plants are more drastically affected by things that touch them.
A plant with more rigid leaves like gesneriads, bromeliads, begonias, etc., will hold up better to bleaching.
Hopefully not to hijack the thread, how would you deal with mosses, ferns and insect eating plants? Simply dilute the solution more (say 2%?)?
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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Originally Posted by Nevermore View Post
Hopefully not to hijack the thread, how would you deal with mosses, ferns and insect eating plants? Simply dilute the solution more (say 2%?)?
Moss and most ferns are ok in 10%... 3 mins in 10%. Someone else will need to chime in for insect eating plants.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

Ahh sounds good to me. (.^_^.) Thanks for clearing it up for me.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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Originally Posted by Frogtofall View Post
10-15 seconds isn't gonna take care of the bugs. Maybe you meant to say, 10-15 minutes?

A lot of bacteria and tiny, simple creatures die from just a rapid pH change. Fresh air to submerged in bleach will do in many bacteria.

Bleach is also great against many species of fungi, 1 being Chytrid. I had an article with the effectiveness of bleach on Chytrid but it escapes me at the moment. I'll post it when I find it.
No, I don't view sterilization as a means to kill everything---mainly the bacteria and harmful parasites---I think one should use discretion as to how long to submerge the plants based upon where they purchased them---from an organic plant farm, or from a fellow frogger, for instance---and determine the risk that new additions present to an established viv.
That's just my philosophy---if there are bugs on the plants that are not destroyed by my rinsing the plant thoroughly for 10 minutes, removing the shipping substrate and rinsing the roots, hand scrubbing and finally a dip in bleach water, then more power to them---most of the 'pest' type creatures are destroyed within a couple of minutes anyway---but if your aim is to merely sanitize for bacterial hazards, a short dip is all you need.
I have had some plants die after only a minute of bleaching, so I only expose them as long as they can handle...it's different for every plant.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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Originally Posted by Nevermore View Post
Hopefully not to hijack the thread, how would you deal with mosses, ferns and insect eating plants? Simply dilute the solution more (say 2%?)?
In my experience, some mosses don't make it in bleach---either for 10 seconds or 2 minutes. It might be better to just leave them be since a moss should not be allowed to dry out completely, or it will die, and in order for bleach to become inert in tanks, it needs to dry out before being introduced to the viv, or the frogs will be exposed to it as well. So, either kill most of the moss by letting it dry out, or leave bleach water in the moss---I prefer to leave it the way it is, but be selective about where I buy my moss.
You could test it out on smaller specimens to see how they fare---but different plants behave differently with bleach----spikemoss seems to do OK with a dip in bleach b/c of its structure----riccia, sphagnum and pillow moss are fragile---it's a touch-and-go thing---experimentation is key here.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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Someone else will need to chime in for insect eating plants.
Bleach cannot be used on insect-eating plants---neither can tap water. Both can severely damage or kill the plant.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:06 PM
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Bleach cannot be used on insect-eating plants---neither can tap water. Both can severely damage or kill the plant.
I watered my Neps (when I had them) with tap water every day and had no problems. Where are you getting this info from?

I could see for things like Bladderworts...
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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In my experience, some mosses don't make it in bleach---either for 10 seconds or 2 minutes.
I probably should have clairified... Our moss (the kind we sell online) does fine with 3 mins @ 10%. It looses a touch of green - but it recovers within a week or so.

Spanish moss does fine 10% for 2-3 mins.

Also in one of our other threads - "Moss Experiments" - we did pillow moss in different percentages of bleach... Again - 10% @ 3:00 mins was fine.

I have little/no experience with most other types. Those three - I can offer good info tho.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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Originally Posted by Frogtofall View Post
I watered my Neps (when I had them) with tap water every day and had no problems. Where are you getting this info from?

I could see for things like Bladderworts...
Check out petflytrap.com Home Page and review the care sheets for insect-eating plants---the Neps won't be vulnerable like the Sundews and others that are more porous---the risk is that the water can have harmful chemicals and microbes that would be more easily absorbed into so porous a plant.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:27 AM
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I probably should have clairified... Our moss (the kind we sell online) does fine with 3 mins @ 10%. It looses a touch of green - but it recovers within a week or so.

Spanish moss does fine 10% for 2-3 mins.

Also in one of our other threads - "Moss Experiments" - we did pillow moss in different percentages of bleach... Again - 10% @ 3:00 mins was fine.

I have little/no experience with most other types. Those three - I can offer good info tho.

Thanks---I have not tried pillow moss yet---will soon, though.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:04 AM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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Originally Posted by earthfrog View Post
Bleach cannot be used on insect-eating plants---neither can tap water. Both can severely damage or kill the plant.
I recently put a N. Ventricosa through a 10% solution for 20 min (meant to do 10 min, but got sidetracked), followed by a tap water rinse, and it came out just fine with no damage to the foliage. I would guess that most common Nepenthes with similar leaves would tolerate sanitizing just as well.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:23 AM
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I recently put a N. Ventricosa through a 10% solution for 20 min (meant to do 10 min, but got sidetracked), followed by a tap water rinse, and it came out just fine with no damage to the foliage. I would guess that most common Nepenthes with similar leaves would tolerate sanitizing just as well.
I was referring to sundews and ones that consume insects on the surface of their leaves---sorry I wasn't specific.
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

Would a 10% bleach rinse followed by tap water be more effective at removing pesticides than regular tap water, and about how long should it be?
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: 10% Bleach Solution

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I was referring to sundews and ones that consume insects on the surface of their leaves---sorry I wasn't specific.
Long term exposure to mineral buildup is the reason people use RO/Distilled etc with Carniverous plants, tap etc can be used for a short time but then repotting is needed. If there is a concern with respect to sundews and most other cps then taking a leaf cutting will result in a new plant(s) (with only a few exceptions like D. regia) from which a clean cutting can be taken and grown for the terraria.


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