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Old 11-05-2013, 12:41 AM
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Default Sterilize plants with bleach

If you do a 20 minute 5% bleach dip on plants, this will not kill the plant, presumably because it is a large organism and can handles some death on the outside surface. So will it even kill things like slug eggs or nemertean worms?
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

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If you do a 20 minute 5% bleach dip on plants, this will not kill the plant, presumably because it is a large organism and can handles some death on the outside surface. So will it even kill things like slug eggs or nemertean worms?
It won't kill the plant because the plant is fully hydrated if you take the proper steps, and therefore will not absorb any of the bleach solution. It will kill live bugs, although some eggs are tougher to kill. Which ones in particular, I am not to certain...
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:50 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Well that pretty much makes keeping a viv clean impossible. Already went the CO2 route it doesn't work.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:23 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

I do a 10% dip for 10 minutes. That is 9 cups of water to 1 cup of bleach. As previously mentioned, soak the plants in fresh water first to insure that they are fully hydrated. I usually soak them for about 15 minutes in fresh water. After your 10 minute bleach dip, I rinse them VERY well with room temperature tap water.
So far, I have never found a Nemertean in any of my vivs. I don't use a lot of broms though, and Ed has stated it is possible that Nemerteans may survive a bleach dip if they were down deep enough in the brom, where the leaves overlap tightly.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

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I do a 10% dip for 10 minutes. That is 9 cups of water to 1 cup of bleach. As previously mentioned, soak the plants in fresh water first to insure that they are fully hydrated. I usually soak them for about 15 minutes in fresh water. After your 10 minute bleach dip, I rinse them VERY well with room temperature tap water.
So far, I have never found a Nemertean in any of my vivs. I don't use a lot of broms though, and Ed has stated it is possible that Nemerteans may survive a bleach dip if they were down deep enough in the brom, where the leaves overlap tightly.
Could you soak the brom over night in water to drown the eggs?
Pub, what specific pests are you dealing with?
I have bleach treated all of my plants and have not had any issues to date.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Every time I see a bleach thread, I cringe!!!! The fumes are hazardous, and it really is a nasty chemical! It took years to convince the hatcheries we worked with to stop using it. If you must use an oxidizer, potassium permanganate is a much SAFER way to disinfect your plants. An EVEN SAFER way is to use a mild dilution of dish soap to wash the plant, rinse well and set the plants in direct sunlight for a few hours or longer. You can't beat UV for disinfection! The last method of dish soap and sun is the method I use.

I have used, Physan 20 in the past to disinfect rare plants that were contaminated, namely orchids. It will kill everything as it is an algaecide,
Fungicide and virucide. But you must rinse, rinse and rinse some more, then allow the plant to completely dry before planting in a viv. It is sold by hydroponic sites/stores.

I discussed the use of bleach with my vet, Dr Cord Offermann who is probably the leading expert on Asian turtle species. He agreed that bleach is not the best choice to use around a delicate dart frog with semi permeable skin, and does not recommend it's use.

Another method is 3% hydrogen peroxide, but I still prefer mild dish soap and good ole UV.

Just my 2 cents.

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Old 11-05-2013, 04:17 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Sooooo........ KMNO4 is indeed a good method for treating for several things. We used to use it l the time in the fisheries business. However, it's not great for others, likewise 3% peroxide- totally worthless for killing spores of all kinds.
UV in the sun on an average day? Nope, not nearly enough. Thymine dimer formation in bacteria requires more than a little sun tanning. The complete drying is a more effective killer in that instance. Complete dryness, however,
Is a serious killer of many delicate plants.

Bleach readily degrades, is easy to dilute and wash away, is cheap and easy to handle, despite the fumes ( use your brains folks) and in multiple kill test trials carried out at the lab I work at, is a better generalized killer than a lot of other options ( focusing on bacteria and yeast/ fungi)



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Old 11-05-2013, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

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Sooooo........ KMNO4 is indeed a good method for treating for several things. We used to use it l the time in the fisheries business. However, it's not great for others, likewise 3% peroxide- totally worthless for killing spores of all kinds.
UV in the sun on an average day? Nope, not nearly enough. Thymine dimer formation in bacteria requires more than a little sun tanning. The complete drying is a more effective killer in that instance. Complete dryness, however,
Is a serious killer of many delicate plants.

Bleach readily degrades, is easy to dilute and wash away, is cheap and easy to handle, despite the fumes ( use your brains folks) and in multiple kill test trials carried out at the lab I work at, is a better generalized killer than a lot of other options ( focusing on bacteria and yeast/ fungi)
Bleach fumes are toxic? So I shouldn't be sniffing my plants to see if there is any bleach left over?
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:21 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Toxic......I'd classify it as a mild irritant in small doses. Sniffing rinsed plants is fine



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Old 11-05-2013, 04:42 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

It should be noted that no one chemical or compound kills everything. I just shared what I personally use, with the diluted dish soap first, then sun. If your aim is to nuke the plants then Physan 20 would be your best alternative. Bleach can be a good disinfectant, but it still does not kill everything.

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Old 11-05-2013, 04:48 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Physan 20 is super strong

You're right, no one method kills everything.



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Old 11-05-2013, 07:17 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

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Originally Posted by Pumilo View Post
I do a 10% dip for 10 minutes. That is 9 cups of water to 1 cup of bleach. As previously mentioned, soak the plants in fresh water first to insure that they are fully hydrated. I usually soak them for about 15 minutes in fresh water. After your 10 minute bleach dip, I rinse them VERY well with room temperature tap water.
So far, I have never found a Nemertean in any of my vivs. I don't use a lot of broms though, and Ed has stated it is possible that Nemerteans may survive a bleach dip if they were down deep enough in the brom, where the leaves overlap tightly.
Do you have nematodes in your vis?
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Yes, nematodes are everywhere. I really don't believe you'll ever eliminate nemotodes and I don't know why you would want to. Most nemotodes are harmless. Some can be beneficial. Sorry I don't have the time to look up links for you, but I've looked into nemotodes. For the most part, they are harmless scavengers, and if anything, beneficial cleaners. They get a bad rap for eating eggs, but they don't KILL eggs, they eat DEAD eggs and clean up the mess.

Clarification for others reading this. Nemerteans are different from Nematodes. Nematodes are predominantly harmless. Nemerteans are the devil himself! Nemerteans will decimate your microfauna, particularly your springtail population. They will eventually reach populations where they begin to compete with your frogs for the live flies! A worm... stealing dinner from your frogs. Oh, did I mention that he reproduces quickly, spreads from tank to tank, and has no known, controls effective in a frog viv?
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

In this regard, as Pumilo said, nematodes are scavengers, but nemerteans are more effective predators than frogs. I've seen them often anticipate the frog on its prey. My epips viv is full of them. I also used woodlice, as suggested elsewhere, to eliminate them, but without success! So I would like to know if SilverLynk tecnique can eliminate nemerteans and snails.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

When mentioning 20% or 10% bleach - what is the original concentration of the bleach you are diluting? Are you starting with household bleach, pool bleach or something else?

For KMNO4, what concentration is effective?
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Logan, 10mg per liter with a 10 min dip. Please be aware that it stains clothing, etc.

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Old 11-05-2013, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

While on the subject.... Would a bleach dip kill scale as well?
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

I use a bleach soak. Then I rinse well and soak again in water with dechlorinator added. Wouldn't this remove the bleach? If not, surely it is neutralized with time?

d.crockett, I am no plant or bleach expert, but, I have had scale return on broms that were treated with bleach.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganR View Post
When mentioning 20% or 10% bleach - what is the original concentration of the bleach you are diluting? Are you starting with household bleach, pool bleach or something else?

For KMNO4, what concentration is effective?
I use cheap, household, laundry bleach. Make sure it's unscented. I've dipped hundreds of plants. Mosses don't always respond well to bleaching.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

It's not about the bleach not killing the Nemerteans. It is about the solution not being able to penetrate extremely tight brom leaves. The very structure of a brom makes for difficult penetration of whatever solution you may use.
I don't believe we will ever eliminate every pest from our vivs.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Anyone use virkon?
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

is virkon readily available to the public



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Old 11-05-2013, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

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is virkon readily available to the public
Hmmm maybe its not. I am assistant director of a public aquarium so I just get it from work. I know its expensive. But works really well. I do see it for sale online...
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

we use virkon at the lab to keep contamination down, It IS a great product, I just wonder how many of these great sterilizers are easily accessible to the hobby.

Same with LPH, I use it to treat my tank wastewater, but I get it at work.... so Im not sure of its availability



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Old 11-05-2013, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Is Virkon safe for frogs? What is LPH?
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

I use F10 for pretty much all my animal related cleaning (parrot cages, rabbit litter boxes, reptile dishes/habitats, etc.) and like it better than virkon. I haven't a used it for plants though.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

No reason to make it complicated. 5% bleach solution for ~20 mins, lots of fresh water rinses after and let air dry for a solid day. Done.

I used to do 10% but read somewhere in a couple different places that a slightly weaker solution for a longer period of time is more effective.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:19 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

5% or 10%? 10 or 20 minutes?
I used 5% solution for 10 minutes and just today I discovered a nemertean on the glass in my Almirante viv. I do not know how to do ... Bleach and water, boiled leaves of the litter ... Despite this: nemertean! Sucks!
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Just checking through some stuff.... Ed had already pointed out that anything with a surfactant residue (soap) or any other residue (Physan 20) is unsafe for use with dendrobatids (specifically but probably frogs in general).

The things that leave residue can sit within crevices of the plant (where brom leaves meet) and stick around. Bleach or ammonia will evaporate and/or deactivate eventually (quickly) when in contact with organics (meaning any decent length of time before adding frogs). I could just imagine the tiniest drop... something you couldn't produce easily (because soap sticks together so well) being placed on a frog's back and covering it like an oil slick. The frog might just die from not being able to gas exchange.

I'm still considering what's best but I'm generally thinking that bleach/rinse is the best way to go with plants.

Nothing wrong with bleach just use gloves and don't inhale mass amounts.

I'm just about to start two big vivs and I'm terrified of getting them completely done and having some sort of springtail killing egg eating things pop up so I'm back to checking into what the best ways to sterilize things are. Like Ed has said in the past, I don't want to completely kill off any beneficial bacterium so that harmful ones can take over. But this is about plants and bleach is good.

I'd personally make sure all of the dirt is removed from the roots of the plants by rinsing and pulling it out where you can because it'll deactivate the bleach.

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Old 01-18-2014, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

I've been bleach-treating my broms upside-down to avoid bleach getting deep in the leaf crevices. What are peoples thoughts on this?

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Old 01-18-2014, 06:07 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

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I've been bleach-treating my broms upside-down to avoid bleach getting deep in the leaf crevices. What are peoples thoughts on this?

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You want the bleach to get deep into the crevices. As Frogparty has said, he's bleached the most delicate orchids right down to the roots and never had a problem. Bleach isn't going to harm a plant it has a waxy cuticle and generally does fine regardless. I'd soak them in water for a good while (look up the exact amt of time) so that it pulls in as much water as possible (ro water or a jug of 1 dollar distilled) so that the bleach doesn't get sucked into the plant and disinfects the surfaces.

I'm not much of a botanist but don't plants usually open their stoma for gas exchange when the sun is out and it's dry (not when it's wet and dark)?

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Old 01-18-2014, 06:09 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Ok, my fear was that the bleach would hang out in the axils and harm the frogs when they went for a soak. Any source that says how long it takes to evaporate?
I've also just been soaking roots- does everyone soak the entire plant?

Edit: soaking the roots in water before bleach.

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Old 01-18-2014, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Step 1- soak the ENTIRE PLANT in water forn20 minutes
Step 2- soak the ENTIRE PLANT in bleach (5%,20min) soaking broms upside down to prevent bleach going deep in the axils is basically wasting your time. Deep in the axil is the MOST important place to get sterilized!!!!!!!!
Step 3- vigorous rinsing with water,
Step 4- repeat rinse, then full immersion in water 20 min
Step 5- air dry 24 hrs



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Old 01-18-2014, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

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Ok, my fear was that the bleach would hang out in the axils and harm the frogs when they went for a soak. Any source that says how long it takes to evaporate?
I've also just been soaking roots- does everyone soak the entire plant?

Edit: soaking the roots in water before bleach.

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It evaporates and leaves behind salt fairly quickly (about as fast as water I'd assume) so you just want to rinse it as much as you soaked it to get the salt out. You also want it to dry and then maybe another good rinse.

If Frogparty soaks orchids then yeah I'd imagine there aren't many plants that can't handle a bleach dip. Any bleach that's left behind deactivated very quickly when exposed to organics which means any bacterium or dust or whatever. If you have chunks of dirt attached to your roots (or even just a small but visible amount) it could deactivate most of your bleach solution. So, it's not going to stick around long even if some tiny amount is left after a good long post bleach soak/rinse or two.

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Old 01-18-2014, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Is it worth re-bleaching my plants, or would those parasites already be in my viv at this point?

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Old 01-18-2014, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Probably already in your viv.



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Old 01-18-2014, 06:51 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Someone bumped this so I thought I would just mention I have had a vivarium up and running for a while now.

I did a pretty extensive sterilization. Bleach plants, cooked all dry goods including ABG mix at 250F to 350F for hours. The only thing I could not treat was the vivarium and background. I put a ton of isopropanol in there for a while, then did vinegar. And let it dry for several weeks. The other thing is every plant I put in the tank was reduced to a very small plant or cutting. Hardly any leaves. There were a couple exceptions like the ciccus amazonica I was worried I would lose it had some roots. When I finally put the frogs in the tank I put them in a tub of spring water and tried to wash them off good before putting them in the vivarium. That really pissed them off lol. They weren't friendly to me after that, oh well fruit flies are warming them up to me again.

The good news, there isn't much in the tank now, I have not even seen 1 nematode in 2 months. Mostly just what I put in there or can fly in from the outside. So that is the kind of work you will need to put into it in order to just maybe have some control over what makes it into the tank. The whole process will certainly slow you down the plants are so small still some didn't make it, the bleaching process was pretty brutal on them. But some of them bounced back and are growing.

On the other hand it has an odd smell. Cooking the ABG definitely made everything smell different. Good or bad? I don't know it. I don't even have any decent mites in there for the frogs to feast on but I am happy that its not crawling with slugs, nemerteans, and everything else.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Anyone ever rinse with a dechlorinator such as searched prime after a treatment?
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Sterilize plants with bleach

Yes, that is a good thing to do.

So far I've been playing around with 10% for 10 minutes...I may try 5% for 20. I have had some plants(tiny peperomias) that did not seem to like the bleach and melted. I think the lower concentration for longer may be safer-or potentially shorter and lower %.

Afterwards I rinse the plants off and then add some sodium thiosulfate-or whatever dechlor you have. Then rinse that off.
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