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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-23-2007, 06:05 PM
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Default The Nightmare of Scale

Or: Robert Rodriguez presents--"Scale in the Terrarium II"

Okay, I got to thinking--this ain't for the faint of heart--consider the following:

You don't have a 10gal vert or even an Exoterra tank. You have a wall, an enclosure, that may encompass 125-150 gal, overrun with bromeliads, orchids, peperomias, ferns, etc; Your frogs are F3--maybe F4.

Your enclosure is so $%#@* cool that E.O. Wilson and Ron Gagliardo make like Wayne & Garth ("We're not worthy") whenever they see it. The Dalai Lama asks YOU for enlightenment. You with me, sweetheart?

Then one day, the unthinkable, the unconscionable, the unmentionable: The nutjob creationist Republicans along with the Islamist terrorists and the pseudo-zombies that ate Ving Rhames ally with Magneto---and they successfully introduce scale into your enclosure.

What to do?

I have actually been advised that, in a tank that is this old and established, one has to actually remove the affected plants--yes, and risk shocking them. Byron Martin (Logee's) does not believe there is any way to treat a whole tank and not potentially harm animals.

--The alcohol-swab method? Won't get the eggs.
--Neem oil? Toxic to frogs.

So--Is there any chemical that will kill scale that can be used, and have the frogs reintroduced a couple of weeks later?

Or any biological control? An analogue to Pinguicula for aphids?

I have heard of using dry ice to suffocate them--anyone with any experience?

Here is what I have noticed, and some this may be obvious:

--Scale will not bother soft-leaved plants if given a choice. They do not favor begonias or gesneriads.
--I have seen it rarely, but if given a choice, they seem to prefer hard-leaved plants such as aroids and agraecoid orchids.
--I have never seen a scale on a bromeliad, or for that matter, any neotropical plant. The two times I had it, it bothered my Dwarf Scheffelra, Angraecum elaphantinum, Anubias and Schismattoglottis. They ignored everything else.

I was able to wash the little bastards off with soapy water--it took 3X.

But to reiterate, I ain't taking about small plants on mounts that can be readily removed. I am speculating about five year old plants that have grown into the walls of your enclosure--think anthurium, or vanilla, or Amydrium, or anything else both spectacular and expensive...

So, without calling Gandalf, what could one do?!?
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:18 PM
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Ok, so I am assuming that this inclosure is ff proof, so a biological may work. If they are a soft scale, then the predatory wasp, Metaphycus helvolus, should work. Here is a site that gives a listing of natural predators... http://www.co.allen.in.us/images/storie ... /ach48.pdf Now where you can find some of those... that is the question. This site seems to have someplace you can write to get them.
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:20 PM
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And just to add, it may take a couple of weeks, but from what I have seen, if you release enough of these guys they are VERY affective.
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:03 PM
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I vote for removing the animals, sealing the viv and then using the Dry Ice method. Logically it should work since those little bastards do respirate.

I've seen scale on bromeliads in my collection. Bleach/water sol. fixes them up REAL nice like... :twisted: Granted, this is BEFORE you put them in the viv... Hehe.

Good luck.
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:02 PM
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Do the dry ice thing, and then let us know how it works. I hate scale! Here is how Marty did it http://www.orchidboard.com/node/5

Remember to let the C02 displace the air and keep the tank dark to prevent photosynthesis.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:04 AM
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I have had minimal scale on my anthurium and syngonium in my 55 gallon tank. The tank is two years old. I resorted to picking them off each leaf, and after doing it everyday for 2 months, I only occasionally see them.


Okay, I'm glad to hear the CO2 method might work for these guys. I figured they could bunker down and weather the asfixia.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:00 PM
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Not sure it will work but it is worth a try. It will probably have to be done more than once as I doubt the eggs need that much O2.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:14 PM
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Default uh.....

Quote:
The nutjob creationist Republicans along with the Islamist terrorists and the pseudo-zombies that ate Ving Rhames ally with Magneto

Put this post in the top 10 most humorous posts 2007.....not sure what scale is but boy is this post funny to read. :lol:
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:07 PM
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Well scale is sorta like this:
If you are a republican it's like surfing through the channels and stumbling upon The Daily Show. It seems to suck the life out of you and you turn the channel.
If you are a democrat it's like surfing through the channels and stumbling upon Fox News. It seems it is sucking the life out of you and you turn the channel.
If you are independent it's like surfing through the channels and stumbling upon anything political. It all sucks the life out of you!

I agree, George can turn a story for sure.

PS. I get all my news from The Daily Show. 8)
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:54 PM
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Default This is cool

Thanks ppayes and Harry, for the compliment

Now I just wanted to reiterate: I am not claiming that neotropical plants do not get scale--just that in 21 years, I have not seen it (and thank G_d).

--Does "ff" mean fruit fly?" This hypothetical enclosure is a huge tank worthy of an institution--you know, so big that you can see the roaches. Not ff proof (My tank ain't even close to ff proof, either--as it is partially screened). I take it that the suggested wasps are really small...

--Could someone please send or refer a link on the dry ice method?

Thanks,

George
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:55 PM
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Default Oops

Gotcha--thanks Chris!
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:40 PM
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No problem, you are going to have to seal the tank though.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:48 PM
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It seems to me that if the air is to be replaced it needs a place to escape so I think you will have to have a place for it to excape. Not totally sealed.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:13 PM
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You started it...big tank.....commited to an institution ect......now go get the digital camera and lets see the viv.....and the criminal case o' scale.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:50 AM
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I think that would make sense Harry especially with CO2 being heavier than air, the rest has to have somewhere to go.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:36 PM
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hey quick question: What is scale?

I tried the search function with no luck. Thanks
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:00 PM
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The problem with using the CO2 method with a really established set up is that you're going to kill everything else (micro fauna) that is no doubt thriving. I don't think I'd do it unless the infestation was just massive.

What I would do - and have done is remove every scale I could find with a cotton ball, or dab it w/ alchol with a q-tip if I could not really get at it. I'd do it until there were no more. I don't know how practical this would be for you, but I went through this w/ a heavily planted, well established 65 gal that I refused to sufficate or dismantle. It took several months (maybe even longer), and to be sure it was a laborious task, but I haven't seen scale in there for 2 years.

Oh, and yes, scale will attack broms too!

Bon chance!
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:22 PM
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Default To clarify

1) Ppayes,

If you read my original post, the scenario is a pure hypothetical--a fantasy. The reason I posted it is because I realize that many people keep smaller tanks, with plants that more easily be removed. I myself once had an experience similar to Khamul's, but I resorted to removing the plants and using soapy water.

This all got me to thinking, "what would one do in a HUGE enclosure?" I just could not bring myself to post something as straightforward as:

"Hey guys, who does one get rid of scale?"

:wink:
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:37 PM
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Ha! I'm just not that sharp :? . Somehow I didn't get that this scenario was hypothetical! I was actually pretty bummed for you :? . Glad you're not living the "Nightmare of Scale."
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:47 PM
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Oh, this was hypothetical!! I thought you were acting like Sophi Petrillo (Golden Girls) and saying :Picture it, Sicily 1922 etc....
But in this case it was:
Picture it, 130-150 gallon viv, with mature plants about to be destroyed by scale. Lol. glad you are not infested though.
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:28 PM
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I present to you... scale on a bromeliad!



Given a choice in the tank of godliness, they would probably migrate, but I've obviously not been as lucky as you with the scale thing

Yes, the microfauna deal sucks... but if you really love this tank, it's likely worth the destruction. Especially if you take the time to pull microfauna samples out of the tank and culture them... you can reintroduce them again into the same spots you pulled the originals from after the tank is taken care of. They would need a few weeks before frogs were added again to recoup, but it would be worth it.

The tank doesn't need to be air tight, you can always wrap it in plastic or something to make it temperarily air tight, then unwrap it after you've let it sit long enough to let the CO2 just dribble away.

This is also a reason why you should be a clean plant OCD when starting a project like this. Likely you wouldn't have this problem if you treated and grew out your plants a bit before putting them in the tank... the brom with scale above showed that much scale, from nothing noticable, in about two weeks.
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:28 PM
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Crap, I just looked on my brom and it looks like it has scale. Little dots that look like dried specks of mud. Sound right? I just thought it was dirt that the came off the frogs as they climbed over the brom. I don't see it on any other plant though.

I'm going to try dry ice. I only have one brom so I don't want to lose it!
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