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The safest process is to use NEHERP's processing procedure to remove most potential pests, closely inspect both the plant and whatever you soaked it in for pests, and then monitor the plants in a quarantine area for about a month.

I mostly grow orchids and other sensitive plants so I usually use the process for sensitive flora. I haven't found a plant that has a bad reaction to soaking overnight in distilled/RO, room temperature water.

However, soaking overnight will do nothing to eliminate adult scale, so I make sure my visual inspection includes peeking in between tight leaves, sensitive new growth, etc.
 

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For more sensitive plants you can also pre-soak in RO water for 12-24 hours so the plants are less likely to absorb "cleaning" chemicals.

Then add H2O2 to get to a 0.1-0.25% solution and let sit for 30-45 mins.

Finally add a dash of bleach (1-2% max) if you want to be really sure... and leave sitting for a minute or two.

Then rinse thoroughly. Really thoroughly.

Works fine for me, even with some really sensitive orchids
 

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I'd be curious to do a test on some known and common pests -- snails, slugs, predatory flatworms -- with some of these protocols. I once tried killing predatory flatworms with 10ml bleach/gal water (dish disinfection ratio) and was unsuccessful after 10 minutes.

Then add H2O2 to get to a 0.1-0.25% solution and let sit for 30-45 mins.
That is not, to my knowledge, an established ratio for killing frog chytrid -- 1% for 10 minutes is what I've read, e.g. here.

Soaking in water for any length of time isn't going to kill any pests (OK, maybe spider mites, but those aren't a pest in vivs).
 

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That is not, to my knowledge, an established ratio for killing frog chytrid -- 1% for 10 minutes is what I've read, e.g. here.

Soaking in water for any length of time isn't going to kill any pests (OK, maybe spider mites, but those aren't a pest in vivs).
Yes sorry - my statement was meant for super delicate orchids which would have a lower risk. Totally agree that as your plants / orchids get hardier you can (and should) increase the concentration of H2O2 and / or bleach. Especially if they could have more serious diseases / pests.
 

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Soaking in water for any length of time isn't going to kill any pests (OK, maybe spider mites, but those aren't a pest in vivs).
I don’t know about killing things, but it tends to reveal and remove things - at least plant pests, can’t speak to frog-specific pests. I have found various pests on the surface of the water after soaking a plant overnight including snails, mealybugs, and mites. Once I’m aware of the presence of a pest, I follow whatever my usual protocols are for quarantining the plant and treating it, which might differ from protocols when it's going into a dart frog tank.

And no way am I going to risk bleach treating my $40 fancy mini Dendrobium, but people whose main focus is frogs may have a different perspective on both which plants to buy and how to make them safe for the frogs.
 

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Is there evidence that a bleach dip is harder on orchids than other plants?

There are plenty of threads here that suggest it isn't (one exception was noted in the second thread linked):





 

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And no way am I going to risk bleach treating my $40 fancy mini Dendrobium, but people whose main focus is frogs may have a different perspective on both which plants to buy and how to make them safe for the frogs.
You’ve commented on this so this is kind of a no-brainer and this is also kind of an example but here’s how to sterilize delicate orchids to all the newbies:
Bleaching delicate orchids is your call though. IMO, I’d wash it with the techniques shown in the thread above.

(this is for people including me who also didn’t read this thread ;))
 

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Is there evidence that a bleach dip is harder on orchids than other plants?

There are plenty of threads here that suggest it isn't (one exception was noted in the second thread linked):
And one that suggests it is:

Searching the internet in general and Orchidboard specifically doesn't yield much, because as far as I can tell this is not a treatment that home orchid growers (as opposed to vivarium orchid growers) use - orchid growers will recommend Bonide, Physan 20, Phyton 27 or Neem oil to deal with specific pests, which I personally use but are probably unusable here due to their impacts on frogs. Bleach would deal with some of those plant pests, but I feel dubious that a bleach dip would deal with the waxy carapace of an adult scale bug - supposedly soap as a surfactant will help. I did find a thread on Orchidboard suggesting that fungal infections can be internal and an external application of bleach might not help there either.

Orchids are certainly fussier than a lot of other plants, and especially Pleurothallids have a tendency to drop leaves at the drop of a hat due to environmental stressors. I would think bleach is very likely an environmental stressor, but since I haven't researched the effect of bleach on plant tissue extensively nor have I tried bleaching any of my orchids I can't say for certain. So...if people want to try it, go for it. Seems like having enough of the orchid to have a division and trying it on the division is a particularly safe route.
 

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One of my vivs has some gross worms in it -- I've never properly been able to ID them (googling / searching dendroard leads me to guess "nemerteans" or "Prostoma canadiensis")
For science... I captured some of them and tested that just a few drops of bleach in 1 cup of water is enough to kill them in less than a minute. I felt a bit like an evil scientist / torturer, in the best way possible -- screw those things!

The worms look something similar to the worms in the video "prostoma canadiensis" here: My oddballs - Terrestrial nemerteans and flatworms

I'd be curious to do a test on some known and common pests -- snails, slugs, predatory flatworms -- with some of these protocols. I once tried killing predatory flatworms with 10ml bleach/gal water (dish disinfection ratio) and was unsuccessful after 10 minutes.



That is not, to my knowledge, an established ratio for killing frog chytrid -- 1% for 10 minutes is what I've read, e.g. here.

Soaking in water for any length of time isn't going to kill any pests (OK, maybe spider mites, but those aren't a pest in vivs).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So this is what I have been doing with the plants that I do have.

  • Rinse the soil from the roots.
  • Soak in water for one to two hours.
  • Soak in one part bleach and 4 parts water for a timed 3 minuets.
  • Rinse in water until the bleach smell is gone.
  • re-pot in ABG and a clean pot.
  • Let sit for 4 to 6 weeks.
I have done this with more hardy plants because I'm just jumping back in. I would rather prune every few weeks and have healthy plants. Also if no animal is going in there. Can I just plant it with out a 4 to 6 weeks quarantine period? I have a 12x12x18 that is ready for plants but I'm not putting animals in it. This is just a "get my feet wet" viv. I have a 18x18,24 viv that I'm going to be building for frogs at the end of March beginning of April. Whenever the supplies I ordered comes in.
 
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