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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I am freaking out because I forgot to post this question on here before, and I just got my orchids from Andy's Orchids. Crap!

Ok, so I got 4 mini orchids (species are irrelevant for this question) and they are attached to pieces of wood, with fishing line and moss. PROBLEM: I need to disinfect them to remove bugs before I put them in the tank, but I don't know if I can do the normal bleach dip. I was considering keeping at least some of the orchids attached to the stick they came on since I don't have a lot of convenient mounting locations directly in the tank. Since there is a lot of moss/roots/wood/bark, I am afraid 1. The bleach might not reach everything and 2. It might soak in and not come out when I rinse it and kill the orchid, and 3. The orchids are tiny and delicate and I am paranoid it might turn their roots or stems to mush (and one has flowers right now too)

I suppose I could remove the orchids from the stick and bleach them, but I didn't want to damage the roots...and then I'd have to disinfect the wood, too, probably by boiling it. Aaaaaaah what do i do?
 

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I'd like to hear an answer on this one too. I'll bet Frogparty will be able to help us out.
 

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Never had an issue with the 10%bleach dip. I have sterilized a lot of orchids from andys. You can do multie pure water soaks after the bleach soak if you are worried about it. I would do five minutes in the bleach, rinse rinse rinse, then soak in pure water.
 

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Hmmm try a major co2 bomb. It'll kill the buggies but the parasites might be harder. I've also used homemade colloidal silver to make a plant safe dip. Itll kill everything and it's frog safe. Collodial Silver is a super antifungal/bacterial. PM if u need a tutorial.
 

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What if they are attached to cork park or a small plank? Should they be removed first so the wood is not soaking up bleach?
 

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If you want, but I wouldnt worry about it honestly. I would NOT CO2 bomb as excessive cold is much worse than bleach on delicate roots and new foliage. I guess I have always removed andys plants before use, I soak the mount in tepid water to soften roots, then carefully remove from mount.
 

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If you want, but I wouldnt worry about it honestly. I would NOT CO2 bomb as excessive cold is much worse than bleach on delicate roots and new foliage. I guess I have always removed andys plants before use, I soak the mount in tepid water to soften roots, then carefully remove from mount.
Keep in mind that there are many sources of CO2. If they are small, then try using alkaseltzers for the CO2 source.... or even baking soda and vinegar and just place them in a container that is deep enough to let the CO2 displace the air. The reason the dry ice method is often desirable is because you can see the vapor displacing the air.

Have you considered simply quarantining the plants and dealing with the unwanteds in that manner? Unless the source of the plants has anurans in thier greenhouses, then the risk of parasites is already minimal....

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Keep in mind that there are many sources of CO2. If they are small, then try using alkaseltzers for the CO2 source.... or even baking soda and vinegar and just place them in a container that is deep enough to let the CO2 displace the air. The reason the dry ice method is often desirable is because you can see the vapor displacing the air.

Have you considered simply quarantining the plants and dealing with the unwanteds in that manner? Unless the source of the plants has anurans in thier greenhouses, then the risk of parasites is already minimal....

Ed
1. interesting idea about the co2, I never knew that was how bug bombs worked (or at least that you could use it to do that). So co2 is what kills the bugs huh? How long would the orchid and everything have to be in the co2 to make sure the bugs are dead? And does the concentration of co2 matter, does it have to be 100% co2?

2. This is for my paludarium which will in the future be housing a newt. I don't have any quarantine tanks or equipment
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you want, but I wouldnt worry about it honestly. I would NOT CO2 bomb as excessive cold is much worse than bleach on delicate roots and new foliage. I guess I have always removed andys plants before use, I soak the mount in tepid water to soften roots, then carefully remove from mount.
1. how long do you soak the mount before you remove the orchid from it?

2. have you had any problems from removing the orchid? i guess it wouldn't stunt it's growth much right? A few broken roots shouldn't be bad?

3. if i did decide to leave the orchid on the mount with moss around the roots and all that, do you think the bleach dip will get into the crannies in the moss, bark, roots, etc?...I doubt it would kill all the baddies. I guess you couldn't be sure since you've always removed the plants...also I could never know unless I saw bugs in the tank later

4. After you remove the orchid, how do you mount it in your viv? do you use fishing line, thread, something else?

I am considering removing the orchid from the mount, maybe boiling the wood, bleach dipping the plant, and reattaching it to the mount afterwards. I will look in my paludarium and see if there are any good spots to directly mount the orchids first
 

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1. how long do you soak the mount before you remove the orchid from it?

2. have you had any problems from removing the orchid? i guess it wouldn't stunt it's growth much right? A few broken roots shouldn't be bad?

3. if i did decide to leave the orchid on the mount with moss around the roots and all that, do you think the bleach dip will get into the crannies in the moss, bark, roots, etc?...I doubt it would kill all the baddies. I guess you couldn't be sure since you've always removed the plants...also I could never know unless I saw bugs in the tank later

4. After you remove the orchid, how do you mount it in your viv? do you use fishing line, thread, something else?

I am considering removing the orchid from the mount, maybe boiling the wood, bleach dipping the plant, and reattaching it to the mount afterwards. I will look in my paludarium and see if there are any good spots to directly mount the orchids first
If you go to the trouble of removing it from it's mount, why reattach it there? Go straight into your viv on a piece of corkbark background, or on a piece of ghostwood.
Common attachment methods are fishing line, plastic coated wire clips, or plastic zip ties.
 
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Bleach won't kill the crawlies. Just the pathogens. Some insect eggs are resistant to bleaches. What r u more afraid of? Bugs or Pathogens?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bleach won't kill the crawlies. Just the pathogens. Some insect eggs are resistant to bleaches. What r u more afraid of? Bugs or Pathogens?
well mostly bugs were my concern. apparently i though the bleach dip killed all that. wow.

the bugs thing is literally because i just don't want a bunch of bugs in my paludarium because A. It is open top, and B. I don't have anything in there to eat the bugs
 

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There's also alcohol and soap to weaken the outer, umm, whatevers, prior to bleach.

First I wash with soap, then I rinse with vinegar and water and then put into bleach bath, then back to rinsing.
 

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I think I've ordered three dozen orchids from andys and have NEVER seen an insect of any type on any of them. I bleach to ensure that no tree frogs in his greenhouses transfer anything to my frogs
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think I've ordered three dozen orchids from andys and have NEVER seen an insect of any type on any of them. I bleach to ensure that no tree frogs in his greenhouses transfer anything to my frogs
Andy's is definitely quality, as I can tell from my first order. The plants look great.

When I took them out of the package I peeled some bark away from one of the sticks and there was some kind of mite or something. That is certainly nothing bad, as all plants will have some kind of bug on them unless it's grown in a sterile laboratory IMO.

Anyway I just did the bleach soak, so maybe if I am lucky there are no bug eggs that you guys have been talking about that will withstand the bleach. Ha, in my dreams.
 

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Being an orchid grower who happens to have a few frogs, the idea of bleaching a plant is completely foreign to me. I guess that if your main concern is frog to frog transfer of pathogens then it makes sense, but I can't think of any other situation in which subjecting your plants to a bleach bath is advisable, there are simply better ways to handle pest and disease problems. Aside from that your plant is going to have bugs, and that's just the way life is. 99 percent of those bugs do absolutely nothing harmful to you, your frogs, or your plants (if anything they're beneficial), and if they WERE harmful bugs then Andy's wouldn't be selling those plants. Andy's is a top notch nursery. This isn't to say that one shouldn't be diligent in checking new plants for the few bugs that will damage plants, but the odds of getting them is low when purchasing from a reputable nursery. There's no reason to believe that your house is free of bugs anyway; there are literally thousands in your walls that you don't see and if your plants don't come with bugs they'll soon have some. My advice is to spare your plants and learn to live with the idea that nothing is sterile.

Oh, and beyond that, miniature orchids aren't any more delicate than large orchids. Their small size may make them harder to work with, but they will tolerate the same level of abuse, assuming that they are fully mature plants.
 

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I think most of us are more concerned with pathogens than bugs, but, some bugs we prefer to not have in our tanks; scale, ants, snails, slugs, nemerteans, etc. I became involved with frogs through the orchid boards I was hanging out on. Ironically, it was on the orchid boards that I learned about washing orchids in bleach. :p
 
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