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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I have little tiny bugs and they are killing my plants.

They are about the size of the tip of a straight-pin. Do you think if I put a couple roles of flytape in the tank, they would stick to it?

I don't have any frogs yet so nothing to worry about with that issue.

God save the plants!
 

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it will be a while.. I'm just trying to get my viv completely growig and set up first.
Too bad. Little bugs like that are a welcome plus for starting frogs in a new viv. Next question is how do you know the bugs are damaging the plants? You are probably going to need to get a good ID on the bugs before knowing what to do next.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I have rainbow saginella(or however you spell its name) which was spreading like wildfire. I put in a birdnest-fern, and then I started seeing pinpoint sized white bugs. The next thing I knew was that the saginella started to look like a skellinton. All the green leafy material was gone only the viens of the leafs remained.

I'm thinking about buying some ladybugs to put inthere and kill them off. Then when all the food is gone the ladybugs will die and fertilize the plants..

What do you think?
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I decided to use an insecticide that is targeted for these little aphid-sized bugs. I was assured by the nursery owner that it is purly organic and non-toxic to even amphibians. He said it is as safe as non-scented dish soap dilluted to a drop to a gallon of water. He told me that it works by sufficating the small insects. He said that if I use it now, before I get the frogs, and continue to water with regular water afterwards then there would be no trace of the incecticide.

Though I am a little cautaus, he seemed to know a lot about this product in particular so.. I'll use and then hold off on buying a frog for a month. I will mist with regular water for a month afterwards and I am sure it will be ok..

Wish me luck!
 

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Enigmius93 said:
Well I decided to use an insecticide that is targeted for these little aphid-sized bugs
Enigmius,

This sounds like a really bad idea. I would not use any type of insecticide in side of a vivarium that will house any type of amphibian.

Just go ahead and introduce a dart froglet or two. They will most likely feed on the insects and benefit both your plants and your frogs.

Tim
 

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Enigmius93 said:
Though I am a little cautaus, he seemed to know a lot about this product in particular so.. I'll use and then hold off on buying a frog for a month. I will mist with regular water for a month afterwards and I am sure it will be ok..

Wish me luck!
Boy, I wouldn't trust the nursery guy. It's true that if this is purely a soap which many insecticidal soaps are (you can actually make your own with ivory soap flakes) then what you propose may work but it is a HUGE risk in my opinion. If there is any systemic insecticide in the soap, or if the soap does not completely break down, the frogs may be toast. Also, just because it is organic doesn't make it safe. Remember that terribilis toxin is organic but I don't suggest eating a terribilis.

There are some other things that are a little confusing. "Tiny white bugs" don't sound consistent with an insect that would chew leaves down to the veins. What I'm actually wondering is whether your Selleginella was dying for some other reason and what you are seeing are springtails and/or mites that are simply feeding on the decomposing leaves. Most little stuff would suck the sap from the plants and cause them to go yellow and then brown, or you would see the plants wilt in some places.

I think I would just want a little more diagnosis of the problem before deciding on a treatment. Sometimes the plants we put in vivs just don't make it for whatever reason and the bugs we see on them may be because the plant is dying but not the cause of it's dying. I have no way of knowing if this is your case but it's worth figuring out. To be honest, it is really rare for bugs to kill plants in vivs. Snails, slugs, millipedes, and pillbugs have been known to completely devour certain plants but that's about it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Active ingredient

The only active ingredient in it is:
Potassium salts of fatty acids 1%

Either way I am going to wait 2 months or more before getting a frog in there and thoroughly flush it out with regular misting.
 

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Here is a pretty good breakdown of potassium fatty acids:

http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/psfatech.pdf

In summary, potassium salts can cause irritation. However, the acids generally have a half life of one day and pretty much look like they degrade after a couple of days. So, you might be ok. However, I think bbrock has a good point about figuring out what the insect is or what the root problem is. You may be killing off perfectly natural beneficial insects that aren't the cause of your plants' problems. Just spraying pesticides everywhere indiscriminately killing off whatever insects come in contact with the chemical might not be the best solution. What if the real problem is something eating the roots, or overly moist soil, or bad soil pH? Even the link above says that these insecticides vary in their effectiveness depending on the type of insect.

Finally, if you really want to make sure, I would contact the manufacturer and get and MSDS or some more detailed EPA product literature about the inactive ingredients. The rules about what to list on consumer labels provides a fair amount of latitude and there very well might be something in there that could be toxic to frogs but not required for labeling.

I think taking the time to get more information might be worth while. In the case of the fatty acids it looks like they break down naturally. However, that might not be the case with the other ingredients and you can't always just "flush" everything out of the system, especially with something as porous and with as much surface area as soil. Ever seen a site cleanup for contaminated soil? They don't just flush it. They take away a whole lot of soil and incinerate it.

Either way, please keep us posted.

Marcos
 

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Like somebody mentioned earlier, the damage on the plants are not consistent with the insect you're describing. Your description fits alot of insects, but my guess is they're probably mites. In any case, most plant attacking insects of that size pierce the stem and feed off of the plant's sap. The damage is probably due to a slug... they chomp on the leaves at night... put a peice of apple or other fruit in there and check it a day or two later and it should be there. Then you just throw it out. It's alot easier than insecticide, and way less troublesome. You won't even have to worry about side effects and you won't kill any beneficial insects. As for the tiny mites you're seeing, unless they become explosive (and I mean extremely high population) they won't cause much damage and will eventually disappear, either as your system ages, or once you introduce frogs. My vivariums often have them when they first start off...
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Or Ladykillers!

I have two types of insects in there I have identified.

One is a spidermite, the others are aphids.

I saw a place on the internet where I can buy live ladybugs. Since lady bugs eat both, I think I will give them a try.

What do you think about this method?
 

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Introducing a predator would definately be a better idea than insecticide. And like you said, once they're out of prey, they'll simply die. But if you notice any of your plants being eaten, check for slugs. Ladybugs won't touch those, and you'll have to take them out by hand.
best of luck,
mnm
 

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Re: Or Ladykillers!

Enigmius93 said:
I have two types of insects in there I have identified.

One is a spidermite, the others are aphids.

I saw a place on the internet where I can buy live ladybugs. Since lady bugs eat both, I think I will give them a try.

What do you think about this method?
I think it would be a waste of some really good frog food but wouldn't harm anything.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm trying the apple method tonight.. Hopefully the snails/slugs will be attracted to it and I can throw them out.
 
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