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Do you, or would you, bleach your Java Moss prior to using it?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've done some searching and wondered what the importance of bleaching Java Moss might be? What does it protect from, etc? I've used it in the past, never bleaching it, with no problems. But with all the people writing about using bleach solutions I'm wondering if I've been taking my chances (or if I've just been lucky).

I guess I'm really asking is bleaching absolutely necessary or is it simply something people do just to be careful.
 

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It is used to kill harmful bacteria. I believe it is a 1:10 ratio of bleach to water. But do a search and you will find the correct ratio.
 

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This is kind of a grey area. Sure you can sterilize your moss, but what about the bacteria that might inhabit your substrate? your plants? And if you do sterilize all that throught heat/chemicals, there won't be any microorganisms left to break down decaying material, leading to a potentially worse situation in the long run. I personally don't sterilize anything other than driftwood that I get from the beach or materials that I collect locally (rocks, wood) I just make sure that my animals are tested/clean before I allow them into the tank so that they don't introduce any host specific organisms. But to each his own.
 

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Bleaching live plants has helped clean algae off of older leaves. I witnessed a friend bleach his plants to rid the tank of a pursistant hair algae. The plants were soaked in a 1:10 bleach/water and there was little die off of the plant other than the algae dying. This may only be beneficial to kill off pesky snails normally found in the java moss, but probably overkill for frogging purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Frogkid.

I'm talking about using bleach for cleaning/sterilizing purposes...I've never even considered it, but I've read lots of stuff posts about nematodes, cytrid, etc, coming in on mosses, plants, wood, dirt, etc.

I've always used stuff from the wild, and sometimes there have been little worms that crawl up the glass, but I've gotten good eggs and have never had anything bad happen with using wild stuff in my tanks.
 

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Yeah, I had a similiar question. When I got my leaf chameleons about 1 1/2 years ago I put them in my spare plant tank and now I would like to use some of those plants for a frog tank. I would normally go out and buy new plants, but these plants were kind of pricey and I'd rather be able to use them. None of the chameleons have died but I can assume that they have parasites since they are from the wild. I too considered using a mild bleach solution for sterilizing the plants but heard that might cause them to die. Does anyone have any methods of sterilizing terrestrial plants that has better odds of the plants surviving?

thanks,
Dustin
 

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I have used a 1:4 bleach to H2O solution on Java, Pothos, Ficus pumila, Neoregelia, Selaginella, and some orchids with no ill effects (knock on wood). I do it just as a precaution to prevent any cross-contamination from soils (yes, chytrid is endemic to the Midwest); but I do NOT soak for more than 15 minutes (tops), and the plants are then rinsed and soaked with clean RO water, with the bowl being flushed and refilled 4-5 times over a 12 hour period to remove any bleach residue.

Maybe overkill, and it may be too much for some plants, but that is what I do. I also boil the coco husk chips that I use for substrate. As for bacteria being eliminated in the system, they will certainly recolonize. I will admit that I have not had the stomach to do the bleach treatment on some of my more expensive orchids, though. :shock:
 

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Thanks Homer, that helps answer my question. This may be a stupid follow up question, but do you use any special kind of bleach? And you say 15 minutes at the most for soacking, would about 5 minutes do the job?

Thanks,
Dustin
 

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A good solution is 1:24 or even 1:19 if you want stronger. More bleach than this usually severaly stunts the growth of plants and/or kills them. I haven't done it, but i don't think java moss would live through bleaching...it's pretty fragile...
 

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Darks!de said:
A good solution is 1:24 or even 1:19 if you want stronger. More bleach than this usually severaly stunts the growth of plants and/or kills them. I haven't done it, but i don't think java moss would live through bleaching...it's pretty fragile...
I have never had a problem with stunting, and I have never had a problem with Java moss dying after the 1:4 treatment. However, I think you are correct in being cautious. Bleach is a caustic agent . . . but too weak a solution will elicit no response. As for the brand, I simply use the generic Wal-Mart brand.
 

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As I've stated in other posts...I've never been a fan of sterilizing everything...until I noticed nematodes eating my imitator eggs!
I'm pretty sure the nematodes came from locally gathered spagnum.
I've used the bleach treatment on the Java moss that I am using for new tanks. The moss looks real crappy for the first few days after the treatment, but after that, it sprouts new growth, and looks great.
 
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