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Hello, in some of my plants I have some random springtails that must have hitchhiked along from something or other. If I'm building a new frog tank should I just use these or should I buy a culture of springtails?
 

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Hello, in some of my plants I have some random springtails that must have hitchhiked along from something or other. If I'm building a new frog tank should I just use these or should I buy a culture of springtails?
It might take a while to get a good population going and with how inexpensive and easy they are to culture, I would recommend properly sanitizing the plants you plan to use and start a known tropical springtail culture (they are good snacks for small frogs).
 

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It might take a while to get a good population going and with how inexpensive and easy they are to culture, I would recommend properly sanitizing the plants you plan to use and start a known tropical springtail culture (they are good snacks for small frogs).
Thanks, what's a good way to sterilize the plants without killing them? Dilute bleach? I've done an Alum dip before but only for aquatic snails.
 

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Many folks on this board recommend the NE Herp santization guide as it functions as an easy-to-follow manual.

NE Herp Plant Processing

The second that I'd suggest (as I am more a visual learner) is this guide from Serpa Design (No partnership or affiliation).

Serpa Design Plant Processing

Both guides have an overlap and follow the same basic core principals. I have used both guides on some of the most sensitive plants like Macodes Petola and other Jewels, Alocasias, and Bromeliads without issue.

Best luck!
 

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Thanks, what's a good way to sterilize the plants without killing them? Dilute bleach? I've done an Alum dip before but only for aquatic snails.
Almost every plant can tolerate some amount and duration of bleach. Mosses and Selaginellas might be the exception, I haven't had good luck with either. My latest technique (and it's always evolving) has been to soak plants in distilled water for about 20 minutes, then dunk in a 5% bleach solution and monitor. If they start to have visible damage (translucence or discoloring, mostly on the thinnest leaves) I pull them, otherwise I leave them in for 10-20 minutes. Immediately after pulling I soak again in distilled water and this time I add aquarium dechloranitor.

Mosses and Selaginellas get a 24 hour alum soak, which seems to kill snails and worm-like things, and if I had frogs they would also get a sealed quarantine period to eliminate the possibility of chytrid.

I cannot speak to how many possible pests my current bleach method kills, although I'd love to do some experimentation. I can say that it probably won't kill scale, and might not kill pests that can hide deep within the axils of plants like bromeliads. The ideal technique is to bleach smaller cuttings that have less chance of harboring anything, and then grow those cuttings out in tubs or in the tank itself.
 

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I started out using hitchhiking wild springtails 20 years ago long before they were commercially available like they are today and never had problems. It’s definitely doable but I’d recommend you do a trial run with them in the tank for a few weeks before you introduce frogs to be on the safe side. As for the plants, a good rinse under cool water and a dip in a 10 percent bleach solution is generally accepted as the norm.
 

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Mosses and Selaginellas get a 24 hour alum soak, which seems to kill snails and worm-like things, and if I had frogs they would also get a sealed quarantine period to eliminate the possibility of chytrid.
A little poking around didn't get me a concentration recommendation; what is the recommended concentration and anything else a person might need to know about alum dips?
 

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A little poking around didn't get me a concentration recommendation; what is the recommended concentration and anything else a person might need to know about alum dips?
I use 3 TBSP/gallon without harming mosses, and it thoroughly killed some sort of red worms that hitchhiked on an aquatic plant, but other than that I can’t vouch for exactly what it will and won’t kill. Anecdotally, it kills snails, and I don’t have any terrestrial or aquatic snails in tanks where I have treated plants with alum before introducing them. I only have snails in one grow bin, where I quarantine plants from a vendor who I know has snails until I feel like treating them - I’m living on the edge. I think they’ve nibbled on my new Microsorum thailandicum.

Just like bleach, different places recommend different solutions and it’s a little hard to specify a “standard” amount. But alum certainly doesn’t have the lysing effect that bleach has, which can devastate single-cell thick plants.
 

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Thanks for that. :)

I think the standard bleach dip is one part 'regular disinfecting Chlorox' in 9 parts water, to be used as a 10 minute dip. That's the strongest and longest regimen, I think, but I've not had any problems with it.
 
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