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Wipe Out

George Farmer

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Hi all,

I'm writing this on my phone so please excuse the brevity.

Hotweldfire - very sorry about your devastation. Thank you for dealing with the matter with wisdom by not publicly naming and shaming. Please accept my apologies for not addressing this issue before now.

The danger of Asian plants potentially causing shrimp deaths through lack of pre-cleaning etc. has been discussed before here.

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=17143&start=20

Tomorrow when I get more time I will create appropriate pinned topics to warn folk about the potential dangers of purchasing plants from retailers that import plants from Asia.

Cheers,
George
 

Piece-of-fish

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East London
I did not know it is common sense either :oops:
Maybe my shrimp affair is going too smooth so far. I tend to put everything into shrimp tanks without treatment. Will stop now.
Unfortunately stopping buying from these people will not stop the business. Their main profit I believe comes from eBay, mostly from other people reselling their plants. Biggest part of buyers are first and only time buyers. We are just a fraction of all sales.
I have a question though. What treatment would make these plants safe?
 

ghostsword

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Cape Town, South Africa
I learned it last year when at vivarium, Claus Christensen did a talk about it, and advised people to just buy Tropica, and if shrimp are at stake then go the extra mile and buy 1-2-grow (in vitro).

The issue is so big that ADC in london has shrimp on the plant holding tank to show buyers that the plants are safe from pesticides. Bit like the canary on the mines. :)

I am not sure how pesticides stay on the plant, but I would think that they would stay inside the living tissue of the plants, so rinsing may not be enough. Also you have no idea what the nursery has used. Insects do become resistant to pesticides so maybe they are using something really strong. We just don't know.

There is a lot of information on the forum, so maybe some of the mods can collect it and make a small sticky for all people to read, old and new alike.

I buy often plants from Asia, but I use them on emersed setups, and after a couple of weeks of having them with roots and established then I will move them to a tank, and without shrimps, just to be safe.

With expensive shrimps? Covered tank and just in vitro plants, just in case. :) If I had some of Edis shrimps? I would get some surgical gloves as well. ;)


___________________________
 

LondonDragon

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ianho said:
thats a good idea Nelson, if it can save people hard earned money and the trouble, i think it's worth it. :thumbup:
If the sellers don't say they are from asia then people will still be at risk, the sellers should be warning people about the fact they are from asia or that they are treated and will need quarantine.
 
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Emyr said:
Where did you purchase these plants from? The main brands such as tropica and aquaflur are safe from this sort of thing I assume? I have never seen anything or heard of this happen to anyone before. Hugely infuriating.

Nope it's not safe. I've wiped my own colony with aquafleur stock and tropica standard stock. I won't put the plant in the shrimp tank unless I tried a tester shrimp with the plant nowadays and that normally happens after 1 month of purchasing the plants unless they came from a shrimp planted tank
 

Ian Holdich

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lincoln uk
LondonDragon said:
ianho said:
thats a good idea Nelson, if it can save people hard earned money and the trouble, i think it's worth it. :thumbup:
If the sellers don't say they are from asia then people will still be at risk, the sellers should be warning people about the fact they are from asia or that they are treated and will need quarantine.

I agree, but the sellers won't do this without concrete evidence, although many of us guessed right and kew who the seller is/was, all this is still anecdotal. I think it's safe for us to say that most plants get bought in with sponge and leaded weights around the bottom are in fact shipped from Asia, the problem is that some places may actually quarantine.

I'm not sure the way around it Paulo without naming and shaming.
 

basil

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1 Feb 2009
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625
Another vote for name and shame here....sounds better if you call it 'helping to raise awareness amongst end users' though!
 

George Farmer

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Hi all,

Naming and shaming presents legal issues that I'm not happy to risk.

Once I've carried out more research on the subject of contaminated plants and how to treat them effectively, a pinned topic will be created to warn folk about the potential issues and how to minimise the risk of shrimp wipeouts etc.

Meanwhile, if there are any other members with more experience and knowledge on this subject, who are prepared to create a small article, then please let me or another mod/admin/founder know.

For instance, as Ed asked, is there some kind invert-safe sterilisation dip available to remove all traces of pesticide, insecticide etc from plants?

Cheers,
George
 

Radik

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Piece-of-fish said:
I have a question though. What treatment would make these plants safe?

Safest treatment is not to buy them for shrimp tanks :) Stick to Tropica, Aquafleur and AG Invitro from Europe

Maybe Darrel or who can explain us if these pesticides/insecticides have tendency to use substrate CEC capacity. If yes then I would throw away such substrate right away.
 

Brenmuk

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24 Jul 2008
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198
Location
Peterborough
First off I'm gutted for you hotweldfire over your shrimp loss.

I'm still not clear about the best way to treat new plants for a shrimp tank though.

If you suspect Cu or other heavy metal contamination then use some kind of chelator such as NaEDTA as suggested by Darrel.
But what is the best way to deal with insecticides? Soak in a tank/bucket with activated carbon and plenty of water changes - is that enough? What if the pesticide is in the plant tissue as suggested by ghostsword?

Always remove packaging - was the foam /mineral wool a reservoir for the pesticides?

Some people have mentioned only buying from certain suppliers but is that enough of a precaution if you have expensive stock?

It would be good to have a sticky on this in the invert section of the forum.
 

Dincho

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18 Oct 2010
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George Farmer said:
Hi all,

Naming and shaming presents legal issues that I'm not happy to risk.

Once I've carried out more research on the subject of contaminated plants and how to treat them effectively, a pinned topic will be created to warn folk about the potential issues and how to minimise the risk of shrimp wipeouts etc.

Meanwhile, if there are any other members with more experience and knowledge on this subject, who are prepared to create a small article, then please let me or another mod/admin/founder know.

For instance, as Ed asked, is there some kind invert-safe sterilisation dip available to remove all traces of pesticide, insecticide etc from plants?

Cheers,
George


I use something in all my shrimp tanks that "removes harmful substances from the water", i am not sure how far this stretches though. I will do a little more research before i start touting it as being safe.
 

Dincho

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18 Oct 2010
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I have just had a quick conversation with a breeder in Japan, his English is not great but this is what i got:

To treat parasites you should dip the plants in sparkling mineral water for about 20 seconds, the carbon dioxide will kill the parasites. However, it will not kill the eggs so a repeat dip 2 weeks later is required.

I asked about the product i use and how effective it is against absorbing harmful substances such as pesticides, this was the response "The insecticide which carries out adsorption decomposition of ammonia, nitric acid, nitrous acid, heavy metals, and the magnesium does not adsorb" also "An adsorption effect is one month.
However, since the inside of an overly porosity product serves as a house of bacteria, please continue putting it in as it is.That to which it stuck is decomposed. It does not emit."

Make of that what you will :? Sorry i couldn't be of more help, its not an issue i have ever had to deal with.
 

BigTom

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Edinburgh
Dincho, I was running cuprisorb, purigen and a poly filter mat when this happened to me the second time and it took weeks for the tank to be shrimp safe again; I'm doubtful that any of those products made much difference but can't be sure one way or the other unfortunately.
 

Dincho

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Messages
129
I agree, its hard to understand his English but from what i make out its no good for pesticides. Its unlikely any product could help, i think its just a case of knowing where to buy and where not. I guess this is a lesson for us all!
 

ghostsword

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Dincho said:
I agree, its hard to understand his English but from what i make out its no good for pesticides. Its unlikely any product could help, i think its just a case of knowing where to buy and where not. I guess this is a lesson for us all!

I would like to reiterate what Claus has said, that in vitro plants are super safe.

Also, I asked Tropica last year about use of pesticides, they said that they do not use them. So if someone's shrimp died when using tropica plants, they may have been contaminated at the LFS.

Don't know about Aquafleur, but I would think that they do not use pesticides either.
 

Frosties

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Selby, North Yorkshire
Re: Wipe Out - NAMED!

About time the supplier was named and shamed... It was PlantedTanks.co.uk

I discussed the issue on this forum previously as per George has also stated - here is the link

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=17143&start=20

Sadly - there is no way ANY supplier can be responsible for a customers livestock. It is basic fish husbandry to quarantine ANY addition to your tanks - beit Fish, Inverts, Substrate, rock, wood and plant.

All our plants are well known as being sourced in the far east - this is stated on the website as the history of the company being founded from BORNEO.

I am sorry for the loss of the livestock - however as stated - the customer did a very basic quarantine by his own admission - however this is a fairly good quarantine as many customers dont even wash their plants before adding to their tanks.
 

BigTom

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Re: Wipe Out - NAMED!

Frosties said:
About time the supplier was named and shamed... It was PlantedTanks.co.uk

I discussed the issue on this forum previously as per George has also stated - here is the link

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=17143&start=20

Sadly - there is no way ANY supplier can be responsible for a customers livestock. It is basic fish husbandry to quarantine ANY addition to your tanks - beit Fish, Inverts, Substrate, rock, wood and plant.

All our plants are well known as being sourced in the far east - this is stated on the website as the history of the company being founded from BORNEO.

I am sorry for the loss of the livestock - however as stated - the customer did a very basic quarantine by his own admission - however this is a fairly good quarantine as many customers dont even wash their plants before adding to their tanks.

Given the repeated losses of shrimp amongst your customers, do you think it would be worth adding a note about the need for extensive plant quarantine to your website Tony? It would seem that many people are unaware of the dangers involved, and shrimp tanks are very much on the rise in the hobby.
 

Frosties

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A valid question Tom, and in essence I think that may be a good idea - however I will wait to see what document this forum generates and with the forum permission - re-post it in its entirity as this is the most respected forum in the UK. I will think about where to put such a note in the site.

Point to note - to date in the 2+ years PlantedTanks has been trading - we are aware of only 5 incidents of people loosing livestock following the addition of plants to their tanks. The last was (excepting this incident) documented on this forum - prior to that - a well respected author from a large publication forgot to do basic quarantine and lost a heck of a lot of livestock. In each case - we clearly sympathise with the tank owners, but sadly cannot possibly take responsibility for the livestock. What we do is document the incident, and report this to DEFRA and UK Customs. because of the import packaging the only source of any pesticide will be the far east and not within the transit methods. We also advise the certifying agents in the far east as the plants when shipped are certified to be pesticide free!!! This is one of the items on the phytosanitary certificate we look for.
 

ghostsword

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Frosties said:
We also advise the certifying agents in the far east as the plants when shipped are certified to be pesticide free!!! This is one of the items on the phytosanitary certificate we look for.

The plants from Asia are supposed to be pesticide free, and certified as such? That turns the whole argument on it's head, as I would not think that Defra would accept a fake certificate.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Maybe Darrel or who can explain us if these pesticides/insecticides have tendency to use substrate CEC capacity. If yes then I would throw away such substrate right away.
Unfortunately I really don't know. My suspicion would be that it is an insecticide that is toxic to shrimp at extremely low levels, like the permethrin mentioned earlier in the thread. Because the effect on the shrimps is so quick, I think this must be a residue on the plants, the rockwool or sponge would be the obvious reservoir, but it could actually be on the plant itself if it is toxic enough.

Potentially there should be compounds that will adsorb any pesticide residues (activated charcoal is the one that comes to mind straight away), but I'll need to do some research to find out which ones would be suitable. I have a colleague who has been looking at some activated charcoal sponge (to mop up heavy metals in land-fill leachate), I'll see whether she looked at anything else. It will probably depend on the nature of the contract whether I can report what she says here.

If it was systemic insecticide that the plant takes up (like the anti vine weevil insecticide chloropyrifos added to potting composts etc) it might remain in the plant for some time (~6 weeks), and could be really difficult to deal with.

cheers Darrel
 
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