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Advice - Plant Quarantine


I got this email and I thought I should share it

Plant quarantine

Following the increase in shrimp and crustacean deaths related to the addition of plants to tanks, I last week contacted FERA who are responsible for the UK import legislation adherence. I also emailed the farms in Singapore and Borneo for a formal response. Please note that all South East Asian supplied plants are affected - not just plants from aquaplant.

The above link is the site for Fera who clearly state what they do and what they don't...

I can confirm the following information has been provided by the farms in Singapore who supply plants to the UK market. This information has been consulted on with respected persons in this industry.

Phytosanitary certification requires the plants to be free of pests and disease prior to export to the receiving country. The methods applied are as follows – information supplied per farm:

Our premium plants are dipped in BUPROFEZIN (0.01%) & TRICHLORFON (0.08%) for the duration 120 minutes

Our primary supplier for standard plants dip in IMIDACLOPRID 18.3% V/V (0.005%) for 45 minutes

Our second supplier for standard plant range dip in IMIDACLOPRID 18.3% V/V (0.005%) for 60 minutes

All farms advise that following exposure to the above chemicals, all plants are rinsed in freshwater – although they do not advise for how long. The advice from the farms for end customers is that they quarantine the plants in a plant only system before introducing to a tank populated with inverts & crustaceans etc.

Plants that are classed as overstock remain in our tanks until sold – this can be up to 6 days.

Reference has been made against all three chemicals detailed above, and as such we will now produce a recommendation sheet for our customers to use about plant quarantine.

Our recommendation from today will be that all plants from ANY supplier should be quarantined in Alkaline water for a minimum of 2 hours to 48 hours, then finally rinsed in tap water prior to addition to any tank with livestock present. Please note - we say a MINIMUM of 2 hours and suggest that 48 hours be better... don't forget to perform water changes when appropriate.

Alkaline water can be easily made using caustic soda or hydrogen peroxide mixed with water until the pH reaches 8.5. Remember to wash your plants in tap water as a final preparation before they go in your tank.

What has been specifically noticed is that

Trichlorofon is a particularly aggressive organophosphate pesticide. It is however can be detected in acidic water up to 526 days at 20C at pH5.0. That said – if alkaline water is used – pH8.5 then this product is 99% degraded within 2 hours.

Buprofezin is an insecticide – specifically an acaricide. It is not approved for use in the UK. The degradation half life is 50 days within soil and 16 days in water at pH7.0, 20C. This product specifically requires extended quarantine of at least 48 hours.

Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide. It has a 3 hour half life in water pH neutral. It is known to be non toxic to fish, moderately toxic to crustaceans and highly toxic to invertebrates. The addition of this chemical to water reputedly degrades to CO2 as a side effect of the degradation in the presence of light.

Kind regards

Planted Tanks
07725 409726
Email:  [email protected]

This looks familiar  ;).

About 2 months ago, I bought some plants from asia for my CRS tank.

Over a period of a month, I went from 40+ CRS to 1 *cry*.  He's been fine for about a month.

It took me a while to figure out the issue, and can only conclude it was due to the introduction of new plants.

Moral of the story - careful where you buy your plants from if you have sensitive livestock.

Salty Shrimp make a product called Easy Filter Powder and this claims to neutralise pesticides as well as copper. If this is true (and face it their products work well) then having a tub of this on hand would be very helpful.

This idea of quarantining plants makes such a lot of good sense...  I presume there's the added benefit of being more likely to spot any imposter snails while in quarantine too - major bonus...!!!


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