How to Quarantine Aquatic Plants

If you haven’t read or watched our spiel on quarantine for fish, go ahead and check that out first. Whenever you add a new fish to your established system, it is critical that you quarantine them in a separate system with separate equipment for 4-6 weeks. This will keep whatever pathogens they have on board, be they viruses, bacteria or parasites, from spreading to your healthy, established tank or pond. But it is also critical to quarantine aquatic plants. Here’s some information on everything you need to set up a quarantine system yourself. And although many vendors offer to “quarantine” your fish, many have protocols that are not complete or major biosecurity fails, such as using the same set of equipment for multiple tanks and not cleaning it properly, or adding fish from multiple vendors together.

But what about aquatic plants? Did you know that they could potentially be carrying bacteria and parasites? Unless you are 100% certain that your new plants were not kept with any fish, you MUST quarantine them, just like your fish. If your new plants have been in contact with fish, it is important that they be quarantined as well.

What is the best protocol to quarantine aquatic plants?

Thankfully, the plant quarantine timeline is shorter than for the fish. Keep your new plants in a separate tank without any fish. Since fish parasites and bacteria require a fish host to survive, they will easily die out without any treatment other than time. In 2-3 weeks, depending on your tank’s temperature, your plants will be ready to move into their new home. You can use this time to give them some extra fertilizer and make sure they are strong for when they may be subject to some extra nibbles.

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