Wild plants for aquatic setup

JAK

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I am getting things ready for an aquatic set up for adult Notophthalmus viridescens. Nothing to fancy, bare bottom with a platform, sponge filter, and a few plants. I happen to live in the range of my newts and not terribly far from a reputable breeder, so I know where to get the newts. The plants I'm not sure about. The stores in my area seem to only have tropical non-native plants for sale. I could certainly wait for spring and order some native plants online but because I live in an area within the newts range I wonder if it wouldn't be better to just go for a walk in the bog and collect an Elodea or something. Now I know its generally a bad idea to take things from the wild but it's not we'll ever run out of Elodea... I tried searching the forum but couldn't find any threads on collecting native plants from the wild. Does wild collection of a plant or two seem like a good idea or a terrible idea? I'm not in any rush, so I could just wait for warmer weather and mail order a plant but it might be nice to make sure I'm getting a something appropriate to my newts.

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sde

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Hey JAK,

All my plants are collected from the wild. Even if I wanted to buy plants from petstores ( which I tried and they died ) they might not actually be for aquatic setups. Some petstores "accidentally" sell non aquatic plants as aquatic. Also most of the plants they sell cant stand water temps as low as I need.

So, i get mine from my newts native breeding habitat, as well as other water places. I have heard that WC plants don't do well in tanks, but i have had great success! I have elodea, but they don't do so good.
But the ones that do the best are unidentified. The one i like the best literally grow like a weed. I am actually going to add more today. Some new kinds too.

I just try not to take them all from the same spot, and try to be responsible about how many i take.

But if you do decide to get some WC plants, make sure to give e'm a saltwater dip. Add some salt ( doesn't matter what kind ) to water, make sure its a fair amount of salt ( use about 11/2 tablespoons ).
I have them in there for about 10 minutes, just to be carful. Don't go longer than that though, or it can hurt the plants some.

The reason you do this is to kill all the unwanted stuff, and possible diseases etc..

And the best part is that they will do fine with the cold temps! Yay!

Hope this helps. -Seth
 

JAK

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Salt water dip eh? I hadn't actually thought about the possibility of transmitting something undesirearable into my setup with the plants. I doubt a saltwater bath would take care of the only thing I'd really worry about, snails, or is it usually enough?

I suppose I could force a cutting in an agar culture bottle and then transplant it to make sure I end up with a sterile specimen. But I've never done that with an aquatic plant before, and it would be nice to know I could avoid the trouble. There are commercial anti-snail treatments are there not, ever try inoculating wild collected plants with one or does salt water usually do the trick?

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sde

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Salt water dip eh? I hadn't actually thought about the possibility of transmitting something undesirearable into my setup with the plants. I doubt a saltwater bath would take care of the only thing I'd really worry about, snails, or is it usually enough?

I suppose I could force a cutting in an agar culture bottle and then transplant it to make sure I end up with a sterile specimen. But I've never done that with an aquatic plant before, and it would be nice to know I could avoid the trouble. There are commercial anti-snail treatments are there not, ever try inoculating wild collected plants with one or does salt water usually do the trick?

Posted from the newt-phone!

Ai, saltwater dip.

Snails live through, fortunately for me I like snails, as many as I can get. I got all kinds now, and the other day I purposely put more in.
Nope, it doesn't get rid of e'm snails, they are just too tough I guess. I have never used commercial snail treatments no. Don't want to.

But if you really want to get rid of e'm snails, here's what you can do. Fill a tub or tank with some water, and put the plants in that. The snails all would come off the plants first, to explore kind of, and then go back on to the plants.
So when they first leave the plants, you should be able to see e'm on the bottom and sides of the tank, and once you think they're gone, take out the plants.

I have never actually tried it myself, but from watching snails when you put them in a tank or something they "explore". No guaranties though. Don't hold me accountable for this is if doesn't work, I don't really know for sure ;)

You could repeat this several times though, put the plants in a tank, remove it when the snails are off, move it to another tank, remove it when the snails are off, until there are no more snails.

-Seth
 

JAK

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Thanks I hadn't considered that something so basic could work. The more I read up on the commercial products the less appealing they sounded, disturbingly toxic really, so I think I'll try your suggestions out this spring once the bogs thaw. I'll experiment this season and they to have everything ready for next year, assuming of course I'm patient enough to stick to my schedule.

Thanks for the excellent and above all practical advice.

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