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Old 09-19-2005, 12:17 PM   #1
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trying to make house plant into aquarium plant

I got an idea to turn an old houseplant into aquarium plants. Its a silk plant w/ plastic stems. First I clipped it apart and washed it in warm water. When it was drying I realized the laeves are sticky. I guess there was some sort of sealant on them that started to dissolve. I soaked them overnight in a water/bleach solution, rinsed them this morning and am soaking them in the bleach solution again.

I dont know what kind of glue or sealant it was. My question is: If I can seem to remove all the sticky feeling from the plants and i soak and rinse them repeatedly and maybe even run them through the washing machine and then rinse them repeatedly again- are they safe for the fish?

I just don't want to try anything that would make the fish sick/kill them. But it would make my plants totally free so that would be good.
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Old 09-19-2005, 12:25 PM   #2
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Good idea.

If there is ANY glue left on the plants when you finally add them then the factor may be how big your tank it. If it's only a 2.5 gal tank then it could be a problem. Again that is assuming there is still any sealant left. But if they are being added to a 125 gal (for example) do a large water change the next day to be safe and you should be good to go.
If you do every step you just described, though, you will probably be okay regardless. Just make sure you get it all off . . . obviously . . .

Telling you something you already know there.

Hopefully some others will sound off soon. Maybe someone will know about removing that sealant better or if can even be done completely.
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Old 09-19-2005, 12:27 PM   #3
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Make sure the stems don't have wire centers. Those centers will rust and that would not be good for the fish.
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Old 09-19-2005, 12:33 PM   #4
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thanks for writing back so fast. The tank is a 20gal...
And they do have wire in the center I hadnt even thought of that. Does that mean its out of the question?
Glad I thought to get some opinions.
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Old 09-19-2005, 12:52 PM   #5
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Yes, I think the wire center would make the plant unusable in your tank. Like Rich says, the wire could rust, or even cut your fish somehow if it became exposed. It would be worse if the wire is copper. I bought some thin, bendable wire at a craft store to make little Christmas decorations, and the thinnest, most bendable wire was copper. So if the wire in these plants is copper, you definitely want to keep it out of your tank.

Also, I would hesitate to clean aquarium accesories in a dishwasher/washing machine because there is bound to be soap residue in there. A weak bleach/water solution can be soaked/rinsed away, and the use of a dechlorinator in your rinse water or soaking bucket will dissipate the bleach too. I have read that you can never rinse soap away well enough for the fish.
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Old 09-19-2005, 01:00 PM   #6
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OK. So long to that idea.
I'm still somewhat set on making my own plants though. I'll have to hit up a craft store for silk plants w/o wire(and sealant).
Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-19-2005, 06:10 PM   #7
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i think someone else used like ornamental house plants in a 125 gallon or something. looked pretty good. i think he used like an aztec type feel
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Old 09-19-2005, 06:22 PM   #8
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I wouldn't scrap the idea. I would just head to a Hobby Lobby or Michaels or something and see if you can find more favorable decor.

As for the sticky stuff, I've had fake plants that had "dew drops" placed on them with some sort of substance that seemed to be hot melt glue. Perhaps this is what is coated on your plants.
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Old 09-19-2005, 06:32 PM   #9
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Is the wire visible? If it is, is it in a place where you can seal over it with an aquarium-safe sealant after you completely clean it? Also, I agree, don't use soap or put in the washer, you won't get rid of all the soap.
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