Prior to putting new plants into your tank just make certain that they’re clean and totally free from germs and unwanted snails. To do this, rinse them under the tap and remove any yellow or decaying leaves, and also remove any of the jellylike eggs of snails you might find on the leaves. They can then be immersed in a solution of concentrated lime water diluted with water to a proportion of six parts tap water to one component lime water. To make lime water, liberally mix hydrated lime in water and let the sediment settle, then draw off the clear water and mix as previously described.
The plants should be left in the solution for 10 minutes, no more, and then placed in a solution of permanganate of potash for a like period. The strength of the potash should be a quarter grain to a gallon.
It’s essential never to permit the plants to get dry whilst they’re in transit, or at any other time. They should be wrapped in a number of layers of newspaper soaked in water with a final wrapping of greaseproof to stop evaporation.
When adding plants to the tank after it has been filled, a pair of planting sticks will probably be discovered helpful. Push the plant into the sand with one of the sticks, and heap sand around the roots with the other. The sticks could be made by splitting a bamboo cane or any thin strip of wood, and sandpapering it smooth. A ‘V’ notched in the end of one will permit stray root strands to be pushed well into the sand.
If plants aren’t firmly anchored into the sand, their buoyancy causes them to rise to the surface. Plants with little roots could be anchored temporarily with thin strips of lead wound around their base. Don’t squeeze the lead so tough that it’ll bruise or injure the delicate structure of the plants. If the roots turn out to be black via contact with the lead, or any other reason, you are able to return them to their natural colour by floating them in water exposed to strong sunlight for 24 hours.
Plants should never be bunched closely together. They should be planted to permit water and light to reach the stems. Closely packed roots can form a trap for sediment.
When obtaining new plants, it’s greatest to choose them about half-grown instead of more developed specimens which have reached or even surpassed their greatest.
Plants covered with algae should be avoided, the algae chokes the plants and tends to spread.