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storckm 05-15-2012 06:03 PM

Sick fish, Planted tank, How long should I leave the tank empty to prevent disease?
I'm a relatively new aquarist.

I have few white cloud minnows in one aquarium. I recently set up another 10 gal. aquarium with plants, and then on Sunday I added two new white clouds to it. My plan was to eventually keep all six of the white clouds in it and start some Cherry Red Shrimp in the other, more mature, aquarium. I'd filled the newer tank with water from the old aquarium and added the two fish, so that they could help cycle the tank and also be quarantined at the same time--my daughter suggested a quarantine.

When I put the bagged fish into the water to acclimate them, one of them wasn't moving as much as the other. She seemed less lively yesterday, although not enormously less lively. This morning she was dead. I didn't notice any visible signs of illness on her, nor do I see any on the other, still living, fish.

I'm figuring that I'll continue the quarantine of the other fish for another two weeks, and then add the other four, if all goes well. Is that a bad idea?

And if the other fish dies, how long do I need to keep the tank empty of fish if I want to avoid the possibility of spreading disease to the new inhabitants? I don't want to empty it totally, because of the plants.

mistergreen 05-15-2012 06:29 PM

It depends on the disease but washing it with a water bleach (no surfactant) solution couldn't hurt.

Postal Penguin 05-15-2012 08:03 PM

Simply adding cycled water to a new tank will do nothing to establish the biofilter in the new tank. Almost no beneficial bacteria are present in the water column. Take some filter media be it a small piece of sponge or a hand-full of bioballs and place them in the new tank and your tank will be instantly cycled.

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