Killing parasites (once and for all) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Question Killing parasites (once and for all)

I have an empty tank from a recently deceased betta. She was dealing with inner parasites, and at one point anchor worms. I medicated for both but the inner parasites won. Recently hydra had also taken over the tank.

First I got rid of the hydra by heating the tank to 104+ F for 2 hours. Haven't seen any since (knock on wood). Surprisingly the microroganisms and mini ramshorn snails survived.

If the anchor worms still live in the tank, I read that all I need to do is outwait them for 7 days, since the larval stages can't survive without a host.

That leaves the parasites that attacked my betta from the inside. Will they have left with her, or do they wait in the tank for another host to infect? Will a wait period kill them? I don't want to dose the tank with any chemicals that will make it unsafe for inverts or fish later.

I also don't want to break down this tank because I like the plant/aquascape setup.

How long do I have to wait before the tank is safe for fish again?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 07:00 PM
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Not knowing what internal parasite you were dealing with makes it impossible to determine how long your tank would need to run fallow before they died off. If you didn't want to cycle your tank over (which it may be doing now anyway having gotten so hot) I'd think after 30 days there would be few pathogens that could survive without a host. Or you could just clean and sterilize everything and start over.
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Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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I'll wait 30 days before adding fish, then, to be safe and then cycle it again, thank you.

Is it safe to add shrimp?

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Last edited by Ryan Mosby; 11-20-2019 at 01:24 AM. Reason: can haz skrimps?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 03:40 PM
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If it's not cycled, no. Shrimp are orders of magnitude more sensitive to nitrogen than your average fish. If somehow the cycle survived 100 degree plus temperatures -and I wouldn't expect that -then fish parasites should find no host in shrimp however.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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@Blue Ridge Reef Thank you for the reply! The hydra have not reappeared, and if there is any kind of anchor worm larvae in the tank, they'll be dead in three days (it will have been a week without any fish host). If there are any shrimp or fish parasites remaining in the tank that can survive 104+ F at two hours, how long would it take for them to die off?

I'll have to cycle the tank again, but I'm not going to seed it this time; I'll take the longer route of adding ammonia daily--I don't want to risk contaminating the tank again from an outside source since there are hydra in some of my other tanks, and who knows what else.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 02:22 AM
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There aren't many shrimp pathogens you have to worry about in the hobby and all I know of have to be introduced with sick shrimp -which you haven't gotten. Test the tank with ammonia and if it's getting converted, in theory you should be good to go. I'd start with plain cherries or something hardy, and bred in a local hobbyist's tank if at all possible.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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@Blue Ridge Reef So once I ensure the tank is cycled, I'll have to wait 30 days before safely adding a fish, or could add shrimp at any time?

I'm still having trouble deciding whether to even go with a betta or wild neocaridina (from AquaticArts, I've always had good luck with them, and don't trust my local pet store from personal experience) instead.

I already have two shrimp tanks (smaller size tanks, 2.5g and 3.7g), and then another 5 gallon with a betta. It's hard to decide which would be better stocking for this empty tank.

I'm a little intimidated with the idea of a betta because I seem to have bad luck with them, but at the same time I'm not sure I want a third shrimp-only tank. I don't want to risk doing both, because that has never worked out.

Another thing I have to consider is compatibility with a betta and my Dutch-inspired aquascape. There's no driftwood or rocks or much in the way of hiding places. My other betta lives in an awesome SE Asia blackwater biotope, busy with all kinds of things to explore, but a dutch style might be boring to a betta. It was fine for my former one because she was blind, so while she could explore, she wasn't likely to get trapped or pinned.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 04:04 AM
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I say keep what you enjoy! Personally I can't have enough shrimp tanks, but I was a hobby breeder for many years, opened an LFS, and kind of burned out on carrying buckets and hatching brine and so forth so shrimp are a welcome low-maintenance change of pace. But a betta really doesn't require much. I certainly don't think one would find your Dutch style scape boring! Mine have never been big hiders anyway. If you've had bad luck with them, I'd try a new source because once acclimated they should be near bulletproof.
I keep a betta in a shrimp tank, but it's a 50 gallon, he's the only fish except for an L cat and he's outnumbered around 200 to 1. But I'm sure he eats fry daily, just in a tank that size can't begin to keep up. In regards to your cycle, fish would be much safer to put in than shrimp generally speaking. So the safe wait time would be much shorter for a betta if that influences your decision.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
In regards to your cycle, fish would be much safer to put in than shrimp generally speaking. So the safe wait time would be much shorter for a betta if that influences your decision.
Oh? How long would a safe wait time be (once assuredly cycled)? It hasn't had any fish in it (and it's never had shrimp) since four days ago (11/16).

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 04:10 PM
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I like to give tanks 2-3 months after setting up before adding shrimp. But there's bound to be algae and microorganisms that survived the heat wave. Maybe buy a tester at your LFS and see how it does before investing in an online order. Unless you have reason to think their shrimp aren't healthy, of course.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Oh sorry, I meant how long would a safe wait time be for a betta, once it's cycled?

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 01:38 AM
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Right away, as long as the betta is healthy.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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