How Do You Know a Tank Has Been Disinfected Well Enough? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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How Do You Know a Tank Has Been Disinfected Well Enough?

How do you know a tank is safe to reuse after losing all your fish? I have a tank that used to hold neon tetras. Not too long after purchase they all succumbed to what I think was false neon tetra disease but I never got a definitive diagnosis. Despite treating with antibiotics they still died.

Since then I've emptied the tank, disposed of all the filter media and substrate, quarantined the plants, and washed the tank with rubbing alcohol and then soap and water. I've filled and rinsed the tank a few times and rubbed it down with vinegar to make sure no soap residue is left.

So is the tank safe to reuse now? I'd like to plant it and start it cycling, but I'm a bit afraid of putting fish in there and losing all of them because I failed to do something I should have done to disinfect the tank.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 05:01 PM
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You're safe to go ahead and use the tank


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelub View Post
You're safe to go ahead and use the tank
Thank you!

I never want to see that many fish die so quickly again. What a horrible experience.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 07:54 PM
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Buying from a reputable source and not the big box pet stores will help avoid those kinds of disasters.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 02:53 AM
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Elli - hopefully you won't need to Nuke a tank again. If you do or simple buy a used tank. All you need to do is use Water/Bleach at 20 to 1 ratio. Spray all surfaces down, allow it to sit 5 min. Wipe it down with paper towels.

You can let it sit outside for two days and the chlorine will out gas. You could also use 5Xs strength dechlorinator in water to wash up after the bleach solution.

Don't beat youself up on loosing the fish. All store Chain, BigBox, Internet, and Ma & Pa LFS occasionally have sick fish. The best any of us can do it try to pick the best that are offered, quarantine and keep our tanks clean & healthy for out fish,inverts and plants.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 03:08 AM
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That sux,dont get discouraged.
Good luck on ur next build !
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 03:15 AM
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How did u wash with rub. Alcohol
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 04:11 PM
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The only thing I would add is to let it dry out completely after cleaning/disinfecting. Even a single spot of dampness could house bacteria that would die off without any moisture.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the great advice! I let the tank dry out completely and will be setting it back up this week.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 04:27 PM
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Most bacteria can survive drying out.

Rubbing alchohol does very little to disinfect anything.

My standard procedure for clearing up a QT tank is to just pour 5:20 ratio directly into the tank. I leave everything running and let run for at least 2-3 hours. The time allows the bleach to work. It takes 5-10 minutes for bleach to work on a smooth nonporous surface. The rougher or dirtier the surface the more time it takes.

I then drain the tank and then rinse the tank out with the garden hose until the glass no longer is slick with bleach.

Rinsing is much better than filling and drainin due to the effects of dilution.
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