Treating tank for parasites - clean aquarium supplies? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-14-2014, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Treating tank for parasites - clean aquarium supplies?

My fish have become lethargic and somewhat bloated lately, which I thought was from overfeeding, but just yesterday started having stringy poops. So I bought some API General Cure to help with any internal parasites. Should I soak my aquarium supplies (plant tools, gravel vac, etc.) in a bleach solution? I'm not really sure how internal parasites spread or if they could survive on dry objects. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-14-2014, 08:27 AM
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Smile Constipation

I understand it is traditional for folks to ask for help while providing no information. I will violate “the rule.”

'It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.'
Sherlock Holmes Quote-A Scandal in Bohemia

Assuming there are no raised scales, there is no infection as such. It is most likely constipation from dry or pellet food.

Stop feeding dry or pellet food immediately. Given that it was too much trouble to share information about your fish or tank, I will give general advice and only because no one else has answered.

Canned peas are kind of the traditional laxative in the fish world. Whole cut up or slightly mashed depending on the fish. If you happen to have something like Egeria densa or Elodea canadensis par boil, cut or lightly mash up. Spinach thinly cut, zucchini, cucumbers, Romaine, curly kinds of lettuce, cut thinly, perhaps par boiled.

Any high-fiber foods of any sort they will eat, preferably live, but frozen if that is all you have, Daphnia, Copepods, Brine shrimp.

The standard fish laxative dose of Epsom salt runs 1-3-teaspoons per 5-gallons (20-liters) (if you are unsure of actual water volume subtract 15% from tank volume), kind of fish dependent, if you are unsure, dose 1-teaspoon per 5-gallons, something is better than nothing.

It is important to get those fish pooping properly.


Last edited by JoeRoun; 09-14-2014 at 08:29 AM. Reason: Odd spaciing words run together
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-14-2014, 04:43 PM
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As I understand your question, you want to know what should be done to avoid [passing internal parasites on when using tools, etc.
I don't know the answer either but just some thoughts from experience. I THINK it would be true that internal parasites would not live outside the tank for long at all. Drying or dipping the tools, etc. in a bleach soak would be the way I would go.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 02:11 AM
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Dip in 20% bleach, OR potassium permanganate (rich pink color) OR a special net soaking solution available through specialty aquarium places.

I would actually soak nets and other equipment in saturated salt solution. That would dry out parasites, and I think that is the safest thing for the nets.
To make a saturated salt solution warm some water on the stove and keep on stirring in salt (table salt, aquarium salt, kosher salt, pickling salt, water softener salt... NaCl).
Keep adding more salt to the hot water until no more will dissolve.
Then cool the water until it is comfortable to touch. Dip any aquarium tools like nets, gravel vacs, thermometers and similar NON ELECTRIC stuff in there, and let them soak.

Electric things can be carefully sponged off, but ONLY the parts that normally touch the aquarium water. Do not soak the whole filter, for example, but it would be OK to run the filter on a bucket of salt water.

A quick rinse in tap water and the tools are ready for re-use. Any lingering salt is such a low dose that it would not harm fish or plants.
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