Disinfecting tank after fish illness/death - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Disinfecting tank after fish illness/death

My betta got sick a few weeks ago from a mystery disease that killed him. I think it may have come in with my nerites which I stupidly didn't quarantine.

He spent the last three weeks in his quarantine tank, which I've thoroughly bleached and cleaned.

I'm not sure what to do about his main tank though. It's heavily planted, with a huge piece of drift wood. I don't want to strip it down to disinfect it if I can help it. I'd also rather not use harsh antibiotics in there that could crash my cycle or medications that might harm the nerites. On the other hand, I don't want to get another fish if there's a chance that whatever killed Valentine is still lurking in the water.

I'd very much appreciate any suggestions for what I should do next!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 11:57 PM
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Potassium permanganate treatment if done right. You have to be very careful with the dosage. If you can, bypass your bio-filter otherwise it will kill beneficial bacteria too. Goggle for more information. Good info on:

http://www.simplydiscus.com/library/...pp_usage.shtml

Last edited by ppp; 11-19-2015 at 12:03 AM. Reason: Link
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try it. The article says that KMnO4 will burn up organic materials. I'm guessing I'll have to move my snails if I want to keep them alive. Will it be safe for my plants? I have vals, java moss, java fern, and wisteria, crypts and anubias nana petite. Most of those are replaceable, but I really don't want to have to rescape and replant.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 12:35 AM
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People have used Potassium Permanganate dips for plants to remove pests/snails (algae too?), but it WILL damage plants in too high of a concentration. And most likely the concentration needed to properly disinfect the tank will surely be strong enough to kill plants practically instantly. Everything living, fish, plants, inverts, even beneficial bacteria should be kept away from the Potassium Permanganate at those concentrations. No way around removing the livestock that I am aware of, no matter what sanitizer/disinfectant is used (bleach).

Bump: Since the driftwood is very porous and can hold in moisture/liquid/chemicals, I would use bleach since the chlorine can be released pretty easily. I don't know too much about Potassium Permangante so I don't know how hard/easy it is to get out of the wood to be safe to reuse.

For the driftwood I know using bleach will sanitize it and after you sterilize it with bleach, you can just rinse off the driftwood well and leave it out to dry. Would recommend not putting it back in the tank until you no longer smell the bleach/chlorine as it can be harmful to the fish. You can also use a dechlorinator liquid (Seachem Prime) to take care of the chlorine. You could probably boil it too just to be extra sure.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Darn, I'd just gotten the java moss to attach prettily to the driftwood, and it was all just starting to fill out nicely. But its better than killing fish.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 01:19 AM
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@WaterLife I have to disagree. With the CORRECT dose PP treatment is very effective without harming plants or fish.

I lost some prized koi to fin rot. After that I have routinely treated my pond with PP twice a month. All my koi and plants are alive and healthy - been doing this for about 2 yrs without fail Key is correct dose. Know your water volume and your PP dosing ppm.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 03:07 AM
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While I often go for being safe when starting tanks, there may be reason to go a bit different when you have this much at stake. It will be a decision for you to make but I would go this way. I can say for sure what killed fish in a only very few cases-- unless they are on the floor or such! Unless I was really, really sure the disease coming in with snails was at fault, I might take a chance in this one special case. Many diseases do not last without a host. It is also quite easy to blame death on something even though we don't have much proof. I'm not a firm believer in the snails being the fault here. Fish have a bad habit of suddenly dying for no apparent reason.
Rather than upset the whole tank, plants as well as lose all the good bacteria, I would go for adding some cheap fish. Cleaning the tank totally and not cleaning the filter will not help much if the bad guys are still around and living in the filter as well as the tank??? Maybe the fish death was something totally different like an injury. That would leave you to destroy all your work on plants and getting the tank cycle going and set you way back. I risk a fish or two and take my chances in this case.
I recently lost a really nice 9" fish who was the king of my tank and in prime condition. Heart attack or stroke is as close as I can get. I fed them and 15 minutes later heard the splashing to walk in and find him hanging nose down and dead before I could get a net.
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