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Well one of my friends unfortunately was infected by fish TB (mycobacterium marinum) and so I have been doing some reading. I have read somewhere that as high as 33% of imported fish are infected by fish TB. Most common way of human infection is contact through a cut or open wound while dealing with contaminated water (aquariums).

Now what I would like to know, if say a tank was contaminated but was emptied and left dried unused for a prolonged period of time, can the bacteria still exist without any water or host? If anyone knows the answer or can point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Let me tell you a little bit I know about Columnaris. I got it wiped out my entire tank. To sterilize my tank, I bleached the tank letting it sit for 24 hours. Filter, threw out the plants (died anyway), bleached Nets, counter, anything the tank touched. Then I let the tank dry for over 3 months in sun. Then I only set it up with plants for another 2 months, then put a few healthy fish in. You can never be too careful with fish TB and Columnaris.

I had a fish live for 7 years with it. It finally died of old age. I was always fearful i'd catch it but I never did.
 
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