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I have some fish killin' parasite in my tank, and I'm going to break down the tank in a month or so. Because of that, I'm offloading my fish, and wanted to know how to treat my plants; I'll be using the same ones when I rebuild the tank. I just want to be sure that any signs of this parasite are 100% gone.
 

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To answer this question it would really help to know what parasite is killing your fish. How do you know it's a parasite vs. bacteria/viral vs. poor water quality? What are the symptoms? Many pathogens and parasites can be eliminated simply by keeping the plants in a fish-free environment until the offending organisms starve to death - but others (particularly bacteria and viruses) can be more persistent.

Also, if you're "offloading" your fish, you are also offloading any parasite/bacteria/virus that is killing them - if your fish are infested/infected with something you need to either keep them in strict quarantine until they are completely cured or euthanise them.
 

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Treating Aquarium Plants

I have some fish killin' parasite in my tank, and I'm going to break down the tank in a month or so. Because of that, I'm offloading my fish, and wanted to know how to treat my plants; I'll be using the same ones when I rebuild the tank. I just want to be sure that any signs of this parasite are 100% gone.
Hello Ex...

Parasites live dormant in the majority of tanks. It just takes a lapse in good tank management for the fishes' immune system to weaken a little and they can become infected.

Your plants are less at risk, because the parasite needs a living (fish) host. If you want to, rinse your plants well in warm tap water and then before you put them back into your tank, you can soak them overnight in a bucket of your water change water and dissolve a teaspoon or a bit more of standard aquarium salt in the bucket. I use 5 gallon buckets.

Most of the pathogens that infect aquarium fish don't tolerate salt well. It will negatively affect their life cycle.

I dose a teaspoon of aquarium salt for every 5 gallons of my replacement water and the fish appear healthier. Just my opinion, but to me the salt works.

B
 

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Parasites live dormant in the majority of tanks. It just takes a lapse in good tank management for the fishes' immune system to weaken a little and they can become infected.
To my knowledge, not one of the common parasites of tropical fish are capable of living dormant in an aquarium in this manner. While claims to the contrary are often made by people supposedly in the know, they simply aren't true.

Some pathogenic parasites can live in asymptomatic fish for long periods of time (however, they aren't dormant, they are harming the fish - just not enough for you to notice). Others can live dormant inside fish while waiting for another intermediate host - but in the absence of this next host species these parasites will never become active.
 

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OP if something in your system is killing your fish I hope you are providing a heads up to anyone you pass anything to that this is happening.
"I'm offloading my fish" is why I say this.

Salt soaks strong enough to do real good will damage plants and a short term isolation having value is being naive.
Wanting to eliminate parasites requires a couple of treatments to be majority certain (imo).

flubendazole and levaisole hcl are two water treatments that don't effect plants but wipe out snails and the majority of parasites.

Levaisole hcl can be acquired at a number of locations but the flubendazole I get from Charles Harrison at his inkmkr / killifish site.
http://www.inkmkr.com/Fish/

Lots of solid information on that site.

HTH
 

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I also would go in the direction of treating the fish to kill whatever it is.
When you can tell that the fish are clear it is a much better indication that the plants are clear. Removing the fish leaves you no way to know if the plants are clear or not.
I am not sure if some species of fish parasite can live in the tank separate from the fish, perhaps in some form of egg or spore stage, then re-infest the fish. I have heard that this can happen. I KNOW it can happen with land animals. Worms (digestive tract parasites) are passed to dogs, cats and horses via the soil) If this can happen in the tropical fish tank then the plants could certainly carry that stage into the next tank. Unfortunately the very fact that the parasite is in its resting stage makes treatment quite difficult.
Might be safer to take small cuttings off the newest growth (least chance of carrying the parasite), grow these out in a fish-free tank, then take more cuttings to add to the new set up. Or else just get new plants, and trust that they were grown in parasite-free water.

Anyway, if you want to try treating the plants there are several ways to go:
1) Treat the plants with the same medicine that you would treat the fish. This means proper ID of the parasite to get the best results. Even if it means killing a fish and examining it for parasites. Then, of course, you could treat the remaining fish, too.

2) Treat the plants with some other material that is known to kill quite a few things, and hope. Here is a partial list. Most of these work by being just a little bit toxic to the plants, but more toxic to the organisms you are targeting. Knowing what organism you are trying to kill would help a lot. You will need to do some research to figure out dose and duration:
Alum: Great for snails, snail eggs. Grocery store material.
Bleach: Can be quite hard on delicate plants, but very good for most bacterial issues.
Excel: This really is a material used to sterilize certain things. Used at higher doses than the usual CO2 substitute it can kill things like algae and bacteria. I am not sure about larger organisms like fish parasites.
H2O2: Watch out which concentration you get. 3% is the most common, but stronger solutions are available.
Salt: This works by dehydrating the organisms. Dehydrates the plants, too.
 

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I am not sure if some species of fish parasite can live in the tank separate from the fish, perhaps in some form of egg or spore stage, then re-infest the fish. I have heard that this can happen. I KNOW it can happen with land animals. Worms (digestive tract parasites) are passed to dogs, cats and horses via the soil)
You're correct in that that long-lived dormant phases are common in parasites that require more than one host species to complete their life-cycle - but unless the other hosts are also present in the aquarium these parasites are not a problem (and if the other hosts are in the aquarium, the parasites won't stay dormant).

The ability to go dormant is less common in single-host parasites (although, again, there are still plenty of examples) - but none of the single-host parasites I'd expect to see in a tropical aquarium are capable of this.
 

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I also would go in the direction of treating the fish to kill whatever it is.
The two water borne treatments I suggested are known to effectively deal with the following;
Hexamita, camallanus, gill flukes, hydra, velvet disease, wasting disease, Ich, most protozoa (including flagellated) and some nematodes along with killing every snail within the tank being treated.
I'm thinking that's a pretty large list covered by just two items.

External bacteria are easily burned (killed) via UV treatment (tank water column) or H2O2 3% in a 2hr bath for treating tank surfaces. H2O2 won't get anything deep in the substrate and delicate plants can melt.
Warning! High dose HP baths scaleless fish can be burned bad enough not to survive. Cory, Loach and pleco’s have reacted badly to high level HP baths.

Salt dehydrating (imo) is best only done in bath treatment outside the tank in a bucket so it won't remove anything from the tank overall.

Both flubendazole and levaisole hcl are fish and shrimp safe. The only fish loses I have had were severely infected ones already failing and near death before treatments.
 
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