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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a tank I am going to re-start and I want to do a complete sterilization, meaning all hoses, filter and media and of course the tank itself. I'll have new substrate. The tank is a no brainer.

But the question is what is the best method to sterilize the filters and media - meaning what ratio of bleach to use. Is 3/4 cup bleach per gallon way over kill? Can I get by with a lot less bleach? And how long to run the filter with the chems. How best to declor at this concentration. Its for a red algae which is barely noticeable from afar, but driving me nuts up close. Thanks! bob
 

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10% is used in many labs. 25% is recommended for household mold/mildew cleanup.

a wc and aeration will remove most dechlor of your choice will help. i suggest another wc after the initial change. just keep everything running.
 

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Is this for a 90 gallon? Turn the jug over (assuming a standard grocery store container) and pour for about 3 seconds, give or take. That's always been my technique.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, its a 90 gallon. So after emptying out, just fill with fresh water and run for a while with some concentration of water/bleach? With media in there?
 

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Yeah, its a 90 gallon. So after emptying out, just fill with fresh water and run for a while with some concentration of water/bleach? With media in there?

I usually clean the tank and filter separately. Take the filter apart and soak the parts in a bucket (replace any disposable media). Fill the tank with water and add bleach. Let both sit for 12-24 hours. Rinse well and reassemble.
 

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If your worried about your filter parts having residual chlorine, you could always use a big ole bottle of H2O2 in a bucket and soak your filter stuff. Just as effective as bleach, but you don't have to worry about any residual chlorine. H2O2 you can get cheap too.
 

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Trust me, a small amount of bleach will go a long way. No organism can survive in it, even in dilute concentrations. Amounts of much less that 1% can quickly kill fish.

I say a liter added to a tank filled with water with filter/hoses all running will do the trick quite nicely. Just let it run for a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I kind of like the idea of running the filter so all the impeller and corresponding areas also get the kill, plus I can't drop the top of an Eheim in a bucket of water & bleach. One liter to 90 gallons is what you are suggesting mrbelvedere? Thats like 36 fluid ounces of bleach to 90 gallons of water. It seems a little light to me? But that's why I'm asking for opinions.

H202 is Hydrogen peroxide? I don't have a BBA problem, but I've heard of BBA coming back to life after sitting dry for 6 months on a picnic table in the summer. So I'm looking for some real kill power.

Would you guys throw out my ceramic rings and Eheim sintered rock? I sure don't want to if I don't have to.
 

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~2.5% bleach is used in root canal therapy to clean out micro-organisms before the root canal is sealed. That's 50:50 bleach:water, since household bleach is only ~5% NaOCl. I doubt 1 liter (0.25 gallons of bleach) will do much in a 90 gallon tank.

I'd use a whole bottle, run it for a day or two, drain it, then re-do it with another bottle for another day or two. If you're going through all this work, might as well make it worth it....plus bleach is only $2 per bottle.

Then fill up the tank, run it, drain it, fill it with water, and keep draining and filling until the smell of bleach is gone. The last time you run it, run it with a liberal amount of Prime....drain it, then fill it up again and you should be good to go.

Just save up some mulm from your tank now if you can/want for the post-sterilization cycle. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Epic. Are you talking about the 3 quart (96 fluid oz). of bleach - Clorox? or the bigger bottle? I have filter material from an identical Eheim I'll use to restart the nitrates in the canister etc.

Plus water/mulm from two other tanks which don't have this algae. I do like the idea of running it twice to be sure. Sounds like alot of water to clear the bleach, but best to be safe. I'm planning on doing this sometime in the next two weeks. I know I'll have fun re catching all the fish - twice!
 

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I think doing two bottles of 96oz will work great. Just don't forget the Prime during the last wash or two just to be on the safe side.

Take a towel and wipe off all the edges and the trim of the tank just in case some bleach splashed on there and dried up without you noticing. When I bleached my tank, I took it outside and blasted it with a garden hose for a good 10 minutes, but that might prove difficult to do with such a large tank (90 gallons!). Just give it a thorough wipe-down and it'll be fine.
 

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Trust me, a small amount of bleach will go a long way. No organism can survive in it, even in dilute concentrations. Amounts of much less that 1% can quickly kill fish.

I say a liter added to a tank filled with water with filter/hoses all running will do the trick quite nicely. Just let it run for a day.
Prions can survive in it~ <Jacob Kreitzfeld> lol

Bob if you are concerned with residual bleach, run water treated with Prime to clean out the rest of the Sodium Hypochlorite at the end of the soak period. In the lab or OR 1:10 for 45 minutes usually does the trick. If you run your filters with the solution, you will not have to throw out the rock or rings....

Epic: You use such a high concentration in dental work because you don't let it sit for 45 minutes, it is a spot treatment. This is not necessary if you plan on letting it soak and run through the filters. 1:10 or 1:20 is more than adequate to kill anything <other than prions>
 

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Why not just boil the media? I would be concerned with the porus nature of the media. I might be worried for nothing but I still wouldn't do it.

I'd run everything else with the bleach solution, but leave the media aside to boil. It will be easy enough to rinse out the hoses and the tank sides to remove most of the beach before adding a good dose of Prime or other water conditioner.
 

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I would be interested to see if MTS would survive....I seem to recall reading a post on this site that someone had bleached their gravel for a few days and after they washed out the bleach and set up the tank again they saw white MTS climbing up the glass.
 

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MTS=roaches of the aquarium...lol

Paula

There are some thermophiles that would be able to withstand boiling, but not bleach. Bleaching media should be ok as long as you soak in prime afterwards to dissociate the bonds and neutralize the bleach. It is safe.
 

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Hey, good topic! I was just about to start one of the same...

Does anyone know how safe bleaching the tank would be to sensitive amphibians, like PDFs? I've heard vinegar can be better...

Can anyone clarify? (I'm expecting to have to check on the PDF sensitivity though...)

Great topic!

-Andrew
 

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Epic: You use such a high concentration in dental work because you don't let it sit for 45 minutes, it is a spot treatment. This is not necessary if you plan on letting it soak and run through the filters. 1:10 or 1:20 is more than adequate to kill anything <other than prions>
That's why I recommended an entire 96oz bottle for the tank. Which gives a 1:120 dilution ratio. Not even close to 1:10 or 1:20, but run over a few days, would give sufficient "sterilization" desired for the aquarium. :)
 

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MTS = malaysian trumpet snails. There are really no thermophiles in an aquarium settting. Lynn was just making a point that bleach is better than boiling in some circumstances. :)....I think.
 
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