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what to do after parasites

870 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  karasmama2530
I had a fish with parasites. I think she had them when I bought her but didn't show signs yet. I had all my other fish a few weeks before bringing her in so they didn't give it to her. Anyway, they all died except for one who is in her own 5gal now. I know she wont last much longer but I'm continuing to care for her. I had treated the tank twice with parasite guard and since she isn't acting weird anymore, I'm thinking it mightve worked but I'm still keeping her alone and watching her.

So anyway, I boiled the rocks, decorations, plants (all fake obviously), and the other equipment in hopes of killing the parasites. I also kept everything out of water for 24 hours. I ended up buying a new tank because as I was cleaning it my one year old was getting into trouble and I dropped the tank in my tub and the bottom cracked. and I put in brand new filter media.

So now I have my tank up and running. The strips say it is cycled. The first time it took about a month to cycle. This time it took a day so I am worried that bacteria including parasites are still living on the stuff in the tank. I did take out the filter media and treat the tank with parasite guard again. I have not added any fish yet because I'm nervous and the water is still a little murky.

My questions are do you think it is safe to add fish? Could the parasites live through boiling, 24 hours out of water, and another parasite guard treatment? Was I lucky the tank cycled so quickly this time or is it because of old bacteria still on the rocks?
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How do you know your fish had parasites, you left out what kind and how you came to this conclusion? Also what species fish?

Also how do you know your tank is cycled what are your readings? If you don't have fish then your not providing an ammonia source for the bacteria to live.

If you didn't clean your filter and kept it running throughout this whole process it should have some live bacteria still. Sounds like at least a mini cycle is in order IMO. Need to know your readings to be sure whats actually happening.
She was a creamsicle Molly. After a few days she had the pinched belly and really weird poop. I tested the water and everything was fine. Another fish (platy) started turning black. Again tested ammonia cuz I read it could be burns but it was perfect. so after getting the Molly I had 2 platies die a few days apart. Before the platies died they had weird poop and were very skittish and bumping into things. no idea what kind of parasite, just know that the pinched stomach, weird poop, and weird behavior equal parasites. Even the black on the platy can be a sign of parasites and since the platy that is still alive didn't turn black, I highly doubt it was burns on the other fish especially because I tested the water multiple times and nothing was ever wrong.

I did clean the filter and put a new one in.
The reading I did on day one after disinfecting everything is the same as today which is 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite, 25 hardness, 0 chlorine, 80 alkalinity, 6.8 pH, and 0 ammonia. The only one that is a little off is the alkalinity.

The only thing I can think of is that the rocks still have bacteria. Which is why I'm concerned there were still parasites. I literally went through hell with the tank not cycling the first time.

Oh and I used start up tablets. One of them was the bacteria one. I can't think of the exact name of it. Startzyme maybe.
So I organized the tank and let the filter run with new media. Threw in the start up tabs. It mightve actually been 2 days before I tested the water. Everything read fine. I took the media out to do a parasite guard tablet just in case, waited the 24 hours, put the filter back in and did a water change. Then today tested again and that's what I just listed for you above.
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If you boiled everything, bought a new tank and replaced the filter media then the tank is definitely not cycled. Read about fish less cycling on the forum, you must add an ammonia
source to feed the bacteria. Your readings of 0ammonia, 0nitrite and most importantly 0 nitrate doesn't mean the tank is cycled. You must have nitrates present to know your tank is converting ammonia and nitrite. Not sure about bacteria tabs but still even if they add some good bacteria they need to eat. You have to feed them ammonia not just let the tank sit running empty.

You risk re introducing the disease to your new tank by adding that molly. Just because he isn't dead doesn't mean he isn't sick. If his feces is dark and normal, eats well and is acting good after treatment that's a good sign. Stringy white stool is a sign of parasites. I would keep him in quarantine longer and watch him.
Can you post a picture of the molly? How are you testing for Ammonia, Nrates, and Nrites?

You'll have to recycle the whole tank, here is a quick way to get your tank sterilized, I used this on my Quarantine tanks, and when I had to take a tank down for disease purposes. Use bleach!! It must be plain run of the mill bleach with no additives, scents, etc. I use walmart and target brand. Did you clean the filter housing before you added in new media?
When I clean
I take all live plants out, fish are usually gone, I throw away the filter media, and take off the motor of my filter (I have an Aquaclear screws right off) dump out all the water using a bucket or water changer. Then take the whole tank filter and all (except the motor) heaters, plastic plants, decor (not drfitwood), and place it in the tub. Then fill it up with water and then add the bleach. I usually add 1-2 cups depending on the gallons in it (for a 29 gallon I used 1 1/2 cups to kill columnaris) then let it sit over night for for a few hours. Then dump it out and let it rinse, a couple times. I used to sun dry everything, nothing can survive this!
Or rinse till you can't smell bleach and 3x your water dechlorinator, let sit 2 hours, then dump that and replace the tank. I did all of this in a 1 bedroom apt!
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Test strips aren't very accurate. Invest in a liquid kit... Seems more expensive, but it's way more accurate and lasts a long time.
How do I attach a picture? I also want to attach one of my platy that is still alive. Her stomach looks a little pinched to me but I can't tell for sure. She had normal poop then it was completely black then it was clear so I gave her red food and now it just looks like normal red poop so I don't know if she has parasites or if she recovered cuz she had 2 treatments of parasite guard.

Also, I tested my house water and it was exactly the same as what's been in my tank since I restarted so it's definitely not cycled. The guy at the pet store recommended a bottle of bacteria. So far it has done nothing. I've done 3 doses. I was going to get a goldfish to help (my friend would put it in her pond later) but the pet store guy said not to do that cuz the goldfish would make it too dirty.

What do I do? The cycling process hasn't even started yet. (And how do I post pics?)
What do I do? The cycling process hasn't even started yet.
Forget about fish and cycling entirely and keep a plants-only tank.
I was actually thinking about switching from gravel to sand and adding some live plants. I've never had love plants though. I have a 10 gallon with a hood which has 2 15watt incandescent bulbs. I'm not really willing to replace those because I just barely bought them. Due to being a single mom working a part time job (money is tight), I'd have to do all this in steps too. Is it worth it? If I kept everything as it is, would I be able to keep any live plants? If everything was the same but I went to sand would it make a difference? Also, I have black gravel with neon mixed in. I don't know if I want to stick to black, but can black and white sand be mixed or would the black just take over it?
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