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nope dont think it can live without water. its a low oxygen using bacteria. exposing it to 20pct or so that is in air would kill it. even lowing the temp after emptying would kill it, it needs 77 or 78 just to reproduce. id still empty and scrub the tank. what ever solution you use is fine just rinse the tank and parts tons of times and they will be fine. the biowheel id still probably not use.
Thats funny u meantion surviving out side of water. I just lost all my fish in my other 10g to the same disease. they were fine last night this morning they had white cottn like growths on fins, mouths, and eyes. 3 hours later all fish were dead. the only things that touched one tank then the other were the gravel vac., the hose, the fish net, and the bucket. So somehow the disease must have gotten a ride on one of them. i filled both 10gs with water threw everything that touched either tank into them and poured in bleach. they are currently soaking in the garage. Not sure what disease it was.......just guessing with columnaris.
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