Making QT tank safe for new fish
I had a group of tetra in my QT tank, and they have all died.
Initially they were dying mysteriously, then I added salt to combat ich and they died much faster:cry:
As I do not know the initial cause of death, I would like to do my best to sterilize the QT before I add a new group of fish.
The tank has substrate, plants, and snails which I would like to preserve if at all possible, but I am willing to discard all of it if necessary.
I had thought that if I were to do a massive water change, put in a new filter and let the tank run with no new inhabitants for two or three weeks that I might be OK as there would be nothing to host any disease that came in with the last fish.
If that is not enough I have read the Hydrogen Peroxide will do a good job of sterilization, but will most likely kill the snails.
As a last resort I can pitch the substrate, snails, and plants and scrub the tank out with bleach before setting it up again.
I would like some opinions from the community on how best to deal with this solution.
I have to be honest, I've never sterilized anything in my fish keeping tenure. I would not be too concerned about using the quarantine tank as is. I WOULD do a complete water change to get the salt out, but that's all I would do.
Tetras are sensitive to salt, so it's not a surprise that they died faster. Ich is EASILY treated with just heat - At least 86 degrees for 2 weeks. That's really all there is to it. Many fish can handle the heat better than they can salt. I treat every new fish for ich with heat while in quarantine, and haven't found a fish that couldn't handle it.
Yes, I found out after it was too late that salt + tetra = no tetra.
I'm just very leery about adding new fish due to the initial mysterious deaths.
any sympotoms with the mysterous deaths? this is going to sound cruel but maybe find a fish that you are willing to use as a test subject for your new qt if thats what it takes. if it is well after 2 weeks then you know your good if not well lesson learned and then wipe the tank. but goign to agree here with the tank should be fine with heat cranked for a few weeks. will kill off any ich and without a host most parasites will also die off too. with the massive w/c and the heat you should be good.
Youre Probably leery because you think there's some mysterious disease that killed them. Fish can die for any number of reasons, many of which are not communicable. Unless you have reason to suspect something specific, I would not worry when a fish dies inexplicably - you'll drive yourself crazy because there's just no way to know.
No, the only fish I saw with symptoms was lying on it's side on the bottom as if dead.
It would swim if disturbed and attempted to eat when food was introduced to the tank.
In fact all the fish ate up to the time the died, the same food as the fish in my other tanks have been eating.
The only reason I suspect something specific is the fact that they all died, and they didn't come into the QT as one group.
But, as I mentioned earlier I added salt to a tetra tank.
So it sounds like the plan is:
1) 100% water change
2) Up the heat, it's currently at about 85 degrees would 90 be better?
3) Wait a couple of weeks for existing organisms to die from lack of host
4) 100% water change
5) Try again
I know the feeling. I recently had a massive Harlequin Rasbora die off with no symptoms at all, all of them died except 1. I drove myself crazy trying to figure out where I went wrong, and what could have killed them. My best bet is they contracted a wild born pathogen/protozoan from recently introduced wild caught Kuhli that didn't go through QT (never making that mistake again), although it took a lot of talking with others over the course of a few weeks to figure that out.
Since I had nothing really concrete at the time of the deaths all I could do was massive water changes every day, for awhile, and slowly wean down to the regular amount.
But with the tank being empty I would just go with the plan you have outlined, with lots of substrate cleaning (gravel vac/siphon the top of sand, depending on which you have).
You ought to consider doing a heat treatment on your new fish in quarantine as standard operating procedure. The fish are going to spend at least 2 weeks in quarantine anyway, right? Might as well use that time for something. Ich can exist as a low level infestation, out of sight in the gills, for a long time. Just because they aren't showing spots doesn't mean that they are not carrying the parasite, and fish that wind up showing spots may or may not be the original carrier. Not that it's a big deal if your show tank comes down with it (except some plants won't do well with the heat?), but like I said you might as well do something productive during the quarantine period.
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