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Salix 09-20-2010 09:54 PM

safe way to disinfect tank?
I had a Dalmatian Molly that had a horrible disease. I only had her for three days and she went from looking and acting healthy to losing scales and half of her tail, and the rest of her scales were protruding from her body. I ended up putting her down, and now I'm not sure what to do about the tank she was in. I had her in my main tank for two days because I didn't have a spare to use but have decided to ditch the idea I had for the 10 gallon and I'm going to use it as a quarantine tank. I plan on keeping live plants but what I'm worried about is if the water is contagious or not.

Should I empty it out and clean the tank, and what should I use to clean it that won't be harmful to any plants or fish I put in afterward? It won't get any plants or fish put in it for a few weeks because I don't have a hood or canopy and the photo part of photosynthesize is something that I will need. I also have a sponge filter in that tank. Should I just clean everything out and start the cycling process over? Like I said, I won't be able to afford to put anything in there for weeks and I'm in no hurry to buy any new fish so time is something I have plenty of and if cleaning it out and starting the process over is the best thing to do I'm willing to do it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and very helpful.

kitten_penang 09-21-2010 08:33 AM

sound like dropsy and fungus could be caused by amonia too.. water must be dirty or not cycled.

aunt kymmie 09-21-2010 10:23 AM

If it was me (and it's not) I would take the tank down, clean with a vinegar and water solution, rinse it very well and let it dry out for a few days in the sun, a complete dry out. Any parasites/pathogens/ bacteria/virus would be killed by the vinegar/water solution followed by the total dry out.

Angel079 09-21-2010 02:39 PM

I'd also break it all down, scrub it down with vinegar and rinse with hot water a few times. Let sit & air dry, ideally in the sun if you can, for a day or two and then refill with water etc etc

As for setting up a extra QT tank (if I understood your correctly) I'd suggest to make that bare bottom w/out live plants; while I am a firm beliver live plants in a tank set up is a must, in a QT tank its not working well as this tank is less for show & natural habitat of fish then more to get the fish healed, so the lesss you have in these tanks the better, plus some meds that you may or may not need to use when QTing a fish are not safe for the live plants.

Salix 09-21-2010 03:34 PM

Thanks for the advise. I'll definitely empty it out and scrub it out and let it air dry outside. The thing I'm worried about, though and why I wanted the plants, is the tank not being fully cycled when I add a new or sick fish to it. I was planning on using this tank as a nursery tank, and I have in the past, and the readings I got were ammonia: 0, nitrite: 0, nitrate: 5.0, but when I added the sick Molly the ammonia in the tank spiked and that's most likely why the antibiotics were not working. I really don't have the funds to buy any medications, the prices for them around here are pretty unbelievable, so this would be a quarantine tank for new fish and if they show any sings of sickness I'd most likely have to take them back to the pet store. The antibiotics that I have now were given to me for free along with a lot of other items including the 45 gallon I have now.

Salix 09-21-2010 06:40 PM

So I just cleaned and disinfected the tank using a mix of water and white wine vinegar. It's the only vinegar I had on hand. I used really hot water, as hot as I could stand without burning myself, and then rinsed it out with cooler, more lukewarm water. It's out on the patio table now. I don't know if the weather is going to cooperate and let the sun get to it. It's been overcast here for the last couple of days but the sun comes out every once in a while. I'll let it sit out there for two days, maybe three. Threw the sponge filter away because there was fungus growing on it, the same stuff that had been growing on my fish. I have the heater and the tube that connected the sponge filter and air pump soaking in a water vinegar mix and I'll clean them off really well with a rag as well.

Romad 09-22-2010 04:42 AM

You can always seed your QT tank with some filter medium from your main tank to get the cycle started (assuming your main tank is established and healthy).

Good luck.

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