Moving equipment between tanks
Hello, Im Tha Bizness and I have MTS (Multiple Tank Syndrome)........
For other people that have MTS I am wondering if you move equipment between tanks. I am talking about nets, water changers (like Aqueon's), algae scrapers/magnets.
If you do - do you clean them first in something? Just wondering what everyone else does.
1) don't do anything to your equipment = one sick fish and then all your tanks need treatment ($$$)
2) keep a separate set of tools for each tank, that's what I do (I use the same buckets to catch old water, and another set of buckets to dump clean water into tanks, but that doesn't cross-contaminate tanks. Each tank has it's own siphon hose that has one end marked as the "tank end". With lots of tanks, this doesn't necessarily work well.
3) Disinfect equipment. You can use bleach (rinse really well and use dechlorinator), potassium permanganate (hard to get, can be hazardous, stains stuff), a bucket of water with lots of salt (works well, but destroys anything metal over time).
THE most important thing with multiple tanks is to have, and use, a quarantine tank for plants and fish. Isolate anything new for 2-4 weeks before it goes near one of your main/display tanks.
That's all I can think of at present!
I believe the chances of cross contamination a pretty low even close to non existent with most cleaning items, the amount of water and the chances of something in that small amount of water moving from one tank to the other is pretty low. Nets and scrapers tend to be used on different tanks on different days so they have a chance to dry out, which is the best method for killing water born baddies. The water changer is typically used at the same time on multiple tanks which would mean it has the highest risk of transferring something over but given in the water change cycle you are running fresh water (refilling the tank) through the water changer before starting to change another tank even this risk factor seems a bit small. Chances are with multiple tanks you will be moving inhabitants from one to another at a good rate which have a much bigger chance of bringing something along with them then it moving over with your cleaning gear.
As DKRST has mention the most important part is the quarantine tank as it is typically out side inhabitants/plants that tend to bring things into our tank systems then stuff that is already in our tanks. Protecting my fish from outside sources is more important than worrying about tanks I'm pretty confidant are just fine.
I agree with zof's statements, unless anything unusual like a really sick fish occurs I don't think contamination from within your tanks is likely.
Concur with all comments made. I keep separate stuff since I have a very persistent internal parasite in one of my tanks and as of yet have not been able to completely get rid of it after almost a year! Once all my tanks are "clean", I'd have no issues sharing equipment, as long as I kept a good quarantine routine! I'd always keep separate equipment for the QT tank!
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