Sadly, our fish Optimus Prime died early this morning. I find this especially hard because he was in bad shape when we got him and I spent alot of time and energy getting him healthy. He was doing so well and was happy, active and eating well. He would always come to see us when we went to his tank. He suddenly took a turn for the worse on Monday morning and went from thriving to dead within 24 hours. My only consolation is that he went quickly and didn't suffer for days or weeks. I couldn't figure out what happened until my son said "Maybe it's because he ate all that food that accidentally fell in there." So sad that he died for really no reason at all. We've been really good about keeping the food out of my son's reach, but somehow he managed to get a hold of it. I guess that teaches us a very hard lesson about being vigilant at all times... Fortunately our other betta, Blueberry, is doing great.
In any event, I'm going to move the tank to my bedroom where my son cannot get to it and will get another betta sometime in the near future. What's the best way to wash everything off so that it's ready for a new fish? Will hot water be enough, or do I need to use bleach or vinegar?
It's a 5 gallon tank (just bought it on Saturday - Optimus had only been in his bigger home for a day and a half when he died) and I would like to try adding the filter and cycling it. How long does it need to cycle before it's safe to add a fish? I'd also like to add some real plants - I have an anubias (haven't put it in any tank yet) and was going to get a moss ball. I'm hoping to get some plants that don't need dirt/sand. From what I understand, the anubias can just be tied onto something with fishing line and doesn't need dirt. I prefer to have marbles or gravel as substrate in my tank.
Any suggestions would be appreciated...
It's so sad that Optimus died for such a dumb reason. The only bright side to all this is that I will be able to provide a nice home for another poor betta who is currently stuck in a cup somewhere!