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Old 07-22-2012, 03:31 PM   #1 
Seki
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How to clean after fish dies?

My fish Sheik recently passed on. I am hoping to reuse the 2.5 gallon Aqueon minibow he was in, because I really don't have the money to buy another aquarium right now, but I am wondering... what is the best way to clean everything after the tank has had a dead fish in it? I don't actually know what Sheik had, but whatever it was... it wasn't good. He kept bloating, he lost his color, his fins seems to be turning translucent and basically falling apart on the last day of his life.

I have read that I can boil the gravel and it will be fine to reuse, and I plan on doing that, but... what about the decorations? I had a bridge and a couple plastic plants in there with him, along with a heater. One petstore told me it's not safe to boil the plants or the bridge. Also, how do I clean the tank itself? One petstore told me to use a mild bleach solution and then rinse the stuff until I couldn't smell bleach anymore. Another told me to let the tank sit empty for a couple days and whatever had been in there would die out for lack of having an organism to feed on. Another told me I can put the tank part into the dishwasher and rinse it when it came out and it would be fine.

Any tips?
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:42 PM   #2 
Laki
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Aw, I'm sorry to hear about Sheik :(
I think a mild mild chlorine solution would be best. Bleach in other words. And only on the tank, not the decorations. Boil the decorations.
Good luck :)
Oh, you can leave the tank outside in the sun for a while but you risk damaging the tank if it's too hot or getting algae (unless its dry). This is how I got snail eggs off my driftwood, left it outside for days. Now it's in soaking and I'll reuse it in a snail-free betta tank.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:40 PM   #3 
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You should definitely give the tank a nice clean (100% water change, siphon through the gravel), but I don't think you should completely empty and wash out the tank because you'll destroy a lot of the beneficial bacteria that lives on the surfaces of pretty much everything in the tank. Even if you still have the bacteria in the filter, you might risk a mini-cycle.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:42 PM   #4 
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Boil the gravel, bleach everything else. Rinse well. Re-cycle and start again.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:03 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrVampire181 View Post
Boil the gravel, bleach everything else. Rinse well. Re-cycle and start again.
I thought bleach was super dangerous to fish?
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:04 PM   #6 
Laki
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Not in tiny amounts and rinsed well.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:08 PM   #7 
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all i did was BOIL IT!

EVERYTHING!

I never used bleach when i had my 10 gallon as a community, that had alot of diseased fish in it (i was a newbie)

After those fish died, a kept the same gravel, just put it in a 5 gallon bucket and poured STEAMING water on it(be careful!!!) and the tank itself. And look, Honeycomb is super healthy!
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:23 PM   #8 
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If you just rinse everything in warm water and then let everything sit dry for at least a week, would that kill off the germs?
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:28 PM   #9 
Kenny G
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The best thing to use to clean and sterilize a tank is not to use BLEACH but to use hot water, aq salt, and distilled vinegar. The distilled vinegar is non toxic to fish.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:12 PM   #10 
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will vinegar ruin the paint on a painted ceramic or resin decoration?
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