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Old 09-02-2012, 09:09 PM   #1 
ameliagypsy
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Talking Cycling after disease

Hello there! I have a sick betta (severe fin rot) who I'm pretty sure is on his way out but I refuse to call it quits on caring for bettas. I will figure this out!

Anyway, my questions are regarding cleaning a tank after disease and cycling the tank. I have a 5 gallon Marineland Eclipse Hex with a built in filter and a heater that keeps the tank a constant 78 degrees. My first question is what methods everyone uses to clean a tank after a fish dies from disease? I've read diluted mixtures of bleach or vinegar... do you prefer one over the other? Also regarding the gravel.... should I just trash it or would soaking it in diluted bleach/vinegar do the trick? I have several brand new bags, but try to avoid unneeded waste. The built in filter also has a bio-wheel... should I trash it and replace it?

In regards to cycling.... I have two established 20g tanks both of which have been healthy thus far. Yesterday I purchased the Marina i25 to add some extra filtration to the 5 gallon but have not put it in the tank. What I'm wondering is if I could run the brand new Marina i25 in one of my established tanks to aquire bacteria and then transfer it to the 5 gallon to aid in cycling? Should I also take some gravel from my 20g and use it to seed?

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Old 09-02-2012, 09:31 PM   #2 
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If you're concerned about the fin rot spreading, I don't think it can. But if you still want to clean the tank...
  • Use a 1-9 ratio of bleach. 1 cup of bleach to 9 cups of hot (hot from the tap) water. Pour into tank and scrub well.
  • I placed mine in the dishwasher with NO SOAP. I run it twice just to make sure there is no soap residue from the first washing
  • Place tank outside all day. I mean, all day. Even overnight if you can. That way if there is any bleach residue it'll evaporate out.
  • Bring inside the next day and rinse thoroughly one more time.

As far as the gravel, soak it in a bleach solution as mentioned above, rinse well. Place outside with the tank on a cookie sheet in a thin layer to it all dries evenly. I would rinse one more time before putting it in the tank.

Placing the filter in the established tank is a good idea, that way you will have some BB to start out. You can also get a sock or stockings full of gravel from the cycled tank it put it in there as well.

I hope this answers all your questions. Good luck :)
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:42 PM   #3 
ameliagypsy
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Bio-wheel?

Should I throw out the biowheel? I did use antifungal medication so I'm assuming the bacteria colonies have been compromised? While the larger bio-wheels (100, 150 ect.) are hard to find (where I live anyway), I have seen the mini bio wheels in stores so I think they are pretty easy to replace.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:06 PM   #4 
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Sorry, unsure about the biowheel :/ Maybe someone else with more experience with cycling will come along.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:48 AM   #5 
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Before I answer you questions, may I ask why your sick fish is not being treated in a QT tank? You've made extra work for yourself.

Cleaning the tank and filter (including biowheels) with bleach is no problem. Do as Lizzy suggests. Yes, bleach is better than vinegar as long as you rinse completely. Gravel is cheap. Dump it or use it in your garden.

Precolonizing a filter with nitrifying bacteria is a good idea...standard procedure when you have a "seeded" tank and some time. It takes about two weeks for a new colony to become established in your new filter. You can also use gravel from the cycled tank but, if you're planning on stocking lightly (like one Betta) the filter alone should be able to handle the bioload.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:22 AM   #6 
ameliagypsy
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QT

I do not have a QT tank, however I do have several old one gallon tanks I no longer use because they are so small. For future reference, would one of those be a good QT tank? Pretty sure a Marina i25 filter fits along with the small Marina betta heater I have that isn't being used.

I did treat the tank with medication (API Anti Fungal)... can I still clean the biowheel with bleach and it will be fine?

Another cycling question... because I am using seed gravel and an established filter do I still need to add an ammonia source? And if so, which should I use?
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:03 AM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliagypsy View Post
...one gallon tanks .....would one of those be a good QT tank? Pretty sure a Marina i25 filter fits along with the small Marina betta heater I have that isn't being used.
A 1g tank is just right for QT. It will need to be heated---either with a heater or by putting it in a larger heated tank. It doesn't have to be filtered; most treatments require daily water changes, anyway.


Quote:
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... can I still clean the biowheel with bleach and it will be fine?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliagypsy View Post
.. because I am using seed gravel and an established filter do I still need to add an ammonia source? And if so, which should I use?
With seeded media, you need only add fish and closely monitor your parameters for a week or so to guard against unlikely mini-cycles (which can be squelched with Prime and water changes). That's the beauty of having an established cycled tank. Do not stock too heavily too quickly, of course.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:44 AM   #8 
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Awesome

Thanks for all the info! I'm going to set up one of my one gallons with the little heater I just bought and see where it keeps the temp. For a QT tank you want it pretty bare for observation and ease of cleaning, right? Should I have gravel in a QT tank and should it be cycled?
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:56 PM   #9 
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No gravel...for ease of cleaning and observation, feces inspection, etc.

If you're treating, you'll be doing too many water changes for the small tank to cycle.

Unless you're planning on quarantining your finrot case, you should be focused on establishing your 5g show tank.

As for treating the finrot case, actually, that's a good idea. One or two water changes daily to keep the water really. really clean, temp well above 80*. Maybe 1tsp/gal AQ salt. Lay off the heavy meds for awhile. Lots of protein. A small plant to rest on and hide in...you get the idea.
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