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Old 01-29-2013, 03:12 PM   #1 
Lyshymo
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Post To buy a new tank or bleach the current one? Advice needed. (Disease related)

Yesterday morning my Betta, Olly, whom I had owned for a short span of four days passed away.
When I purchased him he was sluggish, had a "jagged" tail and overall didn't look too great, but years back I had purchased a similar Betta and within a week of coming home and being in a tank he began to look up and lived a long, healthy life--so I figured it'd be the same with Olly.
Long story short, he never ate (and according to online searches, people had similar issues and it was caused by the stress of coming into a new tank and within days to a week their fish would begin eating). By the second night he was just lying on his side at the bottom of the tank, which I felt was abnormal. I did online searches and again, some people said it could be due to stress. I got opinions from friends who had Bettas as well and they said it was just stress and I needed to calm down. I poured out some of his water so it'd be easier for him to surface and he actually started swimming more.
By the third day he was still sluggish, but moving around. There weren't any other physical signs of an illness, but I still had some "instinct" that figured something wasn't right--and by 10:30pm when all aquatic stores and chain stores such as Petsmart or Petco had closed I noticed a cotton-like string hanging from Olly's gills.
I did a thorough search and with all the information I could gather, it seemed as if Olly had Columnaris. On the fourth morning, as I was preparing to leave to get medicine I decided to quickly check on him one last time and he had passed away.

I assume he already contracted the disease, but when I brought him home and placed him in warmer water it made it progress.

Now, I completely stripped down his tank: took the gravel out, tossed the decorations, etc.
I bought a new heater, thermometer, decorations and still have half a bag of gravel--so the only thing left is the tank.
I know I probably went overboard tossing everything out, but better be safe than sorry.

My main question is: If I bleached the tank, would it rid of any residue from the (potential) Columnaris that my Olly had? Or do I need to toss the tank and buy a new one altogether?
^I feel as if I should know this, but this is the first illness with any Betta I've owned and the first death that wasn't due to natural aging, so I'm a bit nervous about getting a new fish and placing him in the old tank if bleaching if it isn't going to get rid of the disease.

Thank you in advance for all that can/try to help! I really appreciate it!
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:24 PM   #2 
inveritas
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Sorry about your fish - I wouldn't bleach the tank for fear of chemical poisoning on future fishes, but rather scrub it clean with hot water and put it under direct sunlight for some time to dry - the heat and UV will burn off whatever's left in there.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:39 AM   #3 
waterdog
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You can add a little vinegar to water and scrub it. Make sure to rinse throughly and let dry, then rinse again before filling with the water your going to use. I do this with used tanks I buy at thrift stores and never have a health problem.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:42 AM   #4 
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I completely agree with waterdog. Vinegar will most likely kill anything that was possibly in the tank. It's also possible that your fish had something to begin with. Pet-store fish don't have the best of genes, unfortunately, and can have many problems related to mass breeding/inbreeding.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:24 PM   #5 
Lyshymo
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Is there a certain vinegar to water ratio I should follow? Or any indicator on to know when enough is enough?

Also, how do I go about applying it? Do I have a water-vinegar solution in a bottle and spray it in the tank, or what would you recommend?

Sorry for all the questions. I definitely don't mean to be a pest.

And thank you SO much!
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:38 PM   #6 
AyalaCookiejar
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Bleach and vinegar are two of the safest things you can use to clean tanks, and bleach usually does more of a thorough job... Bleach would need to be rinsed well, them set the tank out to air dry completely (preferably in the sun) then rinse it a few more times. Both would be a 10:1 water:vinegar or bleach solution and a spray bottle would work well.

I used vinegar before instead of bleach because the tank I was cleaning hadn't been used in a long time. Any parasites would have been killed off without a host. Some people use hospital grade cleaners to sanitize their tanks to prevent possible Mycobacteria (just as a precaution - you likely don't have Mycos but neither bleach nor vinegar will kill it) and then rinse with bleach to get rid of the chemicals. IMO bleach is better for more thorough cleanings. If you are really worried, bleach would be the best option.

Edit: also, let the solution sit in the tank for 15 minutes after spraying it before you rinse it out.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:38 AM   #7 
waterdog
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Usually 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water does best. You can spray it, but I like to just dump it in the tank and work it around. I agree with AyalaCookiejar that bleach is a heavier duty cleaner. I just personally prefer a more natural cleaner when dealing with something that will hold living creatures.
To each his own.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:39 AM   #8 
H20Gardner
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I plan to bleach a tank this weekend and then use Prime dechlorinaor to detox the bleach. That how most folks I know do it.

How much to use? In the words of my advisor - ''dechlor the heck out of it until you don't smell anymore bleach''.

Hope this works - for the both of us!
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:29 PM   #9 
AyalaCookiejar
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Yes - rinse it well, and then let it air/sun dry, then rinse it more, then fill it with water that's overdosed with conditioner and let it sit for like 24 hours. You can do this more than once, to be safe, but I don't really think you need to be too paranoid. Like I said, bleach and vinegar are two of the SAFEST things you can use, and tons of members here have used both safely (I even know at least one who uses bleach to sanitize equipment daily).
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