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Old 04-24-2009, 03:16 PM   #1 
plessans
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If fish dies of Dropsy when I'm away on vacation, will bacteria remain?

I think my betta fish has Dropsy and I will be away for 3 weeks starting May 9. My concern is that if it dies it will just rot in the tank and that could be bad for the next inhabitants. If the fish dies, is it possible for the next inhabitant to be infected by the bacteria? If this is possible, then would you think putting the fish out of it's misery while simultaneously removing the bacteria be a better idea?
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:58 PM   #2 
Twistersmom
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That choice is realy up to you. I find it very hard to put fish down myself.
Either way, I would recommend a complete tear down and scrubbing of the tank before adding another fish, so in that case a rotting fish for a few weeks in the tank will not make a difference.

Do you have anyone to look after the fish in your absence? The fish will need food and water changes.
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:55 AM   #3 
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3 weeks is a really long time to leave a betta without food and water changes, agreed. Were you planning on leaving him in someone's care? Even if he was healthy, I'd be worried about coming home to a dead fish after 3 weeks. I would ask someone to keep an eye on him and if he's still going, make sure he has food and clean water. that way if he does pass, someone will be able to get him out and give him a safe resting spot.
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:35 PM   #4 
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If he appears to be ill already 3 weeks without water changes will probably do him in. Personally I would find a trusted friend to look after him. You could just fill up a few jugs of water and tell them to remove one and put in a fresh one. But if you do leave I would do a complete tear down as twistersmom already said.
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:26 PM   #5 
plessans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campbell View Post
If he appears to be ill already 3 weeks without water changes will probably do him in. Personally I would find a trusted friend to look after him. You could just fill up a few jugs of water and tell them to remove one and put in a fresh one. But if you do leave I would do a complete tear down as twistersmom already said.
I think you misunderstood my question. I am asking if the bacteria will remain alive if he died at any point during the three weeks; the question assumes that he will die. BTW, I woke this morning to find him dead. I had just recently diagnosed him with Dropsy cuz I noticed his scales were poking out, he was breathing fast, couldn't see, wasn't eating, discoloration, and abdomen was bloated. I didn't even get a chance to get the antibiotics :(.

Last edited by plessans; 04-25-2009 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:50 AM   #6 
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Sorry he did not pull through. :(
Dropsy can be caused from a number of different things. Just to be on the safe side, I would wash the whole tank out and let it dry out for a few days before adding another fish.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:33 AM   #7 
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I'm sorry about your buddy. :(
i've heard that putting it in the sun is a great way to "bleach" it without using bleach. I've heard mixed reviews about using bleach as it can stay in there and kill the new fish.
when I sanitized mine (my guy had fin rot and something else... i'm not sure what, but not dropsy) and i soaked everything in the tank in very very hot tap water (as hot as it would go) plus several tablespoons of aquarium salt and a few capfuls of melafix (3 gal tank). It let it sit until the water cooled, then i rinsed and let it sit dry for 3 weeks. I've had no problems with the new fish in the tank.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:49 PM   #8 
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I've heard vinager is a good discinfectant for aquarium equiptment, as any thing ,thorough rinsing is a good idea.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:50 PM   #9 
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Dropsy can be caused by multiple things, but one of the more common is an internal bacterial infection which attacks the kidnies and liver. While dropsy itself is not contagious (its a symptom, not a disease), the bacteria which can cause it is EXTREMELY contagious. Now that this fish has succumbed, do not stick any more fish or other creatures in the tank until you have broken down the whole tank and thoroughly cleaned and left everything to dry. Scrub the substrate and leave it out to dry. Same for the tank and any decorations. Any tubing needs to have boiling hot water run through it and also left to dry. Filter cartridges need to be thrown out (they will house not only the helpful bacteria that helps maintain a cycle, but also the deadly bacteria that can infect and kill a fish). This will mean you have to start a new cycle if you keep a cycled tank, but the other option is pretty obvious - more dead fish.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:40 PM   #10 
plessans
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I spoke to my biology lab professor about adding baking soda to the tank and make the conditions basic to kill the bacteria and then drain the tank. She agreed that would work.
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