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Old 11-10-2013, 08:17 AM   #1 
Perocore
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Best Test Fish?

I've been spending about four months cleaning and airing out a tank that got infected with TB from an ill guppy (I no longer buy fish at the petstore I got it from). I've bleached and rebleached and rinsed and air-dried this tank many times, and now I've set it up with plants, gravel, a new filter, etc.

So now I need some cheap, easy-keepers to test the tank to make sure it is free of TB before I put my betta into it. I was going to try fathead minnows sold as feeders, but after a quick search I found that all of the local feeder fish for sale are infested with parasites (yuck).

So now I want your opinions on what the best betta-compatible test fish would be. I was going to go with neon tetras, but do you guys have other ideas?

Thanks,
Pero
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:43 AM   #2 
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You didn't say how big the tank is so it's impossible to offer any suggestions.

Why don't you just get the betta as your test fish? No sure I understand why one fish is any more appropriate for such a test than any other, except for $$$.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:12 AM   #3 
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Bleach isn't an effective sterilization method for mycobacteria... The bacteria creates a film that protects it from bleach. 70% or higher rubbing alcohol sprayed with 15 minutes contact time will be effective.

If you want to rely on a test fish you're going to have to test the tank for 6 months, as that's how long the incubation period can be.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:14 PM   #4 
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The tank has been sitting dry for several months now, which worked with our 30 gallon when it got infected (we have awful luck with TB).

I don't want to use the betta as a test fish because I'm rather fond of him and don't want to risk his getting infected if I can help it. The tank is a 6.6 long gallon, not massive so that's why I was thinking neon tetras. The main criteria is that the fish must be tropical (78 degree tank), cheap, hardy, and good-eaters.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:19 PM   #5 
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Oh it sounded like you were waiting to get one - I see.

A 6 gallon is not big enough for neons, which are not exactly tropical fish - they like cooler water. 78 is their upper limit.

A 6 gallon is not large enough for a community tank, IMO.
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:39 PM   #6 
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Sitting dry won't kill it either... It's likely that the fish in the 30g right now are healthy and able to fight it off because conditions are good (means your taking good care of them), but the bacteria will still be present in the tank. Trust me, alcohol is the most commonly available effective agent against mycobacteria. No point in not doing it right the first time and relying on (easily inaccurate) test fish.

You could keep a couple guppies or endlers instead of neons.
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:38 PM   #7 
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Lysol works well, but the main thing is the removal of all the biofilm.

Mycobacterial Infections of Fish see Disinfection protocols

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Old 11-10-2013, 02:41 PM   #8 
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To clarify... The Lysol must be hospital grade. The everyday Lysol you buy at Walmart won't do anything.

I recommend alcohol because it's common.
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:15 PM   #9 
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Ethyl alcohol at 50 or 70 percent concentrations is perfectly acceptable. Lysol as long as it has 1% benzyl-4-chlorophenol-2-phenylphenol,or sodium chlorite, are all acceptable.

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