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Old 03-21-2011, 11:52 AM   #1 
tigerone63
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lincoln Park Michigan
Cleaning a tank after a fatal bout of dropsy

Hello. My beloved Tiny passed away this weekend as a result of complications from dropsy. I wish to clean/sterilize his tank for a new beta but I am unsure how to do this. I have read that some people use bleach, others aquarium salt, still others plain vinegar. Some even advocate very hot water followed by an extended drying period.

Any recommendations? The tank is a 2.5 gallon acrylic. Everything except the heater is being tossed (including nets, the small gravel washer I've been using). I would appreciate any advice.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:05 PM   #2 
Malvolti
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Here's how I usually do it.

1) Toss the decorations/gravel
2) Fill tank with extremely hot water (not boiling or you might melt or crack the acrylic).
3) Disolve as much salt in the water as it will take.
4) Let sit for a day
5) Empty and let dry for 4 days
6) Repeat steps 2-4
7)Refil with hot water, no salt
8) Let sit for a few hours
9) repeat 7-8
10) Set up as normal

I don't like using bleach or vinegar since any residue can kill your fish. However salt and hot water won't gaurantee it's clean and a re-infection can kill your fish.

You just have to pick the method you're most comfortable with and do it as thoroughly as possible.
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:13 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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I use diluted bleach and lots of warm running water when I need to nuke a tank due to contagious pathogens or a used tank that needs cleaned up before use and then air dry for several days....most pathogens that infect fish can't survive being dehydrated....

Equipment-like cleaning supplies, nets, heater...etc....rinse in warm running water and let them air dry for at least 24h and they should be fine...even the gravel and decoration...rinse and air dry

Although dropsy is a symptom of many different pathogens that can infect our fish it is not always related to something that is contagious...often dropsy is due to poor conditions, nutrition, compromised immune response and it can even be from age in some cases....

A lot of the pathogen that infect our fish are also ever present in the tank and regardless of cleaning method they will still be in the tank.....just part of the chain of life so-to-speak.......by maintaining good water quality, good nutrition for preventive measures can help keep the fish immune response functioning and this in turn can help prevent health issues in the fish....even in a closed system you have both good and bad bacteria/pathogens that work together...the hobbyist goal is to keep these numbers in check with regular water changes......you don't want to try and create a sterile environment and upset the balance in the little ecosystem you create in a glass/acrylic box.......
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:40 PM   #4 
tigerone63
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Thank you very much for you reply OFL and Malvolti. I think I will just use some diluted bleach and lots of rinsing (LOTS of rinsing) followed by some dry time followed by treatment with a good dechlorinator. Hopefully I won't have any problems.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:25 AM   #5 
inTOXICATEDx2
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interesting... both my betta's passed from dropsy but all tank mates were still kickin'. I'm still confused, and a little worried since I just added a rescued betta into one of the tanks. Any thoughts? [not meant to thread-jack, but looking for answers] He seems to be thriving.
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