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Old 04-27-2011, 03:06 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Sterilizing a tank after a death?

so one of my favorite bettas that i got over a year ago from a table decoration at a formal dinner died this morning . i saw late last night that he wasn't super perky like usual and then i noticed his scales were sticking out. i tried to make him as comfortable as possible, and when i woke up this morning, he was dead in his little pineapple house..

but i was wondering how does one "sterilize" a tank after a fish got sick from something like dropsy? i don't want my next betta to get the same disease. i saw some people say just to rinse the tank and plants with hot water, leave tap water so the chlorine can help, and some other small things, but any suggestions?

the tank is a 5gal tank
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:49 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Apr 2010
If you too worried you can also use bleach. I did that in the past. Here are instructions I found on the net. Please be aware that it may change colours of your decorations, especially plastic plants. If you leave cleaned stuff on the sun, it will also help break down any bleach residue.

"When buying bleach for aquarium cleaning, only use regular bleach like Chlorox Regular Bleach or an equivalent. Do not use bleach mixed with detergent. Detergents leave dangerous residue that can be fatal to aquarium fish.
Using a typical household bleach (which is already about 5% bleach) mix 9 parts water with 1 part regular bottled bleach. I like to store it short term in a spray bottle purchased at my local hardware store. Note that bleach does break down fairly quickly so only make small quantities at a time. Never store bleach in a bottled previously used with other chemicals.
Wipe any debris from the aquarium with warm water and a paper towel.
Spray all surfaces of the aquarium with the 10% solution you have just created. I like to do this in my bathtub to contain the overspray. Sanitizing outdoors is also a good option.
Let the aquarium sit for 10-15 minutes. Bleach is a corrosive chemical and can cause damage to your aquarium if left too long. Do not allow it to sit for longer than 15 minutes.
Rinse thoroughly. When you are done rinsing, rinse again for good measure.
Allow the aquarium to air dry completely. This will help to insure that the bleach solution has broken down into harmless byproducts.
Once you set up your aquarium, fill the tank with water and dose with a good aquarium water dechlorinator."
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:56 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: N.E. Wisconsin, U.S.A.
I had one of my bettas die suddenly a couple weeks ago - no idea why.

So what I did with his tank is I took everything out - the live plants I put in a bucket of untreated water. The gravel, heater tank & filter I rinsed in straight hot water then let everything sit dry for 24 hours. After the 24 hours I filled the tank up with straight hot water and added 1 1/2 tsp. of canning salt per gallon. Plugged in the filter and ran the tank like that for another 24 hours - you can go longer if you like, that's just what I did. After that 24 hours I did a BIG water change and moved another betta into the tank - he is still going strong. :)

As for the live plants, I put them in my community tank after having them sit in the untreated water for 24 hours. They are now back in their original tank with the betta.
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