The other day I was given some baby panda cories as a gift. I put them into my 7.5 gallon cycled tank with my betta and all seemed to be well. (I am aware cories need larger tanks than that- this was to be a quick solution until I had a 15 gallon set up.)
Except it turns out the cories were carrying cottonmouth. All three died within 24 hours of entering the tank, the first two showing no signs of illness until sudden death. The third had fungus on his head. I did an 80% water change last night in hopes of clearing up whatever sickness they brought with them and carefully checked my betta- he seemed fine.
This morning I woke up to clear signs of advanced cottonmouth, did what I could to treat it, but he didn't make it and died tonight. :(
Well, now I'm left with a depressingly empty tank, which is still nice and cycled with a very established set of living plants. I've been reading up on Cottonmouth and discovered it can live in nets and other tank objects. I would like to make my tank safe for new fish again. I know I can clean it entirely and start from scratch, but I wonder if there is a way to preserve it's good cycle and still eradicate the cottonmouth.
Also I would really hate to have to remove and clean all that substrate. Urk.