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Old 11-13-2011, 08:54 PM   #1 
ArcticRain
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How do I disinfect my tank to make it safe for a new Betta?

I know this has been asked many times but, I feel the need to ask as the other posts don't answer my questions.

Here's the story... My betta Lucky died last night from some unknown cause. His only symptoms was being lethargic, loss of color and gasping for breath. He died only one day after showing these symptoms. I did what I could but it was to late. He died in a QT tank.
Now that he is buried I would like to thoroughly sanitize his tank for a new fish. I plan to throw out the gravel but I can not throw out any of the decor, heater or the tank it self.
I have had one person suggest using vinegar, how would one go about using vinegar to clean a tank? I have also heard about just rinsing the tank in hot water and leaving out side to sun dry. If my betta died from somthing contagious I definitely don't want my new Betta to get it and die also.

How would you go about cleaning the tank, decorations and heater?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:56 AM   #2 
Bombalurina
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You can either use white vinegar and baking soda to scrub it, then blast it with hot water, or use a 1:20 bleach:water solution instead, then rinse it. Either way, it should be safe after that, especially if you let it dry naturally. :)
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Old 11-14-2011, 03:32 AM   #3 
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I use half hot water and half vinegar and scrub everything with it by hand even the gravel. After letting it soak for a few and scrubbing it with the vinegar rinse under hot water and set it up....But that's how I do things.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:50 PM   #4 
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Ok, thank you for your sugestions! I was going to let this this thread die but, I still have the tank sitting in my living room with water still in it trying to think of a way to clean it... I really want to clean it but I just want to make sure that what ever method i use my new fish will be happy and healthy.
Does anyone have any other ideas on a way to clean my tank that will be safe for my fish?
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:53 AM   #5 
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I recently did a google search on this because I bought a gross aquarium off of craigslist (it was cheap...but the gravel & even fish was literally stuck to the bottom which I didn't realize until I started to try to take stuff out of it). So, first I scraped the stuff out and then I soaked it in regular hose water outside and let it sit for a few hours (while I figured out if I was really going to tackle it or try to return it to the seller). Then I let it air dry. Then - the googled result - I made a paste of baking soda and water and used that with sponge & scrubber to scrub off all of the stuff that still stuck. I had distilled white vinegar standing by should I need heavy duty cleaning (the googled search said to dab the vinegar on any stuff left behind after cleaning with the baking soda/water paste, let sit, then scrub off). Don't mix the vinegar and baking soda because it'll foam and disappear. lol! (common elementary school science project for lava from a volcano ...and I accidentally did this at the start). Then, I rinsed it all really well with hot water and air dried. (I then leak tested it to make sure my scrubbing didn't cause leaks.) It is actually pretty sparkly clean now - you wouldn't know it was disgusting before.
I think as long as you stick with either the baking soda solution or the vinegar solution and rinse well, you'll be fine. I'm scared of the bleach solution.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:53 PM   #6 
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Thank you! I believe I will use the vinegar to clean the tank. I'm also scared about using bleach...
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:18 PM   #7 
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Only thing I have ever used was the 1:20 bleach and water solution, extra rinse and left out to dry in the sun. Vinegar did nothing for me, and I'd be scared the baking soda would scratch the glass lol

I wonder if using pure ammonia in a 1:40 solution mix would work and be safe? Since it's... ammonia? I know a lot of older people used ammonia for cleaning the house.
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:30 PM   #8 
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I'm conflicted.... I wish I could just rinse it a lot in hot water the let sun dry then repeat like three times. But, I'm afraid it wouldn't get clean enough and that any fish I put in there would die...
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:30 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticRain View Post
I'm conflicted.... I wish I could just rinse it a lot in hot water the let sun dry then repeat like three times. But, I'm afraid it wouldn't get clean enough and that any fish I put in there would die...
That is usually all that is needed...a good cleaning with fresh tepid water and sun or air dry never hurts for 24h.....as long as it wasn't a outside contamination from a toxic substance and this would depend on what that was...often all that is needed is clean tepid water....good that you plan to toss the gravel and no need to toss any of the electronic items- like heaters, thermometer, filters and even some of the decorations.....these can be cleaned just like the tank......

Often when a fish dies from unknown reasons the infecting pathogen if that was what caused it in the first place is an ever present pathogen and no matter what you do it will be in the tank......proper care and nutrition that supports the immune response and antibody development is what prevent the fish from becoming infected....along with water changes that can help keep the proper balance of both the good and bad pathogen/bacteria.....neither too clean or too dirty.....
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:43 PM   #10 
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I will probably just use hot water then. Thanks for everyones help!
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