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Old 11-20-2011, 12:55 AM   #1 
ksnider
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Tank Cleaning After Fish Dies?

I brought home two betta fish on Wednesday, and one passed away today. (Details are in my introductory thread.) The tank he was in is a one gallon with a heater, gravel (small rocks) on the bottom, a java fern, and two small Cryptocoryne. I'd like to keep it set up and get a second betta when I have a bit more money. (Maybe one off aquabid? I haven't decided.) If it was just the tank, I'd clean it thoroughly with vinegar and let it dry a while, but I have the plants in there as well. I know I should definitely do a water change, but what else should I do to make sure the tank is clean and ready for the next betta? Since the plants aren't really established yet, should I take them out and rinse them, and then thoroughly clean everything else? Ninereeds, the fish that was in the tank, had some white, almost slimy? stuff on his eyes towards the end - I don't know if it was something to do with his slime coat, or maybe a bacterial or fungal infection taking over.

Thanks,

Kaitlin Snider
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:21 AM   #2 
BeautifulBetta
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When I clean my big tank with gravel and stuff, I usually put the gravel in boiling water a few times to kill anything on it. After a fish dies I do extra cleaning on everything. I'm so overly cautious about it, sometimes I throw the gravel away and don't use anything that had been in the tank again lol. I'm a little eccentric sometimes, but it makes me feel better knowing theres all new stuff going into my tanks :P
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:22 PM   #3 
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When I clean my big tank with gravel and stuff, I usually put the gravel in boiling water a few times to kill anything on it. After a fish dies I do extra cleaning on everything. I'm so overly cautious about it, sometimes I throw the gravel away and don't use anything that had been in the tank again lol. I'm a little eccentric sometimes, but it makes me feel better knowing theres all new stuff going into my tanks :P
Exactly, Do you know what killed the betta? It could have nothing to do with the actual tank. Its sad but if you watch the Petco Betta's for a while you'll see that many of them couldn't handle the stress of delivery and won't last long. It may just be that you picked one who wasn't a survivor. In any event wash your tank down well, power wash the gravel, bacteria loves to stay clung to it; boiling isn't a bad idea I'll actually remember that one for later . Wash your plants as well as you can and keep them in a different container for now IF you think you had an illness kill your betta.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:32 PM   #4 
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Just read your other threads, POWER WASH EVERYTHING! I would look up how to dip the plants in a 1 to 10 bleach solution to disinfect them as well. Make sure to pick up some stress coat, Prime, etc. for your water too. Run straight cold tap water, treat the water in a jug and let it sit out for at least 12 hours before using it (this allows it to out gas and you won't have gas bubbles appear, it also helps with water clouding).

I would bet money you had a columnaris bloom in your tank. I had the same thing happen to my white crown tail and it killed him within 48 hours. He only developed the white fuzz on the last day. I traced the bloom back from my 10 gallon that had old gravel full of dead snails to his tank because I sat one of the plant sprigs I was rooting in the aquarium in his water while I cleaned the 10 gallon . The good news is I'm using the 10 gallon now and all is well! Just a really thorough cleaning with the garden hose, some CLR to remove lime and a spoon full of Oxy clean. Rinse Rinse Rinse, and use your hand or a scotch bright (so long as the tank is glass).
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:15 PM   #5 
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Brian, that's basically what I ended up doing just a bit earlier today. I washed everything except the plants in a fairly strong bleach solution, let them sit for a while, then rinsed them really really well. I rinsed the plants really well in a slightly less strong bleach solution, and then rinsed them with tap water. I wasn't sure if they would handle it or not, but I'd rather have clean dead plants than live plants that are going to infect my tank. Rinsed everything really really well (my hands were raisins by halfway through), patted it dry with a clean towel, let it dry for a few hours, and then put it all together again. (I kept the plants in a clean bowel with a bit of water by a window until I put it back together.) I'd have boiled things, but the tank, a lot of the little bits (like the rubber thingy holding the thermometer to the tank), and the fake plant are all plastic, so I don't know if they would have held up.

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:29 PM   #6 
ksnider
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I also read up a bit and did a double dose of the dechlorinator, just in case there's bits of bleach that I missed.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:10 PM   #7 
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you could just QT your live plants in tap water for a few weeks .. chlorine in tap water should kill all the baddies that leech onto live plants without actually harming the plant .. the bleach solution wash/dunk is a bad idea for live plants .. also salt and hot water is bad for live plants too

as for gravel and tank and decorations .. an aq salt + vinegar mix solution (i use 1/2 cup salt 1 cup vinegar in 1g tap water which usually has chlorine) will clear out most baddies .. then a sun bath (uv rays from natural sunlight) will kill off the rest .. or if u have a UV sterilizer u could use that too ^_^

Last edited by HatsuneMiku; 11-20-2011 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:14 PM   #8 
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you could just QT your live plants in tap water for a few weeks .. chlorine in tap water should kill all the baddies that leech onto live plants without actually harming the plant .. the bleach solution wash/dunk is a bad idea for live plants .. also salt and hot water is bad for live plants too

as for gravel and tank and decorations .. an aq salt + vinegar mix solution (i use 1/2 cup salt 1 cup vinegar in 1g tap water which usually has chlorine) will clear out most baddies .. then a sun bath (uv rays from natural sunlight) will kill off the rest .. or if u have a UV sterilizer u could use that too ^_^
All very good advice.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:14 PM   #9 
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would the procedure be different if the roots are established? the oldest betta i have is atleast a year old and has the size to match it. atm the live plants in the 5gal divided aren't established but i do know that one of the betta in the divided tank will eventually be going with age or sickness.
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