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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning, everyone.

I got a betta earlier this week who unfortunately died this morning. :( We never really figured out what was wrong with him and I guess he was too far along in the disease to really be helped.

Anyway, I have a lovely piece of driftwood in the tank, and I tied some java fern, amazon sword, and an anubias to it.

I am assuming that I can either go fallow (for how long, though?) to spare the plants? Or I can just toss the plants (there were only like 4 of them anyway) and bleach the tank and all the pieces and start over.

The question is: if I choose to go that route, what do I do with the driftwood? Would boiling it for a few hours be enough to kill whatever it was that killed my fish? If not, is there another means of sterilizing driftwood?

I don't really have experience with planted tanks, I keep mostly fake plants and marimo balls in all of my betta tanks. So this is new territory to me.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your fish. :cry:

Generally I never recommend keeping anything porous from a tank where an inhabitant has died from unknown causes. Boiling does not kill Mycobacterium Marinum.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm sorry to hear about your fish. :cry:

Generally I never recommend keeping anything porous from a tank where an inhabitant has died from unknown causes.
I am for sure going to toss the plants, though I am sad about it because they are nice plants and I spent a pretty penny on them (well, a pretty penny for me, anyway, lol).

But I do want to keep the driftwood if I can. It's a really nice piece. :(
 

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I am for sure going to toss the plants, though I am sad about it because they are nice plants and I spent a pretty penny on them (well, a pretty penny for me, anyway, lol).

But I do want to keep the driftwood if I can. It's a really nice piece. :(
There's no way to kill Mycobacterium Marinum (fish tuberculosis) unless you soak the entire piece of wood in 91% Isopropyl Alcohol for roughly 10 to 15 minutes. And unfortunately there's no 100% way to ensure that your fish did not pass away from myco without a vet testing the fish.

The choice is of course yours to make.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There's no way to kill Mycobacterium Marinum (fish tuberculosis) unless you soak the entire piece of wood in 91% Isopropyl Alcohol for roughly 10 to 15 minutes. And unfortunately there's no 100% way to ensure that your fish did not pass away from myco without a vet testing the fish.

The choice is of course yours to make.
So bleaching the tank is not enough either? o_O
 

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Hate to say it is either risk it, or throw it. TBH, it is almost unrealistic for most hobbyists to chuck everything, as it all costs money. But that risk is always there. Chances are it was not TB, as there are so many diseases, bacteria and parasites, along with genetic defects, that could kill a fish without symptoms, that it is statistically likely to be something else. TB is the hardest to erradicate, and the bleach/rinse/rinse/rinse again does efffectively eliminate risks of *most* of the others. But if it was TB, it can and will strike again.

I have just had 6 fishy deaths, in my breeding tank, as I needed a QT big enough for all of them... I have no idea what did it.... :/ So, I am bleaching my tank and boiling my wood. Then, as awful of me as it is, I am going to buy a healthy, cheap, wildtype female or two to QT in there. If they last a month, they get a new, nice home with me and I will be happier about putting in £50 worth of females. Sounds horrid, but I can't throw that much away if it is TB. I am not sure if I will ever be confident using it for breeding again, though...

It really is a gamble, but you can minimise your risk of losses. If you sterlise the tank, and boil the wood, and then the new occupant is fine, you have saved a fortune on buying new equipment. But the risk must be acknowledged.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hate to say it is either risk it, or throw it. TBH, it is almost unrealistic for most hobbyists to chuck everything, as it all costs money. But that risk is always there. Chances are it was not TB, as there are so many diseases, bacteria and parasites, along with genetic defects, that could kill a fish without symptoms, that it is statistically likely to be something else. TB is the hardest to erradicate, and the bleach/rinse/rinse/rinse again does efffectively eliminate risks of *most* of the others. But if it was TB, it can and will strike again.

I have just had 6 fishy deaths, in my breeding tank, as I needed a QT big enough for all of them... I have no idea what did it.... :/ So, I am bleaching my tank and boiling my wood. Then, as awful of me as it is, I am going to buy a healthy, cheap, wildtype female or two to QT in there. If they last a month, they get a new, nice home with me and I will be happier about putting in £50 worth of females. Sounds horrid, but I can't throw that much away if it is TB. I am not sure if I will ever be confident using it for breeding again, though...

It really is a gamble, but you can minimise your risk of losses. If you sterlise the tank, and boil the wood, and then the new occupant is fine, you have saved a fortune on buying new equipment. But the risk must be acknowledged.
So sorry for your losses, it's so hard to lose fishes. :( *hug*

I was planning on bleaching the ever living poop out of the tank, rinse, bleach again, rinse again, and probably spraying with rubbing alcohol, letting that sit, then rinsing it again, and then rinsing it again. And maybe rinsing it once more. And then letting it dry completely (along with all the items that go in it that CAN be bleached).

Then I was going to boil the driftwood and then bake it <_< and then let it dry out in the sunlight and THEN add it back to the tank. I don't *think* it was fish TB, he didn't have NO symptoms, just the symptoms he did have weren't easily identified. I think, from examining him last night very closely under a bright ass light, that it was velvet, and I just got him too late (I've only had him for 4 days, he was looking sad in his cup at the store, but I thought it was the typical sadness from being in a crappy cup in crappy water, and that given time at my house he'd be okay. But from then he just got worse).

I don't *know* for certain, though, what it was. I just know that nothing I did helped him and I was expecting him to be dead by this morning and he was. And now I'm going to have a bleach and alcohol party. >.<
 

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I have bleach dipped driftwood before to deal with algae, just plugged and filled the utility sink with tap, added bleach, stirred and put in wood. After a 30 minute soak I rinsed thoroughly then boiled for several hours (changing boil water every hour) to make sure it was safe before going back into the tank. Note bleaching may discolor wood (lighten in). If you monitor it close its also possible to bake the driftwood in the oven at a very low temp (i did it for 5 hours at 170). Boil after to re-water log
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have bleach dipped driftwood before to deal with algae, just plugged and filled the utility sink with tap, added bleach, stirred and put in wood. After a 30 minute soak I rinsed thoroughly then boiled for several hours (changing boil water every hour) to make sure it was safe before going back into the tank. Note bleaching may discolor wood (lighten in).
I may try that, thanks for the suggestion! :)
 

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All you can do is give it a go. If you get another fish, pick the healthiest one you can find (try to get in to the store on delivery day, or consider shipping from a breeder) and ensure you keep the water in tip top condition.

If the other fish has problems, it's safe to say you'll need to throw the driftwood and probably get something from the vets to sterilize your tank. So, it is a risk, and if you wanted to be 100% sure you would have to throw the driftwood, but that's not really for us to advise you on. If it was me... I don't know. I haven't been in the same situation so I'm not sure if I'd risk it or not!
 

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All you can do is give it a go. If you get another fish, pick the healthiest one you can find (try to get in to the store on delivery day, or consider shipping from a breeder) and ensure you keep the water in tip top condition.

If the other fish has problems, it's safe to say you'll need to throw the driftwood and probably get something from the vets to sterilize your tank. So, it is a risk, and if you wanted to be 100% sure you would have to throw the driftwood, but that's not really for us to advise you on. If it was me... I don't know. I haven't been in the same situation so I'm not sure if I'd risk it or not!
Yeah, I went on Tuesday for their (so I guess I have had him 5 days) shipment, but they didn't have any new fish, really. I saw him there and took pity on him. I've successfully gotten several other bettas that looked sad in the store and are freaking swans now (as in: totally gorgeous and recovered from being in crappy cups). I honestly thought he would be okay, and I really want to add a CT to my collection.

I have been considering keeping an eye out on Aquabid for a good CT, but again, I'm leary now because what if I spend all this $$ on a beautiful fish and it mysteriously croaks in a couple months? =| Ugh. I really hope that bleaching, boiling, spraying with alcohol, and baking is enough!!

Sheesh! The stuff we go through as fish owners, right?
 

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Tell me about it. I just spend twenty ****ing minutes tweezing individual water fleas to my betta who is having some kind of trouble eating/swallowing at the moment!!
 

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I am not sure how it will affect driftwood or if you can save it. It seems unlikely since it's so porus.

However, I will mention studies have shown full strength 6% (not regular 5% there is a difference!) household cleaning vinegar can break down the walls of mycobacterium. It must be full strength undiluted and a minimum of 30 minute exposure but I would doing it longer. This kind is that I buy:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Heinz-Cleaning-Vinegar-1-gal/21570071


I explored this topic previously to decontaminate a use aquarium and posted before. Initially, I went looking for denatured alchohol which is what I've read is best for killing mycobacterium (Merk Vet Manual) aside from freeze drying which not within my reach. I had discussion with a pharmacist he said denatured alchohol is ethanol. I googled denatured alcohol toxic stuff come up( like furniture stripper). So I decided to look for alternatives. Acetic Acid can be found easily it's important to note this is stronger than household vinegar. Mycobacterium has waxy outer shell that is resistant to many chemicals including bleach so having the exactly the right acid concentration would be important.

"Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York tested TB strains and found that exposure to a 6% solution of acetic acid for 30 minutes effectively kills tuberculosis, even strains resistant to almost all antibiotics." Said another way, exposure to 6% acetic acid, just slightly more concentrated than supermarket vinegar, for 30 minutes, reduced the numbers of TB mycobacteria from around 100 million to undetectable levels."

http://www.brightsurf.com/news/headl...obacteria.html

This source in of itself is an article on an abstract that I believe came from here (you can find other write ups on this)

http://mbio.asm.org/content/5/2/e00013-14.abstract

Here is a full length article of one study:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3940030/

It must be full strength to do any good.
 

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How am I supposed to sterilize the tank, silk plants, filter, etc., then?
When I lost two very expensive groups of micro fish in a brand new 6G Fluval Edge with plants, Tahitian moon sand, driftwood, rainbow rock, etc. etc. etc. to fish tuburculosis I tossed everything except the tank and the filter housing. Those I soaked in 91% Isopropyl Alcohol. I have yet to this day been able to bring myself to use that tank or that filter. It is collecting dust in the basement, and my heart hurts every time I walk by it to go do laundry. I lost hundreds of dollars after only having them 6 months (it took that long for the Myco to even show up). I was heartsick that I had to throw so much out, and even more heartsick that regardless of my efforts I could not save a single fish. That gutted me, and I almost said screw it and sold all my aquatic stuff and fish.

Having pets is not a cheap endeavor by any means. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
 

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http://www.brightsurf.com/news/headl...obacteria.html

This source in of itself is an article on an abstract that I believe came from here (you can find other write ups on this)

http://mbio.asm.org/content/5/2/e00013-14.abstract

Here is a full length article of one study:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3940030/

It must be full strength to do any good.
None of those articles have anything to do with mycobacterium marinum. Human tuberculosis is completely different from aquatic tuberculosis. Vinegar will not kill aquatic tuberculosis.
 

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I should mention I am not encouraging you to try using the driftwood or experimenting with another fish. I don't see fish as units for experimentation and oh well if they die I've lost $8 (one betta). However, if I bought a used tank I would scrub, using UV light and the 6% vinegar to decontaminate. The use of alcohol in a fish tank scares me. I don't feel I could ever rinse well enough to get rid of it. I imagine you can but I can't feel comfortable with it.

I currently use the full strength 6% vinegar for cleaning and bleach separately.
 
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