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FredTheGoldfish

Cleaning the Tank after a Fish Death :(

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Sad news: my sweet, color changing fish, Treasure, passed away after a long illness. Her old tank mate, Skippy, died while we were away on vacation in Hawaii in June. I was not there to see Skippy pass, as she was being taken care of by an inexperienced fish sitter for 3 weeks.

 

In hind site, I should have done a more thorough tank cleaning after Skippy passed away. Instead, I did a regular cleaning, then bought a new fish (Bubbles), put Bubbles through a 6 week QT in a 10 gallon tub, then introduced the new fish to my main tank. I gave the main tank (29 gallons) two rounds of a prazi treatment.

 

Anyways, I've noticed that Treasure gradually lost her appetite and energy, and last week, she swelled up and pineconed out big time, and died two days ago. I removed Bubbles to my 10 gallon QT bucket with an air disk and started her on a prazi treatment.

 

So my main tank is now empty of fish (while Bubbles is in QT) but full of live plants, fake plants, river rocks, an air stone, mopani wood, and black Tahitian sand. This time, I want to properly clean the tank before putting Bubbles back into it.

 

At this point, should I throw everything away and start over/re cycle the tank? What do you recommend I do after losing 2 fish in the last 6 months?

Edited by FredTheGoldfish

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Oh, sorry to hear Treasure has passed... I'm not absolutely sure what to do but someone will chime in soon I'm sure.

I dont think you will need to re-cycle...lets see what the mods have to say :thumbup2:

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I'd run the tank on high heat (86-ish Fahrenheit, the plants should be fine) with no occupant for 6-8 weeks to deal with any potential parasite. Do a 100% water change with thorough cleaning under and around any ornaments, and then use colloidal silver in the system to deal with any lingering bacteria. You may have a slight cycle bump but it should be much less dramatic than sterilizing everything in there.

There are a few bacterial and viral things I'd completely break a tank down for, and your tank may have one (mycoplasma in fish) but the heat and time without a host, plus silver, should take care of that.

You can wipe out the tank, bleach everything, toss the media and start over. I probably wouldn't given what you've described though.

Edited by Arctic Mama

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Sorry for your loss. RIP Treasure.

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I hope everthing goes well and its nothing too sinister :)

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Oh, sorry to hear Treasure has passed... I'm not absolutely sure what to do but someone will chime in soon I'm sure.

I dont think you will need to re-cycle...lets see what the mods have to say :thumbup2:

 

I hope everthing goes well and its nothing too sinister :)

 

 

Thanks for the support!

 

Treasure was one of my favorite fish--she had a lot of personality. I wish I could've kept her alive longer. I want to do a better job with Bubbles.

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I'd run the tank on high heat (86-ish Fahrenheit, the plants should be fine) with no occupant for 6-8 weeks to deal with any potential parasite. Do a 100% water change with thorough cleaning under and around any ornaments, and then use colloidal silver in the system to deal with any lingering bacteria. You may have a slight cycle bump but it should be much less dramatic than sterilizing everything in there.

There are a few bacterial and viral things I'd completely break a tank down for, and your tank may have one (mycoplasma in fish) but the heat and time without a host, plus silver, should take care of that.

You can wipe out the tank, bleach everything, toss the media and start over. I probably wouldn't given what you've described though.

 

Thank you so much for your expert advice! :)

 

For the thorough cleaning, does that mean just scrubbing everything down in a bucket of Prime'd water, like I normally do?

 

Also, what is colloidal silver and how do I use it? Does it need to be rinsed/scrubbed out afterwards?

 

And finally, is 6-8 weeks in a 10 gallon QT tub going to negatively impact Bubbles's well-being? I mean, is there anything I should do to make it more comfortable for her? It's so small and dark and empty in there.

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Hi there

I found this in another post: 

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/122517-at-a-loss-with-colloidal-silver-dosage-application/?p=1932970

 

This shows you what colloidal silver is although please wait for Arctic Mama to confirm dosages etc...

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Search colloidal silver on Amazon, bottles are usually available at the natural foods store and certainly online. It's a liquid. I'd do about a teaspoon per gallon with no fish in there, so a tablespoon for your 29 gallon tank should do nicely. If you don't want to do the silver you can run methylene blue in there instead as an antifunfal/antibacterial. I'd do 1 tablespoon every three days for two weeks, and then just let the tank run and rebalance in the remaining period without fish. Lights would need to stay off and it might stain your decor a bit, so that's the only small risk. It would also help handle your tank without completely obliterating your cycle.

You shouldn't need to change the water out more than once every two weeks after the completion of either treatment, and leave all plants and ornaments in. Scrubbing is unnecessary. Just mind the lights for your plants if you choose silver over methylene blue - don't run them too long or leave them off unless you want dead plants ;)

Bubbles should be just fine. Maybe find a few quarter size river rocks for him to nose around in the QT and keep an eye out for impeccable water quality, adjusting as needed, but with oxygenation, clean water, and lightly feeding high quality for it should be just fine for a few weeks. If you're running the quarantine with cycled media you will have more leeway with water quality, but if you're just running it with an airstone I'd change the water daily or every other day, max, to keep it nice and clean while he waits for his home.

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Search colloidal silver on Amazon, bottles are usually available at the natural foods store and certainly online. It's a liquid. I'd do about a teaspoon per gallon with no fish in there, so a tablespoon for your 29 gallon tank should do nicely. If you don't want to do the silver you can run methylene blue in there instead as an antifunfal/antibacterial. I'd do 1 tablespoon every three days for two weeks, and then just let the tank run and rebalance in the remaining period without fish. Lights would need to stay off and it might stain your decor a bit, so that's the only small risk. It would also help handle your tank without completely obliterating your cycle.

You shouldn't need to change the water out more than once every two weeks after the completion of either treatment, and leave all plants and ornaments in. Scrubbing is unnecessary. Just mind the lights for your plants if you choose silver over methylene blue - don't run them too long or leave them off unless you want dead plants ;)

Bubbles should be just fine. Maybe find a few quarter size river rocks for him to nose around in the QT and keep an eye out for impeccable water quality, adjusting as needed, but with oxygenation, clean water, and lightly feeding high quality for it should be just fine for a few weeks. If you're running the quarantine with cycled media you will have more leeway with water quality, but if you're just running it with an airstone I'd change the water daily or every other day, max, to keep it nice and clean while he waits for his home.

 

 

Thank you so much for your help, Arctic Mama! I really appreciate it. :)

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