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Should I Nuke It?


Guest FishLikeSequins

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Guest FishLikeSequins

Hello everyone,

I just got back from vacation and my little Hoover passed away. He was my first and only goldfish, a red capped oranda in a 10 gallon. I wasn't able to cycle the tank before I left (like most people, I didn't know anything about cycling until after I came home with the fish), so I had a feeling there could be problems while I was gone. I believe my house-sitter posted here for advice when he first noticed that Hoover was sick. At first I thought he might have died from the ammonia, but my friend told me that he was floating lethargicly upsidedown and gasping. He said that sometimes a current would carry the fish into a plant, and he would just stay there. I think Hoover died pretty quickly after this started. I don't what the water parameters were when he was sick, I think my friend had a problem with the test kits. He also told me that Hoover's scales and fins looked completely normal while he was sick.

My question is: should I nuke the tank? I want to get a new fish *after the tank is cycled*, but should I start it all over? Also, if I do nuke it I'll boil all of the river rocks- but what do I do with the plastic plants? Can I boil them too?

Thanks for the help!

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My guess is that your little fish, Hoover, passed away from poor water conditions. But - and this is a big but - it could have been a combination of a whole bunch of interlinked problems.

If you had a working cycle, I would suggest that you starve the tank out, and not nuke it. Since you do not have a working cycle, you certainly could easily nuke it and have the added benefit that you know you are starting clean.

So, if you do decide to sterilize the tank, you can do several things. You can add enough potassium permanganate to the tank's water to turn it a bright purple and let it circulate through the tank and filter. If the water remains purple for 4 hours, you have successfully sterilized the tank. If it turns brown before that, add a bit more pp. You can remove the pp with hydrogen peroxide - it removes the color - and then change the water out if you wish. All plants, rocks, filter material (with the exception of sponges) should just be left in the tank. I would suggest that you do a super gravel vacumn before hand - then stir up the gravel big time and syphon out and replace as much of the gunky water as possible. PP sterililzes all biological matter - but to handle the waste that is in the gravel will take a whole lotta pp.

BOiling the gravel, the ceramic media if you have it, and filling the tank with a bleach solution of 10:1 water:bleach and letting it sit for 10 minutes will also do the trick. Biowheels, decorations, plastic plants, etc. can all be in this bleach solution. I would not bleach the gravel or the ceramic media - for they are so porous that it will be difficult to guarantee that all the bleach has been deactivated in all the tiny pores. AFter the bleach solution, I usually empty the tank out and set all the parts out in the bright sun. Then rise well, fill the tank and add a water conditioner that removes chlorine. Empty and rinse again and you are done.

SInce you really should consider getting the tank cycled before you get another fish, you could potentially just use the weeks that you will need to cycle this tank and starve it out - most parasites will not survive 2 weeks without a fish host. Unfortunately not all bacteria and virus are so fragile - so nuking may still be the best solution.

A fishless cycle will work splendidly for you and will prevent further sadness for you and your fish.....

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/FishlessCycle.html

:)

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Guest FishLikeSequins

Thank you so much for the advice, I think I am going to go ahead and nuke it. I was probably still in the ammonia stage when Hoover died, so it's not as if it was almost done. You're right, even though Hoover probably died from bad water quality, I don't want the risk of any parasites/viruses/bacteria lurking in there. After everything's sterilized I'm going to complete a fishless cycle and then buy a :newfish ! Ooh I wonder if I can get my hands on some BioSpira...

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Guest FishLikeSequins

Thank you Slugger!

He had so much personality, I loved that little fish. It's strange when you tell people that your fish died and they just laugh or something, they really have no clue how special these little guys can be.

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