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Mav

Tank Re-set Cleaning

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This may be on the board somewhere else, but I am not in a frame of mind to look around for it right now, so I'm just asking anyways.

Inky, my calico oranda, the last of the three fish I got in Sept. 2002 died yesterday. :cry1 We'd been through a lot in the last six months, most notably the almost-5-day trip from Montana to Virginia in October (new job, had to move). My work schedule's been insane since about January, too.

I haven't done anything to the tank yet (when I tested the water the other day, the pH was like 7.5, ammonia was 0, nitrite was 0, nitrate was in the 5-10 range, so the water was good).

I'm not ready to go get new fish yet, and even if I was, wouldn't do so for at least another month (I am taking a week-long trip to see family in a bit less than a month, and I don't think it'd be fair to get new fish and then leave for a week).

So what do I do with the tank? How do I clean it? What do I clean it with? Do I keep everything running? Do I need to drain out all the water and start over?

I have no idea where to go with this right now, so all advice is appreciated.

--Mav

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Guest dan-d

I am interested in the responces too, I set up a new tank, cycled it with amonia, and am now waiting for fish. I just keep tinkeling in a little amonia each day, until I find my short tail ryukins.

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-If you can be bothered to keep the tank set up and running, then do. You don't need to rip the tank apart. By the end of the month, or how ever long you plan on going fishless, any pest that was killing your previous fish will have died off (most wont survive if they don't have a 'host' (ie the goldfish)), I'd suggest to keep 'feeding' your biological filter during this time so you don't have to re-cycle your tank, and when you're ready for your fish you can just go out and buy it.

'feeding' your filter, -add a couple of flakes of goldfish food (or what ever) every couple of days. -You will still have to clean the water occasionally as the food will rot, but this should produce enough 'food' (ammonia) to keep your filter working during the time your tank is fish-less. :D

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If the fish died of natural causes, then you can safely "feed" the filter like discribed above, until you are ready for a new finned friend. If your fish died from illness, I'd suggest to take everything down and clean it really good with bleach, to make sure that whatever caused the disease/death is really gone, and you don't infect any future fish. Some parasites die down when there isn't a host in the tank, while other happily hibernate, so to speak, until another fish comes along. :)

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I don't really know why Inky died. I started with 3 fish in September 2002, and I never added to that. Cadbury died in August 2003, from likely swim bladder complications (fish-keeping newbie back then, I didn't even know such a thing existed). Sir Talks-A-Lot died in August 2006, probably from a combination of heat (my old place in MT didn't have air conditioning, which is not unusual there), and something internal -- he was developing a strange swelling on just one side.

So there hadn't been any other fish in the tank for more than 6 months, and we moved cross-country. All the MT water is long gone, and has been replaced by Virginia water.

My best guess is that at some point, while I wasn't around, he was rooting for food, and got a tiny piece of gravel stuck in his system -- far enough back that I couldn't see it, much less get it out, and that caused the problems. Again, I don't really know.

I didn't see any particular signs of illness -- no flashing, no white spots, no pineconing -- he just sat on the bottom more and more in the last few days. But he was always kind of a contemplative fish who liked to veg on the bottom and sleep, so that wasn't immediately obvious as abnormal for him.

I know parasites can cause some of that too, but I guess I'm wondering, where they would have come from, if I didn't have any new fish, and in almost 5 years, I hadn't seen any sign of them before? :unsure:

So that's why I think it was 'natural' causes, but again, I'm not really sure.

--Mav

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For the time being, I'm just going to let the tank run and "feed" it from time to time, as nobody has responded back on the issue of how likely it is that there is/is not some kind of parasite/disease-causing bug in the tank.

As I never really saw any symptoms of that in the nearly 5 years this tank's been up, I'm going to guess that's not the problem.

Seriously, though, if anybody can give me a good idea as to how I can tell if I need to tear everything out or not, that would be greatly appreciated.

--Mav

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