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Bleach to sterilize tank


npila1

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Sorry if this is a stupid question but what kind of bleach do you use to sterilize your tanks? I'm not sure what exactly to get and I don't want to get anything that will stay in the tank and be toxic to my fish when I add them back into it. I don't have any bleach at home right now and I've never used bleach for cleaning the house either.

Does this look right for example? http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&productId=375765 (hopefully this will open for you)

Thanks!

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I think bleach kills pretty much anything; I doubt that after draining the tank there will be lots of flukes and eggs left though. The flukes that are not attached to the fish are mostly free floating, only a small amount of parasites will still be in the tank after you empty it.

But whatever is left in there will most likely be very dead after the bleaching!

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I think bleach kills pretty much anything; I doubt that after draining the tank there will be lots of flukes and eggs left though. The flukes that are not attached to the fish are mostly free floating, only a small amount of parasites will still be in the tank after you empty it.

But whatever is left in there will most likely be very dead after the bleaching!

Ok great... I am mostly worried about the eggs. So based on what you are saying, any eggs that are in the tank will either be removed by draining or killed by bleaching.

How much bleach should I get? About 4 gallons for a 40-gallon tank or is that overkill?

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That would be a 10% solution, I think that's about right. I bleached my filters (not the media) and other equipment with 50% solutions. You just need to rinse thoroughly afterward and additionally dechlor with a high dose of Prime :)

And then rinse again so you don't overdose the fish on Prime.

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That would be a 10% solution, I think that's about right. I bleached my filters (not the media) and other equipment with 50% solutions. You just need to rinse thoroughly afterward and additionally dechlor with a high dose of Prime :)

And then rinse again so you don't overdose the fish on Prime.

Thanks for all the info! I have two more questions if that's ok...

1) Do I need to sterilize (or throw out) my water change vacuum (python-type)? Is it possible for fluke eggs to stay in that tube?

2) How likely is it that I will have flukes/fluke eggs in my biomax? Is there anything to do about it (to kill the flukes but not the good bacteria)?

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What was the situation that led to your need to sterilize the tank? Did you have a massive infection?

Generally parasites do not live long without a host. If I wanted to be sure my biomedia was clean, I would rinse it well, sterilize the filter box and tubes and run the filter in a bucket of clean dechlorinated water with a little ammonia added to feed the biobugs. If I was really paranoid about it, I would change the water in the bucket and filter box every day. Within a week I would expect the incidence of pathogens in the filter to be far below that of a normal healthy system.

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What was the situation that led to your need to sterilize the tank? Did you have a massive infection?

Generally parasites do not live long without a host. If I wanted to be sure my biomedia was clean, I would rinse it well, sterilize the filter box and tubes and run the filter in a bucket of clean dechlorinated water with a little ammonia added to feed the biobugs. If I was really paranoid about it, I would change the water in the bucket and filter box every day. Within a week I would expect the incidence of pathogens in the filter to be far below that of a normal healthy system.

To cut a long story short, I've been trying to get rid of flukes for the past year and a half. I am planning to move my fish to a temporary tank while I sterilize everything in the main tank. I don't have a third filter, but I'm assuming putting it in a bucket with an airstone (and adding ammonia) would be sufficient.

On another note, today I washed the "temporary" tank with white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide (one after the other) to prepare it for moving my fish into it. Afterwards, I filled it up and emptied it three times. After refilling it, the water had an "oily" look. I wonder if it's because of the white vinegar (this is the first time I've used vinegar in an aquarium). Is this normal?

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What do you mean by an oily look? Did it look like it had oil on top? That is strange. Vinegar is an excellent cleaner and usually leaves everything sparkling. Both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are completely water soluble, and I don't think they could combine to produce something "oily." But if the water doesn't look good, empty it, rinse again and refill.

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What do you mean by an oily look? Did it look like it had oil on top? That is strange. Vinegar is an excellent cleaner and usually leaves everything sparkling. Both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are completely water soluble, and I don't think they could combine to produce something "oily." But if the water doesn't look good, empty it, rinse again and refill.

Thanks, I emptied and refilled it 3-4 more times and I think the water looks good now. Just to confirm, if I put my good bacteria in a container with an airstone and I add ammonia, they will survive for a week right?

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Instead of doing something that drastic, perhaps you could try the dewormer fenbendazole (active ingredient in Safeguard), or even fenben+Prazi, if you think you have resistant bugs.

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Thanks, I emptied and refilled it 3-4 more times and I think the water looks good now. Just to confirm, if I put my good bacteria in a container with an airstone and I add ammonia, they will survive for a week right?

Yes, they will survive as long as you keep the ammonia levels up. Test it everyday and make sure it's got at least 0.5ppm in the water at all times.

How much bleach should I get? About 4 gallons for a 40-gallon tank or is that overkill?

I make a much smaller batch -- about 1/2 c bleach, 5 c water -- and then splash it all over the inside of the tank. You don't have to fill the tank all the way up to sterilize it. I splash the bleach water into my tanks, and rub every surface with a soaked paper towel. Getting 4gal of bleach, and then draining it, just seems wasteful.

Thanks for all the info! I have two more questions if that's ok...

1) Do I need to sterilize (or throw out) my water change vacuum (python-type)? Is it possible for fluke eggs to stay in that tube?

2) How likely is it that I will have flukes/fluke eggs in my biomax? Is there anything to do about it (to kill the flukes but not the good bacteria)?

Answers:

1) Yes, you need to sterilize any hardware. That includes filter boxes, syphon tubes, airstones, heaters, filter intake tubes, algae scrapers, gravel, driftwood, syringes, lids, water change buckets. EVERYTHING! The easiest way to do it is fill your water change bucket with warm water, and about 1-2 cups of bleach. Then dip or soak everything in this water. That way your bucket is getting bleached and everything else is too! It's double-duty bleaching! :)

2) There is a high likelyhood that your biomax has fluke eggs. But isolating it for a week should kill them off. :) You can also add Prazi (along with the ammonia) to the bucket it's going to be running on. Make sure that your filter media is ON TOP of the airstone, so that both oxygen and water gets pushed through it.

Instead of doing something that drastic, perhaps you could try the dewormer fenbendazole (active ingredient in Safeguard), or even fenben+Prazi, if you think you have resistant bugs.

I would have to disagree with you, Alex. Bleaching isn't really drastic. I do it to all my tanks at least 4 times a year.

But I do agree on using Prazi on your fish. Otherwise the flukes will just keep reproducing.

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Thank you for your comments everyone, this is very helpful.

I make a much smaller batch -- about 1/2 c bleach, 5 c water -- and then splash it all over the inside of the tank. You don't have to fill the tank all the way up to sterilize it. I splash the bleach water into my tanks, and rub every surface with a soaked paper towel. Getting 4gal of bleach, and then draining it, just seems wasteful.

But I do agree on using Prazi on your fish. Otherwise the flukes will just keep reproducing.

I'm assuming you need to wear some kind of gloves to do this right? Are latex gloves safe to use in the aquarium?

I did try prazi (both prazipro and aquaprazi for multiple treatments) and it just didn't work for me. I think I'm dealing with a prazi-resistant strain. But why did you say the flukes will keep reproducing? I thought bleaching would get rid of all of them from the tank...

Edited by Mr.E
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Thank you for your comments everyone, this is very helpful.

I make a much smaller batch -- about 1/2 c bleach, 5 c water -- and then splash it all over the inside of the tank. You don't have to fill the tank all the way up to sterilize it. I splash the bleach water into my tanks, and rub every surface with a soaked paper towel. Getting 4gal of bleach, and then draining it, just seems wasteful.

But I do agree on using Prazi on your fish. Otherwise the flukes will just keep reproducing.

I'm assuming you need to wear some kind of gloves to do this right? Are latex gloves safe to use in the aquarium?

I did try prazi (both prazipro and aquaprazi for multiple treatments) and it just didn't work for me. I think I'm dealing with a prazi-resistant strain. But why did you say the flukes will keep reproducing? I thought bleaching would get rid of all of them from the tank...

Oops, this was me - the OP. My boyfriend left his account signed in on my computer. Sorry for any confusion.

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LOL. I was confused, but I did think it was you :rofl

Do you want to try fenbendazole? It's the active ingredient of Safeguard, the dog/cat de-wormer. You can find this easily at most pet stores. I can help with how much to use etc. and how to use if you like.

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Do you want to try fenbendazole? It's the active ingredient of Safeguard, the dog/cat de-wormer. You can find this easily at most pet stores. I can help with how much to use etc. and how to use if you like.

I looked that medication up when you first mentioned it and it says it's for intestinal worms - does it really work for flukes too? And is it gentle?

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Do you want to try fenbendazole? It's the active ingredient of Safeguard, the dog/cat de-wormer. You can find this easily at most pet stores. I can help with how much to use etc. and how to use if you like.

I looked that medication up when you first mentioned it and it says it's for intestinal worms - does it really work for flukes too? And is it gentle?

Yes, it's very good at killing flukes, as well. I wouldn't have suggested it otherwise :)

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Ok good to know, I will try to get some. I have already moved my fish to a temporary tank, so I would still like to sterilize my main tank and all my equipment.

The main tank is acrylic and I've been reading that acrylic tanks absorb chemicals a lot more than glass aquariums. Would it still be safe to use bleach or pp to in my acrylic aquarium? I tried to look it up but didn't find a clear answer.

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Do you want to try fenbendazole? It's the active ingredient of Safeguard, the dog/cat de-wormer. You can find this easily at most pet stores. I can help with how much to use etc. and how to use if you like.

I looked that medication up when you first mentioned it and it says it's for intestinal worms - does it really work for flukes too? And is it gentle?

Yes, it's very good at killing flukes, as well. I wouldn't have suggested it otherwise :)

I have been looking for safe-guard online and what I found is safe-guard canine dewormer - is this what I'm supposed to use?

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Ok I'll do that.

Most sources online say it's ok to use bleach and pp in acrylic tanks so I guess I will plan on doing that. Is it ok to bleach the tank, let it dry really well, rinse it multiple times, and then run it with pp for 8-12 hours? I know that some chemicals should not be combined or used in succession, so I just want to make sure I don't cause an explosion in my living room :P

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