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Old 01-17-2019, 03:02 PM   #1
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Bought a USED 20 Gallon long. Has been cycled but unsure of disease/parasites?

Hey all,

I bought a used 20-gallon tank from someone on Craigslist that basically let their tank slip from maintenance and not proper care. The tank was already set up with black gravel, stones and dying plants. They apparently had other people's fish for a few months but the fish started to die and they gave up on the tank. The only thing in there right now is black gravel substrate (loaded with gunk it looks like), some long porous rocks, anubias plants attached (which are dying and melting big time) and the old filter media (which when I disassembled and rinsed in old tank water was FILTHY, hasn't been cleaned in a looooong time).

I have some fish that I want to move in there eventually but I want to make sure it's safe. Will this foreign tank with its own bacteria shock my fish since it is an entirely new tank to them with new bacteria, or does that not matter?

I was thinking if not, I might have some options for proceeding with this tank:

1. Should I sterilize everything and start the cycle over again? I think this is the safest but SLOWEST way to get my fish into this new tank. I don't know if the fish died from disease or parasites so I don't want to introduce my fish to this threat. I believe the previous owner's fish died from temperature fluctuations because she didn't have a heater in the tank............ But other possibilities exist.

(I have a smaller 10 gallon that I could seed the 20-gallon with but the small amount of bacteria that I move from the 10 to the 20 will not be able to help the 20 gallon's bioload, correct? I read somewhere that the bacteria can be overwhelmed and die before it can catch up and grow, causing spikes and whatnot. )

2. Keep the old bacteria colony and add aquarium salt to the tank to help sterilize any harmful threats.


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Old 01-17-2019, 03:20 PM   #2
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I'd throw away all the filter media and gravel and clean it with a diluted bleach solution to kill off everything.

Once it's cleaned up, add new substrate, filters ect. Seed your 20g with substrate or filter media from your 10g. Add an ammonia source to your 20g when you do this. This can be done with fish food or even raw shrimp in a panty hose if you don't want to add fish right away. The ammonia will feed the seeded BB and it will multiply. I'd do this for a few weeks then slowly add fish to the system.

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Old 06-09-2019, 09:43 PM   #3
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How did it work out?

New to FW fish? First tank in a long time or EVER??? Need some info on keeping fish?
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
How did it work out?

Yes, curious minds want to know. I would have thrown everything except the tank away, given it a wash in a dilute bleach solution, and then started afresh.
2x20-longs, one heavily planted. Platy rancher. They. Won't. Stop. Breeding.
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20 gallon, cycle, cycled, disease, gallon, led, long, parasite, parasites, sea

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