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Old 11-06-2003, 01:48 PM   #1
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I found this site when looking for info on sick fish. Unfortunately, whatever got into my tank has killed all my fish save and except for the one which probably brought the sickness to the tank in the first place.

I guess my question now is what do I need to do in order to make sure the tank is ready to introduce new fish? I don't know what killed my other fish, i know all my levels were okay. Should I completely empty the tank and start over from brand new, or will any sickness etc. die with time? i really don't know what to do.

I have had this tank for 3 years and have never had a single problem with any sickness issues before this tragedy. It's a 30 gallon freshwater tank.

RIP: George and Gracie (Blood Parrots), Fred (Pleco), Mr. Whickers (catfish), LaQuisha (Yellow Lab), Jake (Blue Johanni), Rosie (rosey barb)
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Old 11-06-2003, 02:06 PM   #2
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Hi Habeas, welcome to aquarium advice. I am very sorry to hear of your loss. It's hard not knowing what the sickness is, or how to treat it. If I was in your situation, I would totally re-do the tank. Throw the substrate out....either throw out the decorations, or clean them really well. I would then start from fresh, cycling, etc.
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Old 11-06-2003, 02:34 PM   #3
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I am with Lori on this. It is not worth it to try and add fish to this setup again. What was the fish that you think caused it? I would start with new substrate and scrub out the tank thoroughly, including the filter, and use new filter media. If you use bleach then rinse, rinse, rinse and rinse again, then use heavy dechlor when you set it up, and let it run for a few days to be sure the bleach is gone and to let the temp stabilize, then do a fishy, fishless or BioSpira cycle. I am sure we would be more than happy to help you choose tank inhabitants!
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Old 11-06-2003, 02:39 PM   #4
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Welcome, and sorry about your loss. I too had this happen. I also recommend a complete cleaning. I bleached everything when I had it happen to me. took alot of rinsing but it was worth it. I introduced a fish with some kind of "internal parasite" according to my lfs, killed everything.
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Old 11-06-2003, 02:42 PM   #5
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It was a dang Chinese algae eater. He's all happy swimming around the tank today, considering he's got it all to himself. Don't know what to do with him when I'm starting this tank over.

I was happy with the cichlids. Really loved it when my yellow labs were breeding. That was really cool. I would love some input from more experienced fish fans as to my new fish setup. I may have to put up a separate post to do that.
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Old 11-06-2003, 02:59 PM   #6
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I might consider returning the algae eater. If it is a CAE then it is likely to get aggressive and not eat that much algae. You certainly could go back to the yellow labs, as at least around here they are usually available. Pick some kind of fish that you really like and then select some tankmates based on your "feature" fish. (At least that is the way I do it! ) You can go with a biotope or just pick some compatible fish. If you are in Texas I will guess that you have hard, alkaline water, which is great for Africans and livebearers.
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Old 11-06-2003, 03:39 PM   #7
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I am very sorry to hear about your loss. That's so sad :[ But welcome to the board!
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Old 11-06-2003, 04:26 PM   #8
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I really do like the yellow labs. I kinda messed up my tank dynamics when I got the Blue Johanni. he was a little agressive and forced the labs to hide in the corners alot. Really should've gotten rid of him then.

I'm kinda new to the terminology. Biotope I assume means fish of similar make up, like other african cichlids?

Thanks for the welcome to the forum. I think I'm going to learn alot here and will onlybe able to be a better fish daddy.
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Old 11-06-2003, 04:43 PM   #9
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*Biotope* refers to a system of organisms that would be found together in nature. Blue Johannis and Yellow labs would (in Lake Malawi). Plecos and Yellow Labs would not.

Hehe. I think you'll find that I addressed some of these issue on your other thread, not having read this thread at the time. As I mention there (uncanny--I didn't know you had one!), the CAE is probably not a good fish to have. Get rid of him/her soon. They get large (10 inches), agressive and stop eating algae. Worst of all, they get really ugly! All their pretty luminescence and transparency disappears and they become giant opaque gray monsters. I had some a while back, and have seen this happen, and have seen older (8 inch) specimens in the LFS.

As per the tank substrate. Bleach is a fine idea--it will kill everything! If you want to go by a simpler, potentially less dangerous, route pour large amounts of boiling water on the gravel. I have done this before with good results. I generally place piles of the gravel in a bucket or washing-up bowl and pour an entire kettle's-worth of boiling water over it. Then I repeat. It takes about as long as the bleaching, will certainly kill anything the water comes in contact with, and is less hazardous to your future fish. For the tank, I would use a light bleach and scrub hard. Rinse thoroughly afterwards and allow the bleach to evaporate as much as possible.

For wood I would not use a bleach. This is likely to be soaked up, and may leach into the tank water later.

HTH.
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Old 11-06-2003, 05:55 PM   #10
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I have soaked my malaysian drift wood briefly (10 mins) in bleach prior to numerous boiling and have had no problems in my tank. I don't know that much about it but bleach itself is not supposed to be toxic even if you swallow a whole bottle. Mixing it with ammonia is obviously a killer, but your tank shouldn't have any ammonia, heh.
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Old 11-06-2003, 07:30 PM   #11
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oh since we are on this topic of starting anew let me insert a tiny question
i am treating my tank with fishes in it for ich now, when done i plan to move the inhabitants to a brand new tank and use the old tank for new fishes. With ich, do you guys think i should start anew like Habeus Corpus? Obviously the ich will be treat but should i be on the safe side and start anew or just do 100% water change? Thx guys.
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Old 11-06-2003, 07:38 PM   #12
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A water change won't do a thing to rid the tank of ich; the parasites are encysted, mostly in the substrate although they can be found on surfaces and theres no guarantee you've got em all by just water changing.

That being said, if you've treated properly there will be no parasites left. Do know that the new fish may bring ich with them tho, and reinfect the tank.

Disinfecting the tank is really up to you. As long as ich has been the only prob, and you let the tank sit fallow for a week at high temps (86-88F after you move the fish), you can be pretty sure there will be none left. If there have been any other medical probs, disinfecting might be a good idea tho. A water change will be a good idea just to ensure the new fish are not subject to ich meds.
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Old 11-06-2003, 10:18 PM   #13
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bleach itself is not supposed to be toxic
I believe it to be quite toxic indeed, and is considered a chemical weapon as chlorine gas.

That said, it is certainly possible that it did not harm the fish because there was adequate dechlorinator in the water or it had been left to dry and the chlorine broke down, so it is not unheard of, but I have a healthy fear of the stuff! Err on the side of caution...
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Old 11-06-2003, 10:38 PM   #14
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*nods and agrees with TankGirl*

Yeah, chlorine bleach is horribly toxic. Is why its used to kill germs. Its a mixture of sodium hydroxide and chlorine gas. The amounts found in our drinking water is rather low; but even those amounts are dangerous to fish (hence the reason we dechlorinate).
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Old 11-07-2003, 06:57 PM   #15
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Yeah, you're both right... doh. I know it'll tear up your insides if you did drink a ton. I've only ever used very small amounts. I used probably a capful in a 5 gallon bucket and then boiled the wood at least a dozen times trying to leech tannins.
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Old 11-07-2003, 07:03 PM   #16
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When I cleaned my 55 gal, I used about 1/2 gal in the tank. scrubbed the whole thing down and then took it outside and rinsed it for about 30 min.
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