Cleaning Tank After Fish Death?

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by Laudine, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. LaudineNew MemberMember

    A week ago my first betta suddenly died :( I really have no idea why he died. At first I thought it was a freak accident with heater, but now I'm not so sure. He may have been sick, since he was really lethargic a few days before passing.

    I do want to get another betta someday, however, I'm not sure what is the best way to clean my tank?

    I read several people recommended regular bleach to sanitize the tank, however, would that be safe to the fish? Or should I just use vinegar?

    I looked around and found this article:
    If I followed the article, would that be okay? I planned to rinse it 8-10 times and then overdose with prime just to be safe.

    I have also boiled and cleaned my gravel with vinegar, is that enough?
  2. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    I was going to say if you use bleach just fill it up with water dosed with prime, since its (I assume? :)) a small tank you may be able to dunk the whole thing in a 5 gal bucket of water laced with bleach and then a bucket with prime laced water.

    I am at work so I cant see that article but hopefully it tells you to use a dilute solution of bleach in water, 1 tablespoon per gallon is more than enough to kill anything, no need to use pure bleach.

    I do not know if bleach affects silicone, so I would not let it soak for a long time in bleach, that is not needed either, it kills stuff fast.

    IMO you are going a bit overboard BUT I completely understand why :)

    Does your tank have a filter? Be sure to keep that moist so you dont kill your cycle. If you get everything back up and running and you wait to get a fish toss a bit of food in there to keep your cycle fed.
  3. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember


    I've read the article, and yes, bleach sanititaiton is good enough. I've done so and nothing has gone awry. I usually use a ratio of a tablespoon of bleach with two gal of water, which is a little more than enough to get the job done. I've also used vinegar, but I find I end up washing and rinsing more in order to remove the smell. Just make sure to rinse everything really well (which u are already planning to do). As with the gravel, do a really good rinsing to remove the vinegar (if you haven't already done so) Ihope your new Betta will have a happy home! (And don't forget to cycle that tank!)

    Hope that was helpful and all the best!
  4. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    As for the bleach+silicone question, it won't be absorbed permantetly. A good rinse can help neutralize any left over, and in a short time, the bleach will evaporate anyhow into water and leave a chlorine salt (sodium hypochlorite) that can be rinsed away.
  5. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    You can also clean the tank with vinegar, rinse well, and then let everything sit out dry for a week. That should kill most anything that might have been affecting your betta.
  6. LaudineNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much for your advice guys!

    Yes my tank is 5 gal. I'll definitely do the bucket method, probably dip in bleach mix for 10-15 mins and then I'll rinse the whole thing like no tomorrow :p The article mentioned 9 parts water with 1 part regular bottled bleach, but I wasn't sure about the measurement per gallon. Glad to hear one tablespoon per one/two gal is enough, I'll make sure I'll do that.

    Ah yes my tank has a sponge filter, but I foolishly let it dry ^^; I don't mind redoing the cycle again though!

    Haha yes the vinegar smell is pretty stubborn! I ended up rinsing my gravel for about...10 times or so? The smell is gone now fortunately, but I'll do a few more rinse just in case :p

    I'll also clean my decors with vinegar, rinse em real good, and dry them for a week. Hopefully that will do the trick.

    Thanks once again :happy: Fingers crossed my new betta will live a long, healthy life this time!
  7. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    I used the 1TBS per gallon because that is a pretty standard dosage for disinfectant at places like restaurants. 30 sec to a minute should be more than enough to sanitize it. Dont use warm or hot water however, bleach breaks down/loses its effectiveness very quickly in hot water. In addition to a rinse I would suggest you dose that rinse water with prime, will make it easier to know its good and gone!

    As for the vinegar smell you mentioned you boiled your rocks, vinegar smell is pretty volatile (I think thats the right word, I mean it evaporates into the air pretty easily), if you boil those rocks in water the smell should offgas pretty much instantly I would think.

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