10 Gallon Tank How to clean a tank that a sick fish died in?

Lizzbug

Member
So I had a sick betta die recently. I’ve been trying to upscale another betta I have to a bigger tank, namely a 10 gallon. I was going to set up a whole new tank for her but I’m wondering if I can use my now empty 10 gallon tank.
At the same time though, I feel cautious and worried. How can I be sure that there are no traces of disease left in the tank? Is there a certain way I can clean it without taking down the whole tank?
 

MacZ

Member
If it was parasites, just let the tank run for 2-3 weeks without a fish. Without a host almost all parasites die off.
If it was a bacterial of fungal infection, there is nothing you can do. Normally they are omnipresent species that just used the opportunity of a weak immune system. They are always present and the within the usual life risk of a fish.

Unless the fish died of fish TB you don't really have to do anything.
 

Sofiafish17

Member
I agree with everything MacZ said. Just a bit of a “deep clean” as if a fish was in there will be just great. Like big-ish (50% tops) water change, rinse decor in tank water, and siphon the gravel will be good. Just test the water parameters right before you move the new fish in.
 
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Lizzbug

Member
MacZ said:
If it was parasites, just let the tank run for 2-3 weeks without a fish. Without a host almost all parasites die off.
If it was a bacterial of fungal infection, there is nothing you can do. Normally they are omnipresent species that just used the opportunity of a weak immune system. They are always present and the within the usual life risk of a fish.

Unless the fish died of fish TB you don't really have to do anything.
Thanks, that’s really helpful! She had HITH so it was due to a weak immune system, thankfully not parasites. I’ll keep it empty for a while
Sofiafish17 said:
I agree with everything MacZ said. Just a bit of a “deep clean” as if a fish was in there will be just great. Like big-ish (50% tops) water change, rinse decor in tank water, and siphon the gravel will be good. Just test the water parameters right before you move the new fish in.
Thank you for your help I’ll do bigger water changes and really vacuum the substrate well to get it clean before adding anything
 
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Lucy

Moderator
Member
Hi!
People say sometimes it's over kill but I use bleach 19 parts water x 1 part bleach.
Fill tank, let filter run for a while (no media), heater and deco is in tank.

Empty and rinse until there is isn't any bleach smell.

Repeat step 1 with water and a lot of condition, let it run for a while.

Empty again.

I usually toss substrate or let it sit and dry out, I use pea gravel, so it's fairly cheap.

Like I said, people don't agree but that's okay. It makes me feel better
 

Dechi

Member
Lucy said:
People say sometimes it's over kill but I use bleach 19 parts water x 1 part bleach.
Fill tank, let filter run for a while (no media), heater and deco is in tank.
Do you manage to keep your media cycled or do you lose your cycle completely ? I wouldn’t do that myself but if it makes you feel safe, why not ?
 
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Lucy

Moderator
Member
I usually toss the media as well.
I normally have more than one tank running with extra filter media so re-cycling isn't an issue
 

MacZ

Member
Lizzbug said:
Thanks, that’s really helpful! She had HITH so it was due to a weak immune system, thankfully not parasites. I’ll keep it empty for a while
Hole in the head is actually caused by a parasite called Hexamita, which is a protozoan. Those die off within a week whithout a host. Wait another week after that just to be sure.
And don't get the fish from the same source! That stuff is very hard for retailers to get rid off, as they can't just leave a whole segment of their systems fishless.
 

Pinina

Member
How about cleaning tank with white vinegar and water? Would that be safe to wipe the outside of the tanks?
 

pagoda

Member
Whether the previous residents died or not, whenever I redo an aquarium from scratch I always buy Miltons fluid (normally used to sterilise baby bottles etc). I follow the instructions on the bottle and clean the entire aquarium, filter casing, heater, light, hood and ornaments, then thoroughly rinse several times and allow to dry naturally. I replace any substrate and plants, then after a couple of days airing the aquarium and equipment I start again on a new cycle with totally new filter media etc. Not had any issues in over 40 years.
 
  • Thread Starter

Lizzbug

Member
MacZ said:
Hole in the head is actually caused by a parasite called Hexamita, which is a protozoan. Those die off within a week whithout a host. Wait another week after that just to be sure.
And don't get the fish from the same source! That stuff is very hard for retailers to get rid off, as they can't just leave a whole segment of their systems fishless.
Oh wack! I guess I didn’t do enough research about hexamita. Thank you for the info, that’s important.
pagoda said:
Whether the previous residents died or not, whenever I redo an aquarium from scratch I always buy Miltons fluid (normally used to sterilise baby bottles etc). I follow the instructions on the bottle and clean the entire aquarium, filter casing, heater, light, hood and ornaments, then thoroughly rinse several times and allow to dry naturally. I replace any substrate and plants, then after a couple of days airing the aquarium and equipment I start again on a new cycle with totally new filter media etc. Not had any issues in over 40 years.
Thank you, this is helpful however I’m looking to not take down the aquarium and start a new cycle. But I will keep that in mind as I continue fish keeping
 

fishtheft

Member
Lizzbug said:
So I had a sick betta die recently. I’ve been trying to upscale another betta I have to a bigger tank, namely a 10 gallon. I was going to set up a whole new tank for her but I’m wondering if I can use my now empty 10 gallon tank.
At the same time though, I feel cautious and worried. How can I be sure that there are no traces of disease left in the tank? Is there a certain way I can clean it without taking down the whole tank?
I would say to just leave everything on, filter, heater, etc. And remove any live things such as shrimp and snails to quarantine them. Turn the heat up a little bit, and after a bit, I would say to deep clean everything after a couple of weeks, then you should be good
 
  • Thread Starter

Lizzbug

Member
fishtheft said:
I would say to just leave everything on, filter, heater, etc. And remove any live things such as shrimp and snails to quarantine them. Turn the heat up a little bit, and after a bit, I would say to deep clean everything after a couple of weeks, then you should be good
Thanks! I’ll turn up the heat, and I’m planning to rescape the tank, too, so I’ll give it a thorough clean as I go
 

MacZ

Member
Why turn up the temperature? That only supports general growth of bacteria, without having much influence on the beneficial bacteria in the filter.
 
  • Thread Starter

Lizzbug

Member
MacZ said:
Why turn up the temperature? That only supports general growth of bacteria, without having much influence on the beneficial bacteria in the filter.
I know in some cases, more heat can actually kill the parasites. Then again, it may not be the case with hexamita
 

MacZ

Member
Lizzbug said:
Then again, it may not be the case with hexamita
Correct. If you had Ich, that would be true. And then 72h at 30°C would have been enough.
The question was aimed at the other user that mentioned it first.
 

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