Steralizing tank after possible TB or unknown disease

  1. rcordova233 Well Known Member Member

    Hello all,
    Im going to thank you all ahead of time, so thank you. Please read through the entire thing so you can be fully informed.

    I don't know if any of you know of my situation so I'll just give a quick summary of what happened. Basically I bought 4 fish (1 platy and 3 guppies ) from petsmart they came in kinda beat up but were recovering. The tank was cycled withought fish you know all that stuff, ammonia zero, nitrite zero, nitrate was under 20 ppm. They had consistent white, stringy poop and the platy(who I believed was the sickest one) had clamped fins at times, and the platy also had a white cyst at one point in time but it went away and never came back. I began treating for parasites first with API General Cure and then with a mix of praziquental and metrodizanole flakes(not at the same time). I did see some improvement with the platy as his fins were not as clamped as before and from all the fish at one point I did see normal colored poop, but eventually they all went back to white poop. They never developed curved spines, they were eating fine, no wasting away, no dropsy, or any other symptom. They were as happy as could be, but I was told that there was a possibility that they could have fish tb. So I gave them away to my friend who is a vet. She is currently trying to become an aquatic bioligst(don't now if this is the word to describe her) and she said that trying to cure and study a friend's fish would add personality to her research. She has access to stronger meds so I figured if anybody had a chance to cure these fish she would.
    Anyway back to my situation. Im not asking for med advise or anything like that. I need a strategy for steralzing my tank after this. I know there are people who will tell me that this isnt fish tb, and believe me im still one of those people, but I just want to treat it as the worst situation possible. No fish died so if it is fish tb I heard that if this hasn't happened then the bacteria population isn't large. I was researching online and I learned the the Mycobacteria has some annoying waxy outer shell that keeps it safe from normal bleach. I found different disinfectants that people used to kill this thing and this is what they are.
    Calcium Hypochlorite
    Lysol(Hospital grade)
    Clorox Germicidal bleach(hospital grade I believe as well)
    Ethyl alcohol(is this the alcohol you can find at walgreens?)
    Isopropyl Alcohol 70%(once again is this the alcohol you can find at walgreens or cvs ?)

    Those are all the one I could find and remember. After looking on different forums, websites, and research papers the most common method that I found was a round of Calcium Hypochlorite (to break the waxy shell of the bacteria), neutralize it with prime, and then isopropyl alcohol(to kill the bacteria). I also found people using lysol and germadicial chlorox but these seem like stronger chemicals than the calcium hypochlorite and alcohol, but if you guys think these are the ways to go then I'm game. If you have any other suggestions Im open to anything.

    Sterilizing the tank is obvious, but can anyone provide me with a detailed step by step guide on how to do this with the chemicals, like the ratio of solution (I don't want to end up damaging the tank or doing someting wrong). Im throwing away filter material, substrate, heater (getting another one don't care for this one), fake plants and decorations. Im disinfecting the gravel vacuums, and anything else thats worth anything. How would I go around disinfecting my tank stand? The telephone base was one the stand as well as a picture frame, disinfection these too?

    Other than this I cant think of anything else I need help with. If you guys can then please tell me. I know that there is a good chance that this isn't fish tb but I dont want to take that chance, and I know that every tank already has fish tb so I wont get rid of it completely, but if i get the "population" down low and have healthy fish then I think I will be fine. Thanks for the help guys. Please read through the entire thing. I know this is long but hopefully we can find a solution that help others as well.
  2. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    What size tank is this? It might be easier/cheaper to buy a new tank if it's a small one.
  3. Lchi87 Fishlore VIP Member

    Sorry to hear your situation :( Subscribing to this thread because I may have to scrap my tank and start from scratch again myself.
  4. rcordova233 Well Known Member Member

    20 gallon. Was thinking of that myself, but don't know how my parents would react.
  5. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I would just buy a new one. You can sell the old one as a reptile or small mammal tank for $15 and it'll only cost you $5 for the new one.
  6. rcordova233 Well Known Member Member

    If I sell the tank could I still use the same stand? Will it pose a risk of contaminating my tank again?
  7. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I don't think you need to worry about the stand contaminating the new tank.
  8. rcordova233 Well Known Member Member

    I've decided to get rid of tge tank and get another one. I noticed that someone else said they we're going to scrap their tank. I dont know for what reason it is, but can we get opinions on those disenfectants I listed above. Thanks everyone for the help.
  9. Lchi87 Fishlore VIP Member

    I was going to scrap my tank because there is some sort of sickness going around that I am having trouble addressing ( that's in another thread lol) and I can't see myself just putting new fish in a tank that has unresolved issues. I am hoping I can save my plants with a bleach dip except for the DHG which I'm not sure I can save since I am going to toss the substrate. The filter media I am tossing too obviously.