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Questions about Reestablishing a Tank

Posted By: Kit <kitjaguar@comcast.net>
Date: Friday, 14 January 2005, at 11:30 a.m.

Now that the last of the fish in my community tank have died , I want to prepare it for another try. I wondered if I might get some advice on the best way to clean it. I have driftwood, natural plants, plastic plants, gravel, and a couple of aerator ornaments. Oh, and the crawfish and snails did not succumb to the bacterial infection that wiped everyone else out.

I figured that the tank and everything in it would need to be sterilized to ensure that the disease does not infect any new fish - correct? I can boil the gravel and the driftwood. I'm assuming I should dispose of the live plants, since I can't think of any way to ensure that they wouldn't harbor the bacteria. I can try boiling the plastic plants and the aerator ornaments, although they may melt.

However, I'm stumped on sterilizing the tank itself and the filtering equipment. I've read many times that one should never use soap or detergent on anything that goes into a tank, because it's almost impossible to remove the residues. My other 2 thoughts were rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Both of those would kill any remaining nasties, while not damaging the equipment. Or am I getting paranoid and going overboard here?

Also, I'll need to do something with the crawfish and snails until the tank is reestablished. Is it safe to put them in with the angels and peacocks (I mean from a disease point of view)? I certainly can't sterilize them!!! Or are they not likely to have the bacteria on them? I'd hate to lose another tank :-( I have a couple of small (1 gallon) holding tanks, but they don't have filtration.

Any thoughts or ideas would be very welcome.



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