How To Sterilize + reseed any tank

Users who are viewing this thread

Pufferlover95

Active member
Country flag
@Humblefish can I use chlor-out (or something similar) to remove suspected chlorine from my display tank? The tank is completely empty of fish and inverts and I have no coral. The tank is wreaking of chlorine so I’m going to get some test strips and check but I’m pretty positive the tank is heavy in chlorine. That being said, can I dose directly into the tank and after a certain amount of time when the chlorine is gone put the fish back in or will I need to remove the water before I put the fish back?
 

Dierks

FisHotel Concierge
Quarantined Livestock
Vendor
Location
Minnesota
Country flag
@Humblefish can I use chlor-out (or something similar) to remove suspected chlorine from my display tank? The tank is completely empty of fish and inverts and I have no coral. The tank is wreaking of chlorine so I’m going to get some test strips and check but I’m pretty positive the tank is heavy in chlorine. That being said, can I dose directly into the tank and after a certain amount of time when the chlorine is gone put the fish back in or will I need to remove the water before I put the fish back?
Yes you can, but you could also simply use Prime for low amounts.

After you neutralize it you can go ahead and add fish back as soon as the parameters are correct again.
 

Pufferlover95

Active member
Country flag
Yes you can, but you could also simply use Prime for low amounts.

After you neutralize it you can go ahead and add fish back as soon as the parameters are correct again.
I’m not too familiar with the chlor-out, is it actually safe for fish to swim in assuming the other parameters were ok?

I bought chlorine test strips so I plan to test as soon as I get home.
 

Dierks

FisHotel Concierge
Quarantined Livestock
Vendor
Location
Minnesota
Country flag
I’m not too familiar with the chlor-out, is it actually safe for fish to swim in assuming the other parameters were ok?

I bought chlorine test strips so I plan to test as soon as I get home.
Never used the product Chlor-out -- I have used pure sodium thiosulfate - I will shut up now, sorry -- Hopefully @Humblefish can answer the question (or maybe actually used) the product since he recommended it.
 

Humblefish

HF
Thread starter
Location
Wandering Nomad
@Humblefish can I use chlor-out (or something similar) to remove suspected chlorine from my display tank? The tank is completely empty of fish and inverts and I have no coral. The tank is wreaking of chlorine so I’m going to get some test strips and check but I’m pretty positive the tank is heavy in chlorine. That being said, can I dose directly into the tank and after a certain amount of time when the chlorine is gone put the fish back in or will I need to remove the water before I put the fish back?
Chlor-out and sodium thiosulfate are essentially one & the same. (Haviland sent me a MSDS of Chlor-out.)

I would use Chlor-out (or pure sodium thiosulfate) to remove large amounts of chlorine from the water; Prime or Amquel for residual chlorine (like you find in tap water).

After dosing Chlor-out, I would wait a few hours, test alkalinity & pH, raise both if needed and then you are safe to put fish back into the aquarium.
 

saltyanimals

Well-known member
Country flag
How much chlorine is actually lethal in terms of residual after cleaning and doing a bleach soak? I've soaked, rinsed and dried. Filled up again with RODI and even added a little Prime then tested with a pool water test strip. They show Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine separately. I'm reading what I call 0.1 ppm after several attempts. Assuming the test strips are even 50% accurate, has anyone experienced disaster with residual chlorine from bleach? This is also to reuse marine pure balls as it's such a waste to throw out.
 

JCTReefer

Well-known member
Location
Texas
Country flag
How much chlorine is actually lethal in terms of residual after cleaning and doing a bleach soak? I've soaked, rinsed and dried. Filled up again with RODI and even added a little Prime then tested with a pool water test strip. They show Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine separately. I'm reading what I call 0.1 ppm after several attempts. Assuming the test strips are even 50% accurate, has anyone experienced disaster with residual chlorine from bleach? This is also to reuse marine pure balls as it's such a waste to throw out.
I’ve often wondered the same thing. When I clean my filter socks, I soak them in a 5 gallon bucket filled with bleach and hot water. I let them soak overnight. I’m pretty generous on the bleach. Rinse them out with tap and let them hang dry. I’ve never experienced any issues doing this. Still makes me wonder if residual bleach is getting in the tank. I’ve read about people actually dosing bleach!!!!😳 Now that’s a little on the crazy side for me. Back in the day people would bleach coral skeletons regularly and put them back in the tank. On my old 54 gallon tank I would use a spray bottle filled with RO/DI to dissolve salt creep around the top of the tank. I also had a bottled filled with straight bleach that was the same type spray bottle. You know where this is going right. Grabbed the wrong bottle one day and proceeded to spray down some salt creep!!! Immediately I got a whiff of bleach and knew right then I screwed up badly. Needles to say, I labeled all spray bottles with huge bold letters after that incident. I definitely got some bleach into the system that day. Luckily nothing came of it and all inhabitants were unaffected. I did however dose some prime immediately after that happened. I actually have a pool and have never trusted those test strips. I much prefer a DPD Colorimetric test kit. Hanna makes a few different chlorine test kits also. Never used any of them though.
 

Humblefish

HF
Thread starter
Location
Wandering Nomad
How much chlorine is actually lethal in terms of residual after cleaning and doing a bleach soak? I've soaked, rinsed and dried. Filled up again with RODI and even added a little Prime then tested with a pool water test strip. They show Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine separately. I'm reading what I call 0.1 ppm after several attempts. Assuming the test strips are even 50% accurate, has anyone experienced disaster with residual chlorine from bleach? This is also to reuse marine pure balls as it's such a waste to throw out.
You are probably fine (y)
 

saltyanimals

Well-known member
Country flag
I’ve often wondered the same thing. When I clean my filter socks, I soak them in a 5 gallon bucket filled with bleach and hot water. I let them soak overnight. I’m pretty generous on the bleach. Rinse them out with tap and let them hang dry. I’ve never experienced any issues doing this. Still makes me wonder if residual bleach is getting in the tank. I’ve read about people actually dosing bleach!!!!😳 Now that’s a little on the crazy side for me. Back in the day people would bleach coral skeletons regularly and put them back in the tank. On my old 54 gallon tank I would use a spray bottle filled with RO/DI to dissolve salt creep around the top of the tank. I also had a bottled filled with straight bleach that was the same type spray bottle. You know where this is going right. Grabbed the wrong bottle one day and proceeded to spray down some salt creep!!! Immediately I got a whiff of bleach and knew right then I screwed up badly. Needles to say, I labeled all spray bottles with huge bold letters after that incident. I definitely got some bleach into the system that day. Luckily nothing came of it and all inhabitants were unaffected. I did however dose some prime immediately after that happened. I actually have a pool and have never trusted those test strips. I much prefer a DPD Colorimetric test kit. Hanna makes a few different chlorine test kits also. Never used any of them though.

I don't trust the strips either, but they're for quick test. I read 0.1 to 0.5 ppm chlorine on them. The pool stuff just have/need the precision we need for tanks.

I don't trust Prime either. (I see a trust issue brewing here.. lol) I guess I could test a bleach solution with a strip then toss in a cap of Prime to see if it drops the chlorine.

So far I haven't seen any issues, but I do have a larger 180G TWV so may be very little of anything that leaks out from the residual amounts.
 

Pufferlover95

Active member
Country flag
@Humblefish
If I have QT that was running Copper Power and I want to sterilize the tank with bleach, do I need to first remove all of the copper (or copper water) or can I just add the bleach directly to the tank? I just want to know if the copper is going to have a violent reaction with bleach.
 

Humblefish

HF
Thread starter
Location
Wandering Nomad
@Humblefish
If I have QT that was running Copper Power and I want to sterilize the tank with bleach, do I need to first remove all of the copper (or copper water) or can I just add the bleach directly to the tank? I just want to know if the copper is going to have a violent reaction with bleach.
You can add chlorine with copper already in the water. :Thumbs_up_green:
 

Jposch

Leather Lover
General Livestock
Vendor
Location
Minnesota
Country flag
@Humblefish
If I have QT that was running Copper Power and I want to sterilize the tank with bleach, do I need to first remove all of the copper (or copper water) or can I just add the bleach directly to the tank? I just want to know if the copper is going to have a violent reaction with bleach.
I felt I had less fumes if I scrubbed the tank, drained and refilled with tap+bleach. Most likely due to the chloride ions in saltwater. More work, but less chlorine smell and ideally a more thorough sterilization.
 

Warfielder

Active member
Location
Minnesota
Country flag
@Humblefish Would you mind clarifying for me before I attempt my next QT:

- 1:10 concentration of bleach; estimated at 4400ppm chlorine earlier in this thread. Would it be accurate to say that this concentration is more for a wipe-down approach for TTM? Is there a minimum contact time here? Or does it even matter assuming everything is dried after rinsing? At this concentration filling a 10g would basically require a full container of bleach, so a long soak wouldn't be practical here, and for HTTM shortening the sterilization time is ideal.

- Is residual bleach a consideration at all? Or if it's dried does that mean it's entirely gased off?

- Any tips for sterilizing powerheads/pumps (sicce) and tidal filters? Do you take these apart fully? I presume you just toss airline/airstones?
 

Humblefish

HF
Thread starter
Location
Wandering Nomad
- 1:10 concentration of bleach; estimated at 4400ppm chlorine earlier in this thread. Would it be accurate to say that this concentration is more for a wipe-down approach for TTM? Is there a minimum contact time here? Or does it even matter assuming everything is dried after rinsing? At this concentration filling a 10g would basically require a full container of bleach, so a long soak wouldn't be practical here, and for HTTM shortening the sterilization time is ideal.
I would still circulate for at least 24 hours. However, I would be concerned about the aquarium seals at that high of a concentration. :eek:

- Is residual bleach a consideration at all? Or if it's dried does that mean it's entirely gased off?
You need any residual bleach to turn back to salt or be entirely gassed off before it is safe for animals.

Any tips for sterilizing powerheads/pumps (sicce) and tidal filters? Do you take these apart fully? I presume you just toss airline/airstones?
You can run chlorine through them for 24 hours (same as sterilizing your tank); or take them apart, clean, and then air dry (I like to blow a fan over everything) until ALL moisture is gone.
 

Warfielder

Active member
Location
Minnesota
Country flag
I would still circulate for at least 24 hours. However, I would be concerned about the aquarium seals at that high of a concentration. :eek:
Concerned about seal integrity or possible bleach/chlorine absorption?

The 10:1 water to bleach concentration was from post #85 of the thread. Am I misinterpreting?

To quickly sterilize you have to use bleach and then rinse thoroughly. A mild 10:1 (water/bleach) solution will work. If you can dry for 3 days then using vinegar to sanitize becomes an option.

I should have been more clear - or I'm just a bit confused - that this would be for a wiping down the tank and equipment in a break down versus a long soak or dosing in a running system; more consistent with the methods described in posts #3 and #4 in the thread below. Any issues you see here or tweaks to the bleach concentration?


Thanks!
 

Humblefish

HF
Thread starter
Location
Wandering Nomad
Concerned about seal integrity or possible bleach/chlorine absorption?
Seal integrity, if left at that concentration for ~ 24 hours.

The 10:1 water to bleach concentration was from post #85 of the thread. Am I misinterpreting?
That is meant for a quick wipe down and then rinse thoroughly afterwards. If dosing chlorine in a tank to sterilize (24 hours), I wouldn't exceed 300-400ppm max. Although @Vendors - QT Livestock may have successfully used higher concentrations without damaging the tank seals.
 

Dierks

FisHotel Concierge
Quarantined Livestock
Vendor
Location
Minnesota
Country flag
Nope I go upto 400 and call it there, wait for 24 hours. Drain, refill with tap water wait 24 hours, and drain and refill with the water I will be using for QT.

I let all equipment run the entire process.
 

Warfielder

Active member
Location
Minnesota
Country flag
That is meant for a quick wipe down and then rinse thoroughly afterwards. If dosing chlorine in a tank to sterilize (24 hours), I wouldn't exceed 300-400ppm max.
Good deal, that was my understanding. My method was for a thorough, but quick, wipe down.

I basically mixed up 2 gallons water to roughly 3 cups bleach (previously I only used 1/3 cup bleach per gallon based on the bottle), used that for a quick soak of smaller equipment in the tank while I wiped down all surfaces of the tank using a sponge at least 3 times with roughly 5-10 minutes between wipes to try to achieve maximum contact time without filling the system. Wipe down of equipment and then a couple rinses, then a couple days for drying.

Any changes you'd suggest? I'm not married to using bleach. If I can lower the concentration, that would be great too. I have 3 sets of QT equipment, but want to avoid missing a transfer using longer methods.

This isn't going to be a lot of fun once Winter sets in up here in MN...
 
Top