Sterilizing QT before next fish

See-Fu

New member
if I didn't have anything develop during QT, is it necessary to nuke the system before putting in my next batch? I really like how the seachem matrix i have in it has matured and can handle all the ammonia.
 

JoelM

Member
Did you treat using any medications during QT or was this just an observational QT? If I don't have anything weird develop during QT, I normally do 50% water change in my treatment tanks in between batches to reduce copper back down to around 1.0 ppm and for general water quality purposes. About every 2-3 batches of fish, I will break down the tank and really clean it out along with the equipment, but even then I don't sterilize it. Just clean the gunk out of the filters, pumps, heaters, etc. and set it right back up. I don't let the ceramic media dry out during this process so the bacteria is usually able to handle the next batch of fish.
 

See-Fu

New member
i treated w/ copper power, general cure, and metroplex prophetically just in case there was anything there.
 

See-Fu

New member
I would need to completely remove the copper from the tank so i'd be doing a 50% water change and running carbon afterwards between batches.
 

JoelM

Member
Not sure the carbon would completely remove all of the copper. You would probably need to use cuprisorb or something similar. If you need complete removal, I would probably just err the side of doing a 100% water change and rinsing everything really well. You can rinse your matrix in freshly made salt water and then just keep it in salt water throughout the cleaning process which should retain most of the beneficial bacteria. You can also add some Biospira once you get it all set back up.
 

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
I only sterilize my QTs once a year, primarily to destroy bacteria/biofilm which may have built up to the point where it is degrading medications.

As a hobbyist with only 1 or 2 small QTs, I would nuke my QTs every 3-4 months for the same reason. Just can't afford to do that on a commercial level.
 

Dierks

New member
@Humblefish You only sterilize once a year? My question is do you simply let them dry out before the next use if there was an issue with the fish in said QT? If you are doing Hybrid TTM how would you approach cleaning the tanks between uses?
 

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
@Humblefish You only sterilize once a year? My question is do you simply let them dry out before the next use if there was an issue with the fish in said QT? If you are doing Hybrid TTM how would you approach cleaning the tanks between uses?
I sterilize using this method:
  1. Dose 100ppm chlorine as per this guide: https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/dwgwp/DW/chlorinedosageemergencydisinfection.pdf
  2. Circulate well for 48 hours, and then use sodium thiosulfate to neutralize the chlorine in the water. Most pool places sell a product called Chlor Out which contains sodium thiosulfate and is safe to use. You can use this website to determine how much sodium thiosulfate to dose: https://www.edspumps.com/water-treatment/documents/Antichlorination.pdf
  3. After you are all finished, your alkalinity might need to be raised. If so, use baking soda as per this calculator: http://reef.diesyst.com/chemcalc/chemcalc.html
  4. Dose nitrifying bacteria to reseed the QTs.
All QTs get sterilized every December, whether they need it or not. I also clean all pumps/filters at this time. However, I will occasionally have to do the above throughout the year if a particular QT seems to be having issues (e.g. lingering bacterial diseases).

With Hybrid TTM I would sterilize the same as regular TTM. After transferring, immediately sanitize the “old tank” and all equipment using bleach or vinegar. Rinse well. Let air dry thoroughly before next use (i.e. blow a fan over everything). The air drying is the sterilization process when using vinegar, or detoxification process when using bleach.
 
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