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Best Way To Disinfect


daryl

It really depends on what you are disinfecting - and how you want to do it.

Potassium permanganate is one of the best disinfectants possible. It will take care of just about anything biological. Soak what ever you want to disinfect in a solution of PP that is bright purple for about4 hours. If the solution turns brown, add more until it is purple.

You can fill a tank up to the top and run it purple - through the filters and all and kill everything in the tank. (Remove the fish, please - they will die, also)

IF you have a deep gravel base, remember that any disinfectant cannot reach into every granny of it - and will not do it all. If you really need to zap the WHOLE tank, remove all the gravel and boil it at a rolling boil for 10 minutes. Add about 1T salt to 1 quart of water to increase the boil kill. Or pressure cook - this will kill even the alien infection from outer space or the nasties that never die from Toothless's tank.

If I am "nuking" a tank, I take out everything. Gravel is boiled. Ceramic/rock/bioball media is boiled. Any "soft" media is discarded (sponges, floss, etc.). The biowheel, all the decorations, plastic plants, etc. are dropped in the clean tank. The tank is filled to the very top and the filter is set running with no media, no biowheel. Then the PP is added until it is bright purple. This is run this way for 4 hours. At the end of 4 hours, hydrogen peroxide is added to the tank until the water is clear. Then the tank is emptied, things are rinsed and the tank can be reset and started for fish/cycle again.

A standard concentration of 1:12 bleach/water is what is used for most infectious agents. Some more stubborn infectious agents require a 1:10 concentration. Live plants cannot survive this concentration. 1:19, as Sandy has stated is ok for those. It will not kill all - but will get a lot off the plant. The best way to make sure a plant is clean is to place it in a "iso" tank for a time. Many problems cannot survive without a fish host. A good dechlorinator can detoxify the bleach when you are done.

Between bleach, potassium peroxide, and boiling, you can pretty much sterilize just about anything you want.

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Dont know about the plants but for the bleech then its 1 part bleech to 19 water for cleaning the tank etc.

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It really depends on what you are disinfecting - and how you want to do it.

Potassium permanganate is one of the best disinfectants possible. It will take care of just about anything biological. Soak what ever you want to disinfect in a solution of PP that is bright purple for about4 hours. If the solution turns brown, add more until it is purple.

You can fill a tank up to the top and run it purple - through the filters and all and kill everything in the tank. (Remove the fish, please - they will die, also)

IF you have a deep gravel base, remember that any disinfectant cannot reach into every granny of it - and will not do it all. If you really need to zap the WHOLE tank, remove all the gravel and boil it at a rolling boil for 10 minutes. Add about 1T salt to 1 quart of water to increase the boil kill. Or pressure cook - this will kill even the alien infection from outer space or the nasties that never die from Toothless's tank.

If I am "nuking" a tank, I take out everything. Gravel is boiled. Ceramic/rock/bioball media is boiled. Any "soft" media is discarded (sponges, floss, etc.). The biowheel, all the decorations, plastic plants, etc. are dropped in the clean tank. The tank is filled to the very top and the filter is set running with no media, no biowheel. Then the PP is added until it is bright purple. This is run this way for 4 hours. At the end of 4 hours, hydrogen peroxide is added to the tank until the water is clear. Then the tank is emptied, things are rinsed and the tank can be reset and started for fish/cycle again.

A standard concentration of 1:12 bleach/water is what is used for most infectious agents. Some more stubborn infectious agents require a 1:10 concentration. Live plants cannot survive this concentration. 1:19, as Sandy has stated is ok for those. It will not kill all - but will get a lot off the plant. The best way to make sure a plant is clean is to place it in a "iso" tank for a time. Many problems cannot survive without a fish host. A good dechlorinator can detoxify the bleach when you are done.

Between bleach, potassium peroxide, and boiling, you can pretty much sterilize just about anything you want.

:)

This post has been promoted to an article

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Guest Rayzor86

Posted

Hey,

Just a quick question, where can you get potassium permanganate? Can you get it at a pet store or just a regular stores? Thanks

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Thanks Daryl. I am completely nuking EVERYTHING. The tank is a 10 gallon qt and the goldfish in it last died of something parasitic that was not affected by any of the drugs or salt that I used. I want to totally start over and just go tropical. I want to kill every single living organism in that tank!

How do you pressure cook? Will the pp stain anything in the tank? How much pp do you put in? How long should I boil gravel (I only had about 20 large pebbles) and ceramic filter media? Would you recomend pp or bleach for the tank? I also need to disinfect a couple buckets and a syphon. How should I go about that?

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PP is sold in pet stores in a liquid form. This tends to be more expensive and a pain to use, I think. I found PP crystals at Sears Hardware - in the water softening/filtering dept. It comes in a small white bottle for about $5. There are enough pp crystals in there to last you about 500 years.

Be aware that pp will stain your hands and your clothes BIG TIME. Be careful when using it.

I add enough crystals ( less than 1/8 tsp most likely) to the tank's water. It should be enough to turn the water a dark, bright purple.

Take out all the gravel, the ceramic media, the cartridges, the biowheels, etc. Fill the tank with water. Place the biowheel, plastic plants, any other deco or piece that you may have in the tank. Put in the pp and start the filter running. The pp will circulate through the tank for at least 4 hours. It needs to remain bright purple for that entire 4 hours. If it turns brown or burgandy - it means that it has reacted to biological matter and no longer has enough "unused" pp to work anymore. Add a touch more, until the water is purple again.

Discard any floss or cartridges. Discard carbon. The gravel, larger rocks, ceramic material or lava rock or whatever, can be boiled in a pan. You want a rolling boil - a full boil for 10 minutes. Use a timer to make sure. Adding a T of salt will give you a better kill. (use a metal pan so a glass one does not break when the larger stones jump around in the boiling water!)

Pressure cooking involves using a pressure cooker. This is a pan with a sealed lid and a little weight that sits on top and only lets the steam escape from the pot when enough pressure is built up inside. Perhaps you remember your mother cooking potatoes in one? The little weight on top rocks and dances around and the steam goes psssspsssspsssspsss as it dances around. It is fun to watch. You can get a much higher temp in a pressure cooker - so a better kill in shorter time.

For most things (really nearly all) you will achieve kill with a rolling boil for 10 minutes.

The buckets can be filled with pp or bleach solution. They, hopefully, do not have many open pores, so a 10 minute wetting with pp or bleach solution is sufficiant for them. Dry them throughly afterwards. I like sunshine for that (UV and all).

I like to fill my syphon hoses and tubes with pp solution after evey tank cleaning. I keep a 5 gallon bucket of pp solution that all the equipment is dropped into when I am done. After about 10-15 mintues it is fished out, flushed and hung to dry.

PP can be "de-purpled" with hydrogen peroxide. Bleach can be bound up with a decholinator.

Good luck. Zap those nasties!

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Guest Rayzor86

Posted

Hey,

My goldfish also recently died, so I found this post quite helpful. Thanks daryl and kissy. But I have some questions. Are they're any cautions when using pp to disinfect. Also you mentioned using a good declorinator can detoxify bleach, but how would you know when there all the bleach is gone? Thanks

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It will probably be at least another week untill I get ahold of the pp ( :( ) but I'll do just that. I don't have pressure cooker and I've never even heard of one lol. I did just read an example about one in my chemistry book tho ;)

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The biggest precaution I would give you with PP use is that it stains. Anytime the crystals get wet (damp, humid or ANYTHING), they impart a very dark, permanent stain. If you touch a crystal with your fingers, your finger will be permanently dyed reddish brown. It will have to wear off. It is very unsightly. The same goes for your clothes.

It also takes an amazingly small amount of pp to do the work. A few crystals will do the trick. Not spoonfuls!

I generally pour out what little I want to use on a piece of dry paper. That way I make sure I do not have too much. That amount is added to the tank. Do not allow any cats or dogs to drink from the purple tank. Do not stick your hands in it. Rinse if you do.

PP will not stain the glass or the silicone sealant. It will not stain your ceramic media or anything else significantly. It reacts with biological material. That will turn brown.

It helps to buy a large bottle of hydrogen peroxide (very cheap - I got a 1/2 gal for about $2) to add to the tank when you are done. That way, when you are emptying it, any spills and such on the carpet or whereever you are, cannot stain. I do not usually worry too much about it - I work in my utility room. But I like having the Hydrogen Peroxide on hand anyway, just in case.

When using bleach, I always do an overkill to remove it. I dump out all the bleach water. Then I rinse everything. I refill the tank again with water with dechlorinator added and circulate the filter again for a bit. Then I dump it and repeat. Afterwards all parts are laid out to dry - preferably in the sun. In the summer my patio tables are often full of fish equipment that I go and turn every hour or so. Dried completely, the bleach will be gone.

:)

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Granted I am late on this thread but I'm sure you would rather hear more advice than less.

I have had 100% success with the aforementioned bleach solution and rinsing/cleaning the glass with a hot water rinse or a steam cleaning.

PLEASE NOTE: hot water on cold glass will crack it and can cause injury.

Simple, easy, effective. What more do you need?

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Daryl excellent advice and very descriptive on the tank cleaning procedures! I?ve printed and saved for later!!

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Yah I was thinking we should have an article on how and why to disinfect tanks and equipment pinned in the goldfish section or as an article in the research forum. Daryl I think you'd be best for the job :)

I just realized recently that I should probably disinfect the test tubes! I never thought of that :o Hopefully all the corrosive chemicals have been killing off a years worth of goldfish parasites..either that or I've been lucky.

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Guest Rayzor86

Posted

I have to agree. This post has been really helpful. Thank you so much daryl. I also have another question. (sry for all these questions), but I went to my local petshop to find some pp and I couldn't find any. Are there any other places I could look? Thanks again.

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The easiest place to find PP crystals that I have found is at Sears hardware - in the water department. It is next to the filters and such used for water softeners. It is a white plastic bottle for about $5.

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Golly - you know, they are very porous and I suppose, as such, can support a good deal of bacterial life - good or bad...... Perhaps they should be tossed.

But....I never have. I usually bleach the heck out of them, soak them in chlorine remover and go for it. But I have the white creamic ones mostly..... I have always dumped the blue ones, for they usually are kind of raggety after a while anyway....

On the third hand....I would be loathe to dump my bubble disks and all. I would soak those in bleach I guess. Or PP them. Maybe PP would be better and all, for if you did not manage to remove all the tiny amounts of PP that were left in the pores of a bubble bar it would make little difference. PP, in small amounts, is not that toxic to fish. Far less than chlorine, at least!

Hmmmmmmmmmm.......

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http://www.mmm.com/assets/product_images/4/4258373752b.jpg

This is the kind I have, its a 12" second hand and is a pretty good quality...judging buy the way it doesn't fall apart lol. I left it in the tank while I bleached today, but I can throw it away if needed. I won't be using it any time soon because I only have a ten gallon tropical and an even smaller betta. If I left it sit for a few years, do you think any excess bleach that didn't get out would be gone? I plan to pick up goldfish again about then. I get my PP tomorrow :)

Edited by Kissy
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Carol! thanks for this informative post, and Kissy thanks for raising the question, this is most useful information! I'm currently cleaning a tank that has been a QT for a fish that died of one of those nasties that keeps coming back (ie something that's immune to salt and all abs available in oz.)..

I'ma gonna see if I can get some PP, I'm not sure if it'll be available over the counter in oz, but I guess I'm gonna find out today.. if not, I might just need to 'borrow' some from work... :yeah:

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Very helpful thread :D I've just had a bleaching equipment day, I always used to boil stuff and just use hot water on things as I was a little scared of bleach. I really need to get some of that PP :lol:

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Just a question about disinfecting plants with the bleach solution: How long should I leave the plant in the bleach solution? [Last time I tried, I definitely left it too long as my plant went white - oops!] Also once I remove the plant and add it to some declorinated water, how long till it is ok to put in tank?

If I don't use a bleach solution, then how long should a plant be quarantined to be safe?

Thanks for your help!

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delicate plants need 1 minute and tougher plants like java fern and the like need 2 minutes check out the pinned thread on the plant subforum.

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Daryl, I hope you are online b/c I can't pm you. I can't get the pp water to turn clear w/ the hydro peroxide. Am I not adding enough? Does it clear up automatically??

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It really depends on what you are disinfecting - and how you want to do it.

Potassium permanganate is one of the best disinfectants possible. It will take care of just about anything biological. Soak what ever you want to disinfect in a solution of PP that is bright purple for about4 hours. If the solution turns brown, add more until it is purple.

Daryl, I've been having a question about PP/Permoxyn. The product itself says it's for parasites, so how are we to be sure that it kills bacteria too?

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I have got a second hand tank that I want to disinfect before use. I have got the PP but was wondering what strength hydrogen peroxide you use Daryl? I have found you can get it from 3% up to 35%, If I got the 35% would I just need to use less or is a lower concentration better?

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This is probly a stupid question but when u talk about bleach do you just mean like the kind of bleach u use in the bathroom and stuff?? x x

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