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Advice for Keeping/De-germing Empty Quarantine Tank


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I have a 5.5 gallon I was using as a hospital tank for a couple of fish that got sick during the quarantine/meds phase of my new tank. Unfortunately, the fish died, and I believe one of them had columnaris.

The hospital tank has new gravel, a filter that was new when I put it in the tank, a heater and some floating plants I can keep in there or throw away. 

It will be a while before I buy more fish. I'd like to leave the hospital tank up and running to use as a QT tank when I do get more. But I don't want any germs the deceased fish had to stay in the tank and attack the new fish. 

What's the best way to proceed--how long to keep new fish out of that tank, and how to minimize the risk of anything deadly still being in there? 


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You can simply drain the tank down completley, let it dry out. Once its dried out any aquatic parasite or disease will die. You can do the same with your spongefilter, and then place it in your main display tank to get the filter seeded with bacteria.

Once you get a new fish take out the sponge filter, fill up the tank and place the fish in. The filter will already have the bacteria on it that you are trying to grow during the cycling process.

If you want you can let everything dry out, and then perform a bleach dip with everything just to be certain theres nothing bad on it. But I've never performed a bleach dip, and have just let my stuff to dry out and haven't experianced any side effects from doing so.

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On 7/24/2021 at 8:24 AM, Wonder Boy said:

For what it’s worth, I keep our QT tank bare bottom and without decorations. I do have a few plant clippings in there. The bare look makes setup and observation easy during the QT time. Also, in cases like this, it’s less to clean/worry about disease. 

Normally, I do too. I got panicky about this tank and put in a few handfuls of gravel from my oldest tank trying to help the new filter. I misspoke above--the gravel wasn't new, the filter was new with some old media in it and some new, and as fish continued to die in there I was freaking out and doing too many things 😞


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