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fish bacteria and parasites outside water column question


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I have two scenarios in question.  

  1. Keeping equipment clean when quarantining fish (to avoid cross contamination b/t the healthy tank and quarantine tank) 
  2. Preventing diseases from transfering to humans

For these two scenarios, do fish bacteria/parasites/disease survive when the equipment is completely air dried?  What about if the equipment is not completely dried but slightly moist still? Equipment can be things like bowls, nets, pipettes or even towels.

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I’m not sure, if air dry for a few days, I do not over worry. Only Ich has been nasty one to beware of.

A low-concentrate, fish-safe, decontaminate dip for nets is  typical in a fish store.

I tend to rinse thoroughly in tap water, then dry thoroughly. Not a perfect measure, but reasonable unless severe problems persist. 

Here is an older, long-form video on sterilizing equipment…


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The world is full of organisms. The smaller we look the more there are, both in terms of number and diversity. 
There are dozens of different microorganisms in any aquarium that, under the right (or wrong) circumstances can explode to become what we would call a disease or infection. These include viruses, fungi, bacteria, other single celled organisms, microscopic multicellular organisms, and parasites both internal and external. 
Some of these are clearly fish diseases or parasites (require a fish host to survive and/or reproduce), others are just part of the ecosystem/food web/environment but may be harmful at times (hydra, cyanobacteria). 
So, when you ask if drying out a sponge or equipment will clean or sterilize it, there are too my organisms with many different life histories to answer. Some will die off with a thoroughly drying, others might go into a dormant phase and last for months or years. 
If your concern is YOUR health, drying isn’t your only option. There is also disinfection (bleach only requires 20 mins or less to work) and thorough rinsing (“the solution to pollution is dilution”). 
My suggestion: be sensible but don’t over-stress. A quarantine tank or setup should take as many variables out of play as possible. If you run an airstone only and do daily water changes, you don’t need a filter. A bare tank with some plastic plants for cover (heater if necessary, lights optional) might not be the most homey for the fish, but it’s more important to meet your quarantine needs. 
Just some thoughts/reassurance. 🙂

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