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Medicated Clay Substate


Louise02
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I am in the process of establishing a hospital aquarium.  In the meantime, I had to treat mollies and guppies in a tank with Aqueon Plant & Shrimp aquarium substrate.  I love that substrate (after six months of cycling without fish), but now I have contaminated it with several meds.  Is it best to throw it out? or can I continue to use it?

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 Most break down over time and will be resolved with water changes but if the medication says it's harmful for inverts I'd wait awhile before adding any snails or shrimp to the tank.

I've never worried about meds lingering.

But I use gravel, maybe some good the porous plant substrate people will have different opinions 

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I would not keep clay substrate with multiple medications.  I would also not keep clay substrate in a hospital tank as it has much more potential to inactivate medications by adsorbing them (binding to them).  I prefer bare bottom for hospital tanks but have been known to medicate in a couple tanks that are matten foam substrate over undergravel filters.  The foam shouldn’t hold meds but I’ve not done any testing as that would be crazy expensive and likely not possible without sending a chunk of the foam to a specialty lab and it might still not be possible to be accurate.

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On 3/8/2023 at 7:35 AM, Odd Duck said:

I would not keep clay substrate with multiple medications.  I would also not keep clay substrate in a hospital tank as it has much more potential to inactivate medications by adsorbing them (binding to them).  I prefer bare bottom for hospital tanks but have been known to medicate in a couple tanks that are matten foam substrate over undergravel filters.  The foam shouldn’t hold meds but I’ve not done any testing as that would be crazy expensive and likely not possible without sending a chunk of the foam to a specialty lab and it might still not be possible to be accurate.

Thank you.  I had not intended to medicate in this tank.  I will be moving the fish that have ich in a few hours after the new tank is set up.  The new tank, that was supposed to be here long before the fish, was delayed in arriving, due to weather.  

This clay substrate will actually only see two rounds of ichX before I move these fish.  Would you still toss the substrate, since it is a formaldehyde product? or can I save it?

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On 3/8/2023 at 1:31 PM, Louise02 said:

Thank you.  I had not intended to medicate in this tank.  I will be moving the fish that have ich in a few hours after the new tank is set up.  The new tank, that was supposed to be here long before the fish, was delayed in arriving, due to weather.  

This clay substrate will actually only see two rounds of ichX before I move these fish.  Would you still toss the substrate, since it is a formaldehyde product? or can I save it?

Toss for sure.  There are fish and inverts that are incredibly sensitive to the meds in Ich-X.  Soooo not worth the risk for potential future inhabitants of the tank.

On 3/8/2023 at 1:41 PM, knee said:

If you wanna be safe you can always dry the substrate before adding it to a new or different tank.

Drying would not release or remove or inactivate all types of meds if it’s adsorbed into clay.  It could still potentially be released back into water once wet again.

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On 3/8/2023 at 1:10 PM, Odd Duck said:

I have actual heavy clay dirt under sand cap in several tanks but I don’t quarantine in those.  But this is one of the many reason why I do at least 4 week (and often longer) quarantines.

I'm going to take a page out of your book and make that house policy.  We were so lucky in the beginning.  Our bettas lived for years without any issues.  I should have had a hospital tank, but at least I had IchX, salt, etc. on hand.  Thank you for taking the time to explain all of this to me.  My daughter thanks you (these are her fish).

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