How to prevent diseases and clean sand

Sgooosh

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Hello all
My fish are getting a lot of diseases but i do not know why. My water is clean amm0 nit0 nitrate0-1 but the sand is pretty filthy
How do i fix this?
How should i prevent these nasty Bacterial infections?
Currently my big boy is having fin rot… im using melafix which has helped me many times…
 

Colin_T

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The best way to prevent diseases is to have a clean tank, substrate and filter, and to do regular partial water changes. Then avoid buying sick fish and quarantine any new fish, plants, snails or shrimp for at least 2 (preferably 4) weeks before adding them to an established display tank.

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Each week you should do the following:
Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. This removes the biofilm on the glass and the biofilm will contain lots of harmful bacteria, fungus, protozoans and various other microscopic life forms.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in. It also removes a lot of the gunk and this means any medication can work on treating the fish instead of being wasted killing the pathogens in the gunk.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

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Clean the filter at least once a month. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it, wait until it's established. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use them. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn. Cleaning the filter means less gunk and cleaner water with fewer pathogens.

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If you have dirty substrate, use a gravel cleaner like the one in the following link, to clean the gunk out of the gravel.
 
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itiwhetu

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The best way to prevent diseases is to have a clean tank, substrate and filter, and to do regular partial water changes. Then avoid buying sick fish and quarantine any new fish, plants, snails or shrimp for at least 2 (preferably 4) weeks before adding them to an established display tank.

-----
Each week you should do the following:
Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. This removes the biofilm on the glass and the biofilm will contain lots of harmful bacteria, fungus, protozoans and various other microscopic life forms.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in. It also removes a lot of the gunk and this means any medication can work on treating the fish instead of being wasted killing the pathogens in the gunk.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Clean the filter at least once a month. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it, wait until it's established. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use them. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn. Cleaning the filter means less gunk and cleaner water with fewer pathogens.

----------------------
If you have dirty substrate, use a gravel cleaner like the one in the following link, to clean the gunk out of the gravel.
After doing all of this do you think the water is cleaner or dirtier than the water they would encounter in the wild.
 

AbbeysDad

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I'm going to somewhat disagree with @Colin_T (I know, say what?). That's not to say he's wrong, however, in the average established aquarium the good beneficial bacteria and microbes far exceed any nasty ones. So over cleaning the aquarium and filter destroys far more good than bad microbes.
So a question remains... have you routinely been doing 50-75% weekly water changes? If not, your problem may be more polluted water than dirty sand.

I have several inches of sand in nearly all of my tanks (even rather crowded grow out / holding tanks) and I never touch the sand. The reason is that the substrate contains an intricate network of beneficial biology and disturbing it would negate their positive impact. I wrote about this in The Very Best Aquarium Filter. In some tanks the sand is managed by Malaysian Trumpet Snails, but not in all.

Now @Colin_T just might be right and if your tank got away from you on the dirty side, you may need to follow that advice or more as in perhaps a tear down and start over! We can't really know for sure. Sometimes drastic measures are the only resolve. On the other hand, perhaps you introduced an infected fish and a mild course of anti-biotics should resolve the issue (as long as other factors are as they should be for a healthy tank). :)
 

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