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On_a_dishy

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I have:

Basic hardware (note - no second 'hospital' tank)
1 x 34L Fluval Flex tank, cycled
2 buckets - I'm thinking one of these could briefly house my fish/shrimp whilst I completely change their tank
1 x water heater and thermometer (could go into the bucket motel)
All the cleaning stuff (gravel cleaner, siphon tube, net, brushes etc)
The Fluval filter and media (sponges, charcoal, the media, rudimentary baffle sponges over the ferocious Fluval exit spout)

In the tank
Soil, and plants which are not thriving
Gravel
A lovely bit of dragonstone but which offers no secret places for my betta or shrimp
A floating betta hide
4 beautiful marimo balls
Gravel and a handful of large pebbles
1 x betta
6 x cherry shrimp
1 x 0.1g treatment of Panacur which I could not dissolve effectively and so which is sprinkled like icing sugar (I have 3 x 1g packets, each containing 222mg fenbendazole) I've removed the charcoal.
On its way from the US (I live in the UK) API General Cure
Little white worms which are floating around and sometimes attaching themselves to the glass.

Now, I know the white worms are probably detritus, but I don't want them - I know they can be beneficial but, well, I don't want them. I'm also fed up with trying to encourage my plants to thrive - they don't. They did in my large 245L, but I officially give up aquascaping with live plants as of now.

I'd like to change to:

Sand substrate (never had this before - I'm thinking it'll be easier to clean and less likely to harbour mess)
Keeping the decor (I might change the dragonstone for something more fun for my betta) BUT only after having nuked it all with panacur and flubendazole
No plants
A worm-free tank

Can I do all this without having a second tank to house my betta and shrimp whilst I nuke the Fluval tank with bleach and a thousand rinses and the filter/media with panacur (fenbendazole) and flubendazole? I've got the weekend coming up and lots of resolve!

The only impossibility to achieving this I think would be the ability of worms to survive a single immersion into a fenbendazole/flubendazole cocktail.

Sorry - this is a crazy long post, but I know you all like to have the information! Can I achieve a complete deep clean and killing of everything except my bacteria and fish in one weekend without a second tank?
 

seangee

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I would suggest you don't try to rush it. I use boxes like this for housing fish temporarily https://www.amazon.co.uk/TENLITE-Storage-Stackable-Nestable-Container/dp/B09PZ33QLN - you can usually find them for under a tenner at typical village hardware stores (those tiny shops that seem to sell everything). Put your heater and filter media in there - just give them a good rinse in dechlorinated tap water - don't nuke them. They will be fine in there for a week or more if needed. You should add a sponge filter - something like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Powkoo-Aquarium-Sponge-Filter-Gallon/dp/B075Q6GCJM. You will also need an air pump and appropriate tubing (cheap is fine - the cheap ones tend to be noisy but will do the job). Ideally you should run this filter in your main tank for a couple of weeks before doing the revamp - that way you will avoid any cycling issues.

Then you can do the main tank at your leisure. No need to get too drastic on nuking. if its visually clean and you allow it to dry you should be fine. It sounds like you are eager to get on with it but patience will pay off.

P.S. I can't guarantee your betta won't eat your shrimp - but the same applies in a bucket
 
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On_a_dishy

Guest
Thank you, seangee! I have ordered the filter and will be “borrowing” a box from my workplace today!
What if the worms are all over the filter media, though? Will I not just be deep cleaning and then reintroducing the same problem?
I would suggest you don't try to rush it. I use boxes like this for housing fish temporarily https://www.amazon.co.uk/TENLITE-Storage-Stackable-Nestable-Container/dp/B09PZ33QLN - you can usually find them for under a tenner at typical village hardware stores (those tiny shops that seem to sell everything). Put your heater and filter media in there - just give them a good rinse in dechlorinated tap water - don't nuke them. They will be fine in there for a week or more if needed. You should add a sponge filter - something like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Powkoo-Aquarium-Sponge-Filter-Gallon/dp/B075Q6GCJM. You will also need an air pump and appropriate tubing (cheap is fine - the cheap ones tend to be noisy but will do the job). Ideally you should run this filter in your main tank for a couple of weeks before doing the revamp - that way you will avoid any cycling issues.

Then you can do the main tank at your leisure. No need to get too drastic on nuking. if its visually clean and you allow it to dry you should be fine. It sounds like you are eager to get on with it but patience will pay off.

P.S. I can't guarantee your betta won't eat your shrimp - but the same applies in a bucket
 

GaryE

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About once every couple of years, I see a detritus worm. They have a way of surviving, and if they don't, they return. If the tank is running well, with no overfeeding or mulm, and with water changes, it's one worm and no more. I just assume they are always there, but in such low numbers in whatever quiet place in the tank they like that I don't see them.

So don't be discouraged if one pops out after all this.
 
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On_a_dishy

Guest
About once every couple of years, I see a detritus worm. They have a way of surviving, and if they don't, they return. If the tank is running well, with no overfeeding or mulm, and with water changes, it's one worm and no more. I just assume they are always there, but in such low numbers in whatever quiet place in the tank they like that I don't see them.

So don't be discouraged if one pops out after all this.
They tap into my need to control, though! I was so careful with this latest tank...I even flubendazoled the plants before putting them in. And then there it was - a teeny tiny crawly hairline fracture of my happiness, edging its way up my impeccably clean glass. What gets rid of them? I've got flubendazole, fenbendazole, and API General Cure on the way from the States.
 

GaryE

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All those things kill them, but they are like politicians from whatever party you don't like or respect - they crawl out on a regular basis when the buffet looks good.

This hobby will always be nature based, so a need for control is a problem!
 
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On_a_dishy

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I'm going to have to live with them, aren't I. I'm armed with everything - a motel box for the fish, a spare pump on the way, an arsenal of chemical warfare... and I'm willing to soak everything in this warfare cocktail mix, but even one tiny worm tucked up snugly below an air bubble in one of my moss balls will reintroduce its whole wormy family into my revamped tank...
 
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On_a_dishy

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Will my warfare cocktail mixture kill them outright? So if I soak my media, charcoal, sponges, moss balls, mid-refurbishment tank, and decor in them, will that be it? Or do I need to then follow with a re-dose after a couple of days?
 
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On_a_dishy

Guest
The deed is done. Betta and shrimps (shrimps had a salt dip each - I’m still not over the Holtodrilus truncates) are in a plastic “motel” box. Their aquarium is soaking in a dechlorinated watery bomb of flubendazole and fenbendazole, as are the cleaning utensils, moss balls, decor, filter media, sponges, pump… everything.
I’m worried the moss balls might still be harbouring a worm or two but, to be fair, if they survive this they deserve a home in my tank.
Loads of what I assume were dead detritus worms filled the tank as I started emptying it - one still had a wiggle in him but that was the only thing moving.
Off to get sand tomorrow, and I’m never buying another plant! Until next week, of course, when I decide to go back to planted…
 

Essjay

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You could always buy in-vitro plants as they are tissue culture plants grown in a gel so they don't have hitchhikers and they are shrimp safe. Many on-line plant shops sell them. If you are anywhere near County Durham there's a real shop that sells a lot of plants, including tubs of in-vitro.
 
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On_a_dishy

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You could always buy in-vitro plants as they are tissue culture plants grown in a gel so they don't have hitchhikers and they are shrimp safe. Many on-line plant shops sell them. If you are anywhere near County Durham there's a real shop that sells a lot of plants, including tubs of in-vitro.
That sounds very interesting...
How would I identify an in-vitro plant online?
 

Essjay

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In-vitro plants come in tubs like these

A few companies do them - Tropica 1-2-grow; AquaFleur Easy Grow; Dennerle In-Vitro Cups, Aqua Art etc
 

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