Sterilising Aquarium Equipment

Which of the following do you use to sterilise your equipment?

  • Bleach (thick)

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Bleach (thin)

    Votes: 3 42.9%
  • Chlromaine-T

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Hydrogen Peroxide

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Methalyne Blue

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Salt (Aquarium)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Salt (Table)

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • Sterilising Fluid/Tabs

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • White Vinegar

    Votes: 5 71.4%
  • Other (please state below)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    7

RCA

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Been doing some research as I want to ensure I sterilise my equipment correctly to ensure each tank is independent. I have in the past used white vinegar, aquarium salt, methalyne blue, sterilising tabs, or hydrogen peroxide. If I was to use bleach I would use the thin cheap bleach vs the thick stuff. Of course always rinsing very well afterwards.

In particular from my research I have come across some new (to me) products, and thus have included these in the poll.

I am particularly interested in products that would kill:
Columnaris
Mycobacterium

Please share your views and thoughts as well as voting. In particular what you know about killing either or both of the above?

Hoping we can all learn something about these difficult conditions and how to keep our fish safe.
 

Alasse

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I just use white vinegar.
 
After my bout of Columnaris with the angels, straight white vinegar must have done something as it never moved elsewhere or onto anyone else
 

eaglesaquarium

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I think ALL of the options listed are going to work effectively, but the question comes down to the concentration.
 
 
So, the next consideration is the time involved, residual effects (if any), cost and availability.
 
 
I think that bleach is the cheapest solution to sterilize, but you'd use up the savings in dechlorinator.
 
Hydrogen peroxide might be the best alternative, as it leaves NO residual of any kind.
 
Vinegar might be the easiest option, but I'm not sure the dilution to use to maximize efficiency...  using it straight as Alasse suggests would be strong enough (5% acidic solution) in nearly all cases, but a stronger version can be found sometimes (10% acidic solution).  
 

TwoTankAmin

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Bleach- never heard of thin vs thick. I have been using bleach for many years without issue. Bleach kills/dissolves pretty much anything organic. There are organisims that can live in very hot nasty water - such as around vents in the ocean floor. I know of nothing on this planet that can live in chlorine.
 
You do the bleach soak of a tank, you empty it out, you do a rinse, and empty it out. Let everything dry 100%. Then do one last quick rinse and you are good to go. When doing this for an H or Q tank, I bleach it all- filters, decor, air lines, heater and thermometer etc.
 
I do not bleach anything organic- such as sponges, bio-media or real wood or for things where losing color would be a problem (like silk plants- use plastic instead). Bio-media is usually replaced.
 
I do not use dechlor except when bleaching things that then go directly into an established tank with fish: for example new plants that get bleach dipped.
 
Always be careful when using bleach, espcially around your tanks. Never forget a few drops of bleach will trash clothing, so when working with bleach either wear old clothes or be prepared to splash some and to create new old work clothes.
 

malfunction

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Reading too much about mycobacteria can leave you exceptionally paranoid in a very short period of time!

I normally use bleach, then allow the tank to dry out before dechlorinating - seems to do the trick.
 

sawickib

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Vinegar :/ works well, no chance of killing fish from left overs.
 
OP
RCA

RCA

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Thanks for all your responses. TTA thin bleach in the UK is straight bleach, whereas thick bleach clings to things and tends to have other chemicals included, hence thin is a purer bleach. For use in disinfecting nets etc., I thus use the thin in a small quantity, then soak them in a large bucket of clean water to remove any residue. Of course with the sick fish in question I have separate equipment for them now.

In respect to vinegar, I often use white vinegar before storing any spare tanks, yet am surprised it does so well at clearing Columnaris, so thanks for the info.

"Malfunction" regarding reading too much, alas for some of my fish I paid a heafty vet bill to have it confirmed as fish TB, which then eventually eliminated my need to constantly read to try and find the unknown cause of fish losses :)
 

TwoTankAmin

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It is not so simple as mycobacterium. Acoording to this paper,

Mycobacteriosis in fishes: a review
DT Gauthier, MW Rhodes - The Veterinary Journal, 2009 - Elsevier
 
 
As of June 2008, 130 Mycobacterium species and 11 subspecies were recognized by the list of prokaryotic names with standing in nomenclature
from http://www.bfm21.com/download/latin/2.pdf
 
They present in Table 1 - A review of Mycobacterium spp. identified from finfishes which covers 20 different species. And this is a 2008 paper so there may now be a few more species identified.
 
This is one of the difficulties with diagnosing this problem. Different strains act differently, Some grow faster or slower, some are more or less virulent.
 
Re Chlorine- it will kill just about anything organic. it is a gas and will naturally evaporate from water. All one has to do is to insure whatever it has been used on is allowed to dry out 100% before being used for fish. No dechlor is needed.
 
 
 
 
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