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Chuckie

Sterilising Hands Between Tanks?

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I had never thought of sterlising, but have put my hands/arms in the tank just after washing with soap, or shortly after applying moisturiser, and once accidentally only an hour after covering my arm in aeroguard. Never hurt the fish, luckily.

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Good bump Lisa...

Re what I did / now do sterilisation wise for my tanks -

1. Don't put my hands in tanks unless it's absolutely necessary - use nets where practical to take out small items/fish/ etc. Pull sponge filters out by the airline. Scoop gravel out with a net.

2. Isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle for my hands (never had residue affect anything in tanks)

3. Net dip of potassium permanganate - 500mg/litre - kills with about 30secs contact time. Rinse bucket of water.

4. spray bottle with bleach for disinfecting anything else (that's not alive) in the tanks.

5. Separate nets, gravel cleaner and hose and buckets for hospital tank or any tank with a disease in it. These are bleached and left in sun after use.

6. Food handled with a small scoop (mainly to measure it consistently) to avoid contact with hands.

7. All tanks have 25-50% water change per week with gravel vacuum and squeezing and rinsing of filters in the water taken from the tank (this water then gets dumped on the garden)

Re reasons for the outbreaks of columnaris I have had - the only suggestions I can think of are due to temp increases lately and/or the nozzle of the hose I use to fill the tanks. Will be working on installing piping so I can just turn on taps from a central line to fill tanks rather than jumping a hose from one to the other. Big lesson learned about how virulent this disease is though - 25 hours from start to complete annihilation of a tank - have learnt a lot and gathered a fairly good library now on this problem and how to deal with it. Biggest problem for aquarists is if this disease breaks out there are no effective antibiotics available for us to combat it with so keep the fish cool and clean and hope like hell it doesn't break out in anyone else's tank.

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