Lindsey C asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

Fish had TB... Now how do I cure the tank?

I had a molly die recently (about 1 month ago, had it for 2 months). I noticed it was "wasting away" although it continued to have a hearty appetite up until it died. Its poop was normal color, so I assumed it wasnt parasites and that it was just getting bullied. It was probably dead in my tank for about 12 hrs before I noticed.

Well, I just had to euthanize another molly fish that I only got 2 weeks ago. It showed the same symptoms, so I finally looked it up online and discovered that they both most likely had fish TB.

Now, my huge question. The fish TB is probably in the water since the 2 fish had no prior contact, so how do I cure the tank so that none of my other fish get infected?? Please help! Thanks

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    TB is extremely tough to treat, so you'd be much better served just trying to prevent it-- it IS easily prevented. By simply keeping the water clean and the fish in their optimal environment (which means brackish conditions for Mollies), you are already winning half the battle. Getting them all their essential vitamins (particularly B-6) is also a great prophylaxis, so you may want to pick some up at the local pharamacy in the dietary supplement aisle (usually for less than $5), crush it up, dissolve it, and soak their food in it a couple times a week.

    The other route is to essentially "nuke" the whole tank with potassium permanganate (though this is not always easy to find) or salt (a LOT of it) while there are no fish in it, and cleaning it VERY thoroughly before returning fish to it (you will, of course, have to re-cycle the tank as all the nitrifying bacteria will be dead). About 5 ppm of potassium permanganate, allowed to run in the tank (filter on) for a day will do the job, as will about 2 cups of salt per 5 gallons, run through the tank in the same manner for the same time.

    EDIT: A UV sterilizer will NOT kill TB once it infects the fish. To actually have any effect on it, the bacteria has to pass through the UV sterilizer at a slow enough rate to allow sufficient time with the lethal UV rays, and if it's in the fish, it will not do that. Mycobacterium species can also adhere to surfaces, meaning that your gravel, tank glass, decorations, filter, heater, and everything else in the tank is potentially infected. Potassium permanganate or hypersaline solutions WILL kill all of these. The only real benefit a UV sterilizer would have at this point is FUTURE PREVENTION.

    EDIT 2: To the poster below me, reading the thread and understanding the thread are two very different things; you read the article. Note that Ms. Walsted made absolutely NO mention of UV sterilizers, this was a brought up by somebody asking a question, and then run with by other posters. Even if Ms. Walsted did suggest that UV filtration kills the bacteria while infecting the fish, I'd disagree. That is bad science-- the bacteria cannot be affected by the UV rays if they don't go through the UV rays. The only time a UV sterilizer will ever kill ANY bacteria is when it is suspended in the water column, travelling through the tubing subjected to the UV light. If you read Walsted's ACTUAL article (available here: ), you'll find this quote: "Whether the UV sterilizers were killing the bacteria responsible for MB or were killing pathogens causing secondary infections was irrelevant to me," suggesting that she has no idea whether or not the TB was actually affected.

  • 1 decade ago

    Believe it or not, fish TB can be quite easy to treat. All you need is a UV Sterilizer which is the only thing that will remove that dreaded bacteria from fish and water. Many people use UV sterilizers when they have algae problems or when their fish are sick. I provided a link to a sterilizer that is often recommended to others as well as a link to an article on treating tanks with TB.

    Edit: To the poster above me, if you actually read the link that I had posted you would know that yes, a UV sterilizer CAN kill the TB bacteria because it was actually tested by a woman who knows a great deal about aquarium water chemistry as well as fish. She had put this to the test a few years ago to fish that were infected with TB and she still has those fish and they are still TB free.

    Source(s): UV Sterilizer Fish TB article. You can download it in the first post on the second page.
  • 1 decade ago

    always if you had a sick fish clean the whole tank. wash everything in clean water including the inside of the tank and filter, place back in and fill up and put the right amount of water ager in it. dont put any fish in it for a few days or more to ensure nothing is left of it. replace any live plants with new ones just in case. ways to prevent it from happening again is to make sure you have a balanced diet for them and their water quality is good and stable.

    check out this websites it may help

    Source(s): few yrs of fish experience
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