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Re: Disinfecting Plants
I'd suggest that you get a handle on what was killing the fish in the five
gallon tank before you move to the forty. If you don't you'll run the risk
of repeating the problem on a larger scale.
Healthy fish get sick and die when they are stressed by their environment
and, weakened, succumb to the pathogens that are always present. In this
case, the tank was very much overstocked with three goldfish, regardless of
their size. Goldfish are messy beasts which produce a lot of waste material,
more than the natural processes in an aquarium like the five gallon can
handle, even with a UG filter. Too much waste = a dirty tank = a great
breeding ground for disease-causing microbes.
You mentioned that a lot of white worms were present. These worms, probably
planaria, are harmless in themselves but are a symptom of excessive food or
waste material. The acid drift is also an indication that
decomposition was occurring.
In your new tank I suggest that you keep the stocking density low. One inch
of fish per gallon is a good general rule, if the fish are small and not
The fewer fish, the greater the margin for error that you have.
If you are going to filter your new tank, you might want to consider
augmenting the UG filter (if you choose to keep it) with an external filter
that will remove solid matter. UG filters just make it disappear, at least
for a while.