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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The first part of the week I tore my tank apart to catch my fish. They were just hidding in the back of the tank, and I was going to switch back to African's. Well, I decided to give them another chance, and re-aranged everything forcing them to the front. This was a major overhaul. Thursday night I finished everything up. I used some rock's I had laying around. The fish loved the new arrangement, and I was happy with them.

The next morning I noticed alot of slime on top of the water. I've alway's had a little being a El Natural set up. It seemed to be getting worse. Then this evening I saw I had a Cardinal, and 2 Rummy nose at the top gasping for air. All the fish were acting funny. At first I was blaming my neice who was there cleaning the carpet. I thought she might have put her hand in the tank. Then I thought maybe just some fume's from the cleaning solution had got in since I still had the glass top's off the tank.

I did a 40% water change, and put an airstone in the tank. That's when I felt the oil all over everything. After some investigating I found the plastic tub the rock's were stored in. There was oil all in the bottom. This was stored in a junk room where we had an oil lamp get knocked over. Obiously some oil got in that tub some how, but I sure didn't notice it while putting the rock's in.

The fish seem ok at the moment. Maybe they were effected by the carpet cleanig fume's, and not the oil since the oil was put in on Thursday, and the fish have been great. Better than ever actually, until an hour ago.

So how am I going to get rid of the oil. I'm sure I'm going to have to tare the hole tank apart. Can I use Dawn dish liquid and a scrub brush. What about the gravel. Is it trash. Can I soak my driftwood, and scrub it with Dawn. Can I clean my Anubius plant's with the dawn. (That's all I have left really) I thought I read doing that some where.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank's. And sorry for being so long winded.
 

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Dish washing detergent (Dawn and others) are designed to rinse clean rather easily (no one wants dishes to taste of soap) so I would think that is probably the best way to clean things. I would prepare a bucket with water as hot as I felt OK with for the various things, and a gentle scrub brush for the wood, and a stiffer brush or a scrubbing pad for smooth surfaces. I would be concerned that the wood might have taken some oil or carpet cleaning fumes inside its pores, so once you have scrubbed the outside you might put it in a garbage can of water with a pump running, in an attempt to remove more of whatever it was.
This thorough a cleaning might also kill the nitrifying bacteria population (if it hasn't already died), just when the plants are having a hard time. Might be worthwhile picking up a small package of Dr. Tim's One and Only or Tetra Safe Start.

I have used dish soap for garden use and found that 1 tablespoon per gallon was the strongest dose land plants could tolerate. I do not think aquatic plants could handle even that much.

I would also try this: To soak up oil at the water surface lay a paper towel on it. The paper towel will pick up quite a bit of oil.

Activated carbon will adsorb a lot of toxins that can get into a tank. I am not sure about oil, but for the carpet cleaning chemicals probably a good idea. Put fresh AC in the filter, run it for a day, then swap it out again. It can get full really fast, especially if you know there is something suspicious in the tank.
 
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