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Quarantine Qs

One of my planted tanks has been without fish for about three weeks now. I was wondering whether any parasites or illnesses can survive a long period without a host, and if so, which ones?
As you may remember, I had a problem with ciliates, I treated the fish in a quarantine tank (so far successfully - but I won't be completely sure until Christmas), but I had to rebuild the original tank afterwards. I replaced the substrate but had to re-use the plants. I'm pretty sure that ciliates need to find a host PDQ if they're to survive. Would it be OK to restart using their original tank?
Somebody please answer this as I need the space, and if the answer is "no - you can't use it yet" I'll have to get another tank:-(


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