QT time- How long? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-09-2009, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow QT time- How long?

How long is an appropriate QT time after which I can be pretty sure newbies didn't bring home sicknesses?

The Cardinal Drama revealed itself lil over 24hrs to me....So how long do most sicknesses take to show signs when a fish is moved? Would 2 days sound safe? Meaning 48hrs w/out signs and the fish is healthy enough to move to the big house? Or is there SNEAKY slow sicknesses that are as fatal as ick that take maybe 1 week to develop?

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post #2 of 8 Old 12-09-2009, 08:06 PM
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From the research I have done, 2 weeks is the minimum amount of time you should quarantine any new fish and 4 weeks is Ideal...
I am going to start Qt'ing my fish for THREE weeks now,ever since I spread ick to 2 of my 4 tanks. I only did for two weeks before and it was all A-ok for the longest time and then this last month an outbreak occurred because my new fish did in fact have ick I did not notice until after I put them into their tanks....I thought to myself "Oh they've been in there two weeks now they must be fine" WRONG. Two weeks is usually enough but sometimes it's not and three or four weeks is much better and it's definitely worth the extra waiting time rather than having to massive daily water changes on all your tanks and medicate them because they are sick.

Wow.. lots of run on sentences up there! Sorry! hahah

My 5foot, 56g Tank
2 Madagascar, 2 Bosemi and 1 Millenium Rainbowfish
9 Tiger Barbs
1 Weater Loach, 6 Zebra Loaches
1 Rainbow Shark
1 Raphael Catfish
My 55g
1 Siamese Algae Eater
11 Otocinclus
4 Burmese Zebra Loaches
1 Black Angelfish
1 Banjo Catfish
Lots of shrimp
My 70g
1 Siamese Algae Eater
4 Peppered Corydora, 1 Green Corydora
2 Wood Shrimp
3 Red Eye Tetra
1 Raphael Catfish
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-09-2009, 08:23 PM
Oh my gosh, until this post (and a comment made by Lupin on another thread) I never considered putting my new fish in QT. I wish I had, though, because I think I did bring home diseased fish and I am hoping it doesn't spread to my old (favorite) fish. I have been researching for three days now about what disease they might have and have come up with no answers. The symptoms just don't match any that I've seen. I'm becoming frustrated with myself as a hobbyist and if I lose any of my fish due to my negligence I'll feel horrible. I wonder if I should do frequent water changes and gravel vaccuums until I figure out if the fish will be healthy.

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29 gallon 10 gallon
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-09-2009, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Dang 4...I'd have *assumed* 2 weeks to be safe as well...till what you just said now...dang....

Stephanie...I used to be just like you for YEARS, BUT I also always got my fish from a hobby breeder, no commercially raised fish...I think that was the key difference. Now first time 'store bought' fish - All 5 Cardinals died quicker over ick (white spots) then I could medicate them, it was SO SAD Post pictures/ descriptions here so we can help you figure out what sickness you may have (or hopefully not have)

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-10-2009, 11:45 AM
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This is one of those topics on which there are several schools of thought. There are several aspects worth noting, then one has to decide for themselves how long to quarantine, if at all.

First issue is to understand why you are quarantining. This may sound silly, but the fact is that 4 weeks is not going to bring everything to light. I have read serious aquarists who QT for 3-4 months. Even this may not be adequate, from my own experience. So, decide what you are hoping to achieve and QT accordingly. If it is a parasitic issue like ich, velvet, or similar, 3-4 weeks should be sufficient.

As for ich, I have known it appear several weeks later out of nowhere, or so it seems. I believe it is actually in the tank all this time, and the fish naturally defend themselves and fight it off so we never notice it. I was reading an article by a biologist recently who mentioned that some fish seem to develop an immunity after an initial exposure that they have fought off. We all know that some fish are more prone to ich than others that never get it. And the general consensus is that ich is always caused by stress; fish that are not under stress can usually repel it.

In your case Angel, I believe as I mentioned in that other thread that the cardinals came down with it out of stress at being placed in a new tank that was not matured sufficiently for such sensitive fish. I've had the same thing occur. But never in an established tank. And there are species of fish that always die off if introduced to biologically immature aquaria--pygmy corys, many of the pencilfish, and some tetras.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-10-2009, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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So in other words - The question then really is should one QT at all??

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post #7 of 8 Old 12-10-2009, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
So in other words - The question then really is should one QT at all??
Yes whenever possible. Several months ago I didn't FINISH quarantining some black neons. I needed the tank for an emergency, so after almost a week I put them in the tank, which completed it. Well, NTD wiped out 80% of the tank.

Byron is right though, that the ich parasites are always there. Ich breakouts occur because of stress, which is more often than not an issue of water quality. Many times I've brought home fish that start showing spots after a couple days because of the stress of the move, but a generally healthy fish living in good clean water will fight that off without any assistance from me. If it can't I'll cull the fish because IME there are other issues going on and I don't like to stock with inferior fish. Not all fish are created equal.

There are other parasites, such as gill flukes, which are extremely hard to get rid of, and having a QT allows you to closely observe new fish so that appropriate steps can be taken.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-10-2009, 06:20 PM
My fish must remain in quarintine for at least two weeks AND show no signs of disease. They may stay in there much longer, as my QTank is a permanent tank so there is no rush. If they show ich they get a week long treatment with aquari-sol, then aquair-sol is run at half strength for 1-2 weeks. They all get a week long half dose treatment even if I see nothing. All my new fish also get dewormed with Levasimole hydorchloride. Internal worms are very hard to screen for and this med is cheap and a full treatment takes only 24 hours.

I've treated ich many times in all my tanks at one point in time. I do not believe it is always present. I had fish live through a major immune damaging incident. My GB rams survived a 5ppm nitrite spike. They all slowly died due to this. They lived in tanks where ich had been present before. They did not catch any diseases as secondary causes.They would either up and die suddenly or very chronically usually getting growths over the course of 3 months. Some endlers survived the incident as well and went the same way. It was basic nitrite poisoning, theres not much that could of been done. It severely damages their immune system, had anything been present in the tank they would of gotten it.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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Last edited by Mikaila31; 12-10-2009 at 06:27 PM.
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