09-20-2008, 09:51 AM
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the risks are that you'll buy a fish that's been only recently infected with some disease or parasite, so when you are buying it you won't notice a thing suspicious, but all your fish may die, and you may need to completley sterilise your tank just a week or two later.
quarantene tanks save you a lot of trouble and pain (and money).
you could have a small heater, some small hang-on filter and just fill it with the water from your main tank when you need to use it.
no gravel, maby just a few floating plants to make fish feel better (throw away after use).
quarantene tank is not just for introducing new fish, it's for treating ill fish too. there's no sense in needlessly medicating all of your fish, and some fish may even die because of it (corys and some other bottom dwellers are more sensitive to copper and other common meds). so instead of poisoning all of your fish with meds, treat just the one that's ill.
i know a few guys that have discuses, or large cichlides colonies, and they keep the new fish in quarantene for a month or even too, because they simply can't risk infecting the whole tank for simple rashnes.