I would like to avoid having another experience like the recent loss of my tang to paravortex turbellarian flatworms
I have often read people insist on the use of a quarantine tank when bringing home new fish. I'd always thought to myself, "who can afford to setup another aquarium just for this purpose?" I believe I've reached the point where I can't afford not to.
Do you use a quarantine tank when bringing home new saltwater fish? Why or why not?
I have a number of questions that I'd appreciate your input on.
1) First and foremost, what is the function of a quarantine tank, specifically? I understand that quarantining a fish keeps anything bad it may be carrying from entering the display tank and affecting other fish, but how does quarantining a fish alone rid that fish of anything bad it may be carrying? Or is it assumed that the quarantine tank will be treated with medication, which leads to my second question,
2) What should be done to the fish/quarantine tank during quarantine? Does quarantining a fish necessarily entail adding ich medication, worm medication, etc. to the quarantine tank and/or making the water hyposalinic at a specify gravity of 1.009 regardless of what you do or don't see wrong with the fish as a precautionary measure?
3) What is the smallest size a quarantine tank can be that will allow it to do its job but not stress a fish? Obviously bigger is better, but I've got limited space and setting up "another
tank???" isn't exactly a non-issue around here.
Would an average sized saltwater fish of, say, 4 - 5 inches be alright in a 10 gallon tank for the quarantine period?
4) How long should the quarantine period last?
5) Can the quarantine tank be set up as needed when a new fish is brought home by taking it out of the closet, filling it with aquarium water, adding a heater, a hang-on-back filter, and a piece of filter sponge that was in our wet/dry (which should be seeded with bacteria beneficial to the nitrogen cycle)?
6) Should a quarantine tank have substrate?
Please feel free to share any other thoughts you may have about the virtue or setup of quarantine tanks.