I didn't really know where I should put this post. I thought about the "emergencies and diseases" forum, but it's not an emergency and no one has a disease yet. lol :)
I've never had a quarantine tank before but I know that I've just been lucky never getting a sick fish. Now that I have a bigger tank, I'm not comfortable depending on "luck".
What's the minimum size for a quarantine tank? How do you keep it cycled? If there's no fish in it, won't the bacteria die? Do you put gravel and plants in it, or is it just a tank and water (and filter, heater, and air)?
It seems like a lot of trouble, but I guess it would be more trouble to have to replace all your fish. :P
Re: quarantine tanks
It's simple. Operate only with sponge filter, a couple of hiding places such as terracotta pots and then barebottom with a heater if you live in areas where temp is generally cold.
Well, I had a six gallon tank sitting around that was ready to use, so when I had a fish that needed medication, I used that. I just set it up with the necessities and plant coverage to make the fish feel secure. I'm not sure, but I [i]think[/] an uncycled tank would be okay as long as you keep the water super clean. But don't listen to me, wait for a more experienced person to tell you that or not. But I have an idea for you. If you have the space, you could have a spare tank set up, like a ten gallon(depending on what size fish you have). You could keep a few hardy fish in there to keep it cycled, then when you need to treat a fish, put those ones in your main tank and put the sick one in the spare cycled one, which would become your quarantine tank when needed. I say hardy fish because plopping them into a different tank for a week or two would be really unwanted stress for a more delicate species. Maybe a school of leopard danios, which are hardy and very pretty.
Hope I helped.
I like using 15g long tanks, as a rule. I have quarantine tanks as small as 2.5g. My quarantine tanks range in size from the 2.5g to 50g breeder tank. I, too, am fortunate in not having sick fish lately(knock on wood). Most times that I use the tanks, it is to heal a female cichlid that has been beaten up by an aggressive male or a male that has lost a battle for dominance.
The 50g. tanks are usually reserved for larger groups of incoming wild caught fish. And as Zule said the size of your quarantine tank should match the size of the largest fish in your tanks. They should be spartan. No gravel or decorations. In most cases, a foam filter will be sufficient. Lighting, I feel may be deleted, for the most part. I use them only to check on the condition of the patient and progress of treatment. Some meds are photo sensitive so care must be taken there, also.
So do you have to keep it up and running at all times? Is it ok to not have it cycled but to do daily water changes instead?
Thanks. You've all been really helpful. :)
You wouldn't be able to get all the ammonia out unless you changed ALL the water, and that would be extremely stressful. Not the best conditions for a QT fish...just keep it cycled.
Thanks... I guess I'm on the lookout for another tank. :)
All of my tanks are up and running at all times, including the quarantine tanks. I may make temperature adjuctments when they are in use, to accomodate the fish and treatment.
I do. :)
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