QT Tank Set-Up
How do you set one up? Should it be bare bottomed or would it be alright to have sand? I'd like to have live plants and make the tank look good appearance wise, but I'm not sure if it'd be exactly sanitary to have sand in it, because shouldn't the tank be cleaned after each use?
Anything else I should do? I've read that some people automatically treat the fish with copper sulfate, is this a good idea or just treat as symptoms appear?
QT tanks are a little different than the initial display tank. They are set up in many ways and forms. My QT tank has very fine gravel and I don't keep live plants inside of it unless I Quarantine the live plant to remove snails and what not. Some medications kill live plants or damage them badly. My QT is inside my bed room. Where as the main display tank is in my living room. Appearance wise it doesn't matter sine I only care about the health of the fish. Mostly I have fake plants and 2 little caves in case any fish inside are scared or stressed. I never really clean my tank. Once a quarantine is complete I do a full water change one the first day then a full water change on the 3rd day and I ensure the beneficial bacteria in the filter is safe and will not be destroyed. Fully cleaning the tank destroys the bacteria needed. It's really up to you how to set it up. Any infections/fungus/ick cannot survive in the tank without a host therefore my QT is without fish or plants for at least a min of 5 days before putting another fish inside of it if need be unless it was an absolute emergency.
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Bare bottom, sponge filter and a heater with minimum if any decorations.
The benefit of this, you can see the bottom of the tank to see how much waste is accumulating and it makes it easier to vacuum.
Sponge filter assuming no medications are used, which shouldnt be unless a disease is present, can be stored in the back of the main tank when not being used, this will keep it cycled, allowing you to store away the QT tank.
Having live plants and substrate can make it extremely difficult if you have to medicate a fish or fishes. It as mentioned, can kill live plants and with substrate means if you use any medications, you should ideally wash the substrate.
QT for a minimum of 3 weeks and fully observe the fish, some diseases take time to show up, I QT any new fish for a full 6 weeks. Making sure that the fish is eating, pooping normally and totally disease free.
Just to clarify...the QT tank doesn't have to be running all the time, right? You just fill it up and put the sponge filter in when you need it?
Would it be possible to remove the live plants when medication is necessary, and just place them in the main tank? I may just keep them in pots for easy moving, and keep the bottom bare.
What brand of sponge filter do you guys use? Seems to me everyone agrees they're the best for QT.
Thanks! I only saw a few different types and I wasn't sure if anyone had a preference. Good to know :)
with a qt tank simple is better otherwise evetually you will find urself setting up a new 10gal display. bare bottom some type of cave a heater and a air powered sponge filter or small HOB. taking plants decor oput when u medicate and or washing when done is just that more work. easyier when qt is up to move fish empty tank and throw sponge back into ur display somehow to keep live bac on it so its rdy to use next time u need to qt or medicate. when i used a qt i have a bio wheel HOB and was able to fit some sponge in there to seed for the qt when needed but would only reuse after i knew for sure it was clear of any diseases parasites etc etc
My approach is against most of you, but it has merit so I will offer it. First, one must be clear between a QT for new fish and a "hospital" tank to deal with a sick fish from the main display. I see these as very different, and my approach is only relating to a new fish QT.
Considering the significant impact of stress on fish, getting new fish into a settled environment is essential. These "bare" QT can actually cause disease like ich that otherwise might not occur. I've experienced this with fish removed from the display for specific treatment; the stress of being in so sparse a tank caused it to bash into the tank sides, creating more issues. I keep a 20g planted tank running permanently, and this is my QT for new fish.
Hopefully one will not have to treat for anything. Ich is usually all that may occur, and this is easily treated with plants in the tank by simply raising the temperature.
I worry most about internal protozoan that are undetectable. And here the 5-6 week QT is advisable. Treatment is best with medicated foods, so this too has no effect on the plants, etc.
I have sometimes kept new fish in this tank for several months. This works well if the fish are wild caught and may have feeding issues. I have been able to introduce fish like Chilodus punctatus with far fewer losses when I have had them in the QT for several months; feedings can be more substantial because they are within a more controlled environment. The fish had no issues when moved to the display after this. But I would hate to subject any fish for several months to a bare tank. It might well not survive, which rather defeats the whole idea.
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