Quarantine tank for new fish- general questions
I completely get the benefits of using a quarantine tank before adding new fish to an established tank. I've made the mistake in the past of skipping this step, and I don't want to do it again. However, I'm not in the habit of adding new fish frequently, so I'm wondering...
a) Is a quarantine tank just an empty tank that you keep running (filter, etc.) in case you need it at some point?
b) If the above answer is "yes" then how do you keep the tank healthy and cycled with no fish in it? If the above answer is "no" then how do you quickly set up a quarantine tank when you need it without going through the whole cycling process?
I'd rather not have to buy a whole small tank set up just to have on hand and ready for the infrequent times I might introduce new fish to my tank.
B. I really don't do anything. I leave the tanks empty (no fish) for several weeks at a time.
People who do not leave them up and running either run their quarantine tanks filter on the main tank or they move the quarantine filter media to the main tanks filter. When they need the tank, they either move the filter or just move the media over to the quarantine tank.
For me I do have two options. I have 1 small QT tank up and running all the time fish or not. Then I have 4 spare filters and heaters and tanks plus decor n such for tanks that aren't running. I transfer media from my large tank to get that cycle going in those tanks and away I go. No problems thus far. All were actually in use last month...so thankfull to put the others away and just leave the "timeout" tank running.
Thank you! So how exactly would you transfer filter media? I have a Whisper filter in my 20g tank. It's the kind with the Bio Bag carbon filters. Would I just transfer the whole bag to the QT and put a new bag in my main tank's filter? What if my QT tank has a different or smaller filter? Should I be sticking something else in my filter that I can easily transfer out (for example, that white fluffy stuff or one of those green foamy things --sorry for the lack of technical knowledge/vocabulary!!!)
Assuming I use Prime and Stability, would that be enough to get the cycle going in the QT? How long would I need to run the tank with the borrowed media before it's ready to accept fish?
I see the benefits of having the QT always up and running but I'm not sure that would be practical for me. Do I just keep doing regular water changes on the empty (of fish, that is) tank? Will the cycle really maintain without fish in it?
Thanks for your advice. Sorry for all the specific questions, but if I'm going to go out and buy a QT set up I want to make sure I do it right.
I am far from an expert level on this site but what I do is buy extra filter floss(a whole sheet of it) an just throw some in to each filter thats running on a tank. I just cut it to size then when a QT is needed I can just grab one of those extra peices of floss and put it into the QT filter.. run it while I am waiting for the water to get to temp then put the fish in. I'm sure there are many methods though. That's just how I do it.
I think it depends on how often you anticipate that you will have to use a QT tank. I don't leave mine up and running because I rarely have to replace my stock and never really have a sick fish (from quarantining - LOL).
If I do QT new, I leave the bottom bare because I want to observe poops to make sure there's no internal parasites. I have a canister filter on the main tank so I'll steal some of the floss from that and shove it into the QT filter.
And if I have to set it up as a hospital tank, I'll do major water changes daily - like 90% since clean water is the best medicine.
In both cases, I have a bunch of free standing silk plants and a few caves to keep the fish stress level down.
All mentioned are good ideas. I keep a 10 gallon tank in the garage. If I need a quick QT tank, I throw extra plant cuttings into it, plug in the lights/cover, add water, and just transfer one of my sponge filters from an established tank (I tend to have excess filtration capacity in all my tanks). Otherwise, I use the empty tank as a storage container for misc fish supplies. Also works well for a quick-setup fry tank for those unexpected arrivals!
Thank you! I ended up getting a 5.5g set up (w/hood, light, filter, and heater) for not too much $$ on sale at Petsmart today. My regular tank is only 20g so it's not like I'm ever getting more than a 1-3 fish at a time anyway. The filter came with one of those foam grids in it so I stuck that in my tank's filter. When I need to set up the QT I can just transfer that over. I rarely add new stock so I don't plan on leaving it running, but I'm glad to have it now. The last two times I added fish I did have problems and kicked myself for not quarantining first.
Don't feel bad. I did WAAYY more retardedness not too long ago and not ashamed to admit it. I set up my 72 sand decor EVERYTHING then put my cichlids in it. Then the next day I looked at it and thought "hmmm, the sump was too loud for my bedroom and ..well that over flow is butt ugly" lol. So ultimate level of retarded was acheived. Had to drain the tank remove ad seperate all fish between three qt tanks remove EVERYTHING! Ripped out Overflow box, sump and plugged the drilled holes(mind you umm ...I've never altered an aquarium lol. ) Bought a canister and added an installed in aquarium shelf for more"floor" space. Poor guys were in QT for way too long.
So yea, don't feel bad I have you beat for stupid moves by FAARRR :lol:
And yes, If I understand correctly thats a good plan for tranfer of media.
There's no such thing as quarantining for too long :-)
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