How do you manage a QT?
I'm facing the first purchase of livestock for my 75g FOWLR (that will be quarantined) in about a month.
I am picking up a 10g glass tank. I have a spare small PH, and a spare heater. I have some fake rock to put in for security/hiding. I also have a spare HOB Aquaclear 70 filter.
My question is, do you experienced guys keep the QT running and ready all the time, or do you just fill it with water from the display (very convenient during a water change)? I assume the latter; i.e. don't even fill it until a day or two before a fish goes in, then drain it until next time. I was thinking that moving some LR from the display would be bad, because if the fish needed to be medicated I'd have to consider that LR as no good. Putting new LR in doesn't make sense for obvious reasons.
So, my instincts say to do a BB tank with some cover, use 10g of my existing water, and run the PH/heater/filter (carbon only).
If I start with good, cycled water from the display, will the conditions stay good for a couple of weeks with no LR in the QT? Is a power filter/PH/heater going to be adequate to keep the QT running well for the time I need it? I DO understand that I'll have to test my water in it, but I wondered what you guys do day-to-day with a QT both while it is in use and not.
I suggest keeping a biofilter running full time in the quarantine. I personally prefer a small air driven sponge filter, but you could just as easily use the AquaClear with a sponge filter.
I use 50% water from the display and 50% new water, but either way is fine. You do not want live rock in the quarantine, but the use of fake corals for hiding place places is ok. I run my Q tank bare bottom, with a PVC tube for hiding. Don't forget a heater and a timer for the light.
Most hobbyists also run their Q tank with a much lower salinity than their display. This is considered helpful in eliminating parasites from the fish when introduced. Some run as low as 1.013. I prefer 1.015. In any case, slowly raise the salinity to the display level over a period of a few days prior to moving the fish to the display. I accomplish this by replacing evaporation with water from the display.
Finally, be cautious that the Q tank is maintained at a very high quality. It is useless to use a Q tank if the water parameters are not up to par. Also, be very cautious of the feeding habits of the fish in Q. The lack of live rock and live sand will reduce natural food sources for fish that require frequent feedings. This is so important, that I would never quarantine certain fish, such as a Mandarine Goby.
Thanks. So, if I understand correctly, you keep the QT up and running all the time, rather than "putting it together" in preparation for a new fish... right?
If so, I understand that the beneficial bacteria will live in the water and the sponge filter, but with no bio-load (and no food entering the tank day-to-day), won't they eventually die off? Should one occasionally "feed" the tank, like you would during cycling?
Sorry for the noob questions, and thanks again... you've responded helpfully with every question I've asked here. Your help has led to a successful cycle, which ended up where I am now... a nice tank w/ a happy pair of true percula clowns and some CUC guys. The next fish (probably a month away) will be the first one quarantined, so I want to have all my ducks in a row before I bring it home. That will be a tank-raised Bangaii.
I'm still trying to decide on which dwarf angel will be next in line. Coral Beauty or Eibli are the most likely candidates. My wife wants a flame angel, but apparently they aren't as easy to keep as my choices.
I don't consider myself an expert by any means, but I am curious as to other folks' opinions on the Coral Beauty vs Flame Angel hardiness question. I currently have both species (in a 125, don't put them together in a smallish tank!!!); my Flame had a bout with ich and probably fin rot but beat both without medication (but with garlic, vitamins in food). My CB fared better, but then I had lost two of them before getting this one. (First was probably sick/stressed on arrival, second got ich in quarantine possibly because I hadn't broken it down after treating the previous CB, or maybe because I stupidly bought that one from Petco?) Anyhow, I really love the CB, Flame, and Eibli and hope you enjoy whichever one you choose!
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