Setting up a quarantine tank
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.
my answer is :
the QT tank is to let the fish get used to the parameters and bacteria in your main tank and to let it settle down after being moved around (stressed).if it has any disease it will show signs of it and you can medicate it in the qt tank without your other fishes being introduced or harmed by what ever it's having.a qt period of a week or 2 is normal depending on the fish.whether it's healthy or not.
the tank isn't dossed with medication and is only filled with some water from your main tank an clean cycled water and it need not be a large tank.the tank size is normally 11 gallons and above depending on what size fish you have.a tank that's bare or has a bit of substrate,no live plants or coral ( a small silk will do) a clean halved plastic flower pot for the fish to rest and really clean water that already cycled and a heater and thermometer ( if you own one ) will suffice.do not set up the qt tank overnight.let it cycle and mature like any other aquarium as you don't want to add chemical shock to an already stressed fish.keep the tester nearby and test the parameters before adding the fish in the qt tank to make sure it's the same as the main tank.
and good luck ^.^
i put my answers in Blue for you good sir and as we have spoken about before it seems like a lot at first glance but simpler is better
i agree with bear. ill also add a QT is perfect for observation of fish behavior, feeding habbits, and health. while the fish is seperate you can watch what it eats and how much. very few fish shouldnt be QT'd because of eating habbits ( like mandarins for example )
a QT is important because most saltwater fish are ripped from the ocean and not bred by breeders.
Thanks so much for answering my questions, guys. I have another related question.
If I understand you guys correctly, the purpose of the quarantine tank is to observe new fish you bring home and ensure they are safe to add to the display tank. Medication is not added unless symptoms of some kind manifest over the 2 - 4 weeks you keep the fish quarantined. My question is, how much ich warrants adding medication to a quarantine tank? That is, if you notice a single small white spec on a fish's fin would you treat the quarantine tank with ich medication?
no sir IMO.IME just using garlic enhanced foods does a wonderful job with that. i made my own blend and it worked very well!!!!
1 part blood worms
1part chopped Krill
1 part marine flake
i clove of garlic finely minced
mixed together and run through a hand chopper to ensure distribution
keeps in the fridge and i feed 2x daily after 5 days what little was on my fish went away and i just continue to feed this mix for now ... its been close to a month with no re-occurrences...
when ever you can avoid meds by using other methods, it is best to do so.... if the garlic does not work treating with temperature may...
Thanks, Brett. I just treated my display tank with PraziPro again (I treated it initially last Thursday) to ensure the parasite my late tang had is eradicated from the tank. I was going to wait 7 days from now, do a water change, and then treat the display tank with Kick-Ich to remove the ich it appears my remaining fish have, but your post reminded me to try a course of garlic enhanced food instead.
As for temperature, what temperature do you recommend raising or lowering the water to to combat ich while staying safe for fish, hermit crabs, and emerald crabs?
no overly sure about inverts so i would recommend a bit more research on those.. as for fish however i have used this method with great success
days 1-5 raise temp 1-2 degrees each day untill you reach 89 degrees F
remember to go slow as to allow the fish to acclimate
leave it for 7 days
after the 7 days lower the temp 1-2 degrees each day untill back to your normal temp range
24 hours after reaching normal temp perform a 25% W/C vacuuming substrate very well
24 hours after that perform 25 % W/C
again i would research temperature tolerances for your inverts before attempting this to ensure thier safety
Thanks, Brett. Does anyone use a similar temperature regimen to combact ich? I am going to start a thread in the Coral and Reef Creatures forum regarding inverts' temperature tolerance.
I just wanted to update this thread and report that tonight I am picking up a 10 gallon tank, stand, filter, heater, hood, and light for $50 from somebody I found on Craigslist. I tried a local chain store initially and they wanted $65 for the aquarium stand alone, so I feel like I'm getting an awesome deal (fingers crossed that it works out).
My plan is to run the quarantine tank at hypo salinity (a specific gravity of 1.009) with copper and PraziPro as preventative measures at a temperature of around 83 degrees, possibly walking it up to 89 like Brett recommended. I will leave new fish in it for 4 - 6 weeks. I may freshwater dip new fish before they even go in it to get rid of anything on them that I can from the outset.
I figure that by the time a fish reaches my display tank it should be just about bomb proof after that.
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