I don't understand hopsital tanks clearly.
Okay yeah, I know that they are tanks that you put sick or injured fish in but the question is for how long?
I've always see people write "put him in a hospital tank" but I've always wondered about the filtration cycling part.
Do people keep an empty tank running with ammonia so that when fish gets sick they can be thrown in there with already cycle like filtration?
I have a hospital tank but it sits there empty until I need it but how can i put a sick fish in there without it being properly cycled.
What do people do?
I don't keep my hospital tank up and running. Since it is a hospital tank, you'll want to be changing the water very frequently if not daily so the need to have it cycled isn't a real problem.
If you're using the tank for an injury, you can always seed the filter on the hospital tank with some filter media from your main tank assuming it's healthy and established.
In the case of disease, you'd likely be treating the whole main tank so wouldn't necessarily need to isolate one or two fish.
Same thing for using the tank as a quarantine tank. Just seed the new filter with medium from the healthy tank.
The first answer to your question is that a fish remains in a hospital tank until a week or two after he appears healed.
As to you second question, I agree with Romad - you do sufficient water changes to ensure against an ammonia spike - bear in mind that a 5g or 10g hospital tank typically contains only one or two fish at a time, so ammonia spikes are rarely and issue. Along with water changes, I like to use a conditioner like Prime that neutralizes (detoxifies) Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates so this is not an issue.
I don't worry about trying to establish/maintain a hospital tank with N2 bacteria - many/most medications inhibit or harm bacteria anyway, which is why we use a hospital tank and not treat the main tank.
Having written the above, if you have a well established tank that is properly maintained and you are cautious managing new arrivals (quarantine), you will find that it is very rare that you need to setup a hospital tank.
The ounce of prevention is worth the pound of cure.
I keep a few guppies in mine I also use it for a QT for new fish I believe everyone should QT new fish it saves money and headaches in the long run and also fish as weaker sick fish can get picked on by other fish.:-)
What I do to keep my Hospital/QT cycled is that I keep a handful of MTS in the tank. You can get a handful of MTS from most LFS for no charge.
If I'm QT'ing the snails can stay, if I'm medicating I dump the snails into my loach tank for a nice yummy snack.
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