Can we talk quarantine tank please?
OK, in the past I haven't quarantined new fish because I trust my LFS and they quarantine their new fish before putting them up for sale. However I have had a bout of ich (likely from fish from another LFS) and a possible gill fluke infestation vs. toxins from added driftwood/other items.
I had a large number of fish die from the last issue, so I'll need to be getting a bunch of new fish over the next few months. I think I want to do a quarantine tank now since I'm so tired of having a sick tank.
I've done a bunch of reading, but still have some questions. I know I can probably find a used 10 gallon tank on craigslist. I know I'll need a small heater as well. But when talking about filters/biological media that's where my questions pop up.
People talk about using small filters on their main tanks to keep the bacteria alive and for instant cycling in the QT. I've read about people doing HOBs but I don't want a big bulky thing on/in my current tank. I like that my Eheim external filter is quiet and it works well.
I've read about sponge filters but am a bit confused as to exactly what people are doing. Do people use an entire new second filter with a sponge, or just use the sponge itself?
If they use the full filter is it internal and how much room does it take up?
Does anyone have specific brand recommendations if so?
Can I just use a sponge covering the intake of my Eheim like one of these: http://www.petsmart....nge+filter&sr=1
The idea being that it would then go in a small HOB or the like on the QT. Or is that not enough bacteria?
Or should I just use the sponge that is in the Eheim and replace it? OR should I use some of my ceramic media and put it in an HOB and then get new ceramic media for the Eheim?
Lastly, I've read very different recommendations re: time to quarantine - from 2 to 6 weeks. What are your recommendations?
Thanks for your help, and for reading my many questions. http://www.fishforums.net/public/sty...fault/good.gif
I too I'm new to the QT tank idea. I took a sponge filter and small bag of ceramic chips out of my HOB filter from one tank, and put it in the small filter that came with the 5 gal I'm using for a QT tank. To be honest, I know I won't be able to stand keeping the poor 5 hatchetfish in that small of a tank, for even a week. I'm hoping if they look good in a week, I'm safe, even though I know I'm not technically "safe".
I believe you can take filter media out of any existing filter, and put in what you have as a temporary filter. As long as it's "big" enough to hold bacteria for the amount of bioload you have. You wouldn't want to take a tiny, tiny amount and throw a bunch of fish in, but a sponge filter and some ceramic chips should do. I would test my water frequently during the QT period to make sure things are looking good.
I hear at least 2 weeks for QT, but 4 is probably ideal. I know I won't be doing that, so I'm still going to be playing with fire :)
I should probably start using one :oops:
As I understand it, you just seed the QT of which there are many ways to do as you've listed. I wouldn't think that running an extra filter on your main tank is necessary though. Just take media from your existing filter, or put extra media in if possible. I have HOBs for my small tanks, when I set up my wife's 10g I put the media into my 20g HOB (so it had two cartridges). They were different sizes so I couldn't just move the 20g one to the 10g, but I left the small cartridge for a week before transferring it over.
I would probably dispose of the QT media after use though, I wouldn't move it back to the main tank just in case.
For duration ... honestly I'd only do a week. Not long enough to catch everything, but long enough to get the biggies like Ich. The longer you quarantine, the more sure you'll be that nothing is hitching a ride but I'm not sure what would take over 2 weeks to show.
Good to know a thread was started on this. I'm rather unsure of how to quarantine, too. But I learned my lesson that I should always quarantine when I introduced a goldfish with ich to my tank. I know for goldfish and koi most places suggest quarantining between 1 and 2 months. For tropicals I've heard everything from 2 weeks to a month. I think it really depends on how much you trust your fish supplier. I don't have any reputable ones around me, so I will be quarantining anything I get for at least a month.
OK, having used quarantine tanks for my freshwater fish since I started will offer some suggestions.
Ideally you would want to quarantine fish of the same type together. ie say you bought 2 gourami and a tetra, keep the 2 gourami together and quarantine the tetra separate.
At minimum quarantine for 3-4 weeks...some fish carry diseases which will not show up until around 2 weeks or so.
When setting up a quarantine tank, purchase (of course) the tank, heater (one which you can adjust the temperature on is ideal), adjustable will allow you to raise the temperature should you get an ich outbreak, compared to not being able to raise it with a preset thermometer.
NOW..sponge filters are these, place the filter in your main tank for 4-6 weeks prior to adding it to your quarantine tank, this will allow it to get beneficial bacteria on it. Once you have it seeded, then you can use it in your quarantine tank. If quarantine goes well and no medication is needed for the fish, then simply place the filter back into your main tank, hidden in a corner, doesnt have to run, just so it stays seeded. If medications are used, then the process will have to be started again after washing the filter to kill off any traces of diseases...tap water and a dilute bleach solution.
If medications have been added then the filter will need to be seeded again from the established display tank. Once seeded again, then with the filter staying in the main tank, it can be easily removed and used right away in the quarantine tank if you purchase new fish.
I leave my quarantine tank bare bottom with no substrate, remember this is a quarantine tank, not a display tank, so looks dont really matter. A couple of decorations to allow the fish to seek shelter if needed are ok, but again, if medications are used, then they will need to be cleaned before being used again.
Anytime medications are used, once the fish is cleared of disease and ready for the main tank, I do a complete breakdown of the quarantine tank including a bleach cleaning. It can be setup and ready to go again in less than 24 hours assuming there were problems with disease and medication. I wash everything to be on the safe side EXCEPT the filter, if your fish were disease free then the filter can be stored in the main tank until the quarantine tank is clean and ready to go again.
In summary, adding fish should be done slowly anyway and as such DO NOT rush purchase a fish on the pretense it might be disease free...Quarantine should always be used no matter what you are adding in my opinion.
Hope this helps.
Agree with everything Tazman has said.
I have a spare 10 gallon that I use specifically for quarantine/hospital tank. When I need to set it up, I seed the filter with media from the 75 gallon community tank.
And also agree with the bare bottom for quarantine. You'll want to see if poop looks normal.
Thanks so much for the info. I was only thinking of re-stocking one species at a time, as I want to add say, 6 hatchetfish, 7 gertrudae rainbows and 5-7 pencilfish. I do wonder sometimes about the stress of transferring them to multiple tanks in that period of time. In the past my fish from the one reputable LFS have acclimated exceptionally quickly, even the wild fish. I know this doesn't mean they're healthy, but it means that they're not that stressed. I guess I could add some things like some floating plants from my current tank to keep them more comfortable.
Correct yes. Get a sponge filter, leave it in the main tank for a few weeks which will seed it. Once you have used it in the quarantine tank, assuming you did NOT use any medication.
Put the fish into the main display tank and drop the filter back into a corner of the main tank as well. That way it is seeded and ready to be used should you need it in an emergency or for using as a quarantine filter again.
I just thought up a couple more questions on this.
If the main tank is heavily planted, will there be enough Ammonia to sustain the bacteria on the sponge when it is not in use?
The second question is, if you did have to use medication due to sick fish, and dispose of the sponge/bleach it ... can the replacement just sit in the main tank for 1-2 months to recolonate or would it need to be running?
I'm setting up a 125 gallon that will be heavily planted, and will be having a 10g quarantine tank. I'd probably through in some Amazon Frogbit and stem plant clippings to help as well.
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