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I have posted a few times on here concerning my 29 gallon that is still cycling, and now I just picked up a free 10 gallon tank from my parents with the intention of using it as a quarantine/hospital tank. I just had a couple of questions about them. Like once the quarantine is cycled, how do you keep the bio filter strong so that when you have a new or sick fish they don't just die from excess ammonia? Just keep doing what you did during the fishless cycle process? Or do you lightly stock it to keep the bio filter going? If you stock it, what is a good thing to stock it with? I figure it might be different than planning a normal stock because I would need to keep in mind the potential bioload with a new or sick fish. Thanks guys
 

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I've usually maintained my quaratine tank lightly stocked and planted so it is balanced and I try to maintain equivalent parameters to the primary tanks. This minimizes stress caused by moving fish back and forth. A bare tank may be more common though with water from the primary tank.
 

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I was definitely going to plant it. I guess a small school of tetras or danios or maybe even a betta would work as a light stock. I really like the blue crayfish but I read they tend to be territorial against their own kind as well as other bottom dwellers (such as the cories and the raphael I'd like to get that will be quarantined first). The new tank is on day 2 of leak testing and is doing great so I am going to start shopping for filters and what not
 

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If it's going to be planted than all you need to do is transfer some media when you need to QT or have a hospital tank. The plants and the media should handle it all.

If you have a permanently stocked QT tank, well that's not a QT tank at all, it's a second tank.

FYI (as a heads up)-Almost all Danios are too active for a 10 gallon. Striped raphaels normally get up to 6 inches in captivity, but have the potential to reach almost 10. They're really not suitable for a 29 gallon. You already know my thoughts on porthole catfish, but I'll repeat it just in case, they need a bigger tank and while they can be kept singularly they do best in groups.
 

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Yeah that's true about stocking the QT. I'll be upgrading my tank when tax returns get here (usually around march or april for me) so my raphael shouldn't have out grown it by then I don't think. I doubt I'll do a porthole yet, no matter how much I like them. They with probably end up being my first group of new arrivals when I upgrade in the spring
 

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I have posted a few times on here concerning my 29 gallon that is still cycling, and now I just picked up a free 10 gallon tank from my parents with the intention of using it as a quarantine/hospital tank. I just had a couple of questions about them. Like once the quarantine is cycled, how do you keep the bio filter strong so that when you have a new or sick fish they don't just die from excess ammonia? Just keep doing what you did during the fishless cycle process? Or do you lightly stock it to keep the bio filter going? If you stock it, what is a good thing to stock it with? I figure it might be different than planning a normal stock because I would need to keep in mind the potential bioload with a new or sick fish. Thanks guys

Once the tank is cycled, I don't do anything to maintain it. My quarantine tanks can be empty (no inhabitants) for several weeks at a time. It takes a very long time to "lose" the cycle....if it can even be lost. I have had an unplugged filter sit for about 6 months and within 2 weeks the cycle was reestablished.

It is NOT a good idea to have permanent fish in a quarantine tank - defeats many of the purposes of quarantining.
 

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I use my 10 gallon QT as a growout tank for smaller plants with 1 tiger barb in which I can transfer to another tank at any given time.
 

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Poor tiger barb
 
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I have a couple of unstocked tanks running sponge filters. No luck at the infrequently visited petstore, lately. I freshen up the cycle every few weeks or more with a couple drops/gal NH3. Another advantage of having pure ammonia on hand. I like to watch the nitrate go up. LoL
 

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I just keep a big mesh bag of media in my canister on my main tank, and whenever I need to QT I plop it into the QT tank, and then after QT plop it back in my canister. I consider it 'extra protection' though, and if the fish in QT were to be sick I probably wouldn't put it back in my main canister, just out of paranoia. But so far that hasn't happened.

I also keep my QT tank planted, and constantly running.
 
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