Tank Transfer Method

Discussion in 'Fish Disease Treatment and Diagnosis' started by Humblefish, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Edit: A more detailed article covering TTM can be found here: http://www.reef2reef.com/threads/spars-tank-transfer-method.209690/

    Tank Transfer Method:
    Treats Ich (Cryptocaryon irritans) only.

    How To Treat - Tank transfer (TTM) is probably one of the most underused and underappreciated resources in our hobby. To properly execute TTM you need two tanks (or buckets), with dedicated equipment for each tank (not to be shared between the two). I personally use 2 of the 10 gallon tanks to do TTM, each with its own heater, thermometer, air stone, airline tubing and PVC elbows for hiding places. This is how TTM is implemented:
    • Day 1 - Fish is placed in initial QT.
    • Day 4 - Roughly 72 hours later transfer the fish to new tank. The time of day you do the transfer is unimportant, but never exceed 72 hours from the last transfer. The temperature and SG of the new tank should match the old one perfectly, so you can just catch & release (no acclimation). Transfer as little water as possible with the fish.
    • Day 7 - Repeat.
    • Day 10 - Repeat.
    • Day 13 - Repeat and done (fish should now be ich free).
    After transferring, immediately sanitize the "old tank" and all equipment using bleach or vinegar. Rinse well. Let air dry thoroughly before next use. The air drying is the sterilization process when using vinegar, or detoxification process when using bleach.

    Simply put, this process works because you are literally outrunning the parasite's known life cycle. If a fish is infected with ich, trophonts will leave the fish at some point during the TTM process, and the encysted stage doesn't have enough time to release theronts (i.e. free swimmers that re-infect the fish) before the fish exits the tank. Ammonia isn't much of a concern with TTM, because every 3 days the fish is placed in a new tank with new water; or you always have the option of using ammonia reducers, such as Amquel or Prime, in conjunction with TTM since there is no risk of negative interaction because no medications are present. However, you do have the option of dosing Prazipro (if you need to deworm) at the tail end of transfers 2 & 4 (or 1 & 3). The fish only needs 24 hours of exposure time to Prazipro, so dose 24 hours before you are set to make the next transfer. A second round of Prazipro is required 5-7 days after the first, but again dose the medication 24 hours before you are set to transfer the fish out. Just remember if you do this that you can't use any ammonia reducers while Prazi is present in the water.

    One of the cons to tank transfer is the amount/cost of saltwater needed to do it. For example, using my 2-10 gallons I go through 50 gallons of saltwater before the TTM process is complete. However, a thrifty hobbyist can use water stored from a recent display tank water change to implement TTM. Obviously, this only works if you are 100% confident that your display tank is disease free and don't siphon anything off the bottom. ;) The other problem with TTM is netting the fish every 3 days. That concern can be somewhat alleviated by using a plastic colander in lieu of a net to catch the fish (square ones work better than round ones):
    [​IMG]
    Pros - Chemical free solution to ich, highly effective when performed properly, can be combined with deworming via Prazipro.

    Cons/Side Effects - Cost (if using all new saltwater), time/effort expended, probably somewhat stressful on the fish being caught every 3 days, does not treat other parasites such as velvet, brook, uronema.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  2. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    TT is probably my favorite QT method; although it does require more time & effort. In and of itself, TTM exposes the fish to no harsh chemicals (like copper) in order to eradicate ich. However, I do usually opt to treat with Prazipro (to deworm) at the onset of transfers 2 & 4. What I get after 13 days is a fish that should be rid of the two "hidden diseases" which plague our hobby - ich & flukes. I then observe for velvet, bacterial infections (both of which have obvious visible symptoms) and intestinal parasites (white stringy poop) for two more weeks before adding the fish to my DT. That's it! One month and you are done!

    Another advantage of TT is you are able to quickly add medications to the water if needed. If you notice intestinal parasites, you can start treating with metronidazole. Or add antibiotics to the water if a bacterial infection suddenly pops up. All while continuing on with TTM. No need to worry about negative interaction with copper, or hyposalinity that needs to be raised first. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
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  3. Deinonych

    Deinonych Well-Known Member

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    +1

    TTM is by far the best treatment for Cryptocaryon, as it targets the most predictable phase of the parasite's life cycle (trophont stage). Once you get the process down, it's really not a lot of work. It's about as close to 100% guarantee as you can get in this hobby. :)
     
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  4. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Deinonych Awesome to have you here! Your help in this forum would be much appreciated!
     
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  5. Deinonych

    Deinonych Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Glad to see R2R has a disease forum now. :)
     
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  6. jazonPartij

    jazonPartij Well-Known Member

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    I'm setting up a TTM based on your recommendations. Since my tanks are brand new, after the first two weeks should I be concerned to leave my fish in the tank for an additional two week observation period? My DT hasn't fully cycled yet but I'd like to have my fish fully quarantined by the time my DT is ready to go.
     
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  7. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    You can leave the fish in the final transfer tank indefinitely if need be. However, keep tabs on ammonia.
     
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  8. jazonPartij

    jazonPartij Well-Known Member

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    ImageUploadedByREEF2REEF1439092096.079902.jpg

    Got them set up and ready to go. First SW fish tomorrow if all goes as planned. Thanks for your help
     
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  9. Floyd R Turbo

    Floyd R Turbo Turbo's Aquatics R2R Supporter Gold Sponsors Toys For Kids 2016 Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Great writeup @Humblefish i might have to steal this and make it a resource on our club forum :D
     
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  10. TaylorPilot

    TaylorPilot Well-Known Member

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    Interesting topic. It sounds like allot easier the Hypo, which I've heard isn't 100% anyways. My only concern would be that there is no guarantee that there isn't one like microbe of the stuff in that little drop of water. But I don't know that even copper is 100% under the time lines they recommend.
     
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  11. Zoaddicted

    Zoaddicted Well-Known Member

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    I use the tank transfer method on all fish I buy.

    14 day process.

    I use:
    Two 5 gallon buckets (I don't buy super big fish)
    Two Heaters
    Two glass thermometers
    One bubbler
    Several sections of airline tubing.


    I don't use a powerhead or hangon back filter. Or an airstone.

    If there's anything that isn't completely dry when you transfer....you're waisting your time. Airstone=too porous to fully dry. Ich can survive in that those couple drops of water that you re-used in your next transfer.

    I've used it on a Blue-tang that was covered in Ich and scratching at the store. I've used it on clownfish, yellow tangs, clown gobies, and recently my leopard wrasse.

    None of my fish ever show ich or scratch against the rocks.


    Thanks for doing this. There's a super detailed thread on ...that other popular reef forum detailing the tank transfer method.
     
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  12. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    That info was a collaboration of several authors, including myself. I've got it all in a Word doc and need to post it here. Thanks for reminding me. ;)
     
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  13. cginter

    cginter Well-Known Member

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    nice wright up.
     
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  14. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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  15. jazonPartij

    jazonPartij Well-Known Member

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    More detailed?! This was pretty detailed as it was. Now I've got to read this too. I quickly see how this hobby is going to consume my life. ImageUploadedByREEF2REEF1439161867.512677.jpg ImageUploadedByREEF2REEF1439161878.789090.jpg
    My first fish in my QT.
     
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  16. jazonPartij

    jazonPartij Well-Known Member

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    So my fish seems to be "frantic." He's swimming from on side of the tank to the other. Back and forth, over and over, fairly quickly. I was under the impression that clownfish stick to one spot. Watching him is making me exhausted. He's eating and ammonia tested at "0." I'm sure I'm being an over cautious father that checks 100x to make sure the baby is still breathing, but I wanted to check. His gills seem slightly red but I can't get a picture since he's racing around so quickly. Anything to be concerned about?
     
  17. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Not unusual for a newly acquired fish. Sometime it takes them a few days to settle in and get used to being in a bare bottom, rockless tank. That being said, do keep a close eye on his skin for any abnormalities. The one downside to TTM is it doesn't treat velvet or brook. The latter is very common with clownfish.
     
  18. dh350twin

    dh350twin Well-Known Member

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    Great info
     
  19. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Great thread!
     
  20. Adamwheel

    Adamwheel Well-Known Member

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    I cannot recommend TTM enough. It's a little extra work/salt but healthy fish are worth the effort.
     
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