Are quarantine tanks worth the effort?

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Paul B

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Humble is a great person.
Bobby and his wife spent a week here in New York and we had a great time. discussed many fish ideologies. and quarantine or the lack of it.




Anyone can start a new display using ASW and dry rock with success.
It depends on what you mean by success. :)
Can it happen? I guess so. Does it happen with a lot of grief and problems? Yes it does.

I outline many times how IMO a new tank should be started and I never would say using dead rock. Live would eliminate so many problems.
 
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areefer01

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It depends on what you mean by success. :)

On a simple level it is the very definition of success - the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

If my aim is to start a marine reef using dry rock as the foundation with synthetic salt then it is pretty cut and dry. If my goals are to achieve a 10 or 15 or 20 year old display with large coral colonies then every day forth that my display is healthy and maturing then again by the very definition I am successful.

And even if along the way I stumble, which I will, as long as I learn from it and don't repeat mistakes then again I will be successful. As I noted above reef tanks and coral reefs around the world do not happen over night. They take year upon year upon year and each one that passes by is built upon death of coral...

You know this.

Can it happen? I guess so. Does it happen with a lot of grief and problems? Yes it does.

There is no guess. It does. Your method also came with grief and problems. You have lost fish. Loss of coral or fish is a problem, no? I don't think you willing killed them.

I outline many times how IMO a new tank should be started and I never would say using dead rock. Live would eliminate so many problems.

Right. You would not. But that doesn't mean it can't be done or there are not other ways to do it.
 

LeDart

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Yes, when I did freshwater, and a single neon tetra wiped out my entire 40b, ever since I have only bought quarantined fish, or quarantined them myself, when I ventured into saltwater, I didn’t quarantine as I bought already quarantined fish from my lfs, and I haven’t looked back, quarantining will save you so much sleep, money, time, and heartache, so yes I do recommend quarantining or observing everything that enters your tank, it will save you so much in the long run, and it will give you a more enjoyable experience.
 
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Paul B

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On a simple level it is the very definition of success - the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
This is true. Success is what you believe it to be. It's your tank and in this hobby, if you are happy, you are successful.

Your method also came with grief and problems. You have lost fish. Loss of coral or fish is a problem, no? I don't think you willing killed them.
I killed more fish than Starkist Tuna which is why I feel my opinion has some merit. Of course no one has to listen to me or follow my method as I don't get anything out of it. I am just a fish Geek with some opinions. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

I have used all the methods and was here when they were invented or fallen out of favor.
 

Jay Hemdal

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That is debatable and has to many variables to say if it is true or not. Different fish stay immune to a pathogen for different lengths of time just like we have a set time we will stay immune to say Covid if we don't get infected again.

I mentioned quarantine for 74 days as that is what many people including I think Humblefish says.

I have no idea how long a certain fish stays immune to something and I doubt anyone else does but like in us, I am sure the immunity wanes over time.

Medication of almost any type will kill gut bacteria destroying the immunity. If that gut bacteria can be regained with the proper diet is also debatable but possible. Unfortunately most of us don't feed the correct foods with living gut bacteria and instead rely 100% on store bought food.

Jay where you work (hang out) ;) is a large public aquarium and in those tanks fish have a wide assortment of foods to eat that are growing in the tank besides what you are giving them. Public aquariums are totally different from a small home tank and the people taking care of them are much more astute in fish husbandry.

I am not that bright but I know how to keep almost all fish long enough to only die of old age so there must be something going on immune wise. And I think I explained it to the best of my knowledge.

But anyone can research Gut bacteria and how it relates to health and immunity. Also how copper kills bacteria. :p

Paul,

Immunity is not the end-all for disease suppression, it is only one part of a much larger picture. I've said this many times, propagule pressure can and does overwhelm immunity - I don't understand why people ignore that fact.

Copper is not an antibiotic, it is bacteriostatic at best - it doesn't harm beneficial bacterial in the filter media when dosed properly and would not be expected to harm the gut microcosm either.


Jay
 

areefer01

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This is true. Success is what you believe it to be. It's your tank and in this hobby, if you are happy, you are successful.


I killed more fish than Starkist Tuna which is why I feel my opinion has some merit. Of course no one has to listen to me or follow my method as I don't get anything out of it. I am just a fish Geek with some opinions. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

I have used all the methods and was here when they were invented or fallen out of favor.

I think with regards to our conversation I'm going to table it if that is ok. Part of the reason is that I can see we both agree and disagree. There is some common ground but neither side can provide a compelling reason to change the others opinion. I also do not believe either of us is helping the OP making a decision.

I do hope you and yours have an amazing weekend. All the best.
 
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Subsea

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Evening all. I am sure I will get shot down here, but,… Are quarantine tanks worth the effort. In 20 years I have not bought a sick fish from my LFS. Just lucky? Yet others have sick fish in quarantine. Just makes me wonder. Any opinions on this?

In 51 yrs of Reefing, I have never quarantined, so qt is not worth it to me.

In my experience, stress is the largest contributor of fish mortality. I also know that natural immunity is preventative medicine. Ten years ago, I received a shipment of 10 small Hippo Tangs. All showed signs of stress with 5 showing obvious ich white spots as well as laying on their side with rapid breathing. I released all small tangs into this 75G display which is now 25 yrs mature tank. All itching & scratching ceased in 7 days. No tangs died and this is Dori.
 

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dennis romano

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In 51 yrs of Reefing, I have never quarantined, so qt is not worth it to me.

In my experience, stress is the largest contributor of fish mortality. I also know that natural immunity is preventative medicine. Ten years ago, I received a shipment of 10 small Hippo Tangs. All showed signs of stress with 5 showing obvious ich white spots as well as laying on their side with rapid breathing. I released all small tangs into this 75G display which is now 25 yrs mature tank. All itching & scratching ceased in 7 days. No tangs died and this is Dori.
I agree 100%. I have been keeping marines for almost 50 years. It seems that whenever one of my tanks wiped out, just a few days earlier there was major aggression. For example, one of my reef tanks is going on 25 years. Ten years ago, Superstorm Sandy wiped out all of the fish in this tank. In time, I added a pair of perculas, a trio of royal grammas and a few banggai cardinals. These fish were together for over four years. I saw a small flame angel that was so cute that I had to have it. Six months later, it had grown quite a bit and was getting a little feisty. The angel went psycho one day and started attacking all of the other fish. The only fish that did not back down was the largest banggai. Whenever any fish showed their head, they were attacked. Soon, all showed signs of velvet and died. The only survivors were the flame and banggai. The banggai started beating on the flame and soon it, too, died of velvet. Did the flame introduce velvet? Can't say. Were any inverts or CUC introduced in those six months? No. The only conclusion that I can come up with is that stress was a major factor in losing those fish. PS. The big banggai is still alive.
 
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killer2001

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I think we really need to take a step back in the design aspects of the typical quarantine tank. Majority of the time, quarantine setups are done in haste and thrown together in a 10 gallon or 20 gallon breeder. Usually a sponge filter, with some PVC pipe and you call it a day. This type of environment is stressful, and does not bode confidence in the fish that resides. Not only that the day/night cycle is most likely out of wack causing the fish to not understand when it is time to be awake and time to sleep. Disrupting a healthy sleep schedule is another factor here.

Moving forward I believe quarantine tanks need to be species specific and adequately sized. For example, if you are buying a wrasse that buries itself in the sand. You need to create the ideal scape with a nice deep sand bed. That means plenty of rock work for hiding, and plenty of space to swim when the fish is feeling brave, and proper day and night cycle so the fish can sleep and stay healthy.

Another important factor is feeding. Proper diet for said species in quarantine is a must. I feel like a lot of times people skimp out with quarantine tanks and may resort to only one type of food (pellets, flakes or just frozen mysis).

So to summarize, you have a brand new fish that just went through the horrors of shipping, is then thrown into a tank that just has PVC pipe and a sponge filter with no true hiding places. The day and night cycle is all out of wack so the fish isn't getting proper amounts of sleep, and the fish isn't being fed a proper diet to thrive. Then, a bunch of medication is thrown at it to treat a condition that may not even exist. This is a recipe for disaster.
 
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Paul B

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In my experience, stress is the largest contributor of fish mortality.
Good Morning there Subsea. I see you made it home from my house OK. That was a nice visit. :)
 

Subsea

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Good Morning there Subsea. I see you made it home from my house OK. That was a nice visit. :)
Paul,
It was a most enjoyable visit. Also, thanks for help with locating local fish market as I helped host food for “celebration of life”: fresh clams & live blue claw crabs were enjoyed by all.
I was especially impressed with wide open land on North Fork that is devoid of mosquitoes & horse flys that can’t afford the taxes.
A Cajun/Aggie in Austin,
Patrick
 

Subsea

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Getting back to science. Because biochemistry in a reef or in a human does not operate in a vacuum, I view things from a holistic point of view with cause & effect working together with dynamic equilibrium to maintain balance. While stress is difficult to measure, it effects our metabolism in ways that can be observed by secondary symptons like high blood pressure & compromised immune system. In the coral holibiont, the health of a reef can be determined by analyzing the bacteria populations. Our changing health can be predicted by changes in gut cavity bacteria. In a death certificate autopsy, an individuals contributing causes to death were stress resulting in high blood pressure and “death by heart attack“ , yet stress was the largest contributor. However, death certificate will say “heart attack”.

I liked the way @Lasse introduced new fish to an established aquarium. Inspect fish visually for 15 minutes and introduce fish to system in a refugium with the benefit of stable conditions. By allowing fish to adjust in the safe confines of a refugium connected to display tank, when the fish is introduced to community in display tank, it smells like one of them, plus there is no chemistry adjustment required, that took place in the refugium.
 
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threebuoys

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@Jay Hemdal has on numerous occasions discussed the impact of propagule pressure on the frequency and severity of ich and other parasite infections in reef tanks.

Very few react to these comments, perhaps because they don't agree, or more likely because they haven't taken the time to try to understand it.

I think an additional, related hypothesis should be advanced.

The noticeable absence of ich on ocean fish is due to the absence of propagule pressure, not immunity acquired from exposure to the parasite.

Think about it.


The ich parasite requires a host to complete its life cycle. Yet, when the prototomont drops from the fish, as it drops to the bottom it is carried by current to who knows where. At the same time, the host fish swims away to who knows where. Just imagine what the concentration of tomonts and theronts would need to be to successfully attach to fish in millions of gallons of water.

1 cubic mile of water = 147,197,952,000 cubic feet =
1,101,117,147,352 gallons.

OK, so perhaps the average reef fish remains in an area the size of a football field to a depth of 25 feet.

That's 1,440,000 cubic feet; only 10,771,200 gallons in a football field 25 feet deep.

So, one Trophont (spot on fish) creates one Protomont which creates one Tomont which creates 200 tomonts which creates 200 Theronts which must attach to a fish host within 48 hours or starve to death.

Where is that life cycle likely to be successful, in the ocean or in an aquarium?

My unproven theory: propagule pressure is responsible for the frequency and severity of parasite infection of aquarium fish; the lack of propagule pressure, not immunity, is responsible for the seeming absence of parasite infection in the ocean.

I would also suggest that most parasitic infections that make it to aquariums most likely occur because of exposure to parasites during the fish's journey through the supply chain rather that infection while in the ocean.
 

GARRIGA

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Try buying my livestock from invert tanks. No copper. Therefore if it’s been in there a few weeks then likely not carrying something. Buying from low salinity copper treated tanks might just be disguising a problem.

That being said. I’m building my QT system before my main. Why change it since eradication later likely futile.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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@Jay Hemdal has on numerous occasions discussed the impact of propagule pressure on the frequency and severity of ich and other parasite infections in reef tanks.

Very few react to these comments, perhaps because they don't agree, or more likely because they haven't taken the time to try to understand it.

I think an additional, related hypothesis should be advanced.

The noticeable absence of ich on ocean fish is due to the absence of propagule pressure, not immunity acquired from exposure to the parasite.

Think about it.


The ich parasite requires a host to complete its life cycle. Yet, when the prototomont drops from the fish, as it drops to the bottom it is carried by current to who knows where. At the same time, the host fish swims away to who knows where. Just imagine what the concentration of tomonts and theronts would need to be to successfully attach to fish in millions of gallons of water.

1 cubic mile of water = 147,197,952,000 cubic feet =
1,101,117,147,352 gallons.

OK, so perhaps the average reef fish remains in an area the size of a football field to a depth of 25 feet.

That's 1,440,000 cubic feet; only 10,771,200 gallons in a football field 25 feet deep.

So, one Trophont (spot on fish) creates one Protomont which creates one Tomont which creates 200 tomonts which creates 200 Theronts which must attach to a fish host within 48 hours or starve to death.

Where is that life cycle likely to be successful, in the ocean or in an aquarium?

My unproven theory: propagule pressure is responsible for the frequency and severity of parasite infection of aquarium fish; the lack of propagule pressure, not immunity, is responsible for the seeming absence of parasite infection in the ocean.

I would also suggest that most parasitic infections that make it to aquariums most likely occur because of exposure to parasites during the fish's journey through the supply chain rather that infection while in the ocean.

Thanks for explaining that. I once tried to roughly calculate the density of multi-celled animal life in the ocean using some numbers that I had found online. My results indicated something on the order of one 3" clownfish in a 20,000 gallon tank. Now, my estimate could be way off, but it was the best I could do....and does seem to match with the huge expanse of the ocean that has very little life in it.

Jay
 

Paul B

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My unproven theory: propagule pressure is responsible for the frequency and severity of parasite infection of aquarium fish; the lack of propagule pressure, not immunity, is responsible for the seeming absence of parasite infection in the ocean.
Being an electrician my knowledge on this is limited to things I read here and on research papers but it sounds logical. I do want to add that remember, it is not just that the parasite lives on the fish, falls off and "looks" for another fish to infect.

Of course that is one way fish are infected. But probably all fish in the sea are harboring parasites either on their gills, skin or in their stomach. When they get eaten by another fish (which is what happens to almost every fish) that predator fish also has that parasite in it's gut so it will be infected that way to. :)

According to these authors, fish can have immunity to parasites.

Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
(ISRN ImmunologyVolume 2012 (2012), Article ID 853470, 29 pageshttp://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/853470Review Article

An Overview of the Immunological Defenses in Fish SkinMaría Ángeles Esteban)
Quote: Immunity associated with the parasites depends on the inhabiting discrete sites in the host. Especially important for this paper are the ectoparasites, those habiting in or on the skin. Until recently there had been little direct evidence of innate immune mechanisms against parasites associated with mucosal epithelium [285]. The active immunological role of skin against parasitic infection has been shown recently [286288], and now mucosal immunity against them start to be elucidated.

And this one

Fish immunity and parasite infections: from innate immunity to immunoprophylactic prospects​

Pilar Alvarez-Pellitero 1
Affiliations expand

Abstract​

The increasing economic importance of fish parasitoses for aquaculture and fisheries has enhanced the interest in the defence mechanisms against these infections. Both innate and adaptive immune responses are mounted by fish to control parasite infections, and several mechanisms described for mammalian parasitoses have also been demonstrated in teleosts. Innate immune initiation relies on the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pathogen recognizing receptors (PRRs).
 
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