Are quarantine tanks worth the effort?

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Subsea

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My controversial opinion on this is that you should be as careful as possible but that quarantining everything leads to a more susceptible population. But then my education comes from ecology not medicine and we have always had big difference in opinion when it comes to disease.

kudos to above post.

For me, diversity of micro fauna & fana help establish multiple nutrient pathways that feed live food to hungry mouths. Using biochemistry, working in conjunction with the microbial loop, I see beauty in natural system that focus on the bottom of the food chain.

I see TTM, with use of chemicals to targets pest as unnecessary sterilization and anti thesis to how I manage aquatic systems.

MULM is the Word.




  • paul b
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I think one of the most important, and least understood or mentioned things in a reef tank is "mulm". That stuff that grows in the dark portions of a tank if it is set up long enough. "Mulm" is a combination of algae, sponges, bacteria, pods, worms, detritus, poop and any thing else that can be propagated or grown in the dark. I realize most people would immediately get out the sponge, razor blade or grenade to remove it but there is a word I like to use to describe those people. That word is "wrong". Mulm is a natural product that you will find in the sea all over the world. Our tanks run on bacteria, algae and a food chain. Bacteria and a food chain are dependent on having a place to reproduce. Mulm is the perfect place. Rocks and glass are flat surfaces that are only two dimensional. Mulm makes these places three dimensional allowing much more space for bacteria and microscopic organisms to grow and do the macarana. (Then love to dance) Pods, which are needed for any small fish also need to eat and their numbers are directly related to how much food they can get their hands on (or whatever pods use to eat with) The more food, the more pods, the more pods, the easier to keep smaller fish. Larger fish such as copperbands and angels also eat pods.
Many people try to keep fish such as pipefish, mandarins or other dragonettes in a sterile tank and while feeding them a couple of times a day with tiger pods or some other expensive food. Those types of fish will not live for long in such a tank and they certainly won't spawn which I consider the "only" criteria to determine the state of health for any paired fish.
Mulm (after a while, maybe a few years) should grow on the back and sides of glass as well as under rocks.
Here in this picture of my clingfish, the mulm appears green. It is really brownish and that fish is on the side of my tank. I brightened up the picture and turned it sideways because it was in the dark and the fish was hard to see.
There is a thick layer of it on the back of my tank where my mandarins and pipefish like to hunt. My long spined urchin also grazes there most of the time as there is not much algae in my tank for him to eat. He is many years old as are the mandarins and pipefish and they are dependent on this food source.
A sterile tank IMO is the biggest problem we have keeping certain fish healthy.
Sterile is good in an operating room but very bad in a tank.
 
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Roli's Reef Ranch

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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?
You've definitely dodged some bullets. Just about everyone on this forum knows the risks. The only question is how much longer you think you can get away without getting something you're going to regret. Lucky for me, I got a lot of bad things early on in my "reefing career" and that has made me paranoid. Also, just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean the parasites aren't out to get me. When you get a serious parasite, you'll wish you QT'd, because it'll take a LONG time (not to mention the PITA) to eradicate the problem, far more than setting up a QT tank in my experience. An ounce of cure, right? It's all good until you get AEFW, or MEFW.
 

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I dont understand why dont you just simply say that you tried a lot of different methods, but recently you are using this natural method, plus a bit of an ozone and as you seem to have success with it, you beleive in this - instead of making it look like you never touched any medication for 50 years only the worms collected from the beach.
I always said copper will kill parasites and it is in my book. I also said many times that if it were not for copper, there would be no salt water hobby. If I had to cure a fish I would use copper like I posted a few years ago with a small copperband. Copper and a diatom filter. I mentioned it in my hour interview with Humblefish or ReefBum where I started a LFS with copper.

Quote from a previous post of mine above:

"Anyway, that is the basis for my method that I slowly learned starting in about 1973 when I had to keep fish in copper continuously as we all did. (20 pennies to the gallon) Our tanks were not reefs, we fed flakes, changed the water to much and took out the rocks and dead corals to bleach them whenever they turned green which was almost weekly. The fish were always stressed and it was hard to keep even damsels."
End Quote

I would never use it on a healthy fish just to see if it will cure some imaginary disease as that will probably cause a disease.

I think I used it for 10 years in the beginning of this hobby and that is in this thread someplace as it is no secret. I have matured and learned many new things now from experience and not the internet. I have been around a while and I wasn't sleeping.

"BUT", I have no reason to cure ich or anything else because my immune fish won't get it. I don't know why that is so hard to comprehend. If your fish are getting ich, it is your fault.

The 50Mg of Ozone I use, that was disconnected for 4 years won't kill anything and is there for water conditions just like my algae scrubber and reverse undergravel filter is. But, as I said, if you feel Ozone is the secret, or a diatom filter, use that.

Actually Cryptocaryon has caused epizootics in the ocean under specific circumstances - in the Florida Keys, during cold snaps, fish are observed huddling under reef ledges covered in ich. The original thought was that the cold water affected their immunity, and indeed, that might be part of it, but the primary cause was more fish packed in under the ledges, with the tomonts releasing theronts every morning.
Jay, that is interesting and I don't doubt it for a minute as I am a big proponent of stress causing ich or anything else. I go with the immunity theory but I doubt anyone knows for sure as it is probably a number of things.

I am quite sure if my tank temp dropped 10 degrees my fish would get ich or Bubonic Plague and croak. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

I wonder how many of those fish in the Keys died? That would be interesting to know.

So you have 33% success rate in this one fish alone. That is ax66% loss rate. Just think about that for a minute. My store owners only experienced a 3% loss rate on average. Just saying there might be a better way.
Hello Lowell. I don't know what my success rate is for adding new fish but it is very close to 100%. I never lose a fish to a communicable disease but I sometimes lose one from bullying. I recently lost in the last 3 years a copperband from that, a Janss Pipefish and a sunburst anthius. I also lost fish from jumping out, even a mandarin.

I also sometimes get a fish very cheap or free that is covered in one thing or another and I put it in my tank. Sometimes they live, many times they die. But that is expected.

I don't have to coddle my fish, they just go into the tank after a few minutes of acclimation unless the temp and salinity is the same as my tank. Then they go right in.

About 2 or 3 weeks I got this tiny 1/2" Tomini tang. It didn't look very good and I doubted it would survive as it was so small and colorless.



Now he is a beautiful color with some bright yellow fins and he grew a little. Nice fish but he still hides a lot being he is so small.

I also got this beautiful fan tail filefish about a month ago. He is one of my favorite fish and went right in.


"
 
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How do the fish like your stewardship & husbandry.
A fish from a lfs may have been put through a tirade of transport stress and holding tanks before it arrives to the seller. A fish that has a few weeks to gain strength and adopt the new food source generally fares better than a weak fish being dumped into a new system whether its qt happened in a 5g pail or a 180 gallon display swimming solo.
So to answer your seemingly tongue in cheek question, yea i think i am. I'm not throwing a weak fish to the wolves and i'm not endangering the lives of the rest of my occupants by adding disease to the system.
 

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A fish from a lfs may have been put through a tirade of transport stress and holding tanks before it arrives to the seller. A fish that has a few weeks to gain strength and adopt the new food source generally fares better than a weak fish being dumped into a new system whether its qt happened in a 5g pail or a 180 gallon display swimming solo.
So to answer your seemingly tongue in cheek question, yea i think i am. I'm not throwing a weak fish to the wolves and i'm not endangering the lives of the rest of my occupants by adding disease to the system.

“when all you need is a heater, hob filter and a 5 gallon pail I'd say they're not overly taxing on the hobbyist.”

When your first post on this tread implied that reefkeepers were lazy if they didn’t choose easy quarantine, I did get tongue & cheek.

I invest much time & husbandry into bringing diverse food webs into all of my systems. With that in mind, quarantine is not an option as it would destroy the diversity I seek.

To each his own. Viva La difference.
 
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HBtank

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A fish from a lfs may have been put through a tirade of transport stress and holding tanks before it arrives to the seller. A fish that has a few weeks to gain strength and adopt the new food source generally fares better than a weak fish being dumped into a new system whether its qt happened in a 5g pail or a 180 gallon display swimming solo.
So to answer your seemingly tongue in cheek question, yea i think i am. I'm not throwing a weak fish to the wolves and i'm not endangering the lives of the rest of my occupants by adding disease to the system.
The tongue in cheek direction of this exchange isn’t the person/post stating that a 5-gallon bucket is all that is needed for QT? LOL… OK
 

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"BUT", I have no reason to cure ich or anything else because my immune fish won't get it. I don't know why that is so hard to comprehend. If your fish are getting ich, it is your fault.

Yes of course your fish is immune to ich and everything else, all other diseases in the world and you just won against nature. Of course.
 

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Yes of course your fish is immune to ich and everything else, all other diseases in the world and you just won against nature. Of course.
I think Paul likes to stir things up.

I didn’t agree with all he said, but I am his friend not his editor and we have much in common with our techniques
 

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I always said copper will kill parasites and it is in my book. I also said many times that if it were not for copper, there would be no salt water hobby. If I had to cure a fish I would use copper like I posted a few years ago with a small copperband. Copper and a diatom filter. I mentioned it in my hour interview with Humblefish or ReefBum where I started a LFS with copper.

I would never use it on a healthy fish just to see if it will cure some imaginary disease as that will probably cause a disease.

I think I used it for 10 years in the beginning of this hobby and that is in this thread someplace as it is no secret. I have matured and learned many new things now from experience and not the internet. I have been around a while and I wasn't sleeping.

"BUT", I have no reason to cure ich or anything else because my immune fish won't get it. I don't know why that is so hard to comprehend. If your fish are getting ich, it is your fault.

The 50Mg of Ozone I use, that was disconnected for 4 years won't kill anything and is there for water conditions just like my algae scrubber and reverse undergravel filter is. But, as I said, if you feel Ozone is the secret, or a diatom filter, use that.


Jay, that is interesting and I don't doubt it for a minute as I am a big proponent of stress causing ich or anything else. I go with the immunity theory but I doubt anyone knows for sure as it is probably a number of things.

I am quite sure if my tank temp dropped 10 degrees my fish would get ich or Bubonic Plague and croak. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

I wonder how many of those fish in the Keys died? That would be interesting to know.


Hello Lowell. I don't know what my success rate is for adding new fish but it is very close to 100%. I never lose a fish to a communicable disease but I sometimes lose one from bullying. I recently lost in the last 3 years a copperband from that, a Janss Pipefish and a sunburst anthius. I also lost fish from jumping out, even a mandarin.

I also sometimes get a fish very cheap or free that is covered in one thing or another and I put it in my tank. Sometimes they live, many times they die. But that is expected.

I don't have to coddle my fish, they just go into the tank after a few minutes of acclimation unless the temp and salinity is the same as my tank. Then they go right in.

About 2 or 3 weeks I got this tiny 1/2" Tomini tang. It didn't look very good and I doubted it would survive as it was so small and colorless.



Now he is a beautiful color with some bright yellow fins and he grew a little. Nice fish but he still hides a lot being he is so small.

I also got this beautiful fan tail filefish about a month ago. He is one of my favorite fish and went right in.




Very beautiful fishes. My Tomini tang lost a battle with the purple tang and I think the anemone in the tank handled the cleanup like the mob did with Jimmy Hoffa? It's weird losing fishes that just vanish into the liverock.

Can you please expound upon your QT process and proceedures for folks who are trying to learn how to keep a sterile tank like yours? Temperature acclimation and dumping can't work, so what is your secret? :)
 
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landlubber

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“when all you need is a heater, hob filter and a 5 gallon pail I'd say they're not overly taxing on the hobbyist.”

When your first post on this tread implied that reefkeepers were lazy if they didn’t choose easy quarantine, I did get tongue & cheek.

I invest much time & husbandry into bringing diverse food webs into all of my systems. With that in mind, quarantine is not an option as it would destroy the diversity I seek.

To each his own. Viva La difference.
I never called anyone lazy or anything close to that.
I suppose the bottom line on this one is you're making ridiculous assumptions and going in on me for whatever reason. Great to hear you love your tank and for 35 years so have I and that's where i'm going to leave it.
 

landlubber

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The tongue in cheek direction of this exchange isn’t the person/post stating that a 5-gallon bucket is all that is needed for QT? LOL… OK
oh? so tell me with your wealth of experience how big a person should go with qt? what if they run a 10 gallon nano? you think having glass/acrylic walls makes it a better place for the fish?
the best fish advice i can give to you is to stay in your lane pal.
 

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I think Paul likes to stir things up.

I didn’t agree with all he said, but I am his friend not his editor and we have much in common with our techniques
With all respect his tank is standing longer than me, BUT I am irritated by repeated big blanket statements without evidence, like this above, inaccuracies here and there and his main argument is being long time in the hobby etc.

This is not stirring up, this is some brandon level stuff.

Luckily we dont have to agree, we can agree to disagree and we have an ignore button as well, personally I leave the debate here :)
 
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Yes of course your fish is immune to ich and everything else, all other diseases in the world and you just won against nature. Of course.
It seems like it so far. Maybe they get a headache or the common cold but I am guessing.

(I did say "communicable" diseases, not every disease in the world. But maybe they are. I don't know) :face-with-rolling-eyes:
 

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I recently lost a copperband. I don't remember how old he was but he got some sort of weird neurological affliction and I am not a fish brain surgeon so I couldn't cure him. He could see food but couldn't get it in his mouth.

Eventually he gave up and didn't eat. I posted this a year or two ago. But my fish do die of certain things and don't live forever.



, inaccuracies here and there and his main argument is being long time in the hobby etc.
Actually, I am not arguing as I have no reason to and nothing to prove. I am to old. But if you want to call it an argument, it isn't that I have been at this a long time, it's that I have been at this successfully for a long time.

When I started the only guy in it was Robert Straughn who was very successful so I followed his teachings.
I had no one else to follow because for some reason very few people do this for very long but when I see a beautiful tank and it has things in it that I like, I read all I can find on that persons methods and maybe incorporate them in my tank. I wouldn't tell them their methods are ridiculous just because I can't seem to get them to work and if my fish were dying from some disease I would try to listen to someone whose fish were not dying.

I wouldn't follow someone who just started the hobby unless they did something really amazing but if I found someone who has been successful at this for 50 or 60 years I certainly would try to learn from them no matter how out there his or her ideas or methods were. :face-with-rolling-eyes:

There is someone on here breeding orange spotted filefish and I can't even keep them alive so I am in awe of that and read as much as I can about his methods. If he posted that he feeds them wood chips and Alpo dog food I would run out and buy Alpo and 2X4s.

I am almost 74 years old and this will be my last tank. If it crashes tomorrow there is a dumpster 50 yards from my front door. But so far, it seems OK. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
 
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Paul B

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Can you please expound upon your QT process and proceedures for folks who are trying to learn how to keep a sterile tank like yours? Temperature acclimation and dumping can't work, so what is your secret? :)
LOL, that's why I wrote a book. So I don't have to explain it every week for years. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
 

HBtank

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oh? so tell me with your wealth of experience how big a person should go with qt? what if they run a 10 gallon nano? you think having glass/acrylic walls makes it a better place for the fish?
the best fish advice i can give to you is to stay in your lane pal.
You’re the one that made a simplistic (and frankly stupid) generalization and recommendation, not me. 12” of space. 12”.

Now you want (need) to define this as a nano. And yeah if you actually want to observe your fish for illness, not having opaque walls helps.

Good luck, and have a nice day.
 
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There is someone on here breeding orange spotted filefish and I can't even keep them alive so I am in awe of that and read as much as I can about his methods. If he posted that he feeds them wood chips and Alpo dog food I would run out and buy Alpo and 2X4s.

I am not sure who you are talking about but Matt Pedersen has had amazing success with the species. I do not know about others but then again I'm not the Oracle... Matt though took it to another level. Then there is ThRoewer here who is successful of a few different species I think in addition to his Marine Beta thread.

Healthy tanks will spawn regardless of the debate here of QT or not assuming proper requirements are met. While this is just my opinion the advanced hobbyist level stuff is actually trying to rear them. That is a challenge.
 

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You’re the one that made a simplistic (and frankly stupid) generalization and recommendation, not me. 12” of space. 12”.

Now you want (need) to define this as a nano. And yeah if you actually want to observe your fish for illness, not having opaque walls helps.

Good luck, and have a nice day.
sure thing pal. you're clearly Rival Julien Sprung in experience and i'm sure you're off to scold people for using acclimation boxes now. lol
 
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