Beginners Guide to Acclimation and Quarantine

My goal is to provide a simplified guide on how to acclimate and do a basic quarantine of fish. The quarantine method I am recommending is not...
  1. nycluis718

    nycluis718 Well-Known Member

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    Hi I have a few questions.. you said you use Prime, at what point do you use prime in this setup? After
    a fresh water dip if you see a stringy poo on a fish do you treat with prazipro? if yes then you use 2
    doses in 14 days right? so after you use carbon you dose copper for 14 days.. If you need to
    treat for something else after, how do you remove the copper from the water? carbon again and 50% water change?
     

  2. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Great questions!
    I always keep Prime on hand but I very rarely use it. I use RODI, so I don't need it to condition my make up water or the water I use for the FW dip. If I would ever see ammonia prior to using my first medications I would use it. It is important to remember you should NEVER add Prime to water with copper in it. They interact and make the copper 10x more toxic and will kill fish quickly.

    I do a FW dip to check for flukes. If I see flukes what I do would likely depend on the fish. In the hardiest of fish I might consider treating with Prazipro 4 days prior to ending my copper treatment. That way I would transfer them out of the QT prior to the next round of eggs hatching. For most fish I would do the two treatments 5 to 7 days apart.

    For stringy white poo I will use Metroplex bound to their food with Focus. I will do this during whatever other treatment I am doing at the time.

    I never pull the copper out of my system after 14 days. If I can't transfer them to a clean tank after 14 days I would leave the copper in for a full 30 days prior to pulling it out. By day 10 in copper the fish will be clean of parasites. The copper will kill any parasites that hatch to prevent re-infection. The issue is the parasite in cyst form reproducing on the hard surfaces in the tank. It takes a lot longer for copper to kill Ich and Velvet when it is in this form. So, if you can't get the fish away from the Ich/Velvet cysts you need to treat the tank longer. To get the copper out of the system I will do one or two large water changes and then use a Poly Filter. Any other copper absorbent will also work.
     
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  3. Toomnymods

    Toomnymods Well-Known Member

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    very nice informative write up..
     
  4. KernanTurtle

    KernanTurtle Member

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    This is great information! Thank you for sharing!
     
  5. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Thanks! I hope you found it useful.
     
  6. Nfd552

    Nfd552 Active Member

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    I have a 15 gall column tank running as my quarantine tank. Has been running for a few weeks now, perameters are stable and fish went in a week ago. is it a bad idea to be changing the filter at this point to an aquaclear 50? Went talking to My lfs owner he was not a fan of the current filter I have on, biowheel, and said to use the aquaclear but my assumption is that it will mess up my cycle? Having no bacteria in the filter ...
    I had just gone there for something to place in the filter to catch any loose and floating debris since I can't use the regular filter cartridges since they contain carbon and I'll pull out any meds.
     
  7. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    In a QT system your filter only has one job. Remove ammonia. If you don't have ammonia in your system I wouldn't risk changing filters. If you decide to add a new filter it would be best to run the both at the same time for awhile before pulling the old one out.
     
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  8. Raypriceart

    Raypriceart Member

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    wow I feel like an idiot. All I do is drip acclimate. I need to set up a quarantine tank...
     
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  9. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Don't feel bad. That is about what most people do. And many of them get away with it for years. Until they don't. We've even had members here go through multiple tank wipes and still don't quarantine.
    Personally, I like knowing a heater failure wont cause an ich break out in my tank so I QT everything. What I laid out here is the absolute bare minimum I would suggest in quarantine. I recommend a much longer and detailed QT process for anyone stocking a large system or planning on expensive fish.
     
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  10. Nfd552

    Nfd552 Active Member

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    Worst part is the wait lol having the fish in the house but not on display. But back to my prior post, I kept the same filter I had in, cut the carbon out of a new filter cartridge and have been using that. Just finished dosing up the copper, slowly, about 3ml every 12 hours, morning and night. Fish are doing, well swimming and eating fine. Now to wait again....
     
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  11. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    It is so worth it. I'll admit I have lost some Anthias for unkown reason. I lost a royal gramma but I think I either injured him or trapped him when I was arranging rock. He was fine before that and I never saw him again. I don't have any exotic fish, but it is nice not having to replace dead fish. Add them once, watch them grow.
     
  12. TBone12

    TBone12 Member

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    Brew12 you should do something similar for different types of coral
     
  13. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I wish I had enough knowledge. I'm still trying to up my coral game. In my limited experience I haven't found acclimation to be a problem. I float, bayer dip, rinse, and put in a QT. A few days later I do an H2O2 dip. They stay In a QT for 2 months before going into my DT.

    Oh, and welcome to Reef2Reef!
     
  14. TBone12

    TBone12 Member

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    Thanks! The thing I'm most worried about is killing or damaging sps while in qt
     
  15. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I find keeping a QT much easier than a DT. No fish to feed, no rocks or sand to mess with chemistry. Just weekly water changes, an HOB filter and a heater.
     
  16. Xclusive Reef

    Xclusive Reef Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Brew12 good write up but i have some questions or comments. So I listen to some 15years plus reefers who do not QT new fish and if they get ich, they just leave it in the tanks. Then I had another reefer QT 3 months and shortly after putting fish in DT he got ich? Other reefers stated fish can get ich from getting stressed out. So It it really worth to QT a fish? I am going to say yes !! once you get a fish either online or LFS the fish come in stressed out. so I would QT the fish or coral for 1-2 weeks to see if the fish shows signs of infection or ich. If not I would then add to DT. I am not sure I am readt to stress out the fish by doing Fresh water dip if the fish is eating and NOT showing any signs if sickness. Thoughts opinions?
     
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  17. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I'm glad you liked it! I am a big fan of QT and actually do even more than I put in the article. Since marine Ich is a parasite (cryptocaryon irritans) it isn't caused by stress. What stress does is reduce a fishes ability to fight the parasite with its immune system. For those new to the hobby, I strongly recommend using a thorough QT process. For experienced reefers who know how to maintain very stable water conditions, use very high quality food, and understand how to limit parasite populations, skipping QT can work. It will make keeping some species of open ocean swimming fish (like some tangs) more challenging.
    As for just observing for 1 or 2 weeks, I don't recommend it unless you don't mind having Ich or velvet in your system. There is no way to know if a fish is a carrier and is naturally immune or if it is parasite free. No fish makes it into my system without being treated with copper first. This eliminates risk for me.
     
  18. Xclusive Reef

    Xclusive Reef Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    So even if you buy a fish from a reliable source you still copper before going into dt?
     
  19. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I don't consider any source to be reliable. All it takes is one fish at a LFS to come in with Ich, and it will likely be in their systems forever. It isn't reasonable to think they will keep their system fishless for 2 1/2 months to starve the parasite out. The fish in the store may even look great but you never know if they carry the parasite but their natural immunity is keeping symptoms from showing. If you bring that fish home and put it in a tank with fish that may not be immune you be in for a rough ride 2 weeks later.
    Most LFS's and distributors use a few tricks to deal with parasites. Some of them will run low levels of copper in their systems. Not enough to wipe out the parasites but enough to limit their numbers so there are no visible symptoms. I always look to see if stores keep their inverts and fish in the same system. The other thing you will see is that they keep low salinity. 1.015 to 1.018 is very typical. This will slow down the rate at which parasites reproduce although it is also done to save money on salt.
    To me, the only reliable source of clean fish for my DT is my QT.
     
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  20. Chris Wells

    Chris Wells Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Great info here. Brew12, great article.
    Thanks to everyone's input, I am learning a lot. I am finishing up my first reef tank ever, so QT is on my mind and planning to use this article as procedure. I hope to get cycling in a couple of weeks.

    Question is: I have a spare 40g breeder laying around. Would it be realistic to baffle into three sections for QT. (Acclimate/Medicate/Copper) or something like that so you can
    lower salinity on new arrivals if need be, treat someone from DT, or keep coppper isolated, etc. I suppose sanitizing the tank after use may be a pain.

    Has anyone done anything like this?
    As cheep as 10 gallon tanks are, should I save the 40g for something better and buy 3-10g.

    Thx
     
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