Current Quarantine Protocol

Jay Hemdal

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2021 Quarantine Procedures

Jay Hemdal
David Scarborough



Protozoans (Cryptocaryon/ich, Amyloodinium/velvet) and Metazoan trematodes/flukes are the most common parasites found on newly acquired fish. A carefully managed quarantine process can effectively eliminate these parasites before adding the fish to your display tank.

Tank Requirements:

Tank must be large enough to comfortably handle the number and size of fish for up to 9 weeks.
  • Tank should have a filtration system that has completed the nitrogen cycle. Canisters, HOB overflow filters, or appropriately sized sponge filters are acceptable.
  • The filtration system must not use carbon or other absorbing/adsorbing filtrants (e.g. Polyfilter) that might absorb copper or medication. NO calcareous rock LIVE or DEAD
  • Bare bottom should be used. A saucer with non-absorbing sand can be utilized for wrasses, gobies, blennies or other species which are overly stressed by the bare bottom. Painting the underside of the tank black can also help
  • Heater/thermometer
  • Removable structure, e.g. PVC pipe may be used to provide hiding places for the fish.
  • Ambient light will often be adequate for the QT tank.
  • A means to maintain oxygen levels should be available. Air stones and sponge filters are usually adequate.
  • A lid should be used to prevent the fish from jumping out of the tank.
  • Set salinity level and temperature to the same levels as in your Display Tank.
Days 1 – 3: Observation - let the fish settle in and determine proper diet.
  • Set QT temperature to 80 degrees.
  • Acclimate the new fish to the QT.
  • Observe the fish for any symptoms which might influence the treatment(s) you should administer.
  • Determine if the fish are eating adequately to proceed.
Day 4: Begin Copper Treatment
  • Add Coppersafe to the QT to achieve a concentration of 2.50 ppm over the course of 24 hours. This can be done in two doses 12 hours apart or multiple smaller doses if you prefer. Coppersafe will not be effective until a concentration over 2.0 ppm is present. A target of 2.50 ppm will allow for fluctuations without the risk of falling below the 2.0 ppm threshold. Hanna Copper checker is the most accurate test to use.
  • Never use ammonia removing products or other reducing agents (dechlor) when dosing copper. Most products bind copper with an amine to reduce toxicity to the fish. Reducing agents break that bond, releasing free copper that can harm the fish.
  • Feed and top off tank water normally.
Days 5 – 34: Continue Copper Treatment
  • Monitor copper ppm regularly. If fluctuations do not occur, you can skip day(s), but if the concentration falls below 2.0 ppm, you will need to restart the 30-day count for the copper treatment.
  • Monitor water quality parameters as you would for your display tank.
  • If the copper or ammonia levels ever exceed guidelines, be prepared to administer water changes to correct the problem.
Day 35: Copper Done
  • Begin copper removal through water changes.
  • Zeolites such as Cuprisorb may be used to hasten the removal process.
  • Carbon is usually too slow or ineffective at removing copper and should not be relied upon without adequate monitoring.
Day 36: Praziquantel Treatment #1
  • Confirm copper has been removed adequately to drop the concentration to less than 1 ppm. Copper and Prazi should not be administered simultaneously.
  • Add Prazipro to the QT per the instructions on the label.
  • Ensure the additional oxygenation source is working. This treatment will potentially reduce the oxygen levels within the QT to critical levels without additional air flow.

Day 41, Day 48: Praziquantel Treatment #2, #3
  • Add Prazipro to the QT per the instructions on the label, 7 days apart.

Day 62: New Fish QT complete
  • Observe fish for 2 weeks after last prazi dose.
  • Conduct a 5-minute fresh water dip if the fish is of a species particularly susceptible to Neobenedenia flukes. If flukes are detected, reduce QT salinity to 50% and hold for an additional 35 days.
  • Confirm salinity and temperature of QT and DT are the same, add fish to DT.
 
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dwest

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Jay, this is great. Thanks!

Since many of us order fish online, they often come to us with a salinity much lower than our reef tanks (22 ppt. vs 35 for example). I have been matching the QT salinity to that of the new arrivals then slowly adjusting up. Is that necessary?
 

mickeysreef <*))))<

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I'm in the camp that does not observe. I know supply lines are tainted and most stores are doing the minimum to keep the fish alive.

for me waiting 3 days only gives the parasites time to load up so I will go ahead and treat immediately. that means a formalin bath before going into a qt with uv and .5 copper. I'll try to get them eating at this point and ramp up from there.
 

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Thank you Jay for a nice write-up.

I heard there is fluke resistant to prazipro. So I also do hyposalinity just in case. In addition I add the following

FORMALIN dip (Brooklynella, Uronema, Tricodina).

METRONIDAZOL (Intestinal and other Protozoa).

ERYTHROMYCIN (Bacterial)
 
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Jay Hemdal

Jay Hemdal

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Jay, this is great. Thanks!

Since many of us order fish online, they often come to us with a salinity much lower than our reef tanks (22 ppt. vs 35 for example). I have been matching the QT salinity to that of the new arrivals then slowly adjusting up. Is that necessary?
Yes - that is always the best way to go.

Jay
 
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Jay Hemdal

Jay Hemdal

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Thanks for the write up Jay. What species of fish are more suspectible to Neobenedenia flukes?
Pyramid butterflies, Pomacanthus angels and lookdowns are by far the worst, but many fish can get them.

Jay
 

ReefMan692

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2021 Quarantine Procedures

Jay Hemdal
David Scarborough



Protozoans (Cryptocaryon/ich, Amyloodinium/velvet) and Metazoan trematodes/flukes are the most common parasites found on newly acquired fish. A carefully managed quarantine process can effectively eliminate these parasites before adding the fish to your display tank.

Tank Requirements:

Tank must be large enough to comfortably handle the number and size of fish for up to 9 weeks.
  • Tank should have a filtration system that has completed the nitrogen cycle. Canisters, HOB overflow filters, or appropriately sized sponge filters are acceptable.
  • The filtration system must not use carbon or other absorbing/adsorbing filtrants (e.g. Polyfilter) that might absorb copper or medication. NO calcareous rock LIVE or DEAD
  • Bare bottom should be used. A saucer with non-absorbing sand can be utilized for wrasses, gobies, blennies or other species which are overly stressed by the bare bottom. Painting the underside of the tank black can also help
  • Heater/thermometer
  • Removable structure, e.g. PVC pipe may be used to provide hiding places for the fish.
  • Ambient light will often be adequate for the QT tank.
  • A means to maintain oxygen levels should be available. Air stones and sponge filters are usually adequate.
  • A lid should be used to prevent the fish from jumping out of the tank.
  • Set salinity level and temperature to the same levels as in your Display Tank.
Days 1 – 3: Observation - let the fish settle in and determine proper diet.
  • Set QT temperature to 80 degrees.
  • Acclimate the new fish to the QT.
  • Observe the fish for any symptoms which might influence the treatment(s) you should administer.
  • Determine if the fish are eating adequately to proceed.
Day 4: Begin Copper Treatment
  • Add Coppersafe to the QT to achieve a concentration of 2.50 ppm over the course of 24 hours. This can be done in two doses 12 hours apart or multiple smaller doses if you prefer. Coppersafe will not be effective until a concentration over 2.0 ppm is present. A target of 2.50 ppm will allow for fluctuations without the risk of falling below the 2.0 ppm threshold. Hanna Copper checker is the most accurate test to use
  • Feed and top off tank water normally.
Days 5 – 34: Continue Copper Treatment
  • Monitor copper ppm regularly. If fluctuations do not occur, you can skip day(s), but if the concentration falls below 2.0 ppm, you will need to restart the 30-day count for the copper treatment.
  • Monitor water quality parameters as you would for your display tank.
  • If the copper or ammonia levels ever exceed guidelines, be prepared to administer water changes to correct the problem.
Day 35: Copper Done
  • Begin copper removal through water changes.
  • Zeolites such as Cuprisorb may be used to hasten the removal process.
  • Carbon is usually too slow or ineffective at removing copper and should not be relied upon without adequate monitoring.
Day 36: Praziquantel Treatment #1
  • Confirm copper has been removed adequately to drop the concentration to less than 1 ppm. Copper and Prazi should not be administered simultaneously.
  • Add Prazipro to the QT per the instructions on the label.
  • Ensure the additional oxygenation source is working. This treatment will potentially reduce the oxygen levels within the QT to critical levels without additional air flow.

Day 41, Day 48: Praziquantel Treatment #2, #3
  • Add Prazipro to the DT per the instructions on the label, 7 days apart.

Day 62: New Fish QT complete
  • Observe fish for 2 weeks after last prazi dose.
  • Conduct a 5-minute fresh water dip if the fish is of a species particularly susceptible to Neobenedenia flukes. If flukes are detected, reduce QT salinity to 50% and hold for an additional 35 days.
  • Confirm salinity and temperature of QT and DT are the same, add fish to DT.
Jay what is recommended for "non absorbant sand" and how does the biofilter in the QT work? The copper doesnt kill our bac? But no sand no rock where to put bac, on a sponge is best?
 

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Glass beads would be one example, lots of very small diameter jewelry beads are made from glass. Aragonite would be one of the worst to use. A small amount of play sand might work OK, but you would need to monitor the copper ppm very closely.

Copper does not kill the bacteria required to process ammonia. I use a canister filter filled with foam (not polyfill) that had "matured" in my display tank sump. The foam I use is poret foam use primarily in fresh water aquariums. Also, believe it or not, plastic pot scrubbers make an excellent bio media stuffed in canisters or HOB filters. Just age the media in your display tank before using in the QT. If you choose to try a "bacteria in a bottle" product please note that some work more quickly than others. You will need to check your ammonia level regularly to determine if the QT is cycled. That's why I prefer to use aged/matured media from the DT.

David
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Jay what is recommended for "non absorbant sand" and how does the biofilter in the QT work? The copper doesnt kill our bac? But no sand no rock where to put bac, on a sponge is best?
Silica or quartz sand works, just rinse it well first. Copper inhibits the beneficial bacteria a little, but perhaps only 25%, and in reality, what some people don't realize is that the three common copper meds are all bound with ammonia compounds. So for example, if you dose coppersafe and then check the tank for ammonia, you'll get a reading of over 0.40 ppm. People think - oh, the copper killed my bacteria, when actually the copper had ammonia in it(grin).

jay
 

manohack

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I have my powder brown tang in the QT for 1 week now and it has no sign of any parasite on it. So do I still have to medicate that fish?
thanks
 
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I have my powder brown tang in the QT for 1 week now and it has no sign of any parasite on it. So do I still have to medicate that fish?
thanks
In my opinion, yes. Powder browns get ich so often, I feel it is just a matter of time with them.
Jay
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Thanks for taking the time to write this up for us.

Any possibility of seeing a 2021 updated Fallow tank instruction/write up as well taking into consideration the things you have learned since the last one?
Probably not - we really need a lab to study this, Colorni’s study was a bit flawed, and it will take more effort to do the study right...
Jay
 

mehaffydr

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Jay you say no rock "live or dead" I have have a Yellow tang and a couple of clown fish in a quarantine for the last couple of weeks with copper ranging between 2.3 and 2.5. Never below the 2.3. So my question is about the rock, is that statement just because the rock will absorb the copper and I can never put it back in the display ( which I am fine with ) or does it cause other problems. Do I need to remove and start over the 30 days. I had to set up quarantine in an emergency and decided to sacrifice some rock.
 

Sea escape

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So let say you do this quaritine as suggested, and then you add the fish to your reef tank, and bam in 2 weeks the fish has ick, or etc. how is it possible to make sure your dt doesn’t have any of these parasites. Any suggestions would be appreciated, I’m tired of losing tangs in general to ick in my reef tank. To be honest, I’ve banned adding tangs to my tank, and I love tangs..
 

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Jay,
I have always been big into the idea of QT everything prior to it going into my display, I am a firm believer. Currently I have a yellow eye kole and Royal gramma in my QT tank. I am deciding on whether or not to treat with copper or prazipro unless absolutely needed because I feel as if I put the fish through more stress they they do not need. However, I will be observing them for a few weeks in the QT before I make the decision to dump them into my DT. What are your opinions on this and how long should I observe for if I’m not going to medicate unless needed?
Thanks
 

ASIN28

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Jay you say no rock "live or dead" I have have a Yellow tang and a couple of clown fish in a quarantine for the last couple of weeks with copper ranging between 2.3 and 2.5. Never below the 2.3. So my question is about the rock, is that statement just because the rock will absorb the copper and I can never put it back in the display ( which I am fine with ) or does it cause other problems. Do I need to remove and start over the 30 days. I had to set up quarantine in an emergency and decided to sacrifice some rock.
Rock just will absorb the copper. You don’t want anything in the QT tank that is capable of absorbing copper due to the chance of it dropping below the 2.0 and having to restart again. And I definitely wouldn’t put any rock from the QT tank back into the display tank
 

mehaffydr

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Rock just will absorb the copper. You don’t want anything in the QT tank that is capable of absorbing copper due to the chance of it dropping below the 2.0 and having to restart again. And I definitely wouldn’t put any rock from the QT tank back into the display tank
I have checked copper daily with Hanna checker and copper has never drooped below 2.3. So I would assume that I am ok with continuing the treatment for the 30 days. I will definitely not put the rock back into a display but in the emergency I wanted the rock to control ammonia and its only a couple of small pieces. Right now I'm on Day 21 so I don't want to start over if I don't have to. Fish are looking great and eating good.
 
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