Current Quarantine Protocol

BamaCoastPyrat

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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.

Quarantine 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 – 2: Observation - let the fish settle in and determine proper diet.
  • Set QT temperature to 78 - 80 degrees F.
  • Acclimate the new fish to the QT:
    • Measure salinity of the water in which the fish arrived.
    • Adjust salinity in QT to within 2 ppt of the salinity of the water in which the fish arrived.
    • Acclimate the fish to the QT gradually over 45 minutes.
  • 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 2: 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 (dechlorinator) 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 3 – 32: 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 34: 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 35: 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 40, Day 47: Praziquantel Treatment #2, #3
  • Add Prazipro to the QT per the instructions on the label, 7 days apart.

Day 60: New Fish QT complete
  • Observe fish for 2 weeks after last prazi dose. Note: many public aquariums do not move fish out of quarantine unless they are in the middle of a full copper treatment. This vastly reduces the risk from Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium. To use that method, substitute a copper treatment for this 2 week observation period, and move the fish out around day 10.
  • 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, I am about to take a second stab at a couple of Picasso Perculas. I have read that Clowns are offten very susceptible and brooklynella and that formalin dips are a good addition to a QT process to help fight against this. That being said, is this what I need for the 37% formalin dip? And when would you add the formalin dip to your QT protocol?
 
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Jay Hemdal

Jay Hemdal

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Jay, I am about to take a second stab at a couple of Picasso Perculas. I have read that Clowns are offten very susceptible and brooklynella and that formalin dips are a good addition to a QT process to help fight against this. That being said, is this what I need for the 37% formalin dip? And when would you add the formalin dip to your QT protocol?

Yes, that is formalin. I see it has 15% methanol added, I prefer 10% methanol, but I have used 15 before. This stuff is TOXIC, keep away from pets and children and wear goggles and gloves when dispensing it.

Brooklynella is very common on wild clowns, but tank raised ones, if not exposed to wild clowns in the LFS usually don't get it.

I think what I would do is to have this on hand, but not use it unless you see symptoms of Brook.

Just my IMO though.....


Jay
 

BamaCoastPyrat

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Yes, that is formalin. I see it has 15% methanol added, I prefer 10% methanol, but I have used 15 before. This stuff is TOXIC, keep away from pets and children and wear goggles and gloves when dispensing it.

Brooklynella is very common on wild clowns, but tank raised ones, if not exposed to wild clowns in the LFS usually don't get it.

I think what I would do is to have this on hand, but not use it unless you see symptoms of Brook.

Just my IMO though.....


Jay
Thank you Jay. Will the extra 5% methanol change how I should dose? If needed, I was planning on following the guidelines on @Humblefish 's website for dips with 37% formalin.
 
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Jay Hemdal

Jay Hemdal

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Thank you Jay. Will the extra 5% methanol change how I should dose? If needed, I was planning on following the guidelines on @Humblefish 's website for dips with 37% formalin.

The extra methanol doesn't change the dose of the formalin, it only increases the potential toxicity of the treatment to the fish.

Formalin is used on a concentration versus time basis. For Brook, I think 25 ppm for a 24 hour static bath is sufficient. Fluke would require higher doses, but for a shorter time period.

Jay
 

BamaCoastPyrat

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The extra methanol doesn't change the dose of the formalin, it only increases the potential toxicity of the treatment to the fish.

Formalin is used on a concentration versus time basis. For Brook, I think 25 ppm for a 24 hour static bath is sufficient. Fluke would require higher doses, but for a shorter time period.

Jay
So it sounds like it is based on a Permissable Exposure Limit; what the disease cannot handle verses what the fish can.

Once again I appreciate your help. It's great having access on this site to people who are truly knowledgeable.
 

swallace

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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.

Quarantine tank Requirements:
  • Set salinity level and temperature to the same levels as in your Display Tank.
Days 1 – 2: Observation - let the fish settle in and determine proper diet.
  • Acclimate the new fish to the QT:
    • Measure salinity of the water in which the fish arrived.
    • Adjust salinity in QT to within 2 ppt of the salinity of the water in which the fish arrived.
    • Acclimate the fish to the QT gradually over 45 minutes.
Hi @Jay Hemdal - Thank you for the detailed write up. I have a question about salinity from your first post. You mention that the salinity in QT should match display - but you also say to adjust the QT to match the water that the fish comes in. Can you elaborate a bit more on what the desired salinity should be? The reason that I ask is - In another post a few days ago you also mention that running hypo salinity can cause adverse reactions with copper and prazi (it was in regard to jr angels)

Still new to the hobby and getting ready to do my first quarantine so just want to make sure I try to follow your process as close as possible.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Hi @Jay Hemdal - Thank you for the detailed write up. I have a question about salinity from your first post. You mention that the salinity in QT should match display - but you also say to adjust the QT to match the water that the fish comes in. Can you elaborate a bit more on what the desired salinity should be? The reason that I ask is - In another post a few days ago you also mention that running hypo salinity can cause adverse reactions with copper and prazi (it was in regard to jr angels)

Still new to the hobby and getting ready to do my first quarantine so just want to make sure I try to follow your process as close as possible.
Sorry - matching salinity is done when moving a fish from low to high, in order to avoid osmotic stress during acclimation. Once done, you would gradually adjust the salinity of the tank to wherever you want it (over days if need be). Moving from high to low can be done much faster.
People do run hypo and copper or hypo and prazi - I just try not to as it doubles up on stress. I would do it though if the fish had velvet, where hypo won't treat it but copper would.
Jay
 

bobby2175

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Hi Jay,

Quick question - planning to quarantine a flame angel, but I noticed that liveaquaria indicates that they can be sensitive to copper (The Flame Angel is very sensitive to elevated levels of copper, and should never be exposed to levels near or above 0.15 ppm). Is this true and is there a lower level of copper that can still effectively be used for quarantine purposes?

Thanks.

Bobby
 

DrMMI

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Hi Jay,

Quick question - planning to quarantine a flame angel, but I noticed that liveaquaria indicates that they can be sensitive to copper (The Flame Angel is very sensitive to elevated levels of copper, and should never be exposed to levels near or above 0.15 ppm). Is this true and is there a lower level of copper that can still effectively be used for quarantine purposes?

Thanks.

Bobby
I had no issues when I quarantined my flame angel with copper safe up to 2.5ppm.
 
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dwest

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I had no issues when I quarantined my flame angel with copper safe up to 2.5ppm.
I believe this chart is still correct. Dosing with coppersafe or copper power is OK. I would use a Hanna checker to measure copper. I personally have never had a flame angel though.

 
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Jay Hemdal

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Hi Jay,

Quick question - planning to quarantine a flame angel, but I noticed that liveaquaria indicates that they can be sensitive to copper (The Flame Angel is very sensitive to elevated levels of copper, and should never be exposed to levels near or above 0.15 ppm). Is this true and is there a lower level of copper that can still effectively be used for quarantine purposes?

Thanks.

Bobby

Welcome to Reef2Reef!

Flame angels are one of the only species that I had issues with using copper on - but that was back when I used ionic copper with citric acid. I don't use that anymore. I can tell from the LiveAquaria comment that they are talking about that same ionic copper (which is dosed at 0.20). I've never had any issues with flame angels and Coppersafe, and I presume Copper Power would be similar.

Jay
 

CoralObsessed

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Welcome to Reef2Reef!

Flame angels are one of the only species that I had issues with using copper on - but that was back when I used ionic copper with citric acid. I don't use that anymore. I can tell from the LiveAquaria comment that they are talking about that same ionic copper (which is dosed at 0.20). I've never had any issues with flame angels and Coppersafe, and I presume Copper Power would be similar.

Jay
I've now put 6 flame angels thru Copper Power at 2.5ppm without issue. No experience with other types of copper tho.
 

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Hi Jay,

Quick question - planning to quarantine a flame angel, but I noticed that liveaquaria indicates that they can be sensitive to copper (The Flame Angel is very sensitive to elevated levels of copper, and should never be exposed to levels near or above 0.15 ppm). Is this true and is there a lower level of copper that can still effectively be used for quarantine purposes?

Thanks.

Bobby
I did quarantine about a dozen flame angels recently and we did not use copper. We used to the tank transfer method. Very successful.
 

bobby2175

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Thank you for all of the feedback! I've been reefing for a long time, but have been out of the hobby for a couple of years after a move and now getting back in. Have never quarantined, but going to do it now.

A couple more questions...I did add some live rock rubble from my lfs to the tank to get the cycle going and I just liked the look- it doesn't appear to have any visible life on it other than some pieces with coraline. Is it ok to leave this in the tank during QT? I noticed your note in the original post about no calcareous rock and wanted to confirm.

Lastly, I travel a lot for work. I'm usually away from home about 15-20 days out of every month. Is there a point where the med levels will stay stable in the tank? For example, if I add it on day one, monitor for the next 5 days, then have to leave for the next 5 days, will the meds be stable enough where I can let it go for that long or is it a daily monitor situation?

Thanks again for all of the help.

Bobby
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Thank you for all of the feedback! I've been reefing for a long time, but have been out of the hobby for a couple of years after a move and now getting back in. Have never quarantined, but going to do it now.

A couple more questions...I did add some live rock rubble from my lfs to the tank to get the cycle going and I just liked the look- it doesn't appear to have any visible life on it other than some pieces with coraline. Is it ok to leave this in the tank during QT? I noticed your note in the original post about no calcareous rock and wanted to confirm.

Lastly, I travel a lot for work. I'm usually away from home about 15-20 days out of every month. Is there a point where the med levels will stay stable in the tank? For example, if I add it on day one, monitor for the next 5 days, then have to leave for the next 5 days, will the meds be stable enough where I can let it go for that long or is it a daily monitor situation?

Thanks again for all of the help.

Bobby

Having calcareous rock in a tank during a coppersafe treatment can be a bit of an issue as the rock will absorb some of it, and you'll need to test and redose periodically. Then, that rock should not be used in a tank with invertebrates as the copper can leach out later on.

That much travelling during a quarantine cycle would be problematic. Five days in a row is too long to leave a tank. Do you have somebody you trust to carry out some basic observations/feeding/testing during those times?

Jay
 
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bobby2175

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Having calcareous rock in a tank during a coppersafe treatment can be a bit of an issue as the rock will absorb some of it, and you'll need to test and redose periodically. Then, that rock should not be used in a tank with invertebrates as the copper can leach out later on.

That much travelling during a quarantine cycle would be problematic. Five days in a row is too long to leave a tank. Do you have somebody you trust to carry out some basic observations/feeding/testing during those times?

Jay
Thanks for the reply, Jay! I've been thinking about this too. My wife will do it when I'm not around...just have to plan around her travel schedule too. How many days between monitoring do you think we can get away with? I can see a scenario where one of us can check the tank Monday, but then wouldn't see it again until Friday, so three days in between. Will have to see if I can find someone else for a spot check too.

Also, is live rock rubble considered calcareous rock?

Thanks.

Bobby
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Thanks for the reply, Jay! I've been thinking about this too. My wife will do it when I'm not around...just have to plan around her travel schedule too. How many days between monitoring do you think we can get away with? I can see a scenario where one of us can check the tank Monday, but then wouldn't see it again until Friday, so three days in between. Will have to see if I can find someone else for a spot check too.

Also, is live rock rubble considered calcareous rock?

Thanks.

Bobby

I really like to observe fish in quarantine every day. If there is no active disease, and the fish are in coppersafe, you may be able to go a few days.

Yes, rubble rock is still calcium-based. Everything reef oriented would be - sand, rubble or rock.

Jay
 
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One is copper, one is not.
Thanks, i knew that much, LOL, I was asking if they both treat the same thing, or do they each treat different stuff.
When i had issues with my fish, I used the Rally Pro and it treated my fish with there issues. So i am looking at picking up some new fish and never qt before. So i have Rally Pro so was wandering if i can use that Instead of the copper treatment.
 

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