Do you agree with Paul B's method (no QT) ?

Pete_the_Puma

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I read Paul's post about his method (no quarantine") and I liked it. It sounds logical and it's the way nature works. However, I see that there are way more people who quarantine fish than those who don't. So then his method is not welcomed? And it's not right? What do you think?

(https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-other-way-to-run-a-reef-tank-no-quarantine.534274/)

My guess is more people DO NOT quarantine, they are just less vocal for fear of the "You must Quarantine police" coming down on them.

I never QT. Itch and other parasites/diseases are likely present in most systems whether you QT or not, same as they are in the wild, and healthy fish can fight off the infections. I agre with PaulB that QT might be causing more stress than good.

Its like humans and MRSA, most of us who work in a hospital are colonized with the superbug, if you check our nostrils/skin for the bug a lot test positive. It does not cause us any trouble as we are generally healthy and not prone to infections that in others cause real trouble...
 
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saf1

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This is always a hot topic. The way I see it is like this. There is no single recipe for a successful tank. If there was everyone would be following it. Multiple ways to run successful tank and in the end it comes down to the hobbyist. It is also one of those hobbies whereas experience also comes into play be it books, trial and error, failures, successes, mentors, and everything mixed in between.

I think there is one thing for sure that can have a negative impact on our tanks and that is ignorance. Well maybe two. Failure of equipment and/or electricity. That also comes back to ignorance because, well, we know what they key components are for our tanks life support and can put things in place to help.

In the end the TL;DR answer: Paul has a lot of experience and common sense and he has a process that works for him as he says consistently.
 

Waterislife

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Never quarantined and never will, I buy healthy fish from whatever source I get them, never online, never sight unseen, when fish come into a store I ask- when did you get it, where did it come from, and is it eating and I watch it at least 2 weeks in the store, sometimes more, if it gets sold out from under me, oh well. I've been keeping fish for over 30 years the only time I've ever been bit in the butt is when I overstock the tank and bioloaded the system too quickly a lesson that everybody should learn. I think sometimes people quarantine healthy fish and create an unhealthy situation I don't have a problem with isolating the fish, but there's no real reason to treat for medication if the fish doesn't have any symptoms.
 
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Squidward

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My guess is more people DO NOT quarantine, they are just less vocal for fear of the "You must Quarantine police" coming down on them.

I never QT. Itch and other parasites/diseases are likely present in most systems whether you QT or not, same as they are in the wild, and healthy fish can fight off the infections. I agre with PaulB that QT might be causing more stress than good.
A brand new tank doesn't have ich. It needs something either a fish, invert, live rock from another system, corals that would have to bring ich in. So the myth that ich is always present in your tank is false.
 

doodledreads

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I have never quarantined, and have rarely lost a new fish and never had ich or other breakouts for too long. I try to pick healthy fish from local stores who I can tell take good care of their stock and online stores with good reputation. I do sometimes rescue a starving fish but feed them well to help them recover. I feed healthy food regularly and try to maintain consistently good water quality. I actually add the water my new corals and fish come in from my purchases to my tank as I want to enrich the biodiversity of my tank. I add any new fish in a breeder box so the tank mates do not stress it further and it has some time to recover for a day or two.
 

TaylorPilot

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My new MO!
Yea, I am contemplating setting up a new little tank but I don't want to do it unless I can do it right. The problem is I have to talk my wife into it. One tank is bad enough, but 3-4 in 3 different rooms in the house....I'll be sleeping in the garage with my tanks!
 

falconut

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I've been doing different QTing for many years. I used to just observe in QT and only treat if I saw something. I kind of used it to condition the new fish so they were eating great before they went into the DT, usually 30 days or more. Worked very well.

Recently I've had issues. A few years ago, I bought some fish from a LFS that QT's all their fish before selling. Since they were already treated, I'd place them directly in the DT. On 2 different occasions, the new fish showed something bad within hours of begging added. I'm guessing the stress of the new tank caused it to show. I've had to pull everything multiple times and don't wish to do that again.

Now every fish goes into my basement QT and gets treated with Cupramine & Prazipro. It's worked well for me. My buddy just buys fish & in the DT they go & he hasn't had issues. So, it can work either way.
 

truetricia

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You mention having the quarantine tanks in another room. Why is that?, I haven’t heard of airborne ich yet
There are studies that certain strains of ich can become aerosolized and travel up to ten feet. It's a small percentage of ich, but since most of us hobbyists don't identify individual strains, if you're going to QT, you should also consider ensuring the tanks are over ten feet apart.
 

Jon Fishman

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As someone who doesn’t have a QT setup, but wanting to add fish..... any recommendations?

I set up a QT for the one fish I have, but after 3 days he looked BAD. I moved him to the display to try to save him, and a couple weeks later he is doing great.

I would rather not attempt QT again, so I am looking for options
 

TaylorPilot

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There are studies that certain strains of ich can become aerosolized and travel up to ten feet. It's a small percentage of ich, but since most of us hobbyists don't identify individual strains, if you're going to QT, you should also consider ensuring the tanks are over ten feet apart.
Also, I think 10 feet is a pretty specific number...Did they test it at 11'? Do they know if they used the same strain? How do they know if other strains won't go 12'? Was there a ceiling fan in the room or an air vent blowing air from one side of the room to the other that would increase the distance it could fly? My point is, if you are going to go to all the trouble of doing this, I want a physical barrier between the two systems to know 100%. QT is really the only thing keeping me from setting up another system. I don't want to deal with disease again, but really don't have the room or the WAF to do QT right. After all, I have already taken up the whole garage and two rooms in our house to build overflows. LOL
 

Jay Z

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Been it it for 28 years. Never qt’d anything. Never had any issues. I’m with Paul in this no facts debate. Dump em in, let the fish gods sort them out. They must like me. Only things I’ve had die were from la.

Love these opinion threads that can never be won or debated because both ways work.

Next will be debating which Light should turn on first and or the effects of all turning on at once or coming on a couple minutes of each other.
 

Squidward

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As someone who doesn’t have a QT setup, but wanting to add fish..... any recommendations?

I set up a QT for the one fish I have, but after 3 days he looked BAD. I moved him to the display to try to save him, and a couple weeks later he is doing great.

I would rather not attempt QT again, so I am looking for options
Don't give up on QT. Do the Tank Transfer Method like I do. No copper is needed. A little more labor but it's worth it.
 
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truetricia

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I read Paul's post about his method (no quarantine") and I liked it. It sounds logical and it's the way nature works. However, I see that there are way more people who quarantine fish than those who don't. So then his method is not welcomed? And it's not right? What do you think?

(https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-other-way-to-run-a-reef-tank-no-quarantine.534274/)
So here's the thing.... QT or not QT is absolutely a preference. But most of the information you're getting is anecdotal, including Paul B's (for whom I have a lot of respect as he's on my local forum as well). It's individual hobbyist's experiences, rather than science. (For background, I worked in marine science aquaria for years and then in rescue and rehabilitation of marine mammals, but I am not a pathologist).

Let's look at the science.

In the wild, animals are exposed to all kinds of pathogens, good and bad. Balances are not struck in individual animals, rather the Darwinian process through a group. A group of animals get sick, some die, some survive. The ones that survive may have an immunity built up to that particular disease that they MAY then pass along to offspring. If the immunity is passed along, then the offspring are less likely to die from the disease, but it may not prevent them from contracting it. Eventually, the disease may also evolve through mutation so that the immunity is no longer working, and the process repeats. But make no mistake, plenty of animals get sick and/or die during this process.

Under Paul B's method (or lack of method as he describes), he's relying on the animal's natural immune systems to combat sickness resulting in death. He's not eradicating the diseases from his system, rather relying on the natural immune system to fight off diseases. While this may work for some animals, it still assumes that there is disease(s) in the tank and that the animals he's putting in either have a natural immunity to the disease(s), or can acquire one. There are several assumptions in this method:
1. The goal is to not have fish die from disease, rather than the goal being not to get sick.
2. That all fish will have been exposed to and thus have a natural immunity to, or can develop a resistance to the various disease(s) in the tank.
3. That fish coming from different regional locations or different types of locations (aquaculture v. wild) will all carry similar diseases or have immunity to the same diseases.
4. That fish getting sick is not problematic.
5. That fish dying from the lack of method is not problematic.
6. That new fish coming into the system will not introduce a disease to the DT to which the system has no immunity.

Let's examine those individually (numbers correspond).
1 & 4. Is this your goal? Are you prepared to handle a sick fish, and do you know what to do? Do you know at what point the fish's life is endanger, versus just needing to supplement and support their immune system? Do you have the ability to catch that fish if you need to get it out of your DT? Do you have meds that are safe for your tank based on treating in your DT? @Paul B obviously does, and knows how to handle this in his tank. Not everyone does or will (I certainly don't!).

2, 3, & 6. Not all diseases are the same, and even the same disease can have different strains. To make this easy to think about, think about the variations within a single species of fish based upon whether it's caught in Hawaii, Maldives, or Fiji. They're not the same, and neither are the diseases that they naturally carry or have been exposed to. So their immunity to ich may be to the particular strain that occurs naturally in their geographic location, but that same immunity may fail when a different strain of ich is introduced. Another example is Montezuma's Revenge, when they tell American tourists not to drink the water in Mexico for massive diarrhea that can occur as a result of exposure to pathogens in the water. Locals don't have the problem, but tourists have no immunity. Will it kill you, probably not, but if you're already immuno-compromised or weak, maybe. Your tank may be balanced until you introduce a new strain of disease from a different region. Therefore, your Lyretail Anthias from the Maldives may carry a particular strain of ich to which it easily tolerates. But the male kills off his females, and you buy some other anthias females from Indonesia and introduce them into the tank. Suddenly, your male starts showing signs of ich. Is it that his immune system is under attack and this is his own strain of ich just showing up, or is this a strain of Indonesian ich to which he has no immunity? If he dies, what are your assumptions about the death? If he lives, do you make the same assumptions? How do you know which of those possibilities has occurred? Most of us as hobbyists do not have any way of knowing.

5. Fish dying is always a problem...it's about how much of a problem. How many fish died? Which fish died? How much did you like that particular fish (your kid named it, your spouse's fav, the one that ate out of your hand)? How much did that fish cost (a blue chromis v. a peppermint angel)? So much of these questions are very personal in nature and can't be answered by anyone but the aquarist themselves.

To me, this is the problem with a NO QT method. You're playing a probability game with disease, but most of us have no true knowledge of fish disease or immunity. Therefore, at some point, the probabilities will win out and you'll lose fish(pl). How many and how much it bothers you is the real question.

Another point to look at is how public aquaria do it, since their livelihood is based on massive stocks of fish, and the loss of any fish may devastate their display. These facilities almost always QT their fish. They don't want a small chromis to bring in a disease that kills their whale shark or wipes out their endangered species.

I won't bother to write up the benefits of QT because I believe @Humblefish has done a great job on that.
 
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truetricia

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Also, I think 10 feet is a pretty specific number...Did they test it at 11'? Do they know if they used the same strain? How do they know if other strains won't go 12'? Was there a ceiling fan in the room or an air vent blowing air from one side of the room to the other that would increase the distance it could fly? My point is, if you are going to go to all the trouble of doing this, I want a physical barrier between the two systems to know 100%. QT is really the only thing keeping me from setting up another system. I don't want to deal with disease again, but really don't have the room or the WAF to do QT right. After all, I have already taken up the whole garage and two rooms in our house to build overflows. LOL
Those are great questions! Studies are only as good as their parameters, and then there are real world parameters as well. The study probably included a lot of static factors to avoid cross contamination of their study or to limit the variable.

I personally agree with you about physical barriers. I was going to put my QT in my fish room, but have decided to keep it in my spare bedroom for just the reasons you pointed out.

But for someone without a lot of room, I still think QT in the same room is better than no QT. Airborne ich is only a small percentage of ich strains, and not QT'ing means potential exposure to all strains of ich.
 

Paul B

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I love these threads. :)
Almost everyone just doesn't get it. Forgoing quarantine doesn't mean to buy a fish and throw it into any tank. It would probably die as most fish are not kept healthy enough.

I also believe that allowing your fish to become sick is horrible which is why I never let my fish get sick. They are just not allowed to do that. And, yes, I mean velvet and anything else as you have never seen me on a disease thread for these diseases on any forum at any time for any thing except trying to give advice. and I have been on forums since the Roman Empire invented dirt :p

I am also tired of arguing as my fish longevity speaks for themselves so I have nothing to prove. But I will try to offer some advice, even if you want to quarantine. If you don't want this advice, I think there is a re run of Oprah giving away Toyota's to homeless cats. :oops:

Our fish need bacteria in their food as they eat every day in the sea. That is a fact and I didn't make it up, so at least get some live bacteria into your fish and not only from commercially sold food. I use LRS foods and Larry, the owner is a nice guy and I have spoken to him. I love his food and think it is the best "commerical" food there is.

I use it everyday and it even has probiotics which I also think is great. "But", I also feed live worms and/or clams that I buy in a supermarket and freeze myself. It is harder to feed like this but IMO it is needed to get fish immune and keep them immune.

LRS food and all foods do not have disease organisms in them. Most people wouldn't want that rightly so.
There is the problem. If fish never meet disease organisms, they can not stay immune from them.

Immunity in fish, us, Myley Cyrus, Aardvarks, Duck Billed Platypuses and every other living thing requires living disease organisms to stay immune to them.
So, if you do not feed these things, keep quarantining as your fish are not whole fish and have no operating immune system.

That in a nutshell is the reason people fail when they do not quarantine.
Don't downplay my system if you don't know, or don't want to know how to implement it.
Remember, I used to quarantine and was here when we invented it. :cool:

I buy fish with ich, velvet and any other thing I can find just so my fish stay immune. Many times I get fish for free because the store owner knows they will shortly die. I throw them in my tank (and I post about it) The fish may live or die, but the rest of my fish thank me because it strengthens their immunity

Many of my fish are not the easiest to keep and are considered delicate. They wouldn't fare well if I allowed them to get sick.
 

truetricia

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As someone who doesn’t have a QT setup, but wanting to add fish..... any recommendations?

I set up a QT for the one fish I have, but after 3 days he looked BAD. I moved him to the display to try to save him, and a couple weeks later he is doing great.

I would rather not attempt QT again, so I am looking for options
QT usually lack a good biological filtration, and therefore, can easily build up ammonia and nitrates faster than the display and may need water changes more often than a DT. Your DT has a massive support system behind it, from biological to mechanical filtration. Your one QT experience may have been impacted by this. Or it could just be that your fish was stressed from travel and would have done fine after a couple days more in the QT.

Try @Humblefish 's thread on TTM. This is particularly useful and minimizes the possibility of nutrient build-up.
 

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