is quarantining necessary?

MichaelE

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Like usually this topics really has two camps that are heavily entrenched haha.

First of, I don’t think a sterile QT where you bombard the fish with poison (copper) on the of chance that it’s sick is a good idea. That to me is like doing a round of chemo because you might have cancer.
However, a observation tank that is set up like a standard reef tank where you place new arrivals is, in my opinion, very helpful. Mainly to give the fish a break and let’s you get it accustomed to prepared food etc.

Now, I don’t QT my fish and in close to 20 years haven’t had a problem. The only thing I’m worried about is velvet but that doesn’t seem to be as prevalent here in Europe as in the US.
It’s worth mentioning that I only by fish in person that I can observe for an extended period of time.

I do have ich (and probably other stuff to) in my tank but, in my opinion, that only becomes a problem if there’s something seriously of with the tank.

I have seen instances where people have managed velvet in their tanks but that has a much lower chance of success. Fortunately I’ve never even seen marine velvet in real life.
 
AS

MnFish1

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Like usually this topics really has two camps that are heavily entrenched haha.

First of, I don’t think a sterile QT where you bombard the fish with poison (copper) on the of chance that it’s sick is a good idea. That to me is like doing a round of chemo because you might have cancer.
However, a observation tank that is set up like a standard reef tank where you place new arrivals is, in my opinion, very helpful. Mainly to give the fish a break and let’s you get it accustomed to prepared food etc.

Now, I don’t QT my fish and in close to 20 years haven’t had a problem. The only thing I’m worried about is velvet but that doesn’t seem to be as prevalent here in Europe as in the US.
It’s worth mentioning that I only by fish in person that I can observe for an extended period of time.

I do have ich (and probably other stuff to) in my tank but, in my opinion, that only becomes a problem if there’s something seriously of with the tank.

I have seen instances where people have managed velvet in their tanks but that has a much lower chance of success. Fortunately I’ve never even seen marine velvet in real life.
Hopefully you will not. I had one episode. In a 10 year or so old tank - with a total wipe out. But it makes me also wonder - were 'all' of the deaths 'velvet' or related to higher ammonia due to adding a couple large tank.

There are multiple advantages to observing fish before putting them in a tank 1) you can feed appropriately (I tend to feed 'more' when new fish are in the tank so that the new arrival 'eats enough'). 2)If you need to treat the fish - they don't need to be netted, etc. If they die, they can be removed easily (letting a dead fish rot in a tank - MAY - depending on how big cause an ammonia spike/bacterial bloom). 3). You can get the fish healthier with feeding, getting used to your water conditions.
 

MnFish1

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I don't think it matters what system you use. But if you are losing fish before their lifespan, you seem to be doing something wrong.
What about tanks where the fish do not grow to the size they are in nature? Are they doing something wrong? The reason you seem to use only 'old age' or 'their lifespan' is because you have an old tank, and most people don't keep tanks or fish that long. My guess is taking fish out of the ocean (in general) and keeping them is possibly 'doing something wrong'.

But - there is no 'vertebrate' in which every member of the species lives to (EDIT - 'The average lifespan of the species', i.e. Old age). (not counting predation). Thus unless you are either forgetting some of your deaths, or rationalizing them (jumping out, oops - too much zinc, etc etc) - I think its a little disingenuous for you to be telling people 'they are doing something wrong', while at the same time saying 'you don't care what anyone does'
 
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melonheadorion

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i would personally judge on whether to quarantine off of the practices of the store you buy from, and what they have already done with the stock. i get my stuff from a LFS that i have never had any issues with. could i be playing with fire by not quarantining? perhaps, but that is the risk i will take currently. now, if i were to go to a chain place, like petco, i would absolutely quarantine. those poor fish in those stores are in such bad shape (dead fish, dead snails, other diseases can easily be seen), that i wouldnt trust putting them into my tank without quarantine first.
 

iMi

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I also don't agree with prophylactic use of copper or other medicine as part of a quarantine. That's what we call "treatment."

When we ask if quarantine is necessary or not, what we're really asking is what's the level of risk we're willing to accept. With most people, the higher the potential loss, the greater their risk aversiveness. What are the chances I'll introduce a parasite or disease into the main tank? If I do, what is the likelihood it will cause extensive losses? Would I be better off paying for a quarantine tank or spending that money on ways to prevent other potential problems, like a stuck heater or power outage?

That's how I think about it at least. If you can answer these questions and feel comfortable with the plan of actions you take, that's what you should do.
 

tc3driver

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I don't disagree with your point regarding fish developing a strong immune system, and that will happen in your DT. So tell me. Did you and your family run around this last year without a mask asking random people to cough on you to boost your immune system? Do you have unprotected intimacy with any rando you meet in some dive bar to boost your immune system? Im going to guess probably not. Im not sure of your professional background but you may not understand that boosting your immune system is not acheived by exposing ones self to every pathogen out there.

Also, there are way more than one or two people out there doing some good quarantine practices. Heck, even the LFS i go to in the Ft Lauderdale atra runs Copper in their fish systems at 2.0, and maintain it using a Hannah Copper Checker.

The thing about opinions is they can be wrong and based in ignorance. Some folks think heroin is ok and vaccines cause autism in children. Both of which are wrong. And experience doesn't always equal good or correct.

Quarantine is as much about taking a fish that has been ripped from a healthy environment stuck in a box and sent half way across the planet, then bounced from filthy system to filthy system until you bring it home. So look at quarantine as a way to boost the health of the fish that has been through the equivalent of a Cambodian POW camp. Then not to disturb the health of your DT. One way you boost immunity is by feeding frozen seafood, which contains the flora or probiotics that boost their immunity in the wild. Not by picking their nose and eating it.

In a way, yes. Before the Covid popularity my family was exposed to it (proven through antibody tests), I myself got very sick (no hospital, though it was suggested), which exposed my household to the same. So my household has antibodies for Covid, so yes we wear masks because we are forced to do so, not by choice.

Unless they are lab trained, most of those people are probably making mistakes that make their QT less than perfect.

I will grant you that, people make dumb decisions, and then try to justify those justify with silly arguments. However in this case there is documented success in both directions, I am not completely poo pooing people for doing QT, I am just saying that I don't think it is necessary. If someone feels that QT is a requirement for their tank, more power to them. However just blindly doing something without understanding all of the angles causes it to fall into that realm of making dumb decisions. So I am providing my background and experience.

Well fish cannot pick their nose, that was more of a comical factoid. From my standpoint you are adding a stress event when you are moving a fish from one tank to another, a new environment to get used to, etc etc yada yada yada.

Personally, not saying that anyone is wrong to doing QT, Just providing the reasons that I don't.
 

MnFish1

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In a way, yes. Before the Covid popularity my family was exposed to it (proven through antibody tests), I myself got very sick (no hospital, though it was suggested), which exposed my household to the same. So my household has antibodies for Covid, so yes we wear masks because we are forced to do so, not by choice.

Unless they are lab trained, most of those people are probably making mistakes that make their QT less than perfect.

I will grant you that, people make dumb decisions, and then try to justify those justify with silly arguments. However in this case there is documented success in both directions, I am not completely poo pooing people for doing QT, I am just saying that I don't think it is necessary. If someone feels that QT is a requirement for their tank, more power to them. However just blindly doing something without understanding all of the angles causes it to fall into that realm of making dumb decisions. So I am providing my background and experience.

Well fish cannot pick their nose, that was more of a comical factoid. From my standpoint you are adding a stress event when you are moving a fish from one tank to another, a new environment to get used to, etc etc yada yada yada.

Personally, not saying that anyone is wrong to doing QT, Just providing the reasons that I don't.
I don't completely agree with your philosophy about immunology, and your tank looks kind of new (nice though) - I don't think its common biology to 'expose pets, fish, humans, zoo animals' to disease 'by accident' by being careless. It doesn't make common sense (to me). However, I completely agree with you about people who are not 'lab trained' may not be doing medication dosing correctly - and this may cause more problems that its supposed to be solving.

For example - there are multiple threads here - talking about how to use the Hanna PO4 checkers. 99% of the time - people are simply not following the directions. This happens on multiple other threads. I used product xxx it killed yyy. When asked - they decided to double the dose, or use 1/2 the dose etc etc. If people follow the directions I think QT is low risk. Judging by the poll I just put up, I would say that at least according to the results - most people (that answered) didn't QT, and more than a small amount of those that did had no diseased fish.
 

tc3driver

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I don't completely agree with your philosophy about immunology, and your tank looks kind of new (nice though) - I don't think its common biology to 'expose pets, fish, humans, zoo animals' to disease 'by accident' by being careless. It doesn't make common sense (to me). However, I completely agree with you about people who are not 'lab trained' may not be doing medication dosing correctly - and this may cause more problems that its supposed to be solving.

For example - there are multiple threads here - talking about how to use the Hanna PO4 checkers. 99% of the time - people are simply not following the directions. This happens on multiple other threads. I used product xxx it killed yyy. When asked - they decided to double the dose, or use 1/2 the dose etc etc. If people follow the directions I think QT is low risk. Judging by the poll I just put up, I would say that at least according to the results - most people (that answered) didn't QT, and more than a small amount of those that did had no diseased fish.

Yes my reef tank is very new, ~2 months old at this point. I have been fish keeping for nearly 2 decades at this point. Finally made the jump to the salty side.

The whole point of vaccines is to introduce your body to a new pathogen (safely? depends on what you believe), and yes it may not be the best thing in the world to introduce new pathogens to a DT, however I think it is better than the opposing. As I said in a previous post that I lost an entire tank because a new pathogen was introduce after doing very strict QT in a freshwater tank. After that point I stopped doing QT, and yes I have had disease outbreaks in tanks, however most of the fish, plants, inverts, etc have pulled through without major issues, because I started focusing on overall health instead of worrying about introducing something new. I have been a lot more successful after that point.

On the QT tanks, I don't think it is just the dosing (though there is a lot of problems with that, just based on the fact that someone says I have a 100G tank that in reality holds ~90 gallons or 150 gallons with a sump, because tank gallons is based on external dimensions, or displacement, not actual volume that the tank holds). Also cross contamination, not properly cleaning and sterilizing tools and equipment, etc.

I would also go so far as to assume that most people who keep fish aren't very good at identifying when a fish is actually sick. The obvious ones which are generally external parasites (ich, velvet, etc) which I also feel is why these diseases get so much traction, because they are visible. Possibly why we see so many "OMG my fish randomly died!!!!" or not catching it until it is far too late to really do anything about it. I am certainly not claiming to be an expert in any of this, I do feel I am pretty good at noticing a sick fish.
 

MnFish1

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Yes my reef tank is very new, ~2 months old at this point. I have been fish keeping for nearly 2 decades at this point. Finally made the jump to the salty side.

The whole point of vaccines is to introduce your body to a new pathogen (safely? depends on what you believe), and yes it may not be the best thing in the world to introduce new pathogens to a DT, however I think it is better than the opposing. As I said in a previous post that I lost an entire tank because a new pathogen was introduce after doing very strict QT in a freshwater tank. After that point I stopped doing QT, and yes I have had disease outbreaks in tanks, however most of the fish, plants, inverts, etc have pulled through without major issues, because I started focusing on overall health instead of worrying about introducing something new. I have been a lot more successful after that point.

On the QT tanks, I don't think it is just the dosing (though there is a lot of problems with that, just based on the fact that someone says I have a 100G tank that in reality holds ~90 gallons or 150 gallons with a sump, because tank gallons is based on external dimensions, or displacement, not actual volume that the tank holds). Also cross contamination, not properly cleaning and sterilizing tools and equipment, etc.

I would also go so far as to assume that most people who keep fish aren't very good at identifying when a fish is actually sick. The obvious ones which are generally external parasites (ich, velvet, etc) which I also feel is why these diseases get so much traction, because they are visible. Possibly why we see so many "OMG my fish randomly died!!!!" or not catching it until it is far too late to really do anything about it. I am certainly not claiming to be an expert in any of this, I do feel I am pretty good at noticing a sick fish.
I had a recent issue (and yes - this was stupid). Unexpectedly, when a contractor came over when my discus tank was draining (about 240 gallons). well - it drained out all the way (only for a few seconds). But I stupidly asked my son to turn on the water to refill it - which he did - the 'hot' water. That did not go over well with 4 of the 10 fish. (I discovered this fairly quickly). A cascade of stupidity. I've filled and drained that tank 1000 times. 4 mated pairs, etc. Anyone can make a mistake. I'm going to use this as a reason to move things around a little. But still - I feel really stupid and bad for my own mistake
 

tc3driver

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I had a recent issue (and yes - this was stupid). Unexpectedly, when a contractor came over when my discus tank was draining (about 240 gallons). well - it drained out all the way (only for a few seconds). But I stupidly asked my son to turn on the water to refill it - which he did - the 'hot' water. That did not go over well with 4 of the 10 fish. (I discovered this fairly quickly). A cascade of stupidity. I've filled and drained that tank 1000 times. 4 mated pairs, etc. Anyone can make a mistake. I'm going to use this as a reason to move things around a little. But still - I feel really stupid and bad for my own mistake
I think we all have stories like that... Hopefully you still have a couple of mated pairs left. It is through these failures that we learn!
 

MichaelE

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Hopefully you will not. I had one episode. In a 10 year or so old tank - with a total wipe out. But it makes me also wonder - were 'all' of the deaths 'velvet' or related to higher ammonia due to adding a couple large tank.

There are multiple advantages to observing fish before putting them in a tank 1) you can feed appropriately (I tend to feed 'more' when new fish are in the tank so that the new arrival 'eats enough'). 2)If you need to treat the fish - they don't need to be netted, etc. If they die, they can be removed easily (letting a dead fish rot in a tank - MAY - depending on how big cause an ammonia spike/bacterial bloom). 3). You can get the fish healthier with feeding, getting used to your water conditions.
I’m hoping for that as well haha!

In all honesty I’m starting to lean towards implementing a observation only system again like I describe above.
I like the thought of being able to train the fish to eat what I feed the tank without the hassle of other established fish.
Also, although unlikely, I am deathly afraid of velvet and my current stock includes an achilles (does fine with ich present btw hehe) and one of your favorites, a goldflake angel. Simply fish that aren’t to easily replaced and I would be devastated if the dang thing somehow made it in to the tank.
 

Paul B

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I would also go so far as to assume that most people who keep fish aren't very good at identifying when a fish is actually sick. The obvious ones which are generally external parasites (ich, velvet, etc) which I also feel is why these diseases get so much traction, because they are visible.
Actually if you keep fish long enough you can "usually" but not always tell how a fish is feeling and external parasites don't mean much because parasites on the scales of a fish won't affect it's behavior or health much.

You can tell by the angel it swims, where it swims in the water column, how fast of slow it moves or breathes, how it reacts to other fish. How and how much it eats and some fish like a copperband butterfly you can sometimes tell by his eyes as they are one of the fish with a definite expression. But not like a dog or a human,it is very subtle as fish don't have facial muscles. But they do move and focus their eyes.

It's normally pretty easy to tell if a fish is healthy. But it takes many years looking at many of the same species of fish.

My friend who managed a LFS used to get mad at me because I would walk through his store and tell him. This fish will live 2 days, this one a week, this one will croak tonight. Of course I don't know how close I came and fish in a store are always stressed and never in good shape so it is pretty easy to tell a fish that is not feeling good there.

But you can get pretty close. :D

A very healthy fish has sort of a glow that almost no fish in a store will have but fish in the sea have it. Their eyes are clear and not one scale is damaged or out of place. No color is missing or faded which is easy to tell on these Hippo tangs.



Fish with bright colors should look like they have neon lights in them. The camera can't even duplicate the color of this fish. Filling with eggs as this one is is a sure sign of health.


If fish keep their fins clamped, they are not healthy as erect fins in many fish means they are looking for a mate.



You can't tell much by this picture but many fish such as this sunburst anthius will experience very bright colors on the edges of their fins that only very healthy fish will have. Notice the electric blue on the edges of the ventral fins.



You can see that a little on these on the very tips of the fins.





But all fish are different so you have to see that particular type of fish many times and it helps if you can see them in the sea because that is their true colors and behavior ;)
 

MnFish1

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Actually if you keep fish long enough you can "usually" but not always tell how a fish is feeling and external parasites don't mean much because parasites on the scales of a fish won't affect it's behavior or health much.

You can tell by the angel it swims, where it swims in the water column, how fast of slow it moves or breathes, how it reacts to other fish. How and how much it eats and some fish like a copperband butterfly you can sometimes tell by his eyes as they are one of the fish with a definite expression. But not like a dog or a human,it is very subtle as fish don't have facial muscles. But they do move and focus their eyes.

It's normally pretty easy to tell if a fish is healthy. But it takes many years looking at many of the same species of fish.

My friend who managed a LFS used to get mad at me because I would walk through his store and tell him. This fish will live 2 days, this one a week, this one will croak tonight. Of course I don't know how close I came and fish in a store are always stressed and never in good shape so it is pretty easy to tell a fish that is not feeling good there.

But you can get pretty close. :D

A very healthy fish has sort of a glow that almost no fish in a store will have but fish in the sea have it. Their eyes are clear and not one scale is damaged or out of place. No color is missing or faded which is easy to tell on these Hippo tangs.



Fish with bright colors should look like they have neon lights in them. The camera can't even duplicate the color of this fish. Filling with eggs as this one is is a sure sign of health.


If fish keep their fins clamped, they are not healthy as erect fins in many fish means they are looking for a mate.



You can't tell much by this picture but many fish such as this sunburst anthius will experience very bright colors on the edges of their fins that only very healthy fish will have. Notice the electric blue on the edges of the ventral fins.



You can see that a little on these on the very tips of the fins.





But all fish are different so you have to see that particular type of fish many times and it helps if you can see them in the sea because that is their true colors and behavior ;)
True!
 
Maxout

Squidward

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Yes my reef tank is very new, ~2 months old at this point. I have been fish keeping for nearly 2 decades at this point. Finally made the jump to the salty side.
So you're fairly new to SW. You'll find out sooner or later how important qurantine is. Freshwater ich is nowhere on the level of marine ich. There's a member here with a 700g I believe... who had a nasty Wipeout. Even the rich guy from NY with 17,000g tank knows how important qurantine is.
 

ReefRxSWFL

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I don't have an issue with quarantine. I don't like the idea of treatment before diagnosis.
Treatment is a whole different issue than new fish quarantine. Quarantine is easy with medications. You hit the big 4 with copper and general cure, and there are a few types of fish that don’t tolerate medication quarantine well, so you have to use a plan b quarantine for them.

but treatment..... first, you need to be able to retrieve the fish. Then identify correctly and treat effectively.
Tank size becomes an issue, then rock work and coral. For example, my 30 inch deep tank would be almost impossible. Fortunately, that tank is up over 10 years, and unless you are adding a pathogen to a tank that mature, that type of illness from things like ich and velvet are not common due to the microbiome not allowing pathogens to take hold.

on the other hand, my Kole tang recently got a mouth infection , and he is in a 90, so while not easy, i was able to get him out and successfully treat , and get him back to his obnoxious self.

so the cliche rings true about the ounce of prevention, especially when you need to get a fish out of a DT
 

ReefRxSWFL

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I don't have an issue with quarantine. I don't like the idea of treatment before diagnosis.
So you're fairly new to SW. You'll find out sooner or later how important qurantine is. Freshwater ich is nowhere on the level of marine ich. There's a member here with a 700g I believe... who had a nasty Wipeout. Even the rich guy from NY with 17,000g tank knows how important qurantine is.
Can i get an Amen! Freshwater ich is like a mild case of athletes foot compared with saltwater pathogens.

Back around 2006, i dealt with ich in my 150 cichlid tank, and thought it was horrible. I felt like a super hero when i got through it. it was a real wake up when I started in saltwater what marine pathogens can do.

Ive seen many 3 year saltwater experts over the years, and seen many crash and burn hard. Its kind of ironic, but i think the YouTube content, while there is some great content, gives many new reefers “beer muscles” . Its not a substitute for experience, it allows you to get experience with less headaches than folks who have been doing it longer.

is it on the inside of the Apex manual where it says “now an expert” or is it right on the cover? Lol.

My first guidance was a hardcover book by Julian Sprung.

Disclaimer: i have controllers on all of my tanks. Just not made by Neptune. Im sure Apex owners are wonderful people, but the owners club has attack dogs if you fail to appropriately worship.
 

Paul B

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Ive seen many 3 year saltwater experts over the years, and seen many crash and burn hard.
Most people here have way more time in this hobby than 3 years, but also, none of us are experts. Not even close :rolleyes:
 
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ReefRxSWFL

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Most people here have way more time in this hobby than 3 years, but also, none of us are experts. Not even close
Most people here have way more time in this hobby than 3 years, but also, none of us are experts. Not even close :rolleyes:

I don't know if I agree with most more than 3 years, and definitely disagree with none are experts, because there are quite a few. Unless you mean from a holistic, earthy, crunchy kind of way.
 
Maxout

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