is quarantining necessary?

Paul B

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The words "expert and great success" gets thrown around a lot on these forums but there are no "experts" in a "Hobby". We can call ourselfs experts if we like, but we are not.

My wife once asked her boss for a raise or better position in the firm. He told her, "if you like you can call yourself Vice President, CEO, treasurer or anything else you like and you can even put one of those little plastic signs on your desk calling yourself that. But you are not getting a raise."

I myself am an expert electrician because I have some pieces of paper that call me that. There are no pieces of paper to qualify anyone as an expert in a hobby. No degrees, no fellowships and no doctorates. No one graduated college with a degree that reads "Fish Hobbiest expert".

We can be good at keeping angelfish, goldfish, octopus, aquascaping, chemistry, DIY, coral husbandry, technical aspects etc. But none of us are great at all of those things.

Some of us have more experience and some have more hair, but we all have our weak points in this. :cool:
 
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ReefRxSWFL

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The words "expert and great success" gets thrown around a lot on these forums but there are no "experts" in a "Hobby". We can call ourselfs experts if we like, but we are not.

My wife once asked her boss for a raise or better position in the firm. He told her, "if you like you can call yourself Vice President, CEO, treasurer or anything else you like and you can even put one of those little plastic signs on your desk calling yourself that. But you are not getting a raise."

I myself am an expert electrician because I have some pieces of paper that call me that. There are no pieces of paper to qualify anyone as an expert in a hobby. No degrees, no fellowships and no doctorates. No one graduated college with a degree that reads "Fish Hobbiest expert".

We can be good at keeping angelfish, goldfish, octopus, aquascaping, chemistry, DIY, coral husbandry, technical aspects etc. But none of us are great at all of those things.

Some of us have more experience and some have more hair, but we all have our weak points in this. :cool:
I have a neighbor on here who has a piece of paper from the University of Florida, that says doctorate in marine biology. He is published in university journals, and has managed coral restoration projects in the Keys.

There are some with more experience and more hair, but those two don't often go together.
 

Smirkish

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I hope you don’t mind my interjecting here...
My aunt has one of those pieces of paper in marine biology, too, and she would probably never call herself an “expert”. She’s a retired teacher in Florida, and something she repeatedly reminded me of while growing up was that “we never stop learning”.

She kept tanks filled with specimens that she and her students retrieved themselves from the Gulf for years, and I remember being little and going into her classroom at different points in time and being amazed by how different it would look each time I came back.

So what does classify someone as an “expert”, then? Is it how old their tank is? Is it a seemingly immeasurable knowledge on the subject? Is it how many fish they have kept alive vs. lost? Quarantine practices? What tech they run? How much growth their coral have?

I think you have areas of expertise, yes, but I don’t think anyone here is an expert in all of the subjects required in this “hobby”. That’s what makes this forum so beneficial. We are all able to use each other’s experience, and I doubt very many of us would be here today without the help of others expertise.

Women get a bit luckier with the hair- gray streaks aren’t so bad, but saltwater doesn’t like a dye job either. ;)
 

ReefRxSWFL

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Just a bit of perspective, the original, out of context “expert” comment was related to folks who have been reefing for 2 to 3 years and watching YouTube videos giving advice as if they are experts.

It had nothing to do with a philosophical dive into what is an expert or not.
 

Smirkish

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Oh I know. And I completely see your point there. You cannot replace hands on experience. I don’t watch YouTube videos, I read a great deal. I just don’t think it’s fair to grade someone on how they obtained their knowledge, whether that be through books and online articles, YouTube, or applied science. If they want to give advice from their own experience, I don’t see an issue with that, I guess. Just take it with a grain of salt, or an ocean maybe lol. In my comments above I was just following along with the commentary and expounding on what Paul was saying.
 
AS

ReefRxSWFL

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Oh I know. And I completely see your point there. You cannot replace hands on experience. I don’t watch YouTube videos, I read a great deal. I just don’t think it’s fair to grade someone on how they obtained their knowledge, whether that be through books and online articles, YouTube, or applied science. If they want to give advice from their own experience, I don’t see an issue with that, I guess. Just take it with a grain of salt, or an ocean maybe lol. In my comments above I was just following along with the commentary and expounding on what Paul was saying.

I get ya, and totally agree. Wherever you learn, if its good info, its good info.

I had to start the hard way, and learn through success and failure until Sprung's book.

Two of my tanks have been up and running for greater than 10 years, and in the last month, its finally getting back to stable after going through several months of issues that started with a bad dino outbreak, that took a few months to get rid of the dinos, get my nutrients back into control and get my corals back from tissue loss, loss of color, and basically looking like crap.

That scenario is usually a sentence to shut down a tank and start over, but fortunately got through it.

Ive seen similar scenarios where thats happened to others, and they started dumping magic potions in their tanks, buying new gear to fix it, because they saw 10 different videos, got 50 different opinions on forums, and just had bad outcomes.

And what does it come down to ...... part experience, a good amount of luck, and not doing knee jerk reactions to a problem.

Nothing good happens fast in a reef tank. And if you try to force it to, it usually lets you know it doesn't like it.
 

Paul B

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I have a neighbor on here who has a piece of paper from the University of Florida, that says doctorate in marine biology.
I also have a cousin who is a Marine Biology professor. For that degree he had to SCUBA dive for a few minutes once. He has never had a fish tank of any type and when he looks at my tank he has no idea what the creatures are or how to take care of them but he can tell you the scientific name of every worm. Maybe if I had a beluga whale he could give me some incite.

His real job is giving people summonses when they are digging for worms and they inadvertently pick up a clam and they don't have a shell fish permit. :oops:
Just a bit of perspective, the original, out of context “expert” comment was related to folks who have been reefing for 2 to 3 years and watching YouTube videos giving advice as if they are experts.
I know, I just had a few minutes and felt like writing something that has no bearing on this conversation. :cool:
 

MnFish1

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Oh I know. And I completely see your point there. You cannot replace hands on experience. I don’t watch YouTube videos, I read a great deal. I just don’t think it’s fair to grade someone on how they obtained their knowledge, whether that be through books and online articles, YouTube, or applied science. If they want to give advice from their own experience, I don’t see an issue with that, I guess. Just take it with a grain of salt, or an ocean maybe lol. In my comments above I was just following along with the commentary and expounding on what Paul was saying.
IMHO, lots of people are not 'experts' even if they have been doing something for an entire career. Many people are experts in small areas/topics even after months-a year - depending on the complexity. I would put anything anyone says on a message board in the 'trust but verify' category. I see Reef's point though as well. I certainly do not consider myself an expert in 'reef-keeping'. But - I have researched certain topics perhaps far more than others, and would consider myself a type of 'expert' on those issues. I have been fish keeping for 40+ years. There are new things that come up every day.
 

RKeenan

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ABSOLUTELY! Had tank running smoothly and all parameters looked great! Added a flame angel without QT and for the first couple of days looked great. 24hrs later it was gone. 4 days later another 7 gone (yellow tang, sailfin, 3 clowns, pyramid, gramma)! After 3rd day figured out was velvet and tried qt cupermine after a fish transfer but it was too late. Only 3 left now. Will not make mistake of not QTing again no matter how good they look!
 
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Sakosreef

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Hot topic for sure, I got sick and tired of having 6 or 7 fish just to add one last fish to the equation that would wipe out all of my existing fish. J would recommend you quarantine your fish and anything wet that goes into the tank. It’s easy to say but much harder to do, if you can’t do the quarantining yourself, tsm aquatics, marine collectors, and dr reefs quarantined fish are a great option to look into. When you have an absolute healthy fish, it’s colors are unlike any other and it allows you to look at your tank without noticing a fish has ich or is flashing often. Goodluck brother
 

ReefRxSWFL

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This has surpassed lighting as a hot button.

Ill try to make this as unbiased as i can.

The fish trade is very stressful on the fish. They are shipped half way around the world, bounced from system to system, which are going to have fish carrying all the pathogens that concern us. A healthy looking fish can have things we cant see, and may not be showing signs of something it has. I think it wise to do what we can to ensure that fishes health and the health of our current livestock. A setup for QT is less than $100, even if you feed that fish with a quality frozen food +/- seaweed depending on species to fatten them up and boost their immune system before meeting their tank mates, who may or may not be friendly cant hurt. Its a cliche, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of having to get a fish out of a DT with live rock and coral to treat an outbreak later. Because after the fact treatment for some pathogens give you 24 to 48 hours before its too late. So you will have to have all of the medications on hand because you may not have the time to purchase the correct treatment before its too late. So chose QT or no QT, with or without medication, but have a plan acceptable to you.

If you want QT options humblefish is an excellent resource. Ive never personally lost a fish because of qt, but ive had loss without. Also if you do quarantine, some species don’t tolerate all methods.
 

Seneca

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I have a continually running copper tank with live rock. I slowly increased the copper level on the live rock over maybe 3 months to try to acclimate whatever was acclimatable. My anecdotal fish losses in QT ( of copper tolerant fish) has been zero out of about a dozen, vs 40% previously out of 2 dozen using a non established QT set up.

I think it really helps to have new fish go into an established comfortable tank with a mess of GHA to snack on. I keep the copper at 2 ppm ( which the live rock keeps rock solid now that it's saturated; copper power).
 

code4

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I also believe an established tank is best. Just never have used copper. I imagine you have another small established tank for other critters who are copper sensitive
 

brandon429

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total loss wipeout $$

fallow and quarantine are the best ways.

fallowing all inverts too may have been required here, to skip that and go dirty fallow is still a 5% risk
 
Maxout

Victory652

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I know there are tons of opinions on quarantining and not quarantining saltwater fish, but i wonder if it is really necessary to quarantine. I would rather not, because im on a tight budget, but if its absolutely necessary, i'll go for it. Thanks for your help
I think this is a mixed bag to be honest. Overall it is good to QT I do not think anyone can say that it is not a helpful and safe step, but knowing where you are buying your fish from is an even better step. There are many LFS's that will qt fish for a small fee. Some are already have fish in QT in the back of their shop that you cannot see. I would ask your lfs what they do to ensure they are getting healthy fish, where do.thw fish come from, will they qt for a small fee, so they give the fish they receive any medicines. Many of these questions can help you set up what you need. As an overall answer to your question. QTing your fish can only bring about a positive change to your fishs health and to add a layer of protection to your DT. Doesn't not have to be a big tank either!
 

MnFish1

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I have a continually running copper tank with live rock. I slowly increased the copper level on the live rock over maybe 3 months to try to acclimate whatever was acclimatable. My anecdotal fish losses in QT ( of copper tolerant fish) has been zero out of about a dozen, vs 40% previously out of 2 dozen using a non established QT set up.

I think it really helps to have new fish go into an established comfortable tank with a mess of GHA to snack on. I keep the copper at 2 ppm ( which the live rock keeps rock solid now that it's saturated; copper power).
my guess is that much of your 'live rock' is 'dead rock' after months in copper - or you're just trying to create resistant parasites - just like people accuse LFS of doing. There are reasons for QT protocols without Live rock. They have been studied - researched - and the best thing - if you're going to use drugs make sure you jknow how much you're dosing. From my reading you cannot do that with rock in a 'hospital tank'. Its fine you're doing it your way - but my guess is you're not doing anything as compared to drop into the tank and hope, - with he risk of resistant organisms. ???
 
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