New fish and quarantining is almost ruining the hobby for me

Lasse

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Your live rock most likely absorbed some copper, which means they can release it back into the water, pretty risky to add corals to that. Rocks absorbing medications is the reason you don’t use them in QT
I have heard this many, many times - but is it true? My experiences when dosing copper in a tank with limestone is that in a week or so - it has totally disappeared from the water column. The same will happens the second time, the third time and so on. Zero in the water - all in the limestone. Never seen it coming back into the water column. Why should it come back? If it is true that it will dissolve back - systems that have been treated many times - you will not need to put in copper - the limestone will fix it. Never seen that. Is there anyone that no exactly what´s happen? @Randy Holmes-Farley - do you know?

Sincerely Lasse
 
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Flame2hawk

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Your live rock most likely absorbed some copper, which means they can release it back into the water, pretty risky to add corals to that. Rocks absorbing medications is the reason you don’t use them in QT
Thx. It does take a long time but I have been successful in getting consistent 0 readings (using Hanna tester) for copper after treatment in a FOWLR. In any event won’t add anything, if ever to tank until I;’m confident all is good. I;ve had mushrooms do fine in slight copper so might just add to that population. Its more about the fish for me anyway! Best,
 

Paul B

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I never intended for this thread to be yet another QT vs not QT but I do appreciate all the insights provided in all answers.

Thats why I won't respond to this thread except good luck whichever way you decide to go. It's totally your decision. :cool:
 

JaykS

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I had seen a suggestion to use plastic bio balls for this reason (Elliot from Marine Collectors). I now have a bag of them in my sump so i can toss them into a new QT tank should I need to spin one up.
That’s what I’m using in a mess bag submerged in the water. Sat in my sump during the cycle and stayed for a month
 

Glass Algae

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I'm sad to hear that. I was sort of in the same boat. I got into the hobby for coral I had no real interest in fish till I joined the forum and was told it would speed things along substantially. So now I have a clown and a cleaner shrimp neither quarantined but I think I lucked out. I Def won't be adding more fish. Maybe a snail but I'm focusing on coral, I didn't get into reefs to become a veterinarian.

When I make a new tank I probably will get once again 1 fish but I'll probably pay for quarantine at that point I don't have room for more than one active tank
 

CindyKz

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This takes me to another point though. How can an inexperienced reefer safely rely on observation QT? I obviously missed the velvet even after having my new fish in observation. Can observing the behavior be sufficient or do I need to educate myself further on common diseases symptoms? I do understand that this approach is easier on the fish but then I am back to the anxiety of potentially missing signs of disease.

I would turn this question around: "how can an inexperienced reefer safely administer multiple potentially toxic medications"? Each approach has a steep, albeit different, learning curve. I think new reefers need to learn how to simply care for fish before they start learning how to care for them with meds.

Each approach requires self- education. Either way, time and energy are needed for success.


I agree with OP. While I understand the reason for QT.
All meds, even in humans have side effects.

This, exactly. When I read about a reefer giving 2 or 3 random meds I cringe, thinking of the first day of my first Pharmacology class where the professor stood in front of us and said "There is NO such thing as a medication without side effects. NONE."

It's all a personal risk vs. benefit decision.
 
OP
Benoit Martin

Benoit Martin

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I would turn this question around: "how can an inexperienced reefer safely administer multiple potentially toxic medications"? Each approach has a steep, albeit different, learning curve. I think new reefers need to learn how to simply care for fish before they start learning how to care for them with meds.

Each approach requires self- education. Either way, time and energy are needed for success.




This, exactly. When I read about a reefer giving 2 or 3 random meds I cringe, thinking of the first day of my first Pharmacology class where the professor stood in front of us and said "There is NO such thing as a medication without side effects. NONE."

It's all a personal risk vs. benefit decision.
@CindyKz, can I then assume that you are doing observation QT and only medicate when you see signs of disease? It is what sounds like the most reasonable approach for the fish's sake but then I need to turn into a disease (at least the common ones) expert to detect symptoms.
Unless you think that the symptoms of common diseases are easy enough to spot
 

mitch91175

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OBSERVE fish at purchase:

Look and ask to see it eat
Observe breathing- should not be labored
No itching or twitching
How does it interact with tank mates
Any blemishes or dots on skin

Acclimation once purchased also Very important. Float for 20 mins and empty fish and bag in clean bucket and add a cup of tank water to bucket evry 15 mins 6 times. Use same cup and scoop fish and release into QT or Display tank


Something I wonder more about than anything is the acclimation process. I know someone that sells seahorses. Their suggested acclimation process is strictly temperature acclimation.

Something else I wonder on is we suggest giving our fish temporary relief from an ailment with a freshwater dip. When doing the freshwater dip, after are people actually bringing the fish back up to the salinity slowly where it will be housed?

QT is very hard on fish and yes you will loose a lot of fish during QT.

I have a friend that had a terrible case of ich in his main tank. Fish were covered (all fish had signs of ich). He didn't pull his fish from the tank. Instead, he just kept feeding the fish quality seaweed and the normal foods. Throughout the whole ordeal, he didn't loose any fish and they all are still with him.

I know velvet and a few others are completely different stories.

OP, yes the supply chain has a lot of sick fish going through it. Back in the day, I do not remember it being this bad.
 
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CindyKz

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@CindyKz, can I then assume that you are doing observation QT and only medicate when you see signs of disease? It is what sounds like the most reasonable approach for the fish's sake but then I need to turn into a disease (at least the common ones) expert to detect symptoms.
Unless you think that the symptoms of common diseases are easy enough to spot


Hi, yes. I have an observation quarantine set up with rock, sand, and a small CUC. It's completely separate from my other tanks. I keep it set up all the time. I have various smaller tanks available to use as hospital tanks if needed.

I am far from being an expert in fish diseases. I'm sure I miss a lot more than I spot, and then when I do spot something I'm no expert at treating it.

But at the risk of sounding inhumane, the ones I miss die in quarantine and my display tanks remain safe. But at least this way I don't feel like I'm torturing a living creature (at least not any more than we do by the nature of the hobby). I can blame Mother Nature, not myself :) And tbh, I have lost a lot fewer fish this way than I did with so-called "sterile" quarantine tanks and medications. I know people on this forum say that disease is rampant, etc, but I haven't really experienced that. Most fish spend their 6 weeks in my QT, then go on to live in one of my 2 display tanks. Neither of which shows any sign of disease.

I will add that I think observational quarantine requires time. 4 weeks is my absolute minimum, 6 weeks more likely. I've spread it out to a couple of months several times. I think it takes time for any disease process to gain enough foothold for me to recognize it. A week or 2 won't do the trick. I set aside 15 minutes (at least) each day to just sit and quietly observe the fish so that i have ample opportunity to catch problems.
 
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AbjectMaelstroM

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I kind of have my feet in both buckets. My plan going into the hobby was to QT everything Humblefish style.

After my first pair of fish (obligatory Clowns lol) whom went through the full regiment but never showed any signs, I felt bad putting them through it.

My next set of fish, diamond goby, firefish and a flame hawk I decided to observe first. Week two I stated seeing scratching in firefish, then Dimond goby, then lastly flame hawk; then they stated yawning. Over the period of two days it got to the point where they were flashing every few minutes and firefish was breathing rapidly. At that point I went into Humblefish mode, treating with Prazi then Chloroquine Phosphate. 4 weeks later in observation, they were scratching again and yawning. Did a FW dip... Flukes.. Still. Yay for prazi resistant flukes. Did 4 rounds of prazi 3 days apart (very aggressive by anyone's measure) and so far it seems to have done it.

Fast forward two months, wife brings home a baby sailfin tang. Looked healthy in LFS. Drop him into non medicated sterile QT. Two days later, ich spots. Drop in CP and two weeks later his clear. This time I'm not waiting for flukes and treating with GC, then observation then DT.

Long story short (kinda), is it hard for someone new to the hobby to manage a new tank AND administer medications? Sure. But I would argue with the wealth of information and minds ( Paul B, Big G, Humblefish, etc) avaliable to us its not rocket science. But, just like everything else in this hobby, requires due diligence of research. While some like Paul B have been extremely successful with their method by any measure, there are a ton of newbies, with a new tank and little to no knowledge of balanced ecosystem and nutrition, whom buy a bunch of fish at LFS only to bring them home and watch them die of a multitude of diseases that plague the distribution chain. As for financial aspect of it, if you can spend 800 on lights and $40 on a bucket of salt, you can spend $50 to set up a QT... People's frugality seems very dynamic/strange when it comes to this hobby (I mean just read any thread about a new premium light that comes out lol).

So much for long story short, huh... Lol. Anyway, I'd love to be able to come home and just drop the fish in, but reality is the deck is stacked against us. Especially when you're a newbie. For me, it's QT unless you come from a vendor that QT's (that goes for fish, coral, CUC).

OK I'll get off my soapbox now.
 

Calm Blue Ocean

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Hi, yes. I have an observation quarantine set up with rock, sand, and a small CUC. It's completely separate from my other tanks. I keep it set up all the time. I have various smaller tanks available to use as hospital tanks if needed.

I am far from being an expert in fish diseases. I'm sure I miss a lot more than I spot, and then when I do spot something I'm no expert at treating it.

But at the risk of sounding inhumane, the ones I miss die in quarantine and my display tanks remain safe. But at least this way I don't feel like I'm torturing a living creature (at least not any more than we do by the nature of the hobby). I can blame Mother Nature, not myself :) And tbh, I have lost a lot fewer fish this way than I did with so-called "sterile" quarantine tanks and medications. I know people on this forum say that disease is rampant, etc, but I haven't really experienced that. Most fish spend their 6 weeks in my QT, then go on to live in one of my 2 display tanks. Neither of which shows any sign of disease.

I will add that I think observational quarantine requires time. 4 weeks is my absolute minimum, 6 weeks more likely. I've spread it out to a couple of months several times. I think it takes time for any disease process to gain enough foothold for me to recognize it. A week or 2 won't do the trick. I set aside 15 minutes (at least) each day to just sit and quietly observe the fish so that i have ample opportunity to catch problems.

I have been considering setting up a similar observation system. I'm wondering what you do with your tank if something serious does occur? For example, if you get ich in your observation tank it is now "infected" so do you break it down and bleach everything and start again or do you let it go fallow for 76+ days?
 

AbjectMaelstroM

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My LFS takes the saltwater fish and soaks in freshwater tank for a good 20-30 seconds I'd never seen that done before!

Sounds like a half-baked freshwater dip... Which while works for a lot of disease as a temporary relief (3-5 min bath), for 20-40 seconds does little to nothing other than stressing out the fish.
 

CindyKz

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I have been considering setting up a similar observation system. I'm wondering what you do with your tank if something serious does occur? For example, if you get ich in your observation tank it is now "infected" so do you break it down and bleach everything and start again or do you let it go fallow for 76+ days?

I let it sit fallow. I am close to fully stocked anyway so it sits empty quite a lot of time. I don't want to bleach the live rock either.
 
Fritz

BobT

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After losing a tank full of fish to Ich, I'm a QT dude now. I set up a 20 gallon with a couple of sponge filters and resin decorations for hiding spots (no rock or substrate). Acclimate fish once to QT where they spend 30 days. One week with PraziPro, 2 weeks with copper (Hanna checker a must have), and the last week is just my safety net. To reduce (can't eliminate) stress for entry into DT I make sure all water parameters match (salinity, alk, ph, temp) and then I can do a fast transfer into DT. I do early in morning with lights off and then feed as soon as lights come on and throughout the day. Has worked well for me. I've also read about using Safety Stop rapid fish quarantine bath, but that looked to be even more stressful to the fish (and me).

Also agree with all the advice regarding choosing of new fish from LFS - need to force yourself to take the time to carefully observe - I even use the magnifier on my phone to double check:)

While new arrivals are in QT I use the time to really feed them well and get them ready for DT community life.

Many ways will be offered - find what's best for you and happy reefing!
 

Thespammailaccount

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Some places will quarantine fish before you buy. The only difference is you will not do a drip acclimation since they are shipped you will float the bag to acclimate to temp then immediately place in tank
 

Thaxxx

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Something else I wonder on is we suggest giving our fish temporary relief from an ailment with a freshwater dip. When doing the freshwater dip, after are people actually bringing the fish back up to the salinity slowly where it will be housed?
This is a great question I've wondered about.
The general consensus is never bring salinity up too fast. This breaks that rule big time.
Going from 0 to 100 in one second. That's gotta hurt.
My question is is there any materials on this subject that we know, that tells us bringing up salinity fast is harmful to fish? Also it seems the general consensus is taking the salinity down fast isn't as harmful? I'm guessing it has something to do with the swim bladder? Anyone know where I can read about this?
 

45bravo

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So I honestly never quarantined anything, dipped some corals if they came from an individual, but I'd just take them straight from the store, my work, then dump them through a net over a bucket and straight into the tank they went didn't even acclimate to temp. Very seldom did I ever have even ich. I've lost a few fish you know probably $5-600 worth over the course of 4-5 years, but never anything I could chock up to straight diseases. If I ordered fish from somewhere it was different I'd drip acclimate them because they hadn't only been in the bag for 20 min.

Maybe it was just because I was taking care of the tanks at the store the same as mine at home so the parameters were similar and i knew it.
 
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