Q for everyone are you FOR or AGAINST QT

For or against QT


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Soren

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These answers are mine and mine alone. Other "non-QTers" might agree or not. Everyone has their own view.

Until recently I have used Tropic Marin Pro. Had to change to the regular Tropic Marin because of difficulty getting the Pro. I just started using NSW because I am cheap.

Meh. Six of one half a dozen of the other. I don't see much of difference.

The synthetics have a come a long way. There are some traces that they limit or keep out because of hobbyst pressure, but I just dose those back in.

I am very close to the Gulf. Also the place that I can collect from is cleaner than where I was before, so I take advantage of that. I don't think you should use NSW unless it is cheaper for you. It seems that paying a higher cost for the water provides little benefit.

Yes

I recommend live rock for all types of tanks. A mix of rock is fine, but the dead rock takes quite some time to seed even with quality live rock. I am not against dead rock, it just is much more difficult to build boiology using this. You are counting on additions to your tank to seed biodiversity. In a fish only system with a dead rock start this ends up being a very very difficult proposition.

I don't like large tanks the physical size and weight scare me. I don't sleep well at night when an aquarium starts to push 80 gallons. Where I am at glass aquariums are the most common and glass scares me even more. This is a huge limitation for me because larger tanks are much much much more forgiving. One of the counter-intuitive facts in this hobby is that small aquariums are much more difficult to keep. I try to keep my tanks between 20-40 gallons. I prefer 1/2 cubes because of the surface area (better gas exchange). I also like this look. I have worked with bigger tanks and larger systems but I prefer smaller even though they are more difficult.

I have a mixed reef, but have run all in the past.

Yes conceptually. Using a concept will provide different implementations for each.

Refugiums are mis-understood. Running micro-fauna through a return pump is a bad idea and IMO destroys the benefit. I wouldn't call what most people make a refugium. That said, I run the DT as the "refugium". Sometimes because of fish selection you want a seperate area to grow things out. This is in my mind a valid approach.

I do not use skimmers because I believe that the benefit of gas exchange outways the destruction of free floating life. I have used skimmers in the past, they are excellent for gas exchange, but that is how I view them. I don't like them for export.

I do not and will never use UV. All destruction no benefit.

No ozone. Hard to control. I have considered it but I have found other ways to deal with the benefits it brings.

I use plenums. I have used them for many many years. I currently use them for trace elements and micro fauna. The have specfic ways that they need to be implemented for them to work properly. Most information online doesn't work well. Also the fear of H2S is unfounded. I ran an anaerobic digester and was dumping pretty large amounts of H2S into the tank. It wasn't great but it didn't kill. I think H2S gets a bad rap because in an anoxic situation when the area gets opened up and goes aerobic, the resulting ammoniu and nitrite spike is what will kill.

For me the plenums provide anoxic break down, but more importantly they provide a low leve stable buffer calcium addition. Kind of like a low level calcium reactor. My 20 gallon ran for 5 years on a small plenum and it grew stylo an porities. This was not ideal and the levels where not ideal, but it shows that the low level constant addition is important.

The straight under gravel is sub optimal, though usable. I haven't used one of those in years, and would probably never use one again.

Very very diverse. Soft coral, to LPS to SPS. To say mixed reef is kind of an understatement for my tank.

My tank currently favors LPS, because they are for me easier to care for. I have just recently began being able to keep the more difficult SPS, so my tank is changing in that respect.

I don't really water change. My wife gets bored and picks algae out of the tank. We feed life white worms, which is pretty challenging. We also do some maintence with those. I am working on phyto grow out, so I am in ramp up with that. I have been testing KH daily for a bit because I am trying to get my relatively new CaRx dialed in. The CaRx has been difficult because of my low demand on a smaller tank. I have figured out tricks though that are working to deal with that problem. I dose iron filings daily. Check specific gravity regularly because I haven't figured out how I want my top off to work. I also check my controller from my desktop daily for temp.

Mostly I think that KH is the most important because it will tell you to check others if it gets out of line. I think magnesium is really important, and I think iron is super important. Observation is a really good skill to have and it comes with experience. I can tell when something is starting to slide out of whack. It is way better to catch something early than to have it get out of control before you notice it. It is also really important that when you do figure out something is wrong that you don't panic and start changing things. This is a really bad tendency, and it takes experience to be patient and figure out what has happened and the best way to deal with it.

Ohhh hell no! What I do today is light years ahead of the things in the past. The learning with this hobby has been constant. Much of what I do to today comes from the many many failures of the past.

Biodiversity means balance to me. I have dinos, they are not out of control. They are not particularly welcome, but I am not going to go on a jihad to remove them. I believe in de-centralization. This is a really inefficient way to deal with the world, but the HUGE upside is that catastrophic failures are heavily muted. I think of it like good insurance. Pyramid vs Monlith. Mostly the tank will settle into it's own rythm. I add stuff on occasion, but I just try to keep the tank from the physical stable so the nothing dies back too much.
Thanks so much for the detailed response, @HuduVudu !
I fully understand that, for each of us, our own methods are based on personal factors and experiences and on our own research and are ultimately opinions. This is exactly why I look for information like that which you provided so I can research and try to understand each specific facet of the different methods available.

I'm going to re-read all of your points and take them into my considerations for my build.

One thing seems certain to me: regardless of methodology, QT or not, stability is an important key and requires both significant research and proper maintenance of the method employed.
 

Soren

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I'll try to answer your questions (imbedded below to make it easier for me to keep track of them).

1. Do you use natural or synthetic sea water? ...and is this different for QT systems versus display systems? Do you advocate for or against natural versus synthetic sea water, or are either acceptable? Are the different types used by you for different purposes? I use synthetic most of the time, but I have used NSW in the past with no discernable difference.

2. Do you use ocean-direct live rock and/or dry rock? ...other materials for biological filtration? I use all three: we acquired cultured live rock from a site in the keys, we use dry rock in some tanks, and then, for tanks with copper, we use non-carbonate filter media (biobales, filter sand, bioblocks, etc.)

3. What estimated size in gallons are the systems with which you have experience, both for display alone and whole-system? Wow - 6 ounce pico reef to 140,000 gallons tropical saltwater and 500,000 when i worked at the Shedd.

4. Do you run reefs, FOWLR's, or both? Are your recommendations regarding QT or no QT or your methodology for disease prevention the same for each? Both - and many systems that are fish only without live rock. I use the same quarantine for all systems.

5. Do you use refugiums or other methods to include marine plant/algae growth for all-natural nutrient export? Do you use skimmers? Do you use UV systems? Do you use ozone? Do you use plenums, under-gravel or reverse under-gravel filters? Which of these do you consider a significant benefit to your system and why? Do you consider any of these significantly counter-productive/harmful to your methodology of reef-keeping? Yes to all, depending on the need. As they say, it's complicated. I do not use UV for protozoan or metazoan disease control, only to control free floating algae in ponds and to reduce bacterial counts in touch tanks and sea jellies.

6. How diverse are your coral populations? Do you have many different types of corals or more of one type (such as LPS, SPS, soft corals, etc.)? We have one 2500 gallon SPS and one 2500 gallon softie systems.


7. What types of maintenance do you do and how often? Ah, too complicated to answer that.

8. What parameters do you consider critical to measure versus how much of your system control comes from enough experience to observe and feel when things are right or wrong? Also too complicated to answer, depends on the system.

9. Have you always done things more or less by your current methodology, or have you tried different methods and found different success/failure rates? I've certainly modified my process of the past 50 years, and I continue to revise it. I do NOT however experiment with outlying methods as it can put fish at more risk.

10. When recommending QT, do you always include prophylactic medication (with exception for delicate species)? Do you ever recommend observation-and-isolation-only QT? Do you ever make exceptions for yourself due to your experience level versus your recommendations to people of any experience level? Always preventative QT.

11. What does "biodiversity" mean to you and how significant is it to your systems in your estimation? How do you initiate and maintain your desired level of biodiversity? Microbiomes in tanks develop over time, and in response to stocking (natural LR, etc.) So - time is the main criteria, longer set up time, the better.

Jay
Thanks, @Jay Hemdal ! I appreciate your experience and find these points worth considering before I know if/how to QT properly. I have more reading and research to do.

@Soren
Seeing as you asked me by tagging me it would be rude not to answer your important genuine questions so here goes.

1/ I don't live near the sea so I have to use synthetic salt. I would NSW if I live close enough to a clean source here in the UK.
2/ most of the rock I have in my aquarium has been transferred from tank to tank over the years suplimented from tank breakdowns where no meds have been used. Downside to that is some were high in PO4 but that reduces in time along with the GHA that Sprung from it.
3/ My reef aquarium and sump holds approximately 100 US gallons.
4/reef only. But have had fish only many years ago using reverse flow under gravel filtration.
5/ in my sump I have a skimmer, waterfall ATS. Siporax Oxydator and a reactor with a small amount of iron oxide to keep my nitrate and phosphate in balance. My ATS takes care of nitrate.
6/ I have LPS, SPS anemones and a few soft corals. I have a large Gorgonian and some largish Euphilias and Duncan corals that I frag now and again.
7/ I hardly ever do water changes and when I do am not really sure why I do them.
8/ I test for nitrate, phosphate and KH but to no regular regime.
9/ many years ago I ran UG then Reverse flow UG filtration. Later on a built a sump with 3up and under baffles with various filter media in them plus a skimmer and some filter wool. I also had a trough on the sump as a trickle filter.
10/ I add very little biodiversity wise. I cultivate my own pods and add those for food for my fish, make my own foods and add krill oil to them before feeding. I don't add mud or sand from UK beaches our water are too cold so am not sure anything within would survive long.
Thanks, @atoll ! Having insight into your practices is, in my opinion, very helpful to the original question and the stances that we take. I have even more reading and research to do!

I use 100% NSW now because I live near the sea. I started my tank with NSW because ASW wasn't invented or for sale then. But for most of the life of my tank, I used ASW like most people because I couldn't get the real stuff. I just back up to the beach and pump it into containers.


There was no live rock int he 70s so I used dead coral skeletons like everyone else. Then I dove for my rock and collected it near shore. By now most of my rock was replaced with cement rock I built because I like it better as I can build it in any shape and size I like. I still collect a little local rock along with amphipods.

My tank is 125 gallons. I have also helped start three LFSs and I collected sea water for one of them.


I have a reef and recommend the same thing for all systems. In the beginning there were no reefs so it was fish only.



I do not have a refugium because my entire tank is so natural with many things from the sea.
I have a DIY skimmer and a DIY algae scrubber. My tank also runs a reverse undergravel filter and has since almost the beginning in the 70s.
I think the reverse undergravel system with gravel is the best system by far. I use dolomite gravel probably not available any longer.
I also use ozone. For the last 4 years my ozone has been off because the thing broke. Now I have it back. I use ozone for water conditions, not parasite control as I think that is silly and I don't want to kill parasites.

I also think an algae scrubber is a great thing to have. I feel a UV light is counter productive to a reef tank.


I have LPS, SPS mushrooms many gorgonians and to many sponges. I also have about 30 fish.


My tank requires very little maintenance besides feeding and cleaning the glass. I collect and change 40 gallons of water about 4 times a year. I test every few weeks and thats about it.

I dose calcium and alk by hand


I don't consider any parameters to critical. I keep them close to what they are supposed to be but I don't get crazy. Right now my salinity is 0.19. I will dump some salt into my undergravel (slowly) when I get a chance. Putting up the Christmas tree now. :)


I started the hobby when it started. As soon as I got back from Viet Nam I started up my tank again. It was brackish before I got drafted.

I used a regular UG filter then because that was what we all used in fresh water. That was a disaster. They also didn't have liquid copper so I used pennies. I didn't invent that it was "Robert Straughn, the Father of Salt Water Fish Keeping and the author of the book The Salt Water Aquarium in the Home" which was written in the 50s.

I used that copper along with other Human medications that I devised as there was no salt water medications. I got them fro doctors and pharmisists.

I also found out that I can cure ich in 24 hours using copper and Quinicrine Hydrocloride. For some reason people don't use that now but I think it is in my book.


I don't recommend quarantine unless it is a completely new tank with new asw and new rock with a new owner.


I go to a muddy beach and lift rocks that I swirl in a bucket for the amphipods, copepods and bacteria. I also add mud and mud snails. I feed clams that are fresh. I freeze them so I can keep them. This is very important for my system because I want the living gut bacteria that is the key to keeping my fish immune. I also raise live white worms.

Here is my thread from 2011 about my tank.

I don't have a recent picture on this computer but this is a year old. I will try to add a recent picture later.

Thanks, @Paul B ! I appreciate your experiences and your willingness to share. Now I have even more reading and research to do!
 

costaricareef

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You win at craps for a while. Eventually the 7 will come up. You can go all-in in every hand, eventually you will lose your entire stack. If you keep not doing QT for long enough, you will have disease in your system and may lose your fish. It's that simple. QT lowers the probability that a pathogen will get into your system. It will not bring it down to zero. Don't like it, don't do it. Too much work, don't do it. Don't have room, don't do it. Cross your fingers really, really hard every time you put something in your system then, that's ok. When giving beginners advice, it's irresponsible to say in "47 years I have never done QT and have never lost a fish". Odds are you are not telling the whole story.
 

bert236

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I just lost a royal gramma in qt to a bacterial infection that ate its tail and flesh on its side plus part of another fin. The fish was fine the first day or two as well so imagine introducing that to your display tank. You are playing Russian roulette with no qt. This fish was bought from a medicated system with anti bacterial medication used.
 

Soren

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Some great questions and great answers there really interesting read. Thank you all for sharing your experience and thank you @Soren for the well thought out, genuine questions :).
Yes, it seems to me that the question between QT/no QT is a very complicated one with a proper position on both sides.

In today's world where it seems everyone wants a simple, immediate fix to every problem, I think it is very dangerous to answer this thread's question too generally.

If someone is fool-hardy with additions without QT and does not have a stable system like some of the members on this thread, they could likely end up with massive issues and possible wipe-out. In order to not QT, many more considerations as mentioned in the answers above need to be made that have been done by those such as @Paul B @atoll and @HuduVudu and may directly contribute to the success without QT. It is not random success.

If someone is too quick to employ the use of medication in a nearly-bare (therefore very potentially unstable) QT system, there are a lot of opportunities for something to go wrong and cause problems/deaths. In order to QT properly, research and understanding are necessary of the methods employed by @Jay Hemdal and similar others so they can be properly utilized.

The final result we all hope for is a system with limited enough disease vectors and enough immunity to keep our systems without outbreaks or deaths. Both QT/no QT may lead to this point, but have very different methodologies in order to do so.
 
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N.Sreefer

N.Sreefer

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I just lost a royal gramma in qt to a bacterial infection that ate its tail and flesh on its side plus part of another fin. The fish was fine the first day or two as well so imagine introducing that to your display tank. You are playing Russian roulette with no qt. This fish was bought from a medicated system with anti bacterial medication used.
The issue with anti bacterial medication is resistance, the necrotic infection your royal gramma contracted may have been antibiotic resistant. I believe medicating prophylactically is playing russian roulette. Esp with antibiotics, eventually it will render them useless.

Edit: @Jay Hemdal how common is necrotising fasciitis in fish? Is it strep that causes it in fish? Would anti bacterial medication of any sort work in treating it if there's little physical damage already done?
 
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bert236

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The issue with anti bacterial medication is resistance, the necrotic infection your royal gramma contracted may have been antibiotic resistant. I believe medicating prophylactically is playing russian roulette. Esp with antibiotics, eventually it will render them useless.

Edit: @Jay Hemdal how common is necrotising fasciitis in fish? Is it strep that causes it in fish? Would anti viral medication work in treating it if there's little physical damage already done?
I don’t medicate prophylactically because I’m in Canada and honestly can’t easily or cheaply. I wouldn’t do it either way tbh. My qt up until this point was essentially an observation tank that could be medicated if needed. Only thing I had access to was melafix and it died less than 24 hours later and it kept getting worse. I really wish I had taken some pictures of it to help Id what it was but I was pretty bummed out about how things turned out and wasn’t thinking about it. I guess I would say if you aren’t doing observational qt you are playing Russian roulette because I do agree with your comment.
 
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N.Sreefer

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I don’t medicate prophylactically because I’m in Canada and honestly can’t easily or cheaply. I wouldn’t do it either way tbh. My qt up until this point was essentially an observation tank that could be medicated if needed. Only thing I had access to was melafix and it died less than 24 hours later and it kept getting worse. I really wish I had taken some pictures of it to help Id what it was but I was pretty bummed out about how things turned out and wasn’t thinking about it. I guess I would say if you aren’t doing observational qt you are playing Russian roulette because I do agree with your comment.
Sorry for your loss. I am also in Canada so I feel your pain with how difficult it is to get medication for exotic animals. Has to be the most ridiculous law ever passed who is going to get a prescription from a vet for a fish? I don't medicate my fish but I cant even get my reptiles dewormed without bring each one to the vet that costs a fortune. Esp with snakes and larger "dangerous" lizards but I digress..
 

bert236

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Sorry for your loss. I am also in Canada so I feel your pain with how difficult it is to get medication for exotic animals. Has to be the most ridiculous law ever passed who is going to get a prescription from a vet for a fish? I don't medicate my fish but I cant even get my reptiles dewormed without bring each one to the vet that costs a fortune. Esp with snakes and larger "dangerous" lizards but I digress..
Thank you. Was bound to happen but still feels ******. At least it seems like it was nothing I did to cause it so doesn’t feel as bad. It was getting bad towards the end to so I’m glad it’s not suffering any more I just stupidly thought I could get it past the worst and heal it. Luckily there is a vet near me who deals with fish medications but I was warned the costs are way to high for it to realistically be an option. May call them after this and just see what they think some of the stuff may end up costing. The store is trying to blame seachem prime for it lol but it seems to be some kind of flesh eating bacteria and something that worked fast.
 

costaricareef

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This is what people say when they don't understand.
Not really. I understand fully. The odds are not in your favor. You've been lucky to an extent if that's what you have been doing. Conditions may exist in your systems that help out when issues arise, but if you do it long enough, sooner rather than later, there will be a bullet in the chamber when playing Russian Roulette. Again, QT does NOT bring the probability down to zero, but it improves the odds. Not to admit this is just strange. In a place with 1%-2% of the people with an STD for example, if you don't use protection, sooner or later you'll get the STD. It may be manageable though, depending on your risk tolerance.
 

HuduVudu

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I understand fully. The odds are not in your favor. You've been lucky to an extent if that's what you have been doing.
If you understand fully and you know what I have been doing, perhaps you can tell me how long I have been in the hobby. While you are at it maybe you can tell me how many tanks I have had in that time period.

I'll wait.
 
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N.Sreefer

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Not really. I understand fully. The odds are not in your favor. You've been lucky to an extent if that's what you have been doing. Conditions may exist in your systems that help out when issues arise, but if you do it long enough, sooner rather than later, there will be a bullet in the chamber when playing Russian Roulette. Again, QT does NOT bring the probability down to zero, but it improves the odds. Not to admit this is just strange. In a place with 1%-2% of the people with an STD for example, if you don't use protection, sooner or later you'll get the STD. It may be manageable though, depending on your risk tolerance.
To be fair to the immunity group, the against in this. Some people have been lucky for a very long time its unlikely to "win at craps" for 50 years. Unless you have the world biggest horseshoe hidden somewhere.
 

costaricareef

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If you understand fully and you know what I have been doing, perhaps you can tell me how long I have been in the hobby. While you are at it maybe you can tell me how many tanks I have had in that time period.

I'll wait.
I would never presume to know that about you. Why would I? All I know about you or your opinions is what you have volunteered on this thread. This is not personal. But I do understand that your odds of success (interperetd by me from your posts as 100% with every tank and every fish without QT) are lower in the long term. It's just math.
 

flourishofmediocrity

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I would never presume to know that about you. Why would I? All I know about you or your opinions is what you have volunteered on this thread. This is not personal. But I do understand that your odds of success (interperetd by me from your posts as 100% with every tank and every fish without QT) are lower in the long term. It's just math.
Its math and biology. Immunity isn't infinite and being immune does NOT mean the fish can't get sick or die from it. If the population of a parasite explodes in one of those tanks, the fish's immune system may not withstand the event. The "immunity" idea is based on several logical fallacies and some assumptions that are simply not correct.
 

HuduVudu

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HuduVudu

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Since you have me blocked me this should be easy.
Its math and biology.
Ummmm ... can you describe how those two ideas intersect.
Immunity isn't infinite and being immune does NOT mean the fish can't get sick or die from it.
Yup, living creatures eventually die. Your point?
If the population of a parasite explodes in one of those tanks, the fish's immune system may not withstand the event.
Key word ... may.

Also what if the parasite doesn't explode in the tank ... what then?
The "immunity" idea is based on several logical fallacies and some assumptions that are simply not correct.
Please explain the logical fallacies of the ideas presented.
Please explain the assumptions that you think are wrong.

I'll be waiting.
 

Have you ever torn down a tank over an issue you couldn't seem to beat?

  • Yes! I have. (Tell us about what issue you faced in the thread.)

    Votes: 104 24.9%
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    Votes: 213 51.0%
  • Nope, but it almost happened. (Share your experience in the thread.)

    Votes: 30 7.2%
  • Not yet, but I'm almost there. (Tell us what you're dealing with.)

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  • If you reef long enough, this will eventually happen to you.

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