QT tank question

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Lavey29

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Greetings everyone, I don't really have the space in my office to set up a QT tank that runs 24/7 along side my main tank. I know the importance of doing some type of QT on fish prior to adding them but to do it properly would require having the QT tank set up for long periods. Is it possible to have like a small set up that could be operational in an hour basically and QT your fish or corals for a lesser period of time (seems 76 days is the magic number for some reason) and still get some decent precautions in place prior to adding them to the tank? Can you QT effectively at all in under a week?....thanks for the replies.
 
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lapin

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Look at the TTM method by Humblefish.
 

resortez

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It’s possible of setting up a QT within an hour, just need the right equipment. I’ve done this before in an emergency, several times. Some folks will disagree but it has worked for me in the past. If your main DT has enough bacteria/waste to spare, pull all that out & transfer it to your QT. It can come from syphoning your sand, filter sock, carbon cartridge, bio media, skimate, anywhere waste collects. Pull out as much as you can in order to seed the QT. Do keep in mind that the volume of your QT depends too. The larger the volume, the more dirty water from your DT you will need to transfer. I recommend at least 50% of the QT being filled with dirty water from the DT. Finish filling up your QT, get your filter, heater, lights going & your done. Add some rock & flow if you like, the fish will appreciate it. Also recommend using a powerhead pointing at the surface of the water in order to oxygenate the QT, an air pump too if you like. Do keep an eye on your PH, NO2 & ammonia. Keep buffer & bottled bacteria in hand, just in case. Hope that makes sense & it helps.
 
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Lavey29

Lavey29

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It’s possible of setting up a QT within an hour, just need the right equipment. I’ve done this before in an emergency, several times. Some folks will disagree but it has worked for me in the past. If your main DT has enough bacteria/waste to spare, pull all that out & transfer it to your QT. It can come from syphoning your sand, filter sock, carbon cartridge, bio media, skimate, anywhere waste collects. Pull out as much as you can in order to seed the QT. Do keep in mind that the volume of your QT depends too. The larger the volume, the more dirty water from your DT you will need to transfer. I recommend at least 50% of the QT being filled with dirty water from the DT. Finish filling up your QT, get your filter, heater, lights going & your done. Add some rock & flow if you like, the fish will appreciate it. Also recommend using a powerhead pointing at the surface of the water in order to oxygenate the QT, an air pump too if you like. Do keep an eye on your PH, NO2 & ammonia. Keep buffer & bottled bacteria in hand, just in case. Hope that makes sense & it helps.

Thanks for the reply and I agree with your set up procedure but how effective do you think it will be if I leave it going for a week with a new fish in there getting the basic QT treatment prior to adding to the tank? I know this is not ideal like a 2 month QT observation but will it serve any benefit for me to do it short term or not?
 

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Greetings everyone, I don't really have the space in my office to set up a QT tank that runs 24/7 along side my main tank. I know the importance of doing some type of QT on fish prior to adding them but to do it properly would require having the QT tank set up for long periods. Is it possible to have like a small set up that could be operational in an hour basically and QT your fish or corals for a lesser period of time (seems 76 days is the magic number for some reason) and still get some decent precautions in place prior to adding them to the tank? Can you QT effectively at all in under a week?....thanks for the replies.
I believe the 76 days you reference is the required fallow period for a tank and ich. For a quarantine on a new fish you can do it in 35 days or so. HumbleFish has a 30 day procedure starting once you get your copper up to the right level which can take a few days depending on where you start.

The basic procedure is to get the tank to 2-2.5 ppm of copper power and in the middle do a course of treatment with metroplex and api general cure. That is supposed to take care of almost all the major diseases although some rarer ones require formalin treatment

There is also a two week quarantine option you can look at but it takes multiple setups so that doesn’t sound like a fit for you
 
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resortez

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So far it has worked great for me, 100% success (knock on wood). It’s worked with quite a few friends, well over 10 QT tanks setup in that manner. Have always been emergencies, some of them I know got too excited over a fish at the LFS, introduced it directly into their DT without quarantining & ich showed it’s ugly face. Others have been nasty parameter swings, DT crashing &/or power outages that stressed the fish to the point of causing some form of fungal or bacterial irritation. Once in QT, you can throw everything at it but the kitchen sink. On all QT tanks, temps were slowly raised to 84 & salinity was also carefully dropped to 16. Treatment all depended on what the animals were suffering from. Again, it’s still a must in keeping an eye on those QT parameters. That fast of a setup will fluctuate some readings, not always but it’s 50/50. It’s why I mentioned having some buffer, bottled bacteria/ NO2 & ammonia reducers. The process works but still requires work from your part. I personally rather work in securing the survival of my fish than the heartache of seeing them wither away from the lack of taking initiative. I only do this in extreme cases where a QT is needed ASAP & there’s no other way around it. Hope it helps.
 

ariellemermaid

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I believe the 76 days you reference is the required fallow period for a tank and ich. For a quarantine on a new fish you can do it in 35 days or so. HumbleFish has a 30 day procedure starting once you get your copper up to the right level which can take a few days depending on where you start.
I just want to mention that I’ve found in practice a 30 day QT is never a 30 day QT. For starters as you mentioned he recommends bringing the copper up slowly over 4-5 days. So that’s another week right there (although he says you can start at 50%). Then, either before or after, many people recommend a round of prazi for either 1 or 2 weeks for intestinal parasites and flukes. So now we’re at about 7 weeks IF the copper level stays fine and you don’t have to reset the clock.
Greetings everyone, I don't really have the space in my office to set up a QT tank that runs 24/7 along side my main tank.
That’s one issue lots of people have with QT; finding the space where an ugly bare bottom tank is fine. As above, if every new addition takes about 6-7 weeks, and you’re always going to find just one more fish, it’s basically a permanent tank.

There’s really no shortcut to QT (30 days of copper for fish, 76 for inverts and corals). Those periods are based on research data/experiments and it’s either do it or don’t. TTM doesn’t really save time on the 30 days and you need yet another tank. The only alternative if proper QT isn’t an option that some people do instead is a 2 week observation period to watch really closely for any signs of disease. It’s not the same as QT, but if that’s what you can do then I’d at least do that.

If going the observation route I personally would combine that with only purchasing fish that have (at least supposedly) been pre-quarantined. That’s at least something. I’ve dealt with fish-killing flukes from online fish stores and seen enough ich in Petco tanks that I wouldn’t risk skipping QT for anything else.

I think another part of your question though is setting up and breaking down a QT quickly which goes to cycling. Humblefish recommends transferring a sponge that’s been in DT for at least 30 days for that. In practice I’ve done that and still had ammonia spikes so I also use Prime until I’m sure the cycling is good and fish are safe, however the tank will cycle fairly quickly that way.
 

ariellemermaid

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On all QT tanks, temps were slowly raised to 84 & salinity was also carefully dropped to 16.
I’ve read that increasing the temp actually makes the tank more hospitable to parasites, have you found something different? It’s certainly true for bacteria. Also how long do you hypo? Humblefish recommends 30 days for that as well, but cautions against it because it’s so difficult to maintain a precise salinity for that long. And there was something else too…kills ich but not velvet? I don’t remember now.
 
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Lavey29

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I just want to mention that I’ve found in practice a 30 day QT is never a 30 day QT. For starters as you mentioned he recommends bringing the copper up slowly over 4-5 days. So that’s another week right there (although he says you can start at 50%). Then, either before or after, many people recommend a round of prazi for either 1 or 2 weeks for intestinal parasites and flukes. So now we’re at about 7 weeks IF the copper level stays fine and you don’t have to reset the clock.

That’s one issue lots of people have with QT; finding the space where an ugly bare bottom tank is fine. As above, if every new addition takes about 6-7 weeks, and you’re always going to find just one more fish, it’s basically a permanent tank.

There’s really no shortcut to QT (30 days of copper for fish, 76 for inverts and corals). Those periods are based on research data/experiments and it’s either do it or don’t. TTM doesn’t really save time on the 30 days and you need yet another tank. The only alternative if proper QT isn’t an option that some people do instead is a 2 week observation period to watch really closely for any signs of disease. It’s not the same as QT, but if that’s what you can do then I’d at least do that.

If going the observation route I personally would combine that with only purchasing fish that have (at least supposedly) been pre-quarantined. That’s at least something. I’ve dealt with fish-killing flukes from online fish stores and seen enough ich in Petco tanks that I wouldn’t risk skipping QT for anything else.

I think another part of your question though is setting up and breaking down a QT quickly which goes to cycling. Humblefish recommends transferring a sponge that’s been in DT for at least 30 days for that. In practice I’ve done that and still had ammonia spikes so I also use Prime until I’m sure the cycling is good and fish are safe, however the tank will cycle fairly quickly that way.

Very thorough response. What is your opinion about vendors that do all the QT work for you before delivering the fish? Of course there is a significant price increase on the initial purchase and no 100% guarantees.
 
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Lavey29

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So far it has worked great for me, 100% success (knock on wood). It’s worked with quite a few friends, well over 10 QT tanks setup in that manner. Have always been emergencies, some of them I know got too excited over a fish at the LFS, introduced it directly into their DT without quarantining & ich showed it’s ugly face. Others have been nasty parameter swings, DT crashing &/or power outages that stressed the fish to the point of causing some form of fungal or bacterial irritation. Once in QT, you can throw everything at it but the kitchen sink. On all QT tanks, temps were slowly raised to 84 & salinity was also carefully dropped to 16. Treatment all depended on what the animals were suffering from. Again, it’s still a must in keeping an eye on those QT parameters. That fast of a setup will fluctuate some readings, not always but it’s 50/50. It’s why I mentioned having some buffer, bottled bacteria/ NO2 & ammonia reducers. The process works but still requires work from your part. I personally rather work in securing the survival of my fish than the heartache of seeing them wither away from the lack of taking initiative. I only do this in extreme cases where a QT is needed ASAP & there’s no other way around it. Hope it helps.

Excellent information, I know I need a decent QT station but just need it to be more of something I can set up in a reasonable amount of time on a short term basis. I originally thought QT might be a week or less but now you guys have explained how detailed and time consuming the process is. I never had issues doing very short QT periods with my freshwater tanks but marine tanks are certainly more involved and complicated.
 
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resortez

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I’ve read that increasing the temp actually makes the tank more hospitable to parasites, have you found something different? It’s certainly true for bacteria. Also how long do you hypo? Humblefish recommends 30 days for that as well, but cautions against it because it’s so difficult to maintain a precise salinity for that long. And there was something else too…kills ich but not velvet? I don’t remember now.
Yes & no. Take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt. According to a bit of reading, experience & owner of my LFS, yes, higher temps makes it a bit more hospitable but also accelerates the parasites life span & reproduction. The accelerated life span can be used to your advantage if QT is already set at the proper copper level. As I mentioned before, QTs were setup ASAP because of emergency, so I’m throwing everything at it but the kitchen sink. I go slightly above the recommended 2.5 of copper, I push it to 3 & in severe cases 1 or 2 decimal point above 3 but thats my approach & I don’t recommend anyone doing it unless they’re understanding the dangers of higher copper levels, it’s a gamble. The faster the parasite cycles, the faster the copper knocks it off the fish but the fish still remains under copper for a minimum of 5 weeks, that’s my personal preference & after 3 weeks I drop it back to 2.5. When I started in this hobby as a kid, some LFS owners would even suggest dropping a roll of pennies into the tank to treat mild cases lol, it’s something they themselves did as kids in the 60s & 70s. I found it interesting, would ask my mom for pennies to drop in my tank, not sure if it worked because some fish survived & some didn’t. About hypo salinity, yes. Salinity fluctuates, the reason why I said get ready to put in some work. I test my QT more often than my main display. I don’t know if hypo has any effect on velvet but my QTs are always hypo because I’ll do everything possible to irritate the parasite. I wish I could find this article I read regarding hypo, how the outside environment stresses the organism because it contains a higher level internally & has some affect to it. That article mentioned some people push it as low as 9. Personally, I’ve never taken it that low so I cannot tell you if it works. My personal approach, is to attack from every direction, higher temps, hypo, strong flow (its soothing for the fish), more aeration, dim lighting, medicated food, secure space for the fish to retreat like a large PVC pipe or stones & some good positive energy. Hope that helps
 
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