Quarantine (or not) methods and outcomes - too much for a poll

Qasimja

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ive been in this hobby over 16 years and ive never used a QT never had any issues what so ever, til a month ago bought some cleaner shrimp and snails and one of them gave my tank marine velvet wiped out all my fish, Now im running a 55G QT with some fish waiting for my fallow period to be over.

I dont really like the extra work and money it takes to run a QT everyone says "you can get a QT running for 20 dollars" but it seems every other day i need more equipment for this thing not to mention all the meds i had to buy to pretreat the fish but i guess its better then losing all your fish to disease. Now im wondering if i should QT inverts too not trying to experience another wipeout like that again
 
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ca1ore

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One other thing to consider is the difficulty of the fish. If you are just buying damsels, for example, success rates will be far higher than if you are buying tangs ....
 

MnFish1

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One other thing to consider is the difficulty of the fish. If you are just buying damsels, for example, success rates will be far higher than if you are buying tangs ....
Actually, funny enough - I have had far more problems with damsels than tangs. Dont know why. There are at least a couple articles out there that suggest that tangs are not the 'ich magnets' people say they are - I dont know if this is true or not
 

ca1ore

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Is your observational tank cycled with anything? I would assume so, but this thread is all about not assuming :)
I actually have two QT tanks, a 29 that is permanently setup (thus cycled) as a small reef tank and a 20L that I fill as necessary. The former is where I QT difficult fish or grow out small specimens before adding them to the display. The latter is for all other fish and can be either an observational tank or a hospital tank. I keep a couple of bags of biomedia in the main sump so that I don’t have to cycle the 20L and just fill it as required. I’m mostly at the max for fish in my system now, so most new ones are of the trickier variety; thus the 20L has been unused for quite a while.
 

ca1ore

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Actually, funny enough - I have had far more problems with damsels than tangs. Dont know why. There are at least a couple articles out there that suggest that tangs are not the 'ich magnets' people say they are - I dont know if this is true or not
Well I did intend it as an illustration LOL. I have no problems with zebrasoma tangs but cannot keep tuxedo damsels, so I think your experience may not be that unusual. Achilles versus yellow tails may be somewhat different.
 
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CindyKz

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One other thing to consider is the difficulty of the fish. If you are just buying damsels, for example, success rates will be far higher than if you are buying tangs ....
I did consider that when writing the questions. I wanted to keep the number and complexity to a minimum though. It would be a good question for a follow-up thread.

I keep a couple of bags of biomedia in the main sump so that I don’t have to cycle the 20L and just fill it as required. I’m mostly at the max for fish in my system now, so most new ones are of the trickier variety; thus the 20L has been unused for quite a while.
I've always kept a piece of sponge in my sump for that reason, but I never have much luck trying to use it to quick cycle a QT or hospital tank. I think I'm going to have to try the biomedia.
 

pecan2phat

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I've always kept a piece of sponge in my sump for that reason, but I never have much luck trying to use it to quick cycle a QT or hospital tank. I think I'm going to have to try the biomedia.
I've tried on numerous occasions where I have had seeded ceramic rings/beads in the DT sump for months and try to setup a QT day before an intended purchase and it has never worked well for me. QT would start to build ammonia after a few days and nitrite shortly afterwards even with water changes every 2 days. Bottled bacteria would be useless if the tank had started any medications which was the norm.
Gotta say, been into the marine fish scene since the late 70's and fish were just acclimated into your tank. There were ick outbreaks but not so many that I can say devastated the hobby for me. Other than the uneducated purchase of cyanide caught fish, I would say that fish coming in with parasites were never this full blown like it is today.
 

MnFish1

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I've tried on numerous occasions where I have had seeded ceramic rings/beads in the DT sump for months and try to setup a QT day before an intended purchase and it has never worked well for me. QT would start to build ammonia after a few days and nitrite shortly afterwards even with water changes every 2 days. Bottled bacteria would be useless if the tank had started any medications which was the norm.
Gotta say, been into the marine fish scene since the late 70's and fish were just acclimated into your tank. There were ick outbreaks but not so many that I can say devastated the hobby for me. Other than the uneducated purchase of cyanide caught fish, I would say that fish coming in with parasites were never this full blown like it is today.
Can you do us a favor and answer the questions - in addition to your comments above - with which I agree
 

CincinnatiReefer

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1. Do you use any quarantine/isolation method?
Yes, I use the TTM

2. If you use any method other than just adding the fish to the display tank, please describe it. Include medications, sterile tank vs. cycled with rocks and sand (or anything else), TTM, etc.
I do it exactly as outlined by Humblefish. I use sterile tanks, fresh water, heater, simple pump and lid. If for some reason I mess up any steps I add another tank to the end. For instance if I accidentally go too long before I move the fish or feel I may have cross contaminated more than already required to perform tasks.

3. Approximately how long have you been following your current method?
One year

4. If you use any type of quarantine, what percentage (roughly) of quarantined fish live through the entire quarantine process? If you add fish directly to the display, approximately how many live to become part of your fish community?
All of the fish have made it except two six line wrasses. I believe they didn't because for some reason my local shops only get the smallest ones possible and I was using too strong of a pump at the time. So far it's been 24 successful and two died.

5. Do you quarantine inverts and coral? If so, how?
Yes, I have a seperate system all coral go into for 90 days. It has no fish.

6. Have you experienced disease outbreaks in your display tank while using your method?
I did have ich in my old tank before I moved. When I moved here a year ago I decided to run all my fish through the TT method and so far there have been no signs of ich or other diseases in my displays.
 

ca1ore

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I've always kept a piece of sponge in my sump for that reason, but I never have much luck trying to use it to quick cycle a QT or hospital tank. I think I'm going to have to try the biomedia.
Bio rings have worked pretty well for me in an observational QT; hospital tank implies active use of medications which may interfere with the bacteria.
 
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Tamberav

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1. Do you use any quarantine/isolation method? Yes
2. If you use any method other than just adding the fish to the display tank, please describe it. Include medications, sterile tank vs. cycled with rocks and sand (or anything else), TTM, etc. I use a cycled tank with live rock that looks and acts much like a display tank would, I add sand for wrasses. The tank has pods, worms, stars, macro, maybe even coral, etc. I feed variety of frozen foods + live black worms. I will treat the tank with prazi if I see twitching and for internal parasites if I see stringy poo or slowness to put on weight. I have a spare hospital tank if needed should a fish need copper. I keep them in there from 2 weeks - 6 weeks or however long is needed. The goal is to get them eating well and fat free from competition.
3. Approximately how long have you been following your current method? Three years
4. If you use any type of quarantine, what percentage (roughly) of quarantined fish live through the entire quarantine process? If you add fish directly to the display, approximately how many live to become part of your fish community? Maybe 90% ? The ones that don't make it are usually shipped fish that arrive looking poor already or very difficult fish like copperbands.
5. Do you quarantine inverts and coral? If so, how? No
6. Have you experienced disease outbreaks in your display tank while using your method? Maybe not a 'outbreak' but some some flukes or internal parasites have made it past and effected 1-2 fish out of many but I just then treat the DT. I have never had Ich, velvet, or brook in my DT that I know of although I am sure it is there because how could it not be?
 

Phildago

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1. Do you use any quarantine/isolation method?
No

2. If you use any method other than just adding the fish to the display tank, please describe it. Include medications, sterile tank vs. cycled with rocks and sand (or anything else), TTM, etc.


3. Approximately how long have you been following your current method?

3 years

4. If you use any type of quarantine, what percentage (roughly) of quarantined fish live through the entire quarantine process? If you add fish directly to the display, approximately how many live to become part of your fish community?

80% due to fish that have been killed by neon dotty backs that I have since rehomed

5. Do you quarantine inverts and coral? If so, how?

No

6. Have you experienced disease outbreaks in your display tank while using your method?

Yes, I believe I've had crypto in the past. I had initially though that quarantine was unnecessary, but after about a year I introduced a fish that had crypto and all my fish were infected. I lost two of my fish to the parasite, but the rest of the fish recovered. I have since not quarantined my fish due to the fact that I know I have crypto in the tank. If I were to start over or upgrade tanks, I would go fallow for 80 days just to make sure my tank was clear, then treat every since fish for any possible parasites they could be harboring before putting in the DT tank.

Moral of the story for me is that quarantine an prophylactic treatment for parasites if what I should've done, and plan to do once I have the opportunity to take action.
 

dmh41532

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The purpose of this thread is to try to gather information about the outcomes of methods R2R members use when adding new fish to the display tank, including those who do no quarantine at all. There are frequent discussions asking who, and how, and which is best, but not many that discuss the final results.

In that spirit I will ask that all who participate in this thread refrain from judgement. If you’d like to debate why “xyz” way is best, please do so in another discussion.
For purposes of this conversation, we’ll define a “mortality” in quarantine as ANY death, regardless of reason (including reefer error and simply unknown). We will leave long term survival rates for another discussion.

Also, a big “thank you” to @MnFish1 for contributing to the thread idea and questions!

The questions of interest are:

1. Do you use any quarantine/isolation method?
It depends, if I buy from a good lfs, with good healthy livestock, then no. If I buy online sometimes.
2. If you use any method other than just adding the fish to the display tank, please describe it. Include medications, sterile tank vs. cycled with rocks and sand (or anything else), TTM, etc.

if I buy online I keep the fish only in a separate cycled tank with live rock, no sand. I’ll watch them to make sure they are eating well, and only medicate if needed. If they’re eating and don’t have bubonic plague, after a few days I toss them in the main tank.
3. Approximately how long have you been following your current method?
For saltwater, 9 years for brackish and fresh, atleast 15 years.
4. If you use any type of quarantine, what percentage (roughly) of quarantined fish live through the entire quarantine process? If you add fish directly to the display, approximately how many live to become part of your fish community?

They all lived until we moved across the country and I have to sell them.
5. Do you quarantine inverts and coral? If so, how?
No
6. Have you experienced disease outbreaks in your display tank while using your method?
Can’t say an outbreak, I’ve seen from time to time a few spots of ich, but I feed my fish well, and they have a good immune system.


Thanks in advance to all who participate :)

I’ll start….

1. Yes
2. About 2 1/2 years, give or take.
3. I use a 55 gal tank cycled with rocks and sand for approximately 30 days of observation – more as needed but rarely less. I make a point of watching my fish for a minimum 15 minutes/day, often longer. I have treated with antibiotics, praziquintel, and hyposalinity when needed.
4. To my best recollection, 82.1 % have lived through.
5. No
6. No
 
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bryanfuel

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1. Do you use any quarantine/isolation method?
--Nope

2. If you use any method other than just adding the fish to the display tank, please describe it. Include medications, sterile tank vs. cycled with rocks and sand (or anything else), TTM, etc.
--For fish, just acclimation then drop them in. For coral, acclimation then iodine dip

3. Approximately how long have you been following your current method?
--4 years

4. If you use any type of quarantine, what percentage (roughly) of quarantined fish live through the entire quarantine process? If you add fish directly to the display, approximately how many live to become part of your fish community?
--90%

5. Do you quarantine inverts and coral? If so, how?
--Nope, just iodine dip

6. Have you experienced disease outbreaks in your display tank while using your method?
--Aiptasia, but have it cleared out with a pep shrimp and filefish.
 

Mark Gray

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1. Do you use any quarantine/isolation method?
No

3. Approximately how long have you been following your current method? 30 to 35 years
I drip acclimate all incoming fish after observation at the store and always buy from the same store that I trust.

4. If you use any type of quarantine, what percentage (roughly) of quarantined fish live through the entire quarantine process? If you add fish directly to the display, approximately how many live to become part of your fish community? Lost one recently but don't know what happened hust dissapeared. Have 20 in 2 tanks Paul B's method but this is the way I have done it way before reading his posts

5. Do you quarantine inverts and coral? If so, how? No

6. Have you experienced disease outbreaks in your display tank while using your method? No a few white spots for sure have introduced ick into the tanks.
 
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CindyKz

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Type (or none)# respondentsSurvival rate# respondents w/disease in DT
No quarantine – acclimate and add683.8%3
Observation, treat if necessary589.4%2
Quarantine with meds382.7%1
TTM191%0

I used the above table to try to organize the information in this thread – thanks to everyone who answered! There were 2 responses (Paul B and Qasimja) that were not included because they didn’t include survival rates. MnFish1, I counted yours as observation because we don’t really know how many of your LFS’s fish make it through their quarantine process.

I don’t remember enough statistics to analyze this information but it seems that all methods are on a fairly level playing field – nothing is standing out. If anyone would like to check my math or play with these numbers further, please feel free (especially the “check my math” part). I had to extrapolate from a couple of posts to get survival rates.
 

Paul B

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Cindy, you are correct, I didn't read the rest of the question on survival rates. I don't quite know how to answer that because my survival rates as in disease deaths are 100%.

But new fish sometimes die from jumping out, starving because they are bullied or being killed by something right away.
Sorry for me screwing up your question.
 

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