Quarantine tanks: Does a beginner "REALLY" need one? Or just good practice?

bert236

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
539
Reaction score
555
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Ontario
I don't need sources I've been reefing for a long time. Just speaking from my own observation across years of keeping reefs.

An article about it as a source would be useless right? No source I give is going to make you happy. It just seemed like common sense and reading posts here that most aren't very effective especially with new reefers eh.

Alot of reefers battle their tanks to get them dialed in, a qt isn't any easier depending on the species in it as well. Like I said, the right setup is great..most are not.
Generally when you make a definitive statement like x cause more harm then y it helps to have something to back up your claim. Otherwise you end up doing what you are doing now. If that article had verifiable statistics then why would it be useless? The new reefer argument doesn’t hold any weight sorry man. You are speaking to one (8 months) and I had zero issues putting 5 fish through qt minus one I lost to uronema but it was already to far gone by the time I medicated it. You also say it seems like common sense that qt it worse than no qt but it’s flat out not. It’s common sense to provide a bio secure tank to hold any new additions so you don’t kill your other pets because of laziness.

Ya a lot of reefers struggle to get their reef tanks dialed in. That’s because it’s a reef tank and not a basic qt setup. The species has zero effect on how hard the tank is to setup. All that changes is the food and medication levels between species and maybe adding a Tupperware of sand for a wrasse or something. I really don’t get why you are trying to make quarantine sound so hard when it’s not. Maybe it is for you but for the majority of people I have seen posting about qt on here it isn’t. It might be for the first go around and learning how to do it at first but that can be said for anything. Please just stop trying to scare people away from qt by making it out to be something it’s not. There are arguments to be had against qt, besides bad tank setups which I don’t see often, but you aren’t making any of them.
 
Tidal Gardens

jfoahs04

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
614
Reaction score
1,041
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Boston
I really don’t get why you are trying to make quarantine sound so hard when it’s not. Maybe it is for you but for the majority of people I have seen posting about qt on here it isn’t.
This. It really isn't too tricky. And while QT is not perfect (I've lost fish in QT), I think even an occasional fish loss in QT is still better than having to scramble to react to an outbreak among most/all fish in your display. If you're new and skipping QT, chances are you're also not equipped to respond quickly to treat ich, brook, velvet, etc. in a hospital tank. Losing most or all of your livestock is heartbreaking.
 

Arego

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Messages
701
Reaction score
790
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Macomb
Oi vay man, if you don't agree with it just don't agree with it. I'm not sure why all these long winded posts about what I'm saying is wrong and only you are correct.

I will run mine how I see fit as you will yours.. it was merely an opinion, why are you getting so worked up?

I never said it was hard, lol. Just that most aren't very good at it.. why insults about what I can't or cannot do, what's the point? Anyway back to actual issues, not getting into anything at all. You won the internet opinion battle for sure.
 

The Farmer

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
739
Reaction score
1,193
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Michigan
Hello all! First time reefer here - getting my new RSR 350 installed on Friday. I too have some of the same questions around QT. While I do plan to set up a QT - my questions are around do you leave your QT set up or do you empty, clean, break down/set up whenever you add anything new to your tank? What’s your process in that area (not the QT process itself, the process of leaving it set up or not)? Maybe the answer is different when you’re just starting out and adding livestock fairly regularly vs an established tank where you’re adding things more sporadically.
I leave mine setup it’s more like a qt/hospital tank. In case one of my fish don’t look to good I’ll put them in there and medicate if need be or just to observe. Some time I use it for coral qt also
 

bert236

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
539
Reaction score
555
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Ontario
Oi vay man, if you don't agree with it just don't agree with it. I'm not sure why all these long winded posts about what I'm saying is wrong and only you are correct.

I will run mine how I see fit as you will yours.. it was merely an opinion, why are you getting so worked up?

I never said it was hard, lol. Just that most aren't very good at it.. why insults about what I can't or cannot do, what's the point? Anyway back to actual issues, not getting into anything at all. You won the internet opinion battle for sure.
Because you are stating incorrect things and making general assumptions as fact to a beginner. I never said only I’m right if you bothered to read my last post you would notice I said as much at the end. I’m getting “worked up” because you are giving bad information to new hobbyists. Notice how I haven’t called out anyone else in this thread who isn’t pro qt? It’s because they weren’t doing what I said above. The fact you think this is a battle says everything we need to know about your mindset discussing this. I also never made any personal insults like you are trying to say. I’m not here to battle I’m just here to see why you definitively said qt does more harm then good. Sorry you couldn’t back your statement up but that’s not mine or anyone else’s issue here.
 

PigDaddyF15E

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
205
Reaction score
123
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Niceville
I don't think most people do it because of a budget. Its time. QT is time consuming and for some of us we are already dealing with other issues with our tank, life and job to deal with QT. This is a hobby and we are supposed to have fun with it. Enjoy our fish and livestock. But according to most we need to put every fish in a separate tank regulate copper levels, test all the time for ammonia levels, change water every 2-3 days and also sit and stare at the fish to check for issues. That's a lot of work and in the end you still hear people QT and get ich and fish die.

Like I said previously I tried and it was a HUGE fail (several dead fish from ammonia).
Well...I did it for well over two months. Changed my water once a week. Checked copper every couple of days. Never tested for ammonia (used a badge). It wasn't that much 'extra" work. Also...since the QT was just off the kitchen....the family liked it ever more because they were always close by to be watched.
 

ZombieEngineer

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
991
Reaction score
851
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Broomfield
Well...I did it for well over two months. Changed my water once a week. Checked copper every couple of days. Never tested for ammonia (used a badge). It wasn't that much 'extra" work. Also...since the QT was just off the kitchen....the family liked it ever more because they were always close by to be watched.
Mine is super similar. I repurposed an old biocube build with an ATO (old apex), bioballs in the back, and resin coral inserts. Added copper, a sponge from my DT, and microbacter7 to ensure nitrifying bacteria is present at high levels. Ammonia badge. Test copper weekly. I don't even bother changing the water until that batch of fish is done. Cuprisorb on hand if a fish stops eating with the copper (hasn't happened yet). It acts like a extra display in my kitchen that everyone enjoys just like my main displays.

If you do it right, it's not a chore. If you aren't willing to take the effort, either pay a little more for pre-quarantined fish or have fun playing crash roulette. IME a very good LFS will have a serious disease 1 in 10 fish. At a not so great one, probably 50%. If you are already getting near bioload for your tank, the chances that you lose everything from one disease is pretty high.

Why would I risk losing $4000 worth of livestock on a $50 fish with a 10-50% chance. I could either spend some extra time to bring that risk to nearly zero or pay $80 for the same fish and bring the risk to nearly zero. I only have a 65 gallon tank. The bigger and more rare/awesome your corals and fish, the bigger the loss.
 
OP
E

Ettercap

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
15
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
North Dallas
3. I don't know if it ever becomes "absolutely necessary." Some people never do it and are perfectly successful, and some people suffer unnecessary losses in QT. But I think QT is most helpful for newer hobbyists. New tanks are the most volatile in terms of parameters and have the least biodiversity. They're extremely stressful environments for fish, and stress weakens fish immune systems. What's more is that new hobbyists tend to be adding more fish over a shorter period of time than someone with a system that's been running for a few years. So not only are they at increased risk of introducing disease, but their fish are less equipped to handle the diseases naturally. New hobbyists who don't have a QT are also much less likely to be able to do damage control (particularly with a hospital tank). A mature system is generally much more stable. It will have more biodiversity, most likely have fish that have been there for a while and are adapted and comfortable, and most likely won't be adding new fish at high rates. If something gets into a mature tank, it's far more likely that the fish will be able manage it on their own. Neither option is without risk, but depending on natural immunity in a new tank while adding a number of new fish is far riskier than doing the same thing in a mature system in my opinion.
This is well said and I perfectly understand for the need of a QT tank. I realize at first I find it to be another expense that is hard to swallow but I see the use of proactive-ness. I will eventually find it difficult because I do not have a sump but I do have a 10g that I can use that I normally use for some fw plants.
 

Erin1971Texas

Just another girl who likes fish
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
2,265
Reaction score
2,364
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Spring, Texas
This is a hobby and we are supposed to have fun with it.
We are also "supposed to" be providing the best possible environment for the livestock we keep.
Not saying you don't, and I did read the part about losing fish in a QT from ammonia poisoning, but the idea that my "fun" is more important than an animal's wellbeing is ludicrous to me.
 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture

ZombieEngineer

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
991
Reaction score
851
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Broomfield
We are also "supposed to" be providing the best possible environment for the livestock we keep.
Not saying you don't, and I did read the part about losing fish in a QT from ammonia poisoning, but the idea that my "fun" is more important than an animal's wellbeing is ludicrous to me.
There is also the other point that the hobby gets pretty not fun when you watch everything you have cared for and watch grow from tiny little frags into wonderful colonies and all the fish you have grown attached to and given names die in front of your eyes because you were too impatient to even do an observational quarantine. I have never met a single person get Velvet in their tank that didn't either quit the hobby or start being religious about quarantine.
 

Jeffcb

Tang tang
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 15, 2020
Messages
6,236
Reaction score
27,209
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Only my honest opinion, if you are new to the hobby, starting off with qt now will be the best thing you could ever do. It will save you heartbreak and discouragement later on that could drive you out of the hobby.
Well whatever you do, don't torture healthy fish with copper or other meds just because you think its best for them.

Can you imagine being held down and forced to consume copper when nothing is wrong with you. Horrific.
 

Erin1971Texas

Just another girl who likes fish
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
2,265
Reaction score
2,364
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Spring, Texas
Well whatever you do, don't torture healthy fish with copper or other meds just because you think its best for them.

Can you imagine being held down and forced to consume copper when nothing is wrong with you. Horrific.
That's not what I consider a quarantine tank. To me, it's for observation and to make sure the fish is eating well. If something does appear -- disease, parasite, etc -- then it becomes a hospital tank and treatment begins.
 

ZombieEngineer

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
991
Reaction score
851
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Broomfield
Well whatever you do, don't torture healthy fish with copper or other meds just because you think its best for them.

Can you imagine being held down and forced to consume copper when nothing is wrong with you. Horrific.
There are not that many fish that are sensitive to copper to the point that it hurts them in any way or is a risk to their health. Certain fish like wrasse, dragonets are sensitive to it and should be given observational only quarantine unless something like velvet presents itself.

Guide for fish that can't take proactive copper or have some other QT issue that may make them difficult to QT.
 
Coral Mania

gbroadbridge

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
1,256
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Sydney, Australia
Went to my LFS today to pick up new clownfish.
new-clownfish.jpg

I really wanted a B/W oce with an orange oce instead of two orange ones. I think the LFS was trying to upsell me telling me that I NEEDED to have a quarantine tank. I understand its a good practice but the practicality is just not there in my opinion. There is an added cost for tank/accessories/maintenance for a tank that is not even our main tank. Especially as a beginner saltwater person...
My questions:
1. The QT tank... does it get broken down everytime you finish the QT phase?
2. Is it normal to re-cycle the tank everytime you need it? Or is it a thing where you just keep it up the whole time without any fish being in there?
3. When does it become the "absolute" necessity?

On a side note in regards to my LFS and the scenario of the clownfish...
The first LFS told me that a Black and white ocellaris and a standard ocellaris will kill each other. They must be the same color pattern. I did question him about that but his response was that he had x amount of years of experience and he had personal experience with this so I just succumbed to purchasing two common clownfish. I went back home to read that only different species not different patterns of the same species have hostility (barring of course the fact that any two of the same species can hate each other). So I returned to the LFS and he gave me partial-credit and lectured me about how "I should have this knowledge/information before I come to the store." Which ticked me off a bit because the point of a customer admitting they are new to the hobby relies on the LFS for support for the generic guidance. But I understand not every person can get an experienced person and help out with everything. It still upset me enough to just go to another store.

Then I went to the other LFS and got what I wanted. My kid tells me that he wanted one of the "gladiator" patterned clownfish so I go back to the LFS and swap it out for a gladiator one. The problem was that I didnt check it the second time and the clownfish I got was more of a "mis-bar" versus an actual gladiator patterned. (My only reference of a gladiator pattern is having the white line go above and in between its eyes/forehead. Im not going back to the LFS again to repeat the process! lol
If you're prepared to accept the fact that sometime down the track you will end up with disease in your tank that may wipe out all your fish, then no, you don't need a QT.

How much risk you wish to take is entirely up to you.
 

gbroadbridge

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
1,256
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Sydney, Australia
David, why are the medications not available in Canada? And I am curious as to what advice is applicable only to Americans and disastrous to reefers in other countries?
Most treatments that are available in the USA are also banned in Australia, unless prescribed by a Vet.
Cupramine, Copperpower, etc are all prohibited imports, as is Prazi, and most antibiotics.
 

davidcalgary29

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
1,935
Reaction score
2,284
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Peace River, Alberta
There are not that many fish that are sensitive to copper to the point that it hurts them in any way or is a risk to their health. Certain fish like wrasse, dragonets are sensitive to it and should be given observational only quarantine unless something like velvet presents itself.

Guide for fish that can't take proactive copper or have some other QT issue that may make them difficult to QT.
Note, though, that it's often difficult to treat velvet only after symptoms arise, as it can become a race against time as one tries to ramp up copper to a therapeutic level (for a fish that may have only hours to live) without killing it from copper shock/toxicity.

It's also worth noting that Humblefish -- and others -- have developed a hybrid prophylactic treatment for velvet in which hydrogen peroxide is used (for fish only, and not other inverts). @Jay Hemdal notes that this doesn't always work in practice, though.
 
Last edited:

Jay Hemdal

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
12,861
Reaction score
12,722
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Dundee
It is all about the amount of risk you are willing to take. If your DT is filled with loads of expensive, healthy fish, adding a non-quarantined royal gramma is a really bad idea.
Quarantine, properly done, eliminates the majority of communicable pathogens (say 95%). It also screen for about 75% of the losses in the new fish themselves.

Here is our current process:

Jay
 
AS

Did you start off in the reef hobby buying used equipment? Do you still use pre-owned equipment? (Choose all that apply)

  • Yes, I did start off with some used equipment. It made getting everything going easier!

    Votes: 135 40.3%
  • Yes, I did start off with some used equipment, but it was a mistake I won't make again.

    Votes: 17 5.1%
  • I still buy used equipment! It's a helpful way to save money in this hobby!

    Votes: 105 31.3%
  • Nope! Everything I used to get started was new! And I'm glad I started with all new stuff!

    Votes: 81 24.2%
  • Nope! Everything I used to get started was new! But, I should've looked around for used options!

    Votes: 33 9.9%
  • I still only buy new equipment! Lots of problems avoided that way!

    Votes: 43 12.8%
  • Other... (Post in the thread)

    Votes: 13 3.9%
Bulk Reef Supply
Top