Setting Up A Quarantine Tank and How To Quarantine Fish; A Guide

Trailermann

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You said " You should NOT add rock or sand to your quarantine tank as parasites can hide in them." So two questions.

1. If a newly purchased cured live rock has parasites and you do not put it into quarantine, where do you put it? And if the rock has parasites, how do you rid it of the bad bugs? And how does a rock get parasites in the first place if it has not been near fish for many weeks?
2. If the QT has not finished cycling, and you have not yet added fish, is there any drawback to placing a new live rock into the QT? The parasites would die off and the hidden bad creatures would fall off.
 

lionfish5740

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You said " You should NOT add rock or sand to your quarantine tank as parasites can hide in them." So two questions.

1. If a newly purchased cured live rock has parasites and you do not put it into quarantine, where do you put it? And if the rock has parasites, how do you rid it of the bad bugs? And how does a rock get parasites in the first place if it has not been near fish for many weeks?
2. If the QT has not finished cycling, and you have not yet added fish, is there any drawback to placing a new live rock into the QT? The parasites would die off and the hidden bad creatures would fall off.
Many (if not all) parasites require their host to complete their life cycle and survive. Do some research on the parasites of whatever you want to keep in your tank first. So if you've got an established tank then you can quarantine the new live rock without fish or coral for a couple months to allow them to die off.
Don't use any chemicals on the rocks so that the rocks don't slowly leach it out later and kill your livestock. i.e. copper comes to mind first
 

Trailermann

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Thanks Lionfish. I will bet that every rock is not left for at least two months in the curing tank of the LFS. So to be extra thorough (anal), one should continue the curing/quarantine for additional time. And of course without livestock. Is tat what you are saying?
 

kuba

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Would it be ok to use old DT water to fill QT tank? (DT has 0 no3, and undetectable po4)
 

dragonfish

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thats mine back built filter gonna add some sponge filter as an extra
 

FishRForMe

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What did you do about protein skimming? I would think it would be hard to maintain parameters in a 10gal....
 
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Squishie89

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What did you do about protein skimming? I would think it would be hard to maintain parameters in a 10gal....
Not sure if this it to me but my QT is a 20g long. No I do not use a skimmer. You do have to be diligent about waste/uneaten food removal, but I do weekly water changes or so and it works fine.
 

MikeyinTX

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Could I go smaller say 2.5 or 5 gal on a tank I'm only planning on doing corals in? maybe one or two SMALL fish. I'm in a small apartment, so my space is very limited.
 

Bob Escher

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I have a ten gallon that has a sponge filter and a HOB. But I'm starting my QT tank first then when I'm ready I take all of the rock and the sponge filter out and use it to seed the DT which will be 65 gallons. The probes are from my Apex and their in their so not to get wet. ( I lost my caps for them. But all the rock will come out and only the heater, temp ( one) and the HOB will stay


image.jpeg
 

Huck13r

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Hmm gets me thinking more and more... I've never had a quarantine Tank but have alway thought I should... good info..!
 

Bob Escher

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Highly NO Strongly strongly suggested a ten gallon tank, a cheap sponge filter and air pump couple of PVC elbows and your all set. Mine sits on a bookshelf ( keep it at least five feet away from your desktop
 

mcarroll

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I know this is all old, but still referenced a lot, so....

Here is a quote directly from Mr. Saltwater Tank’s Guide to Quarantining and Disease. “Quarantine tanks are very often bare bottom tanks (no sand) with only a couple of PVC pieces for fish to hide. The reason for the sparse surroundings is that medications can react with rock and sand, reducing the concentration of the medication and their effectiveness. Furthermore, certain diseases live at least part of their lives in the sand and rock. While your fish might enjoy the rock and sand, and these things will likely make them feel comfortable, we don’t recommend them for quarantine tanks that are being uses to treat fish.”
That is not good advice – especially for newbs.

It conflates the QT function (separation) with the hospital function (drug treatment) and advocates an unhealthy QT environment. Questionable source!!! We should not be telling anyone to do this, let alone newbs.

QT Tank
The QT environment should ideally be as close in design to the home tank as can be rationalized considering it's going to be temporary. It should have some naturalistic surroundings.

My standard, for what it's worth, has been at least one piece of live rock, a few fake plants and a few large PVC pipe chunks or fittings in at least a 15 gallon tank. A 40 Breeder or 50 Gallon would be more ideal, espeically if you are dealing with something other than the smallest fish out there. I have kept one or more 20 High hospital tanks on the side, but they've rarely needed to be used.

This "QT generosity" is to prevent stress and to support a healthy, recovering immune system in your new fish.

They really need this, so don't skip out on it!

If one or more of your QT'd fish display signs of a disease, it should be freshwater dipped and/or removed to a hospital tank for treatment as needed.

Hospital Tank
The hospital tank is even more temporary than QT and can be set up in the barren method prescribed in the quote above.

If your scenario is so limited that you can have only one tank, then the QT can serve both functions, but that's a much more limited QT situation and it should probably house no more than a fish or two at a given time.

This prevents it from being likely that you get into a bind with having to treat, or prematurely end QT for non-displaying fish just because one starts displaying something.

This may have been answered, I didn't feel like reading the whole thread, but what do you do about those spur of the moment I got to have this fish purchases and your QT tank is not set up at that moment?
Buying fish on the spur of the moment should really be discouraged, especially among newbs – bad things can and do happen.

When I still worked in a store I'd do everything I could to prevent this. It didn't happen too often though....most folks aren't that belligerent in their methods when they are beginners so they can be reasoned with. ;)

But folks do buy "on the spur" anyway, so....

If the fish are so questionable as to need QT and you don't have one – take the fish back. Your bad – what were you thinking? ;)

If you've (ideally) been watching the fish at the LFS for a couple weeks or so and they (and their neighbors) appeared to be healthy up until they went into the bag and came home, then drip and temperature acclimate them for a short while and put them in the display.

It may not be ideal, but as long as the fish in your display tank have been well-cared for and aren't under constant stress*, then they are at minimal-to-no risk from a healthy, new addition to the tank.

As always, use your judgement.



* Not a foregone conclusion....look at how few folks have success keeping their fish alive for more than 1-5 years. Fish that should be able to live 10, 20 or more years. Are you keeping your fish just like those people keep theirs?
 

dima

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Hmm most of the articles suggest to stary adding prazipro on the next day and later cupramine nomatter see u infection or not. I am a bit confused as here no medication suggested
 

mcarroll

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Med's are a judgement call IMO.

Only you know the origin of the fish you're talking about adding, for one thing. (LFS? Online? Buddy's house? etc. All would have different back stories and impose different benefits and limits on you as the new owner.

I couldn't bring home a sick fish from a LFS, for exampe....there are too many tells once you're there. Not only can you watch the fish for days, or even weeks in some cases...you can pick the very specimen you want....you can watch their neighbors....you can watch everything in the store. What they feed, how they treat the fish, how they treat you, etc.

Online, you're really at a disadvantage....no watching, no picking, no knowing. Plus the mystery fish will be subjected to yet another long distance trip right before you take ownership. These fish probably do deserve all the special care you can give them....what are your limits?

All we can issue is "generic best advice".....or "worst case scenario" kinds of things.

I'm on the "generic best advice" side of the equation. ;)

All fish get healthy and sick according to the state of their immune system....and that depends on stress and nutrition.

All signs are that we generally short change our fish on nutrition and often further compromise them with overcrowding and inappropriate tank makes or other environmental issues.

This opens the door for pathogens: "Please, come in! I'm immunocompromised!" ;)
 

Hemlawk

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What about fresh water dipping before QT? Still have to drop acclimate afterwards?
 

evmibo

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Is 5 fish in a 30g quarantine too much?

(2 peaceful fairy wrasses, 2 true Percs, 1 Royal gramma)
 

Empress

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Is 5 fish in a 30g quarantine too much?

(2 peaceful fairy wrasses, 2 true Percs, 1 Royal gramma)
Should be ok. Just have a tank divider or a time-out box in case there's fighting going on.

And always have clean salt water ready for water changes to keep ammonia under control .
 

Gypsy

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I have a canister filter sitting around should I use it on a qt. If so what should I have inside it.
 

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