The DOs and DON’Ts of Quarantine

mfinn

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Thank you @Humblefish.

So with GC I plan on doing,
Day 1: 1st dose
Day 6: 2nd dose
Day 11: 25% WC.

That should do it right? If the fish looks ok should I skip Cu? I'm little scared of dosing Cu with wrasse.
FWIW, when I've used Coppersafe in my quarantine tank with a wrasses, I add the copper in 1/4 doses on 4 consecutive days.
I also make sure I have a well seeded air powered sponge filter in advance so water changes can be put off for the duration of the copper treatment.
 
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Humblefish

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So with GC I plan on doing,
Day 1: 1st dose
Day 6: 2nd dose
Day 11: 25% WC.

That should do it right? If the fish looks ok should I skip Cu? I'm little scared of dosing Cu with wrasse.
Looks good, except you can actually do the 25% WC on Day 8. Prazi only needs 24 hrs to do its job.
 

rockstarta78

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Looks good, except you can actually do the 25% WC on Day 8. Prazi only needs 24 hrs to do its job.
Thank you. The fish actually died in less then 24hrs and before I could medicate the tank. I wanted to giver it 24hrs n eating well before medicating. It wad fine yesterday, I don't know what happened over night. It even barried itself in the sand (I had a Tupperware of sand) this morning it was just hanging out by the HOB filter. And now it's dead. This is very depressing. I have no clue what happened. The body looked fine. I'm going to call the lfs when they open on Wednesday.
 
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Humblefish

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Thank you. The fish actually died in less then 24hrs and before I could medicate the tank. I wanted to giver it 24hrs n eating well before medicating. It wad fine yesterday, I don't know what happened over night. It even barried itself in the sand (I had a Tupperware of sand) this morning it was just hanging out by the HOB filter. And now it's dead. This is very depressing. I have no clue what happened. The body looked fine. I'm going to call the lfs when they open on Wednesday.
:(
 

HBColleen

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Just some stuff I thought up. I'll probably add more later. Please list any useful tips you might have in the comments below!

Quarantine DOs and DON’Ts

The purpose of this article is to offer useful tips and point out common mistakes made during quarantine (QT).
  • DON'T ever use a tank or piece of equipment until after it gets cleaned out with vinegar, bleach, etc. (This rule is dedicated to a beloved PBT I lost, because I didn't take the time to clean her temporary holding tank and unbeknownst to me it had come into contact with bug spray. :()
  • DO quarantine for a minimum of 4 weeks; longer is always better (in most cases.) DO house your QT at least 10 feet away from any other saltwater tank/vat, to avoid aerosol transmission. DON’T house corals/inverts in your fish QT.
  • DO float & release your new fish; DON’T drip acclimate if you can help it. One of the advantages of QT is you can set the specific gravity (SG) to match the bag water. This can usually be determined beforehand by asking the online vendor or local fish shop (LFS) what SG they keep their fish in. Knowing this, you can just float the fish for 20-30 minutes, to slowly bring the temperature of the bag’s water to match that of the receiving tank. Once that is done, open the bag and double check the SG. So long as the SG is within .001 (up or down) of the receiving tank, you can release the fish without further acclimation. If the SG in the bag is lower than the QT, you can quickly lower the SG of a QT by replacing some saltwater with freshwater. If the SG in the bag is much higher than that in the QT, then you are forced to drip acclimate. When doing drip acclimation use an ammonia reducer (ex: Amquel or Prime) if a fish has been in transit for more than a couple of hours.
  • DON’T add more fish to the one(s) you already have in QT. You risk introducing a new disease into your QT and having to restart the QT clock. Be patient; add more fish once the current occupants have graduated to the DT.
  • DON'T ignore your QT. DO spend at least 10-15 minutes everyday in front of it. In addition to obvious physical symptoms (ex. white dots), observe your fish for key behavioral symptoms of disease such as: Heavy breathing, scratching, flashing, head twitching. Fish with Marine Velvet Disease may never show visible signs, but they will usually swim into the flow of a powerhead and act reclusive (velvet causes fish to be sensitive to light).
  • DON’T cram too many fish or house incompatible species in a QT. If you are forced to, then create compartments within the QT by using eggcrate or some other divider. Ideally it’s best to QT just a couple of fish at one time. Speaking of eggcrate, DO use that or some other material to build a secure top for your QT - especially if housing known jumpers. Be aware certain fish (Diamond Goby immediately comes to mind) are capable of jumping or even wiggling their way through eggcrate, so a screen on the bottom of the eggcrate must also be employed to prevent their escape. Crazy, I know.
  • DON’T use rock or substrate in a fish QT. These absorb copper and other medications, making it difficult to maintain a stable level. There’s a reason so many go bare bottom and use PVC elbows for hiding places. And even without live rock, you can still have biological filtration in QT to help control ammonia (see below).
  • DO utilize biological filtration in QT; DON’T rely solely upon water changes (WC) to keep ammonia under control. We all have busy lives these days, so it’s tempting to put off that WC until tomorrow. In our display tank (DT) this is acceptable, but in a QT it can be fatal. What you need is an insurance policy… Most hang on back (HOB) power filters utilize some sort of biomedia (ex: sponge, bio-balls, ceramic noodles, bio-wheel). All these need to become a working bio filter is to be seeded with some nitrifying bacteria. You can accomplish this one of two ways:
  1. Seed your biomedia in a high flow area of your DT’s sump (or behind some rocks) for a minimum of 1 month before QT.
  2. Pour one of those “bacteria in a bottle” products (ex: Bio-Spira, Seachem Stability, Dr Tim's Nitrifying Bacteria) over your biomedia just prior to use.
  • DON’T use an ammonia reducer, such as Amquel or Prime, in conjunction with copper (ex: Cupramine, Coppersafe). The resulting chemical interaction turns copper toxic. There have also been some anecdotal accounts of fish wipeouts after mixing ammonia reducer with Prazipro, antibiotics, etc.
  • DO test for ammonia often (and pH if doing hyposalinity); DON’T worry about nitrates, phosphates, even nitrites in a fish QT. Ammonia is toxic to ALL marine animals, even at low levels. However, most other parameters only affect fish at extremely high levels; unlike with corals/inverts.
  • DON’T bother testing for ammonia if copper or certain other medications are present in the water. Copper renders most ammonia test kits useless; you will get nothing but false positives. The workaround is to use a Seachem Ammonia Alert badge, which works even in the presence of medications.
  • DON’T raise copper too quickly, especially when treating known copper sensitive species such as angelfish. Take 3-5 days to reach therapeutic levels instead of the usual 24-48 hours recommended on the labels. The sole exception to this rule is when treating for velvet.
  • DO provide plenty of gas exchange when using medications, as most will deplete the water of oxygen. This can be accomplished by pointing a powerhead towards the surface of the water or by using an air stone.
  • DON’T overdose medications; if in doubt always underdose. With copper, you need to buy a test kit to ensure you are treating within the therapeutic range. The dosage instructions on the bottles are notoriously inaccurate. DON’T mix medications without first checking to see there are no known negative interactions.
  • DON’T add medications directly to the QT. DO dissolve & mix all medications (including liquids) in a glass cup or beaker prior to adding them. You can use tank water to dissolve/mix, and then slowly pour the diluted medication into a high flow area or filter chamber.
  • DON’T run UV, ozone, a protein skimmer or carbon while using copper/medications. Be sure any filter pad you are using doesn’t remove medication.
  • DON’T cross contaminate! Nothing should ever go from your QT into the DT. Conversely, if you are going fallow in the DT to eradicate some disease… you must take care not to reinfect your QT with that same disease. The above also applies to water change vats.
  • DO keep your QT clean even if ammonia is zero. You can use airline tubing to siphon debris off the bottom without wasting too much water. DO replace the appropriate amount of copper when doing water changes (but not for top off water).
  • DO feed frequent small meals in QT; DON’T feed nori unless it’s very thin strips. The issue with nori is fish tear it apart, and tiny pieces get all in the water. Newly acquired fish and fish being treated with medications will typically have decreased appetites. Therefore, small feedings 2-3x daily are optimal to reduce uneaten food left on the bottom of the tank.
  • DON’T move a fish from QT to DT unless he looks perfectly healthy and is eating well. Whatever doesn’t look right about the fish isn’t going to get any better once he’s in the DT. But DO synchronize the SG/temp of your QT & DT before the fish gets transferred, so you can avoid having to do any acclimation procedure.
While not really a “DO and DON’T”, it is my personal belief that a fish QT should be kept simple. I prefer small QTs that I can quickly break down, sanitize and then re-start as needed. In my experience, newly acquired fish seem to do better in QT if placed in an almost sterile environment using freshly mixed saltwater. And if you ever happen to experience some unknown “Typhoid Mary”-like disease which wipes out your entire QT; you’ll want to completely break down & sterilize that tank before ever using it again.
great article - thank you!!
 

becks

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Ok, all fish are out for a second time :/ I think I know ich or velvet got past my qt procedure. I treated a fish with cupramine for 30 days and then used carbon to remove the copper, I left him in their for a few weeks after. I think a cyst must have released torments after the copper was removed.

And went undected for a few weeks, until I saw my clownfish today with multiple spots and my wrasse flashing & royal gramma flashing excessively.

My royal gramma looks the worse, I had no choice but put them straight into full strength cupramine. As one qt was empty with no water and the other had a diamond goby that was due to go into the DT. All the fish seem fine in the cupramine though, almost like nothing had happened.

How quickly will the copper treat the royal gramma as he definitely looked like he was coming down quickly. I caught it fast as everyone was fine yesterday and showed no signs.

I created quite a sand storm moving rocks and sand to catch them, I hope my corals etc will be fine. If I get an ammonia spike how quickly will it show up on a test kit?

The rock is about two years mature and the sandbed is about months.

#melypr1985
#humblefish
 
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Humblefish

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@becks Copper provides no direct benefit to the fish, but rather protects them from reinfection. Once a fish has been placed in full therapeutic copper, you should see no more white spots after 4 days (for velvet) and 7 days (for ich).

With regards to your DT, I would be more concerned with sulfide getting released into the water (rotten egg smell) than an ammonia spike. Run carbon just in case.
 

becks

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@becks Copper provides no direct benefit to the fish, but rather protects them from reinfection. Once a fish has been placed in full therapeutic copper, you should see no more white spots after 4 days (for velvet) and 7 days (for ich).

With regards to your DT, I would be more concerned with sulfide getting released into the water (rotten egg smell) than an ammonia spike. Run carbon just in case.
Ok great thanks, I’ll keep monitoring them. All my other fish show zero signs, watchman goby, springeri damsel, the other clownfish and copperband.

I also noticed my royal gramma tail fin has deteriorated, There’s 0 aggression in my tank so I don’t think it’s from nipping? What could cause velvet like symptoms with damage to the tail fin? Unless it’s a bacterial infection from velvet or from scratching??

No sulfide smell was released, I’ve smelt it in my previous tank. I have a shallow sandbed.
 
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Humblefish

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I also noticed my royal gramma tail fin has deteriorated, There’s 0 aggression in my tank so I don’t think it’s from nipping? What could cause velvet like symptoms with damage to the tail fin? Unless it’s a bacterial infection from velvet or from scratching??
Could be from flukes or possibly a secondary infection.
 

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All seem to be doing ok, it may have been ich and not velvet maybe?? But my clownfish did have a lot of spots and I assumed that’s how you identify the difference between ich and velvet. My royal gramma and clownfish who looked the worse seem to be doing fine.
 

marcus aurelius

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PLEASE HELP.
So I’m up in the air with a QT tank. I know that it’s great to use one but I do have some questions. So my LFS has said QT tanks a great. But it is just added stress on the fish putting them in that environment because it is so different from the fish's normal environment.

I know that you say not to have sand and rock in the QT tank, but what about wrasses having no sand to hide in? Is using PVC fitting to hide in enough? Is there anything to use like fake aquarium decorations? Just to make it less stressful on the fish.

When I first started I did have a QT tank 29gal and I put 6 fish in it to start. Powder blue tang medium size, fairy wrasse, cleaner wrasse, 2 clown fish, and 2 blue chromis. But the problem was that my powder blue got so stressed out it died along with the cleaner wrasse and the blue chromis, after about a week. I’m just trying to figure out a way to have a QT that is less stressful on the fish.

So my DT has been running since the beginning of November. Like I said before I had stopped the QT tank. I had just been putting my fish directly in my DT. Everything was fine for a while. But a couple of weeks ago my PBT started showing signs of what I think was Ich or velvet.
Since then I have lost PBT, yellow mimic tang, blue jaw trigger, both clown fish, radiant wrasse, black leopard wrasse, yellow goby, 2 cleaner wrasses, viloet dotty back, and both of my diamond gobys.
Obviously bad idea on my part. ☹

So I’m starting a new QT tank right now. 40 gallon bow front. Canister filter, heater, power head, sponge filter. So I can try and get what fish I have left. I have bought pretty much every kind of treatment. I was going to start with prazipro, then on to copper. And start that cycle. I’m going to use copper safe, or copper power. Which one would you all suggest? I’ve got some Dr. Tim’s bacteria to start the cycle. Can I run the filter floss with the Dr. Tim’s?
I have a blonde naso tang, christmas wrasse, orange shoulder wrasse, blue sided wrasse, pencil wrasse, 3 fire gobys left.
 

dwwataz

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Soak the filter pad and biomax in the Dr. Tim's overnight. That'll give the qt a HUGE kick start. I was advised to do this after I finished ttm/hypo on 8 fish that got flukes/possibly ich from some snails and crabs. I've had zero ammonia despite feeding 2 wrasses and a dragonet a fairly hefty amount of food
 

marcus aurelius

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Soak the filter pad and biomax in the Dr. Tim's overnight. That'll give the qt a HUGE kick start. I was advised to do this after I finished ttm/hypo on 8 fish that got flukes/possibly ich from some snails and crabs. I've had zero ammonia despite feeding 2 wrasses and a dragonet a fairly hefty amount of food
I was going to put the Dr. Tim’s in the canister filter and let the tank run over night before I add any fish.
 

dwwataz

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I was going to put the Dr. Tim’s in the canister filter and let the tank run over night before I add any fish.
I'd suggest getting a bowl or Tupperware and soaking the Tim's directly into the media. If it isn't completely submerged, then top it off with FRESH SALTWATER. This is EXACTLY what I was told to do. My uneducated guess is it forces the bacteria to colonise the media. I had to setup 4 qts after ttm(and two wrasses I have coming next week) and all qts are reading 0 ammonia a week later
 

marcus aurelius

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I just don’t think I can wait over night. My naso tang isn’t doing so well.
 

dwwataz

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I am by no means an expert.

Prior to ttm I did a freshwater dip on all my fish and put them into a clean qt. I believe??? Freshwater dips can provide temporary relief for even the really nasty stuff? Worst case scenario you could get a bucket of heated and we'll aerated ro water going. Dip each fish individually for 5 minutes. Stick them in your qt while the media soaks. If you have more than one bottle you could use one to soak and 1 to go into the it tonight
 

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