The DOs and DON’Ts of Quarantine

Victoria M

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Prazipro should be dosed all in one dose. If you are concerned about the level, you can reduce it some overall. But not below 2ppm. It dissapates relatively quick in water. Hence needing to be dosed all at once.

Also, if you are losing fish in prazipro (that were well prior to dosing) I would suspect low oxygen. Need heavy agitation at the surface.

For the pyramid I would add Kanaplex and Furan-2 to your tank with copper. I use them in conjunction with copper frequently.

Also being that both fish you lost were clown/damsel, did you see any white patches or anything that looked like skin sloughing off?
Return thank you for the information on prazipro.
The damsel and clown fish were captive bred, maybe an inch maybe 1.5 inches. Did not see any skin sloughing, but did see stringy white poop from one of the clowns and I saw a new fluke on a clown 24 hours after all the fish were put together in the QT.
Now one of the azure damsels has a small white patch on its side. Has had it 48 hours. In no apprent distress although now of the fish are actually eating. :(
The butterflys white areas are all black colored, his mouth appears injured and he has popeye. I will be adding thise medications shortly. Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH GUYS!
 

Victoria M

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Return thank you for the information on prazipro.
The damsel and clown fish were captive bred, maybe an inch maybe 1.5 inches. Did not see any skin sloughing, but did see stringy white poop from one of the clowns and I saw a new fluke on a clown 24 hours after all the fish were put together in the QT.
Now one of the azure damsels has a small white patch on its side. Has had it 48 hours. In no apprent distress although now of the fish are actually eating. :(
The butterflys white areas are all black colored, his mouth appears injured and he has popeye. I will be adding thise medications shortly. Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH GUYS!
The butterfly fish died, as did another azure damselfish. So disappointed. I went ahead a medicated with Furan2 and Kanaplex per the instructions, and added some Stability as the ammonia badge was showing a tad of ammonia.
 
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Humblefish

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Sorry for your loss :(
 

thirst

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Velvet wiped out all my fish other than my coris and leopard wrasse.

While they aren’t affected, do they still carry the disease? Do I need to catch them for the velvet to die off?

Thanks
 
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Humblefish

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While they aren’t affected, do they still carry the disease? Do I need to catch them for the velvet to die off?
Yes and yes
 

HotRocks

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Velvet wiped out all my fish other than my coris and leopard wrasse.

While they aren’t affected, do they still carry the disease? Do I need to catch them for the velvet to die off?

Thanks
Yes, all of the fish have to be removed in order for the fallow period to work and cause a parasite die-off.
 

jp_75

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Can i dose Prazi if fish is hiding in sand? Is it going to be effective?
Had to put bowl with sand because it’s Red Line Wrasse.Thx
 
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Humblefish

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Can i dose Prazi if fish is hiding in sand? Is it going to be effective?
Had to put bowl with sand because it’s Red Line Wrasse.Thx
Yes and yes
 

Victoria M

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@HotRocks
for some weird reason, the word return was in my post instead of your name...weird.
you asked if the damsels had white slough? one of the azure damsels did have a small white patch but not it was a fluke or sloughing. mean something?
 

Cesar Romero

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Thank you for this article and your many others, being new to quarantining these help allot. Could you or someone help me understand, if I’m using a HOB with Matrix do I need to replace it after each medication use? (Such as when I’m done with copper)? Does matrix retain any medication use that may cause any negative mix with my next medication added? If I change the Matrix all out, wouldn’t I then loose all my beneficial bacteria? Guess I’m confused on what I’m suppose to do after each medication period is over, besides a water change and maybe run carbo? Thanks again for your help!
 

infinite0180

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Thank you for this article and your many others, being new to quarantining these help allot. Could you or someone help me understand, if I’m using a HOB with Matrix do I need to replace it after each medication use? (Such as when I’m done with copper)? Does matrix retain any medication use that may cause any negative mix with my next medication added? If I change the Matrix all out, wouldn’t I then loose all my beneficial bacteria? Guess I’m confused on what I’m suppose to do after each medication period is over, besides a water change and maybe run carbo? Thanks again for your help!
Seachem Matrix is inert and will not absorb any meds, you should leave it in the filter until your ready to break down the QT for storage and then toss it in the trash. I have media mags of matrix in my DT at all times. That way i can always grab some for my hob when its time for QT. I can buy a fish whenever i want or if i have an emergency i can quickly set up a temporary tank! The matrix works great in conjunction with the hob sponge as well... its the perfect stuff to keep around and if you can keep some cycled in your DT at all times its even better. Just replace what you take out so you always have it on hand...
 

Cesar Romero

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Seachem Matrix is inert and will not absorb any meds, you should leave it in the filter until your ready to break down the QT for storage and then toss it in the trash. I have media mags of matrix in my DT at all times. That way i can always grab some for my hob when its time for QT. I can buy a fish whenever i want or if i have an emergency i can quickly set up a temporary tank! The matrix works great in conjunction with the hob sponge as well... its the perfect stuff to keep around and if you can keep some cycled in your DT at all times its even better. Just replace what you take out so you always have it on hand...
Awesome, thank you for helping me understand that. Really like the idea of having some in the display tank for back up. Thanks again!
 

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Seachem Matrix is inert and will not absorb any meds, you should leave it in the filter until your ready to break down the QT for storage and then toss it in the trash. I have media mags of matrix in my DT at all times. That way i can always grab some for my hob when its time for QT. I can buy a fish whenever i want or if i have an emergency i can quickly set up a temporary tank! The matrix works great in conjunction with the hob sponge as well... its the perfect stuff to keep around and if you can keep some cycled in your DT at all times its even better. Just replace what you take out so you always have it on hand...
Having backup in the DT is an excellent idea! Thank you! I have a lot of extra matrix and empty bags, going to do this from now on!
 

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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.
I didn't get through all of the pages so i may have missed it .. sorry. but what's the best way to "sanitize" my QT tank that had all my velvet fish that died?
 

HotRocks

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I didn't get through all of the pages so i may have missed it .. sorry. but what's the best way to "sanitize" my QT tank that had all my velvet fish that died?
Drain, bleach, rinse well, vinegar bath (optional), rinse again, and allow to dry completely for 24-48 hours. Preferably in the sun.
 

Victoria M

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@HotRocks awhile back you asked me if my azure damsels had white patches or sloughing on them. Could explain the significance of this please?
 

HotRocks

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