The Other Way to Run a Reef Tank (no Quarantine)

MnFish1

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I have never dipped a coral in my life.

To see if your tank is successful it kind of needs to be at least older than the lifespans of the fish. If you keep a tank 5 or 10 years that is not even the life span of a hermit crab so how can you know if it is healthy enough for the fish to live out their lives disease free?

Most of our fish live longer than that, many much longer.
This hobby has been in the US since 1971. I am still waiting to see any old quarantined tank where the fish only die of old age and have never been sick.

Where are they? There are millions of tanks in the US. What happened to them?

People keep asking for scientific evidence. OK find me a scientific study that has been going on as long as my tank has been up. Scientists don't study ornamental fish so all we have is anecdotal evidence and we have to live with it.

My fish die of old age and I have posted too many pictures to prove that. That is my proof.
Show me any proof that quarantined fish are healthy enough to only die of old age.

Are they spawning? Do they ever get sick? These are things we need to know and see.

I am standing on my head now waiting and I am getting tired.
This discussion has been going on on this forum and numerous other forums for decades with not only no end in sight, but also no old quarantined tanks like I mentioned.

Why Not?
I guess I have a question (I'm standing on my feet though). Again - I don't QT. I don't medicate. BUT - my question to @atoll, @Paul B, or anyone else - Why do you suppose that other people (who I presume are smart enough to have beautiful tanks feel that these methods are beneficial? Why do you think zoos, public aquaria, etc - all have bio containment protocols?
 

atoll

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In your post you said: "Harrr yes when all else fails it's just good luck of course. We are both the luckiest reefers in the world."

That referring to you and Paul. Paul recommends feeding live mussels, adding mud, etc. Thats part of Paul's method to boost the immune system. Since you mentioned him - it makes sense that you 'use the same method that he does. So I apologize - I thought you used Paul B's method and that was what I was referring to.
I didnt mention I put mud in my tank simply because I don't.
I didnt say I added mussel as you said slimply because I don't.
I do feed mussel but either live or frozen whole and in the shell.

So some things we do the same others not so but in many ways we crossover in much we do and believe in. I didn't know how Paul kept his tank until a few years ago when I stumbled across him on another forum.

I don't QT, believe in natural immunity, believe in making my own foods and feed very little dry foods. We both believe in living rock and plenty of it and even like similar fish. So we have a similar philosophy to keeping our tanks and animals if not exactly identical. Lasses is similar along with some of my friends here in the UK.
 
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atoll

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I guess I have a question (I'm standing on my feet though). Again - I don't QT. I don't medicate. BUT - my question to @atoll, @Paul B, or anyone else - Why do you suppose that other people (who I presume are smart enough to have beautiful tanks feel that these methods are beneficial? Why do you think zoos, public aquaria, etc - all have bio containment protocols?
I can't vouch much about zoos and public aquariums other then the people who work in them are schooled in certain beliefs and know no other ways. Like many they have closed minds to other methods.

However, many years ago I got a reputation here in the UK as having one of the best reef tanks around. To cut long story short 2 guys, with ologies no doubt, from a large zoo aquarium about 30 miles away came to visit and where amazed at what I had achieved. Many questions were asked and answered. They went away with the evidence they had seen before their own eyes and a different way to keep marines in their heads.

I was using algae filtration 30 years ago had a sump, a home made calcium reactor and skimmer among other things. I don't use it believe in prefiltration no filter wool, socks or roller mat. The list goes on, all quite different to.how a public aquarium keeps fish.

Public aquariums have plenty of losses they try and create a disease free aquarium rather than working with the fish to fight them off or limit their impact on fish.
 
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sixty_reefer

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Ive been following this thread for a wile, it’s probably time for me to give my 2 cents on the subject. A few years ago I tough in doing a personal experience, I’ve gotten a coral from a tank that had been recently wiped out from an unknown decease. The owner suspected velvet. I bought the coral, got home and rinsed it a few times in tank water and got it in my tank. 3 to 6 days later all my fish started to show signs of WS. The curious part is as fast as the WS came it gone from the fish in a couple weeks also. I’ve putted down to healthy fish. I personally believe that the difference between a fish that can survive and get rid of a decease is down to how you feed your pet, how happy is your pet. If anyone does a pole on how much a tank is fed with the same fish you will find a lot of different answers. In another place I did one and someone with the same amount of fish as me was only feeding 1 cube a day vs my 8 cubes a day plus live supplements. The main reason the “no quarantine” doesn’t work for everyone is mainly down to how you feed your pet. All the fish do well in the wild mainly for the unlimited source of food, tangs got miles and miles of algae to graze on. In our tanks they subjective to how much we feel they should eat. Who decided that a fish can only have so much a day? Most fish in the hobby are probably under feed as people won’t want to risk to raise their po4 and no3. I don’t believe a fish will explode if it gets over feed.
Since this I haven’t lost a fish yet to decease, I had one male clown jump and recently sold 2 to the shop as they we’re getting to big for my system. I may had that this were the fattest fish the owner ever seen in his life. I may add that I also got a CB going two years and a school of 6 Chromis going 3 years without issues
 
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Lasse

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In your post you said: "Harrr yes when all else fails it's just good luck of course. We are both the luckiest reefers in the world."

That referring to you and Paul. Paul recommends feeding live mussels, adding mud, etc. Thats part of Paul's method to boost the immune system. Since you mentioned him - it makes sense that you 'use the same method that he does. So I apologize - I thought you used Paul B's method and that was what I was referring to.
No one of us do the same thing or use the same "methode" but all we do are based on the same principles.

Sincerely Lasse
 
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Lasse

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Why do you think zoos, public aquaria, etc - all have bio containment protocols?
Yes we have protocols - but at least in Sweden - there is no prophylactic treatment included. Not always QT either.

Sincerely Lasse
 
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Paul B

Paul B

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Why do you suppose that other people (who I presume are smart enough to have beautiful tanks feel that these methods are beneficial? Why do you think zoos, public aquaria, etc - all have bio containment protocols?
I don't know, you would have to ask them. I am a volunteer here at the Long Island Aquarium and when a fish dies, they just replace it.
 

robbyg

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I guess I have a question (I'm standing on my feet though). Again - I don't QT. I don't medicate. BUT - my question to @atoll, @Paul B, or anyone else - Why do you suppose that other people (who I presume are smart enough to have beautiful tanks feel that these methods are beneficial? Why do you think zoos, public aquaria, etc - all have bio containment protocols?
So you have also been successful without QT or Meds? I personally don't have any idea why it works for me and that's honestly because I have never had a huge outbreak to make me think about it. I typically look at my fish for a long time at the LFS before I pick them out and when I get home I look at them very closely for any issues while they are still in the bag. In the past have seen Ick on my hippo and yellow Tangs for a few days and then it goes away. This may happen once every year or so when something stresses them. As I said I don't think this approach is for everyone but it has worked for me. I currently do not even have a quarantine tank and if I have aggression problems then someone gets placed into the sump until I can work out what to do next.
 

Halal Hotdog

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Nope - he does not. Every microorganism in our intestinal tract can kill us if it comes in the wrong place, wrong time and can grow without our immune system control them. As a person that have lived the last 35 years with constant risk to have a deadly volvulus - I know this for sure. Further one - there is a growing amount of evidence that early exposure of microorganism will trigger the development of our immune system.
As you know volvulus is not caused by microorganisms, but they can make it worse. All microorganisms are not the same, that is just a fact, not my opinion. Parasites are different from bacteria which are different from viruses, which are different from amoeba .... Within these groups there is also a world of difference. You cannot reasonably compare external/internal parasites with healthy flora of an intestinal tract.

Exactly. That's my point. You have no clue at all if this dose, in this situation with this species cure, kill or if the treatment is sublethal for your fish. You just doing an animal experiment and note the outcoming - if it is alive or not. No idea if you cause sublethal damage or not. And this without any signs of disease - just in case of. Would you recommend a drug for human use that have shown to be effective in fish but not tested and evaluated on humans? Chloroquine phosphate is known for severe effects in humans if it is used in the wrong way - and it is also known for causing resistance in the parasite if it is overused for a prolonged time.
How do you believe knowledge is gained? It is clear that these external parasites have led to fish death for many aquarist. There are public aquariums who have shown the medication to be effective. There are members on this very forum that work at public aquariums and use chloroquine phosphate effectively (Reef Fever).

Here is a link to a thread he contributed some of his experiences on

Individuals have put together protocols that have helped many save fish. No one is medicating fish for the fun of it. It is purely to rid them of parasites that have proven to be lethal. The arguement could be flipped and you could be accused of torturing these fish my forcing them to be in an enclosed space with no way to escape from these parasites. To live a life where they are constantly attacked by them with no way of escaping, where as in the wild the parasite would fall of and the fish would swim away in an immeasurable ocean. Waiting for the day the fish's immune system falters.... Exactly, this is just as absurd as your claims.

About fish parasites and immunity - there is growing evidences that vaccine against marine white spot works, the only thing that have stop a 100% effective vaccine for the fish farming industry is that there are very much of local strains of the parasite - you need to modificate the vaccine for every strain.
I am not familiar with a white spot vaccine for marine fish. Could you share this study?

In an earlier thread - @MnFish1 refer to a study from India according sublethal effects of chloroquine phosphate on common carp. In this study - it was shown that serve sublethal effects in gills, liver and kidneys in concentration 1/3 of the common used prophylactic dose in the US. The article - the tread about CP,

There is a typo in the article - they write mg/ml in many places - it should be mg/l. I have a private conversation with the main author and he confirm that typo.

About to be honest. You was very active in that thread @Halal Hotdog after @MnFish1 submitted that link and after I published the comments from the author. You know this but does not admit that it exist (and probably the only sublethal study of chloroquine phosphate and fish that exist.) you still recommend people to use it without warnings about that at least one study on fish show serve sublethal damage. And that in concentration that you have adapt your protocol to - after the publishment of that article.
When did I deny this study existed? When did I ever state chloroquine phosphate has no side effects? In this very thread post #2389 I stated: "Personally I am going to start testing hydroxychloroquine on fish known to have external parasites and see if it shows the same efficacy as CP. In humans hydroxychloroquine tends to have fewer side effects, and lethal dose is further from therapeutic dose. If we can get to a point of having medications at our disposal that are almost side effect free, but just as effective, then we will all be in a much better situation". Clearly I am stating chloroquine phosphate has side effects. In a reply to your message I state literally all medications have a theraputic dose and a lethal dose. I have numerous posts about dropping the dose of chloroquine phosphate to help decrease the lethargy it creates. It seems you are ignoring all of that purely to be argumentative.

Beyond this, the above article is about fresh water carp in an acute setting (96 hours) not chronic. This study does not make long term chronic claims. We can use information from this to help fine tune how we use medication, and I have done that. As stated numerous times, protocol use of chloroquine phosphate in marine fish is mostly anecdotal.

I feel this is a great stopping place for me. I commented on this thread to congratulate individuals that have kept fish alive for decades in a home aquarium setting. That somehow deteriorated to the point where I am trying to convince someone all microorganisms are not the same.

Lasse I do not look down at you for choosing to not quarantine your fish. I fish you continued success (play on words intended). If your protocol is working for you then I would not recommend you change it. Paul created this thread to discuss how he runs his reef tank, and it seems it is turning into another debate about quarantining fish. I do not wish to take this thread off topic any further.
 

Stigigemla

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It was in the late 60s I heard of quarantine first.
At that time I believe Sjöfartsmuseet in Sweden and Denmark Aquarium both quarantined all fish 30 days without medication. After separate medication in some few cases the fishes went back in quarantine.

When I started my shop in 2007 i bought fish from a Swedish wholeseller that cuppertreated all tanks.
After a Year I had the opportunity to be a part in a big import. To my surprise there were fewer deaths althoug I didnt use any medicines. The I joined the next import with the same result. I only use clean tanks with heavy UVC filtration for the first week or so. The only sickness I had is Uronema but now I treat that with an Oxydator with succes.
 

atoll

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@Halal Hotdog
Quote"Paul created this thread to discuss how he runs his reef tank, and it seems it is turning into another debate about quarantining fish. I do not wish to take this thread off topic any further"

IMO You are focusing on a small part of why Paul started this thread but I am sure Paul will be along to explain.

Fact is these forums are discussion forums and it is inevitable that if somebody suggests something that many will think controversial to say the least, they will not only comment but bring into it related topics likely QT. Comments will be made esp if the author states he does not believe it is in the best interest of the animals we keep.

This thread has never gone of topic that I can see and the use of medication or other wise is all part of it. Nobody has to comment or explain anything if they don't wish.

I would also like to say (trying to keep on topic) that I asked a question a few days ago in relation to why in all these years that my fish are healthy spawn and don't get sick, you may recall. Of course nobody has to offer an explanation but the truth is many can't.

There are many who have contributed to this thread who are firmly in the QT tank and yet not one has ventured forth with a worthy explanation as to why. All I have got in the past is it's down to luck and one day my tank will succumb to some awful disease or parasites, really after 30 years.

Feel free to discuss or not as the case may be.
 

Lasse

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As you know volvulus is not caused by microorganisms, but they can make it worse. All microorganisms are not the same, that is just a fact, not my opinion. Parasites are different from bacteria which are different from viruses, which are different from amoeba .... Within these groups there is also a world of difference. You cannot reasonably compare external/internal parasites with healthy flora of an intestinal tract.
Why is volvulus deadly? Not just a hurtful disease similar with breaking a leg? For those that are unfamiliar with the word Volvulus - it is when your intestines twist or blocks and there is a huge risk that the intestine burst and all your intestine content comes out outside the intestinal tract, The bacteria in the intestine - not harmful in there because of the whole effect of your immune system but deadly outside when your immune system do not work - kill you rather fast if you do not get antibiotics like metronidazole (or similar drugs).

I am not familiar with a white spot vaccine for marine fish. Could you share this study?
This study? You kidding - but as a start

How do you believe knowledge is gained?
Mainly with scientific studies - not animal testing by individuals. I should not have to underline this in the present situation.

And again - I´m no against treatment when you have indications of a certain disease - I´m against using uncertain drugs just in case (prophylactic treatment) with not known sublethal effects.

When did I deny this study existed? When did I ever state chloroquine phosphate has no side effects? In this very thread post #2389 I stated: "Personally I am going to start testing hydroxychloroquine on fish known to have external parasites and see if it shows the same efficacy as CP. In humans hydroxychloroquine tends to have fewer side effects, and lethal dose is further from therapeutic dose. If we can get to a point of having medications at our disposal that are almost side effect free, but just as effective, then we will all be in a much better situation". Clearly I am stating chloroquine phosphate has side effects. In a reply to your message I state literally all medications have a theraputic dose and a lethal dose. I have numerous posts about dropping the dose of chloroquine phosphate to help decrease the lethargy it creates. It seems you are ignoring all of that purely to be argumentative.
It is clear - you are digital. On - off. - or your to possible outcomes of treatment is - the fish survive (with or without parasites) or the "side effect" happens - the fish die (with or without parasites).
I´m old enough to still be in some way analog - in side effects I include sublethal effects that affects the health of the fish and possibly leads to premature death later on. A risk you can take if the treatment is about an acute situation of life and dead - but a risk you definitely not want to take just in case of (prophylactic treatment)

Beyond this, the above article is about fresh water carp in an acute setting (96 hours) not chronic. This study does not make long term chronic claims.
Your kidding again. If a certain dose create this types of damage in 96 hours - it means that even if it not get worse during a prolonged time (chronic exposure) - which I doubt it not will be because this is dose/time depended - you have these damage after 96 hours. It is enough of evidences for me

We can use information from this to help fine tune how we use medication, and I have done that. As stated numerous times, protocol use of chloroquine phosphate in marine fish is mostly anecdotal.
- and it not include sublethal effects. (my bold)

I feel this is a great stopping place for me. I commented on this thread to congratulate individuals that have kept fish alive for decades in a home aquarium setting. That somehow deteriorated to the point where I am trying to convince someone all microorganisms are not the same.
To shift focus and accuse the opponent for not understanding a common trick. No one of us are arguing for a setting that not include prophylactic treatment because we do not understand that all microorganisms are not the same. On the contrary - IMO - we are the only ones that fully understand this because we goes down to the lowest level of recognition of which type it is - the fish own immune system - and do everything in order to strengthen this without further damage of the organism.

Lasse I do not look down at you for choosing to not quarantine your fish. I fish you continued success (play on words intended). If your protocol is working for you then I would not recommend you change it. Paul created this thread to discuss how he runs his reef tank, and it seems it is turning into another debate about quarantining fish. I do not wish to take this thread off topic any further.
My bold

This is just the reason why I stay out of all threads that glorify prophylactic treatment of drugs with unknown sublethal side effects - however when it will be propagated for in other threads - I will fight the idea fully out

According to QP - when the current situation in the world have calm down - I do think that the EU:s law for prescription for all use of QP will be copied all around the world.

Once again - there is huge difference between using a treatment protocol for a disease with clear indications (indications is a medicinal term for clear symptoms of a certain disease) and using the same drug for prophylactic reasons if you do not know the sublethal effects. TTM (tank transfer method) is effective for marine white spot and some other parasites - no known or suspected sublethal effects - use that as a prophylactic method, Freshwater dips is the same for other parasites - use these methods instead if you want to do prophylactic treatments in order to to calm down your own concerns. Personally - IMO - the most dangerous effect when introducing fish is stress - I try to adapt my newcomers as mild as possible. This means that they have to stay in my refugium for at least one week before been introduced into the DT. With this method I have avoid bullying when introduced even if I have known known bullies in my aquarium. IMO - it is because they get the same smell

If you want to be still in this thread - it is OK for me (if it is OK for @Paul B ) - but you will be meet with argues against prophylactic QT for sure

Sincerely Lasse
 
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Lasse

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@Halal Hotdog
Quote"Paul created this thread to discuss how he runs his reef tank, and it seems it is turning into another debate about quarantining fish. I do not wish to take this thread off topic any further"

IMO You are focusing on a small part of why Paul started this thread but I am sure Paul will be along to explain.

Fact is these forums are discussion forums and it is inevitable that if somebody suggests something that many will think controversial to say the least, they will not only comment but bring into it related topics likely QT. Comments will be made esp if the author states he does not believe it is in the best interest of the animals we keep.

This thread has never gone of topic that I can see and the use of medication or other wise is all part of it. Nobody has to comment or explain anything if they don't wish.

I would also like to say (trying to keep on topic) that I asked a question a few days ago in relation to why in all these years that my fish are healthy spawn and don't get sick, you may recall. Of course nobody has to offer an explanation but the truth is many can't.

There are many who have contributed to this thread who are firmly in the QT tank and yet not one has ventured forth with a worthy explanation as to why. All I have got in the past is it's down to luck and one day my tank will succumb to some awful disease or parasites, really after 30 years.

Feel free to discuss or not as the case may be.
One of reasons - when the aquarium is established in a natural way - herd immunity for most diseases

And once again - I´m not arguing against QT if it is a observation QT and treatment if it is needed - I´m argue against a QT that use drugs with unknown side effects as a prophylactic treatment (treatment just in case of).

And as @atoll stated - it has its place in this thread

Sincerely Lasse
 
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Paul B

Paul B

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There are 79,000 views on this thread so far and we can see at least four of us run a non quarantine, non medicated tank with no diseases or losses to disease.
Us four can show that our systems work with zero losses.

Mainly with scientific studies - not animal testing by individuals.
People are asking for scientific studies, but scientists don't normally work with ornamental fish in home aquariums as there is no money in it. Who would fund such a study?

So we have to do our own study. Us four people have over 100 years of experience doing this. I will call this a scientific study. But to be fair, we need to hear from the other 70,000, + people who viewed this thread, the ones who quarantine and tell us how your fish are doing after 10, 15 or 30 years.

Do your fish ever get sick? Do they spawn? Do they die of old age. Asking for scientific study when regular hobbiests won't even share their results is ridiculous.

Why would anyone suggest a system if not even one person comes up with any proof at all that a quarantined or medicated fish will live even a day.
No one here has an old quarantined tank? Why Not?

How many times should I ask this as I am getting old.


What do the rest of you quiet people think? Anyone!

I will even start it, this spawning fireclown is 29 years old.
He has never been drugged or quarantined and I got him as a baby.



This copperband lived about 10 years.


These watchmans lived for 12 years and spawned for most of those years.


Here they are as old fat married fish



And this is one of them just as I got him as a baby


As did this mandarin


Yes, I have pictures of the eggs for all those fish (not the copperband) :rolleyes: I wish
 

Lasse

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with no diseases or losses to disease
I have had losses - for sure - but not of any known disease or seen any symptoms of disease. Yes - a bulging eye once but i did not spread. I have small fishes and huge clams. And probably some other predators that I do not know about.

Sincerely Lasse
 

Birddog61

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I guess I have a question (I'm standing on my feet though). Again - I don't QT. I don't medicate. BUT - my question to @atoll, @Paul B, or anyone else - Why do you suppose that other people (who I presume are smart enough to have beautiful tanks feel that these methods are beneficial? Why do you think zoos, public aquaria, etc - all have bio containment protocols?
Because thay do what the resident veterinarian tells them the same veterinarian who was told human intervention was the only way animals could be healthy durning their education
 

atoll

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We have all lost fish. I have had carpet surfers, fish die within days of introduction, but not so many which I strongly suspect have been drug caught but no sign of any disease or parasites and no other established fish died or caught anything.
 

Lasse

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It was in the late 60s I heard of quarantine first.
At that time I believe Sjöfartsmuseet in Sweden and Denmark Aquarium both quarantined all fish 30 days without medication. After separate medication in some few cases the fishes went back in quarantine.

When I started my shop in 2007 i bought fish from a Swedish wholeseller that cuppertreated all tanks.
After a Year I had the opportunity to be a part in a big import. To my surprise there were fewer deaths althoug I didnt use any medicines. The I joined the next import with the same result. I only use clean tanks with heavy UVC filtration for the first week or so. The only sickness I had is Uronema but now I treat that with an Oxydator with succes.
I know this @Stigigemla because I was helping the guy you did co - import with. One interesting question - have you noted any difference now when you do not do any direct imports?

Sincerely Lasse
 

najer

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I know the old guys are not into tangs, I like them! ;)
Back to natural feeding and less stress, my tank is split in two with a swim through hole, basically 2/5 to 3/5, the smaller right side is a display refugium, my fish get fed twice a day, food variable but they can graze all day, very low stress, if I have issues with fish introductions (they swim out of the bag) I can isolate fish in one end or the other for a time out.
I am all for observation in a mini reef with things for them to do (eat / graze / hunt), I do that with baby fish to fatten them up a bit but with things available for them to eat "normally" before they go in the big tank.

I add red nori with garlic for them as a treat a couple of times a week, observation, non of the 4 tangs just eat all the nori before it is gone, I know how they graze and they vary their own diet, they eat something but then go and eat something different, just my observation of my fish, I have got many starving tangs to eat now for my lfs just my feeding them macro algae, tangs do not want a diet of mysis shrimp, their digestive systems are not designed to process that!

Less stress! :)

DSC_0843 (1024x311).jpg
 

MnFish1

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So you have also been successful without QT or Meds? I personally don't have any idea why it works for me and that's honestly because I have never had a huge outbreak to make me think about it. I typically look at my fish for a long time at the LFS before I pick them out and when I get home I look at them very closely for any issues while they are still in the bag. In the past have seen Ick on my hippo and yellow Tangs for a few days and then it goes away. This may happen once every year or so when something stresses them. As I said I don't think this approach is for everyone but it has worked for me. I currently do not even have a quarantine tank and if I have aggression problems then someone gets placed into the sump until I can work out what to do next.
Yes - I also don't feed any live foods - except for occasional LRS. I do the same as you - They only time I have had problems with fish dying is when I've gone the 'cheap way' and bought online.
 

How confident are you that your skimmer is the right skimmer for your tank?

  • Very Confident

    Votes: 173 40.3%
  • Somewhat Confident

    Votes: 149 34.7%
  • Not Too Confident

    Votes: 47 11.0%
  • Not Confident At All

    Votes: 21 4.9%
  • I Don't Use A Skimmer

    Votes: 32 7.5%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 7 1.6%

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