Comes up a bunch with folks wondering what to do. I was no different starting out.
Here's my bomb to date on what I do trying to protect my 14 current tanks.
(updating this post 12/17/2011. currently up to 24 flooded water boxes LMAO)
All reviewing this thread PLEASE READ and fully understand the following paragraph.
I am a hobby breeder and keeper of water weeds and tropical fish. While I have played with fish tanks for >30yrs. I am NOT a vet or have I ever attended any medical training classes other than basic first aid and CPR training. I am not an educated chemist. Included in my QT thread is my opinion and my personal experiences. What's included also are the posted experiences of others in an effort to share. It needs to be stated and understood that what we include here is based on personal experiences and input mainly from breeder related websites.
Verify any information contained to your comfort level before following any advice included in this thread.
Ask questions!!! I am truly sorry that in trying to share information that I learned through hard lessons that somebody found out it wasn't enough. Ultimately Shawn found he was dealing with fish Mycobacterium. The thread makes a great read on a worst case scenario.
(imo a real one)
Fish are first placed in a bare tank.
First day here nobody new gets fed and the tank remains dark. After 24hrs. I feed lightly and go from there.
3-10 days later (time in my schedule) they are placed in the established long term quarantine tank.
My long term entry tank is a 20g T
all placed far away from all my established systems.
The 20T quarantine is loaded with plants and cycled before the fish arrive. Once new fish are in house daily I check ammonia and nitrite to make sure the plants and the HOB filter are keeping up with the livestock load.
This is the first week adding fish and changing the bio loading on the tank.
After a week I'll first treat with flubendazole then move to the next plant safe parasite med. Without anything exciting after 45 days I can add them to my tanks.
It may be harder on me if things go south starting with a planted introduction/quarantine but the fish drop stress fast calming down really fast. They settle in so much faster with a furnished tank. Even though exposure to a planted quarantine may be adding things to the tanked environment of the newcomers thats where they end up here anyway,,, a planted tank.
The plants do help with the water quality too. Helping balance with the changing bio-load. All the plants are low light fast growers so if I have to break things down because I receive a truly nasty surprise with new fish all I lose is time because I reload with trimmings from the other tanks. I can't even imagine anymore doing an extended quarantine in a bare tank. Dealing daily with siphoning the waste and water changes. Not to mention species like pandas, otto's, abn or loaches that feel better with cover. They stay stressed the whole time in a bare tank.
PVC tubes aren't much better.
One somewhat disposable quarantine/introduction system and the patience to use it is the only way to protect all the hard work of a display tank.
(in my opinion)
UV sterilizers sized correctly to the flow rate for parasite kill are great for knocking out free swimming parasites. Not a cure all but it does reduce exposure and help with not spreading problems.