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Old 12-06-2012, 12:10 AM   #1
tinkerpuppet
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Hospital/quarantine/just in case tank ?'s


Tonight I noticed one of my neons had this weird 'look' about it. Maybe a fungus or something around its middle. I have a little 5g that I bought as an extra tank, and I have a little sponge filter/powerhead combo, and an extra hob filter too. But then I realized that does me no real good as its not cycled anyways. I took the fish out and put it in the 5g as I don't want whatever the problem is spreading. I had the sponge filter going, but the powerhead is too strong and just blowing the poor thing around. So now its in an unfiltered, unheated, uncycled tank. Its taking its last breaths, so there's not much I can do, but it made me realize that I'm not prepared for if there is a problem where I need to remove a fish who will need care/new home.

Do others just have a tank running all the time just in case? How do you keep it cycled? Do you run an extra filter on your regular tank?

And if you notice a sick fish, do you put it in a tank of its own? What do you do with it? Is there some generic fish medicine?

I thought I put some thought into having a back up tank, but obviously I really didn't think it through all the way.

The fish has now died, I didn't even finish the post.

Last edited by tinkerpuppet; 12-06-2012 at 03:09 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:53 AM   #2
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I have a 10 gal on standby I would just use cycled water from one of my other tanks and add a cheap sponge filter or something

It's not set up right now but I could get it up and running pretty quick I have found that between quICK Cure and Tetra Parasite Guard I have always been able to fix any issues in the Tank as long as I catch it early enough
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerpuppet View Post
Tonight I noticed one of my neons had this weird 'look' about it. Maybe a fungus or something around its middle. I have a little 5g that I bought as an extra tank, and I have a little sponge filter/powerhead combo, and an extra hob filter too. But then I realized that does me no real good as its not cycled anyways. I took the fish out and put it in the 5g as I don't want whatever the problem is spreading. I had the sponge filter going, but the powerhead is too strong and just blowing the poor thing around. So now its in an unfiltered, unheated, uncycled tank. Its taking its last breaths, so there's not much I can do, but it made me realize that I'm not prepared for if there is a problem where I need to remove a fish who will need care/new home.

Do others just have a tank running all the time just in case? How do you keep it cycled? Do you run an extra filter on your regular tank?

And if you notice a sick fish, do you put it in a tank of its own? What do you do with it? Is there some generic fish medicine?

I thought I put some thought into having a back up tank, but obviously I really didn't think it through all the way.

The fish has now died, I didn't even finish the post.
I'm really sorry about your Neon. You did a good job trying to save him. I don't know what he had but another poster suggested a couple of different medicines. But a lot of people use a 2nd tank to dose medicines when they don't want to dose the main tank. It could also double as a quarantine tank, kept running and cycled all the time. You could use a larger tank where the water would change more slowly than a 5. You could also put some substrate from the main tank in a bag and put it in the HOB and take the powerhead off-line.

Hope you feel better.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:07 PM   #4
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Thanks, I felt bad for the poor thing. Its sick and then I stick it in a violent tank. Knock on wood, everyone else looks okay so far.

I really don't want to run an extra 'just in case' tank all the time. Now that my tank is stocked, its pretty rare to be bringing in new fish, and knock on wood, that was the first time I had to remove a fish for illness. But I do want to be prepared if there is a next time.

I saw a little Toms Dive Clean Mini Internal Filter online. It looks small enough I could run it on my 10g all the time (in conjunction with the filter already in use of course), and then pop it into the 5g if I need (and will be cycled). I like the spray bar it has, and that it has a sponge media and I can remove the carbon as it doesn't sound like you can change it. The sponge filter I have now, the powerhead is just too strong. And I hate the noisy air pumps. Plus I don't want a sponge filter in my display tanks. So a little internal filter might be a good solution.

And I'll pick up a little heater. I thought I had an extra somewhere, but I can't find it.

I'll also pick up a bottle of medicine or two to keep on hand just in case.

Anything else to keep in this little emergency fish kit? I don't have a lid for the tank. Any good diy quick fixes for that?

Thanks!
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:33 PM   #5
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I do not keep a tank running as a hospital tank.

When you are going to put a fish in a hospital tank it is usually nowhere near a full bio load, so it does not matter if the tank is cycled or not.

Fill it with water from the main tank. Not because that water is cycled (there is not such thing as cycled water) but because that is the water the fish is used to. You could use some proportion of old water and new, and it is like a water change.
Take a little media out of the filter that has been running on that tank, and use that in the filter of the hospital tank.
Look at it this way: What % of the fish load are you removing? 1 fish, 2 fish out of 10? That is 10% or 20% of the bioload. The filter can spare 25% of the media even if you were not removing any fish, so go ahead and take 25% of the media for the hospital tank.
Set up for a hospital tank:
Bare bottom: Allows easiest vacuuming, and to see any shed parasites. Put the tank on a dark surface, or put a black towel under it. Dark is less stress for the fish.
Take clippings from any of the tanks and let them drift in the water. Gives the fish a place to hide, and a bit more bio filter. When you are done you will probably throw away these clippings.
A rock or a chunk of driftwood. Something for the fish to hide behind, but can be sterilized or thrown away.
Filter, heater, light: If the filter is too strong, and you do not have another one you can put something in the path of the water flow to divert it. If that still does not work a small air pump can run a small trickle of bubbles. Something to create a little ripple at the surface. Put the media from the cycled tank where there is good water movement. If you do not have a spare heater you can wrap the tank in a towel, and keep it in a warm place, but a heater is so important that you should go get one and keep it with this tank. Many diseases are made worse by the stress of fluctuating temperatures.
Many fish will not like the light when they are sick, so it is OK to leave it off most of the time. But the plant clippings will die, and the light contributes some warmth to the tank. I would rather leave the light on and add more clippings or floating plants to shade the fish. If you use an incandescent bulb that adds more warmth to the water.

The basic medicine cabinet would contain long lasting things like hydrogen peroxide, salt, water changes, Melafix and Pimafix, a wormer (I usually have some Prazi-Pro hanging around).
But other meds, that age fast, I would rather diagnose the problem and buy fresh meds.

About your Neon: Do some research about Neon Tetra Disease.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:11 PM   #6
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Another small point on the tank cycle. It is not needed in my view as there is very little load as well as the fish may not eat anyway. Feeding sick fish is often a waste of time and only creates a problem. Second is that I feel one of the best meds is clean water. That means many times, I will be doing very large water changes which keep the ammonia down even without filtering. Some meds specify doing water changes between dosing. Third is the way some meds work on the bacteria. You might start out cycled and the med kills the bacteria so no need to start out cycled!
I keep a dry tank, bottom painted black, and keep a small filter handy. I fill it with water from the tank the fish is in to avoid a shock and then certainly keep it heated to whatever temp is recommended for the disease. I add decor for fish to hide depending on the type fish.
When breeding, I kept a small filter cycled to swing over but I left the tank empty. To prevent passing disease on from sick to fry, I always did a bleach soak of all the equipment if it had been used for QT.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:21 PM   #7
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Thank you, those are great points. I did read about how some medicines can kill off any of the good bacteria in a filter too, and water changes can help with such a small bio load, its good to know I don't have to panic! But I will pick up the mini filter (doesn't hurt to run on my little tank anyways!) and another heater and prep a little med kit so I'm ready for next time.

Thanks!
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #8
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Good luck with everything. I wanted to mention a fairly cheap cover I often use is egg-crate light diffuser. Usually around $10 for a large sheet (much more than needed). I like that it allows for gas transfer and is easily modified to fit almost any application you need.
Looks like this: http://tinyurl.com/c8sj6lv
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #9
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In a pinch a 5gl bucket with a heater will work. Larger water changes will compensate for lack of a filter.

I have two HOBs on my 10gl so at anytime I have a filter with seasoned media should I need a to set up a Q-Tank. I have a few "recycled" trash day tanks in storage for Plant grow-out or to be used as a Q-Tank.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:29 PM   #10
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I have an extra 5.5 gal and a 20 gal tank in case i ever need them but they are in storage, no need to run them all the time (plus the bacteria would need to be fed or they'd starve, so you'd have to constantly dose the tank with ammonia to keep it cycled). I have a spare heater too. I have plenty of media from my cycled 40 gal (I run a canister, HOB and a spare corner sponge filter) so I can either pull the corner filter if I need it or grab some media from either of my filters. A small portion of media from your current filter would instantly cycle a smaller tank with one or two fish. It's also often a good idea to run a small spare filter on your main tank for just this situation.
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