Quarantine tank...some questions
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:47 AM   #1
talontsiawd
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Quarantine tank...some questions


I have always avoided a quarantine tank for a few reasons. The first is that it would be an excuse for a new tank and I would waste money. In addition to that, I would become fond of the fish in that tank and then it would just be a regular tank. Secondly, I was impatient. Lastly, when I was beginning, it was just a bit pricey.

My main reason to start a quarantine tank is is super hard for me to acclimate my fish to my CO2 tanks. I know I can take a few steps to make that easier but it's so much easier to introduce fish that have adapted to my water already.

I have more than enough equipment. What makes sense right now is my 20 long with an Eheim 2234. I will also add a AC 50 as it is seeded.


My questions:

1. When I moved one tank over here, I left all gravel in place from an established tank. It hasn't been running for 3+ months. Should I keep that or ditch it?

2. Assuming I am starting with a seeded filter, how do I keep it seeded in all the down time? I am thinking just feeding fish food. Or, is it really that critical? I am guessing from time to time I will forget so if it's not super critical to keep things up, assuming everything is running, that would be good to know. I am guessing I would only add 4-6 fish at a time.

3. How vigilant do I need to be in the process. I will have a light I can use but don't plan to keep it on, etc. It will be in the garage, somewhere I don't chill on a daily basis. I can check up but I am just wondering if I may be better off putting them in my main tank so I see everything as it happens.

I guess I am just wondering if it's worth it (no cost, just time), and if I can be less diligent than with my other tanks? If not, I have a planted 6 gallon I can use as well which would be simpler.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:02 AM   #2
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Default Quarantine tank...some questions

Everyone's situation is unique, but as a recent convert, it's worth having a quarantine tank. Mine is only 10 gallons but has saved me from an ICK outbreak that hit sensitive fish ordered online and fin rot. Both were completely treatable, but instead of doing so on my display tank full of fish, it's on a small scale, which requires less medicine.

It can be costly maintaining a full bacteria colony on the off chance you'll need your tank, but recently I read a piece of advice to use bacteria boosters or seeded media to jump start a tank. Another benefit in having a spare tank is using it as a hospital tank.

As for the gravel, I ditched mine. Makes clean up much easier, both regular maintenance and turning the tank for new arrivals. I am suffering from multiple tank syndrome but have kept my QT bare so no love lost when it's stowed away.

Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:08 AM   #3
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To add to the above post, pick up a bottle of Tetra SafeStart from Petco/smart as it contains the bacteria you need for a cycled tank. Never hurts to be overly cautious and only takes about 2 days to cycle.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
I have always avoided a quarantine tank for a few reasons. The first is that it would be an excuse for a new tank and I would waste money. In addition to that, I would become fond of the fish in that tank and then it would just be a regular tank. Secondly, I was impatient. Lastly, when I was beginning, it was just a bit pricey.

My main reason to start a quarantine tank is is super hard for me to acclimate my fish to my CO2 tanks. I know I can take a few steps to make that easier but it's so much easier to introduce fish that have adapted to my water already.

I have more than enough equipment. What makes sense right now is my 20 long with an Eheim 2234. I will also add a AC 50 as it is seeded.


My questions:

1. When I moved one tank over here, I left all gravel in place from an established tank. It hasn't been running for 3+ months. Should I keep that or ditch it?

2. Assuming I am starting with a seeded filter, how do I keep it seeded in all the down time? I am thinking just feeding fish food. Or, is it really that critical? I am guessing from time to time I will forget so if it's not super critical to keep things up, assuming everything is running, that would be good to know. I am guessing I would only add 4-6 fish at a time.

3. How vigilant do I need to be in the process. I will have a light I can use but don't plan to keep it on, etc. It will be in the garage, somewhere I don't chill on a daily basis. I can check up but I am just wondering if I may be better off putting them in my main tank so I see everything as it happens.

I guess I am just wondering if it's worth it (no cost, just time), and if I can be less diligent than with my other tanks? If not, I have a planted 6 gallon I can use as well which would be simpler.


1. Ditch the gravel and start with a new batch unless you want to sterilize it and keep it. Though with my quarantine tanks, I go without gravel for easy cleanup and tank storage.

2. You can keep your filter running on another established tank. Though my suggestion to you is after using it in another tank, is to sterilize the equipment and media before attempting to recolonize it with bacteria.

3. As long as you can visually inspect the fish and they are within a comfortable temperature zone you should be fine. Though observation and treatment will be necessary if your fish come down with something.


To answer your last question, you can go with a temporary quarantine tank and break it down when you're not using it. It's definitely worth it to prevent the introduction of bacteria, parasites, and pathogens into your display tank. It's also also cheaper to treat fish with meds depending on the size of your quarantine (Ex: dosing for 10 gallons as opposed to a 55 gallon).
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:41 PM   #5
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Bare bottom Q-tank. Disease organisms and parasites can hide in the gravel.

Do not run it all the time unless you are regularly bringing in new fish. Keep some media on a large, established tank and just use it when you bring in new fish. Be prepared to throw it away if the fish bring in diseases or parasites. Bottled bacteria containing Nitrospira is a very good way to go. Add it a couple of days ahead and feed with ammonia or fish food until the new fish arrive. Then a big water change.

A single rock, some free floating clippings of plants are enough hiding for the fish, and still let you clean the floor of the tank very well. Plant clippings can be thrown out, rock can go in the dishwasher or be washed with bleach and rubbing alcohol if needed.

Light on. Keeps the plants alive, allows you to monitor the fish.

Set up the Q-tank with water that matches the water where the fish are coming from. Then, with every water change you can alter conditions to make the Q-tank match your main tank. Add or remove minerals, gradually add CO2.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the info. I will set it up tonight most likely as I want to begin stocking as soon as I can. I will ditch the gravel and find some low light plants to drop in. I have a few nice sized rocks that are the same that are in the main tank somewhere, I gave most away.

Should I just fill the tank with water from my other tank and call it a day? Unfortunately they are the same size so it will take a few days to start out but after that it will be easy enough. The one thing I cannot do is add CO2 to the tank, I assume that is probably better but I will still have to take time to acclimate.


Main question. I will be stocking fish for my tank as often as I can in the short run. It's dependent both on cycling and cash flow. Should I drain it and clean the filter after each time or can I just keep it going? I will probably do 3 rounds of stocking until full.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:07 PM   #7
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Sorry for responding so much. I had some extra time cleaned out my 20 long, put about half the water from my existing tank, filled the other half up with tap water. I also cleaned out my Eheim 2234 very thoroughly, though it wasn't very dirty to begin with, sterilized the media, etc.

What about driftwood? Some people say to keep it out, others say it's good for hiding. I have quite a bit of pieces that I will likely never use for anything else which will make good hiding spots. Because this is in my garage, I can easily toss them out when I need to net things. Or I can just leave them out. I know they will affect the PH but is it enough to worry? Other concerns?
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post

Should I just fill the tank with water from my other tank and call it a day? Unfortunately they are the same size so it will take a few days to start out but after that it will be easy enough. The one thing I cannot do is add CO2 to the tank, I assume that is probably better but I will still have to take time to acclimate.


Main question. I will be stocking fish for my tank as often as I can in the short run. It's dependent both on cycling and cash flow. Should I drain it and clean the filter after each time or can I just keep it going? I will probably do 3 rounds of stocking until full.
Use new water for your quarantine tank.

Depends on how long you want to quarantine your fish. Personally I treat and observe my fish for at least 4 weeks. They go through an antibacterial and anti parasite medication routine. If you're going to be adding fish during multiple intervals, I suggest you keep the filter running to keep the media cycled while in use. I only suggest cleaning the media if you're not going to have fish in the tank for more than two weeks. You can also use ammonia to keep your filter cycled. Just make sure there's no livestock in the tank for obvious reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
Sorry for responding so much. I had some extra time cleaned out my 20 long, put about half the water from my existing tank, filled the other half up with tap water. I also cleaned out my Eheim 2234 very thoroughly, though it wasn't very dirty to begin with, sterilized the media, etc.

What about driftwood? Some people say to keep it out, others say it's good for hiding. I have quite a bit of pieces that I will likely never use for anything else which will make good hiding spots. Because this is in my garage, I can easily toss them out when I need to net things. Or I can just leave them out. I know they will affect the PH but is it enough to worry? Other concerns?
I don't use driftwood since it might absorb some medications. I like using PVC pipes, plastic decorations, and disposable fast growing plants. You can sterilize the PVC and plastic and you can always toss the plants when you're done.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:16 AM   #9
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Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. I figured it would make more sense to keep it going while I stock my main tank but I wasn't sure if I should start over ever "batch". It makes sense with the driftwood too, I just had a lot and figured it would be a good place for fish to hide.

On that note, I did drop all my driftwood in the tank before I read anything. Most was floating. Now I am in a delima because I came home to this: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...90#post3008890

Not perfect but I never liked any of those pieces of driftwood alone but with a little tweeking, that could look really cool. I think I may setup a 10 gallon instead. I think one will fit on the bottom of the stand. Then I can keep a HOB on the 20L and move it to the 10 when I need it. I have the Eheim on which would keep the 20L good while the HOB is on the 10 or newly rinsed.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:41 AM   #10
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Just to update this for anyone considering this...I lost 0% of my last purchase of RCS so far. Going on 4 days. That is without actually cycling the tank, just using a seeded filter. Very happy. Even though I added driftwood, I experimented and took it all out to verify my results, takes about 45 seconds. Very happy with this decision.
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