Who all quarantine’s new fish - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Who all quarantine’s new fish

Well I recently lost 14 of my 16 fish due to ich and I’m about 99% sure it came from a pictus catfish I got from petsmart. He was loopy ever since I put him in the tank and he was the first one to die. I’m guessing I lost close to 200-$250 in fish and I don’t wanna deal with this again. I’ve never quarantined new fish always just put the bag from the store into the tank and slowly added tank water to the bag and then eventually released. I’m curious who all actually quarantines new fish before putting them in their tank and if so how long do you wait to put them in your main tank? I’ve had an aquarium for about 10 years and have never had ich. I really hate to keep a 20 gallon setup just for new fish since I don’t really have a good place to put it but I also don’t wanna deal with this again
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 10:06 PM
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I do. I have a 20g long that’s planted and has 8 oto’s in it.

If someone wants to spawn and it’s empty, it becomes a breeding tank.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 10:42 PM
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Sometimes I do, sometimes I dont. It depends on who Im getting them from and what they are. [That said, I wouldn't recommend doing that if you are unwilling to "pay" the consequences by having to replace fish if it all goes wrong ].

Some things that help: Dont buy from a LFS that has a centralized filtration system for all tanks. Know their quarantine processes. Ask when the fish came in? Did they treat these fish with any medications? Observe fish for a few days before buying. Are they eating? Are their fins extended and they interacting with other fish ( if gregarious species). Is their stomach rounded - not sunk in or distended as if bloated? Are there eyes clear? How are their fins and scales free from wounds, tatters, scrapes, erosion?

Personally I buy from small, specialty online retailers ( discus from discus breeders, cichlids from specialty breeders/importers, local breeders at Aquarium Society, etc...) The exception would be Wetspot. It is a large online retailer, but I have never got Ich ( or any other disease) from their fish , and I have ordered from them over a dozen times.

As a rule, however, I always assume Ich is present and treat for it. Anytime I get fish, no matter where they come from, I always proactively treat with Paraguard to eliminate the risk of Ich. In addition to the malachite green that treat Ich, it also contains metheleyne blue and acriflavine. These active ingredient help to heal any minor scale injuries, tattered fins, scrapes from netting, shipping, and acclimating. With all my wild fish, they are also proactively de-wormed with praziquantel.


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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 12:26 AM
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+1 for @Discusluv advice on preemptively treating with Paraguard. I've done this for a long time and have yet to lose any new fish to ich (used to bring home ich fairly often). Paraguard also treats many other ailments, as well.

I buy all my fish from various LFS in my area (not Petsmart) and, as @Discusluv mentioned, try to spend some time observing all of the fish in the tank your new prospects are in. I just do it a few minutes before buying to make sure of general health. I don't recall seeing an LFS that doesn't have a single water system for all tanks, at least not in my area, for many decades. I don't come back over the next few days to compare, either. I view it much as COVID-19 (but not as drastic as my governor) and accept that some will be sick without showing symptoms and treat as needed but, as mentioned, the Paraguard is a good catchall preventative.

I find that each LFS has different water parameters in terms of TDS (usually mostly GH aspects). So, when I get the new fish home, I put them in a bucket for a few hours (adding Prime to knock down ammonia build-up - also put a drop of Prime in the fish bag at the store if the trip will be more than about 15 minutes), then adjust my 5-gallon QT to match the LFS TDS, with GH components, and then drip acclimate the bucket with the QT water, finally moving the fish from the bucket to the QT tank after acclimation. I quarantine the new fish for at least 3 weeks and extend it 2 weeks if any disease appears.

Depending upon your budget, I would also strongly recommend a Level 1 UVS for your main tank. THey do wonders in terms of disease prevention.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 05:18 PM
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I am also in the sometimes I do sometimes i dont boat. I have found that petsmart fish are riddled with diseases. Not to hate, just a fact of my experience with petsmart fish. I was shocked when buying petsmart fish because they had everything. Ick, finrot, internal bacterial septicemia, worms, ect... I still occasionally but from petsmart but when I do I do a full quarentine routine. I usually dont quarentine from LFS unless I have visual evidence of a disease.

Bump: After re-reading your post I realized it sounds like you add the store water to your tank after acclimation. IMO that is a BIG no no. I am very careful not to add any water from the store to my tanks. I drip acclimate and then catch and transfer by hand because nets are more stressful and abrasive. the only store water that gets into my tanks is the water that clings to the fish and my fingers. Hope this helps and we've all been there. GL
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 05:29 PM
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I just recently set up a quarantine tank while in quarantine. It was very meta.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 06:48 PM
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as much as I love my LFS and how they run their tanks I have learned my lesson over and over again when the new fish brought something big and it wiped out my previous inhabitants.

I've realized that it is way cheaper to have a 14 day quarantine on new fish and see how they do on a bare bottom tank rather than dumping them in the main tank and wondering if they disappeared or not. I cannot stress enough how much easier it is to treat an easy 10g tank compared to your main display tank with established bio filter/plants/fish.

I've had issues when I have quarantined for 10 days and they spread the ich to the main tank so now I am very firm on holding for 14 days or sometimes 21 days depending on how they do.
I'm not too big of a fan of treating with antibiotics/medicine right away unless I see an issue but it seems that this is successful for some.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 07:08 PM
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So do you guys just have a QT running all the time, or do you set it up temporarily somehow (not sure how that would work with cycling)? I don't intend to add new stuff very frequently and my main tank isn't very big, so having a whole separate tank running constantly for occasional use seems like a lot of hassle, by which I mean I'm not sure I can convince my spouse.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 07:26 PM
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The QT varies with different settings as mentioned but there is one thing that can ease the pain of keeping a QT. Don't keep it set up all the time!
Everything we do needs to be modified to fit each person and each time we do that thing.
So QT becomes a different question if you are doing and odre for tons of fish versus if we are just getting a couple fish from down the street. Tons of fish, lots of money involves may require getting a tank set and cycled as that is where fishless cycle came into being needed.
But if you are a steady person who only added a fish now and then, I highly recommend having a tank in the closet to pull out as needed. A ten is good for this in most case. If you do it often maybe keep an HOB on the back of another tank to have a -pre-cycled filter ready as well?
But if you add one, two fish now and then it is fine to just start with a bare tank, pull it out and clean it, set a filter,etc. and add the new fish. How does this work on an uncycled tank? New fish do not eat much and should be fed very little for the first few days as part of letting them settle in. A small tank with little in the way of good viewing but cover for the fish to hide ios much better than big. You can see the ich better! But over a few days, the fish can easily go without food while you watch and then when he is calmer, a few bits of food does not overrun the water changes we need to do to keep a QT in good shape.
Sick fish often do not eat and need less food to create ammonia and also we need to do more water changes to make better conditions for the sick folks.
The combo of little waste and lots of clean water can let us do the uncycled tank while we let the bacteria grow and we watch for trouble.
In actual fact we don't need good bacteria if we change enough water but that doesn't fit for most of us!
But for QT tanks, I find it works for me to just keep it on hand somewhere. Far better than the dangerous shell game and trying to treat a whole tank of sick fish.
QT always but mod it to fit what works for you.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 07:36 PM
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For me the quarantine tank is the cover with the wife for setting up another tank that will eventually be a shrimp tank.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
The QT varies with different settings as mentioned but there is one thing that can ease the pain of keeping a QT. Don't keep it set up all the time!
Everything we do needs to be modified to fit each person and each time we do that thing.
So QT becomes a different question if you are doing and odre for tons of fish versus if we are just getting a couple fish from down the street. Tons of fish, lots of money involves may require getting a tank set and cycled as that is where fishless cycle came into being needed.
But if you are a steady person who only added a fish now and then, I highly recommend having a tank in the closet to pull out as needed. A ten is good for this in most case. If you do it often maybe keep an HOB on the back of another tank to have a -pre-cycled filter ready as well?
But if you add one, two fish now and then it is fine to just start with a bare tank, pull it out and clean it, set a filter,etc. and add the new fish. How does this work on an uncycled tank? New fish do not eat much and should be fed very little for the first few days as part of letting them settle in. A small tank with little in the way of good viewing but cover for the fish to hide ios much better than big. You can see the ich better! But over a few days, the fish can easily go without food while you watch and then when he is calmer, a few bits of food does not overrun the water changes we need to do to keep a QT in good shape.
Sick fish often do not eat and need less food to create ammonia and also we need to do more water changes to make better conditions for the sick folks.
The combo of little waste and lots of clean water can let us do the uncycled tank while we let the bacteria grow and we watch for trouble.
In actual fact we don't need good bacteria if we change enough water but that doesn't fit for most of us!
But for QT tanks, I find it works for me to just keep it on hand somewhere. Far better than the dangerous shell game and trying to treat a whole tank of sick fish.
QT always but mod it to fit what works for you.
Agreed! I do the same. I set up an aquarium when I need for quarantine or as a hospital tank. For both situations I do daily water changes anyways. No need to have a cycled tank when do that.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunsen Honeydew View Post
For me the quarantine tank is the cover with the wife for setting up another tank that will eventually be a shrimp tank.
Haha! So true, that's why it stays empty until I need it, I have no self control.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 08:05 PM
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I keep a 29 gallon planted biocube set up all the time for a QT. No fish goes into any of my display tanks without spending 14 (or preferably 30) days there first unless I bred it myself. I owned an LFS for 6 years and saw an awful lot of fantastic looking bags of fish come down with disease and crash a week or two in. A light unnoticeable parasite load can blow up a week or more after shipping and the stress that comes with that. And any bacterial infection will have a much better chance against compromised fish that have just been shipped halfway across the country. It drove lots of customers insane to see tanks of fish that wouldn't available for weeks, but I don't think it's even ethical to sell fish at a profit you haven't gotten through the period where the losses set in. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the prevailing practice in fish stores but it would save a lot of people a lot of grief if it were. And probably keep more people in the hobby.

Medications can be hard on fish, hard on plants, hard on your biological filter, and even harder on shrimp and inverts. Seems reasonable to me to go through the trouble of keeping an empty running tank around once you get to the point you own more than 1 or 2 aquariums to keep them and their inhabitants in the best shape you can.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 08:09 PM
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sounds like you add the store water to your tank after acclimation. IMO that is a BIG no no. I am very careful not to add any water from the store to my tanks. I drip acclimate and then catch and transfer by hand because nets are more stressful and abrasive.
Agreed. I don’t pour the bucket into the QT. I use a net to move the fish. Although I can’t imagine how I could catch the fish by hand, I’d be concerned that the contact with my skin would remove the protective slime coating on fish and this can cause other issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleDee View Post
So do you guys just have a QT running all the time, or do you set it up temporarily somehow (not sure how that would work with cycling)? I don't intend to add new stuff very frequently and my main tank isn't very big, so having a whole separate tank running constantly for occasional use seems like a lot of hassle, by which I mean I'm not sure I can convince my spouse.
I just set my 5-gal up when I need it. I use a small filter and Purigen, bare bottom and monitor NH3 with Seachem’s “Ammonia Alert.” Although my NH3 never spikes, it would be easy to deal with either with a water change or Prime.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 09:40 PM
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Always have done QT with Prazipro, and 2 months QT. Never had a problem *knock on wood*.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-19-2020, 02:36 PM
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If I get fish from a local club auction , I don't bother to quarantine , usually I know the seller , and no one knowingly puts fish in a club auction that are sick . If I get fish from one of the 2 local shops I'll buy from , or get them through the mail , I'll isolate them for a few days ( no more than a week) just to make sure they're eating , and that nothing pops up . I do NOT get livestock from Petco/Smart save for possibly getting tissue cultured plants . Haven't had a diseased tank for years . It's just a matter of being selective about who you buy from .

Last edited by someoldguy; 05-19-2020 at 02:37 PM. Reason: i kant spel
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