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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quaranine Tank Questions

Okay - I've decided that having a quarantine tank would be a good idea - however, I'm not sure how to go about it.

I have a spare 10g that I can set up under my other 10g. So, here are my questions:
- What do I need to do to make it a 'quarantine' tank? Is there anything special or is this just a holding area to see if the fish are healthy?
- How do I keep it cycled? (I've seen that some people keep a few guppies or whatever in there...what do you do with them when you get new fish?)
- What do I do with the tank in between new fish?
- How long do I keep new fish in there before adding them to the main tank?
- Some people have 'hospital/quarantine' tanks...what is a hospital tank used for? When one fish gets sick, don't all the fish get sick in general?
- Do I really need a quarantine tank? (I don't mind having one, I just want to know what other people think about the subject)


Any help or suggestions would be marvelous! Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 05:35 AM
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I think having a spare tank to use as a QT tank for new arrivals and for sick fish is essential in keeping the fish in your main tank healthy. Diseases and parasites can spread quickly from fish to fish, and it only took losing most of my fish even after tons of $$ spent on meds once for me to understand the value of being able to prevent problems from starting in the first place, and of being able to isolate whatever may still pop up even after a successful QT before it gets a chance to spread to other fish.

It's extremely easy to maintain water quality in a 10gal tank. You can use established media from your other tank to seed a filter, or keep extra media on hand in a tank to throw in the QT tank when needed. Some ppl keep sponge filters running in their main tanks, and then move them over to the QT tank when needed (you can run a sponge filter through a wash cycle with Woolite afterwards to clean and reuse, or just do it in a sink- which is even easier). I always have a few of those cheap air-driven corner filters on hand to use. I put some established media in the bottom, top with some filter floss, and I'm good to go. If I do have any water quality issues in the QT tank, water changes are super easy on that small a volume of water. Even daily, if needed. I have a small 2gal bucket that is dedicated to only emptying the QT tank, and 2 other 3gal buckets that are for "clean" water. My QT tanks are set up with a bare bottom and either plastic plants/decorations or disposable live plant clippings for easy sanitation. I believe using these things helps reduce stress on fish. I can take down and set back up my QT tank in 10 minutes, max. Standard hood, simple filter, small heater, few decorations- very cheap and easy.

I QT new fish for a minimum of 2 weeks.





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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 06:15 AM
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thats also a good question
what do you do with the tank between fish? keep a couple of fish in there?

right now between my purchases i keep some extra zebra danios in there. after im finish stocking the tank im gonna empty it and use it as a QT tank.

what does everybody else do? drain it or keep it goin?

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 12:56 PM
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I keep mine going all of the time. I use a 20g tank, and it is way too heavily planted these days to consider taking it down. There are any number of ways to QT fish. My QT is pretty much the opposite of Laura's. I have decent lighting, Flourite substrate, CO2, and most everyting else that I have in my main tanks. I leave some small fish (brilliant rasboras in my case) in there all of them time. I don't remove the permanent fish when I QT new fish. The existing fish can be just as important in discovering problems as the new fish are. If something wipes the tank out, I can always get more fish to keep the 20g going, but if that happened in my larger tanks it would be a big deal.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 04:05 PM
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You could just set up a sponge filter in your main tank, like in the back corner, then after a few weeks swap it into your quarantine tank and you should be good to go!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 02:14 AM
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You could set up a QT tank such as the way Dave mentioned, but the only issue is if you ever have a bout of something really nasty Columnaris or fish TB in there, you'll have to pull the tank apart, throw all the substrate and plants out, and start from scratch. I keep no substrate in a QT tank mainly to minimize ich transfers. Since I always stock lots of tetras and these fish are particularly prone to ich, I don't want to risk any possible "dormant" cysts from my last batch of QT fish being able to infect a new batch.





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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 03:28 AM
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Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I'm just curious, LauraLee, when you break down the tank after QTing, do you sterilize it at all? Bleach the tank or the filter or the plastic plants or anything like that?

Thanks!

(great question by the way mybrotherdarrell!)


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 03:57 AM
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If I had any sort of outbreak then I bleach everything.

Otherwise, I generally just wash the tank down with a little white vinegar (mostly to be sure to get all the hardwater deposits, plus also does a bit of killing bugs)

I used to just always use a 5.5gal QT tank (which has been fine with the small tetras I favor) but it's not going to be too much more work going up to a 10gal... (I won't be too thrilled if I have to sterilize the 29gal I'm using to QT new arrivals to my 90gal though!)





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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Since I always stock lots of tetras and these fish are particularly prone to ich, I don't want to risk any possible "dormant" cysts from my last batch of QT fish being able to infect a new batch.
Dormant cysts? Ich does not have a dormant stage. If you keep your tank without fish in between uses, the ich isn't going to be in there anymore. I can see the worry about having to tear down a tank if something really bad gets introduced (which is a risk I am willing to take), but the dormant ich theory has pretty much been debunked by now.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm..very interesting. I can see pros and cons to both methods.
I kind of wanted to keep a pretty plant nursery/QT like DaveS, but lauralee makes some excellent points (and with her way, it will hopefully cut down on buying fish and plants on a whim )
I'll have to think about which I want to try.

As always, thanks for the help!
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 04:36 AM
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There's a lot of debate back and forth about the "dormancy" theories. Personally, I think the jury is out b/c I doubt that every strain of ich has been studied. IME the stuff can be extremely persistant- so I don't take risks. I put "dormancy" in quotes b/c I'm aware of the debate.

If you're keeping your tank running with fish, however, you have ich hosts available at all times in your tank. Apparently you don't have the problems with it that I do. Living in FL, the stock I'm able to obtain have ich more often than they don't...





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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 04:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mybrotherdarrell View Post
Hmm..very interesting. I can see pros and cons to both methods.
I kind of wanted to keep a pretty plant nursery/QT like DaveS, but lauralee makes some excellent points (and with her way, it will hopefully cut down on buying fish and plants on a whim )
I'll have to think about which I want to try.

As always, thanks for the help!
lol .. well, to be honest the reason my QT tank is the way it is (heavily planted) is because I tend to fall into the old trap of "I'll just move these plants here until I know what to do with them". Next thing you know, it's just another planted tank. Then one day your better half says "By the way, that's your last tank" and PRESTO ... you have a planted quarantine tank! I originally added the substrate (left over Fluorite) because every time I would QT loaches, they would freak out in a bare bottom tank. I actually had a clown loach pretty much beat its' head in on the bottom and sides of a bare tank so I abandoned that method.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 04:40 AM
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LOL I'm worried that I'll end up too tempted and do the same thing now that I'll be using a 10gal QT tank instead of my trusty old 5.5gal... there are so few fish that can be kept LT in a 5.5gal that I wasn't as tempted to leave it set up.





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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
There's a lot of debate back and forth about the "dormancy" theories. Personally, I think the jury is out b/c I doubt that every strain of ich has been studied. IME the stuff can be extremely persistant- so I don't take risks. I put "dormancy" in quotes b/c I'm aware of the debate.

If you're keeping your tank running with fish, however, you have ich hosts available at all times in your tank. Apparently you don't have the problems with it that I do. Living in FL, the stock I'm able to obtain have ich more often than they don't...
I can see your point ... better safe than sorry. I still don't think there is any debate on the issue, just people believing information published knowingly in falsehood many years ago that has persisted much longer than it should have. Regardless, when all is said and done there is only one wrong way to QT fish and that is not to do it. The methods are what they are and always fun to debate, but the fact that it really needs to be done is the important issue in my opinion.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 04:49 AM
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Agreed.

There are also ppl who always medicate fish during QT. I usually have a low salt dose in my QT tanks, but don't use any medication unless something surfaces that needs to be treated and I'm sure of the diagnosis for the problem.

If fish in my QT tank need treatment, I keep all the fish in QT until at least one week past the last visible symptom of the sickness is gone.





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