quarantine tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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quarantine tank

My primary tank is 180 gallons, I have an extra tank setup 40 gallons with canister filter in another room, it has sand in the bottom and some large rocks. Can I use this as my quarantine tank, even though it has sand and rocks? I plan later on to make it a grow out tank for plants. Right now I was going to add plastic plants since it going to be quarantine tank.

Or do I need to just pickup a 10 gallon tank with sponge filter instead?


Thanks
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 06:09 PM
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Should work fine as a quarantine tank. Might not be best suited for a hospital tank though as then you might be medicating and needing to do more complete water changes which you cant easily do with a substrate.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 06:20 PM
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not to hijack - but I don't understand the qt - do you just put the fish in for a while to make sure they don't seem ill? What do you look for? How long do you leave them in it?


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Should work fine as a quarantine tank. Might not be best suited for a hospital tank though as then you might be medicating and needing to do more complete water changes which you cant easily do with a substrate.
Thanks for the info. I really hate to setup yet another tank and I travel 4 out of 7 days of the week. I guess the question is should I just pull out all the sand and plan on using this as a QT and hospital tank long term? The question I have is what the impact of having the sand in the tank?

Thanks for your help
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 06:36 PM
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not to hijack - but I don't understand the qt - do you just put the fish in for a while to make sure they don't seem ill? What do you look for? How long do you leave them in it?
That's about right for QT's. Everyone does it differently and it could be for different reasons. Some QT to prevent transmission of parasites or diseases to the display tank. Some QT to acclimate new fish to a new water. Some QT because a fish got sick in the main tank and need treating (in your case treating 40 gallons is easier than 180 and would save beneficial bacteria.) Some QT fish that are aggressive till they can find a new home. Some QT pregnant fish or spawning groups. It really depends. If you see visible issues on fish, you should not bring them home unless you QT them and treat them, as to not infect your main tank. QT's can last a week or so while you keep an eye on the fish if nothing is wrong.

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Thanks for the info. I really hate to setup yet another tank and I travel 4 out of 7 days of the week. I guess the question is should I just pull out all the sand and plan on using this as a QT and hospital tank long term? The question I have is what the impact of having the sand in the tank?

Thanks for your help
If it were me I would pull all the substrate and decor to make it a simple tank. If you travel a lot, why have another tank that's difficult to clean? Bare bottom tanks work great for QT's cause you have nothing to remove if you need to treat anything. If you want simple decor for broken lines of site, just use PVC pipes or terracotta pots. Something you can easily wash or is cheap enough to replace if it gets saturated with something nasty or medicines.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by FishStix View Post
Thanks for the info. I really hate to setup yet another tank and I travel 4 out of 7 days of the week. I guess the question is should I just pull out all the sand and plan on using this as a QT and hospital tank long term? The question I have is what the impact of having the sand in the tank?

Thanks for your help
Well the reality of it is that a true hospital tank likely needs multiple water changes daily. (which means a cycled filter is not really necessary either as you should be doing large and frequent water changes to the point that you'd never see any ammonia etc build up). So if you're not physically there for more than half the week that sort of make a hospital tank un-obtainable anyway.

The impact of having the sand in the tank means you can never truly do a thorough cleaning (at least not to qt/hospital tank standards) and there are lots of things that could negatively affect a fish that can thrive in that sand. For most display tanks with healthy fish this is a non issue.

A quarantine tank on the other hand is literally to quarantine (to isolate and/or keep separate from) your other stock. Usually not the worst idea to quarantine any new fish and keep them in a dedicated tank so you can observe them for a few weeks. Hopefully, you never see any issues with those new fish and can place them in your main tank after that observation period; or you find an issue and begin treating. This second scenario is why most people dedicate a bare bottom tank as a qt setup which they can medicate if needed (basically turning the quarantine into a hospital tank).


What is it that you keep and why do you think you might need the qt setup?
schnebbles and schnebbles like this.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lksdrinker View Post
Well the reality of it is that a true hospital tank likely needs multiple water changes daily. (which means a cycled filter is not really necessary either as you should be doing large and frequent water changes to the point that you'd never see any ammonia etc build up). So if you're not physically there for more than half the week that sort of make a hospital tank un-obtainable anyway.

The impact of having the sand in the tank means you can never truly do a thorough cleaning (at least not to qt/hospital tank standards) and there are lots of things that could negatively affect a fish that can thrive in that sand. For most display tanks with healthy fish this is a non issue.

A quarantine tank on the other hand is literally to quarantine (to isolate and/or keep separate from) your other stock. Usually not the worst idea to quarantine any new fish and keep them in a dedicated tank so you can observe them for a few weeks. Hopefully, you never see any issues with those new fish and can place them in your main tank after that observation period; or you find an issue and begin treating. This second scenario is why most people dedicate a bare bottom tank as a qt setup which they can medicate if needed (basically turning the quarantine into a hospital tank).


What is it that you keep and why do you think you might need the qt setup?
So the 180 I have now is torn down, because I got hit with Columnaris, that and the fact I just bought a ton of drift wood from Tom Barr. So the 180 been cleaned and about to start doing a new scape. I don't want to take any chances this time.

The wife is willing to add medication to anything we put in QT so on, do water changes. Well at least she says she willing to do that

So in the order to save money and since the 40 is already up and running, cycled as well, should I just pull the rocks/sand out of it and that will be my qt/hospital going forward? I am thinking trying to use it as grow out tank for plants so on will be more trouble than it worth since I am out of town so much.

Bottom line is I want the QT to avoid being burned again. I think I am making the 40 QT more complex than in needs to be. I guess I am thinking long term after I get all the fish I want in the main tank, what do I do with the QT tank, I assume it always good to have up and running.

I guess it would only cost me about 30 bucks to setup 10 gallon QT, but I guess is it worth it to have another tank since I already have the 40. Might be more trouble than it worth, since I am out of town so much.

Thanks again
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 06:56 PM
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@FishStix, do your self a favor and don't mix your QT of fish as your plant grow out. This will cause issues especially say you bring in a fish that has Columnaris and put it in the QT, you're going to have plants that might have the parasite stuck to it when you pull it form the tank, so why risk it? Also, some medications are not plant safe, so what will you do with the plants in the grow out while it's being used for meds? I would invest in another tank (or tub) to grow out the plants and leave the QT as a bare bottom QT. If you know the tank is cycled, setup a grow out tank and move the filter media over to that as that will be more beneficial for that tank than a QT which will have the BB blown away more than likely.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 07:01 PM
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I personally QT EVERY fish that comes in for at least a couple of weeks. Got burned awhile back and ended up having to treat a 180gal for ick.... learned my leason then. My QT has sand and just a couple of big rocks in it that are easy enough to get out if I need to medicate... always leave the sand in there though. if i'm not QTing fish then i leave a couple of catfish in there just to keep it cycled.....
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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@FishStix, do your self a favor and don't mix your QT of fish as your plant grow out. This will cause issues especially say you bring in a fish that has Columnaris and put it in the QT, you're going to have plants that might have the parasite stuck to it when you pull it form the tank, so why risk it? Also, some medications are not plant safe, so what will you do with the plants in the grow out while it's being used for meds? I would invest in another tank (or tub) to grow out the plants and leave the QT as a bare bottom QT. If you know the tank is cycled, setup a grow out tank and move the filter media over to that as that will be more beneficial for that tank than a QT which will have the BB blown away more than likely.
I agree, I think even having the grow out tank at this point going to be more trouble than it worth since I won't have time to sell the stuff. So I guess question is do I really need to make the QT bare bottom, it sounds like yes. Just seems like a waste for the 40b, but don't think I want another tank to take care of.

Thanks
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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So I am going to go with the 40b with bare bottom for my QT, but my last question is will that be OK for several weeks with corys?

Thanks
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 02:31 AM
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I have 30g display tank and a 10g QT. The purpose was to isolate new fish long enough to know they wont bring problems to the display. I started out with plastic (silk) plants and a little bit of leftover CaribSea Peace River gravel for six incoming False Julii Cory Cats. There were also five Otos, and six Plays. So, the tank was crowded. I found I had to do water changes daily to keep nitrates down to safe levels. So I added plants. It is holding balance much better now and the fish are happier.

I figure if some disease shows up and serious treatment is required, I will just consider the plants as expendable. Most of the plants were either cuttings, or excess from the display tank. The sand can be boiled or discarded.

Initially, some of the fish were scratching on the sand. I wasn't sure whether it was parasites or just bad water. So, I treated with Prazipro since I read that corys often have problems with gill parasites. It hasn't affected the plants. I still don't know whether the improvement in the fish was due to the plants growing out (removing nitrates faster than water changes) or a Prazipro killing a pathogen.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 04:11 AM
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Note that altho your 40 is cycled, some meds will crash your cycle and/or if you have a seriously sick fish in your QT/hospital tank you may not want to continue to use that filter media in the future. Point being that a cycled QT/hospital tank may not stay cycled. I also think it's best to have it bare bottom and so you can monitor fecal matter of quarantined or sick fish.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 04:22 AM
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I haven't ready any comments in the thread, however I read somewhere that parasites and stuff can live in the sand/gravel whatever. So it's best to have a bare bottom tank.

Mine consists of a sponge filter, heater, and pvc pipe for the fish to hide.

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So I am going to go with the 40b with bare bottom for my QT, but my last question is will that be OK for several weeks with corys?

Thanks
Yes, my cories did just fine for a couple weeks in a bare bottom tank. They weren't happy with the meds, but they pulled through.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 09:04 AM
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I have seen other people keep Corys on bare bottom tanks for years without issues.

Although I am not sure if the bottom (glass) needs to be cleaned/vacuumed more often to prevent any bacteria building up on the bare glass. I think that substrate (sand, gravel) gives home to good bacteria that keep the bad bacteria (more present on bare bottom tanks) at bay so fish don't get infected (without substrate their to provide a home for the good bacteria, nothing keeps the bad bacteria at bay except vacuuming). Now I might be completely wrong here as I have never done bare bottom tanks, but I've heard they do need more cleaning of uneaten food (I am fairly sure it's more than just the bare bottom looking ugly with uneaten food sitting around, which is why I am hinting toward harmful bacteria/whatever microorganisms).

I've always used substrate even in my quarantine/hospital tanks and meds were still able to kill off the diseases without any reoccurance (even reused the substrate and even made QT into small display tanks with new fish additions and no new infections).

Some meds do kill off some beneficial bacteria (that is the meds job, to kill off bacteria), but I've only heard they kill just a small amount of BB and usually the worst thing that happens is a quick mini cycle (water will cloud), but it bounces right back within a day and the tank stays cycled.

So it's up to you. Either way will work fine.
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