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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I received an online order of 10 assassin snails (to be distributed among our various tanks to help with pest snail problems), and a dozen rummynose tetras. Without thinking I tossed both snails and tetras into our 55 g QT tank. Now my husband and I are scratching our heads and wondering if quarantining the snails was necessary at best, or at worst putting the new tetras at risk of infection from anything the snails might pass on? Should we have QT'd them separately? We actually only have one QT tank, but for future reference if the answer is yes we will find a way.
 

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From the same place? If so I'd quarantine together. If from different places, ideal world you'd quarantine apart, but not terrible if you don't have the space. Quarantine protects your existing tanks/stock that are (hopefully) healthy. Worst case scenario if the snails have something you've limited the potential spread to just the new tetras.

Tbh though, you'd probably never know it was the snails and not something the tetras came with. And, if you didn't dump the back water in (which you shouldn't) that limits it further - with fish and snails there is much less chance of disease effecting the other than two different batches of fish.

The fact you are quarantining at all is excellent - that's the biggest thing that will protect your current fish, don't worry too much about the fine details.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From the same place? If so I'd quarantine together. If from different places, ideal world you'd quarantine apart, but not terrible if you don't have the space. Quarantine protects your existing tanks/stock that are (hopefully) healthy. Worst case scenario if the snails have something you've limited the potential spread to just the new tetras.

Tbh though, you'd probably never know it was the snails and not something the tetras came with. And, if you didn't dump the back water in (which you shouldn't) that limits it further - with fish and snails there is much less chance of disease effecting the other than two different batches of fish.

The fact you are quarantining at all is excellent - that's the biggest thing that will protect your current fish, don't worry too much about the fine details.
Yes, both snails and tetras came from the same vendor. Thank you for your response, you have put my mind at ease!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Between snails and fish I wouldn't worry about it. If it was two or more species of fish that might be cause for concern. Not saying you shouldn't quarantine different fish together just that it is a judgement call.
Here is the core of the issue: my husband feels it is necessary to proactively treat the new tetras for internal parasites with Seachem Cupramine Copper, especially because these tetras will eventually be going into the 125 g with 9 discus (3 of which are already immuno-compromised from the nitrite disaster...see my thread titled "Effects of Nitrite on Discus.."). Copper, I believe, is toxic to the snails, so do we catch the snails and put them in their intended tanks so we can treat the tetras? This would break the quarantine on the snails, but I'm still not sure if snails need to be quarantined in the first place.
 

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Here is the core of the issue: my husband feels it is necessary to proactively treat the new tetras for internal parasites with Seachem Cupramine Copper, especially because these tetras will eventually be going into the 125 g with 9 discus (3 of which are already immuno-compromised from the nitrite disaster...see my thread titled "Effects of Nitrite on Discus.."). Copper, I believe, is toxic to the snails, so do we catch the snails and put them in their intended tanks so we can treat the tetras? This would break the quarantine on the snails, but I'm still not sure if snails need to be quarantined in the first place.
What are you treating for? Ectoparasites? It has no effectiveness for internal parasites.

Copper is not what you should be using if that's the case. Actually, besides cases of Vibrio, copper really has very little effectiveness/is far more dangerous to use for ecto-parasites in freshwater. Should use malachite green proprietary blends like Paraguard for ecto-parasites- safer and more effective in freshwater situations.

Should use something entirely different for internal parasites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What are you treating for? Ectoparasites? It has no effectiveness for internal parasites.

Copper is not what you should be using if that's the case. Actually, besides cases of Vibrio, copper really has very little effectiveness/is far more dangerous to use for ecto-parasites in freshwater. Should use malachite green proprietary blends like Paraguard for ecto-parasites- safer and more effective in freshwater situations.

Should use something entirely different for internal parasites.
The snails and tetras came from Liveaquaria.com. On their website they suggest the use of Cupramine during quarantine, here is the excerpt from that page:

How long should I quarantine my fish?
Most hobbyists will keep their fish in quarantine for at least 2 to 4 weeks. During that time, they often treat for parasites with a copper-based treatment for 14-21 days, and only treat for bacterial infections if there are obvious symptoms (ragged fins, red spots, etc.). Make sure to perform a 10-15% water change every other day to keep the inhabitants of the quarantine tank healthy.

So is this bad advice?
 

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The snails and tetras came from Liveaquaria.com. On their website they suggest the use of Cupramine during quarantine, here is the excerpt from that page:

How long should I quarantine my fish?
Most hobbyists will keep their fish in quarantine for at least 2 to 4 weeks. During that time, they often treat for parasites with a copper-based treatment for 14-21 days, and only treat for bacterial infections if there are obvious symptoms (ragged fins, red spots, etc.). Make sure to perform a 10-15% water change every other day to keep the inhabitants of the quarantine tank healthy.

So is this bad advice?
Yes, very. Do not used copper-based medications in your freshwater aquarium- there are alternatives that are as effective/ more effective ( depending on parasite) and safer in freshwater. In saltwater aquariums, this recommendation would be spot on- but,not in freshwater.

If you want to prophylactically treat for ecto-parasites use a product that contains malachite green for Ich or gill/bodyflukes.

If you want to deworm- use praziquantel. 1 dose all that is needed.

If want to pre-treat for nematodes- levamisole.
"" """ Hexamita- metronidazole.
See how there recommendation is of little to no value.
 

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A word about snails beyond unnecessary copper treatments (you'd likely never be able to keep shrimp or snails if you followed Live Aquaria's horrible advice)...

Why are you trying to rid your tank of other snails? Pond, Bladder, Ramshorn, et al, snails won't overpopulate your tank if there's not an overabundance of "food" for them to consume. You can keep snails in check by making sure you don't allow food to sit uneaten in a tank for any lengthy period. Regular water changes will help keep wastes down. A filter maintenance schedule will also help.

Snails are beneficial for your system. They clean up algae, eat waste, consume leftover food, eat plants that are damaged or dying.
 

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Hmmm I've never quarantined in my life.... Always curious as to why someone would quarantine a fish...

Not buying sick fish, keeping water clean, and not overstocking is what I've always done
How can you guarantee your not buying a fish that may become sick?

A visual of a fish in its current state of "good health" at purchase is no guarantee to its future health.

I buy from some of the most reputable sources in the states- none of them say that because their fish are so well cared for that quarantine should be foregone. It is always recommended when mixing one stock with another.
 

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Hmmm I've never quarantined in my life.... Always curious as to why someone would quarantine a fish...

Not buying sick fish, keeping water clean, and not overstocking is what I've always done

That's generally what everyone has always done at first. Then one in a hundred times they get a healthy looking fish in and a couple of days later have an outbreak of something - if they are lucky treatable and not resulting in the loss of a lot of existing stock. Then they start doing/advocating quarantine. You can wait to learn from experience or learn from other peoples.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I can only say that having a quarantine tank is often a luxury that many fishkeepers can't afford the expense or space to have. I consider myself lucky to be able to have one at all. I do think that, for myself and my spouse, quarantining new stock is probably the best practice in the long run to keep our losses at a minimum...but I also recognize and respect that not everyone agrees with this or has the capability to follow suit.
 

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I'd disagree with that - a quarantine tank doesn't need to be fancy, or set up permanently. Even just a rubbermaid plastic tub can work, with a spare filter and heater - if you keep the filter running on the display tank it's almost instant to set up a quarantine tank. I see people on the reef side of the hobby doing this, and if it works for their sensitive fish I see no reason it shouldn't work in freshwater. If you can afford new fish, and the potential to need to medicate your entire (planted!) display, you can afford a simple quarantine setup.
 

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That's generally what everyone has always done at first. Then one in a hundred times they get a healthy looking fish in and a couple of days later have an outbreak of something - if they are lucky treatable and not resulting in the loss of a lot of existing stock. Then they start doing/advocating quarantine. You can wait to learn from experience or learn from other peoples.
Outbreak...of what? If you look at the common fish diseases, all of them are related to water quality/advocate water changes as treatment.

You are writing this like I haven't seen sick fish before...But I've bought countless fish and owned sick fish before. I just let it run its course and either the fish recovers or it dies and I net it out.

I've never had some scenario where one sick fish kills an entire population like some zombie apocalypse. Mass deaths are always caused by bad water quality in my experience. Aquarium fish are not some immune compromised patient in a hospital.... they are wild animals and there aren't quarantine tanks in the wild.
 

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Outbreak...of what? If you look at the common fish diseases, all of them are related to water quality/advocate water changes as treatment.

You are writing this like I haven't seen sick fish before...But I've bought countless fish and owned sick fish before. I just let it run its course and either the fish recovers or it dies and I net it out.

I've never had some scenario where one sick fish kills an entire population like some zombie apocalypse. Mass deaths are always caused by bad water quality in my experience. Aquarium fish are not some immune compromised patient in a hospital.... they are wild animals and there aren't quarantine tanks in the wild.
You are lucky you haven't had a sick fish kill an entire population and you are wrong about what has the potential to cause mass deaths. Do you think people quarantine because it is a fun thing to do? People quarantine because a single sick fish or a few sick fish can kill your favorite fish or wipe out the entire tank. You are lucky that you have not experienced this. I hope you never do. But just because it has never happened to you doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

I do recognize that not everyone has the space or funds for an elaborate quarantine system. Everyone has to asses the risks they are willing to take and do what they are comfortable with.
 

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Outbreak...of what? If you look at the common fish diseases, all of them are related to water quality/advocate water changes as treatment.

Ich is probably one of the more commonly encountered problems, it's a parasite that easily spreads between fish: Preventing Ich Yes, it's treatable, but I'd rather treat just a batch of new fish rather than my entire main tank.


Neon tetra disease - very mild symptoms at first, easy to miss in a fish shop tank - not curable with clean water.



I would say new aquarium fish are immune compromised - stress compromises the immune system - that's why new fish are particularly prone to disease or fish in poor water quality - the poor water also causes stress which makes them more susceptible to infections.


Whilst there is no quarantine in the wild, you don't generally take fish from one body of water and mix them with another. Fish are likely to have some immunity to local diseases and parasites, but that doesn't mean you move them a thousand miles away that will do them any good. Why do you think there is so much biosecurity around fish farming and import of species? There are diseases that can decimate populations.


If you are comfortable with the risk to your fish that's your choice. It's a sliding scale, quarantining reduces risk, being selective about where you buy fish etc. reduces risk - everyone has to pick for themselves the point at which they are happy with risk verse actions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ich is probably one of the more commonly encountered problems, it's a parasite that easily spreads between fish: Preventing Ich Yes, it's treatable, but I'd rather treat just a batch of new fish rather than my entire main tank.


Neon tetra disease - very mild symptoms at first, easy to miss in a fish shop tank - not curable with clean water.



I would say new aquarium fish are immune compromised - stress compromises the immune system - that's why new fish are particularly prone to disease or fish in poor water quality - the poor water also causes stress which makes them more susceptible to infections.


Whilst there is no quarantine in the wild, you don't generally take fish from one body of water and mix them with another. Fish are likely to have some immunity to local diseases and parasites, but that doesn't mean you move them a thousand miles away that will do them any good. Why do you think there is so much biosecurity around fish farming and import of species? There are diseases that can decimate populations.


If you are comfortable with the risk to your fish that's your choice. It's a sliding scale, quarantining reduces risk, being selective about where you buy fish etc. reduces risk - everyone has to pick for themselves the point at which they are happy with risk verse actions.
Not to go off topic, but what is neon tetra disease? I am new to neon tetra-keeping and wasn't aware of this affliction.
 

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All you need is one common reason to quarantine ( albeit, like NTD there are many, many more)- four strains of columnaris that can wipe out a tank from 12 hours ( the most rapidly developing variant with no outward symptoms) to several weeks.

Ich is a cake-walk. I never lose fish to Ich. Drop in some malachite green blend and it is as harmless as a splinter.

But, quarantine is a personal choice. We are all pretty cavalier about it until we have that first financial bite in the a--.
Then its like "Ouch~ that burned a huge hole in my pocket-book."
 
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