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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I get asked a lot how I do my quarantine and what I do to adequately monitor all the many fish, invertebrates, and snails I bring in and keep. My approach is multi-tiered.

First and foremost, upon arrival, all fish are put in species only tanks. As many of you know, I have a three tiered rack system. New arrivals go on the bottom. This prevents "drip" contamination between tanks. I also use different nets and siphons for every tank. Initially they are put into a bare bottom tank with zero decor. This allows me to monitor easily if they are eating, if any die, and if there is any abnormal feces. If there are no losses within the first week, I then add some wood/leaf litter/floating plants/potted plants for comfort. If they clear the second week with no losses or obvious illness, they can then get moved up a row if a tank is available. At this point as well, they will occasionally get a spattering of substrate (usually dark sand) depending on species. This is also the point where I may combine a bottom dweller (cory or loach species) with a schooling species to conserve space). The decor allows me to get "better" pictures of them with more realistic coloration and makes the fish more comfortable. Every tank gets a water change 3 times a week, usually of 30-50% but it really depends on stocking density. If its a small tank with a lot of fish, it may get daily water changes.

Here are a few examples of some of my quarantine tanks. Please pardon the dirty glass, I had wiped it down, apparently not very well!

This is a 75g quarantine. Right now its is housing the CW010 and T. espei. I have floating plants and anchored plants and small stacks of driftwood.




This is a 30g tank which is housing the Y. sidthimunki loaches and B. dorsiocellata. You can see that it has a mid-sized stump with anchored trident and moss. The algae has been allowed to grow on the class to culture for incoming nerites.





All filtration is air-driven. I use the swiss tropicals block sponges and ATI pro series sponge filters. I also use corner filters in tanks that have been medicated in order to utilize carbon or purigen to remove medications.
 

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That's awesome. After this terrible expirence I just had with my tank...I am definitely a newly converted fan of the quarantine tank. I always managed to dodge that bullet but it finally got me right in the rear...I'll certainly quarantine every fish from now on and I really like your way of doing it. My question is...do you always have fish in quarantine or are there times when you don't? If that's the case, what do you do with your filter media and plants? Do you just maintain them in a separate tank? I want to be able to have both plants and media available in case there is a need for emergency care or unplanned fish purchases but I don't like the idea of using the same media in the quarantine tank and then placing it back in to my main tank when the QT tank is not being used...same with plants.

What is your thought on fake plants for QT? Something that offers some cover for the fish but that can be stored away and disinfected when not being used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's awesome. After this terrible expirence I just had with my tank...I am definitely a newly converted fan of the quarantine tank. I always managed to dodge that bullet but it finally got me right in the rear...I'll certainly quarantine every fish from now on and I really like your way of doing it. My question is...do you always have fish in quarantine or are there times when you don't?

As an importer, they stay in quarantine the entire time I have them. Mixing too many species makes it hard for me to catch them and harder to monitor numbers and health. I import at least every other week from 14 different countries, so there are always many fish newly in qt. I do have a few display tanks that are not in qt, but those are my "pets"

If that's the case, what do you do with your filter media and plants?

The plants get moved with the fish as their numbers decrease adn they get moved to smaller tanks. I use the same filters in every tank, regardless of tank size. With the volume of water that I change, cycling is not really an issue.

Do you just maintain them in a separate tank? I want to be able to have both plants and media available in case there is a need for emergency care or unplanned fish purchases but I don't like the idea of using the same media in the quarantine tank and then placing it back in to my main tank when the QT tank is not being used...same with plants.
Just buy some extra ceramic rings to keep in your filters. These are easy to move from filter to filter and easy to clean. Plus, if the fish have cleared quarantine and been put into your display, the filter wouldn't have anything that the fish did not. You can let the qt and media dry out when not in use, then just exchange it for media in your display filter. I also put my old sponge filters and parts in teh dishwasher on the sanitize cycle (no soap) to disinfect between uses. My nets and hoses get put into a bleach solution for an hour to disinfect them between uses. I am a bit overzealous, but the thought of treating the several thousands of gallons I have running.

What is your thought on fake plants for QT? Something that offers some cover for the fish but that can be stored away and disinfected when not being used.
Fake plants are fine. I just don't use them as they can be "sharp". If a qt tank becomes infected with somethign nasty where I cannot save the fish, the plants are discarded and the filters sterilized then allowed to lay dry for awhile.

Oh...and what are those in the bottom pic?
Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki (dwarf chain loaches)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Right now my basement is under 4" of water from the dang rain. Once I get that under control, I will take some more! First time in the nearly six years we have lived here that we have water coming in. Ground water is leaking UP through the floor into the fish room. Its insanity. I have two huge sump pumps hooks to the sewer main right now trying to keep it from rising.
 
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