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Because I live in a small mountain town without a decent lfs, the only way for me to get fish is mail order. I prefer to order all at once to save on shipping but I'm worried about how to quarantine a lot of fish at once.

I would like to order about 30 fish. I have only a 5 gallon QT at the moment but can get something bigger. But how big does it have to be? I've got money for another tank but not a lot of space.

And how can I make sure the QT is cycled and can handle that bioload? (The main tank they will be going to after QT will be cycled for that bioload because I'll sell off a bunch of Endler's right before adding the new stock.)

Thanks for your input!
 

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When floor space is critical, round can get more volume in less space. It can also be cheap for temporary use. Plastic trash cans come out good? Rinse do a quick bleach soak to kill any oil, etc. and then do a fishless cycle before the fish arrive. Maintain the ammonia food while waiting and keep heat, some small filter or powerhead to move water. But then much will depend on which fish and what size for how large the volume needs to be. Thirty guppies might fit well for the short term in a five if water and all were kept in good shape. ew fish need no light except when you need to observe them. New fish don't need much food until they settle in and really are going to eat so the bio load may be small. An old cooler can work well as they are strong as well as hold the temp well.
 

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Because I live in a small mountain town without a decent lfs, the only way for me to get fish is mail order. I prefer to order all at once to save on shipping but I'm worried about how to quarantine a lot of fish at once.

I would like to order about 30 fish. I have only a 5 gallon QT at the moment but can get something bigger. But how big does it have to be? I've got money for another tank but not a lot of space.

And how can I make sure the QT is cycled and can handle that bioload? (The main tank they will be going to after QT will be cycled for that bioload because I'll sell off a bunch of Endler's right before adding the new stock.)

Thanks for your input!
Doesn't have to be glass or acrylic to act as a quarantine tank. Just needs to hold water. The plastic totes work well for this. Sterlilite brand is almost always considered food grade and should work just fine (I think the non food grade ones would work fine too).

The only way to make sure its cycled is to cycle it! Either use some seeded media from another tank or go through the process of a fishless cycle. I usually dont bother cycling a QT tank as I'm doing daily water changes anyway.
 
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