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Related Articles: Acclimation, Quarantine ppt., pt.s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 by Bob Fenner To Quarantine or Not To Quarantine-That's a Good Question! By Bob Goemans, Quarantine, Quarantine of Marine Fishes, Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates, Biological CyclingMarine Ich: Fighting The War On Two Fronts, Cryptocaryoniasis, Parasitic Disease

Related FAQs: Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2, Quarantine 3Quarantine 4Quarantine 5Quarantine 6Quarantine 7Quarantine 8Quarantine 9Quarantine 10, Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantine 13, Quarantining Invertebrates, Quarantine Tanks & FAQs, Quarantine Filtration & FAQs, Quarantine Maintenance & FAQs, Quarantine Feeding & FAQs, Acclimation 1, Acclimating Invertebrates, Acclimation of Livestock in the BusinessAmmonia, Nitrites, Nitrates


commercial holding tank questions; Crypt...   5/16/13
Hi Bob,
It has been awhile since I last wrote you so I figured I would check in as I had a few questions I am hoping you can answer.  Last time we spoke I was about to open my new saltwater shop and you were helping me figure out my issues regarding ammonia spikes with the new dry rock and instead adding the fresh live rock to the set up in the fish holding system.  I'm happy to say that business has been really good since opening and I have been busier than I could have ever expected to be honest in my first year.
<Ah good>
 I am so busy some weeks that I have trouble keeping up with getting new livestock in to the shop after everything is sold on busy weekends.  Which leads me to my questions.  If you recall my store consists of a 1000g fish holding system and a 800g coral/invert system.  The coral/invert system does fantastic.  I run a skimmer and ozone and dose supplements for the corals as needed.  No problems there. The fish system however has been a headache from the start.  No matter what I do I can not seem to get things the way I want them.  If you remember I have a centralized system of 24 x 40g breeder tanks with an inch of aragonite sand
<I'd switch to coral sand... for looks, function; though not really a giant step forward here>
and one or two live rock pieces for each tank.  One 3ft LED strip light on each tank. In the back I have a 150g sump
<Is there room to add volume here? I would>
with a commercial sized protein skimmer, an Ozotech 1g ozone generator, and a Emperor Aquatics 300w HO UV along with 900w of heaters.  Salinity is kept at 1.022-23.  Temp: 74-75 in the winter months, 76-77 currently in the spring months as the retail space is on a concrete slab floor which stays cool.  No ammonia, nitrites, <10 nitrates.  I have also been corresponding with Bob Goemans regarding my current utilization of Chloroquine phosphate through the holding tanks as I have had good luck in the past using it in a hospital tank setting.
<I do hope/trust that you're not using CP on a continuous basis>
 My question in essence deals with disease prevention.  Every time I get a new shipment in of fish I see crypt spots pop up on the tangs and angels within a few days of arrival.
<Ahh, very common... the rule rather than exception>
  I was hoping running the CP through the holding tanks at 10-15mg/l would prevent this from happening
<Mmm, no... copper would be an order of magnitude better>
but it does not seem to be as effective as I hoped.  I am not sure if the rock and substrate are effecting the effectiveness of the drug or if the tank lights are degrading the medicine or even having an effect at all.  I turn off the ozone and UV when medication is present.
<Yes; have to>
  And have been redosing every 5-7 days as directed by Ed Noga and Bob G. I have tried the Guerrilla acclimation technique and have been ordering from reputable wholesalers (QM, SDC) without much luck in preventing outbreaks on new arrivals of certain Ich susceptible fish.
<You likely have a resident infestation... Are you "up to" the possibility/practice of bleaching the receiving/holding/isolation area every shipment? Moving some clean filter media from another system (perhaps the invertebrate sump)? Otherwise... I might stoop to the use of a chelated copper product in your fish system>
 I am thinking in going a couple different directions at this point...
1.  Setting up a three level QT rack in the back room big enough to hold 30-40 fish upon arrival.  Treating fish as needed for 1-2 weeks then moving up front to displays.
2.  Pulling all calcium based live rock and sand from fish system and replacing with bio balls, faux ornaments, inert freshwater gravel so as medications are more effective and I can treat fish system with copper or formalin if necessary.
<Ah yes>
3.  Adding more UV and Ozone to the system in hopes that better sterilization will be achieved without medications.
<What is your RedOx/ORP currently? I'd keep it (safely) consistently under 400...>
My concern obviously is once the fish have visible spots or symptoms in the retail holding tanks that they are no longer a sell-able product and the shop loses money and time treating and rehabbing the fish.
<Yes; not practical>
I guess my question then would be what is your preferred method for keeping a fish system healthy in appearance.
<As you've done and stated: Have stable, optimized holding facility, buy initially clean stock, quarantine/treat if necessary enroute to offering for sale...>
 I do not want to over medicate but it seems my ozone and UV are not enough on their own.  Perhaps I am undersized?
<Perhaps; a factor is volume size for sure... but only "a few percent" of your issue/situation. Again, like most all shops, you have a resident/in-place parasite situation>
 Other stores in the area run inert substrates and fake decor in their fish systems.  I am positive the one store uses formalin in the system when adding new arrivals and then UV there after.
<I'd use the formalin only in (heavily aerated) dips, short immersion baths>
  Their fish always seem to look in good health although I do hear they have high initial losses.  I am worried that my live rock and sand is harboring a lot of the disease.  I would like to keep some sort of substrate and decor in the tanks as I do promote reef tanks and Fowlr as my main selling setups. 
Any input you think would be helpful I would be glad to consider at this point.
Thanks again Bob!
<Though it can become a "bad habit", I'd lean, direct you to try the copper route (testing for and adjusting daily) at this time. Going forward; when you and your market will pay for it, separately holding incoming livestock shipments... Bob Fenner>
Re: commercial holding tank questions, Cu use       5/26/13

In the past I have used Seachem Cupramine.  I have never had much luck with using it though on dwarf angels such as flame and potters angels and wrasses.
<Mmm, these families members don't "like" copper for sure>
  My research says you are supposed to ramp up the dosage until recommended level is reached or run half levels for dwarf angels and not use at all with some wrasses. 
<Mmm, no; or not really... the active ingredient (check whether you're using a chelated kit...) should be at 0.35 ppm free copper (Cu++); no more than 0.50 ppm, nor less than 0.20... you'll have to check... see below>
How would I do this for new fish shipments if the copper is already at full strength in a holding system?
<? Don't follow you>
Out of curiosity why do you say the Chloroquine Phosphate only lasts a day or so after dosing?
<Often falls out of solution in typical settings... photo-oxidized et al.>
  I thought most authors were recommending treatment every 5-7 days.
<... Mmm>
 I was basing my dosing regime off of Norga <Noga, Ed.> and Goemans literature on CP use and dosing once a week-10 days.  I have been very happy with using CP in the past but it seems no one knows or follows a standard dosing regime for disease treatment or which diseases CP actually is effective on eradicating.
<Most all external Protozoans>
  I also liked CP for its algaecide like properties in the display tanks. 
From what I understand copper will do the same for combating algae?
<Yes... more olde timey>
  For the UV, it is an Emporer <Emperor> Aquatics HO 150w per bulb model. 
The Ozotech ozone generator is 1g/hr but no air dryer which then reduces the output by half I believe.
<Highly variable depending on temperature and (relative) humidity>
 But if I am running copper I can not run UV or Ozone anyways if I understand correctly?
<Yes; correct>
  The QT tanks have been ordered and I am hoping to put together the new holding system this upcoming week.  I am still not sure which direction to go on sand and rock in retail displays as it is a big endeavor to change out. 
<Then I'd leave out for now... just have to check the alkaline reserve, perhaps adjust more often... that, and/or more expensive, larger water change-outs>
 I will have to ponder more on this subject.  Thank you again for your guidance.
<Glad to assist your efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Re: Re: re: commercial holding tank questions; was Crypt, CP, Cupramine f's, quarantine sys. des.      6/13/13

Hi Bob...a short update on the store...I'm in the process of changing over all the live rock in the store holding tanks and large main sump to fake resin decorations out in the front tanks and bio balls in the filtration room to get ready for a possible copper treatment if necessary in the fish system.
<Mmm, do bear/keep in mind that you'll still need to monitor (daily) and re-add on a regular basis. The copper med./s will fall out of solution even in "just" plain saltwater systems, sans any décor... from the alkaline water and absorption by biota>
 Currently the Chloroquine phosphate is still running through the system, would you recommend trying to remove that before treating with copper?
<Mmm, no>
 I obviously have no way to test to see how much remains in the water as that is one of its drawbacks when using.  I was thinking I could turn back on the ozone and UV to remove the CP?
<It is so transient... and not trouble "mixing" w/ Cu; that I wouldn't/don't worry re>
 I have also reduced the salinity in the system down from 1.023 to 1.015.
<May as well drop a few more thousandths... to 1.012... even for most fishes 1.010... just need to take your time "re-upping"... a thousandth per day or thereabouts>

 It definitely seems to be helping with the general behavior and outward appearance of the fish.  ORP is almost 300 now with no skimmer, ozone, or UV running because of the CP.
<I should make a brief comment here; so am doing so: To others/browsers: (please) don't use CP, other "chemical means" to raise ORP (or as algicides....)... >
 I'll be glad to get the skimmer/ozone going again to remove it from the water and get the ORP back into the 400s.  My question is regarding using copper for the 1000 gallons system if necessary.  Which type do you recommend for a LFS setting?
<Mmm, much to say/relate: let's have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cryptchelcucures.htm
see the upper right box?>
 As I mentioned earlier, all the live rock is being removed, but there still will be some live aragonite sand present in some tanks.
<Then copper will be lost a bit faster than if it/this were absent. No big deal>
 I was leaning toward just a regular ionic copper sulphate mix and maintaining it at .15 ppm
<... too low... Shoot for 0.20>

 along with the salinity at 1.015.  Is there an economical commercial brand to use or should I go the DIY mix route? 
<I'd use the commercial chelated here. IF this were a very large public aquarium I MIGHT make up my own citrated (10% citric) CuSO4 . 5H20 aqueous solution... but even then would likely just make a deal, purchase (rather than make) my own chelated mix. Look for the one gallon size... even comes in larger... not for your use here>
Most ionic brands recommend 1 drop per gallon of saltwater.  So if I have 1000 gallons, and 1 drop = .05 ml, I would need 50 ml of copper sulphate?  Does that sound right?
<... no my friend. Even more dangerous is what you sound like. Do you know stoichiometry? How to make molar solutions? Please, for here/now, just purchase the brand/s mentioned on WWM>
  I was also looking at CopperSafe (chelated) and also Copper Power Blue (not sure if it is ionic or chelated) but it seems I would need large gallon sized quantities of those forms of copper.
<Both good products, and one gallon will last you a good long while>
  CopperSafe instructions are 4 ounces per 100 gallons?  Seems like a lot to be dosing in a commercial setting.  Also, seems like most wholesalers/LFS are running UV/ozone as well?
<Often the case; yes>
 Is this possible with copper present?
<Mmm, yes; though these cause (even) faster "drop out", and the coating of sleeves of ozone made via UV are a pain to clean... acid wash. Better to turn off UVs during/IF using Cu>
  The CopperSafe specifically states on its label safe to use with UV and skimmer.
<Is safe, just not as efficacious... think on this idea: Copper won't stay in solution in seawater period... it gets ad- and absorbed even faster w/ more biota/physiological activity present, more so w/ alkaline décor (sand, gravel, rock) present, faster w/ higher (more concentrated) specific gravity, faster still at higher pH, ORP, UV use.... Do you understand? I would use whatever brand, a good test kit...>
 I would like to utilize UV and ozone if possible.
<... go ahead and try this then... Just monitor/measure for free Cu at least once daily, re-adjust>
 I know that is not possible with brands like Seachem Cupramine.  Finally, the new QT holding system is also nearly complete in the back room.  I still cannot decide how to plumb them together though.
<I would NOT do this. Keep both systems COMPLETELY separate... I'd go so far as to bleach the filter media, perhaps the entire quarantine system between each use... Yes; and re-inoculate w/ media from a known "clean" system each week/two weeks... whatever the new livestock incoming schedule is. You do NOT WANT to mix anything wet... nets, specimen containers, hands, cleaning gear twixt the Q system and the store's livestock display systems>
 I will be glad when the stress of re-doing this system is complete. 
<Ah yes; I do know>
I hope that the upgrades will translate into healthier fish and more profit for the shop.  As always thanks for your input.
<Am very glad to be here for you. Bob Fenner>

Ich (prevention) Bob, this is not really a question but I hope you post it anyway. I know thousands of aquarist read your wonderful site and FAQ's column daily.  <Yes> You have indicated many times on the benefits of quarantine. I would just like to reiterate on this subject for many newbies and the hordes of impatient Wet Pet keepers. Quarantine is one of the most important tools an aquarist can use. PERIOD!!! I have always been one to follow this procedure religiously. Until three weeks ago that is. <Uh oh> I bought two more Green Chromis to add to my small school to finish of my livestock purchases. They came from a visually clean tank that I had been observing for a week. I dipped them and placed them in a 20 gallon quarantine tank. After a week they looked and acted like they were the healthiest fish in all the world. So in my impatience, I took them out and dipped them again. Yep, you guessed it, I put them in my display tank feeling very confident. One week later, Hello Ich city! You all now know what I am going through and will be going through for the next month or so. An infested reef is something that takes time to rid (or at least reduce the numbers) of those little pest called Cryptocaryon. <Yes my friend> Fellow aquarist, please head Bob's advice, my advice and the advice of the millions who have learned the "HARD WAY". Quarantine all of your animals and please be patient. Your animals beg you. Zimmy <Thank you... you have likely saved thousands of organisms, hundreds of aquarists... Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Quarantine, Why we do it 10/2208 Hello fish gurus. <Hi> I am a frequent visitor writing today not with a question, but with a cautionary tale. After a recent upgrade in tank size, we decided to add a couple more fish to our reef tank. We found someone locally who was taking down their tank and selling all their fish. (You can see where this is going already, right?) <Might have heard this one before.> Now, we know all about the importance of quarantine having learned the hard way years ago. But the seller assured us that he had had those fish for several months and that they had been completely healthy. So, in our haste, in our excitement, in our stupidity (when you know better, it really is stupidity), we added the fish directly to the tank. For a glorious week, we had the most beautiful tank in the world. Then, the first tell-tale spots emerged, followed by full-blown ich on my two most prized fish. We had to take out all the rock (again, we had just done this when we got our new tank) to catch everybody, put them in quarantine, and copper them. We are doing daily water changes to combat an ongoing ammonia problem in the quarantine tanks, which is probably due to too many fish in too small a space. But we're keeping on top of it, and everyone seems to be recovering nicely. We'll keep them out for at least six weeks. <Sorry but good that you are doing what you need to now.> What a pain in the rear, and so, so avoidable. We didn't want to quarantine the new arrivals because it would have been a pain, and now we're quarantining everyone and combating ammonia to boot. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. <True> I'm sure you already have stories like this in your archives for people to see, so I understand if you don't need another, feel free to delete me! <We post everything, and people can definitely learn from this.> Thanks again for this wonderful site, without which we probably would have given up this wonderful hobby long ago. Elise <Live and learn, hopefully others will learn from your tale. Thanks for sharing.> <Chris>

Quarantine tank setup Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have been reading your site extensively for several days, after suffering the worst infection that I have ever had of what appears to be Cryptocaryon.  <a dreadfully common reoccurrence indeed... tough to break cycle> I have used a quarantine tank several times in the past for treating various diseases, but I have never had to do it so many times until lately. Also, I have never done it for new arrivals, although I am thinking about it after reading your site.  <whoa! Yes, my friend... it is the best time to QT and the very definition of it all. A first defense aimed to prevent you from bringing disease into your tank... not a place to retreat to every time a disease is let in (although it serves in this manner when necessary> This leads to my question: What exactly do you mean by a quarantine tank?  <all new livestock (fish, coral, inverts, plants... EVERYTHING WET!) go into isolation: bare bottomed display for 4 weeks strictly... and hopefully separately. This is best done on import. Medicate as necessary> For me, my main tank is a 55 gallon (I live in a small apartment), and I have a 5 gallon glass tank that I sometimes use for quarantine purposes.  <OK. a bit small and challenging to maintain temp and water quality in... but better than nothing one fish at a time. A 10 or 20 L would be much better if possible> I usually use no light and no filter, just a heater and an airstone, <even with daily water changes this is pushing your luck (stressful ammonia spikes). Keep a sponge filter in your display at all times so that it will be ready and conditioned for the Qt when needed. Run it with the air pump> and I use Amquel and water changes to control ammonia.  <the AMQUEL is really a weak way to handle this my friend> I have usually only had fish in it for several days, so it has worked ok for some treatments.  <QT must be 2 weeks minimum and 4 weeks by definition if you are trying to screen and prevent disease and re-infection> If I am going to have fish in it for weeks at a time, this is certainly not sufficient. Would a 10 gallon be enough?  <agreed> Do you use lighting?  <indirect room light may be fine> Do you use any "decorations" for the fish to hide in?  <something easy to sterilize (non-porous) like PVC fittings> They seem to hate being in a totally bare tank,  <too bad :) It must be so to prevent the festering of parasitic cysts in the gravel. Bare bottomed allows you to siphon the cysts and break the larval cycle in 8 days if you are faithful to the water changes> and usually just sit in the corner, so I sometimes add a small piece of dead coral, although I know this may interfere with medications.  <exactly... use PVC instead> Also, I often keep it covered with a towel to keep it dark. Is this good, or should I let them have normal light?  <normal light please> I am somewhat apprehensive about keeping newly-bought, "healthy" fish in this kind of environment,  <"healthy" by what definition? Hmm... new fishes are quite stressed form import and need a quiet place to acclimate to reduce the risk of an infection flaring up under stress> where I imagine its condition would degrade after "sensory deprivation" for a couple of weeks.  <yes... the dark towel thing was mistaken> I would appreciate a short description of what you consider a reasonable quarantine tank. On a separate issue, have you seen a variation in the virulence of these parasitic diseases?  <not here bud... your technique was simply off/misinformed (short QT, darkness, lack of initial QT, etc> I have never seen one this bad or this resistant before. Is there a growing resistance to medications, like there is for human antibiotics? <yes with all bacteria> Thanks in advance for answering my questions. I appreciate the time that you must be giving to so many people out there. This is truly a valuable service for the community, and I like the consistency of your approach, as opposed to the "locals" that have a different answer every other week. - Dan <best regards, Anthony>

Cycling Quarantine Tank Is it necessary to cycle my 10gallon quarantine tank? I inquired of my local marine aquarium shop (which has extensive marine aquaria and supplies and has been trustworthy thus far) and they suggested I just fill my Q tank with 1/2 fresh saltwater and 1/2 water from my cycled display tank (and then do partial water changes every other day in the Q tank to prevent ammonia/nitrite accumulation. What do you think? < The advice is very sound. Using water from your existing system will pre-empt having to cycle the quarantine tank on its own. And using replacement water from the larger, going system will keep the quarantine tank more stable and optimized in terms of water quality than you could do otherwise. Do monitor the ammonia and nitrite at least once daily, and be ready with water changes if either approach more than a few tenths of a part per million in concentration... in addition to running some mechanical filtration and otherwise providing adequate circulation and aeration. Bob Fenner>

Sterilizing q-tank Greetings Bob. . .I have a quarantine tank that was used for several weeks to house a couple of fish that had a terrible case of velvet. Copper was also used in tank. Now I would like to use the tank as a hospital/quarantine tank for new fish and corals. I currently have the tank and equipment soaking in a strong mixture of household bleach (like a cup of bleach to 10 gallons). How long should I let it soak to assure myself the equipment will not infect my main display tank?  <An hour will do it> He do I get rid of the bleach?  <Carefully (so you won't stain anything by spilling), siphon the water/bleach to waste (down the toilet), refill with fresh, dump...> I did search WWM before e-mailing, but I could not find the answer. <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnornart.htm> Keep up the good work! Thanks, Dave <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Biological Filtration/Q-Tank Hi (Dr Fenner ?) <Just Bob, please> Congratulations on a marvelous website ! I have been a silent visitor to your site for months, mostly because I have always found answers to my questions in your FAQ sections. Now finally I have something to ask of which I am not very sure yet, if you don't mind. <Not at all... as a matter of note this is exactly how we hope to add content, get input on what topics we might write about...> After having to destroy my decor and battle for hours trying to catch sick fish with whitespot I decided that I will not add one more fish to my system without putting it into quarantine first, <Hallelujah> so I'm busy setting up a quarantine tank, its about 25 gallons in size. I don't want to run this tank continuously and would like to only run it when I actually have to quarantine a new fish. So I would keep the tank empty and when its time to buy a new fish I would fill it up with new water of do a water change from the main tank into this quarantine tank. My question to you is about the biological filtration and the best way to make sure that I don't get ammonia spikes in the QT - I have 2 options: 1. Keep the foam sponge from an Aquaclear hang on filter in the sump of my main tank permanently and then install it into the QT on the day when I add the new fish to the QT, hopefully introducing all the bacteria that the new system needs. 2. I have a Merlin Fluidized filter (from Red Sea) here which I am not using - I can run this permanently on the main tank and then transfer it to the QT whenever I need to quarantine something. Which one of these do you think would be best, if any ? Do you normally keep your QT's permanently running ? <Both are excellent... in fact I would employ both... simultaneously for redundant back-up... and utilize your main/display tanks water for the quarantine/treatment system for water> Your comments on this would be greatly appreciated. Kind Regards, Derek <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Quarantine, Fighting Ammonia Levels Bob, <<JasonC here, filling in while Bob packs for his upcoming dive trip.>> Wrote you last week with some questions about my quarantine tank set up. I have since setup a 10 gallon tank, so now I have two large butterfly in 20 gallon and another in 10 gallon. I am constantly fighting ammonia.  <<I bet...>>  Doing water changes every other day and using a lot of Kent Detox. Any suggestions or is this an overcrowding problem?  <<it partially due to overcrowding, yes>>  My 10 gallon is experiencing the same. Also I have added copper (Cupramine) per their dosage and did a freshwater bath. Fish are doing well, but parasite did show hence the copper. I have very little experience with copper. How will it effect biological filter and test for Ammonia? <<won't affect the Ammonia [NH3] test at all, but will potentially damage/stunt/stall any biological filtration that was being built>>  I do feed a little every day, my way of seeing how fish are doing.  <<may want to make this every other day, just to help with the accumulation of NH3>>  My immediate problem is the Ammonia and did I make matters worse (killing bacteria) with the copper?  D. Stanley <<not necessarily worse as this is the nature of quarantine tanks - adding of medicine, time between inhabitants, etc - that make NH3 control one of the big chores of running fish in quarantine. Be patient, your hard work will pay off in the long run. As you already know, you should probably have one butterfly per tank, or perhaps a larger quarantine system - this would at least keep the social stresses to a minimum. Good luck, J -- >>

LFS says no need for Quarantine I recently bought a complete 90 gal set up from a local store. They  indicated that I did not need a quarantine tank. Water quality is perfect so  I added fish. The clean up crew and several of the fish were from Flying  Fish and I am extremely happy with the service and quality. My question is  that it now appears that one of the Tangs has Ich. Water quality is still  perfect. The store is indicating that I can treat this without removing the  fish from the tank and since I don't have a quarantine set up I don't know  what choice I have. Can you offer any advice? < For one, do challenge whoever told you "you don't need a quarantine tank" they are WRONG! I can only tell you how badly I feel when I consider how many fishes and non-fish livestock have been inadvertently destroyed, and hobbyists lost to the interest, and greater disregard added for the marine environment... as a consequence of such foolishness. Please do get/use a quarantine tank and advisory procedures for acclimation, dip/baths to prevent such problems as you are facing. Help in the way of documented protocols from books and articles I've penned may be found at www.wetwebmedia.com For now, you may well have to treat your livestock in place... do the following: lower specific gravity to 1.017 (slowly, .001 per day), raise your system temperature to 82 F.... and add at least one of the following two types of biological cleaners: a species of Lysmata shrimp (my first choice L. amboinensis, the Pacific Cleaner Shrimp) or Gobiosoma gobies (there are several species but the one in particular, G. oceanops is widely available and inexpensive... tank raised). If these procedures don't effect a cure, or the problem spreads to your other fishes do write back... quickly. It will be necessary to move the fishes and begin a treatment with copper-based medication.... Bob Fenner>

Ich and Quarantine At first sighting an ich problem... if you place the infected fish into QT how long does it need to be in quarantine. <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and the links beyond> About a year back, when I lost almost all my fish to ich... I QT'd the remaining fish and let my tank go fallow for one month. That fixed the problem. So I understand the whole ich lifecycle thing. <Ah, good> This time, I regretfully introduced a porcupine puffer w/o QT and once I spotted the ich, I setup the QT tank and moved the puffer. In hindsight, I truly regret my laziness in not following proper procedure. <Yes, perhaps you didn't really "understand" before.> Anyhow, ich only lives on the host fish for a max of 3 or 4 days right? <Mmm, no, more variable... depending on many factors, principally temperature... might be a week or two... perhaps more> Once it's off the fish in a properly "copper" treated QT, the ich theoretically dies. Does this mean that a fish can be moved from QT after 7 days or so?  <Two weeks at elevated temperature is better, more "safe"> My understanding is that the fish cannot/should not become reinfested with "next generation" ich if the copper levels are proper. <Mmm, generally so, yes. In the case of hyperinfective states, have seen re-infection occur> What is the reasoning, if any, for keeping the fish in QT for longer periods, unless you're allowing the main tank to go fallow for a whole month? <A matter of "percentage likelihood" that the ich is gone, the fish livestock "rested" enough... Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance.

Questions. . . QT tank I am setting up a 20 gallon hospital tank and need some advice. What kind of filtering system should I have?  <many choices... I like sponge/foam blocks running in display and ready to be moved to QT when called for> What will be the estimated cost of the filtering system?  <under $20, perhaps under $10> Do I have to have a protein skimmer?  <likely not... compensate with small daily water changes (helps reduce parasites)> Will keeping two or three small damsels be enough to keep the tank cycled?  <not needed if above sponges run in a healthy tank at all times and they are not recommended because of their potential aggression on a new or stressed fish> I have some power compacts that will fit this size tank. Would that be ok to use for the lighting or would it be too strong? <subdued light is recommended over bare bottomed QT systems> Also, I normally do a 30% water change every three weeks on my 110 gallon. Will I need to do more frequent changes on the smaller tank? Say 20% every two weeks? <depends on the reason for the stay... daily for parasite infected fish... still, 10% weekly for observation would be nice> Thanks for any help you can give. Hope you're having a great day! :) <and you as well, thank you. Anthony Calfo> Elizabeth K. Birdwell

Ich in a Quarantine Tank, Thank Goodness Dear Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro this morning, part of the WWM crew.> Sorry to bother you. <No bother at all. This is why we are here.> We are fairly new to Fishkeeping and after reading your website I decided to buy your book. Which may I say wasn't as easy in the UK as I thought. It took Amazon over a month to get it! Anyway I decided to also invest in a smaller tank and use it to quarantine any fish I buy or any one that appears to have a problem. Well I think it might have just paid for itself! 10 days ago I bought a blue lined wrasse one of the flasher types I think. I put it in the other tank to leave it there for a couple of weeks. Everything seemed fine eating well and it seemed to settle in very easily. However we noticed a night ago that it appears to have white spots along back and also on the tail fins (from the pictures it appears to be ich - I think). Well until I could get some medication I decided to drop the salinity (just a small amount to start with). Well this morning all the spots appear to have gone. (does this usually happen?) <Cryptocaryon has a life cycle of bout 8-24 hours. They live, breed, and die all within that short time period. So, yes you will see your fish temporarily without parasites, but that does not mean everything is ok.> Should I still get the copper and use that as well? <I prefer a more "homeopathic" treatment due to copper's problems with intestinal in fauna. Try performing a small (10-20%) water change on the quarantine tank everyday for two weeks. This vacuuming removes the parasite eggs, breaks the life cycle, and helps to promote a strong immune response in your fish. If things seem to get worse though, do not hesitate to use medication.> When its all over am I better off emptying the tank and cleaning it thoroughly before putting more water in again, <Yes, drain completely.> when I fill the tank up again should I put anything in the water to start with for the next new fish? <I assume you are asking about biological filtration and cycling the quarantine tank. I always use sponge filters and I seed them in my main tank sump, so that a healthy population of nitrifying bacteria are always on hand.> Also after the treatment whatever it is another two weeks in the quarantine tank enough? <As above, two weeks of treatment followed by another two weeks of observation.> Sorry about all the questions but our main tank and fish seem to be doing really well and I don't want to do anything that may harm the other fish. Does a fish having ich make it more susceptible to getting it again - see more questions :-) <No, they are all just as susceptible.> Thanks, Phil Andrews <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

QT Tank Protocol I have been reading enough here to admit that a QT Tank is the only way to go when introducing new fish. However with limited space to put such a tank how would you suggest providing one? What should it consist of, size, filter circulation, rock, heat, sand etc.?  <bare bottomed tank, glass cover (or like substitute), heater, sponge filter (run in your main tank at all times to prevent the need to keep QT running and to have ready bio-filter...see below), and some easy to sterilize ornaments for hiding (like PVC fittings). Absolutely no more than this is needed. Indirect room light is usually fine (add a small light if you like) and substrate should NEVER be used (absorbs meds)> Is it something that can be setup only when needed by using material from main tank, so as to not worry about cycle time?  <exactly> I would think that if this tank is not fully cycled and running all the time that fish introduced would cause spikes in ammonia etc. that would be more harmful than good.  <correct> My problem is that I don't have a place that I can set up a permanent tank. Any suggestions??? <no problem at all my friend, the following was written for another aquarist with a similar query today. For our convenience I have cut and pasted it..., " A QT tank rarely needs to be up and running... dry and ready is good enough. A simple $5 sponge filter can be running in the back of the display tank (or a sump on marine aquaria) at all times... thus biologically conditioned and easily able to handle the load of a new fish or sick fish transferred out. When the occasion arises in need of QT, the "dirty"/established sponge filter is moved to the QT tank with 50% aged water from the display. The QT and the display are then topped off with new water. Bottom line... QT is necessary... saves money and lives when you think about the great investment in a full display tank to be risked with every new fish randomly thrown in." Do explore the archives as well if you like to see some variations on QT methodology, but rest assured that it is really as direct as it seems. Best regards, Anthony> Thanks as always, Dennis Vigliotte

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