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FAQs on Quarantine 13

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: Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2Quarantine 3Quarantine 4, Quarantine 5, Quarantine 6Quarantine 7, Quarantine 8, Quarantine 9, Quarantine 10, Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantine 14, Quarantining Invertebrates, Quarantine FAQs on: QT Rationale/Use, QT Methods/Protocol, QT Protocol 2, Quarantine Lighting Quarantine Tanks & FAQs on QT Tanks, QT Filtration, QT Maintenance/Operation, Quarantine Feeding & FAQs on: Quarantine Feeding  & FAQs on Acclimation 1, Acclimating Invertebrates, Acclimation of Livestock in the Business Treatment Tanks Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates

Take care not to crowd in quarantine, physiologically or psychologically.

Fish QT question    4/20/20
Hi Bob and gang,
<Hi Danny>
I learned my lesson (the hard way) a few years ago and set up a dedicated 29 gallon quarantine tank in the basement. It’s made a huge difference.
<It certainly does!>
My question is this. After a few days, when the fish have settled in and are eating, would you advise beginning a prophylactic copper (Cupramine) treatment even if the new fish don’t show any signs of Crypt or Velvet? Or would you treat with copper only if they show signs of disease?
<I would not treat unless there are visible signs of disease, I suggest watching your fish for a couple of weeks and if everything is fine, just move them to the DT, perhaps just giving a 5-min FW dip/bath (temp/ph adjusted). Cheers. Wil.>
Re: Fish QT question    4/20/20

Makes sense. Thanks a bunch!
<You're most welcome. Wil.>

Macro Algae Quarantine   3/3/20
If you had to throw an overall number out what would say if the overall risk of putting red ogo macro algae in a tank without quarantine and some type of parasite (ick or velvet) getting into the tank.
<Where is the Ogo/Gracilaria from? A few co.s culture this, some in vast quantities, and there is close to zero chance of parasitic, disease introduction from them. From another hobbyist's tank? Maybe some chance... I'd isolate the latter for a couple weeks>
Would washing the algae in a separate bucket of water prior essentially eliminate the risk?
<Washing? Not really useful. Bob Fenner>
Re: Macro Algae Quarantine   3/3/20

Its coming from live Aquaria which I am assuming it would be coming from Quality Marine.
<Likely so; and highly likely cultured and sold by two outfits in Hawaii. I WOULD trust immediate use of this red macrophyte therefore>
I have a scribbled rabbitfish wont graze on Nori even attached to the rock. Its everything and grazes on the ogo. I just cant grow it fast enough to keep up. With how much it eats. It can take down a pound in a little over a week.
<This genus of algae can be tumble cultured to about double its biomass every week... DO consider (look... search and read) re if you'd rather save money on buying it shipped. Bob Fenner>
Re: Macro Algae Quarantine, feeding Nori    3/3/20

Thanks. Will definitely do some reading on better cultivation on the macro. Any tips on how to get the fish to eat Nori other than hopefully time?
<No... some fishes (and humans) just don't find Nori palatable... the above water kind even treated w/ flavourings. BobF>

Quarantine Protocol     1/2/20
Hi Team,
<Hey Callum>
I have a question about QT protocol which is similar to a question I read sometime ago on the site but I can no longer find it, so I apologise for any repetition.
<No worries>
I have a 120 Litre reef tank plus 60 Litre sump with the following inhabitants: 1 Striped Fang Blenny, 1 Blue Green Chromis, 1 Pink Skunk Clownfish and assorted LPS and soft corals. All fish have been in
the aquarium for over a year now and appear healthy and eat a combination of Mysis Shrimp, live blackworms and Spectrum pellets. However, when I initially purchased the clownfish (no quarantine - I have learnt my lesson), it exhibited signs of Ich for a few weeks. The symptoms then subsided after I removed it's partner who was an aggressive female Pink Skunk and it there have been no outward symptoms on any fish since (around a year).
Now, I know that it is likely that Ich is still present in my system even without symptoms and I would like to add a final fish to this tank - a Royal Gramma. I recently purchased a quarantine tank in preparation for this but I am reluctant to take my 3 fish out of the display tank and treat them for Ich plus leave the display fallow.
<Mmm; yes... would take a considerable period of time (longer, the better) to be (more) assured that obligate protozoan parasites had lost their vitality/pathogenicity... months>
The fish all seem very healthy and I do not want to risk this with a stressor event such as moving them
to a QT. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether a 6 week quarantine period for the Royal Gramma using Marine Pure from the display and slowly adding water from the display over the 6 weeks to 'expose' the fish to the conditions in my tank is a viable option.
<It is; in fact two weeks will get you about 90% of what one can hope to gain>
My thinking is this would allow me to build up the strength of the Gramma and observe it for any signs of
disease. I don't think prophylactic Ich treatment in QT would be any use as I would be adding the fish to a display tank which Ich is likely still present. Or would the benefits of removing the three fish and treating them while leaving the display fallow for 8 weeks outweigh the downsides?
<I would go the route you suggest and NOT remove the existing fishes>
Thank you for your time and wonderful website.
<Thank you for contributing to it. Bob Fenner>

Ich; Crypt in a 750 gal. reef      5/3/18
Hey Bob, good morning.
So as luck would have it, my 750 has developed ich. I haven’t had to deal with this crap for close to 8 years. My tank is loaded with coral so treating the display isn’t an option and I have close to 40 fish and 400 pounds of LR so netting the fish out is also not an option.
I started them on DR Gs parasitic food,
<http://www.drgsmarineaquaculture.com/anti-parasitic-caviar-detail.cfm,  CP>
raised the temp and bought 5 cleaner shrimp. I also just ordered a new bulb for my sterilizer
<UV speeds up the decay of Chloroquine phosphate>

and should have it running in a day or 2. Even though the fish are still eating, I've lost 4 of them. Is there anything else I can be doing to get this under control?
<... Plan B... removing the fish livestock to where spg can be manipulated, allowing the 750 to go fallow... Otherwise... hoping the remaining fish livestock will develop resistance, immunity... Trouble introducing new fish/es... NEED to be thoroughly acclimated, conditioned to the system, including water changes from the main to Quarantine system/s>
I’m also running ozone although I realize it doesn’t do much for ich.
As always, thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich      5/3/18

Thanks Bob. The link you sent for the food is different from what I bought. The stuff I got is actually frozen Dr Gs food. Is the liquid form you sent better in your opinion?
<I don't know John. My guess/supposition is that the frozen format would retain CP potency. I did meet Dr. G years back giving a presentation (used to call pitches) at a S. Fla. hobbyist show. Seemed very nice, honest, competent folks/family. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich      5/3/18

Ahh. Ok. Thanks for the input. Hopefully it is as reef safe as they say it is. I have thousands in corals at risk if it isn’t.
<Do see WWM re CP, and for what you have invested... the 2d ed. of Ed Noga... Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment. B>
Question. More re Crypt in a 750 gal. reef      5/4/18

Good morning Bob,
<Good morrow to you John>
I have been wondering something that maybe you can answer. It’s about ich. So if ich primarily effects fish when they get stressed and their immune system takes a hit, why is it that the whole tank becomes infested?
<There is more to such infestations. Apparently there are degrees of "hyperinfectivity"...
some "pumped up" strains, populations (perhaps species) of Cryptocaryon, REALLY causing more havoc once their daughter colonies ramp up >
If a fish with ich is introduced into a healthy thriving tank with all health fish, why isn’t the ich isolated to just the stressed fish?
<Mmm, not the "nature" of the Protozoan. It's swarming stages are "forever" seeking out host/s... in the wild, diluted by huge volume of space, pushed off the reef into deeper water. In captive, recirculated systems there is a "high target zone" throughout the tank>
I’m thinking in terms like this... if a fish recovers from ich it’s because their immune system beefed up and fought it off. But.... if a fish is already healthy, why do they become infected in the first place?
<Matters of titers against specific "types" of the parasite is my guess. Akin to you, I gaining resistance to particular "strains" of microbial diseases through exposure, but not to all "types">
My livestock was incredibly healthy in my 750 and I obviously added something in the last couple weeks that introduced ich in the system. Why were my healthy fish infected?
<As stated>
Thank you?
<I so wish we could go back in time and discuss, have a collective understanding of a protocol for diminishing introduction... improving the health of to-be introduced new livestock. Institutions like public aquariums, commercial aquaculture.... are VERY careful to acclimate, isolate, quarantine ALL newcomers for these dual purposes. Have you decided to drain the tank, remove the remaining fishes? Bob Fenner>
Re: question, 750 gal. reef, Crypt       5/5/18

Thanks Bob. I haven’t reached that stage of the game yet. I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that. This tank is massive and I just don’t know if the juice is worth the squeeze. My coral population is vast and the thought of pulling them all out leaves me feeling like I need to be medicated.
<I do understand. Have "been t/here" before John. Steady on. B>
long term. Infested SW systems      5/17/18

Hey Bob, good morning.
<Hi John>
This question is regarding marine velvet. My 750 got infected with it a few weeks back and devastated my fish population.
<I def. recall>
I have about 10 out of 30 remaining. About 1/2 of the remaining fish must be immune because they haven’t shown any symptoms. The other half are touch and go.
<I see>
I’ve tried to trap them with no success and with thousands in corals I can’t treat the tank. The question is this. If some of these fish pull through and clear the infection, will I ever be able to add new fish to the system or will the parasite always be present even on the healthy fish?
<I hinted re this before... You will need, be best served to select more resistant species (not Powder Blue, Brown Tangs e.g.) from better source countries, AND harden them ahead of introduction. The short version of this last involves isolation/quarantine to assure initial health, AND a bit of acquired immunity imbued by slowly introducing water from the main/display into the new arrival tank. Some folks might suggest prophylactic treatment/s as well. The reality is that nearly all captive systems are infested w/ parasite fauna of various mix; with the other two "factors that determine livestock health" acting as more drivers of outbreak>
As always, thank you.
<Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: long term. SW Protozoan... 750        5/18/18

Ahh. That’s a good idea. I didn’t think about using some of the display water in the QT system. So if I am understanding you, with a low exposure they can build an immunity to it?
<Yes; there is such a phenomena as acquired immunity here>
I did end up putting a 30 gallon hospital tank together and added copper. Unfortunately like I said I can’t get any of them trapped. But I guess that for new additions it’s in place now.
Would it be counter productive to add copper AND diseased tank water to the QT tank with any new additions? The answer seems like an obvious “yes” to me but maybe I’m missing something?
<... I would, in order: 1) NOT treat the new fish if possible, to allow them time to adjust to collection, transport, handling. 2) A few weeks later, consider treating; perhaps not with copper compounds as these are debilitating; perhaps too much so. 3) A few weeks later, start adding, mixing water. PLEASE read where I've referred you>
Thanks Bob.
Re: long term       5/18/18

Thanks again Bob. I appreciate the time and patience.
<Welcome John. Oh how I wish at times for something like the "Vulcan mind-meld". Cheers, B>

Quarantine question; rdg.        6/8/17
Hello WetWebMedia Crew! First of all, allow me to say that I truly am a big fan of your forum as it is a source of much information ...... thank you also for quickly replying to my emails in the past.
<Welcome Kathy>
I have a quick question for you today, about quarantine procedures ...... I recently purchased some golden semilarvatus butterflies and a tigerpyge to be shipped from the USA to Manila. I have read that butterflies and Centropyge have a high sensitivity to copper and that the next best thing to get them started with the quarantine procedure is to do a freshwater dip with Methylene blue?
<Yes; one approach that is less toxic; effective>
1. What is the ratio of freshwater to Methylene blue?
<VERY safe; you just want the water VERY blue... Can't say the ratio, as individual products are of differing concentration. Put in enough that you can't see the bottom of the container>
2. And do I dip them as soon as the shipment arrives?
<No; need to flush out the ammonia in the fishes... and the water. READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm
and the linked files above; till you're sure you know what you're doing>
Or do I wait for a few days before doing the dip?
<For these species, I would do along with the acclimation protocol... i.e., on arrival>
I am just a bit worried that the fishes will be highly stressed out from the long flight time?
<I understand. IF they do appear too stressed, you can wait for the dip/bath procedure later... as you suggest.>
Would love to hear your thoughts on this. And thank you very much in advance.
Kathy ��
<DO write back if all is not clear. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question       6/8/17

Hi Bob! Thank you very much for the prompt reply.
<Certainly welcome>
Will read on the link you forwarded and will send you an email again if I do have further questions. Truly truly appreciate all your advice.
<Cheers, BobF>

Re: Quarantine question       4/2/16
Hello again,
I am getting very close to finishing the stocking of my tank. I have a medium blonde Naso Tang that has been in quarantine for 8 days. I got it straight from my service's wholesaler, and it looks very healthy with no signs of disease. My problem is I cannot get it to eat.
<May not till it's placed in a more suitable (mostly large/r) setting.... try some fave foods (see WWM re Naso lituratus, the entire genus foods/feeding FAQs)>
I have fed it San Francisco Bay brand multi-pack saltwater frozen food all varieties, Julian Sprung Sea Veggies Green Seaweed,
<Mmm; they're much bigger fans of Phaeophytes
and New Life Spectrum Marine Formula. I have even tried soaking the food in Garlic Guard. I have not been able to see it eating while I am watching. I guess there's a chance it is eating when I'm not watching but I am
concerned at this point. Do you have any suggestions?
<As stated: The expedited move to the main/display, perhaps w/ a perfunctory dip/bath enroute (gone over and over on WWM as well); the proffering of more suitable edibles....
As always, thank you in advance.
<And the typical welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question       4/2/16

Wow you are fast. Thank you very much. I will look at the WWM Naso feeding FAQs and speak with my service about expediting moving the fish into the main tank.
<Real good. Arivederci bello! Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question        4/4/16

Sadly I did not move fast enough and the Naso perished.
I am three fish away from finishing the stocking of my tank. Here are the fish I have in my tank (it is a 220 gallon glass FOWLR tank):
3 Orange Ocellaris Clownfish
2 Black Ocellaris Clownfish
Royal Gramma
Flame Hawkfish
Coral Beauty
Yellow Tang
Tail-spot Wrasse
Hepatus Tang
The remaining fish I would like to complete the stocking of my tank are:
Blond Naso Tang
Threadfin Butterfly
Yellow Long-nosed Butterfly
Here is the procedure I have been using to acquire, QT and place the fish in the main tank:
I obtain the fish directly from my service's wholesaler. They put them in the QT (a 55 gallon tank). After one day, they come back out and give them a freshwater (ph adjusted, etc.) dip and place them back in the QT (we wait
a day for the dip to give them some time to de-stress from being shipped.)
We leave them in the QT for two weeks. Then the service comes out again and gives them another freshwater dip and puts them in the main tank. This procedure worked for all of the fish that are in the main tank.
Unfortunately, we have gone through three sets of the Naso Tang, Threadfin Butterfly and Yellow Long-nosed Butterfly with only one Yellow Long-nosed Butterfly making it to the main tank where it died after six days. I would really like to complete my tank as specified but am alarmed over our inability to get these last three fish through the process. Do you have any comments, suggestions? Should I just give up and leave it with the fish I have already in the main tank?
<I would expedite the Naso and BFs... just doing the FW bath and placing directly in the main /display... Yes; I'd risk the small bit of extra possibility of introducing a pathogen... in exchange for their better
initial health.
You can read re my opinion on this topic for various groups (families) of fishes in books I've penned, articles and FAQs archived on WWM. Bob Fenner>
As always, grazie in advance.
Steve DeFilippis
Re: Quarantine question        4/4/16

I thought I read in your books (I have several of them) that you would forego the QT for the Butterfly fish but everyone
is always emphasizing QT so I was hesitant to skip the QT.
<Understood... I ask that you consider the underlying logic in both positions. Likely the specimens your service company is procuring for you are relatively healthy, of good quality... it is also likely in their processing from the wild (none of these are captive produced as yet) have undergone preventative measures (e.g. dips, baths).... You state that previous trials w/ isolation, quarantine have met w/ mortalities.... READ my stated rationale for skipping this S.O.P. on WWM. I don't have time, desire to re-key>
Sometimes there is so much conflicting information out there it is confusing.
<Again... the onus is on you to gain an understanding and sort through the bulk of nonsense on the Net. Do you understand (my statements)? You don't have to agree w/ them>
For these last three we will do the freshwater dip and place them in the main tank. Thank you again. I will keep you posted.
<Do please make it known how they fare. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question         4/5/16

I sincerely appreciate your response and it does make sense.
<Ah, good>
I will read the SOP. I have found all of your books to be valuable resources and truly respect your experience.
<I thank you>
Best regards,
<And you, BobF>

quarantine question        12/2/15
I have an orchid Dottyback and two ocellaris clownfish in quarantine after purchase from a conscientious LFS for 16 days. All are eating well and look good. However, yesterday I noticed the Dottyback repeatedly glancing its shoulder against the PVC. The QT is 55 gallons. I monitor ammonia, nitrite and nitrates daily and they are 0,0, 3-5. I change 15 gallons of water from MT weekly.
What should I do?
<Mmm; well; glancing of and by itself is not necessarily indicative of pathogenic disease.... Some occurs... "naturally"; and as behavior/communication, reaction to water quality....>
Should I treat prophylactically with copper (I have used copper successfully before)? Should I just observe?
<I'd summarily dip/bath the new fishes per the SOP on WWM:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm , and move them on. Not worth the added stress and its implications by delaying their movement to the main/display>
If so, what if the behavior doesn't go away?
<Then it doesn't.... I scratch my scalp, elsewhere at times...>
If it does go away, how long should I wait to introduce to MT?
<As stated; 16 days is long enough>
Thanks for your help,
Terry Martin
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question       12/20/15

I have good news to report. We tore down the QT and started it from scratch with bio balls instead of foam filter media in the filters. We put a Yellow Tang, Hepatus Tang, and Tail Spot Wrasse in the QT for 2 weeks, then freshwater dipped them and placed them in the main tank. They have been in the main tank for three weeks now and are thriving. Hopefully we have turned the corner. Keep your fingers crossed! Thank you for all of your advice.
Buon Natale
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Ich, QT, Treatment       8/16/15
Hello WWM Crew,
First a big thank-you to all crew members for all the help you provide.
I have been reading about Ich, Qt, FW dips and treatment for the last week and I am confused and not sure if I understand correctly. I read a response to a reader from 2006 that if a fish has Ich and you FW dip him and place into a clean QT tank free of pathogens then the fish should be cured of Ich, is this correct or do you still have to treat with copper?
<I'd still treat with copper. Understand THIS: that Crypt can be so deeply embedded that freshwater exposure, even FW plus formalin, may not remove all external parasitic stages>

I also read a response that C. Cyanea should not be QT due to stress and just FW dipped and placed into DT, is this correct?
<Which "C." is this? The damsel? The answer might be "sometimes" if so>
And finally, if you FW dip a fish and place in QT he should not be treated with chemicals unless there is reason to do so, and after one month of QT if there are no signs of problems you can FW dip and place in DT, is this correct?
<You can as in the word "can"; but each case must be examined, considered independently. Most of the time if fishes are (after isolation, w/ or w/o dipping/bathing protocols) it is not worthwhile to expose them to anti-protozoal treatments; but instead, expedite their movement to permanent main/displays>
Thanks in advance again to all.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich, QT, Treatment       8/16/15

Hello Crew,
The "C" I was referring to was the Chromis Cyanea(Blue Chromis).
<Ah yes; these ARE often lost in "simple handling"... best to expedite; not treat or quarantine at all>
Thanks so much for the quick response and info.
<Certainly welcome. Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Quarantine question      4/2/15
I have a quarantine tank setup and have had terrible luck so far.
We have added fish in groups of 4
<What species? Some are not easily quarantined alone, let with incompatible others in small volumes>
and by the time the six week quarantine period is up we are averaging one survivor per group.
<Six weeks is a very long time. DO PLEASE READ on WWM re my/our stated preferred S.O.P. here. Usually two weeks is about the zenith of benefit; turning point of more damage than worth>

We are dosing with .5 Cupramine at the start of the quarantine period as a prophylactic.
<.... this might well be too toxic; also killing off, forestalling nitrification>

Should we wait to administer the Cupramine until a few days after introducing the new fish?
<Depends on why you're adding the Cu>
Should we stop using Cupramine as a prophylactic?
<Unless there's a specific reason for its use, yes>
Any advise you have is very welcome.
Thank you in advance.
Steve DeFilippis
<Please do the reading and send along the data requested. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question      4/2/15

Thank you for your prompt response. I have read the quarantine articles on your website and came away unclear about the use of copper as a prophylactic.
<Its use IS promoted and condemned by various parties... for varied reasons>
I believe some of the threads indicated that it was a good idea.
<Can be; but really.... should be done by folks "above" (as in before) the end user (hobbyist/consumers)... Better for folks in the trade (collectors, wholesalers, retailers) to employ simple dips/baths.... to "knock off" external complaints (and not copper immersion)...>
The fish involved are: Longnose butterfly,
<Very touchy to Cu exposure>
yellow tang, flame Hawkfish, royal gramma, raccoon butterfly,
<Don't "like" quarantine>
hepatus tang, and Naso tang.
<REALLY don't like>
I hope to also acquire Heniochus but so far they have not been part of this process.
<I'd just dip and place Heni's, actually all Chaetodontids>

After having the copper in the tank for 2 weeks we then do a complete water change for the remainder of the quarantine period.
<Ammonia, nitrite need to be monitored... once, twice daily.... new water made up, available for change out>
The first time we did the quarantine we did not add the copper and none of the fish survived. That's why I decided to try using the copper as a prophylactic measure.
<Please re-read my articles on Acclimation....>
Thank you again.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question     4/2/15

Thank you again for such a prompt reply. I will follow your instructions and let you know how things proceed.
<And you, B>
Re: Quarantine question
4/3/15 The QT tank was completely emptied and refilled with water from the main tank and no further copper treatments will be administered. A Raccoon Butterfly and Yellow Tang were added to the QT tank after a freshwater dip (BTW, I hire a service to maintain my tanks and they supply the livestock).
Everything seemed fine. As of 4/7/15 both are eating well although the Raccoon is exhibiting a little bit of scratching against the coral.
4/9/15 the Yellow Tang looks listless and the Raccoon is still eating well and behaving the same. 4/10/15 the Yellow Tang is dead.
4/11/15 the raccoon Butterfly is dead.
They are using water from the main tank when they do water changes on the QT tank.
<A good practice>
The main tank has 6 Ocellaris Clowns and one Coral Beauty and they are all thriving in the main tank. The Coral Beauty is the only fish that has made it through quarantine into the main tank since we setup the QT tank on 12/30/14. Since then we have lost the following fish in the QT tank: 3 Raccoon Butterfly fish, 2 Royal Grammas, 1 Yellow Tang, 3 Long-Nosed Butterfly fish, and 1 Flame Hawkfish
<How large is this tank? It is monitored for ammonia; the copper daily?>

. I am really out of answers right now and feel terribly about how many fish I have lost. I have had salt water tanks
since the 1970s and have never encountered anything like this. Any input, comments, guidance you can provide is extremely welcome. Thank you.
Best regards,
Steve DeFilippis
<Something/s are wrong here.... very. I'd likely just use preventative dips/baths and skip whatever routine you're presently using. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question
The QT tank is 55 gallons
<A good size, shape>
and is monitored for copper, nitrate, nitrate, salinity, ph and ammonia. Are you recommending that I bypass the QT completely?
<I would if I had the results history you describe; with the species involved; particularly Chaetodontids. See my writings re BFs, their health, handling on WWM>

Would it be advisable for me to get the fish directly from the service's wholesaler before they put them into their tanks (prior to bringing them to my house)?
<Possibly... do you know much re their procedures? May be that there adding to morbidity here. BobF>
Thank you again.
Steve DeFilippis
Re: Quarantine question       4/14/15

Thank you again for your prompt response. I will keep you updated on further developments.
<And you Steve. BobF>

Re: Quarantine question        5/9/15

Finally some success!
Last week my service provider brought me a royal gramma, flame Hawkfish, long nosed butterfly fish and yellow tang directly from the wholesaler before they were put into the system at their shop. We quarantined them for one day ( we didn't want to over stress them since they had just been shipped from the wholesaler) and then did the freshwater dip and put them
in the main tank. Here we are eight days later and all four fish seem to be thriving.
<Ah good>
I'm hoping to add three small Heniochus, a blonde Naso tang, raccoon or threadfin butterfly and hepatus tang to finish stocking the tank. We will repeat the same process and hopefully be as successful as we were the first time. I will keep you posted. Thank you again for all of your help.
<Thank you for the update. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question      5/29/15

Unfortunately, things have taken a turn for the worse. My service provider brought three Heniochus acuminatus direct from the wholesaler on May 20. He did a freshwater dip on all of them and then released them into the main
tank. He also brought a Hepatus tang which he place in the QT tank. On May 22, he freshwater dipped the Hepatus tang and placed it into the main tank.
All of the fish were eating well. The Yellow Tang went after one of the Heniochus but I figured he was asserting himself and after a while this behavior would diminish. This Heniochus developed a bruise on its side.
On May 24 I noticed some white spots on the edges of the dorsal fins on the Heniochus and their caudal fins. On May 25, the bruise on the one Heniochus became an open sore (it looked like a red blotch and you could see where the scales had separated.) I removed this Heniochus and put it in the QT tank.
Meanwhile, the Long Nosed Butterfly now had white spots on its caudal and pectoral fins and the Hepatus tang had some on it's sides. All of these fish were still acting normally and eating voraciously.
Today I found the Long Nosed Butterfly and the Heniochus in the QT tank dead. One of the black Ocellaris Clowns now has some white spots on its sides.
All of the fish are behaving normally (no scratching) and eating voraciously. So far, the following fish do not have any white spots on them: three orange Ocellaris Clowns, Royal Gramma, Yellow Tang, two black Ocellaris Clowns, Flame Hawkfish, and a Coral Beauty angelfish.
I phoned my service provider and he is coming out tomorrow to try to catch the affected fish and give them a freshwater dip. Do you have any other (or better) suggestions?
<Widely reading... on WWM, re all species here>

I am so frustrated. We seemed to have finally turned the corner and now this. Any advice you have is greatly appreciated.
<Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question; Heniochus esp.     6/13/15

Well, things are still spiraling downward. We removed the Yellow Tang and put it in the QT as it was badgering the Heniochus (which ultimately died anyway) and it is still in the QT doing well and showing no signs of Crypto. Meanwhile, we treated the display tank with MetroPlex. I also starting soaking the food in Garlic Guard. Since then, the three Heniochus are dead as well as the Royal Gramma, the Hepatus Tang and one of the black Ocellaris Clownfish. Here are the surviving fish today: two black Ocellaris Clownfish, three orange Ocellaris Clownfish, Coral Beauty, Flame Hawkfish and Cleaner Wrasse (I know you recommend against the Cleaner Wrasses but my service tech insisted the Cleaner Wrasse would help with the Crypto even though everything I read said it wouldn't). The Coral Beauty has one spot on its lip, the Flame Hawkfish has no visible spots, each of the orange Ocellaris Clowns has around 5-6 spots and the black Ocellaris Clowns seem to be spot-free.
All of these fish are eating very well and behaving normally (no flashing, scratching or fast breathing). Today my service tech is putting carbon back in the filter and turning back on the skimmer and UV. Is it possible that these fish will just fight off the remaining Crypto and go back to normal?
<Yes; it is possible>
If so, how will I know when it would be safe to put the Yellow Tang back in
the DT and then add any new fish?
<Safe? As in completely? Never>
The other option would be to take them all out and put them in the QT with the Yellow Tang and let the DT go fallow but that might cause more stress (and would the QT be too crowded - it's a
55 gallon tank)? Any advice you can give is deeply appreciated.
<It's all posted/archived on WWM; over and over>
I have spent hours reading on WWM but sometimes the amount of information is overwhelming and it is difficult to determine the correct course of action.
<Ahh! I have always hoped that having so much would lead folks to make their own decisions>
Lastly, I have had nothing but bad experiences with Heniochus. Twice introducing them has caused a serious problem in my tank resulting in massive casualties.
<Perhaps time to give them a pass. The two principal Heni species ARE problematical at times. Look to others>
I know that your books and others describe them as hardy but my experience is contrary to that. Needless to say, I have taken them off my list for restocking in the future.
Best always,
Steve DeFilippis
<Thank you for your update. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Quarantine question      6/21/15

The eight surviving fish from my last post are still alive. They are eating well and the white spots seem to be gone. My plan is to observe these fish over the next 6 weeks and if the white spots do not recur begin adding fish at that time. Is this reasonable?
<Mmm; okay>
I plan to add the following fish: Long-nosed Butterfly fish, Yellow Tang, Royal Gramma, Hepatus Blue Tang, Raccoon Butterfly fish and a Tail-spot Wrasse. I intend to add two at a time obtaining them directly from the wholesaler before they go into the LFS system, quarantine them one day in my QT, freshwater dip them
<I'd add formalin and aeration to the dip/bath; per the S.O.P on WWM>
the next day and place them in the main tank. Is this a reasonable plan?
Any comments, suggestions and/or criticisms are extremely welcome.
Thank you as always.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Quarantine question; Now: Many mysterious SW fish losses        9/27/15
Update since my last post on 8/12/15:
We moved the Hepatus Tang, Longnosed Butterfly, Royal Gramma and Naso Tang into the main tank after one day in QT. They were each dipped in freshwater before being placed in the main tank. The Hepatus died after 9 days, the Naso died after 18 days and the Longnosed Butterfly died after 41 days.
There were no signs of disease on any of them. They were all eating either until they died or up to one day before they died.
My water quality is impeccable. The Royal Gramma survived. I have had a Coral Beauty in the tank for 7 months, 5 Ocellaris Clownfish for 9 months and a Flame Hawkfish for 7 months. To review, all of these fish have been brought to me straight from the distributor (they never went into the system at the LFS), put into QT for one day and then freshwater dipped and placed into the main tank.
This past Wednesday, my service brought me a Blonde Naso Tang, Hepatus Tang and Tail-spot Wrasse. They were placed into QT and the Hepatus died after one day in the QT. After two days in the QT, the Naso and Wrasse were freshwater dipped
<pH adjusted... per the/my SOP on WWM; NOT using RO or RO/DI water that's unaerated>
(the Wrasse got very stressed after only 15 seconds in the dip) and placed in the main tank (this was yesterday). This morning I found the Wrasse dead.
I am at my wits end. I have had marine fish on and off for over 40 years and have never experience anything like this. This is a 220 gallon tank, FOWLR and the water quality has consistently tested out at excellent levels for everything. The only alteration my service is recommends is lowering the salinity to the 1.0017-1.0019 range.
<Some folks do>
I feed a combination of New Life Spectrum and Omega One pellet food in an automatic feeder supplemented several
times a week with Formula One, Formula Two and San Francisco Bay Brand's Saltwater Multi Pack (I alternate these throughout the week). I soak the frozen food in Selcon and Zoe (I alternate every other feeding).
I had fish that lived 10-14 years in my last tank. This tank was setup 6/13/14 and since then I have lost 50 fish.
<?! Something very wrong here.... highly likely environmentally. Search, READ on WWM Re such losses>

I am aghast that I am responsible for so many mortalities. I am seriously considering getting out of the hobby. Most of the fish have died within 2-3 weeks. My service has a new fish manager and he said he isn't happy with their current supplier (Sea Dwelling Creatures) and will be changing to a new supplier with which he has had good results. I have also considered changing to a new service but I really like the person I have now and he is very honest and I know he is trying his best for me. They are guaranteeing the fish for 30 days (since I am only buying fish from them and they are in control of everything) so they are taking a huge financial hit. Do you have any comments/suggestions based on what I have described?
<Need more data... as in real water quality tests. Do send along images (resized) of the system, mechanicals; dead/dying organisms... and we'll begin a conversation. Bob Fenner>
Grazie in advance.
Steve DeFilippis

Re: Quarantine question       9/29/15
Here are all of the chemical readings from my tank:
Nitrite - 0; Nitrate - 20; Ammonia - 0; pH - 8.2; phosphate - under .25; calcium - 460; specific gravity - 1.024 (we are trying to lower this to 1.020).
<.... remove about a fifth of the water, refill w/ fresh>
What other information do you need?
<Mmm; a pic of the fish involved (dead) might help; any input re smell of the water.... Do you folks use ozone/UV? Have RedOx/ORP measures?>
Do you have any experience with/comments on using Sea Dwelling Creatures as a livestock source?
<Oh, yes.... know the Cohen bro.s (friends), and their father, Robert, before they popped out. They have a good, to sometimes badly mentioned (by others) reputation. IF you have concerns; I'd be calling, speaking w/ them>
Thank you again.
Steve DeFilippis
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question       9/29/15

Tonight I will get you pictures of the last two fish that died (those are the only fish I have at this time). We use a UV sterilizer, a skimmer, a sump with socks and my service mixes the salt water on site using RO water (we have our own RO unit, we use Kent Marine salt). I will also get you some pictures of the filtration systems. Thank you again.
Steve DeFilippis
<We WILL solve this mystery. Please send along a list of the dead fishes, in the order in which they perished (good clues to be had). B>
Re: Quarantine question       9/29/15

I wasn't sure what you meant by "Do send along images (resized)" so I am only attaching one with this email. Please let me know if it is the correct size and I will send the rest.
<Fine, and sorry for the confusion. Yes to sending the pix along>
Regarding the fishes that have died, in October 2014 I lost a bunch due to Brooklynella and in May 2015 I lost a bunch due to Crypto. Do you want me to include these or only the fish that died without exhibiting an obvious disease?
<All please>
Thank you again.
Steve DeFilippis
<My friend. B>

Re: Quarantine question       10/13/15
Attached is a picture of the Poly Pad. Can you discern anything from it?
<Mmm; either organic or you have a good deal of ferrous material presents (Fe +2, 3?) I'd be checking this last... Too much iron presence can be toxic. Bob Fenner>
Thank you.


Re: Quarantine question     11/1/15
We checked for Iron and it came back negative. My service postulated that it could be stray voltage. If this were the case, how would the fish that have lived in the tank since February not be affected?
<Either the voltage could be transient or a ground have become/better established>
Any thoughts? Thank you again in advance.
<Bob Fenner>

QT question   12/8/14
Acquired three fish (Scribbled angelfish juvenile (captive bred in Bali), Yellow Belly hippo, and a magnificent fox face.) Upon arrival I floated the bags for 20 minutes to adjust the temperature, and then proceeded to do a freshwater pH adjusted, temperature matched, Methylene blue for each fish for five minutes. During the dip I watched them to make sure there was no thrashing. All fish seemed to do fine, and were placed in a 40 gallon tank that was bare bottom containing a power head attached to a sponge filter, air stone, and a heater.. While inspecting the dip water I did see some small particles on the bucket floor. I wasn't sure what they were. It wasn't a lot, but could it be flukes?
<Yes; very likely>
Its so hard to tell with the Methylene blue unless its obvious. When I have seen flukes in the past it was a significant amount, and there was no doubt the fish had them. You could literally see the fish shedding them. In this situation this was not the case.
<Numbers do vary>
While in QT everyday I would feed a myriad of items (seaweed, vitamin soaked brine shrimp, vitamin soaked mysis, pellets, and Chaeto from main tank.) I would wait about five minutes, and clean up the left over food. The Chaeto I left on the clip as I saw no consequences of leaving it there. I would also do a five gallon change everyday, and check for ammonia. While doing the five gallon change I would siphon off the bottom of the tank. In the beginning I thought I saw the juvenile scribbled flashing a little (took a video can forward if you like), but not very prominent, and wasn't sure if this was symptom or a defense mechanism when threatened. Fast forward 20 days. I still see no symptoms, but helped out a fellow reefer who was selling some fish because he was getting out of
the hobby. I picked up a pair of mandarins, Japanese swallow tail angel, and a epaulette surgeon-fish. From talking to him he did a different method of QTing. Three days in one tank, and then complete transfer to another tank that was dry. He would do this 3 times, and then place in his display tank. I thought it made sense, and I did some research. I ended up finding a reference in Ed Noga's book, and he does mention this as a treatment for crypt but recommends doing the transfer four times. He also goes on to mention that it is very stressful for the fish.
<Yes; know the method, and Ed and his works... this is so>
Upon reading this I wanted to do the right thing, and hence here is my dilemma as this sometimes is more of an art then a science. The pair of mandarins I dipped for five minutes in a ph temperature adjusted Methylene blue freshwater dip (was that to long? They didn't thrash),
<Not too long>
and put in my main display tank (the female was looking skinny). The swallow tail angel , and surgeon-fish I did the same thing, but put them in a separate 20 long QT tank with a heater and powerhead that is streaming in O2 bubbles. I saw very little debris on the bottom of the dip bucket. So I figured I had the dip bucket made, and I dipped the other three fish (scribbled, foxface, and Hippo) They weren't happy, but they did the full five minutes. There was more debris on the bottom, but it could have been feces, or even algae.
Didn't look like flukes. The one thing that is concerning, the scribbled angels color has faded since he has been with me. I have read this is normal, and of unknown cause in other angel juveniles.
<Yes; but the color should come back. Have been to Bali Aquarich (in Pemuteran) and met w/ the owner/operator. Very high quality operation, livestock>
I would think is he is eating pellets, and seaweed he would be vibrant. My concern is this could be a sign of a problem. Do you think the original three have a parasites, or am I being paranoid?
<Likely just stress>
What would you do in this situation? Treat with PraziPro if I suspect fluke, or do I just do a bath with them?
<No treatment; just high and constant water quality, good nutrition>
I just don't want to medicate for no reason. Should I have not done the second freshwater dip? Also what are your thoughts on the different QT methods.
Do you have a preference?
<Yes; posted/archived on WWM. Am a HUGE fan of prophylactic dips/baths; isolation for some species>
I think for ectoparasites in a small environment the one listed originally would show signs of infection quickly (14days)?
Do I realize the original three at the end of 21 days?
<If you'd like>
As always let me know your opinion.
<Can't say more w/o actually seeing the livestock. Your "stage of development" in the field (ornamental aquatics) prompts me to suggest you buy a simple microscope, learn simple sampling and examination techniques.
Bob Fenner> 
Re: QT question      12/9/14

Makes sense to get a microscope. I can put that Biology degree to work.
<I'll say!>
Do you have references, or pictures on WWM to assist in learning this new skill set.
As always thank you for all your help on this matter.
Also Happy Holidays to you and your family.
<Ah, my sis and I thank you>
<And you. BobF>

angel quarantine      3/15/14
Hey Bob,
I bought two angelfish last week and they are in quarantine. They are a scribbled angel, and Koran angel, both 4-5 inch size area. The quarantine is a basic 40b tank, with HOB filter, maxi jet powerhead for aeration, and a heater.
I keep the tank around 80, and SG is 1.021. I do water changes every 3 days, however have yet to see any ammonia or nitrite.
I am using Cupramine at a .5 level as recommended.
<... depends on the test kit...>

 I plan on doing this 28 days, followed by some Prazi. I am new to quarantining and am looking to perfect my methodology.
2 things I have notice thus far, is the scribbled angel now seems to have some cloudiness in his/her eyes. Not totally clouded, but getting there, and it did not come this way. Could this be an adverse reaction from the copper treatment?
Could it be flukes, or would that just be a white spec, and not cloud the entire eye?
<Not likely Trematodes>

Secondly, the Koran angel looks like what appears to be flukes nears his gills. Literally two, just two pieces of what I can describe as big salt granules. I thought they were flukes, freshwater dipped in aerated RO water, for 5 minutes, and these did not fall off.
<There you go>
I have scoured WWB <M?> and ReefCentral, but did not find anything remotely specific. My first inclination is to lower copper level via water change. I am also thinking of dipping the scribbled to see if that helps eye condition. Could also be a secondary fungal or bacterial, in which case I would think Prazi would help when I use that in a couple weeks.
<Likely shipping damage (net scrape), stress in general AND Cu exposure.
Ultimately I have a feeling of what to do, but would like some oversight.

Bob Fenner ( Quarentining SW Fish); commercial/LFS    3/7/14
Hi Bob,
I am the owner of a LFS called Crystal Reef Aquatics in Bellingham Washington  and I am seeking some advice on quarantineing saltwater fish.
I've been in the hobby for almost 6 years so I'm very familiar with standard qt procedures such as no sand or rock, use PVC for hide outs and a sponge filter to break down your waste. The biggest issue I'm running into is picking a medication that is both cost effective and does not effective the fishes health negatively.
<Ah yes>

 I've used copper and had success but I've seen fish go downhill from lack of apatite. I've also used Chloroquine phosphate and had good results with that but I'm sure you are aware that you cannot test for it so it can be hard to guarantee is potency.
And of course PraziPro for your flukes and worms. What is your qt procedure?
<Posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
Medications of choice?
<This too... use the indices or search tool on WWM>
 Also keep in mind the most cost effective( price of salt in water exchanges and in cost of the medication) as we'll as the
duration of time that the fish has to be exposed to the medication?
<Oh yes... I was in the trade, and a content provider... for more years than you've been on the planet>
 Unlike most stores that are of the mentality for quantity over quality our goal here at Crystal Reef Aquatics to supply the hobby with disease free fish so it is an enjoyable experience for the customer and of course a better survival rate on our incoming fish.
<Ah yes; a good; actually, the only reasonable path to building the industry, trade, your business>
Any knowledge or insight on the matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and I look forward
to hearing from you soon!
Best regards,
Colin Apt
<Do write back w/ specific questions after you've read. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bob Fenner ( Quarentining SW Fish)   3/7/14

Thanks for your prompt response!
Do you prefer Chloroquine phosphate or copper for qt? And why?
<... Most often have used copper cpd.s; quinines in my time were too expensive>
Have you used PraziPro with copper or Chloroquine phosphate? If so any negative side effects? Oxygen depletion?
<... have not; but read of others doing so>
How long do you medicate with copper or Chloroquine phosphate? Is one faster then the other?
<This is posted>
How long do you medicate with Prazi pro?
<As is this>
I've heard of people moving a batch of fish to a sterile environment every 3 day to help eradicate Ich. Have you done this method?  If so how successful is it?
Have you ever used hydrogen peroxide to sterilize a quarantine tank after it's been used to reuse the saltwater?
<Not reliably>
Are there any medications that I didn't mention that you would recommend?
<... read. B>
Thanks again for your time!
Re: Bob Fenner ( Quarantining SW Fish)      3/13/14

Good afternoon Bob,
First off I would like to say your website is a wealth of knowledge! I've done a lot digging on your website and I think I've come up with hopefully a full proof way of quarantine my new arrivals.
<Let's hear, uh, read it>
Step 1. Float fish in qt tanks to acclimate them to 78 degrees.
<I'd insert a Step 1.5 here: Measure the pH and ammonia concentration of  the shipping water... IF measurable [NH3/NH4OH], see/do the commercial acclimation detailed in various places on WWM>
Step 2. Prepare FW/ methalyne blue bath.( buffer ph to 8.0, raise temp to 78-80, add methalyne blue until the bath solution is noticeably blue, add air stone)
Step 3. Immerse fish in bath solution for 5-10 minutes( shorter time period for smaller fish ex.clownfish,gobies)
Step 4. Place fish in qt tank (depending on size of fish either a 20 to 55 gallon tank equipped with a seeded sponge filter, heater and PVC for shelter.
Step 5. Observe fish for two weeks to insure that there are no diseases or parasites.
If symptoms occur
Fin and tail rot,popeye -treat with furan 2
Ich and velvet-treat with Chloroquine phosphate
Flukes and worms- treat with Prazi pro
I trying to keep this as simple and effective as possible. Please let me know of any potential problems or concerns you see with this qt procedure. I'm more then willing to read but finding specific information took a lot of digging. Thanks Bob for your insight and knowledge.
<Heeee! Well, I do wish at times that the universe were so simple, discrete; but what you have written here is a good general SOP. Bob Fenner>

Blue hippo... quarantine and more disease issues, no rdg.      1/3/14
Hi WWM crew,
I recently bought 3 fish, a blue hippo tang, a Heniochus and a coral beauty, I had them in quarantine for about 2 weeks and they got Ich so I started to treat them with hyposalinity,
<... see/search/read on WWM re. Rarely works>
they were all doing great and eating but yesterday I noticed that the hippo was nipping at the Heniochus fins, I separated him but it was too late and the Heni died. Do you think he died from the nipping or maybe he was just sick?
<Can't tell from here>
Now I'm afraid of keeping the hippo because he might attack my other fishes in the main tank (it is a 75 gallon tank). I got him because I read he is a peaceful fish and I all my fish are mostly peaceful. What do you think?
Should I keep him in quarantine until the Ich is gone and then sell him?
<Need to cure before selling>
or do you think it's ok to put him with my other fish. He is not nipping at the coral beauty at all.
Thank you for your advice I have learned so much from your site.
<I'd keep the fish and keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Anthias QT question     1/3/14
Happy New Year.  Quick question on QT.  If an Anthias displays no symptoms in QT would you proactively freshwater dip (ph and temp adjusted)  the fish just to make sure that he has no internal parasites (flukes)?
<Not internal... dips are really only effective on external issues>
  Would you proactively treat with quinine sulfate in quarantine to avoid any introduction of crypt to main tank?
  My rationale is wait 14 days in QT get him eating, and then freshwater dip to make sure he has no parasites.  If you agree how long would you freshwater dip (3 minutes?)
<For Anthiines, yes... with you in attendance>
  If he has no flukes coming out then there is no need to treat with anti parasite meds if so then treat.  As far as quinine sulfate goes  the assumption is that all fish have potential to carry crypt.  Thoughts am I being to paranoid?
<Not paranoid>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Anthias QT question     1/4/14

I performed the freshwater dip (pH and temp adjusted).  Did it with him and a goby. Both have been in QT for the same amount of time.  Orange spotted Goby is fine (eating), but the Anthias passed away 2 hours after being placed back in the tank.  In the dip he was in there for exactly three minutes he was breathing a little heavy, but no thrashing. 
<... the freshwater... was aerated? Not straight RO, DI?>
I know that they are a finicky fish, but is there anything I can learn from this?  I guess its better to have stronger fish in the tank which will avoid future disease.  Is it acceptable to wait the whole QT period, and if you see no disease just place them into the tank.   I am assuming this carries the risk of some pathogens sneaking in, or as you have written in previous WWM posts fish like wrasse are great hosts for pathogens and display little symptoms.  What a conundrum.  I guess what I am asking you are there different quarantine procedures for finicky fish like Anthias, fairy wrasses and butterfly fish?
<Yes... gone over and over; read here:
the first tray>
 Do you have any data, or expertise on how to tailor the process to finicky fish. In your opinion what is more stressful to the fish.  A treatment of Praziquantel followed by a treatment of quinine sulfate.  I figured a 3 minute freshwater that is pH and temp adjusted is pretty benign more so then Praziquantel.  Thoughts.
<Read on! BobF>
Re: Anthias QT question     1/4/14

Yes it was straight RO/DI water heated up over three hours.  Is it better to use tap and use a conditioner?
<Ahh, an added stressor... RO/DI lacks oxygen... is filtered out... Needs to be aerated. Read where you've been referred. B>

Quarantine of New Fish, SW       10/19/12
First off, thank you so much for the information you provide. I have learned so much. I wish information was a little easier to find, but I have found it is worth the digging. We currently have some new fish in quarantine: Watchman Goby, Yellow Prawn Goby, Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse, Cardinal, and One Spot Foxface. All seem to be doing ok at this point, considering we have been learning a lot about water changes.
<Mmm, I do hope the quarantine is a system of adequate size... the Foxface doesn't like to be crowded, and it can spike other fishes very painfully>
We have a few questions about this process for these fish, because I have read that the Gobies may do better with a shorter quarantine. An article is mentioned that details other fish that Bob recommends have a shorter quarantine, but I was unable to locate the article.
<Is interspersed here and there by species, group>
I would like to be able to gain some understanding of other fish that may benefit from a shorter quarantine. I'm concerned about the gobies getting enough food and the desire for sand. This seemed to be that same for the wrasse. Can you elaborate?
<Just as you state... smaller fishes, groups like Blennioids, Gobioids, small wrasses, should be expedited through quarantine if practical (no obvious health issues); perhaps even just summarily dipped/bathed>
I'm confused about when to do a freshwater bath?
<Can be done twixt general introduction/acclimation, twixt quarantine and movement to main/displays>
Some seem to suggest doing it before you place them into the QT.
<Yes; as stated above>
 I did not do this. Others suggest a freshwater bath prior to placing in the main tank.
<And this>
Since I haven't done a bath at this point, do I need to do it for the gobies?
<I do>
Should I go ahead and move the gobies to the main system?
<I would>
Should I use Methylene Blue in this process?
<You can...>
Not sure if you have any recommendations for the fish?
<As stated>
 I so appreciate your help.
Brent Wells
<Sorry for the lack of clarity... this topic is just too large to present "all at once"... Folks wouldn't read it, or if given as a presentation (I just did an inaugural acclimation and quarantine talk in CT this past weekend), it's hard to convey what needs to make known to a given audience in a 45-50 minute period. Am hoping as I present this subject a few more times, I'll become better versed in what to include/exclude and what ways are best to cover it. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine of New Fish     10/20/12

Thank you so much for the feedback and insight. I believe I am going to get the gobies and wrasse ready for a fresh water bath so they can be transferred to the main tank. As I was reading back through my first question, I noticed something I meant to mention and wasn't sure if it in any way changed your recommendation. The group of fish also included a Flame Angel fish that died. The flame angel was initially active, it eat, it appeared alert, however very suddenly within a few hours it was struggling at the bottom of the tank. Moments later it was dead. We checked the water and all tests were solid. We checked ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, pH, copper, and salinity. Everything was good. I looked over the fish but did not notice anything unusual. It was a beautiful fish.
My question: Since we don't know what the Flame Angel died <"Cumulative stress" almost undoubtedly>
of and at least one of the gobies was exposed to the tank with the Flame Angel, should we still follow the short quarantine and freshwater bath plan, or should we be concerned with its potential exposure.
<Best not to mix, but I'd risk "it" here, given the species, the routine>
All of the fish are alert, eating, and active, so should I have reason to be majorly concerned? In other words, should I continue with the plan of getting the two gobies and wrasse to the main tank, or take my chances with the quarantine?
<I'd dip and place>
I hope I am making sense and communicating this effectively.
Brent Wells
<Welcome. BobF>

Quarantining Suggestions    9/10/12
Hello Crew,
First of all, thanks for your site -- I've been reading it for years and it's helped me tremendously in this hobby.
I don't have a real dilemma here today, but I really would like another's opinion, so here are all the juicy details:
After being out of the reef aquarium hobby for about 3 years, I'm getting back into it, and intend to "do it all right" this time around.
My custom 187gal tank (60x24x30) and sump will be ready in the next few days for me to pick up.  In the meantime, I've acquired all the necessary equipment in advance, and have already have a mated pair of Black Ice clownfish in quarantine.  I set up a small 10gal glass tank as a 'QT DT', with 20# of live sand, and some cured live rock about 3 weeks ago, and even put the nice LED lights over it.  I put the clowns in about 2 days after I set that up.  I have another 27gal rubber-tub, with 40# of live sand, acting as a sump for the 10gal to increase its volume.  They are connected with some 4gph dosing bumps I will use later.  I've added cultured bacteria almost daily and have never seen any ammonia, nitrite, or even nitrate at all yet, and have tested daily.  All is well with that.  Last week I added a refugium starter kit from IPSF, so the tub is full of algae.  Both also are now littered with tons of amphipods, worms, and various zooplankton that I added externally.  And a cleanup crew of snails, hermit crabs, etc. For the past 2 weeks, I've also been curing about 160# of Fiji Live rock in two 30gal rubber tubs (one with protein skimming, one without).  I've been doing about 20% water changes every other day in each.  Interestingly, the one with the protein skimmer shows a lot of nitrite still, the other tub has just a tiny bit still; both now are at 0 ammonia.
Tomorrow, 3 new fish from the Diver's Den are coming: a Fathead Sunburst Anthias, and a mated pair of Flame Hawkfish.  I've never seen a pair of those for sale, so just had to get it.  2 days ago, in preparation, I added 2 pieces of the 'low nitrite' mostly-cured rock that looked super clean to the 10gal QT tank, and another few small pieces into the 27gal tub.
Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are still 0, and the crabs loved the new rocks.  Clownfish are happy as well.
So my question is: where do you suggest I add these two flames and the Anthias to?
<In the 27 gal. tub>
 Regardless of them being supposedly high quality 'Diver's Den' fish, I still want to quarantine them before I put them in the main DT, which won't be ready until probably this weekend.  I bet the clowns may not be happy with either 1 Anthias, or 2 flames, in their temporary 10gal home.
But I'm not sure if the Flames will get along with the Fathead in the 27gal tub, which is also filled with a lot of macroalgae.
<They should get along>
 I have plenty more plastic tubs I could setup, and truly keep them separate, but then I lose the benefit of this 37gal total volume 'preset up' which seems to be nice and ready to deal with a higher bioload.
I have no other plans right now for adding more fish to the 187gal once it's setup, besides these 5.  Maybe further down the line I would also want
a trio of Bartlett's, and even later a tang.
Sorry for the long email, but I know you guys love details.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantining Suggestions    9/10/12

Thanks, Bob!  I will put them in there and let them meet the clowns later.
One last question: should I remove any of the macroalgae from that tub?
It's full enough that you can't really see through to the bottom.
<I'd remove enough to make room for the fishes>
 I was also keeping a light on it 24/7, which completely stopped the pH swing (Now goes 7.92/night, 7.98/day, a bit low, but yeah new system), will that bother the flames and the Anthias?
Thanks again!  Mike
<I would turn on the lights only half day... likely the night time... leave off during the day. Only Caulerpaceans can "do" constant light reactions of photosynthesis. BobF>
Re: Quarantining Suggestions, Neocirrhites       9/23/12

Hello again Bob!
I separated the two flame hawks as you suggested for a few days, and it gave a chance for the more beaten up one to chill out a little bit and start to heal.
<Ah good>
  I finally got a large tank appropriate for them to go in, and after much visible improvement, I reintroduced them back together.
 They were immediately "happy" to see each other, both swimming up next to each other sideways and fluttering, gently poking each other with their mouths.  I've only ever seen my clowns do this -- is this a mating behavior?
<More informal, but yes>
Anyway, they aren't fighting anymore, and seem to follow one another around, often perching together just inches apart.  And now they are happily gobbling down the Mysis shrimp I'm feeding them.  Still refusing the pellets, but I mix them in with the Mysis.
Then last night -- oops -- I noticed a white spot with something hanging off of it on the healing flame.  It doesn't look like Ich or anything else I've seen before.  I did take a look around before emailing, but I am stumped.  Today it was gone.  I would love some help identifying if this is
something to worry about!
<Not really, no>
Water parameters:
pH 7.91
Temp 78.0
Salinity 1.024
Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate undetectable
I got some very clear pictures this time around.
Rather than attaching large files, I have a bunch of different views on dropbox:
(This last one shows the white spot most clearly, along with the healing
Thank you so much!
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Quarentine? Confusion     7/23/12
To whom it may concern,
Thanks for promptly answering all my questions in the past. Your knowledge has helped me a great deal! And, it has also helped the fish I have cared for!
My questions are about quarantine.
With all the treatments out there, which is the best one?
<? For what?>
 I have poured over the faq's and have been reading ReefCentral. Tank transfer methods, copper, Prazi. The list goes on and on. You ask for advice and everybody gives you a differing opinion on one of the three methods I mentioned. I am sure I missing a few too.
<Three methods for what?>
What I would like to do is set up my 33 gallon qt, make sure all fish are eating well and get them accustomed to me.
If a condition were to arise I would treat with Prazi.
<... for worms of various sorts I take it>
 I do not feel comfortable using copper or hypo.
All fish would be monitored for at least 4 weeks before introduction to the main tank.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks for your time!
<... re-read the articles, FAQs here:
Bob Fenner> 

Skin Disease in Long-Spined Tripod Fish – 06/14/12
Thank you for your wonderful site.
Less than a week ago, I received a long-spined tripod fish that is being quarantined in a cycled, strongly skimmed, moderate overall circulation 20H tank with 20 pounds live rock, Elite-Plus, and Purigen.  Water parameters 79 F, 35 ppt, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10 nitrates, ph 8.0.  It is feeding very well, it has good mass,
<Mmm, looks skinny (and nipped) to me... I'd hasten the quarantine... likely dip, bath this fish (see WWM re) and place it in the main/display system>
 it is not flashing or panting, and in fact doesn't seem stressed in any way.  However, over the last two days, I have noticed what you can see in the pictures attached--for reference, this fish is about 5 inches in length--and it seems to be spreading aggressively.   You can also seem some damage to the tip of one pectoral fin.  The other two much smaller fish quarantining with it--a tiny niger trigger
<Yikes... move one or the other of these now... This fish is nipping the Tripods fins off>
and a small wispy Waspfish--do not seem affected.  Although I do often freshwater dip, I didn't here, as I didn't know how the tripod fish would take it.  Obviously, I have thought of marine Ich, and in fact I have the SeaChem copper treatment on it way,  but this appears to be different to me--less like a scattering of sugar that is typical of Ich, and more like a fungus.
<Just fear, stress>
 I also thought of Lymphocystis, but it isn't confined to the edges of the fins, and there may be some lesions on the body itself--they are much harder to visualize.  Your help is greatly appreciated.
<As stated... Bob Fenner>

Re: Skin Disease in Long-Spined Tripod Fish – 06/14/12
Dear Mr. Fenner:
<Mr. K>
Thank you so much for your timely reply.  Your Q&A's have made your site a truly invaluable resource for all aquarists, and the community is thus in your debt.
<Ahh, I thank you for your acknowledgement>
My apologies, I didn't get everything across clearly, which of course is my fault.  As for the trigger, it is tiny enough to potentially be tripod fish-food (it is eventually destined for a different tank), so is actually in a screened off area at one end, but sharing the same water supply. 
<I see>
The only thing sharing the same swimming space is the wispy Waspfish, which is about 2.5 inches in length.
<Mmm, unless the Tripod brushes against it, this shouldn't be problematical>
  Also I suppose instead of saying "good mass" I should have also said "good mass for a freshly imported fish" as I, like everyone, has had to deal with fresh imports just one small step short of complete starvation, additionally often initially refusing food, which can really complicate things, but doesn't seem to be the case here.
So, just to make sure I understand, your opinion is that this is just some sort of opportunistic infection secondary to fear/stress/shipping, is most likely not infective in nature, and the fish should be put in to a display tank after a dip after an abbreviated quarantine?
<Yes; well-stated>
 Also, would you be so
kind to define what comprises a "hastened" quarantine, most especially in terms of time-frame?
<A few days for observation, assuring an animal is feeding. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Skin Disease in Long-Spined Tripod Fish – 06/14/12

Thank you.
<Welcome Juris. B>

new fish in QT tank      5/23/12
I had an attack of velvet in our 55-gallon reef tank that cost us five fish. We moved the survivors to a quarantine tank I set up, and they did well. Eight weeks later, they're now back in the display tank.
I replaced four of the dead fish from our LFS yesterday. I have a dosage of .5 Cupramine in the 20-gallon QT. Filtration is provided by a Fluval canister and an Reef octopus HOB skimmer. The fish in there are a Midas blenny, a coral beauty, a lawnmower blenny and a royal gramma. The Midas and coral beauty seem fine. My question is about the other two. Last night at three in the morning, I woke up for some reason. Since I couldn't get back to sleep, I decided to check in on the fish. There on the carpet next to the tank was the lawnmower blenny (the tank is 95 percent covered).
He was still alive, so I gently picked him up and put him in the tank and he swam under one of the ornaments and stayed there. Today, while he moves around, he is not at all eating any of the food I put in there for him (no algae in a copper tank, alas), neither the Nori nor the algae flakes. 
Although upright, he's breathing hard, and his tail is often. He's clearly stressed but he also seems to be struggling to navigate the bottom of the tank. Could he have injured himself?
<For sure, yes>
 Is it the kind of injury that might heal?
<Only time can/will tell>
Would he be better off in the DT?
<I'd wait a few days>
the LFS had him for two weeks. the manager said he checks his fish regularly and saw no signs of disease. I'm afraid though if I do move him into the DT, which would obviously have more food for him, he could potentially reinfect that tank.
That also brings up my second question. The royal gramma is completely freaked out by the coral beauty. He ducks away, lays sideways and goes into a panic when the coral beauty (unagressively) swims by. I read on WWM that the royal gramma generally doesn't pick up diseases. Would it be better off if I just put him in the DT without waiting the two to three weeks I was planning to quarantine?
<I'd run all through a preventative bath enroute:
Thanks for any advice.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 
Re: new fish in QT tank     5/24/12

Hi folks,
<Big J!>
I have a couple of quick quarantine questions to follow up on yesterday's queries (sorry if I'm taking up too much time). After reading your article on setting up quarantine, I'm not quite clear on whether you recommend a copper treatment even if there is no obvious indication of disease.
<I do not... unless there is more than obvious reason/rationale for such>
Right now I have a coral beauty and lawnmower blenny (replacing the one that died after jumping from the tank) in there. I suppose copper won't hurt them,
<Actually, such exposure is harmful>

 except it's hard to feed a lawnmower blenny in a tank where any algae is killed by copper. Should I treat it with Cupramine again? And what do people do with their LBs in a copper-treated QT?
<Again; I would not...>
My second question involves the royal gramma I mentioned yesterday. I gave him a bath and put him in the DT afterward. He did a header right into the substrate and didn't move for five minutes.
<See Adam's HH Guide: "Don't Panic!">
 I started pulling rocks away to get his body out of there when he suddenly jumped up and was fine! This morning, however, I see that he is constantly flashing against the rocks. Could he have an irritation from the Methylene blue?
<The whole procedure; yes>
I see some substrate on him. Could it be that or something more nefarious?
<Lo dudo>
 I'm concerned if I pull him from the tank (where otherwise he is doing fine), he will go back to swimming sideways all stressed again (I think he was frightened of the coral beauty) like he was before removing him from the QT. On the other hand, the idea of a re-infected DT, oy.
<I'd leave it/him as is>
Thanks again for any help,
<Welcome. BobF>

Quarantine of coral and live rock     4/5/12
Hi guys, thanks once again for all your great advice. There is just one thing that I can't find the answer to from browsing your pages; namely that of how to quarantine coral and live rock.
The situation is that I acquired about 20kg of live rock, loads of crabs/snails, live sand and four corals (all soft) from a friend with questionable health in his tank. I really want to quarantine this lot before putting it in my main tank. I was going to set up a 125 litre tank (no fish by the way), with a Kent 300 nano skimmer pulling ozone through it and an internal filter with rock rubble in it. The lights are LED reef lights. Would this be sufficient filtration?
<Likely so... monitor water quality as per curing:
and the linked files above>
 How long should I quarantine them for?
<... also archived. Please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Thanks so much for all your help.

Scopas Tang in quarantine    7/18/11
Hi crew, once again I'm looking for your expert advice. Yesterday I purchased a 3' Scopas tang. I drip acclimatized him for about a hour and a half and placed in my 25 gal quarantine tank. My question is should I have put him in the quarantine tank? I have read conflicting articles about quarantining tangs. If so, should I keep him in there for the normal duration of 6 weeks? By the way, my water parameters are Ph -- 8.2, ammonia -- 0, nitrite -- 0, nitrate -- 10ppm. Thanks in advance for your help.
<Some tang genera and species and individuals (depending on apparent health) are a "toss up" in deciding whether it is of more benefit to quarantine or simply dip/bath and place immediately in main displays. I would have dipped this one
Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm
and quarantine it for a week or two. IF there is no apparent behavioral or parasitic issue, I'd then move it to my main/display system. Bob Fenner>

Chromis Consult    6/14/11
We are new to the hobby and anxious about our green Chromis fish.
We are in a situation where 5 Chromis have been in a 10-Gal QT for 2 weeks.
<Yikes... very stressful for them to be thus crowded>
They are crowded and water quality has been poor for pretty well all of that time.
<I'd be moving them to the main/display tank>
Frequent partial water changes have helped, more recently transferring in main tank water, though I understand water changes further stress the fish.
<Better than uber pollution eh?>
We have also added a sand airstone and have been adding Prime, Stability and more recently StressZyme. We have enjoyed some success, with pH still being a struggle (pH last night 22:30 = 7.8 again; tonight 23:15 = 8.0), but Nitrite dropping to <0.25, and Ammonia dropping to 0 (peak readings over this last week were pH=7.8 [lowest] and Ammonia=0.6 then Nitrite=1.5). Nitrate has been holding fairly steady at 5.0.
<... move them>
True to their reputation, the Chromis appear to be sturdy and hanging in there, but...
- After a week, several fish developed patches of discolouration. Based on WWM & LFS consultation, we guessed this is due to stress and water quality.
<I agree>
- One fish, the smallest, has started in the last two early evenings to hold position and twitch. WWM search results discuss twitching as possibly being a part of courting, but mostly this fish is on its own (tonight it appears a medium-sized one may be interacting, though). The other possibility we saw mentioned was, surprise-surprise, water quality - or perhaps flukes.
<Mmm, much more likely due to "burning" from the water quality>
- Another fish, the largest and most dominant, has also more recently developed red/brown pits on its face - photos attached.
<Yes... part of the sensitive Lateralis System... "Neuromast Destruction"... from water issues>
Today it also suddenly has what looks like some damage where its left pectoral fin connects to the body (He spends most of his time running around being a bully, so perhaps a wound from the spiky plastic plant?).
We see no cloudiness in eyes and we have been guessing it is the water and not likely flukes.
<Is not>
All of them are eating and we have varied their diet somewhat between flake, frozen brine shrimp (loaded w/omega), and frozen Mysis shrimp- the latter two of which we sometimes soak in fat [Selcon] or vitamins [Zoe]. We use a net to remove excess food and also fish excrement.
We regret crowding these guys in, but what's done is done. Now that additional symptoms have emerged after water quality improved, we are nervous about letting them sit out another 2 weeks in quarantine.
1) Do the symptoms sound to you to be something other than stress/water quality?
2) Is it urgent to move them?
3) If we move them to the main tank, what do we risk overlooking at only halfway through quarantine; what other measures should we take if moving them is urgent to reduce likelihood of them bringing anything with them into the main tank (e.g., freshwater dips)??
<An intermediate pH adjusted FW dip is a good idea>
FYI, the main tank is 55-Gal and has no fish yet - we started with two big bags of live sand and ~55 Lbs live rock several months ago, resulting in a current healthy population of bugs (copepods/arthropods - the first fish to make it to the tank we figure will have a feast at their fin-tips), and a great many other invertebrates, to which we added more inverts. It reads steady week after week: pH at 8.1-8.2 and Ammonia=Nitrite=Nitrate=0. We only had some trouble with Calcium and Alkalinity being lower than desired and have taken steps to improve (adding A & B daily, Kalkwasser now and then, Magnesium a couple of times a week, and recently we switched to the higher-quality salt).
<Good... these actions bespeak of understanding on your part>
We are using a filter, skimmer, and two powerheads - no sump [yet], nor refugium [yet]..
Many thanks in advance for your advice!
Guy & Heide
<A pleasure to "converse" with folks that have "done their homework", are intelligent and compassionate. Life to you, Bob Fenner>


Re: Chromis Consult
Many, many thanks!
The smallest fellow this morning is far more listless, not interested in
What about acclimation, or is it best to just dip in f/w and drop in the
display tank??
Heide & Guy.
<Acclimate... then dip, placement. Bob Fenner>
Re: Chromis Consult    6/14/11
Hm, apologies for the email clutter..
I thought some more and realized best course of action is likely acclimate, acclimate, acclimate THEN f/w dip, then display tank.
I'm happy to be releasing them from purgatory!
Sure hope they all make it..
<Me too. BobF>

Problems with established tanks and new Fishes       4/17/11
Hello WWM Crew,
<Hi David>
I had written to you I guess about a year ago about quarantining my newly acquired fishes, and I had a bad experience as I did whatever I could and my butterfly fish still died in quarantine. I then about a month later bought a coral beauty and it went through quarantine perfectly, I moved it to the DT and about two months later it died, Unfortunately I had left the country for 5 months so I couldn't be checking on my system and maintenance was at its minimum, there was an Aiptasia outbreak also I guess because of overfeeding of caring friends.
When I got back I started leveling everything, got to notice that my corals were thriving, (xenia, toadstool and Galaxea). Nitrites, and ammonia got to normal levels 0, Nitrates around 10-20s, after a few water changes and skimmer cleaning. Three months has the tank been in perfect conditions slowly gaining terrain to Aiptasia with Kalkwasser injections and a pair of peppermint shrimps that are on a different tank, what used to be the QT, so they could pick on them and get the rocks rid of this pest. Well I decided it was time to get new fishes and I got a small 2in Auriga BF that was in perfect condition on the retailer and a coral beauty, maybe 1/5 2 in. Both of them were drip acclimated to the QT, where the shrimps are, (I know that wont allow me to medicate the tank but in case needed I was thinking of moving the shrimps to another one), Both fishes were perfect, feeding like crazy on Aiptasia and grazing on algae, pellets and home prepared food, I could even say they were a little on the fat side, 4 weeks in total in QT, no problem at all, water change every 3rd day on QT from water of the DT.
Just about when I was planning to make a move, Coral beauty seems to have some small white dots on its skin, blurry sugar like, BF is perfect, It was in the morning so I had no time to change it as I had to go working, when I arrived from work I could not find the coral beauty and then my Auriga BF was acting strange and had lots of sores on its skin, I instantly moved it to another QT I had on hand, clean, cycled sponge filter, PVC hideouts. Then I found the coral beauty dead on the sponge filter. Well I have these medication "Lifeguard" from instant ocean and I added one tablet to the new QT tank to see if it aided with the infection. Well next morning it was dead.
I realized I made lots of mistakes on the handling of wet instruments like nets and clamps and gloves, now I put everything I use on all the tanks on a bucket with formalin solution, then another bucket to clean the rests of that solution and then I use them. But that is now. Having described all the facts I want to know If someone has a piece of advice on what can I do next to get new fishes. Is my water in the DT infested with parasites?
<Mmm... to more carefully acclimate... move water from the display system TO the QT tank, after quarantine is about done. A cup a day for a week or two>
Quarantine will be tore down and sterilized with Chlorine. How long should I wait I mean DT tank has been fishless for more than 4 months, only corals and those pesky Aiptasia. Water temp can go up to 32-33~C If I want but I don't like to do that on the corals. I know that could help making the parasites cycle faster and they wont find any host, but I don't even know if its needed.
<I don't think the real/net cause of loss of these fishes was parasitic>
These last 2 fishes were really in good condition and it wasn't until week four, that they suddenly died. Was the quarantine too long?
<Perhaps, yes. Am a bigger fan of expediting small individuals of these two related families of fishes... doing pH adjusted freshwater dips/baths and placing straight away in DTs. Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm
and as much of the linked files above as grant you a sufficient understanding here>
or they
would have died on the DT instead. My DT is about 70gal, sump is another 30, DIY skimmer that works ok just needs very constant cleaning *that's good, 2HO t5 lamps, 10K and Actinic, 96 w, two 50/50 PC 10K and actinic 120w, good water circulation, I really haven't made the calculations but everything moves a lot there and my corals seem to like it a lot. QT's are 20 gal with sponge filters, lid and air pump. One has the shrimps and live rock which I wont put back on the DT. The water quality on the QT was great shrimps were even breeding.
I would appreciate any input/help/advice. I have some pictures and vids of the fish before and after if those help I can post/send/upload somewhere. Thanks in advance.
Best Regards,
David Bulnes Abundis
<And you. Robert Milton Fenner>

Quarantine Help!!/Kole Tang 2/16/11
Hello friends,
<Hello Chris>
So, this past Monday, after much research and consideration, I purchased a Kole Tang. I brought him home and gave him a five minute pH adjusted fresh water dip (no MB, as I haven't found it locally yet), then settled him into his 10g QT which had been filled two days prior with 50/50 new water and tank water from my display. There is a small heater, Maxi-jet 400 and Penguin bio-wheel 100 (the wheel had been curing in my display since boxing day, it also has a small amount of carbon in the filter pad), and a 3" dia pvc t-joint. Everything looked good. He immediately hid away in the pipe and would poke his head out from time to time. Yesterday morning, he was cruising around the tank, looking for food, so I dropped in a small piece of Omega One sinking veggie pellet (about 1/4 of a pellet). He immediately took to it, and ate about half. After 5 minutes, I pulled out the remaining bit with a baster. Last night I gave him another small piece, which he ate all of. I checked parameters, amm/nitrite//PO were all 0 and nitrate was slightly darker then 0 (not quite up to the 5ppm colour, this is using an API kit) SG was 1.024. I had intended on doing a small (1g) water change today, but when I got up this morning, he was back to hiding in his pipe and respirating very heavily. I immediately checked parameters again, and everything was the same, except nitrate had climbed to a little over 5ppm.
I did a 50% water change instead, and nitrates are back down to a little more than 0.
<Your 5ppm reading is not something to worry about...is fine.>
I've forbidden my two year old to go near the QT (as he can be a glass-tapper), and am watching closely. I know there is a reference to skipping QT with Koles on WWM, but as he was in a shared system with a variety of Blue Tangs (albeit in other tanks), I didn't want to risk Ich in my display. Currently in my 65g display are 2, 3" clowns, 2 cleaner shrimp,
2 hermits and about a dozen snails (turbo/Astrea). There is about 110lbs of LR with plenty of hiding spaces for him, if he wants them,
<He will want them.>
and a bit of green hair algae to munch on. Aside from respiration, he looks fine, though he's a bit hard to see in the pipe.
Should I stay the course? Move him into the display? He's an awesome little dude and was so happy and feisty yesterday, I hate seeing him hidden away and clearly in trouble.
<If there are no signs of disease and your dealer's tank is not infected, I would follow the advice you have read and place this fish in your display tank.>
Thanks so much for your help,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Quarantine Help!!/Kole Tang 2/16/11
That's a great .pdf, thanks!
<You're welcome.>
Okay, I pulled the clowns out and popped them into a bowl with display water and a lid, to give Kole a chance to get into the tank unharassed.
<Why the bowl, why not the QT.>
The move didn't go perfectly, his tale spiky deals got a little caught in the net, and he had to fight a bit to get out. He immediately headed into the rock work, and stayed there for a while. After about 15 minutes I put the clowns back in (they're a tough pair, well established, but I don't like giving them a hard time either), and they seemed oblivious.
<Likely was not necessary to remove the clowns, I'm thinking you have Percs/false Percs.>
Kole started showing himself, cruising around down low in the column, while the clowns stayed near the top, where they generally hang out. He was already picking at some green hair algae on the rock, though he's still breathing pretty heavily.
Keeping an eye in the hopes to see it drop as he settles in.
<I'd keep the lights off for a couple of days along with not sitting in front of the tank
all day. This fish is in another new environment, needs time to adjust. Patience.>
I have had a few better views and still don't see anything that speaks of disease, though both the cleaners have attempted to give him a going-over.
<Natural behavior.>
He keeps flicking them off in favour of cruising for algae, which I'm hoping is a good sign (hoping if he were in discomfort from Ich or whatever, he'd welcome them. Could be noob wishful thinking....). I'm going to leave the tank lights off for the day and just keep an extra close eye on everybody.
Thanks again so much,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Quarantine Help!!/Kole Tang 2/16/11

Haha, read that email while sitting in front of the tank. I've moved now, and turned off the overhead lights too. I'm not going to obsess, I'll just take a quick peek a few times throughout the day. He was swimming in a moderate flow area, not doing much but very heavy breathing, but like you suggested, I'll leave him be. I'll leave you guys alone too, unless something drastic changes.
As an aside, I opted for the bowl thinking that I was trying to keep them separate for the move, and at some point they would have been in the same quarters if I didn't use it, and while I could have moved the clowns from the bowl to the QT after Kole was out, keeping them in the bowl for 15 minutes meant I could simply gently pour them back into the display, rather than having to net them again (the female was not impressed with being removed). While they are small (I've forgotten and didn't note it when I bought them, but they're aquacultured clowns, and I think ocellaris/false Percs), the female has shown some aggression in the past (had a go at both cleaners when they were introduced, and occasionally tells my hand it's too close), so I thought better safe than sorry. Kole headed for the rock so quickly I doubt it would have been a problem, but live and learn. They seem happy and back to normal, anyways.
Thanks again, have a great day, and like I said, I'll leave you and the Kole alone for a while now.
<Sounds good. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Quarantine Help!!/Kole Tang 2/16/11
Thanks so much for your quick reply. I wasn't sure how many of you were left coasters and was worrying about the time difference.
<There are a few left coasters on the crew, Bob and Scott V. for sure, but I reside in Michigan.>
He's starting to poke out of his pipe a bit more, though still respirating heavily. I can't see any evidence of disease, but I'm still pretty new at this. Gills look good (aside from fast movement), fins and body all look good (no abrasions, bumps or spots I can see), eyes are clear (does that only matter when buying fish at the market to eat?).
<Well, you definitely want to buy healthy looking fish to eat, but then again there is nothing healthy looking about a dead fish. :-) I will attach a chart put out by Hikari that is useful in determining fish health.>
After my last message he looked like he was looking for a bit of food, so I dropped him another piece of pellet and it's gone now. I'm hoping (as a best case) he's just stressed, and that perhaps 10g with that equipment is just a bit too small for him?
<Oh yes, and prefers better security than a pipe.>
Hopefully the move will make him happy!
<I'm thinking so.>
Thanks again, I'll report back.
<Please do, and you're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Quarantine/hospitalization and, ahem, bathing... ala the irrepressible Darrel!    12/30/10
Hi Crew,
<Hiya John - Darrel here. You're going to get a two-fer here. You're going to get MY opinion '¦ because, after all, this is America and everyone is entitled to my opinion '¦>
<THEN '¦ I'm going to leave your question in the general hopper and you'll also get an answer from someone with VASTLY more experience than me, who is right"¢ far more often than I>
<Why, you ask? Well, for one '¦ this is my SIX HUNDRETH LETTER on WWM and I thought I'd celebrate that.>
<SIX HUNDRED letters and responses over the 30 or so months I've been doing this>
<Sounds like a big deal, and then I remember that Neale Monks seems to answer that many every weekend. But hey '¦ I'm helping!!!>
<the OTHER reason I decided to jump in is that my modern exposure to Marine Tropical Fish came from helping MY 11 year old get an exposure to the hobby '¦ so you are going down same road in many ways>
<So without further ado (whatever ado is) '¦ here we go!>
I'm teaching my 11 year-old the basics of marine aquarium keeping...his questions are keeping me on my toes and making me think, and re-think what I do.
<Did the same thing -- THEN at age 14 he entered that phase where Dad was the stupidest hominid to ever walk erect, so we didn't talk much - then he turned 16 and discovered girls and has shown, since that split second, exactly ZERO interest in Marine Tropical Fish, not to mention school work, chores, music, computers or anything else unless that thing had some correlation to girls. So what started out as HIS hobby with my assistance is now MY hobby, with no assistance. As I understand it, it's a large club we belong to>
Here's a couple of questions that I'm sure will help, or heat-up, everyone on the subject of quarantine/hospitalization (QT/HT).
<About TIME I actually got started>
Assume for every situation that pH and temperature can/have been adjusted to system/optimal (pH=8.3-8.4/Temp=78-80F/25-27C), that 21 days, or 14 days asymptomatic (whichever is greater) is QT/HT time, and that system water is the daily new water for QT/HT water changes and that as a result, all water parameters are at or close to system/optimal in QT/HT
<Two things so far. For my experience, Quarantine is SIX weeks, not 14 days. SIX weeks of asymptomatic behavior and observation. I'd tried the following in the past:>
<14 days>
<21 days>
<4 weeks>
<If he'd had an illness I'd have seen it by now>
<LFS has had him for 6 weeks and he's been fine>
<He looks fine to me>
<And every one of those led to one form of disaster or another. I settled on six weeks and, combined with what you also do '¦ the technique has never failed me: At week 3, I start using the main tank's change water AS the replacement water for the QT tank, so by the end of week 6 the water in the QT tank virtually IS the main tank water, so as long as temperature is matched on transfer day '¦ it's almost like letting him swim from one part of the system to another>
<I came to this system out of desperation. My son liked Blue Tangs - The Undisputed King of Cryptocaryon. Many reasoned articles, even here, suggest that Blue Tangs are so prone to Cryptocaryon outbreaks that the stress of QT and a second transfer are more likely to encourage an Cryptocaryon outbreak than just giving them a dip before putting them in the main tank. The problem with THAT is '¦ that once the Cryptocaryon breaks out (and it usually did) I was exposing all the OTHER tank inhabitants to a scourge I'd deliberately introduced.>
<So what I came up with is a variation on what you do: When I buy a fish, I buy 20 gallons of that store's water. The store I normally go to actually sells me (at a discount) 20 gallons of water from their running system '¦ so I'm bringing the fish home in "their" water and then placing them in a 20 gallon tank of "their" water. That makes the transfer from the plastic bag a fairly routine and uneventful process.>
<Now, I have 6 weeks to gradually change that water to be MY water at MY pH, etc.>
<Since I standardized on his system, I haven't lost a single fish in acquisition, quarantine or introduction. I have, sadly, found OTHER ways to kill the fish, but that's another story>
Situation 1) new FISH (FISH=teleost, or bony, ray-finned fish) from LFS, no observable symptoms:
Question 1) freshwater and Methylene blue bath for 5-30 minutes prior to QT transfer? <Read about formalin dips. I don't use them very much, but Bob Fenner does and he is MUCH smarter than I am and he recommends them highly>
<To be fair, I'm taller, better looking and a much better dancer than Bob><<Tis so>>
Question 2) hyposaline QT (12-14ppt)?
<Hyposalinity is a great treatment for Cryptocaryon and a number of other parasites, it's also reported that it is less stressful on the fish, since it requires less metabolic effort to process and excrete the salt. (Anyone but me wonder why the fish don't just live in fresher water??) but the road BACK from 12ppt to 34ppt is a long one. To quote a fellow hobbyist Steven Pro: "I try to limit the specific gravity increase 0.001-0.002 points per day." Which translates to about 17 days of painstaking acclimation>
<I would have to be treating a specific illness to invest that much time and effort>
<'¦. John, I'm leaving the rest of these for Bob - Let's all hope HIS answers are better than mine! '¦.>
Situation 2) new SPS/LPS from LFS, no observable symptoms:
Question 1: Lugol's bath (full-strength seawater) for 10 minutes prior to transfer
to QT?
Question 2: when should full-spectrum/full intensity lighting be added to QT?
Situation 3) As a general rule, for all FISH, SPS, and LPS, should the transfer water's pH dictate the starting pH for bath and QT/HT? For example, if a FISH, SPS, or LPS arrives in water that tests 7.5, should the bath (if agreed upon above, indicate so) and/or the QT/HT start at 7.5 with a gradual (say 24-hour) rise to system/optimal (8.3-8.4)?
I apologize in advance for redundancies with existing forum strands, I just can't seem to find all of this in one place. The goal here is to build a flowchart/diagram with him.
<SIX HUNDRED RESPONSES!!!!! The Law Of Large Numbers suggests that I got at least a few of them right!!!>
Quarantine/hospitalization and, ahem, bathing... /RMF    12/30/10
Hi Crew,
I'm teaching my 11 year-old the basics of marine aquarium keeping...his questions are keeping me on my toes and making me think, and re-think what I do.
Here's a couple of questions that I'm sure will help, or heat-up, everyone on the subject of quarantine/hospitalization (QT/HT).
Assume for every situation that pH and temperature can/have been adjusted to system/optimal (pH=8.3-8.4/Temp=78-80F/25-27C), that 21 days, or 14 days asymptomatic (whichever is greater) is QT/HT time, and that system water is the daily new water for QT/HT water changes and that as a result, all water parameters are at or close to system/optimal in QT/HT
Situation 1) new FISH (FISH=teleost, or bony, ray-finned fish) from LFS, no observable symptoms: Question 1) freshwater and Methylene blue bath for 5-30 minutes prior to QT transfer? Question 2) hyposaline QT (12-14ppt)?
<1, not 2 IMO. Possibly with adding formalin to the pH adjusted freshwater bath. Read here re:
Situation 2) new SPS/LPS from LFS, no observable symptoms: Question 1:
Lugol's bath (full-strength seawater) for 10 minutes prior to transfer to QT?
<Slightly reduced spg... a thousandth or two... to help "soak in" new water, I2>
Question 2: when should full-spectrum/full intensity lighting be added to QT?
<Mmm, really, as soon as the photosynthesizing life can make use of it...
Depends on the recent light-history of specimens>
Situation 3) As a general rule, for all FISH, SPS, and LPS, should the transfer water's pH dictate the starting pH for bath and QT/HT?
For example, if a FISH, SPS, or LPS arrives in water that tests 7.5, should the bath (if agreed upon above, indicate so) and/or the QT/HT start at 7.5 with a gradual (say 24-hour) rise to system/optimal (8.3-8.4)?
I apologize in advance for redundancies with existing forum strands, I just can't seem to find all of this in one place. The goal here is to build a flowchart/diagram with him.
<I salute your efforts, and sharing w/ your son. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine  12/26/10
Hey guys Hope you all had a nice Christmas/Holiday and are well.
<Thank you Chris>
I hit up the LFS today for their boxing day sale, and bought the components for my QT (along with some other toys), a 10g, small stealth heater and Marineland BioWheel Penguin 100. Going to get some pvc off-cuts for shelter, but I'm wondering, sand in the bottom? Bare?
<Most of the time, purposes, bare... You can add a plastic or glass tray of substrate if the livestock, conditions warrant such. But you want to avoid having such materials present if treating w/ most med.s>
Should I leave it running all the time, or just set it up when I get new livestock?
<I'd leave it running all the time myself>
Also, on the Quarantine set-up page it refers to "darkening" the sides, I'm thinking of just using blue backdrop on three sides, is this the idea?
<No, tis fine>
I'm also just going to use a CFL bulb on a timer, or possibly get an LCD pendant. I know it's not hugely important. All sound good?
Once we're back from New Year's at the cottage it's time to think about a few more friends in the main tank.
<Welcome and Feliz anno Nuevo! Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine  12/26/10
Hey, I just spent more time reading, and think I can answer most of my questions (aside from seeking affirmation).
<Heee! Be chatting! BobF>

Re Help/Marine Velvet Disease 10/7/10 - 10/13/10
Hello again....
<Hello "JS">
new question for you. I just completed my two week QT period w <with> my Yellow Tang and Blue Devil. There r <are...please, no text type emails, I don't have the time to edit.>
no signs or symptoms of any parasites but how can I b <be> sure velvet or Ich is not laying dormant to find that later after I put them in the display I have an outbreak?
<Two weeks isn't quite long enough, better to go with four to be sure.
Reading the info the link led you to in the previous email should have answered your concerns.>
Hey everyone I forgot to mention that my Yellow Tang was eating good the first two days in qt. Now, unfortunately he sucks food and algae up and spits it rite <right> out. I've tried Mysis, omega brine, blood worms and spirulina sheets....nothing. His body is not pinched in any way except the stomach has a big sunken in pinch. What do you recommend?
<May want to try changing 10% of the water and see if that triggers a response. If not, continue to offer a variety of food in small amounts.
Reading the FAQs on Yellow Tang feeding should provide several other suggestions. The feeding FAQs can be found in the header of this Yellow Tang article.
James (Salty Dog)>

Royal Gramma Question, hlth, Qt.  6/24/10
I have a royal gramma in a 20 gallon QT. (Thin sand bed, 15# live rock, established with cycled sand and rock, up 2 months) I realize this is not a typical QT, but I thought it would be less stressful for passive QT,
<Agreed... and is fine... there are differences between quarantine/isolation systems and treatment systems>
and I'd treat in a separate tank if needed, or just sacrifice the rock and sand if I had to treat.
I change 10% of water weekly, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate are all zero.
Salinity at 1.023, temp 79, ph 8.2.
The fish had been at the LFS two weeks, in some amount of copper, was eating, but hiding when I bought it. It still hides basically all the time in a cave, a hole in the rock or in a corner where it moved some sand to make a hole. It does eat, although just darts out far enough for food. I rarely see it free swimming, and it darts back in the rocks if it sees me enter the room. Skin appears clean, one patch of slightly different colored pink on one side, only visible with a flashlight. Fish has been in my QT tank for 4 weeks. At what point to I just place the fish in the display...I
know they are a reclusive fish, but does this seem excessively so? I don't really want to treat with anything unless something is "wrong".... Could the patch of a different color indicate a problem? No spots, etc are visible.
<I am much more inclined to encourage you to move this fish to the main/display. Gramma species in general are "quite clean" on arrival, and a summary pH-adjusted freshwater dip is typically all that's warranted enroute to placement. There is much more to be lost (the fish itself) than gained by waiting any longer>
Thanks for any suggestions. I don't want to place too early and risk my other fish (Blue Tang, YT Damsel, 2 Shark nose gobies) DT is a 90 gallon, with 100 pounds live rock, and 4" sand bed. However I don't want to wait too long if maybe the small tank is stressing the fish either.
Pam Speck
<Thank you for sharing, writing so well, completely Pam. Bob Fenner>
Royal Gramma Question, Chris' go   6/24/10
I have a royal gramma in a 20 gallon QT. (Thin sand bed, 15# live rock, established with cycled sand and rock, up 2 months) I realize this is not a typical QT, but I thought it would be less stressful for passive QT, and I'd treat in a separate tank if needed, or just sacrifice the rock and sand if I had to treat.
<The rock and sand would need to be removed before most treatments as it will interact with the medications making proper dosing near impossible.>
I change 10% of water weekly, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate are all zero.
Salinity at 1.023, temp 79, ph 8.2.
The fish had been at the LFS two weeks, in some amount of copper, was eating, but hiding when I bought it. It still hides basically all the time in a cave, a hole in the rock or in a corner where it moved some sand to make a hole. It does eat, although just darts out far enough for food. I rarely see it free swimming, and it darts back in the rocks if it sees me enter the room.
<Sounds typical.>
Skin appears clean, one patch of slightly different colored pink on one side, only visible with a flashlight. Fish has been in my QT tank for 4 weeks. At what point to I just place the fish in the display...I know they are a reclusive fish, but does this seem excessively so?
<Not really, mine never really gets too far from the rocks and runs for cover whenever someone approaches the tank and he has been in there for 7 or 8 years. In the wild they are almost impossible to approach to closely, diving back into the rockwork as a diver approaches.>
I don't really want to treat with anything unless something is "wrong"....
Could the patch of a different color indicate a problem? No spots, etc are visible.
<Could just be from rubbing against rock or other decorations.>
Thanks for any suggestions. I don't want to place too early and risk my other fish (Blue Tang, YT Damsel, 2 Shark nose gobies) DT is a 90 gallon, with 100 pounds live rock, and 4" sand bed. However I don't want to wait too long if maybe the small tank is stressing the fish either.
Pam Speck
<These are pretty hardy fish, I think he could probably go another couple weeks in the QT as long as he is eating.>
Re: Royal Gramma Question 6/24/10
Thanks so much for the advice. I lost the gramma I QT'd before this one (After 5 weeks of QT), and I truly fear it was because I left him in QT too long. I will move the fish after my water change tomorrow...
Thanks again, Pam Speck
<This is what I would do as well Pam. Cheers, BobF>

Naso Tang with White Blotches - 6/11/10
<Simon with you today Brian>
I acquired a Blond Naso Tang that has white blotches on its body. I have QT'd the fish for over a week now and they have not changed at all.
The blotches are not raised, they have no texture, and the fish is eating, breathing, and seems healthy. The marks don't go away, don't get worse, but they don't get better either.
<Yes, I see these>
I have attached a picture for you. I have yet to medicate, copper, or do anything as I don't know what I am dealing with.
<Well done.. no treatment required here>
Any thoughts?
<Yes. These look like stress marks/ colouration to me.. is the fish in a confined space?. how is your water quality? Nitrates? Are there many or aggressive tankmates? These marks should disappear with improved conditions.. namely lots of roaming space, high turbulent water flow & RedOx for this fish>
Thank you for your time. I appreciate your site, Brian
<No problem Brian, Simon>

Re: Naso Tang with White Blotches - 6/11/10
Right now he is in a 10 Gallon QT with rock and little water flow.
<There you go!>
His prior owner had him in a 55 gallon tank <Ditto. Far too small> and I would question the water
quality. <Double ditto>. I plan to put him in a 180 gallon reef tank <Much better> with lots of flow, but
wanted to QT him until I knew what the marks were and rule out disease.
<All fishes should be quarantined anyway>
Since he had the marks in his previous tank, I didn't want to take chances.
Do you think I should just put him in the 180 now, or QT him for another week or two?
<I would go at least two weeks here, maybe three but can't you get a bigger QT tank? A 10 gallon QT for a 180 is inadequate IMO. You would be better off procuring a second hand 55 for probably pennies somewhere>
He has shown no signs of disease, but it has only been a week.
<Indeed. I would prolong this period in a larger QT with some vigorous circulation (plus an airstone) and see how he responds. Block out the sides and back of the QT tank with some dark paper or something so he does not
feel 'exposed'.>
Thanks again,
<It's a pleasure to help people and fish alike!>

quarantine of niger trigger -- 4/12/10
Hi guys,
I've got a 2" Niger Trigger in a 10 gallon quarantine. It's been there for 2 days, with the water at 77 F, salinity at 1.022,
<... too low>
and ammonia levels at around 0.25ppm (Do these seem alright?
<Mmm, no>
The filter's a bit new since this is my first quarantine,
<Needs to be pre-conditioned... cycled... See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quarsysfiltrfaqs.htm>
and I'm planning to do a 10% change a day. He spent literally the entire day today hiding in a ceramic mug I put in. Is it normal for Niger Triggers to be this shy?
One last question. Should I have a cover over the tank?
<I would, yes>
I don't have lights for the tank, just have the tank under a lamp in the living room.
<No need for light>
Thanks so much!
Charley Teng
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: quarantine of niger trigger 4/12/10
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the fast reply.
The Niger Trigger in my QT is a little less shy now. I guess it is just a matter of time, and size.
<Ah yes>
But now I feel like I'm starting to lose this damn fight with ammonia.
Even just after a 35% water change (the second today), the ammonia levels are above 0.25ppm. This is, again, probably because the filter is not established.
<Yes... and is a common experience... see where you were referred>
My main tank's ammonia levels are 0. Right now it's pretty bare with 2 green Chromis, a yellow tang who's pretty aggressive (and bigger than my 2" trigger), and a coral beauty who's docile. However, the coral beauty has
Ick, though it is fighting it off pretty well (it's had it for a month but is actually feeding well and more outgoing than before).
Should I place the trigger in the display tank to save it from the ammonia levels, while treating the coral beauty? I really like the little guy and want to see him doing well. Thanks!
Charley Teng
<And the linked files above... BobF>

Re 08/03/10 Still confused.... Quarantine tanks  3/9/10
<Hello again Jason, how are you?>
How's everyone?
<Not bad. I did a half marathon on Sunday and my kneecaps nearly dropped out, but I'm feeling a little better now thanks!>
This is like my tenth email to you guys and I don't know what else to do.
I have a Double Saddle BF and a Heniochus BF in a 20gal QT tank.
<Yes, I remember>
Initially (about a month ago) they both had Velvet, so I treated for almost two weeks with Quinine Sulfate.
Now all looks good and the levels are all zero except nitrite is about 10ppm <Really? 10ppm is deadly. Are you sure this is not 1ppm? <Or NO3> Still toxic if it is, and will be a problem.. have you read on nitrite poisoning? Heavy breathing is a definite symptom, and if your nitrites are high'¦>
and ph about 8. Both fish are only using one gill to breath (at times) and are breathing rather fast (sometimes).
<They will do in QT usually anyway, if they are in a small system and are stressed>
I am not sure exactly what the problem could be.
<Either nitrite, or stress are the most probable causes. Are these fishes feeding? How often are you feeding them?>
When I fresh water dip the fish for five minutes nothing at all comes off.
<Ok. So after the three treatments of Prazi, and the dips, we can discount the flukes yes? No need to dip these again now>
I do have a whitish, smoky water that comes and goes.
Is this a bacterial bloom
<Maybe, but I would not have thought likely in a QT tank, unless you are running lights on it. If you are, turn them off. I would do water changes to control this, and the nitrite which is your concern here. Have you put a skimmer on the tank?>
and can this cause the fish to breathe fast and use only one gill?
<The bacterial bloom won't cause this, but the cause of a bloom might.. excess organics, low oxygen..nitrite>
I was dealing with Simon before and he told me to remove all of the medicine I have been using (which I did for a little over a week) and everything was fine up until today.
My Double Saddle started breathing heavier and using one gill more often. Seems like the cloudier the water gets, the more breathing problems my fish have. I guess my concern is that there is still Velvet in my tank and it is lying dormant or something.
<A risk for sure, depending on your quarantine protocols and how you implemented them (which I can't comment on because I don't know). Did you keep the QT system in a separate room from the display? With all nets, buckets etc. separate? Only worked on one system a day so that nothing was transferred via wet hands? Parasites can spread between systems on anything wet..>
I am hoping the long treatment of QS eradicated it.
<Me too>.
What's going on?
<If you have velvet you will see more positive signs on these fish soon. Monitor and keep the conditions good. Water changes, put a skimmer on the tank if you can, get the nitrite down. I always put an airstone in my quarantine tanks to get the water moving, aerated as much as possible. Use some carbon somewhere. If you have lights on the tank, turn them off, keep the tank dim. Don't panic and rush into any treatments/ actions unless you know what you are treating for. You are almost there... Are these fishes feeding? This is information you have not provided..>
<No prob.s, Simon>

Re: 08/03/10 Still confused.... Quarantine tanks...<<Bob do you have any comments here.. have you been following??>><Have been following. Take care of your knees... be selective re running shoes, not letting them get "too olde". RMF>  3/9/10
<Hello Jason>
Yes they are feeding wonderfully.
<Then my view is that you are probably out of the woods now. If the fish that was not feeding with medication in the water now is feeding without the meds then I would stick to this plan>
And my nitrite is zero.
<So this was a testing error? Good news anyway>
The fish have been acting the same way for over two weeks now so I guess I would probably see more signs of Velvet by now.
<Yes, I think you would>
It's recommended that you treat every seven days with Prazi-Pro until there are no signs of respiratory difficulties (mainly because the fluke eggs have hatched after the last treatment).
<Really? I was under the impression this is a one-hit wonder: http://www.aquariumguys.com/prazipro.html>
But I guess I will just continue water changes and put carbon in.
<I would. If you are still paranoid about flukes then a freshwater dip en-route to the display will be fine. If there are any still in the QT, then they will not last long once it's empty>
And yes I have a rather large air stone in the tank. I have another ten days left in my fallow period on the main display, shall I put the fish right in after the ten days regardless of one-gill usage and heavy breathing?
<This seems strange to me.. I suspect there is nothing amiss here and I would put these back to the display, via a freshwater dip, but I am copying to Bobs folder here.. he will let us know if he thinks any different>
Also, I ordered an Eibli Angel that wasn't supposed to come in until mid to late March, they called me yesterday and said it had arrived early. They won't hold it for me for long than 8 tonight.
<? Bad.>
You think it'll be ok to go ahead and put him in QT with the Butterflies?
<No I don't. This QT is too small, and you could introduce another parasite. This animal should be quarantined separately.>
Thanks again for helping me
<No problem at all. Simon>
<<Heee! Thanks for the advice. I won't make any cracks about your knee's being "olde-r" than mine!>>
<I've got waaaay more miles/kilometers on mine I'd wager... I have oft-repeated that folks have about 15 years of running in them... I'm way over-drawn, though... still greatly enjoy getting out and about. Cheers, BobF>

Re: 10/03/10 Still confused.... Quarantine tanks... Parasites  3/12/10
GREAT! That makes me feel good.
<Well THAT makes a nice change!>
It'll be 8 weeks on March 20th and I can't wait to put them in. Plus, through the whole 8 weeks I have had a UV running on the tank to help aid in the process. I hope that made me even closer to that "99.9% chance" of keeping the parasites under control.
<Let's hope so Jason, good luck>
Thanks again
<No problem, and don't forget to quarantine FIRST next time! Simon>

Re: 10/03/10 Still confused.... Quarantine tanks... Parasites -- 03/18/10
Hey Simon, wish me luck.
<My fingers and toes and legs and eyes are all crossed Jason, and my wife is looking at me strangely>
Today I just put my Raccoon and Heniochus in the display tank.
<They made it! I'm glad that between us we managed to keep them alive!>
Today was EXACTLY 8 weeks with Jan 20th being the first day with no fish. I hope this is 99.99% effective like the literature states.
<Not the literature, Jason, my guess (I repeat, this was a total GUESS on my part) was that this number of parasites would be dead.. that still leaves a few probably alive..>
I did have an 18 watt UV running on the tank for the full 8 weeks also, this should have significantly increased the free swimming parasite right?
<Probably not, since the free swimmers only last a day or so anyway, but it would not have done any harm.>
I am keeping my fingers crossed, oh boy!
<Me too, good luck! Do give us an update in a month or so as to how things have gone. Simon>
Re: Quarantine tanks... Parasites...Nearly there....
LOL, your eyes crossed too huh?
<Not a pretty sight!>
I like that one.........thanks again for all of your help.
<It's a pleasure to be able to, Jason>
I am glad I have a reliable source of information to turn to.
Thanks again, Jason

Re: Quarantine tanks... Parasites...Nearly there....   3/18/10
Ok Simon, I think I should start sending you money in the mail per hour for all these questions I have.
<Heee! We do this for love, not money!>
I have searched the forums and see nothing similar to the situation I have with my Heni. He is in the display tank now doing well with no spots or anything but he paces and kind of jerks his mouth/face against the glass when he swims near it.
<Could be some damage here from all the medications he has been subjected to>
He also goes close up to my Raccoon and leans to the side almost as though he wants to be cleaned.
<Mmm, I would not worry too much here yet>
Both gills are moving and at times (especially after he paces) they move rather fast and at times one gill seems to be out a little more than the other (but only when that one gill is close to the glass).
Is this the velvet coming back?
<If this is the only symptom? No. More is required to identify this as Velvet... check Bobs article... carefully... for the symptoms>
Could there be another reason?
<Yes, stress, damage from the quarantine. This fish is now in a 'new' environment. It is not yet settled.>
I am paranoid........AGAIN!
<You have only just placed this fish back after a protracted quarantine/ treatment. This fish has been through much, give it some time to (re) adjust. A month and you will know better. There is nothing more you can do for the minute except provide it with the best care you can and monitor closely>
<Don't panic Jason, panic actions will kill fishes as surely as anything else. Take a deep breath, read, and wait. Simon>

Re: Quarantine tanks... Parasites...Nearly there.... -- 03/19/10
Ok thanks. Not so sure it would be damage from QT/meds because I never needed to medicate this fish. It's a new Heni....my old one passed. I quarantined him for almost three weeks and he was at dealer for an additional two weeks and never showed any symptoms of any type of parasite/fluke.
<This is information you did not pass to me..>
Therefore, I never needed to medicate him with a single med.
Thanks for getting back
<No problem. Simon>

Re: Quarantine tanks... Parasites...Nearly there....  3/22/10
<Hi Jason, sorry this has taken me a while to reply to you>
after all this I think I am just going to retire from this.
It's really too much stress. I got into this hobby to have some type of relief of stress and it does everything but.
My raccoon now again, is breathing with only one gill. He has been treated with PraziPro and QS for over a month and half period, there's no reason why these parasites should even be existent.
<Did you not introduce another fish to the QT after treatment? By doing this you easily could have introduced another pathogen>.
I can't take it anymore, I am losing my temper and kind of in a rage and have been miserable all day because of this. All the money and hard work I put into these fish and one stinking parasite can demolish my whole tank?
<Yes, if care is not taken>
Nah, not for me, can't do it anymore. Shame to see it all go but unfortunately this is what has to be. I want to thank you so much for your time and helping me through this, don't think I could've done it on my own without your advice. It's GREATLY appreciated!
<No problem Jason>
Thanks again, Jason
<A prime example of how, even though it may seem to be a drag at first, proper quarantine of fishes is essential. It saves fish lives, it saves the aquarist money, it saves the aquarist time, it saves the aquarist stress. Simon>

Re: Quarantine tanks... Parasites...Nearly there....   3/25/10
Yes I did introduce a new fish but he was in a different QT tank AND he was in that tank for three weeks AND at the dealer for two.......I would assume if nothing came up in that amount of time then it's probably not going to. They were BOTH fine for almost a month in each QT tank with absolutely not even a single symptom. THE SECOND I put them in the display tank......there it goes, one gill close, scratching/flashing/itching, constantly opening one gill seeking a cleaning from the other fish. Then a few spots appeared but went away very quick. A sheer coincidence that nothing showed up in QT for a month and then all of a sudden it shows up in display......nah, it's still in the display even after 8 WEEKS......DONE!
<And all was kept separate from the QT at all times?>
It's not worth it. I did try one last resort and treated the display tank with QS. It's worth losing the critters on my live rock and/or a slight spike in the levels. If this fails.......then I shut the tank down and done for
good. If you think about it......the things in life that take a lot of patience and perseverance aren't worth taking up your time if it only takes something so little to destroy EVERYTHING you've worked for. Things in life that have such consequences are no where near worth your time and dedication. That's an obvious indication that....."its not meant to be....".
Thanks for hearing me out lol
<Good Luck Jason. Simon>

Re: Quarantine tanks... Parasites...Nearly there....   3/25/10
<Hello Jason>
Yes everything was kept completely separate from the display tank. As a matter of fact, I didn't even open the lid once during the 8 weeks lol.
The more I research and look over literature, I can see that this "fallow" procedure isn't as effective as it was years ago because the Pathogens have become so aggressive and resistant.
<This sounds like porkies to me. I would be interested to know where this information came from. The problems are the same as they always have been. Either way, this is still the most effective treatment/ procedure, as medicating in tank does not work. This has been gone over and over.>
Many hobbyists and experts/professionals alike have had little success with the "fallow" remedy.....especially in the later years.
<No, as stated the problems are the same, i.e. nothing is guaranteed, or ever has been>
At least that 8 week period enabled the vast majority of the parasite to die off but unfortunately there are still enough pathogens present to cause harm to my fish.
<No, this is where you have not listened... you have not given these fishes enough time... you have not identified the parasite... there is no guarantee that there is a parasite, as just as you have been told, fishes will often exhibit these symptoms anyway. If there is a parasite then as stated time and again, with good care this can most often be managed. These are the same things/ subjects I warned you about before.. you have 'jumped the gun' here>.
Hopefully the QS treatment in the display tank will be enough to kill off the last few (considering the QS will only need to be effective for a few rather than thousands),
<Not likely, this has been gone over time and again, you have not read, listened. I told you to give it a month or so. You gave it a few days. Your penchant for medicating fishes is an issue>
otherwise.......down the tank goes. So we'll see.
<Jason, I do think that you should stop writing, and start listening. Simon>
Querior Jason Smith  3/25/10
Hello Crew,
This querior is repeating on me! (no digestion jokes please!). I have been trying to help him over the last two plus months, but I think I've gone as far as I can. He does not listen, does not read, he is inconsistent & does not tell me the truth, does not give me all the information, does not follow my advice, and keeps coming back for more! I have tried being gentle, persuasive, harsh, pointed him to many articles/ links, I have told him exactly what I think. I have spent a long time trying to help him when I could have answered other queries, and really do feel that I am now
wasting my time with him! I am fully expecting another message, probably some time soon, if any of you more experienced members have been following this saga and have an idea about which way I should go please tell me!
Yours frustratedly, Simon!
Do please leave his future writing to me, others here Simon. No worries.
Bob, I feel guilty that I have passed my responsibilities on!
<Mmm, don't be... you have done your part>
I do appreciate your help though..
I'll buy you a beer sometime!
<Oh! Now you're talking! Cheers (and biers), BobF>
<Biers indeed, or where I come from it's Scrumpy Cider that's the tipple!

Mysterious Quarantine, Reading! 1/14/10
<Hi there.>
I just admit I found your website after I failed to quarantine an Altheas <Anthias?> I bought at my LFS. It was the first fish I failed to quarantine (based on assurances that it had been at the store for months with no problems) and I paid the price.
<Yep, quarantine is on you and no other!>
My eight fish are all currently in quarantine (4 weeks down, 2 weeks to go). The quarantine situation is not ideal (I have a f small fish in a 10 gallon and 4 others (all 2in or less) in a 15 gallon) but all seem to be doing well.
<Stressful, I would really consider a larger quarantine tank for such future issues. Buy an old used tank on Craigslist for next to nothing!>
I now have two questions:
1. Should I re introduce all of the fish at once or over a matter of weeks?
<Hard to say, what filtration do you have, how long has this been set up?>
2. After reading your posts I see that I should have quarantined my coral (Some zoo, pulsing Xenia, a plate coral, an Acropora frog and a beautiful orange flower pot) but I did not. Should I take all of my coral out and quarantine them before I add any new coral (which I will quarantine from now on)?
<Not without reason. Part of the time period you are going through is leaving the tank fallow from what it sounds. Though we have no idea here what the fish are infected with.>
I do not see any problems, but I have only been keeping coral for a year, so who knows?! If so, I imagine I should do them all at once. Do you agree?
<No reason to quarantine the corals.>
Also, do you recommend that I quarantine them for a longer period (than 21 days) to ensure that everything they might have brought into my tank dies.
<The fish, yes.>
I look forward to hearing your answers (though I fear I know what the second will be, and I am not looking forward to a coral free tank (mainly because I fear it will push my fiancé over the edge!)
<A few things here. First, if you were to take out and quarantine the corals for some yet unseen reason, you may as well do the same with your live rock (I do assume you have some?). Once that is done you may as well bleach (rinse it well) the tank and set it all back up with the rock and corals. The big point is what is wrong with the fish? I assume likely crypt? All of these questions are easily answered with a little reading, see the links and above linked files at the top of each page provided below. ScottV.>

Re Mysterious Quarantine, Reading!   1/20/10
Thank you Scotty for your response.
<Welcome Matt.>
I guess I should have gone into more detail about my system last time. I have a 90 gallon Uniquarium with about a 2 inch sand base and 170 pounds of live rock. I have removed all bioballs from the sump and have a protein skimmer and use carbon and Purigen (I am also trying to decide if I should put some Chaeto in the sump, but that is another issue).
<I vote for it!>
All of my readings are good (pH 8.3, KH 9 salinity 1.023 (for my Rose BTA Anemone)) besides Calcium, which is in the 350-375 range, and I am working to increase.
<I would raise the salinity to 1.025, closer to natural for the inverts sake.>
For a CUC I have a cleaner shrimp, a peppermint shrimp, 5 or 6 turbo snails, 2 or 3 narcissus snails and 8 - 10 hermits. The system has been running for about a year. I have the following fish: a pair or black clowns (1.5 inches); a starry blenny (2.5 inches); a flame hawk (2 inches); a fridmani (2 inches); an Anthias (2.5 inches); a pajama cardinal (1.5 inches); and a small goby (.8 inches). I also have a few corals ( a few Zoas, some Xenia, a flowerpot, a plate, some frogspawn and one Acropora frag).
As I mentioned, I failed to QT my Anthias. It had ich, which spread to my fridmani, so I set up 2 QTs for my fish (I appreciate your advice about a bigger QT, and just hope I never have to do this to all my fish again! Too bad I skipped that QT).
<I hope so too! But stuff does happen, it is nice to be prepared.>
And that is why I asked my second question about a QT of my corals. After reading about all of the benefits of QT for corals on your site, I just wondered if a QT at this late stage would do anything for my corals' future; or maybe it is just too late. I have not noticed any problems with my coral, but I thought that maybe now, while I still have relatively few, maybe I should QT them. I figured if I took them out of the tank for a long enough period, maybe I would starve any unwanted pests I might have introduced. One major problem I see with my idea is that I have not noticed any problems yet, but I just wondered what you guys thought of this idea.
<Really it is too late. Any unwanted hitchhikers are already in the system.>
No need to post this, I guess I just did not want you to think I was a total idiot after my first email.
<Not at all.>
I appreciate what you guys do and I kind of felt like my first question was a bit of a failure, so I thought I would clarify.
Thanks again,
<Very welcome my friend, Scott V.> 

Re: half-black angel question... Now, env. losses in QT     9/20/09
Hello again,
<Hi there>
Hopefully this email finds you doing well. I had sent a message regarding ich on a pearl scale angel back in June. As a follow up, we ended up moving all of the fish to a QT (as our clown and damsel started exhibiting s/sx of infection) for observation and treatment.
Unfortunately, the pearl scale died before treatment was started. We removed all substrate and carbon filter media and started using Cupramine with testing using two different kits to maintain levels in therapeutic range for two weeks while allowing our DT to go fallow for two months.
Everything went well and both fish recovered, Cu was removed from QT (water chg, carbon) and the fishes were reintroduced to the main tank.
All inhabitants seemed to be doing well and parameters were acceptable (78 deg F, 1.024, 8.3 with no NH3, no NO2, and 5 NO3).
We left for vacation on 12 Sept setting up an automatic feeder (holds dry food, rotates every 12h to give a sprinkle) as we had several times in the past without incident. Today, 19th, we returned to find an overpowering H2S odor coming from the tank.
Our clown, cleaner shrimp, and emerald crab were dead and encased in a clear, gelatinous substance.
<Funguses... decomposition>
The remaining fish (damsel) was extremely pale and swimming near the top and distressed.
Conditions were: 78, 1.025, 8.3, 0.3 total NH3 (!!), NO2 0.75, NO3 1.
There was this gelatinous matrix covering deposits of uneaten food on the LR and sand bed as well as surrounding our deceased animals. To my surprise, our hermit crab, turbo snail, Cerith snails, Nassarius crew, and sand sifting star were all alive.
After removing the deceased, we suctioned out the slime and immediately started our QT (0 Cu, 8.35 pH, 1.023, 0--NH3, 0--NO2 with 10 NO3) and brought it up to 78 deg before drip acclimating the hermit, turbo, sand sifter, and damsel. We did so over 20 min, wanting to get the creatures to a less toxic tank ASAP.
The surviving gang is hanging out in a bare 10 gal tank with rudimentary filtration (bio wheel as well as fiber mesh over carbon) and a couple of PVC pipes for hiding. The turbo snail is sitting atop a piece of PVC doing what I believe is spawning (raising shell over foot, then dropping rapidly while expelling what looks like smoke from an orifice near the top of his body).
<Yes... "last ditch effort"...>
Damsel is swimming in the corner staring at the wall looking distressed. Crab is crawling about and star is sliding across bottom. The other snails are active in the DT (we plan on leaving them there for now) and I'm trying to figure out what went wrong exactly.
<Best guess thus far? Excess food... let to crash, cascade event, more death, more nitrogenous waste...>
I suspect that either one of two things happened: 1. the feeder gave too much food and overwhelmed the denitrifying system leading to ammonia toxicity for one (or more) of the animals, causing it to die and further the poisoning or 2. one of the animals died, decaying leading to NH3 tox. Either way, I think there was insufficient water movement and probable anaerobic metabolism of excess foodstuffs.
<I am in total agreement>
This loss has been devastating for us and we want to do what is best for our remaining family. We are going to bathe the LR (clean bucket of appropriately matched artificial saltwater, lightly brushed to remove debris) to get rid of the remaining "slime" and do a 50% or so water change to the DT tomorrow. For the QT, we plan on picking up a few bags of live sand at LFS and check conditions daily if not twice daily for a few days.
I fear our damsel will not survive, but the others look like they've perked up in the cleaner QT. I would like to return them to the DT once the environment is stabilized for a few days as I suspect this issue is environmental and not infectious. Do you feel that would be wise?
<I do>
Any advice is appreciated. My apologies for the wordiness and if I have overlooked grammar errors. We just drove ~550 miles to discover the above.
<Not a fun discovery. I am in concordance with your plan. Bob Fenner>
PS--other potentially important information that I forgot. DT is 55 gal FOWLR w/Unimax 250 canister filter with UV sterilization, AquaC Remora Pro HOB skimmer (with the Mag3 pump), and Coralife 50/50 light.
Skimmer was left off for trip as we had a previous issue with it detaching and blowing the sand all over the place one day while we were at work. 

FW dipping for Butterflies, R. Fenner, please...   7/31/09
Greetings wise one, a person just posted a query today regarding the signs of ich showing up on his blue stripe Butterfly. Glen said he performed a second FW dip and put it back into QT. You commented at the end that Butterflies were one of those species that you'd recommend not QT'ing....
<The entire family, yes>
just the careful FW dipping regimen.
Glen FW dipped his Butterfly in the beginning, and it still showed signs of getting ich about 10 days later, causing him to wisely dip again. Here is my fear/question then...
how can I safely introduce the pair of Golden Butterflies I have on order at my LFS to my 300 gallon display tank if they are best added without QT?
<Best to use a simple bath...>
That FW dipping  I'd planned may not dislodge all parasites as in Glen's case, for he had to repeat the dipping less than 2 weeks later. From a past experience with a horrendous velvet outbreak 8 months ago, I cannot imagine having to break that rock work down again, and drain out 250 gallons just to remove the two new Butterflies (if they contract ich) after only a FW dip that may not work. In reading your input on Hippo Tangs, you also suggested the same...best not to QT, just FW dip with or without chemicals. Due to my hard learned lesson about adding fish all willy-nilly with no QT, I am afraid a dip may not be sufficient. So how can I add these to my 300 tank?
Your articles on QT-ing plus my own experience has really taught me the priceless value of a QT tank. Heck, I worship that QT tank so much now, I've placed candles on each side if it, and bow down as I pass it by! It's services has just been so appreciated.
Thanks in advance for your valuable insight and response.
<Mmm, well... the species in question, Chaetodon semilarvatus itself is, for the family, very tough, and usually quite biological et al. disease "resistant"... Were it me, mine, I would just do the perfunctory dip/bathing and place these fish. Bob Fenner>

200 Gal Stocking\Quarantine\Angels and Wrasses, Lymph... 6/16/2009
Hello, all...
<Hi Thomas>
I was scanning the FAQ regarding Lymphocystis(sp) and am not particularly worried about it, but it is there, nonetheless. I have a 200 gallon tank 6' long filtered by a trickle filter, Fluval FX5 (no foam or media other than ceramic pieces, strictly for circulation) and a Prizm Pro protein filter that produces nasty waste.
<Keep an eye on the canister filter. With ceramic media, it can become a biological filter and thus become a nitrate factory.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marcanistfltfaqs.htm >
<I've personally had better luck using my canister filters for light mechanical and chemical filtration.>
A decision is coming soon regarding the stocking of the tank and removal of some livestock. It has been stocked with A Passer Angel of 6", a yellow tang of 4", a Tomini tang of 4", a Lunare wrasse of 6", Tomato clown, lawnmower blenny and two original damsels.
There is also a colony of Clavulariid (sp) in it as well, which has spread from a frag to a 6 inch in diameter colony.
<Clavulariid is correct: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clavulariids.htm >
I have always wanted to keep an Imperator angel as my primary fish, but acquired the Passer about two years ago and he's been here ever since. I purchased a small Imperator
angel and placed him immediately, no quarantine. He is 3". (The reason for no quarantine is documented well in your FAQ by now, Bob surely remembers lengthy emails regarding a battle with ich that lasted months, killed numerous fish, was treated with formalin and quinine, and was finally bested with... garlic.)
<I hope you still at least used a dip of some sort:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm >
Following the success of introducing the Tomini tang as a test fish with no QT (And I do stress that I am not recommending this... it was more of a theory test for me personally, and for me has worked) and aggressive feeding with Garlic Extreme with no occurrence of Ick, I followed the same procedure with this Imperator.
The fish were watched very closely for the next few days. Realizing that placing two angels together is not advised, I was prepared to remove the Passer if needed. Not to mention I have read that it is not advisable to purchase a specimen quite this small.
<3" is a bit small. Provided the fish was not beaten up in collection, it should be fine.>
After three weeks all fish are doing exceptionally well. There is no quarreling whatsoever. The young Imperator has adjusted extremely well, and all fish co-exist better than possibly imagined. I am going to reduce the stocking on this tank in the very near future, beginning with the Lunare wrasse, which is voracious, active, and has leaped onto the carpet twice during feeding times (and placed back into the tank begins feeding immediately). My best guess as to why the two tangs and two angels get along is probably due to different body types, sizes, and colors.
<Likely so.>
The Imperator developed the Lymphocystis almost immediately... a cotton patch on the end of one fin (Pech fin? On the side...). It does not affect him, other than of course it is not attractive. The Wrasse will eat cleaner shrimp, cleaner gobies. Best course of action, do you think, is to leave it be?
<Yes, it will pass in time.>
Water chemistry is excellent.
I've had no increases in nitrates since the introduction of the Tomini and Imperator.
At some point we may remove the Passer so that he can delight someone else, as the Imperator grows. The Imperator currently follows the blenny around... perhaps they enjoy each others company.

Algae control and quarantine  2-10-08 Dear WetWebMedia Email Answerers, <Mike here> We have had our tank (set-up below) for almost 3 months. We have been reading your site the whole time and thank you for the time you have spent providing information. <Sure thing - this website is an excellent source of info> We recently purchased Drs. Calfo's and Fenner's book - Reef Invertebrates. <I have an autographed copy ;)> We love the book and have learned a great deal from it. We believe we have the information we need to move forward, but we would like to clarify a few things first. Here is our tank set-up: 55 gallon 38 lbs of live rock 60 lbs of sand 2 maxi-jet 1200 powerheads Fluval 305 filter We are planning to purchase a protein skimmer today. <A skimmer is highly recommended. So is more water flow, and make sure the laminar flows from the powerheads and returns are pointed to produce as much random turbulent flow as possible> Livestock: 6 Nassarius snails 2 Astrea snails 2 turbo snails 3 blue-legged hermit crabs 1 red-legged hermit crab 2 emerald green hermit crabs 1 fire blood shrimp 1 cleaner shrimp 1 spotted mandarin fish 2 maroon clownfish 1 rose bubble tip anemone <That mandarin is going to slowly starve with the little live rock you have in your tank. I would immediately work on a refugium, and try to get the mandarin eating prepared foods. I would also purchase copepods as a supplement - I've used www.Reed-Mariculture.com in the past with excellent service> The tank did not get any livestock for about 1 month. Then we started to add the Nassarius snails, Astrea snails, and crabs (not all at once - a little at a time). Fish and shrimp and anemone were just added about 2 weeks ago. The turbo snails were added a week ago. Our plan is for few fish, mostly invertebrates (corals, 1 clam, starfish? - not sure on that one having read the Invertebrates book). <Educate yourself regarding the lighting/feeding of (I assume) Tridacnid spp. before purchasing> All of our water checks have been good, including checks for phosphates. We have it checked at the store, but are purchasing our own test kit today. <What is "good"? Numbers are always encouraged when sending us questions. You should have already purchased a complete set of test kits, but better late than never> All is going well and everyone is getting along well. Our biggest problem is algae. We have a fair amount of what we think is green algae. It looks like the picture of Chlorodesmis in the Invertebrates book. If it is this, we understand it is good, but we don't want it to fill the tank and it is spreading. We also have brown hair alga on the back tank wall and a small amount of Cyanobacteria. We have been removing the Cyanobacteria as best we can using a suction tube when we do water changes. We had been doing them about monthly, but plan to start doing them more often (1/week or so). <Nuisance alga is *always* an indicator of excessive dissolved organics and usually lack of water motion, as well> Problem 1: Algae - We know this comes with a new tank. We think the protein skimmer will help. We think more often water changes will help. <Yes, and yes. Don't be afraid to perform large water changes every week - I tend to perform 50% water changes/week in every marine aquarium I've owned - just make sure the fresh saltwater is the same temp/pH/salinity, and well mixed/aerated> Question 1: Our filter has 3 carbon sacs we change with the water 1x/month. Can we change 1 sac at a time and do it more often (1x/week)? Will that help with algae? <Quality carbon should last at least a month after the cycle is complete - Seachem Matrix carbon is great if you want a recommendation> Question 2: We are considering getting a kole or chevron tang to help with the green algae. Is the tank large enough for him with 3 other fish? <This aquarium is really too small for any tang species> It seems he will eat the green algae and mysis shrimp. We feed our clownfish defrosted mysis shrimp (alternating plain with some that have Spirulina mixed in). Will that be ok for him or will he need something else? Question 3: Kind of related to algae - what is the best method for straining the frozen food to get the water out? Our feeding routine is: we defrost 1 cube of food in a small amount of tank water (in a small container) and pour out as much water as we can. Then we feed 1/2 of the food and refrigerate the other 1/2 until the next day. We feed with a turkey baster. We supplement our anemone and shrimp with small pieces of krill (1-2x/week). <Pour through a kitchen strainer or piece of cloth> Problem 2: Quarantine - We know we should quarantine the fish for 21+ days. Question 1: What should we feed the kole tang while in quarantine? <Don't purchase a tang> If he eats algae off live rock, and live rock can not be in quarantine, how do we proceed? Question 2: We already have a small (10 gal) tank set-up with some live rock, a sponge filter, air tank, no sand, but some detritus and PVC small pipes. Some of the live rock will go to the main tank in a few weeks to 1 month, after it has cured a bit. The main purpose of the tank is that we are trying to grow some copepods for the main tank. It has only been set-up for 1 week (using water from our last water change). We know fish can not be quarantined in this tank with the live rock. But would this be a good tank for quarantining the coral? Or will that cause a problem with the water/rock in there? <I wouldn't use LR in a quarantine tank at all, turn it into a refugium instead, and set up a separate system for QT> Question 3: Would a second similar set-up (to the one above) be good for a fish quarantine? <Yes> Question 4: Do we put copper in the water with the fish in quarantine even if the fish is not showing any symptoms? Or is it ok to just treat if we see problems? <Preventative treatment with a less stressful medicine such as methylene blue would be fine, but I would never representatively treat with copper> Thank you for your time. Please let me know if I have not been clear about something. <I was lenient with you because you are new to the hobby, but the answers to all of your questions could have been found with more perusal of our archives. Do take the time to educate yourself with the resources available here> Sincerely, Jessica <M. Maddox>

Quarantine Procedure  1/25/08 Hi, <Hey there! Scott F. with you, on the road again...> Thanks for the quick response on my canister filter question. I would like to bother you with one last query. When using a fresh water dip for a new fish before going into the quarantine tank should methylene blue or any other medication be used in the dip if there are no visible problems. Again, thanking you in advance Shawn <Well, Shawn, it is certainly possible to use medications or additives in freshwater dips. I have typically employed methylene blue in prophylactic dips, and I know other hobbyists who use medicated freshwater dips (using agents such as Formalin) for disease treatment (for specific conditions, such as Ich, etc. In general, I would not use a medication as a prophylactic, unless I was treating for a specific disease. Far better to employ a straight freshwater dip, with or without an agent such as methylene blue, and then release the fish into a dedicated quarantine system. I'm happy to hear that you are embracing a quarantine protocol. It's so easy to do- and has such a beneficial impact on your overall hobby success. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>  

QT Procedures and Ich Treatment 12/4/07 I have a 75 gal tank that I recently set up about 2 months ago. I am new to this part of fish keeping, although had cared for freshwater for 8 years. I now know I should have quarantined my fish before putting them in my tank. <Yep> I put a sixline wrasse, blenny, firefish, coral beauty, two percula clowns, and a pajama cardinal in at first. <Too much too fast here, need to slow down the stocking.> They all seemed fine until I put a yellow tang in. He also looked good until after a week, when I noticed white spots. At this time I started doing some research, and found this great sight. My two clowns have come up with a few spots and that is it, the rest look fine. <Are still infected most likely.> I have quarantined my tang, but am wondering how I should go about treating them. I only have a 10 gal QT which is entirely too small for all these fish. I cant afford another one at this time. <Perhaps a large Rubbermaid food-grade container would be more budget friendly.> Would it be as effective to take my live rock and inverts out and place them in my QT for about 4 weeks while I treat my display tank with copper, or is it only effect to remove fish, treat them with copper and let main tank fallow for 6-8 wks. <The latter, copper can be difficult to remove from an aquarium, and your substrate would have to be removed also. More problems here than its worth. Best bet is to figure out a way to house all fish outside the main tank.> Also I was wondering if you recommend a UV sterilizer? I have one but many hobbyist have told me that they kill more beneficial organisms than bad. What is your opinion? <I don't think they are terribly effective in most cases, they need just the right flow rate and contact time to really work and most are not able to provide that. Also they are not capable of curing most things alone, and treatment is still necessary. As far as doing more harm than good, this I do not agree with, I don't see much downside to them, although their upside is limited as well.> I hope your holidays are great, and thanks for any feedback Evert <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: QT Procedures and Ich Treatment 12/4/07 Chris, <Hello> Thanks for your great advice. <Welcome, although probably not that great.> Ok right now I am treating with kick-ick, have you heard of this? <Yes, 5-nitroimidazoles, I do not believe it to be terribly effective.> It seems to be working, although I know the parasites come and go anyways. <Most likely just it's lifecycle.> Should I continue treating with this reef/invert safe treatment, and if at 3 weeks time they are still present, then should I treat with Copper, or should I just do that right away. <I would discontinue its use and set up a proper QT tank. The problem here is that the clowns and tang are sensitive to copper, I may use formalin here instead.> How long do you suggest leaving my fish in a FW dip with Meth Blue (10 Minutes)? <As long as they don't freak out too bad this should be ok.> The other question I have is one of my beloved Percula Clowns has a white blister looking thing below his lip that he developed about two days ago. Is this a fungus, or possibly just from scratching. <Could be a bacterial infection due to some physical trauma, fungus is pretty rare in the salt water side of the hobby.> How can I tell, and if it is a fungus, whats the best way to treat this. <Right now I would not use any additional treatment due to the ich medication, good water quality and appropriate food is the best course here.> Can he be treated with other fish? <For ich, yes.> The last question of this e-mail is when setting up my QT should I use water from my display tank, being its cycled, <Water does not really cycle, that occurs on solid surfaces.> or just use RO water and change water weekly while it cycles. <Probably will need daily water changes, and you can start with either, the ich treatment will make it irrelevant.> Thanks so much again. <Welcome, and check out these FAQs and related articles for more. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndiscrypt.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/crypttangs.htm .> <Chris>

Re: QT Procedures and Ich Treatment 12/5/07 Chris, I just want to thank you again. <Welcome> This really is not a question, but I just want to make sure I have this right. Ok so this is how I go about treating my fish with ick, correct? First I get two QT tanks set up with proper parameters for my load of fish. Then I catch the fish, giving them a FW dip in Meth Blue. At this time I put them in the QT tank. In this tank I treat one tank with copper (Cupramine) and the other with containing more sensitive fish (tang and clowns) with Formalin (Rid Ick+). I do this for two weeks while at same time raising temperature to about 82 degrees and lowering SG to about 1.019. <Leave the SG at normal levels, 1.019 is not low enough to help eradicate the ich, but low enough to stress the fish, normal levels are better here.> After two weeks I should begin to bring back these levels back to normal. Then let fish sit and be observed for the next 4-6 weeks while my display tank continues to complete fallowing for a total of 6-8 weeks. At this time do another PH adjusted FW dip with Meth Blue before introducing fish to display tank. I hope I have this right, cause I have read about every article on this over past few days, lol. <Seems like you got it.> Do you think a 10 gal tank to house a yellow tang (small) and two Percula clowns, and a 20 gallon tank to house a firefish, pajama cardinal, lawnmower blenny, coral beauty, and sixline wrasse would be too much for bio-load if I do a 10% water change with RO water daily? <Should be for this time frame, just make sure to have plenty of hiding spots for them (PVC pipe works well).> The last question is while I'm catching these fish will it be alright to take LR out and place on towel for that time, or will the time in air kill the live bacteria? <Should be no problem.> Thanks much, Evert. <Seems like you have a good plan here.> <Chris>

Quarantine Question, Marine Ich 11/29/07 Hi crew, <Hello> I have a question concerning quarantine procedure. I have all my fishes including a purple tang in hospital for ich. I am dosing with Coppersafe at 5ml per 4 gallons of water. <Careful treating Tangs with copper, they generally do not handle it well.> I plan to keep this up for 4 weeks. How can I be sure that my fishes are ich free at the end of the QT period? <Keep them in QT for at least 4 weeks after the treatment is finished, most likely ich would show itself before then.> I understand ich can still be in the gills even if it isn't visible on the fish. If my fishes are not scratching and there are no visible signs of ich for 4 weeks can we say that ich is eradicated? <Not for sure, but is most likely the case.> I am asking because this is my third time fighting this parasite in the last 6 months. I attribute my past failed attempts to improper QT procedure. <The most common cause.> I have since made some improvements including keeping all equipment and supplies dedicated to QT and testing and maintaining copper levels. Oh, and can you tell me if it is at all possible to eradicate ich completely from tangs? <Can be done, the problem is that copper treatments are not tolerated well by tangs so other methods need to be used.> I have heard opinions to the contrary and need to hear it from WWM. Thanks a lot! <With proper procedures it can be done.> Stan Young <Chris>

Dwarf Angel Fin Rot, quarantine methods f'  -- 11/17/07 Hello, <Greg> I am fighting a losing battle with a case of fin rot on a dwarf angelfish in a 10 gallon Q/T. The fish did fine in Q/T for about 10 days but then started getting ragged fins. <Maybe simply the quarantine experience> The fins were just literally disintegrating a small amount each day. I started treating with Kanamycin (SeaChem Kanaplex) every 48 hours, but after 3 days the fins continue to erode at a faster rate. The fish is eating fine <A very good sign> and all water parameters look good as I have a full biological filter which is surviving the Kanamycin treatment. Ammonia and nitrite are zero 3 days into treatment. I did go without chemical filtration for about a week. But once the fin rot started, I filtered with carbon and PolyFilter for about 1/2 day and did a 25% water change before starting the Kanamycin. I am concerned the Kanamycin is not working and I am wasting valuable time to save the fish. Should I continue with the Kanamycin and if so for how long? Or should I switch to a different antibiotic for fin rot? At a loss here as I have used Kanamycin successfully for fin rot before. Thanks, Greg <I would discontinue the Kanamycin, not try other antibiotics... I would summarily pH adjust and freshwater dip and place this animal in the main display. Please see here and the linked files above for the thinking/rationale here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm Further quarantining will not likely grant you anything... other than a more-stressed specimen. The root cause of the "rot" is likely non-pathogenic. Bob Fenner>

Melafix in the main tank, Improper QT methods 10/23/07 Hello, <Hi> I have a 125 gallon FOWLR. Specifics on the tank are: 6in live DSB, about 100lbs of live rock, and 2 sumps (a 20 gallon and a 30 gallon). The 30 gallon contains a refugium with live sand, live rock, macro algae and a orange spotted goby. The 20 gallon houses my protein skimmer in one chamber and a return pump in the other. Water from the refugium drains into the return pump chamber. Current inhabitants of the main tank include: 1 tiger wardi goby, 1 juvenile Koran angel, 1 powder brown tang, & many Nassarius snails. The tang was the most recent addition, after a quarantine period of two plus weeks in the refugium. <Not a good way to do it. QTing a fish is as much for the protection of the current residents as much as the new addition. Needs to be in a completely separate system, otherwise disease will be transferred between the refugium and the main tank.> Soon after I put the tang in, one of the angel's eye became puffy and cloudy. The tang seems to be brushing against the sand more now that he is in the main tank. <Water quality? Any other signs of possible parasite infection?> Do you recommend treating the entire system with Melafix? <I never recommend treating the main tank with anything, and Melafix is pretty worthless anyways. These fish need to be removed to a separate hospital tank if they need to be treated for something.> The manufacturer states that the product is reef safe but I am not sure if anything in the refugium will be affected. <Very well may, and the product will not help the fish either.> My second question is, given my livestock and system, would you recommend me adding a flying gurnard in the future? <No, see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flyinggurnardfaqs.htm for details.> Thank you for your time and advice. Kiet <Welcome> <Chris>

Quarantine Procedures 10/16/07 Hello <Hi> Love the site, the best I've come across by far!!!! <Thanks> I have a few questions I was wondering if you could clear up for me? <Will try> I learned my lesson not having a quarantine tank, but I now have one and my 120 G has been going fallow for about two months now (bad case of the ick), I think I might let it go till Dec before I add fish just to make sure!!! (You think its worth the wait or is 2 months good?) <8 weeks should be fine.> I was told by the LFS that ick came go dormant, if so how long would you need to wait to add fish to the infected tank? <Its lifecycle is abut 4 weeks, with no host they will die. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm > And also if I wanted to use some of my supplies (test tubes, buckets, gravity testers etc.) between my quarantine tank and my two other tanks. What's the sure best sure way to kill everything by disinfecting? I've heard hot water, should I run hot water over and through the pieces or submerge in bucket, if so how long is good to kill everything. <Needs to dry completely as well, while hot water is probably enough in most cases I would not be comfortable using this method alone.> And I've also heard of using bleach, should I be submerging in bucket also, and also how long to kill everything? <This is the better way, submerge for a few hours, rinse well, let it dry completely. Treating it with dechlorinator after is not a bad idea either.> I just would rather not have to buy 3 sets of equipment if I don't have to. <Better to have separate equipment, otherwise 1 mistake and you have reinfected your tank.> When is the best time for my freshwater dips, when I first get the fish before quarantine or after quarantine right before I put fish in main display? <Before QT> Or should I be doing both?? <Could> During quarantine should I be treating with copper or other meds even if I do not see any problems? <No, only treat when necessary.> If so what do you recommend? I know meds are not always healthy for the fish. But the reason I ask is that I have read that fish can be infected with ick etc., but not show any symptoms until stressed. <They will most likely show signs in a QT tank if closely watched.> In that case couldn't you quarantine a fish for 30 days and not see any symptoms, put in main display and then pass lets say ick to a more prone weaker fish and have the nightmare start all over? <Yes, but most likely would show signs before introduction.> And a liverock question. On my reef tanks I've always ran my compacts for 10 to 12 hours and my halides for 4 to 5 hours in the middle of my compact lighting. On my FOWLR 120 G I have 2-175 14K halides, I don't ever really plan on having any coral or any thing in there, I just like the look of the shimmer effect and the color of the halides, But I do want to have alot of nice coralline algae to grow and cover the rock. What's the minimum time I can have my halides on to get the coralline growth can I get away with 4 to 5 hours a day or do I need them on for 10 to 12 hours for that coralline growth? <Coralline will grow in most any light.> And last of all a fish question. Is there any kind of coral, polyp, urchin, invert etc. or anything non fish that you can put in with Triggers, Puffers, and Eels? I figure no but I thought I'd ask while I had you. <Not much these fish will not sample.> Thanks so much for the info, Danielle <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: Quarantine Procedures, Identification, Coralline Growth 10/16/07 Hello again, thanks for all the info!!! One more question for you, kind of a weird one, I have never read about this one anywhere. <Fire away> When I had that last ick case I had a yellow tang that was the last fish to die and I didn't get him out of the tank right away because he died deep into all the live rock, a week or two later I noticed alot of things growing on the black walls of the tank, down the overflow chamber, in the sump and on some of the live rock, not so much on the front clear wall. If I would have counted them there would? have been? probably 200 to 300 of them, they were everywhere. They looked like 1/4" to 1/2" white magnets or sacks, most of them standing long ways outward from glass or rock, and on the outward end away from glass or rock had kind of a flower looking end with like 6 to 7 skinny petals or fingers, kind of like a flower duster with fewer fingers and not as full. They don't move at all sitting there or when they are touched, just sway a little in the current. I stripped down the whole tank and got rid of 99% of them, but I have just noticed a few? on the live rock here and there. Do you know what they are? How to get rid of them? Is it safe to add a fish with them? <Tough to guess from that description, maybe Aiptasia or a Hydrozoans. Whatever they are they were their population most likely grew due to the nutrients released as the tang decomposed. I would guess it is safe to add fish but impossible to be sure depending on what they are.> And in reference to coralline growth question earlier, will the coralline growth be quicker and cover more of the rock with the light on for?10 to 12 compared to 4 to 5 hours? <The longer usually the more growth, although different colors of coralline grown at different rates depending on light amount and wavelength.> Thanks again for all the info and the great website!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Danielle <Welcome> <Chris>

Analysis of Fish death in QT... You read it and tell me   10/12/07 O boy. I've lost 2 fish (French angel and a royal Gramma) I've been keeping in QT and basically I'm curious as to why and how to prevent this from happening again Here are some of the facts : I'm keeping them in a large red plastic bucket (around 15-20 gallon). <Heated, filtered? Recirculated? Treated in some way?> Both fish HAS been eating up to 8 hours before perishing. <Have...> Temp has been fine fluxing a few degrees at max. <Fahrenheit? In how much time?> pH was 8 (on Salifert) and 8.3ish on aquarium pharmaceutical ph test. I've been having to add a LOT of pH buffer (the Kent 8.3) daily (at least 1/2 a scoop morning and evening) <-- is this normal? <To add this much or buffer period? I would NOT do this... such changes should be made gradually, through changed-out water that has been modified ahead of use> The pH over the week in the tub drops to 7.7ish nightly (off API ph test) <Good that you're checking> Salinity I was lowering from 1.02 to 1.014 over 2 days.. and was about to lower it again to 1.010 the morning after discovery of death. <... Am not a fan of such hyposalinity "treatments"> Ammonia/Nitrite/ undetectable (tetra test) Nitrate was "orange" so was about ~25ppm <Too high... but likely to be expected under/with the circumstances> I've also been dousing the tub with one of those chlorine/ammonia removing chemicals when I did the small water changes. --- The French angelfish showed some sign of Ick with a few spots and cloudy fins (hence the low salinity) 5 days before death. <Again...> I FW dipped him for 5 minutes and when I placed him back into the tank.. he "nearly" died. <... cumulative stress> That night he lost his balance and let the current blow him against the rocks while upside down. The only thing I found wrong was the pH.. was so I added some buffer. Miraculously the next day he was OK and would eat the following day out of my hand (mostly formula 1/2) U can bet I was really happy. The morning before death he showed a more severe ick infection... but oddly they were GONE in the afternoon. <Cycled off...> The Gramma was hiding so I let him be. (??? what happened I didn't treat him at all that day) ------ so that is the "history of the fish" ... but I managed to catch them in their deaths late at night. 2 hours before death the French would skulk near my powerhead/quick filter apparatus (instead of hiding in the PVC tubing). First problem I thought was pH but the readings were fine. I added 1/2 a teaspoon of buffer regardless (as I didn't trust API's accuracy) What was bad news was that my royal Gramma came out of hiding to the powerhead/quick filter as well. As they died .. the French angel was breathing hard 80+breath per min (I could not tell if my royal Gramma's pace was extra-high). I have both an aerator and a 402 Hagen pump in a 15-20 gallon bucket so I thought there should be decent circulation + oxygen. The royal Gramma VERY oddly had one last "spaz-out" before he died. Swimming to the top very quickly and changing it's direction randomly for a few seconds. After that, he was a goner. When I examined the bodies... there was NO sign of velvet/ick.. and that one of the royal Gramma's gill flap was open 45 degrees so that I could see his fleshy gill (red but looked normal to me) --- So after reading that long post... can ANYONE tell me what caused them to die.. and how to prevent death in the future. <... these fishes died from a combination of poor water quality, changing circumstances and protozoan infestation... You need to read... re Cryptocaryon... environmental manipulation for disease treatment... and how to select specimens period. Bob Fenner>

QT Tank question, treatments   9/7/07 Hi Bob, Due to the recent loss of my Bellus Angel to a nasty form of Ick, I've taken your advice and set-up the 55 gallon tank to be fallow for the next three months. It's got a few hermits crabs, snails, pieces of live rock and sand left in it. Raised the temperature to 82 and lowered salinity to 1.019 which I'll lower more over time. I'm running the skimmer, filter, power heads and doing regular maintenance on it. <Okay> Also set-up a 10 gallon QT tank as prescribed in your web-site. In it I have two pieces of PVC pipe, a bio-wheel filter and air stone running. (The only thing in the bio-filter is a few of the bio-balls taken from my 150 tank). I used 5 gallons of the water from my 150 tank and 5 gallons of freshly made saltwater to get started. I'm keeping the tank running at 78 degrees and 1.020 salinity which I'm moving down slowly. The inhabitants in this tank are one small lawnmower blenny (1 inch) and two yellow-headed gobies (3 inches). <All right...> As they were in the 55 gallon tank with the sick Bellus, I am treating them with Quinine Sulfate as Formalin-3 didn't seem to help the Bellus. <Is very close to cure or kill...> I am feeding them then removing any leftover food and waste immediately with a turkey baster. Also doing 25% water changes every other day. My ammonia levels are running at .50. Is this okay as it seems the best I can do? <Mmm, yes> If not, should I add filter media that removes ammonia? <No... will/would likely remove the Quinine> I've already read that you find Amquel a weak alternative. Also, my LFS said that the gobies should do fine without having any substrate to sift though. Sound like a good response to you? <Yes... for treatment> Thank you, Gregory E. Esposito <Let's hope your earnest plans work out fine here Greg. Life to you. BobF>

Hippos... Quarantine? -- 08/17/07 Just a quick question... in Bob's book as well as on your website, it is suggested to place Hippo Tangs directly into the main display without quarantine to reduce the stress of multiple catch and release out of quarantine. Are you still of this opinion? In my past experience, a Hippo I had about 4yrs ago seemed to be a 'Crypt' magnet. <Mmm, Paracanthurus are not "as bad" as such compared with many other Surgeonfish species... and my opinion is "it depends"... "IF" the specimen looks otherwise in good health, it can be isolated for a time... to assess its health... However, it can be peremptorily FW dipped and placed in most cases> Would u expect a Hippo Tang, aside from adding nice colors to a tank, assist in mowing done some green hair algae? <Depends on the species of algae... not many are palatable... and many that look "Green" are not... are often BGA, which is entirely undesired> I will be adding a Foxface after a 4 week quarantine which I'm thinking will further assist in a green grassy hair algae problem. Note, the tank is 200gallons FOWLR. David Brynlund <Hotay! BobF>

Quarantine... using WWM   8/2/07 Hello! Forgot to ask in my previous mail. should I quarantine snails and crabs too before adding them to the tank!! Cheers Gans <Please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM. RMF>

Buddy System Technique in QT -- 06/29/07 Dear Bob and Crew, <Mike> I did my homework, but was unable to find a clear answer or opinion on the following. A question regarding the quarantining process, if you don't mind. <Not at all> I have noticed when quarantining my fish as I work through my stocking plan, that these fish all seemed miserable and stressed while in my QT, and not just for the first day or two. <Not atypical> It is a 10gal., 8-10lbs LR forming a tunnel / hideout, 1/2" Reef Sand, hang on filter with BioWheel (very quiet), and only half lit (which is not often - I use the room lights and dimmer when needed) Temp 76, PH 8.2, No measurable signs of ammonia, nitrites or nitrates Clowns just swam up and down in the same corner. They never even made it to the other end of a 10gal QT?? <Happens> The Coral Beauty just hid underneath a rock completely out of sight the whole time. The Pixie Hawkfish would always run and hide, and always seemed nervous or skittish. (Not all fish at the same time, mind you) All "seemed" (and I am not a marine psychologist) generally stressed and unhappy, IMO. ("IMO" - now that's proof that I've been reading WWM) <An honest assessment, expression> All of the above immediately seemed fine right after being moved to the main 72gal tank with LR, Reef Sand and a cleaning crew including a (Lysmata?) Fire Shrimp. I have been watching their relationship with this shrimp in the main tank and became curious. I am now quarantining an approx. 3" Longnose Butterfly in my QT and have tried something different this time. (Yes, I probably should have asked first) I put another Fire Shrimp in my QT along with the Butterfly to see if it might make a difference in aiding the new addition in feeling less stressed while in this 10gal for a couple of weeks. To my pleasant surprise, and with my above disclaimer in mind, I would have to say this Butterfly "appears to be" much more calm and relaxed, judging from it's behaviour. It appears to be quite content in there, cruising around quietly, eating frozen Mysis after only two days, playing with it's reflection, and sleeping at night in the tunnel with the Shrimp. This time, I am not getting the feeling that this environment is doing the fish more harm than good. I want to keep this Butterfly in quarantine for at least two weeks (Butterfly reputation?) and was concerned that if I placed this type of fish into an environment that was causing it stress and/or discomfort, that it may actually become unhealthy while in quarantine even if it wasn't unhealthy to begin with. Does any of this make any sense at all to those of you who know about fish, or is this just a case of amateur imagination gone wild? <I do believe you're spot on with the "calming influence" of the purposeful cleaner, companion here> Is there any reason why I should not do this? I realize that the fish will not be alone if he develops a health problem while in the QT, but I couldn't help but think that the calming effect of the shrimp in with the Butterfly might lessen the likelihood of stress induced health problems, or an inability to recover from a problem under stressful conditions and, therefore, the (potential) benefits would outweigh any (potential) risks. Your thoughts, if any and as always, are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Mike <I too do consider the presence, companionship to be valuable here... As I frequently re-state... "Isolation/quarantine is NOT the same as treatment"... either as a system or process. Bob Fenner>

Nitrite Question, Copper murdered my nitrifying bacteria? (And QT) 6/7/07 Hello Crew. <'Allo!> I have a question about the effect of copper on nitrifying bacteria. <Kills 'em.> I have a 30 gallon marine QT/hospital tank that I cycled with two mollies. <Poor mollies...> I have since had to introduce my four fish---a tiny gold stripe maroon, a tiny blue hippo, a lawnmower blenny and a 3.5" yellow tang--into the hospital tank to allow my display tank to go fallow because my blue hippo got Ich (I know, I know . . .). <Hope this is a big system we're talking about, 125g+ ???> Of course, my ammonia and nitrites shot up - ammonia went from 0 to 2 ppm and nitrites went from 0 to 2.5 ppm. I'm treating the tank with copper (keeping it between .15 and .30 ppm, but boy are those tests hard to read!). <Seachem?> They've been in the tank 5 days. The blue tang and maroon clown are happy as clams--you'd think they have known each other since birth. They seem totally unaffected by either the copper or ammonia/nitrite levels. <I'm sure they are affected, whether or not it's apparent.> The lawnmower blenny, who was perfectly healthy when I removed him from the display on Saturday, is now resting peacefully in pet heaven with my German shorthaired pointer. The yellow tang is hanging in there--he hasn't eaten since entry into the tank and periodically leans over to one side, but he is responsive when I approach the tank, stick my hand in, etc., and he's alive every morning when the lights come on. His breathing is not labored, but I can tell he's not feeling great. I have been doing 20% water changes daily and re-dosing to maintain proper copper levels. <Hmm... maybe you should brush up on QT setups? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm You need to be doing water changes that will keep the toxic byproducts of their respiration and feeding to a minimum. Usually 20% is not enough with four animals in a 30-gallon. > Yesterday, I added Bio-Spira, which dropped my ammonia down to 0 overnight but my nitrites were still about 1.5-2.0 ppm this morning. <Hmm, the addition of Bio-Spira is mostly moot at this point. As you are seeing, the copper has deleterious effects on the bacteria, and they won't properly establish in the presence of medication. This is a good reason to use the water from your main tank to dilute the toxins in the QT whenever testing indicates a need. Think of it as aggressive water-changes for your main system...> My questions: What effect will the copper have on my nitrifying bacteria? <See above.> Do you recommend that I do multiple doses of Bio-Spira while I'm treating with copper? <No doses would be fine.> Do you recommend anything different with respect to the yellow tang to up his chances of survival? <Just refine your approach to new species introduction in the future. I think you have taken a concerned and proactive approach to the current situation.> My LFS will cure ich without chemicals (using an incredibly ingenious, patent-pending (no kidding) top secret method--I'd have to kill you if I told you how it works) for $5 per day. <Per fish? What a racket! I should've thought of that one!> I could send him there until I ran the copper treatment on the other two fish and then put him back in the QT, but it would certainly be cheaper to just buy another yellow tang (but what kind of father would I be??). <Yes, we usually shy from relating importance of our livestock to their cash value...> Thanks for your guidance. <You are most welcome, but I bet you will do fine as you are. Do some google searching here on WWM and read as much as you can. In no time, you may be the one answering the Q's. > Andy <-GrahamT>

Re: Copper murdered my nitrifying bacteria? (And QT) 6/7/07 -- 6/8/07 Follow up for Graham: <Howdy, Andrew.> My tank is 110 gallons. <Good.> Your inquiry about Seachem copper test - - - yes, why do you ask? Is that a bad test kit brand? <Well, it a hard test to read results from. The slider, right? [Shudders]> All of my test kits are Seachem, except my calcium test. I sure wish there was an easy to read test kit--do you have any recommendations? < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/coppertestfaqs.htm > I know that everyone speaks highly of Salifert, but I have to give up an arm to buy one of those kits. <Hmm... get what you pay for, I'm afraid. I like the Lamotte kit Rick O. has with the colorimeter (sp?)... makes the testing a snap.> As for QT, I know, I know--I was an idiot, thought I could beat the odds, will never, ever, ever do it again, will quarantine all new arrivals for at least 2 weeks, etc. Hindsight is always 20-20. <Been there.> I was in the hobby 20 years ago and just got back in it. Didn't realize how much it has changed until I read Bob's book and found this website, both of which have really opened my eyes. <Been there, too. Was out of the hobby for ten years when I fell back in...> I promise to keep the questions coming . . . <Oh, goody!!! -GrahamT> Andy

I thought a Quarantine was a place to dig up rocks! Dip procedures as well    5/3/07 Dear WWM Crew: <Darrel> Somewhere in this mess are a few questions -- I hope it's easier to read than it was to write. <Okay> Ahem.  Once I manage to get a fish to my display tank, it lives in a 0/0/0 (Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate) world with 10% water changed every week, lots of varied food to eat and few worries (not sure what a fish WOULD worry about, but there are no sharks, eels, groupers to eat them and no taxes to pay).  There is one little hawkfish that nipped my clownfish but he will be dealt with -- maybe a stern talking to or possibly a notation on his permanent record that will follow him for the rest of his life. But getting TO my main tank is a tougher road than I'd have expected. At the beginning, the wise, knowledgeable, caring experts at BOTH my LFS advised a 4 day 'waiting period' before placing their fish in my main tank. <At least this is some interval...> Since they know best and have years of experience, I followed their recommendations to the letter.    As you all would expect, after most of  the fish in the main tank died of Ick, a REAL quarantine program was instituted starting with a bare 10 gallon tank/hood/heater and HOB Whisper filter. <Mas mejor... Much better> Never wanting to see or hear about Ick ever again, this tank was treated with Copper Power (chelated copper) as per manufacturer's instructions.  But good luck getting a Nitrogen Cycle started in a copper treated tank. <Or sustain such...>   Maybe some people can but I never could. <Me neither>   This meant 3-4 10% water changes every week, which means re-dosing the copper -- <Yes> and with the test kits available to the hobby trade it's like playing Russian Roulette with an automatic pistol.   I've tried all the major brands and their test kits and in my actual surveys 8 out of 10 people can't read the difference between the three shades on their respective color charts that differentiate between  TOO LOW--JUST RIGHT--LETHAL. <Agreed... but there are better, useful kits...> I lost enough fish to copper toxicity that I've decided to swear off Copper until I can obtain research grade tools. (working on that one already!) <See Hach, LaMotte... they have reasonable-cost assays...> MEANWHILE .... I'm committed to an eight minute Freshwater dip upon initial acquisition -- with my only reservation being that all the emphasis on SLOW ACCLIMATION is tossed out the window with this method, isn't it? <Mmm, no> Also, no buts about it '¦ 30 DAYS from the last sign of ANYTHING before they see my main tank.   The thirty days of boredom rule will also be absolute. <Javul!> Which leaves me with two choices: 1) A 'normal' water setup for that 30 days with nothing but observation (other than the dip) 2) Hyposalinity for 30 days in a proactive effort to stave off parasites. If I'm thinking correctly (and no that doesn't happen as often as I'd like) -- unlike with copper or any medications,  either of these options would allow a filter with activated carbon, Bio-Chem-Zorb or Chemipure or Purigen or anything I need to keep the water pristine, wouldn't they? <Could> A) Would you recommend a hyposalinity quarantine for us newbies or just regular saltwater? <For most species of fishes, all invertebrates, algae... regular> B) Is there a pretty accurate list of fishes that can't tolerate 1.010 ? <Have never encountered such> C) While we're at it, a list of fishes that can't tolerate a FW dip or maybe a duration/time table for various fishes? Regards as always, Darrel <Mmm, much more than this to it... A need to as smartly apply your observation, judgment re the apparent state of health of said incoming fishes... and to bear close watch on their progress during the (aerated) dip/bath procedure... to remove to the system with full spg if/when too much stress is obvious... if so. Bob Fenner> Quarantine  - 04/20/07 When I did the freshwater dip, I adjusted the pH and warmed it to the same temp as the QT, I did, however, put all the fish in the same dip. I assume I should have started fresh with each fish.  I did have them bagged separately, so why not separate dips?  When I did a FW dip on the last fish yesterday, I saw lots of "dust" on the bottom.  I read somewhere this is a good way to see if you have marine velvet and if so, will offer the fish some relief. <Can be indicative of 'dislodged' disease organisms> He stressed after only a couple minutes in the FW, so I put him back in QT.  I had 0.40 ammonia in the QT today, I was expecting it since I fried the biological filter with the copper tx (CopperSafe)  Copper level is at 0.25  I did a 40% water change and refilled it with my main tank water and added some AmQuel.  My main tank has an ammonia spike of 0.20, I think because I took out some carbon I had in a filter bag a few days ago (dumb thing to do in hindsight). <This shouldn't have induced such a large increase in ammonia -- presuming it was at 0 with the carbon> One of the hermits has been running around frantically and the others aren't as active as they were before, so that is why I checked the ammonia.  I found one hermit dead (with no shell) so I don't know if it was the ammonia or if we have a killer on our hands. <The lack of a shell probably shows one of his compatriots fancied a new home> Nitrites and nitrates are both 0.  I added AmQuel to the main tank and will be doing a 20% water change tomorrow and probably twice weekly thereafter to help re-stabilize the system.  I'll stick with the 20% water changes on the QT daily, since there is no biological filter, with fresh saltwater from my supply, not the main tank. <I do not advocate the use of these products in main system water as I feel there are to many variables from tank-to-tank for the 'Guidelines' to take into account. Larger more frequent water changes would be much more 'natural', far safer and more beneficial. Also, aged saltwater is critically important with water changes, especially in quarantine as the fish will be stressed and 'harsh' water will not help. 24-72hrs aging process> As for the fish, he seems more active today, still at the bottom and a brown colour, but definitely moves when I come near (which he wasn't doing yesterday).  As for the QT, the water was cloudy before I put the fish in.  I am starting to wonder if maybe there was something in the tank, I don't remember if I rinsed it or not before filling it. And the smell was there before I put the CopperSafe in. <Had the tank had copper treatment used in it before as it can leach into the silicon seals and remain there?! Good to hear the chromis is picking up though, alertness is very important as you've recognized, hopefully it can go on from here> I have been vacuuming out all the uneaten food in the tank. The fish I have now still isn't too keen on eating (hasn't taken anything since I got him on Sat), I am going to try some brine shrimp tomorrow, I just worry more about polluting the water with food he won't eat and going without food for a few days won't hurt.  If it is a bacterial thing, the CopperSafe should take care of it, right? <The copper is responsible for assisting in the removal of the trophonts. However, when the free-swimming stage of the Amyloodinium -- the dinospores -- become active it does not seem to affect these. Therefore continued use is needed to remove all infection at the affected stage> I really don't like adding tons of stuff to the tank nity wity. Let me know if you have any other thoughts, your help is appreciated.  I got to go mix some more saltwater for tomorrow. <Good, keep going and keep up the water changes, you have a good routine going. Hopefully with continued treatment and perseverance, you, your fish and your new-found experience shall prevail> Shan <Olly>

Quarantine   4/24/07 Olly, The last fish has died.  When I woke up yesterday morning to check on him, I noticed he had red blotches on one side that were a little raised.  About an hour later, he died. <Sorry to hear this, take comfort that you tried your hardest> I was going to add some Maroxy (smells like bleach) but knew that probably wouldn't help and since he seemed to be on his last fin.  I assume he died from septicemia. A picture is attached.  I am pretty floored about the whole ordeal, I am the kind of person that feels bad for stepping on an ant! <Compassion is essential to remove the ideology of fish as ornaments, you are realising them as pets, a great step> With the wealth of information available, it seems something like this shouldn't have to happen, but I know it still does.  I am having some other issues with my main tank so will be taking a little break again to educate myself (and yes everything has been disinfected already).  What would be the best tx for something like this in the future? <Follow the earlier emails and read more, it is impossible to read too much. You may have just been unlucky with this particular batch, do you know their origin? -- Cyanide?!> There are so many antibiotics out there and misinformation. <Antibiotics -- in inverted commas> Obviously, copper for external parasites, I got that protocol down pat now from reading so much.  As far as antibiotics,  I am leaning towards Maracyn first and Maracyn-Two for more difficult infections or fish that won't eat.  I am also stocking some antibiotic-laced food.  I will be doing acclimation with NMB/Stress Coat/Maracyn as stated in your acclimation FAQ.  Just some clarification on the acclimation bit.  I am going to take some water from the QT and add NMB/StressCoat/Maracyn/pH down to it and then slowly add it into the container holding the fish and shipping water? Okay, then how do I acclimate them to the QT then, specifically, the higher pH of the QT? Will the pH be higher by the time the acclimation has taken place d/t the aeration?  And won't this cause pH shock? I know you're not supposed to change the pH by more than 0.1 per 24 hour period.  Also, would you advise prophylactic tx of the QT with copper? <All are posted. The pH of the quarantine can be lowered then raised to 'normal' levels after the addition of the fish through water changes for more sensitive species to avoid large pH shock. Continue reading and learning, Olly> Shan

To quarantine or not to quarantine... that is my question   4/16/07 Aloha boys and girls. My name is Alex (and I'm an addict...?) <Sounds like you're ready for our 13 step pet-fish program... the thirteenth is where you turn around and go back to number one!> and I would just like to thank you all for giving your time to this wonderful resource.  I owe much of my success in this hobby (just passed the 3 year mark with a beautiful sps dominated tank) to all of you for answering the questions posed by others and posting them for us all to read. <Ahh, tremendously pleasurable to realize> I myself am a long time reader but this is my first time writing. My question is this. I've just ordered a Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) from Live Aquaria and was wondering if what I read was true? Like I said I'm an avid reader (daily) of your wonderful site and I remembered reading a while back an article regarding acclimation on this particular fish. In your article Paracanthurus hepatus, the Pacific Blue Tang of Many Names you say not to quarantine this fish. <This is my standard assertion re this species, several others... But some of the rest of the Crew here are more "strict" concerning carte blanche acclimation of marine (et al.!) livestock> Under the Introduction/Acclimation section of this article you state to just do a PH adjusted freshwater dip and than add the fish to the main display. Is this true? <Yes... unless the specimen/s (including other species in the same shipment) show obvious behavioral and/or parasitic anomaly> Is this still your opinion? <Yes... with the above qualification> I'm a true believer in using a QT having never lost a fish or had any issues and have a 30 gallon up and running for this purpose. <Good. A good size> I'm somewhat in agreement that the stress involved in moving the fish from one tank to another may out weigh the benefit of the quarantine but is it worth the risk of possibly introducing ich or some other pathogen to my well established tank?    Thank you for your time (YOU GUYS ROCK),             Alex Mattern <Mmm, well... where/when in doubt, I default to the more conservative end of actions, considerations... Do quarantine the new Tang if you would like (along with FW dip/bath) enroute to the QT... For myself, having handled many specimens in commercial settings, much more likely/often the dip/bath alone is more efficacious. Bob Fenner>

Quarantining livestock enroute from one tank in a house to a new one?   - 4/7/07 Hello Crew, first off, I am now quite addicted to your site, and read your FAQ's daily. <Heeeee! I as well> It is a great resource, and has helped me avoid some HUGE problems in the past.  I have a quick Quarantine question for you. I currently have a 40 gallon aquarium up and running for approx. five years.  I've finally talked the wife into a 100 gallon, and it's now cycling. <Great> In the well established, overcrowded 40 gallon I have a 3" Kole Tang, <Ooh, just finished an article re this species, Ctenochaetus strigosus, yesterday> 3" pink spot watchman goby, 2.5" algae Blenny, 1.5" false Percula, 1" 6-line Wrasse, two 2" Firefish, and a cleaner shrimp. <Yikes... the move's coming in just about the nick of time>   I also have a Xenia colony that is spreading like wildfire, a Kenyan tree that frags itself incessantly, a toadstool coral, some star polyps, a sun coral, a few mushrooms, and a few Zoanthids. <How much space for water is there in this tank anywho?>   I've recently noticed some white spots on my tang, although I'm not sure if it's Ich or simply his natural coloration changes. <Stress my friend...> He often seems to change his colors a bit from dark to light.  Either way, I don't want to risk introducing anything into my new tank.  I have set up a 20 gallon QT, which I will be running all fish hypo salinic in for at least a month, with a one week gradual accession of salinity to match the main tank.   My question is, does it matter in which order I QT the fish/corals before putting them into the main tank? <Mmm... might I ask why you're doing this procedure?> I know that I will have to split the fish at least in half, with probably the tang, blenny and goby in one batch, and the Firefish, wrasse and clown in the other.  I also plan on adding some PVC to the QT so the Firefish have somewhere to hide. <Good>   The coral has all been in the 40 gallon for anywhere from 6 years to 3 months, so do I still need to QT them? <No... I wouldn't>   And one last thing, after I have all livestock transitioned over to the new tank, would 6 or 7 small Chromis be too much of a bio load for the 100 gallon? <Should be fine... but this fish-load is "about it"> I have a 20 gallon sump w/refugium underneath if it makes a difference. Thank you all for all the help, Vince <I would likely move all in one fell swoop... along with most of the old substrate, rock and water... including your livestock! Bob Fenner> Quarantine 4/3/07 Dear Bob, <Hello, Chris with you today.> After two years, my eyesight is starting to fail from having read thousands of your frequently asked questions. <Me too.>  I am humbled by the shear volume of knowledge at hand, and thankful that you all continue to answer the same set of questions over and over with good humor. <We try.> Indeed, I have taken much of what I have read to heart.  Most notably, I own a quarantine tank, and use it religiously. <Excellent>  Nearly eight months ago, I added a coral to my show tank that spent 4 weeks in quarantine.  A new form of calcareous worm (one without a feather), was imported into the tank with the new coral, and has multiplied steadily over the months to the point where much of my rock appears to be in need of a shave.  I don't care for these newcomers, and have learned a lesson from the experience.  Now, more recently, I was given a bucket full of rock rubble for the purpose of propagating some of my nicely growing corals.  These too, I put into the quarantine tank.  Within hours I discovered several mushrooms, two small Chitons, and some small starfish.  From searching your site, these appear to be Asterina (small photographs are attached).  <Appears so.>   I am fond of Chitons, but am not overly anxious to introduce mushrooms and Asterina into a tank housing various SPS corals.  Which leads me to two questions: 1) can you recommend a "dip" or treatment that will keep the live rock rubble healthy, but prevent parasites, fungi, and small unwanted creatures from gaining entry to my main tank? <Anything toxic to the unwanted creatures will effect most desired creatures as well.  No magic bullet here unfortunately.> And, 2) I have two small fish, some snails, and some Gracilaria coming in from Aquacon.  Do you know if a product like MelaFix would be a safe yet effective prophylactic treatment for the plants and animals during quarantine?  <Mostly safe, mostly ineffective too.>  Or, is there something better?  <Good water quality and a watchful eye.> Thank you as always for the wonderful good you do, Brad in Basalt <Chris>

Blue Dot Sleeper Goby Acclimation  03/25/07 Hi All - <Hello Brandon here.> I have a question.   <I will try to have an answer.> I just acquired a Sleeper Blue Dot Goby (Valenciennea sexguttata) from a LFS.  Looks healthy, was eating in the store.   <Good sign.> I just acclimated it and now have it in a 10G quarantine tank.   <Good Job on Quarantining.> The tank has no substrate, just two medium sized pieces of live rock and one piece of large PVC.  I've read in a few places on the site that I should only QT fish that live in burrows for two weeks or so as the stress of no substrate will be bad for him.  Then I read other areas about a minimum of 4 weeks for any fish.   <I would not worry about the stress too much here.  It would be far worse if you were to place the fish in your display only to loose fish due to an outbreak of disease.> I've always done 4 weeks min in the past with success.  What should I do for him?   <I would go with four weeks.> Thanks! <You're welcome.  Brandon.> Mike

Quarantine?  3/10/07 Dear WWM Crew, <Jan> As always, thanks for all of your help!!  It is a great comfort to be able to reach out to you folks and get such great advice and help! <Yes> We have a 72G reef tank with about 80 lbs. of LR.  Our water parameters are (Temp=77deg F, Sg=1.025, pH=8.3, Ca=380ppm, Mg=1290ppm, dKH=6.75, Ammonia & Nitrite=0ppm, NO3= 5ppm).  The tank was set up and cycled last May.    For about the last six months our live stock has consisted of a pair of clowns (A. ocellaris), a fat mandarin (S. splendidus), and a school of 9 Chromis viridis.  15 various corals, 2 tube worms (Protula magnifica) 2 turbo snails and some (+/- 8) blue legged hermit crabs.  In addition to this we have 3 peppermint shrimp (L. wurdemanni) & 2 fire shrimp (L. debelius) and 2 common cleaner shrimp (L. amboinensis). We have 3 questions. 1. Our LFS has been holding a Hawaiian Yellow Tang (Z. flavescens) for us for the last 2 weeks in their "quarantine" tank with water dosed with copper.  However, while the Tang has been alone in this tank, the tank is connected to other tanks running on the same water.  Should we quarantine this fish? If so, for the full month or just two weeks? <I would quarantine this fish, or at the very least run it through a prophylactic FW dip/bath... detailed on... WWM> 2. We are also thinking of adding a Lawnmower Blenny (S. fasciatus) as our tank has plenty of algae on the LR.  Given this fishes need to graze algae, should it be quarantined?  If so, for how long? <I would quarantine this species for two weeks... some smaller, likely-to-starve Blennioids for a shorter duration> 3. Also, concerning the Blenny & Tang, given the size of our tank and the current livestock listed above, do you see any potential problems with adding either or both of these fish? <Mmm, no... not really... The fifteen species of corals here (in a 72 nominal gallon volume) should not be added to though... as they are likely "used" to each other... will/would react to new cnidarian life adversely> Thanks!! Jan & Ellen   <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine  3/7/07 Hi, <Hello.> I'm still reading this web site weekly it's great!!!! <Thanks.> I just want to clear something up with Quarantine tanks and let me know if I'm on the right track. Because I will be buying one soon to start stocking my main tank a month or so from now. <Good, will pay dividends in the future.> I want to start with a 10 gallon tank (would a 20 long be better), <Bigger always better> heater, sponge filter nothing else is this good so far? <Some PVC for cover.> Next while my tank is still cycling should I buy my sponge filter and run it in my sump? <Yes.> Then after my tank has cycled can I start the QT buy putting main tank water in it and some new saltwater as well (how much display tank water and how much new saltwater)? <50/50> How long should that the QT run with sponge filter before I QT my first fish? <A day or two, no need to wait too long.> I'm writing to you because this will be soon and I am getting nervous, sounds crazy what do you think. Thanks so much for all of your help and answers this is truly a great source of Info you all are excellent!!!! <Thanks and good luck.> <Chris>

Re: More Quarantine 3/7/07 Hi again, <Hi> I just E-mailed you about QT. I have one more question that I am confused about. <Ok> When you do water changes to your QT tank do you use stand by saltwater that has been aged or do you use your tank water every time you do water changes to a QT tank. THANKS Jeff <Usually tank water unless you are treating the fish for something they caught in the main tank, then properly prepared new water.> <Chris>

Quarantine... aggr.   2/14/07 Good evening Gang!! <J & J> I have three new additions to my FOWLR tank in a 10 gal QT at this time.  They consist of a small damsel (pale orange w/black spot on the dorsal fin), a Royal Gramma, and a small False Perc.  All three are looking good and eating with the exception of the clown.  He is active, has good color, not breathing hard, but will not eat. <Likely psychological intimidation by the other two... I'd move someone... stat.>   There were two of them and one died after only a day in the QT.  Would this affect the remaining clown? <Yes> I plan to replace him, but not until I get this group through a couple more weeks in the QT.   <Good> Any suggestions on getting him to eat?  Should I place a divider in the tank to allow him his own space? <At least this last... I would hurry up... likely the clown... dip, place in the main system> As far as the other two, they look great and are very active.  I have seen no signs of illness or stress.  I have only done the daily water changes (about 2 to 3 gals... just enough to remove the excess food) with water from the DT.  I have not added any medication.  PH is kept at the same level of the DT...8.2 to 8.4.  SG stays around 1.025... <Good> all other test are the same as the DT which has been up and running for three years. 0 ammonia (although I see a little bit prior to the water changes.. excess food I am guessing) - 0 nitrites - 5ppm or less nitrates Is there anything else I could/should be doing? <Moving the Clown> Thanks again for your help!! I would not have gotten this far without you!! Regards, Jeff <Mmm, nor we w/o you! BobF>

Quarantine 2/7/07 Hi my name is Jeff, <Hello> I have a couple of quick question about quarantine tanks. <Let me have them, love QT questions, means people are using them.> Can you take the sponge filter after just using it in your QT tank and put it back in your in your sump to your main tank? <No, which is why we use sponge filters, cheap and disposable.  Get a new one and start seeding it.>  Also do the fish have to acclimated to the display tank from the QT. <Use the QT as an extended acclimation, using main tank water during changes to match conditions.> The reason I ask this question is you are using the same water as you main tank. <Yep, so should be close to begin with.> You have an excellent website for information. <Thanks> <Chris>

First new fishy 2/4/07 Dis. prev. Hey guys how we doing <Dunno, but I'm ok. You?> I am a relative vet in the hobby, been going for about 4 years now.   <Hardly a veteran, but assuredly worthy of congratulations. (Congratulations!)> I have just set up a second tank, and am fully aware of the issues with crypt, as I have fought through one case a few years back, with only one casualty, which <I> thought was pretty alright. I have a couple questions.   <Thought you might...> I have just bought my first new fish for my new environment (neon goby), I have had him for just over a day, and he has developed two spots.   <No quarantine???> One on his side and one on his fin.   <Doh!> I know you folk highly advocate freshwater dips prior to going into the tank.   <Mmm, yes. Can be very helpful in keeping certain vectors from ever reaching the display.> I don't know if you say somewhere on here exactly how to do so, <Oh yes, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dipfaqs.htm ...read all the links in blue.> but could you give me a link or let me know what the process is. <Question, followed by the question MARK, shown here: ? > Secondly, if it turns out my neon does have crypt<,> seeing as he is the first and only inhabitant in my new show tank<,> can I just treat him in the tank, and what is your advice for the best plan of attack.<?> <I would recommend you still use a QT just some that the other new arrivals have no exposure to the treatment you employ here.> Thanks a lot for this website I think it<'>s fantastic. Looking forward to hearing from you.   Thanks again<,> STEVE <You are welcome to the information here on WWM, Steve. I am glad you find it so useful. Sometimes even more useful is our all-volunteer staff of crewers that answer direct queries to sometimes difficult situations. All the crew asks of the general public wishing to make use of this resource is that they proof-read the email (RE: spelling, punctuation, grammar) and ask themselves if that is how they would want to be represented on the internet for the world (international reader included) to read. Thank you. -GrahamT>

Questions regarding quarantine and lymphocystis   1/30/07 Hello again, I really appreciate all of the advice and dependable information.  Actually my fish do too as they are alive and well. <Ah, good>   I have two questions I need your advice on.  First, I am going to close down my 75 gallon FOWLR and transfer a Niger Triggerfish, Assasi Triggerfish and a Tuskfish to a 125 gallon FOWLR tank.  The 75 gallon had an ich outbreak about a year ago that I managed well and have not had a problem since.  In treating the ich outbreak the tank remained in a fallow state for 30 days. Question 1 is do I need to quarantine and or dip the fish before transfer to the 125 gallon to manage the risk that there may be a low level of parasite activity that has not affected the fish?   <I would do the dip/bath... FW, pH-adjusted... enroute to the new digs> These three fish will be joining a Kole Tang and a Flame Angel in the 125 gallon so I want to minimize any potential problems. <I understand> Question 2 the Assasi Triggerfish and Tuskfish will occasionally have white patches on their fins that I diagnose as lymphocystis.  I make this diagnoses based on the appearance that the white patches seem to be inside the transparent fins of the fish and not discrete grain like spots that protrude from the fins.  The white spots are more patch like and larger in size then the ich that I have encountered in the past.  I realize the description is terse, but that is how I would describe it.  I don't treat and have no concerns as they come and go intermittently.  Can you provide any help with the diagnoses?  Thanks again. <Mmm, might be virally-mediated... but could also be protozoan (there are some microsporidean, sporozoan infestations that appear as this... are wide-enough in their expression to show on diverse Orders of fishes...) and even a few worm possibilities. In all cases I would NOT go so far as to venture into test-treating this... I'd ignore and focus on elements of bolstering resistance through nutrition, and providing an optimized, stable environment. Bob Fenner>

Marine QT Concerns - 1/25/07 Hello Wet Web Media, <Hey Jim, JustinN with you tonight.> I operate an aquarium maintenance service, I believe in quarantine of all marine stock I purchase.  I flat out believe every marine fish I buy has some sort of parasite on it. <Is very likely, especially considering the rigors of international transport, and wild-caught fish.> So upon receiving them or purchasing them from stores in my area.  All fish go through a freshwater 20 min. dip. Then on to their new home in my 20 gallon quarantine tanks. <Excellent.> Presently I'm trying to get them through four weeks of quarantine with just doing freshwater dips every other day for the first week or two. Usually this has done the trick  for me. <Mmm, I would consider this unnecessary and likely stressful, my friend. A freshwater dip en route to quarantine, then again en route to the display will be sufficient.> This past summer I believe, but not sure I had a case of Velvet. Very nasty. <Oh, yes.> I've thought of going back to quarantine while using Copper Safe. This way I feel confident that no parasite problems will get through to the show tanks. <This would be my suggestion here as well.> I've thought of keeping the fish in Copper Safe for one to two weeks and then moving them for another two week period into tanks without copper. <Sounds like a game plan here, Jim.> What are your idea's on this? Can Angels and Butterfly's take two weeks of Coppersafe at 2.0 and survive or perhaps one week in the Coppersafe and then into tanks without it. Continuing with the freshwater dips? <I would not continue the freshwater dips here, other than outlined above. Beyond this, you will likely have to eyeball and monitor more sensitive fish in the cupric solution, though I think all will be fine here.> Love your website, try to get to it often. Keep up the great work. You do such a great service for all of us. <Thank you for the kind words. Hope I've helped you here! -JustinN> Thank you     Jim Jesko

Overstocked QT, Clownfish breeding - 1/24/07 <Hey Josh, JustinN with you tonight.> At the moment I have a 20 gallon tank waiting to be switched to my 55 gallon tank that is currently cycling, and has been for the past month. <Ok> In the tank, (I know, bad combination) <If you already know....> 2 percula clownfish, a BlueLine trigger, a blue damsel, and a algae eating blenny. <Yikes! In a 20 gallon aquarium? This is PAINFULLY overstocked, my friend, even for quarantine! I certainly hope you are executing frequent, large water changes here!> I have had one of the Perc's, the blenny, and the damsel since I put fish in the tank about 4 months ago, and have been fine. <...Ok> My question is, once I have all those fish in the 55 gallon tank, is it possible to put a tank divider between the trigger, and the lesser aggressive fish? <No, the trigger will need the swimming room. Placing a divider in the aquarium is like placing it in a smaller aquarium, and I'm already on the borderline as to the appropriateness of a triggerfish in a standard 55 gallon aquarium.> The reason I ask you this, is because I want to know that if I have that tank divider up, will the clownfish breed? <Without the triggerfish, there may be a possibility for such, but I think that the stress of the larger fish will prevent such here (and as already stated, I do not support the divider idea.)> One clownfish is about 1.5", and the other is about 2". Also, how big do clownfish have to be for them to choose the dominant fish? <Is already likely the case, my friend. The pronounced size difference is a typical giveaway. Good luck! -JustinN> Quarantine and Fallow Regimen - 1/22/07 Hello again, and thanks for all of the great information.   <Hey Vincent, JustinN with you today. Thank you for the kind words.> I have two risk based questions I would like to get your opinion on regarding two QT tanks I have been running to treat ich.   <Ok> A little background, I have a flame angel and a kole tang being treated for ich with CopperSafe.  I monitor the copper levels daily with the appropriate test kit.  After 10 days all is well in terms of fish health and the visual absence of ich.  I plan to continue for 4 more days before reducing the copper level and continuing QT for 14 additional days.   <Should finish the copper treatment as planned and then maintain in a copper-free quarantine for a minimum 28 days beyond the treatment timeframe. The reason for this being, this will allow your display tank to become fallow. With no fish to host the parasite, within 6 to 8 weeks, you can be confident in the absence of the parasite in your display.> The questions are (1) should I extend the copper treatment beyond 14 days to increase the probability of eliminating the parasite and (2) should I do another freshwater/methylene blue dip at the end of the QT period just before the fish are returned to the main tank (which has been fallow for 30 days)??   <Yes to both, my friend. See above for rationale. I would aim for closer to 2 months, for piece of mind, and comfort in knowing you have rid yourself of the parasite.> I know that both fish are very sensitive to copper, so I wanted to get a better assessment of the risk/need for extending the treatment period.  Thanks again for all of your help. <No problem, Vincent. You're definitely on the right track, just maintain the fallow period for a bit longer than currently planned. Always keep in mind the very accurate adage: "Nothing good in marine aquaria occurs quickly, only bad." Patience is the key, my friend. -JustinN>

No QT, Fish-sitters for two weeks. 1/9/07 Hi again Crew! <'Allo, Dan.> I seem to be emailing you guys a lot of late. I have a 75 gal marine aquarium holding: 4 chromis 2 saddleback clownfish 1 flame angel 1 valentine puffer 1 pinstripe wrasse a few corals and an anemone (so far so good) I'm running a trickle filter and a Jebo180 protein skimmer. <Acknowledged.> After going on vacation for two weeks, I came home and noticed both my clownfish and the flame angel flashing their gills occasionally on the substrate. Water tests indicated raised levels of ammonia (potential effect of too much love from family members looking after the tank). Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 20ppm. <Umm, where are the Ammonia numbers??? "Flashing" is often mistaken for parasites (that cannot be ruled out yet) when it is just the symptoms of stress and discomfort showing off. ANY measurable ammonia is a huge cause for concern, but short of a nitrifying bacteria shutdown or a dead fish, I don't imagine you meant to say ammonia, but rather nitrate, or NO3. Right?> I have done some large water changes and the ammonia level is gradually coming down but still not at 0. I will continue doing water changes until this problem is rectified. Today I noticed my wrasse flashing his gills too. <GRRR... well, let's say it is a parasite. Are you equipped to deal with a pathogen by removing affected specimen(s) to a QT?> I am wondering whether this flashing behaviour is due to the elevated ammonia levels, or could it be a parasitic disease? My clownfish *may* have some white webbing on their faces if I look close enough, but it's certainly nothing obvious. Very difficult to tell. The flame angel looks like he has some extremely tiny white dots on his tail, but once again, nothing conspicuous. All my other fish seem fine. <You have a few good canaries in that setup, in the form of your flame angel and your puffer. Both of these guys are usually the first to show signs of stress, though the puffer usually gets covered and lives, and the angel just dies.> Shamefully I also have to add that my flame angel is a new entry (4 weeks now) and I did not QT or dip him. <Double GRRR!> A practice I definitely will not repeat! However, I had him for two weeks before I went away and he didn't show any signs of disease. <These animals depend on you to take care of them. Were they able to quarantine themselves, I feel confidant they would choose the safest, disease free route. When you "don't feel like it" or just wanna "get 'em in" this is what happens. A Flame angel no less! ARGH!> I have a Cupramine solution ready to treat all the tankmates in a 120 litre QT container at a dosage of 0.3 ppm for a longer period of time than suggested as I know Centropyge angels are sensitive to copper, while I allow the main aquarium to go fallow. Will also do the temperature elevation but not the hyposalinity as I don't want to stress the corals in the main system. <.3ppm is double what I would start at for an unknown problem. Let's start with observation, and surely, if you can catch 'em without too much work (ya right) then get them into the QT.> However, I'm unsure whether this really is ich/velvet etc or just a result of poor water quality. When these diseases show up are they easily visible on the fish? I don't want to stress the fish any more than they already are by unnecessarily treating them! Should I begin treatment straight away or wait a while and see if the disease gets worse? <Remove all suspects to the QT and simply observe. Raise the temp, too. Adjust salinity. Just don't medicate yet. -Graham T.> Many thanks from an aquarist learning the hard way Dan

Re: CCS/urchin update, or why we QT 1/6/07 Hi Graham T. <Hello, again Joanne. Good to have you back. (I sometimes wonder what happens with my "advice" when I get no feedback.) > Thank you for your response. It was very informative and appreciated. <Also good to hear, as I am a new kid here on WWM. Thank you very much!> I do have a few follow up questions and answers (as best I can) to your questions. <Excellent, I'll do what I can.> We have two 200 gallon salt tanks. <Neato, to acquire this luxury, - at least from my point of view.> One of them reef but our problems have been with the non-reef tank. Problems started when new fish were introduced to the tank. <Common occurrence without a QT regimen in place.> 'Fish man' <hehe.> said, bad lot of fish (probably damsels) infected tank. Lost quite a few fish. Things have been stable for a few months. <I'm assuming you mean that other than fish passing on, things are stable.> We have 1 porcupine puffer, 12 damsels and one other unknown (I think a some kind of tang), plus CCS and what I believe was a rock urchin. The fish kept developing white bits on them. <*sounds* like Cryptocaryon... can be caused by elevated stress-levels brought on by poor water quality or aggression that result in lowered immune-response.> Water was fine. <OK.> 'fish man' tested often. We treated a couple of times with Metronidazole <Not very useful against Crypt. Strongly urge setting up a QT for your livestock and dosing with copper for at least 14 days. And that reminds me that you'll be wanting a copper test kit to go along with the meds. (Don't be scared of this hobby, but you did just jump in with two established systems) > but it kept coming back. 'Fish man' decided to treat every other day for four treatments of Prime. <Unless there is a new product with the same name that I am unaware of, Prime is a water conditioner, and is used primarily for removing unwanted toxic chemicals for water that is being prepared for water changes. This makes me wonder: 1)Did you misconstrue the "fish man" adding Prime to water as "medication" when he was just treating a water change? 2)Does this also mean you don't use purified water (Reverse osmosis or some other form...) for water changes? Either way, I think some reflection on the addition of specimens into your system is in order, and perhaps a good book (I highly recommend "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner, or "The Simple Guide to Marine Aquariums" by Jeffery Kurtz) that opens the door to understanding the basics and inter-relationships present (and depended upon) in your systems. I do tend to rant and ramble.> The CCS and urchin were taken out (before treatment) and put into a 20 gallon echo <?> tank (I think this is what it's called.) The urchin looked  healthy when he went in. (I don't know what a healthy urchin looks like but he had a good deep color and moved around the tank.) <Actually, Bob F. left a note on that reply of mine (but it is on the site, not your email...) that mentioned relative health/hunger, more or less striking out my idea of a hungry urchin being "un-eatable" by the CCS.> <<Yes, RMF>> I'm wondering if the CCS like you mentioned was hungry. I feed one frozen cube of Emerald Entree everyday. 'Fish man' said there was no need to feed CCS anything extra. Does this seem adequate? <He's right on, there.> With all the issues we've had I'm reluctant to take over from the 'fish man' until I know more. <It will all work out if the "fish-man" is worth his salt.> Thanks for your time. <Mine is your's. I welcome the chance to learn with/from you in the future. Good luck and happy reefing! -Graham T.> Re: CCS/urchin update, or why we QT 1/7/07 Back again Graham T! <Me too!> Thank you for the book recommendations. I will be sure to check them out. To give you some back ground on our tanks they are built in on either side of the fire place. <Hopefully not a running fireplace?> There is a small back room which gives you access to the tanks. I was told our set up is worth around $20,000. This is the reason we hired someone who knew what they were doing. <Makes sense to me. I have some experience with professionally servicing marine aquaria, and have seen these... "circumstances" before.> The echo tank (don't know what else to call it) <refugium?> I mentioned is situated in the back room and connected to the reef tank (I think the water cycles through both tanks) but it's the other non reef tank we are having problems with.   We do have a water filtering system. Pure water gets stored in a large barrel tank which is the only water used for the fish. <Very good.> You were correct regarding the Prime product. I read the bottle and it's a remover of toxic chemicals. <Chlorine, Chloramine, etc.> I don't know why the 'fish man' chose this treatment. <This is not a "Treatment" per se, but a water conditioner. If you use a water purifier, like Reverse-osmosis or the like, there is little need for a product like this. But, it doesn't hurt...> I remember him saying that what ever was causing the 'white spots' was in the tank and treating with Prime every other day for four treatments would eliminate what was causing the problem. <That's just too quick to be useful, against any real maladies.> Should I suggest to the 'fish man' the copper treatment? <Yes, unless he has diagnosed a chlorine-induced illness...?> You mentioned setting up a QT for livestock. What is this? Since we have had many problems with new fish our 'fish man' now hand picks fish from the store he works at and keeps them in a tank at his own home to make sure they are healthy before introducing them to our tank. <That is, essentially what makes a QT. (Quarantine-tank) You keep them outside your main display tank, and get an opportunity to observe the specimen for problems.> We are reluctant to add any more fish until we see no more signs of the white spots. <And then some.> When we are ready, do you have any recommendations and how many in a tank of this size? <Nope. I would recommend that you research some fish and read those books before you add anything.> When the CCS goes back in would you add another urchin? <Sure, but again, I would read into how to be more independent of this fish(y)-man.> Thanks. Joanne Cork <You are welcome, as ever, Joanne. -Graham T.>

Ich in QT tank!   12/18/06 I have had my main tank running fallow for 6 weeks now and want to return the fish to the main tank. I noticed my purple tang has a few white spots on both of her sides. (now cannot return any of them?)   <Correct... not w/o re-infesting the main/display system> Tank mates are: porcupine puffer, pygmy angel, marine betta and bar goby. Should I treat the tank with copper-safe again? <... up to you... the Treatment tank is separate from your main system I take it. I would not treat my main system if I could avoid it> Medicate for 2 weeks then recoup for 2 weeks? When transferring from one tank to another can you just drip them? Thank you in advance for your response. <... Am not clear what you're referring to here re where you intend to treat the fishes... can be "drip-acclimated"... but I would go the extra insurance route of dipping/bathing the fishes enroute (see WWM re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and the linked files above), and simply place them in the "old" tank. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich in QT tank! ... needing to read, understand...   12/19/06 I apologize for not making this clear. Yes, the QT tank is separate. I was not sure if I had to retreat or could do a dip. <Mmm, I would treat here> Is another dip necessary after the QT period? <Possibly... and a good idea if your fish livestock can "handle" the added stress> Or can you just move/drip them? I know you should dip them upon arrival to the QT tank. You also state to keep a sponge filter in your system/sump for available use. Is it possible to keep one in a canister filter? <Yes> Would you rinse it weekly? <I would take this out, lightly bleach it... replace same with media that has been "conditioned", bacteria populated in a clean system...> Lastly, is copper-safe or formalin the better route for ich? Your help is much appreciated. <... Copper-safe in most circumstances... Please read re...: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Introducing New Fish (Aggression/Compatibility/Quarantine) -- 12/16/06 Morning Fsholks (I decided today I would coin a new word:  fishy folks = fsholks). <<Ah, yes indeed'¦Greetings Dave>> Perhaps I need to take a step back in the hobby and relearn some fundamentals or maybe I have just plain bad luck. <<Rut-Ro'¦I detect a problem'¦>> I have 5 fish in a reef tank that I've had for years. <<Ok>> The last fish that I have successfully introduced into my 90 gallon community tank was in 2004 and it was a blue hippo tang, that I killed 5 months ago when I stupidly tried out a buffer agent on my quarantine tank that was holding all of my critters temporarily while I had my 90 gallon altered for a overflow and drain. <<Mmm, yes'¦not the time to be experimenting>> Since then... scratch one: flame angel, royal Gramma, two purple firefish, one yellow mimic tang, one Yellowheaded jawfish, one jeweled damsel, one yellow-tailed blue damsel, and a lawnmower blenny. <<Yikes!  All these introduced/lost within a five month period?>> The flame angel developed pop-eye within two weeks and deteriorated since to his death.  Royal Gramma was found eaten from the tail to the mid body (i.e. only half a fish) ~ I suspect possibly my red brittle starfish. <<Maybe so'¦but likely consumed the fish 'after' it died>> One purple firefish went into my overflow and never recovered from the pounding water and the suction from the drain... the other firefish simply died a few days later.  The yellow tang was having his fins picked at by my royal Dottyback and then one day the tang didn't come out from a cave to feed... the next morning he was laying dead on the sand with his eyes missing. <<This Dottyback is likely inflicting physical damage/stress on 'all' new introductions, thus causing their demise either directly (maiming/killing) or indirectly (suppression of the immune system leading to contraction of disease)>> Yellowheaded jawfish was torn to shreds within 20hrs of introduction by my clownfish. <<They "are" damsels you know'¦>> Jeweled damsel was feeding and seemed healthy for about 2 weeks and then one day didn't come out to feed and the next day was stuck against the powerhead dead.  The lawnmower blenny starved over two weeks and died. <<Some of this seems vaguely familiar...have we danced this dance before?>> Now the latest...a yellow-tailed blue damsel.  I introduced two of these damsels into a 200-gallon tank with fully cured live rock, no traces of ammonia or nitrites, a pH of 8.2, and nitrate reading of 1.7? (Between the lowest and second lowest indicator on a standard Salifert test kit).  I introduced the fish on Sunday Dec 9th and unfortunately suffered a temperature problem thus keeping the temp at 31C for 24hrs...since I have lowered it to 27C. <<Yet another 'stress' inducing event>> During the heated water phase the fish were swimming around and didn't seem stressed... hanging out together in what would have seemed a massive tank with extensive rockwork and hiding spots.  I turn my pumps off to feed them allowing the flake to eventually soak and sink towards mid-tank where they hangout in the rockwork, but I have only witnessed one of the two taking a single nip at a piece of flake food...both would ignore an algae pellet, and frozen Mysis shrimp bits. <<Unusual'¦these fish have proven quite Catholic in their food preferences/tastes in my experience>> All seemed well last night although it seems they have claimed opposite ends of the tank.  On Wed Dec13th, I introduced a 14" Snowflake Moray to the system.  The snowflake never experienced the warmer temperatures.  The damsels came to investigate the eel and didn't seem afraid of him....and the eel seemed disinterested in the damsels. <<Mmm'¦unless it get s really hungry'¦but will likely prefer crustaceans if offered>> So all seemed well last night, but this morning one of the damsels was having difficulty swimming at the back corner of the tank.  He had a red rashy type mark in front of his gills, behind his fin, and by where the tail connects to the body. <<Bite marks perhaps?>> At first I thought the gill/fin markings looked like the eel may have clamped down him and then released him. <<My first impression'¦>> I netted the fish and examined him.  This was not an open flesh wound and the other side of the body looked normal...so I don't think it was an eel bite. <<Still could be 'bites' I think.  Not being an 'obligate' piscivore, the eel's teeth aren't designed to grab/cut/hold-on to a fish.  Considering the 'size' of this eel, I still think it likely tried to eat a sleeping damsel>> Furthermore, just before netting the damsel, the eel was within about 4 inches of a slow moving twitching bite-sized damsel...and completely ignored him. <<Possibly put off by your presence'¦or maybe hadn't 'pinpointed' the fish yet (eyesight is not so good)>> I don't think the eel was involved with the damsel. <<I still am inclined to disagree'¦Bob, perhaps you could render an opinion?>> <Possibly. RMF> Anyhow, I put the netted damsel into my sump and he immediately gently flowed to the drain and stuck against the sump strainer that outflows to my pump.  I immediately turned the pump off and he tried to swim away... but ended up just floating on the surface of the water facing down or upside down. <<Likely a 'goner'>> I had no place to put him... figured he was a goner for sure... and ended up flushing him down the toilet. <<Ugh!  Not a good practice'¦better to euthanize (place in a bag in the freezer) and dispose of in the trash>> My question... damsels are suppose to be the hardiest of marine fish and I have had two that have perished within 2 weeks (if I include the Jeweled). <<Ah, but both were possibly victims of other tank inhabitants (Dottyback for one, eel for the other), in my opinion>> I have one remaining damsel that seems at the moment to be doing ok in with my eel in the 200gallon tank. <<For now>> What happened with the damsel seems to be the same thing that has happened with any Auriga Butterfly fish that I have kept in the past.  After a few days/weeks...troubled swimming...red rashy type marks...and death. <<Hmm'¦was the eel present?  Perhaps something else is at play here>> I guess in this instance, would you think I am correct in saying that damsels are hardy... but even a hardy specimen with an infection/disease introduced to a temp spike will succumb. <<Stress can manifest symptoms/take down the strongest of us, yes>> Do you think maybe the temp spike triggered some sort of bacteria/disease/infection to infect this fish? <<Is always a possibility>> Is this simply a bacteria picked up from shipping or the store?  A disease? <<I doubt it'¦the pathogens are always there awaiting an opportunity/conditions to optimize>> Am I having bad luck? <<If water parameters are in-line, along with the fact the other fish are fine which seems to indicate the system is not 'poisoned''¦I am inclined to think you are having 'compatibility' issues>> The markings did not appear to be flesh wounds...or at least not from the eel...I'd figure if the eel bit into him I'd certainly know it. <<Maybe so>> When introducing new fish I float the store bag that is sealed in my tank water to adjust for temperature...15 - 30 min.s.  Then I remove the bag and slowly introduce some tank water in with the store water within the bag.  I either net the fish in the bag or pour the fish from the bag into my net. <<A good/standard process>> I then drop the net in freshwater at a matching temperature to the tank for about 10 seconds.  Is this suitable for a freshwater dip? <<Not really, no>> Your freshwater dip info doesn't say much. <<Really?  I disagree'¦the info is there for the reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm >> Is it a quick in and out of the freshwater? <<Depends on the fish'¦but generally, no>>>> Do I let them swim in the freshwater bucket for 10 seconds?  30 seconds?  Do I keep them in the net and dip them for 10 seconds? 5 minutes???  What kind of time we talking about here??? <<Is explained in the text 'unless you've done this a bunch or are using the suggested mellow Methylene blue, stay right there during the process. Your new acquisitions might just hop out onto the floor, you never know. Actually, the only reasonable way to gauge how much may be too much time to spend in the dip is to examine the dipped's behavior. If it becomes erratic (should I offer a definition? Nah!) with thrashing about, inversion, wild attempts at missile-impersonation, time's up.' >> Any fish I have dipped seem to be pretty stressed and flip/flop madly as if I was poisoning them. <<Do make sure the dip bath is 'both' temperature and pH adjusted>> After the dip (or what I think is a suitable dip)...I lower the net into the tank or QT and let them swim outta the net into the new environment on their own power.  I keep lights off for 24hrs and attempt to feed on the second day. <<An accepted protocol>> I always introduce fish into water that has been tested and considered good to pristine conditions. <<Excellent>> I didn't QT the two damsels or the eel because they were the first and only specimens in my 200gallon tank. <<Ah'¦but if they require treatment how easy will it be to catch/remove them to quarantine?  And don't forget the extra stressed induced re.  Is usually better to place the fish in quarantine first (Some exceptions do exist) to allow closer observation/provide an environment free from threat/harassing tankmates until the fish has had time to 'harden' from its ordeal of initial and recurring capture/transportation>> I currently have a 5" Foxface in QT that I bought two days ago.  I haven't been home to see him when the lights are on...and just introduced some Nori on a clip...will see if he has eaten any of it when I get home from work today. <<This fish will also enjoy some meaty food (Mysis, Spectrum pellets)>> From reading your FAQ's (that suggest not bothering to QT Rabbitfish)...I will introduce the Foxface into the tank, but only after I can confirm he is readily taking a variety of foods willingly.  Sound like a good plan? <<It does, yes>> One comment and question regarding the snowflake eel...it is simply the most magnificent thing I have seen in my aquarium ever...beautiful! <<Amazing creatures indeed>> Feedings'¦from reading your FAQ's, I will stick feed two to three times a week and alternate between oyster, clam, krill, Mysis, tiger prawns, squid, crab meat, etc. <<Very good>> Question is...how much?  For instance, the eel readily took my first offering of krill, which would appear to be one bite size piece for him.  However, he refused another piece of krill.  Am I correct in saying obviously the one piece was enough...and I should attempt to offer some more food in a couple of days? <<A couple 'bite-size' pieces at each feeding should be sufficient>> Some of those tiger prawns are awfully big...I am guessing I only give him a bite-sized piece? <<Yes>> Or until he refuses my offering? <<Overfeeding can reduce this animal's quality of life/life expectancy'¦best to limit feedings to a couple/few small pieces>> Thanks again! Dave <<Happy to share.  Eric Russell>>

Introducing New Fish (Aggression/Compatibility/Quarantine) - 12/17/06 To clarify from previous email: Within a 5 month period??? Noooo.... these are all fish that have perished within the month of introduction over a 2.5yr period...    <<Ahh...ok>> I wouldn't keep shoving more and more fish into a tank over 5 months... <<Good to hear...>> I space my new additions out by weeks/months.... <<Very good>> To clarify... the jeweled damsel was in my 20-gallon quarantine tank by himself.  When I do water changes on my 90-gallon reef tank (about 10% twice or three times a month), the reef water goes to my 20-gallon quarantine tank... and then the 20-gallon tank water is disposed of during it's 20% weekly water changes (when I have inhabitants in it). <<I see>> With respect to the jeweled damsel, I highly doubt water quality was an issue.  Stays at a constant 26C and 1.025 salinity... no traces of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrates. <<Understood...and you may very well be right...but do be aware there can be water quality issues that transcend the "usual suspects">> The jeweled damsel fed on everything I gave it for two weeks up to the day before he died.  With respect to the Auriga butterfly's... these were among the first inhabitants I had about 4 years ago.  I initially had introduced 3 Aurigas about 4 months after what is now my reef tank had started.  I suspected they perished due to stress... or perhaps nipped at each other.  But that wouldn't really explain how the third one eventually perished the same way. <<Mmm, and impossible for me to say...but sometimes fishes are irreparably damaged during collection/transport in manners that are not visibly or immediately obvious.  Some will even appear to eat/behave normally, yet are still doomed.  And something that has come to mind...have all the "doomed" fishes you have purchased come from the same place?  Something to ponder if so>> At the time, I only had two tiny clowns and a shrimp goby.  Anyhow, your email response has helped. <<I'm not so sure [grin]>> I guess the mystery is still the jeweled damsel that was in my QT tank 2 months ago... and my yellow tailed guy a few nights back. <<If things continue as they have, perhaps you could enlist the aid of a marine biologist from a local university to perform a necropsy.  This may aid in determining what is (or isn't!) mal-affecting these fish>> Anyhow, all seems well in my 200-gallon tank with the eel and remaining damsel. <<Excellent>> One other question... do you still share the opinion that tangs should not be quarantined? <<Mmm, no...quarantine AND freshwater dips (before and after) can prove very beneficial with these fishes.  Many species are very susceptible to protozoan infestations>> I recall when I bought my regal tang years ago, that Bob's website mentioned not to add the additional stress of capture and release twice... and to introduce tang's into the permanent environment?? <<Opinions will vary...but this is one of the "more susceptible" species re Ich infestation...much easier to observe/treat if dipped/placed directly in to quarantine, in my opinion.  And just as important...to be placed in a suitably large/mature system when ready.  Anything less than 125-gallons is "just too small" for this robust and high-strung/twitchy fish.  Regards, EricR>> Quarantine Quandary!  12/12/06 Hello Folks, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Thank you for saving us aquarium junkies time and again.  I have a few questions that I was hoping that you could help me with. I will be breaking down my 250 gallon FOWLR for a few hours because it must be moved within the house. I have large vats that I will put my fish in while I move it. <Excellent. It's nice to have the facilities to keep animals during this process!> I will also be doing a tiny bit of spring cleaning while the tank is down, figuring it would be an ideal time.  First question....Anything that I should be aware of while the fishies are hanging out? <Really, just take the time to clean all of the otherwise inaccessible parts of the tank, observe the condition of the equipment, re-arrange decor, etc. as you wish, and take care of all of those little annoying things that you've been meaning to do to the tank!> Second question,  My tank has not had a new inhabitant in it for about 2 years and I am thinking it would be a good time to add a newbie.  Maybe 5-6 P. fridmani and a Declivis Butterfly, or perhaps the Declivis and a Tinkers. <All nice fishes.> I have never added a fish without a severe quarantine period.  Would any of these fish be able to "skate" the Q period? <Ohh...I would never introduce a new fish without the quarantine period. In addition to providing the added measure of protection to your other fishes, preventing potential pathogens from entering your system, quarantine provides time for the new fish to settle in to captive life and "fatten up" from it's journey from the reef to your store.> I would appreciate some advice. Thanks, Matt <My best advice- don't skip the quarantine. Ever. Really! Regards, Scott F.>

Not your regular ich question - Need advice please ... Ian... spelling, grammar, formatting...   11/29/06 Hi Crew, Real quick question - after trying five times, I finally had a Blue Jaw trigger survive QT  - 3 weeks + 1 day as recommended by your site - I do now see certain FAQs recommend 4 weeks of QT but all the articles pointed to a 21 day QT. In addition I did a prophylactic  dose of Paraguard for about 1 week. I just put him in the tank today and I noticed - barely-  a few white spots on one of the upper fins. It could be nothing but given my history I panicked since all the fish in the tank are perfect. <could be ich...I generally keep the fish in qt for 4-6 weeks or until Im sure they don't have ich and they are eating readily!> Should I take him out (if I can catch him) and put it in QT? Is it too late? <could be...ich drops down into the sand and rocks...and they reproduce EXPONENTIALLY! so you may have a problem on your hands. best to qt all the fish because if one is infected chances are ...they all are infected!> Do I have to do the whole fallow routine after 1 day of possible exposure? I'm really desperate especially since I believe I followed  correct husbandry practices.<good luck, IanB> Thanks

QT Help - 11/13/06 I have encountered an ICH outbreak. I used "Kick-Ich" before using your site. <<Mmm...a waste of money and precious time>> I took your advice and moved all my fish to 2 Qt tanks. <<Ah, good>> They consist of the following: 29-gallon tank, puffer, tang, marine Betta, 2 pieces of pvc for hiding, Fluval 104 w/media from canister on main tank. <<I would provide a section of PVC for each animal>> 29-gallon tank, 2 pygmy angels, cardinal, 2 clowns, 1 piece pvc for hiding, Fluval 104 w/media from canister on main tank. <<Same here...more hiding places>> I cannot keep the ammonia down.  Ammonia is 1.0. <<Yikes...water changes need now!>> Any suggestions? <<Start reading here ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm) and do follow the associated links in blue at the top of the page>> I don't know if they can make 4 weeks to allow the main tank to run fallow. <<Do frequent water changes to get the ammonia level down...now>> I change 8 gallons of water daily and use Kent Ammonia Detox. <<Hmm...are you certain of the accuracy of your test kit?>> I have had them in the Qt for 1 week with CopperSafe.  There are no signs of white spots, should I stop adding the CopperSafe when the water changes are made?  And let them recoup in regular water now? <<Two weeks of treatment is best>> Can I add the Chemi-Pure back to the filter? <<Not yet>> Would the use of Cycle help any? <<Not so much during the copper treatment>> I was once told once you use copper it stays in your tank permanently, is this true? <<Indeed...it can/will be absorbed by any calcareous material...and it is even thought to pervade the silicone used in the construction of the tank>> In my main tank I use 2 canister filters and a skimmer.  It is not pre-drilled, would you advise a sump w/overflow to replace them? <<To replace the canisters but not the skimmer, yes>> If I kept them what would you advise to accompany them? <<Assuming this is a FOWLR system, I would use the canister filters for chemical filtration only, and add a fluidized-bed filter for additional bio-filtration if needed>> I'd like to enhance the main tank for when they can return. <<Spend some time here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marineSetUp.htm>> Your advice is very much appreciated. <<Regards, EricR>>

Proper Quarantine/Treatment Procedure... Or Lack Of... -- 10/19/06 Hello all, <<Hey Jackie>> I have a 70 gallon with a regal tang (4 in), yellow wrasse, lawnmower blenny, Naso tang (3 in - the tangs will be moved to a larger tank when they  are larger), <<Mmm, should be moved now...these fish suffer developmentally when 'raised up' in too small systems>> and a purple fire fish.  Unfortunately, after living in peace and harmony for a few months (with a couple of clowns) I added a piece of live  rock and about 30 minutes later out came a scissor tale dart fish (now dead)  with ich (so I assume this came out of a tank with ich and the rock held plenty of  the little spawns). <<Yet another point for Anthony Calfo's argument to quarantine everything 'wet'>> I pulled the fish out when I could finally catch him, fresh water dipped him, but the regal began to show ich. <<Would have been my guess as the first to fall victim...>> At first I lowered the SG a little (1.018) and raised the temp and gave the regal freshwater dips. <<Careful with this...a good strategy but these dips are very stressful...best to do a dip on the way in to quarantine and a dip on the way out of quarantine and leave it at that.  I also don't like the use of hypo-salinity for long periods, especially in the display tank (can easily kill your inverts).  Hypo-salinity adds more stress with little benefit in my opinion to already weakened animals>> Unfortunately, the fish became more stressed due to my catching him and dipping him and he seemed to be near death (laying on the bottom of the tank and not eating for 2 days - his eyes clouded over). <<Indeed...you're killing this fish with the added stress>> I treated with some organic stuff (ich attack) for a period of time and it proved worthless. <<Mmm...a bit of research before hand would likely have saved you the trouble...ionic copper called for here...and a quarantine/hospital tank>> Unfortunately, while waiting for the organic stuff to work, I awoke to find two clowns that had been ich free (to the eye anyway) the night before covered in ich. <<All the fish in this tank need to be removed to a treatment tanks(s) and treated with a copper-based Ich treatment and the display tank needs to sit fallow for 6-8 weeks>> I decided to take the day off; I set up a second tank, and pulled all of my live rock and inverts. <<...?>> I decided to do this because the fish were so sick that I was worried about pulling them. <<No...they need to be moved to a treatment tank, not left in the display tank>> I also felt the small tank would be too small for the tangs. <<Then get a larger tank...it is your 'responsibility' to provide the proper care for your fish...or don't keep them at all>> Anyway, I pulled everything except the substrate and some plastic hiding places and treated with CopperSafe and an antibiotic (the clowns didn't last long enough to even receive treatment they were dying when I woke and dead by the time I returned with the treatment). <<Yikes!!!  Why the antibiotic?  What reasoning do you have for adding this?  NEVER use the 'shotgun' method for treating your fish...and the fact you have done this in your display tank...>> Within a couple of days, all of the fish dropped any ich they had and all were eating. <<Proper treatment usually entails a couple weeks of medication>> A couple days after that - the regal looked good, was swimming at warp speeds and eating anything he could (he still is).   So after all of that, this is my question:  I already knew the ich would make a comeback, and a week or so later (a few days ago) a few spots appeared on the regal (no one else). <<All the fish in this tank 'have it'>> I have been slowly lowering the SG (about 1.014 right now - read with refractometer), I did add some more copper with water changes, and the ich fell off within a day. <<Still don't like/agree with the hypo-salinity...think this will cause you problems>> Although everyone looks good, my levels are crazy and I show nitrites, thus I've been conducting daily water changes. <<No surprise here...you 'nuked' all your nitrifying bacteria with the copper/antibiotic cocktail you administered to the tank.  Daily water changes are your only alternative at this point>> My dilemma right now is - should I continue to lower the SG? <<Not in my opinion...will be healthier for the fish to bring this back up to NSW levels>> (I am not adding any more copper right now and the levels are low) <<Did you/are you following the manufacturer's instructions?>> Also, I want to put my live rock back in the tank in a month (that would mean the rock sat in a fallow tank for 6 weeks).  So, should I just scrape all of the substrate out of the 70 and dump it? <<What you should 'do' is move the fish to hospital tanks and add the live rock back to the display and let it sit fallow for six weeks while the Ich runs out its life-cycle and the bacteria in the substrate recovers.  Short of this you will likely be on the 'Ich merry-go-round' for a while>> I am worried about the copper in it - I am also worried about the ich it may be harboring. <<You can replace the substrate...but the Ich is on 'all' the surfaces in the tank...thus the need to let the tank sit fallow>> Or should I pull it, rinse it, and let it sit for a while (but then what about the copper, would the substrate still contain enough to harm my live rock?)? <<This is up to some debate, but if you are going to the trouble to remove the substrate you may as well replace with fresh for the added/increased buffer capacity>> And finally, I don't feel the copper levels ever stayed high enough because of the substrate. <<Not an issue in a proper treatment tank>> So, if I do remove the substrate should I go ahead and treat with a steady level of copper for 14 days or just continue to lower the SG? <<I can't (won't) recommend you treat the display tank (are you aware the copper can infiltrate the silicone in your tank?)...please research our site and implement proper treatment procedure>> Basically I want to do what will work and will cause the least amount of hell for these fish. <<Already 'behind' on this>> I will be QT-ing all fish AND live rock from now on. <<No time like the present...>> Thank you, Jackie <<Regards, EricR>>

QT Gone Wrong -- 10/12/06 Crew, <<Ben>> Ok let's start at the beginning; my puffer had a serious Ich problem so I moved him to the QT where I did a hypo-salinity on him.  The next day my lion showed signs of Ich so I put him into the QT.  Everyone seemed fine until a week later (today) my lionfish was found dead.  His fins were completely gone!  Just a head and torso was left. <<...!>> Even the venom spines were gone. <<With no indications/signs of deterioration prior?>> His body was very swollen.  A few days before he died there really was no sign of ich on him and no sign of ich on the puffer.  I did notice his pectoral fins shrink and little black purple dots on them. <<Mmm...>> I thought the puffer maybe nipped him and he was healing, turns out in a few days his fins are gone and he is dead.  I didn't notice any fin nipping with the puffer. <<Have you checked the water quality of the quarantine system?>> The puffer ignored him. <<While these two fishes are not particularly compatible, I'm doubtful the puffer chewed the fins off the lionfish>> Have you witnessed something like this before? <<I haven't...though it sounds like an environmental/water quality issue>> Could this be Ich or a worm inside of him? <<I've never seen/heard of Ich dissolving away finnage...especially so quickly...I doubt this was a parasitic problem>> If you need any additional info PLEASE TELL ME. I really want to know what killed him.  I did put the puffer back into the display tank in case something was in the QT water. <<Something in the QT water is my guess...possibly very high ammonia levels...toxins from the stressed puffer>> I thought hypo-salinity was suppose to kill the parasite NOT strengthen it. <<Ick is not the issue here...at least not directly>> I ask you to please help me.  This year is a pain in the butt for me. <<Look to your QT for answers.  Peruse our articles and FAQs re and compare to your methodology>> Thanks, Ben <<Regards, EricR>>

Re: QT Gone Wrong - 10/13/06 Eric, <<Hello Ben>> Thanks for the reply. <<Quite welcome>> I did test the water parameters and I forgot to mention that in the email. <<I see...and?>> I do think it may have been fin rot? <<Hmm...>> Maybe there was an infection and it gave him fin rot? <<Hard to say...do some reading here ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm) and among the associated links to see what you can find/learn>> Thanks, Ben <<EricR>>

QT Gone Wrong, Follow-up - 10/13/06 Eric, <<Ben>> I forgot to mention in the email I just now sent you that the water parameters were Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate were zero, pH at 8.2, and salinity was at 1.009. <<Mmm...am not a fan of hypo-salinity, especially in the QT (further stresses an already weakened animal)...this may be a factor here>> The QT was not set up so I did water changes every day to keep it from cycling, as mentioned advice from WetWebMedia. <<May not have been enough with these particular fish...the size tank used...>> Ben <<Regards, EricR>>

Quarantine Quandary  9/15/06 Hi ladies and gents! <Scott F. your gent tonight!> Firstly - let me add my thanks to you for all your hard work and dedication that help amateurs such as myself look after our loved pets better than we otherwise could. You are a gift to the fishkeeping community around the world! <We would-be nothing without our faithful readers...THANK YOU!> I have a quick question so I hope not to take up too much of your time. I live in a small apartment which - with my 55g tank, is a little pushed for space. I have been running my tank for around 6 months now and am ready to introduce my first and only fish. <Awesome patience!> I currently have around 75lbs of Fiji Live Rock, a Fire Shrimp (around 3" long), several Red Leg hermits, around 15 Turbo snails and 4 feather duster worms. The livestock all came to me during an emergency when a friend had to close his tank down with little (IE a few hours) warning, so there was no time for me to arrange quarantine facilities for the incoming arrivals. It was a horrible risk that I was reluctant to take, but the certain death of the livestock wasn't something I wanted to resort to, so I accepted them. I got lucky. His tank was well established and immaculately clean and everything survived and has been thriving. <Good to hear!> Anyway, I intend to only introduce 2 more items of livestock to the tank: a small Orange Sea Star and a Scarlet Hawkfish. Since I am so pushed for space (and - to a certain extent - because I don't plan to introduce any further livestock after these) I am very limited in terms of my quarantine options. Specifically, I do not have much physical space for a decent sized quarantine tank. What would you say is the smallest quarantine tank I could get away with using for the Hawkfish. <In a perfect world, I'd opt for a 10 gallon tank. If the specimen in question is on the smaller side, a very carefully managed 5 gallon tank would suffice. Pay close attention to water quality parameters, change the water frequently, and don't overfeed if you take this route.> I do not consider "non quarantine" to be an option but I'm struggling to decide what to do here. I could probably temporarily house a 4-5 gallon tank next to the main tank, and could use 50/50 water - from the existing tank (during the weekly water change) and RO/DI water mixed to the same salinity/pH as the water from the main tank. If I add a small internal filter, some inert shelter, and a 50w heater. How long should I let the QT 'mature' before I can purchase the fish to be Quarantined? <5 Gallons it is, then! I'd "colonize" a small sponge filter or media from your main tank for about two or three weeks, then it will be ready to go, along with water from the display tank.> What should I feed the Hawkfish on both whilst he's in quarantine and in the main tank? <I'd feed the same things that you'll be feeding it in the display tank. just feed very carefully.> Oh dear - that was a few questions - sorry! <No problem. In fact, here is a link to an article I wrote here on WWM and in FAMA a few years back that answers many of the basic questions on quarantine- hope it helps: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm  > Many thanks Andy <A pleasure! Good luck with the tank! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine...How Much is Too Much? - 09/07/06 Good morning, <<Evening now>> I have had a 3.5" Regal Angel on hold at the local pet store for about 3 weeks now.  He is in excellent health, is bright, active and curious.  He is eating pellets and anything offered to him. <<Excellent>> I have done extensive research into caring for this delicate animal and I am aware of the care/caution needed to look after him. <<Very good>> I will be ready for him in a few weeks after one of my quarantine tanks clears out but am worried that quarantining him for another 6 weeks after the store has held him for 5 might be a bit to much for him. <<Mmm...differences in systems...>> If he is parasite free coming form the store in another 2 weeks, could I not dip him in a fresh water/methylene blue mixture and place him in the main tank?  What is your opinion on this? <<How about this...  Dip the fish and place in your quarantine tank for two weeks to inspect/see how it fares/ensure it still feeds after the move, then, dip again before placing in your display tank>> Thank you! ICH treatment, QT duration question   9/4/06 Hi crew, Happy Labor Day! <Thanks, to you as well> I'm writing to ask an ICH treatment/QT duration question and a Blenny question.  I purchased a Royal Gramma on August 13. He was doing well in my bare QT tank until August 24 when I noticed he would not eat that day and there were white spots on his fins. Despite the fact that I dipped him in Meth Blue before the QT tank he apparently came down with ICH. Determined to not lose this fish (as I've had a bad streak lately) I immediately started treating him with SeaTest Copper and followed the manufacturers directions which was to treat for 10 - 14 days, testing daily to ensure proper copper levels. The white spots were gone after 1 day on the fish and he started eating the very next day and has been eating daily since. His 14  day treatment period ends on Sept 6. My question is, how many additional days/weeks should I keep the fish in the QT tank to be certain the disease does not come back before I move him to my display tank? <4 to 6 weeks from the end of the treatment.> I am patient and want to be as sure as I can be that he's "cured" before I move him to the show tank. He's been in the QT a total of 23 days now but was treated for ICH starting on August 24. Also, I wanted to buy a Lawnmower Blenny. I typically QT my new arrivals a solid 30 days before moving to my main tank but since this particular fish would be happier in my main tank which has lots of green algae he would eat, what would be a good length of time to QT this fish before moving him to the main tank. <I prefer 6 weeks for most fish but a minimum of 4 should be fine.> I would be feeding him some sheet algae (Ocean Nutrition Algae) on a clip until the QT period ends. Thanks for your help! Your most welcome, Leslie>

Stocking list/quarantine   9/4/06 Hello Crew, I am switching from a FOWLR to a soft coral tank. (Had a puffer go crazy and kill everything in the tank including a 9 year-old eel -   <Yikes!> puffer went to LFS, although I wanted revenge.) <A "western" concept. No sense> The tank has been fishless for about 5 months letting it build worms, pods, ect., <No such word... "etc.", is a contraction for et cetera res... Latin for "and other things"...> and letting me build and cure some base rock. <Good> Tank 220g 6'Lx2'Wx 30'D, 29g refugium (red Gracilaria on reverse daylight), 40g sump (~20g actual volume), ~140 lbs live rock (had for years), ~100 lbs homemade rock ~5' DSB  seeded with stuff from IPSF,   <Ah, good old GeraldH> 2x400 watt MH and 2x40 watt actinics, ~800 gph through sump, ~1800 gph closed loop manifold, AMS G3 skimmer, chiller, phosphorus reactor that either has Rowaphos or carbon, temp. 78-80, ph 8.0-8.2, NH3- 0. NO2-0, NO3-0, CA-430, KH-8.6, PO4-0 10g quarantine with water from main tank and sponge filter I have in the sump now. Here is my planned fish stocking list to go with various soft corals, mushrooms, polyps, and in the future a Crocea clam. I would like, and respect, your input. In order of planned introduction: Bullet Goby: Amblyeleotris semicinctus (or 2, or other sand shifter?) Scribbled Rabbitfish:  Siganus doliatus 1 Yellow Eye Kole Tang: Ctenochaetus strigosus 1 Lyretail Anthias: Pseudanthias squamipinnis 1 male 3 females Sixline Wrasse: Pseudocheilinus hexataenia 1 Purple Tang: Zebrasoma xanthurum 1 I planned on going through a minimum of 4-week quarantine for everything, but in reading it sounds more like 2 weeks for the goby/ies and just a dip for the rabbit and the Anthias, is this so? <Yes> If I need to cut back on the fish the six-line would be first to go, and the yellow eye would be next unless there are other compatibility issues I have not read about. Thank you fro the wonderful site, Bill <Sounds like a very nice set-up, and stocking plan. I would place the Zebrasoma last. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine for Siganids? - 08/23/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> I am currently in the process of shopping for a Magnificent Foxface and am reading as much as possible on them.  I was a bit surprised to read that you suggested not quarantining them, I guess it's just because I have HORRIBLE luck with fish and their survival rates due to illness. <<The Foxface poses little threat of contamination as opposed to many other fishes.  Some authors feel the risk is so small as to not warrant the additional stress/handling of quarantine...the decision is up to you>> I have the Foxface at my LFS in a separate holding tank just to make sure he's eating.  I do have a 10g QT tank with about 10lbs of LR in a tank at home, so by your recommendations I should just take him home and leave him in there unfed for a day then right into my display? <<Firstly, a quarantine system should not have live rock in it.  Any "cover" for the fishes should be a chemically non-reactive material such as PVC pipe.  Nor should live rock be used for filtration in a QT system for the same reason...please read here and among the associated links in blue ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm).  As for the Foxface, if you are choosing not to quarantine then I would skip the QT tank altogether and merely acclimate and perform a temperature and pH adjusted freshwater dip before placing in the display system...see here ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm)>> Tank is a 95g BB Reef tank, only other fish are a fire clown, gold stripe maroon, and a Vlamingi Tang (I know he must go, I had him in a 210g and didn't get rid of him yet since the downgrade, he's currently about 4").   Probably 150-200lbs of LR and an ASM G3 skimmer. Thanks, Chris <<Regards, EricR>>

Sick after quarantine   8/16/06 Hi again, <Hello> I am hoping you can help me here. <Me too> I have had my fish, (A queen Angel, a purple tang, a Flame Angel, and 2 clowns in quarantine after an ick outbreak after i disconnected my Ozone Generator due to a tank upgrade. <Okay> I treaded <Heee, likely treated as well> with copper for about 10 days and then removed it with carbon and water changes over the next few days. Everyone seemed ok and have been eating well for about a week since the QT tank treatment stopped. <The operative word here is likely "seemed"> I came home today, and found my queen listing to the side with very little strength and my Flame rapidly losing color in splotches. My tang and the clowns seem to be ok. <Here's that word again> I check the basics (Ammonia and Nitrites) and they are almost at 0. There was ammonia in the tank during the copper treatment (Unavoidable?). <Hard to avoid... takes diligence in testing, water changes galore> And I tried to keep it low with 25% water changes each day. (Quarantine was a 35 gallon tank) I cannot imagine that this could be a parasite or anything since nothing new was introduced to the tank. <Mmm, likely this is "just" lethargy, reaction to the previous treatment, isolation experience> I decided to get them all out of QT and into the main tank (This is all new rock etc, so nothing carried over from the old tank.) as a last ditch effort. I do not think my queen will make it though. She is very listless and is getting knocked around by the water flow but looks otherwise fine from the outside. Can you offer any ideas what might have caused this and what I should do different in the future? (Shorter Quarantine)0 I am a big advocate of Quarantine but I tend to lose more in QT than I did before I started. Thanks! <I do hope all will be well... really, just "better" treatment tank and/or quarantine system make-up, maintenance. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarsysfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine For Live Sand? - 8/10/2006 Hello WWM Crew, <Scott F. here today!>    With the help of an extraordinary amount of excellent input from your website, I am nearly done putting together a new 135 gallon system to upgrade my old 40 gallon hex tank. <Sounds exciting>    A quick summary of the new system is as follows, 135 gallon (72x18x24") with two 100% overflows and Ecosystem 3616 mud sump.   EuroReef CS 135 Protein Skimmer   Four 160 W AquaSun VHO's (with provisions to add three 14K 150 W HQI pendants later).   Recirculation rate is roughly 2600 GPH (half through mud sump and half through separate closed loop).    <Nice equipment/system>      My plan for the tank is to move over current inhabitants of the 40 gallon (Flametail Blenny, Fourline Wrasse, Neon Goby, Purple Firefish, Diadema, two Cleaner Shrimp, Peppermint Shrimp, some Zoanthids and Star Polyps) along with its live rock (about 60 lbs) then gradually add fresh (cured) live rock over time as additional critters - soft corals, fish and invertebrates - are added to the system. <This is a good way to stock...do it gradually.>    I don't plan to move the existing coral gravel substrate (roughly 5 mm dia.), as I have now learned that a finer sand (say 1-2 mm) is a better choice. My current thinking is to keep the sand bed to less than 1" thick (I'll consider adding a DSB later if the tank "grows" into a full blown SPS reef tank over the next few years). <No problem. Just keep the shallow sandbed clean.>    My question is about the risk/rewards of using "live sand" (say from Fiji through Blue Zoo Aquatics) versus a sterile aragonite mix "off the shelf". It would appear that the "pro's" of using the live sand would be the additional microfauna that would inoculate the system and provide a more natural system and food source. But my main concern is for the health of my fish (vis-a-vis the potential pathogens that may exist in the live sand mix). <Well, there certainly is a risk involved in using anything "live" in your tank. If it's live sand collected from a reef, I suppose I might actually be more comfortable than if it was from a store or other established aquarium. On the other hand, if you do get some live sand, you don't need all that much to inoculate your system.>    Would you kindly advise your opinion - is there a significant risk of Ich/Velvet infection with live sand? <Again, I feel a greater risk of exposure to potential pathogens exists in a system using live sand from an aquarium with fishes.> Would the sand/mud develop a healthy level of microfauna over time anyway (by the addition of cured live rock) with the sterile mix? <Absolutely.> Would there be any benefit to putting live sand in quarantine (for say 6 weeks) before introducing to an existing display? <If you could do that, this would be the best way to assure as pathogen-free an environment as possible.>    I have dealt with "the heartbreak of Ich" in the past and want to do everything possible to avoid it during this upcoming transition - your thoughts are sincerely appreciated. Scott <I certainly think that you're on the right track, Scott! Best of luck with your new system! Regards, Scott F.> New Tank Start-up 7/18/06 Hi, <Hi> My 240 tank recently finished cycling, so I went to the LFS and bought several Green Chromis, two Neon Damsels, and one Bicolor Pseudochromis. Of course, one of the Chromis died, looked like a bacterial infection. The rest of the fish are eating, and look good. No new outbreaks of anything. <Good> After reading your website, I "got religion" and have a QT tank set up. <Good move.> Two tank bred Gold Stripe Maroon Clowns and one tank bred Orchid Dottyback are on order from Live Aquaria, and they will be put in the QT. Should I give them any ick medicine, as a precaution, while they are in the small tank? <Only treat when disease is present, prophylactic treatment is usually not helpful.> Or any medicine at all for that matter. <No> What fish medicines should I keep on hand for ick, and bacterial problems? <Copper, broad-spectrum anti-biotic.>  I have bought some Melafix and liquid garlic. <Both are of little use.>  I plan to add the garlic to their food, if it will help as a preventive.  <No scientific data to support this that I have come across.>  Does feeding them medicated food work better than adding meds to their water? <Depends on what you are treating.> Thanks, Teresa <Anytime> <Chris>

Quarantine for established fish? 7/12/06 Hi Crew. I enjoy reading your site and have learned a tremendous amount, thanks. <<Glad to hear!  Thanks for the kind words.>> Prior to finding your site and the importance of a QT, my tank got ich.  My ich magnet / blue hepatus tang was treated with Cupramine in a  hospital tank and did fine (approx 6 mo.s ago). <<Good to hear!  If your display was free of fish for at least a month, it should have been rendered ich free at that point, and leaving you with nothing to worry about.>> I am now in the process of setting up a larger tank (92 gal to a 225) and will be transferring my fish and live rock. My understanding is that ich doesn't go away but rather kept in check, so should I fresh water dip and then quarantine the fish for a month (maybe under hyposaline conditions) prior to transfer, and thereby allowing my tank to be fallow as well for the live rock to insure no ich in the new tank  vs. just fw dip and transfer? <<Hmm... The debate about the whether you can have an ich free tank will rage on forever.  If you believe that it is possible to achieve, then you should believe that your tank is currently ich free and you can simply transfer everything to the new tank.  If you don't believe it is possible to have an ich free tank, then you should believe that the numbers of parasites is sufficiently low and your fish are sufficiently healthy that it isn't a problem.... and you can simply transfer the fish to the new system.  The bottom line is that unless you are adding something new that could be bringing in new disease, quarantine is not necessary.  If you do get an outbreak (of any disease) due to the stress of the transfer, you will have to re-assess at that point.  Best Regards.  AdamC.> Re:  Compatibility...Fin Nipping...Ongoing, No End    6/14/06 Dear James (Salty Dog) <Rachel>Let me know whether what I am going to do is right.  <OK>Actually in my main tank I have fish so I can't put the anemone directly without quarantining right?<Is the anemone in an invert tank without fish present?  Does the dealer centrally filter his tanks?  If yes to the first question and no to the second, you would be safe adding the anemone to the main tank.> So I am going to buy the anemone tomorrow with a Pink Skunk Clownfish which I saw sleeping in the anemone nicely. So I am going to buy both of them together. Then I am going to put both of them to the quarantine tank with some live sand. Because then it'll be easy for me to remove it with the sand right?<No, they will burrow down to the glass and anchor.> Then I'll quarantine it for 2 weeks and if the clown shows no sign of illness I'll put both of them to my main 80G tank with the Tang, Bannerfish and the Wrasse. Does that sound okay?<So far, but you are taking a risk with the other fish present.> I don't want to add any water from the LFS even to my QT tank so I can give a freshwater dip for the clown but the anemone you can't right?<Wouldn't do the freshwater on the clown if he is healthy, just added stress.  My opinion.  No dip for the anemone.> So is there another careful way to get rid of any parasites before I put the anemone in the tank tomorrow.<Anemones are generally parasite free, but can bring something to the party.  Best to quarantine to be on the safe side.> Also is the Anemone deadly to my Bannerfish, firefish, wrasse or the hippo tang. <Can be, mentioned this earlier.  Seems like I'm answering the same questions over and over.>Thanks, best regards,<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Rachel

Yes, another ICH question!   6/11/06 Most of my question will probably sound like bazillions of others on the subject of marine ICH (I believe I have read them all) but I can't find an 'exact answer' to what I want to know. I have a 3 month old 20 gallon nano-reef with 17 seemingly thriving soft and LPS corals. <... that each likely get too large for this volume of water> Like the many people writing you questions, I added four fish without quarantine'¦ even though I have 2 empty 10 gallon tanks! I rationalized that chance was on my side with only 4 fish, and I had a terrible time quarantining my African cichlids which would show all kinds of weird non-specific symptoms which I was never able to effectively eliminate, until I gave up and put them in my 70 gallon display only to have a perfectly healthy tank for more than 1.5 years now. <Good point. Quarantining does have its real as well as potential downsides> Anyways, back to my 20 gallon, my paired watchman gobies and orchid Dottyback have been completely normal, while my neon goby has been constantly flashing and jerking for the whole week I have had him. Sometimes I think I see tiny specks on him only to see them gone an hour later, thus concluding its just dust or air bubbles (Just set up a Remora). I dread the thought of dismantling my tank as the neon goby and orchid Dottyback will hide in the rock (I had to go to the LFS twice for the Dottyback because he was un-catchable the first time, hiding in the live-rock). I have checked out my tank parameters and they are all normal. These are my questions 1) with the neon goby not having definite spots, how long do I watch him before just biting the bullet and catching him for treatment? <I might just wait here period. Could be "more/mostly environmental" in cause (whatever "it" is)... and the fish die from exposure (trouble with allelopathy twixt the cnidarians)... or succumb to a protozoan infestation (the tank itself now is infested)> Do I just watch him indefinitely until I know for sure what the problem is? <This is what I would do, yes> Are his symptoms sufficient to assume he does have parasites? <Nope... not w/o microscopic examination>                                     2) Since ICH can exist on a fish sub-clinically without any outward signs, is it not possible to mistakenly introduce an infested fish into the display tank despite a prolonged quarantine, if the fish only had a sub-clinical infestation. Therefore even proper quarantine can fail, no? <Is possible... though chances diminish with effort/time in quarantine, possible pre-treatment> Thanks very much, Dave PS I will definitely quarantine in the future, I guess it isn't fool-proof but it certainly must improve the odds, and not to mention peace of mind! <We're in agreement Dave... Do be looking for larger systems... Bob Fenner> Thanks for the Education... QTs and FW dip  6/5/06 Bob & the wonderful crew <Adlai> Just wanted to Thank You for saving me from "Mucho" pain by getting me into the habit of using QTs and FW dip. I must admit I am not perfect and really thought it was overkill at first but after my recent episode. I am going to be even more careful. One note - I am leaning towards giving fish that I receive from online vendors a day or 2 in QT BEFORE doing a FW dip- I figured that the fish need to regain their strength before stressing them out again. Do you agree? <Yes> Anyway, my second reason for writing, I had just received a Blue Regal Tang from a fellow hobbyist who has a spectacular tank. He looked great and I was very tempted to do a FW dip, acclimate him and have him immediately join my reef setup but for some reason ( you guys!) decided not to and put him into a QT instead. Guess what? A couple of days later I saw what I believed was ICH -I was so upset and began to panic and then realized the fish was in a QT Tank and my display was safe. I did a FW dip with methylene blue and the spots disappeared. I was so amazed I wrote to you guys ( I think Bob replied), asking whether ICH or at least what I thought was ICH could be resolved in a day. I was warned that it was not possible and that the symptoms would most likely reappear -and  it did!! <Easy to foretell such with experience...> Long story short,  I treated the Regal with Seachem's Paraguard (I did not want to use copper)  and after about 2-3 weeks and several baths (Paraguard and FW) with no signs of Crypto, I finally introduced him to his new tankmates where he is really happy (He was always hiding in the QT). <Outstanding> My only questions after reading other horror stories is a) Should I have waited longer <Not likely> b) the FAQs have different opinions but how safe is hyposalinity and is it recommended and <Usually safe, but I don't recommend it/not effective... others here do> c) since the Regal  is already in the tank is there something I can do to reduce the likelihood of ICH occurring in my display? <Mmm, yes... careful maintenance, good husbandry, the use of purposeful cleaners, bolstered nutrition...> I have never had any disease in my display and the new Regal is my biggest risk. Sorry for the long post. Thanks again <Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner> New enthusiast and a new QT 5/19/06 Hi, <Hi> I love your site and I have looked for the answers to my questions, forgive me if I am repeating a question.  I am new to salt tanks, I have a 55 gal which has been up 2 mos. I just set up a 10 gal hospital tank, which is a Wal-Mart type.  I bought "biospiral"? <Bio-Spira> to start the biological process, and I received several "creatures" which I quarantined in this tank.  Before they were added the ph was 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrates and nitrites were 0, temp 78, and saline 1.022. I added a red tree sponge, a hermit crab, emerald crab, flower anemone,  two small corals, and a shrimp. There are no live rock or sand  The anemone died a day later (I think he was sick or injured in shipping) <Typically don't ship well>, and now my ph and all levels are too high, ammonia is 1.5 nitrites are .50, nitrates are 20, and ph is 8.6.  I removed the anemone ASAP, and I have looked for any debris or food.  I have made partial water changes 3x from my bigger tank <Good> I don't know what to do now, suggestions? I have called the aquarium store I use and they will take the sponge if that might be what is causing the problem.   <Basically you have too much life for a little tank.  Even with the Bio-Spira your tank can not keep up with the livestock.  Often with Bio-Spira it is incorrectly stored (not refrigerated) and ineffective as a result.  As a general rule I QT one thing at a time, this allows for better water quality and less chance of missing disease.  Keep up with the water changes and maybe return some of the livestock for the time being.> <Chris>

Problem with quarantine tank   5/17/06 Hi Guys, <<We've got Gals, too, Chris. :) Tom here.>> My new tank has been running for 3 months now and I still don't have a fish in it because I'm just not getting the quarantine process right. Due to a lack of space my quarantine tank is quite small (50 Litres), it is bare bottomed and contains a couple of pvc pieces as hiding place with a small powerhead. On my first attempt I ran a small hang-on filter for about 10 days on my main tank and then moved it to the quarantine tank (which I filled with water from the main tank). My first fish (a royal Gramma) died after 2 weeks from ammonia in the water.. I did some major water changes when I detected the ammonia, but couldn't get rid of it in time. I emptied the quarantine tank and started from scratch. <<Sorry about your fish, Chris. For what it's worth, ten days may be on the marginal side of getting a filter "seeded" running on a cycled tank but the situation you ran into still surprises me.>> I did some more research and this time I bought a sponge filter, the one that works with the air pump. I ran it for a week on the main tank and then moved it to the quarantine tank. I filled the QT with water from the main tank again. I added a small yellow tang and attached some Nori for him to a piece of pvc to graze on. I also decided to do small water changes (5-10% every day). Its been 3 days now and again I am detecting some ammonia. <<All right, it's likely these filters aren't seeded after all or, at least so minimally as to be insignificant.>> I don't want to lose my 2nd healthy fish this way, but I'm not so sure what to do anymore, apart from a large water change every day (something like 50%), which is not something I think I can manage at the moment. I'm very tempted to just move it to the main tank, because I'm afraid it will be dead soon if I leave it in the QT, but I also know of the risk this will be for my main tank. <<You don't say whether, or not, you've been "feeding" the main tank while it's laid fishless. There's an altogether good chance that whatever cycling it went through, presupposing that it went through a complete cycle, has been undone. This would explain why neither of the add-on filters were/are able to handle the ammonia in the QT. This, of course, leaves us with two tank problems and one fish dilemma to deal with. You don't say how large the display tank is but my thinking is that you'd be better served by putting the Yellow Tang in there rather than keeping it in the QT. Why? Dilution. Any ammonia produced will be at much lower concentrations in a large tank than in a small one. You'll need a source of ammonia to re-cycle this tank anyway and while I wouldn't advise anyone to use this type of fish, or any fish, for this purpose, your only other option would be to get someone to hold him/her for you until you're up and ready to go. If you can possibly get your hands on some Bio-Spira (Marineland), you'd be "light-years" ahead of the game in getting these tanks where they need to be. Otherwise, we're left to going the "brute force" route here.>> Any advice will help. I'm a little despondent with the fact that I'm killing fish with something that is supposed to be good for them. <<Chris, one fish died but the other hasn't so don't make it sound like you're committing mass murder. Everything you've done, and are doing, is pretty much textbook. However, I believe, you made the innocent mistake of assuming that the main tank is still cycled when it's not. Okay. Lesson learned. You've got plenty of company, yours truly included. Frankly, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that someone took the care to set a QT up before tossing fish into their display tank. All too often, we see problems/fish deaths arising from people not taking the time/care to do so.>> Thanks Chris <<You'll get through this, Chris, just don't give up. Tom>>
Re: Problem with quarantine tank
 - 05/17/2006 Hi Tom, <<Hello again, Chris.>> Thanks a lot for the reply and encouragement. English is not my first language and I always assumed that "guys" would mean all people in this context :) <<Not to worry, Chris. Generally speaking, it does, although I'm sure we have a few folks out there that are surprised that a "girl" would know anything about fish. (In the case of the WWM Crew, all of them know more than I do so I "suck up" when the opportunity presents itself.) :)>> The reason for my QT procedure is simply because I failed miserably on my first attempt at a marine tank some years ago, and would like to do it the right way this time. <<Having read ahead in your post, I'd say you've done it very well, indeed.>> Just some extra comments. My main tank is about 150gallons and contains 75kg of Live Rock. Initially, after lots of research I came to the conclusion that I don't need to add anything to the tank to start it cycling, because the live rock will take care of this process. It has been 3 months and I haven't seen any sign of ammonia or nitrites to this day. I've asked for opinions on this and the general feedback was that the live rock probably cycled the tank "instantaneously". At the moment I have some mushroom corals in the tank, with many types of macro algae growing all over. I also see a lot of "pods" walking around, with some small hermit crabs etc. But there is still nothing that I feed in the main tank (apart from dosing some things for the corals). <<Based on this "new" information I withdraw my theory about the display tank not being cycled. Quite the opposite from the sounds of it but it does lead me to wonder if your power filter and sponge filter were still "starved" because of the great biological filtration that your LR would be handling.>> So to be honest I'm not sure at the moment if my main tank is cycled or not, because I've always assumed that their must be some ammonia being produced with all the life in there. So far I haven't considered the fact that my main tank might not be cycled at the moment. my best guess was that my QT was simply too small. <<Very little question in my mind, now, that your "big" tank is completely cycled. As to your thinking about the QT being too small, it's possible given the variables involved, i.e. higher concentrations of ammonia per liter of water, debatable quantities of bacteria in the filter media, etc.>> I haven't been home yet today, but hopefully my little tang will still be alright. <<I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and your pet, as well.>> Let me know if you have any additional comments on this please. <<Leave at least one of the add-on filters in the QT and stick with the water changes. I don't know how much ammonia you're detecting and, of course, no ammonia is the ideal, but I still think you can work through this without possibly endangering all that you have in the main aquarium.>> Thanks again for your assistance. Chris <<My pleasure, Chris. Tom>>
Re: Problem with quarantine tank
 - 05/17/2006 Hi Tom, <<How are you, Chris?>> Thanks again for the reply.. this is the last mail from me. <<Going somewhere? :)>> I just tested the water again. The ammonia seem to be somewhere between 0.03 and 0.05 mg/litre (my test kit only measures in mg/l). I'm not sure how high that is, but at least it seems quite low. <<Well, mg/l = ppm (parts per million). If you're only detecting hundredths of a part per million, I'd say you're in pretty good shape. Zero is best but I'd say you're as reasonably close to that as might be expected under the circumstances.>> The Tang still looks a picture of health, so I'll continue the water changes for now and monitor closely. <<Very glad to hear good news about your Tang.>> Just one last question. should I stop feeding him for a while (including Nori) ? <<Not necessary to cease feeding, Chris, but you might do so minimally. It sounds like you're "out of the woods" with the ammonia problem but a little caution won't hurt here.>> Ps. I've also had some great help from the ladies crew. so I know what you mean :) <<They're all very good, indeed.>> Have a nice evening. <<Do the same, Chris.>> Thanks Chris <<Any time at all. Tom>>

Re: Problem with quarantine tank  5/18/06 Hi Tom <<Hey, Chris.>> >> <<Going somewhere? :)>> Hehe no, I just mean I won't bug you anymore with this :) <<You're not "bugging" me at all. :)>> My Tang is still looking good today. <<Excellent!>> Many thanks for the help ! Chris <<Glad I could be of help, Chris. Tom>>

Yippee! QT, stocking... new tank  5/16/06 May 14 was my 16th birthday and I got a 55 gallon aquarium! I was so excited. Now all I have to buy is the electronics and the fish. I was going to light this aquarium with a 260 watt power compact with 3 led lights, heat it with a 200 watt heater, filter it with two 400 gph bio-wheels, have a protein skimmer that could either cycle a 100 gallon or 300 gallon, and also have two 270 gph power heads. I am also planning to have 50 pounds of live rock and 110 pound of live sand. The fish I want to have include 2 ocellaris clowns (tank-bred), 1 royal Gramma basslet, 1 flame angelfish, and 1yellow tang. All fish, when purchased, will be 1 inch in length. The invertebrates I want include 2 Scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp, 1 bubble tip anemone, 2 feather dusters, 20 dwarf blue legged hermit crabs, and 3 super Tongan Nassarius snails. In my 30 gallon QT, that I already had but it wasn't set up, I plan to have a 192 watt power compact with three led lights, 150 watt heater, one 270 gph power head, a 400 gph bio-wheel, a protein skimmer cycling up to a 100 gallon, and 60 pounds of live sand (or should I get crushed coral, it's just that it's a QT and I don't know if any treatments will kill the living things). Will my fish live happily ever after? Will they get along well? If not which one should I remove? In replace of the removed fish what other fish should I add, if I should at all? Should I QT my invertebrates before I put them into the main aquarium? Do I need a 192 watt light and a protein skimmer for my QT? Would my angel and tang fight too much or just a little? Do I have too many invertebrates? If I do tell me how much I should remove? Please answer all my questions specifically.   Sincerely,   Aqua Man <<Aqua Man:  Happy Birthday.  It sounds like you are spending a lot of time planning out your tank before you buy.  That is great, and it will save you a lot of time, money and hassle in the long run.  As you have said, you have a lot of questions; hopefully, you are reading a good beginner book like "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Fenner and/or "Natural Reef Aquariums" by Tullock. Here are answers to several of your questions: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Link for QT related questions.  You won't need a lot of lighting for a QT, you want it to be a bare bottom tank.  Some people QT their new inverts to protect their existing inverts (mostly from hitchhiking parasites).  Since inverts are sensitive to meds, you would probably have to have an invert only QT.  You don't need the Protein Skimmer to maintain a QT. Bio-Wheels - A lot of people recommend not spending the money on them.  Rather, spend the money on having more flow in the tank. Live stock - Most people will tell you to buy fish based on how big they will get.  Most people don't recommend any Tangs in a 55 as they get too large and are used to swimming all the time and need more space.  When you actually set up the tank, buy the inverts first and add them in while your first fish is in QT for 6 weeks (to prevent introducing ich into your tank).  After the first fish, buy 1 or 2 and repeat the 6 week QT.  Repeat the process until your tank is fully stocked.  During the process, you will learn a lot more about taking care of your fish and your desired livestock selection will probably change (it does for most people). Inverts - Hermit crabs eat a lot (including snails just for their shells). Most people have more snails than crabs.  For example, in my 180, I have 3 hermit crabs and hundreds of snails.  Also, Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, bristle worms and Nassarius snails tend to serve the same scavenger function as hermit crabs.  Most live rock comes with reef-safe bristle worms.  You'll want snails that eat algae. Rocks/Sand - Don't buy special live sand.  Your live rock will make the sand "live". Hope I answered most of your questions, welcome to the hobby and best of luck.  Roy>>

QT screw up... a small, but painful lesson in epidemiology, planning and patience   - 5/12/2006 Hi Crew, many thanks for all your previous advice - I do have a new concern. I am setting up a new 92 gallon FOWLR in addition to my existing reef system and have been using several QT tanks  for my eventual inhabitants. Everything was fine i.e. QT has been going about 4 weeks. All fish went through FW dip with methylene Blue as suggested here. I have an Auriga butterfly, a Raccoon butterfly in one QT tank and had a flame angel, yellow eye tang and a dwarf lion in the other QT  tank. This weekend I got a great deal on a new Regal tang which would be for my reef tank and placed it in another QT tank. It did not like the FW dip so it stayed in the solution for about 2-3 minutes only. My better half kept nagging me about the number of tanks in the house - the last QT was on the kitchen counter and I have two new display tanks in the garage that I am preparing for eventual placement inside. So since I received the Regal tang from a fellow hobbyist,  I figured I could shutdown one QT tank by placing the regal with the butterflies even though I knew I had to reset the QT timeline .  Everything was fine until this morning when I saw , what I believed, were ich spots on the regal  tang. <Even the best laid plans... sometimes "lay an egg"> Panicking since I had to go to work, I placed the butterflies in with the yellow eye tang, flame angel and dwarf lion. This is a 20 gallon tank with 2 hang on filters and 2 powerheads. I did a FW dip with methylene blue for the butterflies before placing in the QT tang. So only the regal tang is in the second QT tank which has now become my defacto hospital tank. I also did a short FW dip with him also before placing him back in QT/hospital tank. <Exposure resets all time clocks to zero> I know its a tight fit for all those fish in the tank but I figured it could last 2-3 weeks( since I have good circulation) when I would have the 92 gallon setup and ready for gradual stocking.  Do I need to take additional steps? <Time... would have been best to place livestock in batches... not necessary, advised to do "all at once"> Would the stress be too much in a 20 gallon( My yellow eye tang seems very pale)? <Seems like it> The regal also is pretty stressed out and I don't know if I should medicate now or wait. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks Worried in Charlotte <I might consider giving the Regal away... using what resources you have with the livestock you already have/had. Bob Fenner>

Re: QT screw up, oh and DSB sand  - 05/13/2006 Thanks again for your reply Bob. The weirdest thing has happened - the ich (or at least what I thought was ich) disappeared from Regal tang in less than a day. Is that possible? <Umm, yes... is not really gone... is/has cycled off... your system is infested... and like that not-so-popular ex-Austrian Gov of the Sunshine State, it'll be "baaaaack"> - I guess it could have been micro bubbles but I don't think so  since all I have is small hang on filter and power head as filtration- maybe some sand particles in the QT ( there is no sand bed in the QT)?. <I suspect you're right here. This was Crypt> In my other QT, my yellow eye tang has regained its color and the fish seem happy. I am doing a 10% water change in QT every 2-3 days to help the stress levels. Can a FW dip with methylene blue remove ich immediately? <Not generally...> That's all I did!! Any ideas ?- Oh well. On an unrelated matter I have a refugium with a DSB that I had taken offline for a couple of months. I have decided to give more space to the Chaeto so I began to remove my 7 inch sugar fine sand  (to use in my new system) when I noticed some black streaks in the sand and smelled an odor . Can I still reuse the sand and if so do I need to rinse or recycle  it with salt water? <Best to give this a vigorous rinse at least... the hydrogen sulfide smell should be "all gone" before re-using... though the black stain may well persist. Bob Fenner> Many thanks again

Quarantine Quandary?    5/2/06 FYI - our main tank is a 6ft long, 125 gallon with about 120 lbs. of live rock, a sump with protein skimmer. two power heads, etc.  It's inhabitants at present are 1 small Blue Hippo (Pacific blue) Tang, one Ward's Sleeper (Tiger) Goby, one Valentine puffer, two Ocellaris Clownfish, 12 Turbo snails and 5 hermit crabs (which, amazingly, the puffer does leave alone, or at least has for the two months we've had him). <The big dummy hasn't figured out that they're good to eat yet!> After being told and told of the virtues of a quarantine tank, and after losing two fish (a Flame Angel & Yellow Tang) to ich (no white spots now, though, for over a month), we have finally invested in one.  <An excellent move!> It is a simple set up - a 20 gallon glass aquarium with lid (light, too, but we left that off), a hang-on power filter, a heater, a thermometer and two pieces of PVC pipe for hiding.  We set it up on Friday, using about 60% of the water from our display tank, 40% from our water that we keep mixed for water changes, and filter media that I had kept in the sump of our display.  I tested that water and it was Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10, pH 8.3. On Sunday, we purchased three small Yellow Tangs (the largest was about 2.5 inches) from LFS.  I asked whether or not these three would be too many for our small 20 gallon quarantine.  LFS questioned why we were quarantining and said we didn't need to - that in fact, the ammonia spikes in the tank could kill the fish and we were better off putting them right in our display and saving the QT for treatment if/when any of our fish got sick.  <A common, but really lame argument, IMO. If you keep some filter media (a sponge, etc.) in your display aquarium's sump, and utilize water from the display tank, you will be ready to go at a moment's notice, as you'll have filter media "pre-colonized" with nitrifying bacteria. You can always supplement with those 'bacteria in a bottle" products, as well. Great for those "impulse buys" that we all make now and again. Like everything else in this hobby, you simply need to plan for it. If you prepare for its use, quarantine is easy as can be, and no stress at all to the fish.> In addition, they questioned whether the tank was cycled since we had just set it up.  LFS also stated that the stress of going from QT to our display could cause ich anyway.  I argued that I was going to everything necessary to prevent disease in my display tank and that I intended to test the water daily and do water changes as necessary.  LFS relented, but said that we shouldn't leave the fish in QT more than a week. <I'm wondering why, but any quarantine is better than none, I guess.> Before going to bed, I tested the ammonia and it was at .25ppm, but I had expected a spike.  The fish were all swimming around and even nibbled at the clip of seaweed I placed in the tank.  There were a couple of fights here and there, but nothing alarming.    This morning, though, two of the three were dead and the third looks like it's going to soon as well.  The ammonia this morning was 1ppm, but I don't know if that's the cause of the death or because of the deaths.  <Unfortunately, the ammonia may have been a contributor, if not the sole cause> I have since moved the third fish to another container, temporarily, with water from my main tank (which is ammonia free), but it's not perking up. Any ideas what, if anything, we did wrong?  I know LFS is going to tell us it's because the water was bad in the QT (since they had told us not to put the fish in there).  How long does the filter media need to be in the main tank before it's colonized (we had in the sump for a couple of weeks)? <That's about right. As mentioned above, you could always use the "bacteria in a bottle" products to supplement, as mentioned above.> My husband is concerned about the oxygen level - do we need to add an air stone to the QT? <In addition to the filter, supplemental aeration is a good idea with active fishes like Tangs.> Your help is greatly appreciated.  I don't want to get any more fish.  I'm afraid my lack of knowledge or inexperience may have killed these, and I feel terrible. Thank you so much!!! <Please don't be too hard on yourself. The quarantine process is relatively simple, but you do need to consider a few things. For example, even if the filter is colonized, if it's under-sized for the bioload it is to carry, that can be a problem. If you intend to quarantine several fishes at the same time, perhaps you could utilize a couple of different filters, such as one sponge filter and one outside power filter, both with media pre-colonized. Do read up more on the WWM site for extensive coverage on the topic, and don't give up this valuable practice after this bad experience. In the end, quarantine is the single most effective thing that you can do to assure your fish's health, IMO! Good luck! regards, Scott F.>

QT help, high pH and High Alkalinity  - 04/27/06 Greetings Crew from the Coal Region here in PA.  I am hoping to get a really quick response if possible.  Please don't let the length of this email deter you from reading it right away.  I had sent 2 separate emails almost one month ago, resending each one a second time about a week or more after not hearing back, with still no response.  I know how busy you all must be, and I hate to be a pest. <If we did not respond, we did not receive your messages> I was reading through your article and FAQs, but couldn't quite find what I was looking for.  So, here it goes... I followed some recommendations in setting up a QT.  It is a 10 gallon.  I used 6 gallons of water from my display tank and made up the difference with new salt water.  I should note that my display tank is a 46 gallon up and running with 2 TR ocellaris clowns, one skunk cleaner and 5 snails for almost 2 months.  It probably cycled in about 2 weeks, but it wasn't for almost another 6 weeks until anything was added, so my tank is about 4 months along I guess.  I did not initially have a QT, but I have since purchased one and set it up for new livestock.  I had guilt issues, what can I say? <What you wish, can> I know it was absolutely the right thing to do, and I had taken a risk by not doing it first, but I am happy to report I have not had any problems with my current critters.  I am lucky. Anyway, I actually set up the QT a few weeks ago, if not longer.  It has been running with just the water and heater for that same time.  My plan was not to wait this long to buy livestock, but life just happens, and things don't always go as planned.  I did have to add about 6 gallons of new salt water to the QT after I had to remove about 6 to refill my display tank.  Reader's Digest version:  I woke up the other day to the sound of running water.  Low and behold, for some reason unbeknownst to me, my protein skimmer (Super Skimmer, my second one... had a Sea Clone first) was overflowing out of the collection cup.  It must have started at some point in the wee hours of the morning.  So, I needed to replace what was all over my floor and down into my basement!  Since I had no water yet prepared for a change, I used it from the QT.  And let me tell, at that moment, I was so pleased I had it set up. Oh yes, back to my question.  My husband and I were actually planning a trip (for the last month) this evening to the only place we will buy livestock from because they have been so wonderful, That Fish Place in Lancaster, PA. <A fabulous retailer. One of the best>   Anyway, I checked some things, and my PH is at like 8.6 and the Alkalinity is high, as per my test kit (Marine Lab by Red Sea).  I am guessing this isn't a good thing? <Mmm... not necessarily bad> If I do a water change, adding water from my display, will that do the trick? <Likely will help... or just time going by...> I also want to note that I will be replacing one of the filter pads from my Fluval with the one currently in the filter that came with the 10 gallon.  I did not want to do that too soon with nothing in there to feed the bacteria.  I know QT's can be set up in an emergency if needed by doing the things I have said, but I just don't want to act in haste.  I am overly anxious to bring home a new friend, even though they won't meet for weeks.  I hope you understand. <Yes> I really hope what I have asked, albeit in the novel version, makes sense.  I know it is a lot to ask, but if someone can get back to me soon, that would be great.  My sincerest thanks and appreciation.  Have a good day. Tiffani Tobin Hello again.  I just sent this email down below, but I forgot to mention that the temp of the water in my QT is 79, and the SG is 1.023.  Thank you for your time. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: QT question   4/30/06
Follow ups on my QT questions... Thanks so much for the quick reply....I'm amazed how much I have learned with the help of patient experts like yourselves.....(now that I've said that Ill probably screw something up!. knock on wood!) Anyways, I've got my 2 QT tanks going.. I went and bought a 10 gallon for the coral from PetSmart (for 8 bucks!) and bought a small AquaClear for it.  so far so good.. how long should I QT the snails and crabs - <Posted...> I'm concerned about the snails having nothing to eat in the bare tank.  I've put in a tiny amount of dry food and a few Mysis shrimps to try to coax any critters out of the coral (plus the two skunk shrimps love to eat them).  Haven't seen any critters come off the coral (ive raised in on PVC).  How long do I QT the inverts?  what am I looking for with them? (Its been 4 days do far). <I'm looking for your apostrophes...> On to the fish QT - well the falcula didn't even make it 24 hours...the area around his mouth was pretty brown so not sure how healthy he was to begin with.  Two questions here - the diamond watchman goby is eating a few Mysis every now and then....what else can I feed him while in QT?   <... posted...> I've read on the site that you recommend no longer than 2 weeks for gobys to be QT'ed...true? <...> Do gobys get the same diseases ?  Am looking for Oodinium and ick just like on the raccoon b'fly? (sorry more than 2 questions...).  I decided to not treat with copper until I see any symptoms and am vacuuming the bare bottom every other day...is this a sound strategy or should I treat prophylactically? (I did do a 5 minute freshwater bath on the Raccoon before QT but not the goly). Thanks for helping make this a fun but challenging hobby... GM Walker <Please run your email through spell/grammar checking before sending. Your answers and much more needed ancillary material is archived on WWM. Bob Fenner>

QT an established tang?  4/25/06 Hello Bob, I need you're advice on this one.  First off let me tell you that I've been through a couple battles with ich before, and they suck. I've done A LOT of homework in this hobby and consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable, you have to if you want really want to succeed in this hobby.  Here's my situation, I've got a 180 FOWLR, fish are a 3" queen angel, 5"emperor, canary eel, Christmas wrasse, up and running for at least a year. I had got ich the 1st day I put fish into the system, bummer, and my friend at the LFS let me bring them back to him while I let my system go for 6 weeks.  He runs copper in his FO tanks so they were then ich free, (yes I know),  from then I've been really strict with the QT.   I'm going to add red sea sailfin tang, (currently in QT w/ copper safe) <<All sounds good. Glad you learned your lesson with Quarantine!>> My dilemma is that I already have had my  purple tang in my 65 reef, both fish are the same size.  The purple tang I have had for well over a year, and within that time I tore down the 65 to move it to the basement to set it up again, so he's done a couple moves in his life, including that one which was like 5 months ago.  He never had anything visibly wrong with him, no ich that I can tell, nice fat purple tang.   I would like to add both these tangs to the 180 at the same time.  When the sailfin is done in the QT can I add the purple w/o QT'ing him?  I don't believe I've ever had ich in the tank he was in , but I know ich can be dormant within fish.  My purple to the best of my knowledge is in  perfectly fine health.  What do you think Bob ?  Thanx <<If the purple has been alone in the 65 for that amount of time, you can consider it quarantined.  Copper treatment is not mandatory.  The risk is never zero, but I would consider this fish safe to mix with other fish.  Best Regards, AdamC.>>

QT cross contamination to main tank I have been a loyal reader to your site.  Follow QT procedures always.  This time I somehow managed to cross contaminate my QT (which had crypto) to my main tank. <Bunk! Hard, but necessary to keep ALL gear duplicated, separated...> I caught my powder blue tang and Naso tang from my 120 gallon main tank and have now started a 2nd 33 gallon QT tank. My Naso is not showing any signs of crypto but my powder blue is. <Very common...> I presume I now have to wait 4 weeks to let my main tank go fallow. The problem I have is that in my first QT I have a box fish, mandarin and scooter blenny.  Which have been in QT for 10 days.  The box fish is no longer showing any signs of crypto and the blenny and mandarin never showed any signs of having it.  Do I need  to leave them there another 4 weeks while my main tank goes fallow? <Unfortunately yes> I just can't see how the scooter blenny and mandarin will survive.  Should I maybe risk it and simply move the blenny and mandarin to the main tank in a few days?  Thanks for all your help. <I would not... is there a friend who would take these fishes for the month? Bob Fenner> Lisa

Heniochus in the Reef, and QT Clarification  - 04/19/06 Dear WWM Crew: <Hi Sam.> I really appreciate what you do to promote the hobby and to keep the world happy and healthy! <You are welcome and thank you for the compliments my friend.> I have been a good WWM user for months now, <Awesome!> totally self-sufficient and amazed by how many times you've had just the right answers ready and waiting.   <Great.> Through all of my research I put together a nice 75 gallon reef with fuge, sump, all that good stuff. <Sounds fun.> The tank is very stable with coral, live sand, live rock, cleanup crew--even a Borneman anemone that hitchhiked on a frag. <Cool.> Now I'm finally permitting myself to begin thinking about fish.   <I admire your patience.> A local reefer told me very matter of factly that the ultimate fish to get would be a Heniochus diphreutes (pennant banner butterflyfish).   <Well they aren't my favorite by any means, but they are attractive and a much better alternative to those interested in Moorish Idols.> I have to agree that this is a spectacularly beautiful fish, but I hear mixed reviews as to whether they'd be reef safe (personality driven?) <My experience is that they are quite safe with most stony corals (SPS) but can pick at easier (meatier) targets such as Zoanthus. But I have seen them exist happily and problem reef in many a reef tanks, but I still think they are a slight risk.> and whether one would be happy in a 75.   <Well that would be the BARE minimum in my opinion for one of these specimens.> What's the verdict on this from your perspective? <See above.> Second, as a truly conscientious aquarist, I am going to setup a QT. <I'm very glad to hear this.> Assuming I can have a Heniochus diphreutes, what is the minimum size you recommend for a QT?  Would a 20 gallon work for this?   <Yes depending on the size of the specimen in question.> And how does one cycle the QT with an HOB filter to prepare for the fish? Should I run it first in my sump for a few weeks?  If you plopped it in there, I assume the ammonia would quickly spike.  You've never sufficiently answered how one gets a QT ready for a new occupant. Please enlighten me! <Please read this article by past-crew member Steven Pro, it isn't found on WWM but I like it A LOT!: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-10/sp/feature/index.php .> Again, thanks for all the hard work and the brilliant answers! <Quite welcome, anytime.> Sam <Adam J.>

No question, just an update ... on? Quarantine?   3/24/06 To Bob and James, Thank you very much!!! <You're welcome.> After 10 weeks of isolation/quarantine my little 1" Blue Tang has doubled in size, eats like crazy, and is very active.  So today he left his little 20 gal tank and headed out into the display tank. The first few hours reminded me of a new kid at school.  He was never really scared, but the bully (Purple Tang) did find him.  Lucky the little guy is small enough and quick enough to escape danger by diving into the rocks and corals where the Purple Tang can't fit.  Several hours have past and it appears the Blue has picked up where he left off in the 20 gallon, still very active, eating great, and exploring the entire tank.  Again, I just wanted to update and thank you two for your advice through emails and Bob's books. Thanks guys!!! <Thank you for passing this on, Bryan, and glad to hear things are going well.  James (Salty Dog)> Bryan Schelle Reef Tanks - The only thing that happens fast is disaster  <Ahhh, very well said.>

Substrate in a SW Quarantine Tank - 3/14/2006 Dear Lisa, <<Hey Elise.>> I'm going to be setting up a QT tank to house new fish.  All the info on this site convinced me this is necessary. <<Woo Hoo!!  Great to hear.>> I have a new ten gallon.  I have a filter that's been running on my main display solely for the purpose of being ready to go for the QT tank.  I have read repeatedly that the tank should not have any substrate.  My question is:  Won't the PH drop without live sand or crushed coral? <<Don't worry about it too much.  Doing small daily water changes with water from the main tank will help keep things stable, and also means that eventually the water in both tanks is the same, lessening the stress on your fish, after QT, when you're ready to add them to your display.>> Thanks in advance. <<A pleasure, as always.  Lisa.>> Elise

QT systems   03/07/06 Thanks for the help Bob, <Welcome Joe> I would also like to ask about my 10g QT tank. I am confused between the recommendations of those who advocate that a small QT tank is easier to setup when needed, given that a set of filter media has been seeded from the main tank along with main tank water used) and those who say that there will still be a nitrite/nitrate/ammonia spike despite using this method. Which is more correct? <Mmm, both, either...> If I decide to setup my 10g permanently (well, only for the next few months as I only plan to add several more fish) and, after it has cycled I plan to leave it running for about a month or so before quarantining a fish, what chemistry fluctuation should I expect when I add livestock? <Mmm... escalating nitrogenous material likely, perhaps some forestalled nitrification issues> After I add a fish, approximately what percentage of the water should I replace with main display water and how often, in your experience? <I would test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH... and change some accordingly...> Would I need to conduct any water changes if there are no fish in a Qt tank? <Not likely, no> Does beneficial bacteria in water 'stay alive' when there are no fish? <Only to a degree... a good practice here is to siphon some of your main/display tank water (during water changes) into the QT system... add a bit of food weekly or so...> I also question the reason one should conduct a Qt tank water change with main tank water (despite the acclimatization benefits) when that water has the potential to have high nitrates? <Mmm, well... hopefully not "too" high...> (Obviously our goal is to keep nitrates as low as possible). I have a spare 3ft which I can set up as a permanent Qt tank although I presume the economic cost of doing so will be larger than operating the 10g? <I'd guess about three times or so...> In your opinion which should I go for? <Either could be set-up "on the fly"... with water from your main system... used filter media, perhaps some substrate if appropriate> If there is an outbreak, won't the 3ft be harder to scrub clean? <Yes> (Not to mention the cost of the salt!) My last concern relates to the fact that if I decide to buy one or two medium size (about 4-5") fish at once, will the small size of the 10g limit the benefits of the QT and/or harm the livestock? <Yes> By the way, is it possible for a 12" Snowflake eel to fit a small (2") H. acuminatus in its mouth? <Might try, though unlikely if fed otherwise> It has disappeared over night! I have read you article on H. acuminatus and realized that I have purchased these specimens quite small (2"). What do you think are my chances of having these survive and grow into healthy fish? <If started very healthy (likely caught quite locally for you), this genus is about the best started small... of Chaetodontids. Bob Fenner> Thanks as always, Joe
Re: QT systems - 03/07/2006 Ok, I've decided to use the 3ft (40g) as quarantine. Now with my spare 10g I plan to use it as a refugium. If I fill it with live rock and live sand (if I can get some...I'm guessing a beach is the best place?), <Mmm, no... see WWM re> will it essentially serve the same purpose as those refugiums which you promote on the site and in your book? <Some of the same purposes...> Or is a plant a necessity?   Finally, my main objective is to reduce nitrates to a minimum...is the refugium going to be worth it regarding this objective? <... please, study my friend. Your answers and more that will come soon are posted. Bob Fenner>

QT Tank Size - 3/4/2006 You guys must be tired of hearing from me by now. :-) <<Nope Æ'º>> I have a dilemma regarding my QT Tank. I recently purchased a 10-gallon QT tank, which contains an old Aquaclear T hang on filter I had, along with an air stone and heater. I have been keeping freshwater fish for 3 years now, and have only been in the saltwater hobby for about a month. Since then I have come to realize the limitations such a QT brings with it. Am I accurate in presuming that during a QT period, I would go through quite a few nitrate test kits and considerable time doing water changes, if I were to keep the QT tank in peak condition for the fish in it? <<Maybe.  Small daily water changes using display tank water will limit the time required here.>> I have an old standard 3 ft tank with a capacity of approximately 40-gallons, and I am now considering using this as the QT tank for the sole purpose of lessening the effects of unstable water chemistry. <<Larger water volumes are3 more stable, yes.>> Will the Aquaclear be sufficient filtration for the 3ft QT tank? <<Depends on the fish kept in QT.>> Apart from the heater and airstone, will I need to purchase any additional hardware? <<Perhaps PVC elbows for refuge.  Such is posted on WWM.>> The reason I stopped using the 3ft was that, along with my Freshwater African Cichlid 5ft tank and my main marine 8ft Tank, the maintenance got a bit too much for me. I know I may be going on a bit tediously, although I am grateful for your attention. I would like your opinion on whether I should implement the 3ft as the QT tank (I know bigger is better) in regards to any extra maintenance/costs (as opposed to keeping the 10g tank) during a quarantine and otherwise. <<The lager tank is more stable, and therefore more forgiving in regards to maintenance.  If I were in your place, I would use this for the QT, as opposed to the 10-gallon.  That said, a 10-gallon is much easier to set up/take down when needed.  If you have a place you can keep the large QT tank set up, all the better.>> I appreciate immensely your time and generosity, Joe <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Quarantine tank   3/3/06 Bob, <Hi Norb - Tim answering your question today!> 40 years have passed since I was a freshwater enthusiast. I could cure almost any fish disease around. <Truly gifted!> People brought me sick fish and I was always so happy to return them in good as new condition. Now, comes the new Christmas present, salt water tank. I know I need to set up a quarantine tank ASAP <I would definitely recommend a QT tank before you introduce any fish into your main tank> How do I set it up when so many of the medicines kill LR and other bacteria needed to keep the Nitrogen cycle in line. Malachite really lowers pH in a hurry. Do you have setup and running instructions for a refugium/quarantine/hospital tank? Thanks in advance. <Norb - the refugium and quarantine tank should not be the same thing. The refugium will typically share a water supply with the main display tank, often as part of a sump setup but not necessarily so. The quarantine tank (QT) is completely separated from the main tank. When setting-up your QT, you should essentially be creating a small marine system, with appropriate filtration, lighting, heating etc. to ensure appropriate water quality. But the actual tank should be bare - do not add any substrate or live rock to your QT. This is not only, as you have pointed out, because any medication will usually also kill the beneficial bacteria, but also because the rocks and substrate will absorb the medication, reducing the concentration of the medication in the water and thereby reducing the efficiency of the treatment. You may want to offer your fish some artificial resin-based structures in the QT, allowing them to hide and thereby reducing stress, but be sure to clean these and the tank after each treatment. Also note that if you use a protein skimmer in your QT tank, this will typically need to be switched off during medication. Any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.> Norb Schulz
Re: Quarantine tank
  3/3/06 Tim, <Hi Norb!> Thanks for your prompt answer <Always a pleasure!>. How do I control the nitrogen cycle in the QT tank? <The bacteria required for the nitrogen cycle will develop naturally on all surfaces in the QT - including any filtration media that you use. To get things started I would suggest pouring some of the water from your established system into the QT. After that, it is simply a matter of keeping the bottom of the tank clean through regular vacuuming and keeping an eye on your nitrates, doing water changes as necessary!>

Re: quarantine tank   3/4/06 Excellent!! <Very happy to hear that I could help!> So when placing a sick fish into the barren QT tank, the bacteria on the walls of the tank <in fact covering most every surface including filtration, etc.> will deal with the NH3 <Correct - there will of course be a mini-cycle as the bacteria respond to the increased bioload - but this is no different than you would normally expect when introducing a new fish into any system. Do be sure to thoroughly clean your QT after any treatment (procedural recommendations can be found on the WWM site) including the filtration system.> In other words I can treat the patient without worrying about the nitrogen cycle. (water changes will continue). Yes? <I would say don't worry about it but do check the water quality more regularly than you normally would. With QTs typically being smaller than the recommended size for a specific fish, particularly larger fish may produce a larger bioload than the bacterial colonies can initially handle - so be prepared for frequent water changes. Best of luck - feel free to ask any other questions that you may have!> ns <Best Regards, Tim>

Quarantine Or Not? - 03/03/06 WWM Crew, <<Hello>> As always thanks for all the work you do on this site.  It is a tremendous help to me and many other enthusiasts alike. <<Rewarding to hear.>> I have a question about a painted fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis?). <<yes>> I just purchased a 2" specimen along with a 2" raccoon butterfly (Chaetodon lunula).  I drip acclimated them for an hour and a half then moved both of them to a bare bottom 20 gallon long qt tank. <<Mmm...>> Inside the tank I have several different PVC fittings for them to hide in.  The butterfly is doing great and swimming around, but the wrasse keeps trying to fit under the pipes. <<Not unexpected.  QT is very useful and necessary, but at times/under certain conditions can do more harm than good.  I would give this fish a pH and temperature adjusted freshwater dip and place it in the display tank (you do have a suitable sand bed in the display, yes?>> I know that they like to bury themselves in the sand, but I'm worried about him banging into the bottom of the pipes. <<Indeed...and psychological damage as well.>> Do you know of anything I could put in the qt tank that he could get under that would be better for him? <<Not without compromising the QT tank.  Best to move to the display as explained.>> Also if his behavior continues should I move him to the main tank after a few days? <<I would do it without delay.>> My main tank is a 95 gallons, 55 gallon sump, 110 pounds of live rock, 4" hippo tang, 7 blue green Chromis, two cleaner shrimp, and some Cerith and turbo snails. Thanks for any help you can provide, Cory <<Regards, EricR>>

Quarantine Procedures  - 02/27/06 Is it acceptable to use the same tank to quarantine fish purchased on the same day but from different stores? <Yep. Bob Fenner>

Modified Valenciennea QT  2/24/06 I just employed a modified QT procedure for a Valenciennea puellaris (maiden, orange spotted goby), that I thought might be worth sharing.  I thought you could post if you agreed. <Sure> I read Dr. Fenner's recommendation on shortening the QT period for many gobies, and wanted to be sure the puellaris I planned to buy wouldn't be subjected to unnecessary stress in QT. <Good, and just Bob please>   I knew I was going to purchase one, so I set up a 10g with a couple inches of substrate.  After the lights were out in my display (and amphipods were all over the rocks), I moved a couple small rocks into the QT, a couple months before my goby arrived. This did a great job of seeding the tank, and I fed the 'pods some phytoplankton about once a week (VERY small amounts).  They proliferated, and when I added the goby, I would check every couple nights to be sure the population wasn't completed decimated yet.  I did move another rock from the display again after about 2 weeks, helping to add more pods (of course all the while feeding Mysis and other prepared foods).  I have another tank that could have been used to treat with chemicals, if that had become necessary (or a 10g costs about $10 now).  I moved a domino damsel that I already had into the tank with him after a couple days, and the damsel developed white spots, like ich.  The damsel got a FW dip, and the spots seemed to all fall off, and I ran my diatom filter for a couple weeks, since it claims to remove anything larger than 1 micron, including the swimming stage of ich.  It seemed to work, as both fish remained healthy looking, and the goby was moved to my display after 4 weeks of QT with no apparent ill effects. The best part is that I think I caught and eliminated an ich infestation by employing this method before having it in my display.  And my goby was effectively quarantined with no undue stress/starvation involved - it just took a little planning and foresight. Scott <Well done! And thank you for sending along this relating of your experience. Bob Fenner>

Saltwater questions: Epaulette and Snowflake Eel   2/23/06 Hi Bob, <Joseph> I have a few questions to clarify some issues which I have not been able to find an answer to on your website. Firstly, the article on Zebra Moray Eels suggests a simple freshwater dip for new arrivals, instead of the usual 2-3 weeks quarantine. Can this general rule-of-thumb be applied to Snowflake Eels given their close relation with each-other? <Mmm, I wouldn't actually dip either one of these. Muraenids in general don't have difficulties that freshwater dips/baths help with... are generally "too slimy" to have external complaints coming from the wild... I would quarantine unless the specimen/s appeared in perfect health> Secondly, I am considering buying a juvenile Epaulette Shark for my 850 Litre, 8' tank. I was hoping you might shed some light on what quarantine procedure I should use. <Mmm, most sharks I'd skip actual quarantine on in hobbyist settings (different from much larger commercial, public settings)... as the likely damage from such is probably much more than it's worth> I have a 40 litre (10g) quarantine tank however I feel that the stress caused from placing the shark in such a confined tank may outweigh the benefits gained from quarantining. <Agreed> From what I have learned, keeping stress to a minimum may (arguably) be the single most important factor in a successful introduction of livestock. <Most cases, yes>   Am I on the right track??? Perhaps a simple freshwater dip is enough? <I would skip dipping most sharks, most scenarios as well> And how should I handle the shark when placing it into the tank? Should I use a large net, or gently lift with gloved hands? <Yes... this and/or a wet-towel> Thirdly, in regards to my quarantine tank, is it reasonable to expect to be doing small (10%) water changes (with main system water) every few days to manage the water quality (i.e. ammonia/nitrites/nitrates)? <Often, yes... daily...> I understand that small tanks are almost guaranteed to be highly susceptible to a large variation in water chemistry in a short period of time? <Unfortunately, yes.... To be guarded against> Finally (thanks for putting up with so many questions), when carrying out freshwater dips I use a product called Bactonex from Aquasonic and each mL of this solution contains 1.66mg Aminacrine Hydrochloride and 0.025mg of Methylene Blue.. In your opinion, is this a suitable dip? <Is more helpful than none> Thank you immensely for taking the time to answer.. Joe (Sydney, Australia) <And you for writing, and so well. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Nitrifying Bacteria, FW not SW not FW  2/23/06 Hello Friends at WWM! <Hi Scott! My name is Tim -- I will be answering your question today.> I have an emergency, so I don't have time to browse through the archives.  I'm just going to hope it's not somewhere really obvious!I am setting up a marine quarantine system <Excellent!>, that I at this very second have fish bagged/boxed waiting to go into.  The quarantine system that I bought came from a local freshwater breeder who is moving and came with established sponge filters.  I need to know if the bacteria that is in those sponges will live in saltwater and provide me with filtration - or if they're going to die off and wipe out my new system <The bacteria are unfortunately not the same - your quarantine tank will cycle when converted to saltwater. My suggestion is to clean the filters thoroughly with water as you suggest below, although new filters would undoubtedly be the preferred option if possible! Afterwards keep a close eye on the ammonia and nitrite levels in your QT and be prepared to make frequent water changes to keep these as low as possible. Note that you can help the cycling process by using water from your display tank in the QT as this will contain beneficial bacteria. Otherwise the addition of a biological starter such as Stress Zyme will encourage the cycle>.   I was hoping I could just rinse them out with RODI water and be ready to roll.  Could I be that lucky? <Sorry.> Preemptive thanks! Scott

Filtering A QT Tank  - 02/20/06 After reading your info regarding quarantine tanks, it is obvious that this is a must have item. Regarding the biological filtration, I am not familiar with all the filter brands mentioned. For all my pumps and canister filters I only purchase Eheim. For this Quarantine tank of around 40 gall, I am considering a Eheim powerline internal filter model 2048, this filter has provision for two sponge filters, please advise if this is an ideal filter. As cost is not a problem for this important issue, please let me know if you have an alternative choice. Regarding using this tank for administrating copper, should I remove the sponge filters and only do water changes to keep the water at its best. Thanks for providing all the excellent information. <My QT tanks are small bare bottom tanks with seasoned sponge filters or airstones. A couple pieces of PVC pipe are added to give the fish a place to hide. A seasoned sponge filter provides aeration, mechanical and biological filtration. I can see any leftover food and fish waste on the filter and on the bottom of the tank. A healthy fish should be eating and it may be difficult to tell if all the food is sucked up in the filter and out of site. This is also the time to wean the fish over to what ever food you are feeing. If the fish gets sick and requires treatment then I remove the sponge filter and replace it with an airstone. The medication will usually affect the bacteria living on the sponge and negate any biological activity so I remove it all together. Sick fish usually don't eat either. Any waste is removed daily with water changes. When the treatment is complete I add plastic box filter full of carbon to remove any leftover medication. The next day I replace the box filter with a seasoned sponge and start to feed the fish again. I find canister filters a pain to service. I think outside power filters are the best if you have room for them.-Chuck> Quarantine Buddy    2/17/06 Hi Bob, <Steve> I love your site, it's so hard to keep myself from spending entire days going through all the information! The reason I'm writing is to get your thoughts on my recently found method of quarantine and stress relief for both my fish and myself! I recently bought a Powder Brown Tang that I observed in the LFS for about two weeks. When they first got it, it wasn't looking so good, but after about two weeks, it was looking consistently healthy over several days so I bought it. Following your advice, I placed it in my QT after a freshwater dip in 20% saltwater + copper (1.5 min.s). I also made sure that all the water parameters in my QT were ok. Nevertheless, when I placed it in the QT, with a nice piece of PVC for it to hide in - the tang still showed a LOT of stress, with the white vertical bars and frantic swimming back and forth, banging into the glass bottom. <Not atypical for the species> This went on overnight through the next morning and it wasn't eating either.  So what I did was I took my small Chromis from my main tank and placed him in QT with the tang and it calmed down very quickly. It started eating, swimming more like tangs should, and no more vertical bars.  I know that I'm running the risk of getting the Chromis sick if the tang is, but figure it's a hardy fish and I can medicate them both if necessary. He was the fish I originally used to cycle my tank. What do you think about this? <A good move. Often termed "using a dither fish"> The last thing I want is for the otherwise perfectly healthy tang to die from stress in my small QT tank. That leads to my other question, I know you preach against placing liverock in the QT. But since the QT is only 10 gallons, I need some better bio filtration. I ran into this problem because I took the sponge filter with bio wheel off my main tank to place on the QT/Treatment tank previously, and now I don't want to put it back on my main tank. so now I no longer have bio media, not a functioning bio/sponge filter. Anyhow, my point is this, what if I throw out the small piece of live rock from QT if I need to medicate or replace it into my main if I don't? <Or put it for several weeks in a third area...> Do you still think it's a bad idea or is this ok? million thanks, Steve <Is a good to very good idea, given you don't have/want to add toxic medications. Bob Fenner> Big pH drop in quarantine tank ... forgetting Arm/and Hammer - 02/16/2006 Hi guys, I have returned to the saltwater arena after a two year absence.   Had a 125 gallon for about 3 years previously.  I have two tanks.  The main tank is a new 125 gallon which has been cycled with 90 lbs of live rock for about 5 weeks.  It has no fish. Parameters: temp- 80 F, Nitrates 10 ppm, Nitrites 0, pH 8.2, ammonia 0. Quarantine tank has been running for 24 hours before the fish was placed and a sponge and filter that was in my main tank for 2 days was placed in it.  QT has a Whisper power filter rated for 20 gallon tanks. QT Parameters: temp 80, Nitrates 10 ppm, Nitrites 0, pH 8.0, ammonia 0. The QT tank was filled with half fresh saltwater that had been aged for 2-3 days and half water from my main tank. I  have a 4 inch volitans lionfish in a 20 long quarantine tank for the 2nd day today.  I acclimated her yesterday and she did fine overnight.  I did not feed her.  I fed 3 tiny feeder shrimp today which she ate well. I will train her to take non live marine foods  ASAP. Attempted some frozen krill first but she spit it out.  I quickly removed the uneaten krill. After she ate the feeder shrimp I did a 20 percent water change with fresh same aged fresh saltwater.  About three hours later when I looked in the tank she was gasping and very pale and lethargic. I then quickly checked the pH in the QT and it was about 7.6.  I then did a 4O percent water change using water from my main tank and almost immediately her color improved and went back to normal and respirations slowed and she became more active. <Good observations, relating> I have now added an airstone and turned out the lights and she looks better.  I will probably not feed again for a day or two.  Should I change the water again tomorrow using water from my main tank only and if so how much do you think I should change. Any other suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.   Thanks, Brian <I would continue as you state with one change. Using simple baking soda to bolster (increase) your alkalinity. Sodium bicarbonate is safe to maintain pH longer... in this setting, though one could avail themselves of using a commercial buffering product (which are largely... baking soda). Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Tank Lighting - 02/04/06 Kind crew, <<Evening>> I'm in the process of setting up a new 10 gal quarantine tank (My last tank has become my son's 20 gal freshwater setup).  My question pertains to what type of lighting I should purchase. <<Depends on what you plan to quarantine.  A small NO fluorescent will do fine for fish...if you wish to quarantine corals I would consider a 65w 10,000K PC.>> My tank is a 75 gal with 2-96 watt compact fluorescent bulbs.  My plan is to slowly add some corals over the next year and I'm thinking I might be better off buying a lower watt compact instead of the standard fluorescent. <<?...are we still talking about the QT?>> Also I've been reading Anthony's "Book of Coral Propagation", great book-highly recommended, and came up with some possible coral additions for my lighting and was hoping for a comment and possible additions.  They are: Candy cane coral and some yellow polyps, possible a elegance coral, and maybe some button polyps. Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Thanks, Dave <<Well Dave, the Elegance Cora is better left to experienced aquarists and specie specific tanks in my opinion.  You might want to consider one of the 'brain' corals (perhaps Trachyphyllia or Lobophyllia) or maybe one of the Faviids, though some of the latter are quite aggressive and need be placed with extreme care.  EricR>>

Freshwater dip gone bad... what did I do wrong?   2/1/06 Hello, <Hi there> I bought an itsy bitsy yellow tang (about 2.0-2.5") from my LFS yesterday.  After bringing him home, I floated the bag in the tank with the lights off to temperature adjust.  In parallel, I took about 0.5 gallons of RO water, added some pH buffer (8.3) to it, and heated it in the microwave to 75 degrees (same temperature as my main tank). <... drives out the dissolved gasses... including oxygen.> I then dimmed the lights, gently netted the tang out of the shipping bag and into the freshwater for a planned 5-10 minute FW dip. Unfortunately, after about 1.5 minutes, the tang stopped moving and started to turn upside down.  A gentle poke with the net yielded no further movement. <... anoxia> Panicking, I quickly aborted the FW dip and moved him into the main tank.  He floated for a sec, then swam to the back of the tank... then had a seizure and turned upside down.  I waited for about 60 minutes before officially pronouncing him dead. Just wondering what I did wrong in my FW dip procedure? <The microwaving> I have searched over the FAQs on the forum, and have seen that you say that often this means the fish probably would have died anyway.  However, this guy was definitely quite healthy looking both at the store and in the shipping bag before the dip.  The only thing I can possibly think of is that maybe I used too much pH buffer in the freshwater -- is this possible? <Yes> Hoping you can shed some light on this enigma for me, Thanks! Preston <Best to aerate water during such dips/baths... particularly with high dissolved oxygen demanding fishes as tangs. Bob Fenner>

Why are my fish dying in QT?   2/1/06 Well I just had another fish die in QT. A Randall's goby.  It was 4 weeks along.  It died over night. <This is too long to quarantine Amblygobius... or most small gobies, blennies... the stress, starvation is way worse than the small risk of disease introduction after a week or two> My QT setup is a 20G with 2 Aquaclear HOB filters; a 30G and a 20G. So I have lots of filtration. I set the bacteria population with BioSpira. I have used this in the past with good results. Tank has been used for 3 fish now and was bleached out in between fish. Well rinsed out. Other 3 fish lived and are in the display. Temp control through a titanium htr with controller. Separate digital thermometer to keep tabs. I also have a ph probe constantly on to monitor ph. Lighting by a 96W VHO. Couple pieces of PVC for caves. Using Copper Power proactively just for the last 2 fish. <Not always a wise precaution...> I seem to have this issue with fish getting in distress at about the 3-4 week mark. <... opinions vary (to put this euphemistically)... but I am a big fan of two week limits here...> I do WC every week and siphon out every couple days. My problems seem to coincide with algae growth starting. The past 3 fish that lived flasher wrasse, labouti wrasse and royal Gramma) also seemed to be in some distress about this time. I did 100% WC and they pulled through. The fish start hanging out at the top of the tank near the most water turbulence. This time the goby went back down and seemed to be ok. Not breathing heavily. No visible spots etc. He did stop eating that I could see about a week ago. He's never been a big eater but he could have eaten when I wasn't looking. He did eat earlier in the QT. My theory is oxygen deprivation and the fish are having trouble breathing. I do scrub the algae out but seems if anything to make it worse. I have added an airstone in the past not this time) but doesn't seem to help. Since the fish die overnight I'm thinking this lends more credence to the O2 theory since with lights out the algae won't be contributing O2. But I'm not sure what would be sucking up the O2? The water while not as crystal clear as starting wasn't too bad. I had done a 30% WC day before and cleaned out the filters. I never measured any NH3, temp 78C ph 8.3 SG 1.026. I have done lots of reading on QT and the things that seem to trip up are ph, SG, NH3 due to inadequate biological filter. I have not run across any accounts of the fish having issues breathing without visible signs. Not at the 4 week mark. Any ideas? I'm tired of losing fish. I lost others when my QT was a 10G in similar fashion. This is the first I've lost since moving up but all the fish seemed to have trouble 3-4 wks in. Sorry for the long email. Thanks, Phil <No worries... please see my articles on quarantine... especially for the sorts of fishes you list, two weeks is about the "magical breaking point" for getting more value than damage. Bob Fenner>

Crypt, Quarantining for yourself    1/25/06 Hi crew, I think I may have a major issue right now. Today I noticed small flecks on my pair of Dartfish. They have been acting otherwise normally and   feeding well. I'm extremely worried it may be marine itch or something close to that. I have a 330 gallon tank, fully equipped for a reef setup (protein   skimmer, UV sterilizers, etc.). The fish weren't quarantined because the dealer said they quarantined all incoming stock and my parents didn't want to spend  extra money/time to establish a quarantine tank. <A mistake... few dealers have the facilities, discipline to truly quarantine (though there are a few... e.g. AquaTouch in Phoenix)... with water mixing, shared containers, nets... cross-contaminating...> The only other fish I have at this point are a Royal Gramma and a dozen Green Chromis. The Gramma was   purchased at the same time as the Dartfish with no unhealthy signs. The Chromis have been in the system for a month with no issues. Should I try to establish an  emergency quarantine tank? <Will have to treat all...> Would a cleaner goby or shrimp pick off the itch? <Mmm, the larger... yes... but your system will have the ongoing problem... new fish hosts, challenges in the environment having it re-surface> The  biggest problem is that my family is going to Utah in two days for a three day  vacation. I would have to wait until afterwards to do anything. Would this make  it worse? <Possibly> What are the chances of the others getting it? <If it is Cryptocaryon, almost assured> If I can't stop  it, how long would I have to wait to get fish again, if ever? Please let me  know. Thanks. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the many linked files above till you understand what you're up against. Bob Fenner>

Letting Others Run Your Tank - 01/22/2006 Ok, <Hi there Ryan.> I guess you read me wrong when I first sent those emails. The research part isn't bad it's just a lot of info to. learn. <'Tis, but it's your only true protection.> I have a lot of fun with my tank, and yes I did run my tank through the cycle with the lionfish in it. <Patience...I know it's hard but you've got to pace yourself or it will catch up to you in a very bad way.> As for my other big tank I heard it wasn't that great to not put in starter fish. <From who? Wouldn't be from folks trying to sell those "starter fish" would it.> Also I heard that switching fish stores isn't that good because it's harder to trace a disease? <Uh...From the same folks? This just doesn't make any sense! QT...QT and it's a moot point. (Enter Pinocchio) "There are no strings on me!" Take the reins man! Research for yourself, don't let others make this harder than it needs to be.> Thanks Ryan,

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