Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Quarantine Filters/Filtration

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 2, Quarantine 3Quarantine 4Quarantine 5Quarantine 6Quarantine 7, Quarantine 8, Quarantine 9, Quarantine 10, Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantine 13, Quarantining Invertebrates, Quarantine FAQs on: Quarantine Rationale/Use, Quarantine Method/Protocol, Quarantine Lighting Quarantine Tanks & FAQs on Quarantine Tanks, Quarantine 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

Quarantine systems are not Treatment systems...

Sponge filter        7/6/15
Hello crew,
<Mornin' Ed>
I am looking at starting a QT/Hospital tank and would like to seed a sponge filter that I have. Question is do I throw the sponge filter into my main display tank sump area below with the air pump attached or just set the sponge in main display sump without it running with the air pump?
<Yes; better w/ the air pump; but even w/o it will become populated w/ nitrifying bacteria in time>
I plan on leaving it there for 2-3 weeks.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Filtration recommendations (quar.) and Dechlorinator reaction with Copper, commercial       3/22/15
Hi Bob and Crew,
How are you all?
<Am fine; thank you>
This is Kevin from Washington DC. Long time reader, first time asking. I run a pet store and I had some questions that I hope you could help with. I just set up a new 180G quarantining system in my shop with multiple holding spaces. It’s basically two 90G tanks plumbed into the same sump with multiple dividers to separate the fish. I plan on
quarantining 40 fish at a time of mostly medium sized fishes (First batch are tangs, surgeon fish, angels and triggers).
Since I’ll be using Cupramine and PraziPro in the system, I won’t be running UV or Ozone. Do you think a Fluval FX6 which is rated for 400G will be sufficient filtration for all these fish?
<I'd have two types of filtration running; redundancy, more capacity>

I worry about keeping Ammonia levels in check, I will start doing water changes if I see the Ammonia levels spike but this can get costly if done too frequently
<You are wise here>
. Do you have any other recommendations for filtration for this kind of setup?
<Mmm; many. Posted/archived on WWM>
I've read over your articles of quarantining but I couldn't find info on filtration for commercial operations. What kind of filtration do other retailers usually use on a larger quarantine system, say 400-500G?
<Typically some of a mix of all four: bio., phys. chem., mech... Many choices twixt these...>
I plan on running Cupramine levels at .25, but I saw that you recommended .35. I was just worried that it might be too strong for the angels.
<Trouble for all for too-long exposure; but important to keep a physiological dose present>
Also I’ve been reading over your Commercial Acclimation procedure. You encouraged the use of a PVP *Dechlorinator with the tap water mix (I plan on using Prime) to flush out the ammonia, and then the next step is to start dripping my quarantine water into the trays to raise the PH level back up. Since my quarantine water is already treated with Cupramine, I read that the interaction of the Cupramine and dechlorinator could turn the CU++ to CU+ and make it toxic.
<Could; yes>
Should I prepare the tap water mix 48 hrs beforehand then as Prime is only active for 24-48 hours? *
<Ah, good. This should work... though for a shop; facility of size; I'd just employ carbon in a commercially serviced contactor>
*Thanks ahead of time for your reply .*
<Happy to share; hopeful of increasing your success. Bob Fenner>

Biological Filtration in Quarantine Tank 1/22/12
Hey WWM.
I need to verify a few things with you.
I have been researching quarantine tanks and just want to run a few things by you to make sure I am understanding.  I am setting up a temporary QT and am kind of confused about the filtration. I am using a HOB filter with just filter floss. I have heard that I should soak the filter pad in my main tank for 2 weeks to fill it with nitrifying bacteria.
Is there any way for me to know for sure that enough bacteria is there after two weeks?
<No way to predict the level on the pad, but it will give you a nice inoculation of bacteria to jump start the cycle.>
 After two weeks do I just take the filter floss out of the main tank, put it in the QT and am ready to put a fish in?
<Depends on the size and number of fish you are going to try to QT at once, but generally for 1 small fish with a normal sized filter you should be ok.>
 Am I missing something? I want to make sure that I don't kill new fish with ammonia in the QT. Any other advice about the QT?
<Watch the water quality closely and frequent water changes.>
 Also, I have a lot of extra Chaeto, so would it help/hurt to put some in the QT?
<Probably would not make a difference either way, would need to be removed if the fish need to be treated for something.>
 Should I just fill the QT with water from a water change the day before I put a fish in?
<I generally like to cycle mine for a week or so, but often that is what people do.>
  I have done some research but just want you to verify the answers to these questions so I don't accidentally kill a fish when I'm trying to help it!  Thanks for all the help!

Quarantine and Ozone  3/26/11
Good morning aquarium oracles,
<Mmm, I can almost see where this is going '/;>
I had an idea that I wanted to sanity check you....I this idea after working all night so sanity is sometimes questionable at that point. I have reef system with approximately 300 gallons total water volume. I have over time become somewhat paranoid about my quarantine procedures and have separate tanks for quarantining fish and corals. I have the frag tank I use as my coral quarantine tank plumbed in such a way that by opening two valves I can connect it to the main system,
<Ahh, excellent... AFTER the absolute separation, you can easily mix/blend water here... A VERY good idea>
I use this so after my quarantine time is over and I am comfortable that there are no bad guys riding in on my corals that I can open the valves and it becomes the same system making acclimation
to the main system easy, the connection only does about 10 gallons an hour so it does a good job of slowly matching parameters between the tanks.
On my main system I of course have ozone on it. The way I have the ozone is a pump with a venturi (that is connected to the ozone) runs through 100 feet of coiled flexible PVC (for nice long contact time between water and ozone) then runs through a reactor with carbon before returning back to my main tank. Flow through ozone system is about 100 gallons an hour. My idea is to hook up the return from the frag tank to a PVC T that's connected to the ozone pump. with the difference in flow rates this would have 100% of the return water from the frag tank go through the ozone reactor and carbon.
I was thinking that by doing this I could run the two systems connected all the time so that while in quarantine the corals would be able to benefit from the much better water quality I am able to maintain in my main system without worry about introducing bad things into the system. So my question is: is this a good idea?
<I would still keep these systems separate during acclimation/isolation periods for new stock; connected otherwise>
would the ozone and carbon combination kill and catch any bad things that could come in on coral and the live rock it is attached to?
<Some, not all by far. Protozoans "on down" would not likely make it through, but worms, mollusks, crustaceans... would>
My goal is to get my corals the best water quality possible without putting the main tank at risk to diseases and parasites.
Thank you for your time, I don't know what I would do without you.
<Or I/we w/o you. Bob Fenner>

Hello everyone... BF hlth, QT, H2O quality   2/18/10
<Hello Jason>
I have a slight concern here and I wanted some input.
I follow "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and the WWM site faithfully.
I started QT on my Heniochus and Raccoon BF about a week ago. I am battling a small amount of nitrite and ammonia (ammonia only on occasion).
<Yes, common>
I am a month into a two-month fallow period with my 90g display tank so I will have these BF's in QT for another 30 days approx.
Under the profile of Chaetodon Lunula and Chaetodon Fasciatus is states:
"Butterflyfishes as a whole do not appreciate much in the way of nitrite or nitrates. A successful approach to their keeping is to place them in established (six months plus) aquariums...."
My concern is that (based on the verbiage from the fish's profile) this fish will eventually perish from poor water quality.
<It will indeed>
I do everything possible including 25-30% water changes daily, ammonia/nitrite remover, live bacteria, etc. Although the nitrite never exceeds .25ppm and ammonia never exceeds .50ppm
<Both toxic, and the ammonia is high and worrying>
(rarely ever gets this high, only on a day without daily water changes) I am still concerned.
<I would be as well>
Do you feel this is a need for concern or will the fish temporarily be ok for a month in these water conditions?
<No, I don't think so. Something needs to be done here - you say these have been in QT a month like this and you are still getting ammonia? I am guessing that your QT tank is too small>.
I'd appreciate any advice you wish to give and maybe some more ideas of ways to keep ammonia and nitrite at minimal levels.
<Buy a larger QT tank/ vessel for these fishes, even if it is just a large plastic water container (a Rubbermaid or something)>
Thanks a lot
<No problem, Simon> 

Nitrite goes marching on -- 2/3/10
<Hello Jesse>
Thanks for providing such a great service to myself and my fellow aquarium addicts!
<'Tis a pleasure>
I recently had to QT my entire tank due to an ich outbreak. I know it could have been prevented and I have slapped myself on the wrist several times for not QTing coral before bringing it in to my system.
Anyways since I had to pull all 5 of my fish out I went out and bought a more appropriately sized 40 gallon breeder for a QT tank as my 20g was no where near enough for a Kole Tang, Foxface, 2 small Clowns and a Dragon Goby (RIP Obi Wan the Goby). So I brought over my filter for my 20g that was running for 2 months prior, and water from my display, which I know does little good but any little bit helps.
I started out doing small 15% water changes to begin the hypo salinity process every 12 hours.
<Mmmm, I would have dropped this immediately were it me doing this treatment, but this treatment would not have been my choice either>
All of this time my nitrites were high (I never paid attention to the numbers but its pretty much always the 2nd or third level in the API Test Strip).
<Ok. What about ammonia?>
After reaching my desired level of salinity I was hoping things would level off but they have not. I am trying to avoid constant water changes because my assumption is that the tank is going through a cycle.
<Water changes are necessary here>
How is this when the media, a Marineland with 2 bio wheels/media chambers, was running for two months and was already well past its cycle?
<Hmmm, this filter came from the 20 you say and not your display? Did this aquarium have fish inside? The bacteria level in/on a filter media will only be capable of nitrification for a certain bioload. I would say you have exceeded this filters capability here. Alternatively something has knocked back the bacteria, could have been the salinity drop, or chlorine if you were using tap water>
I am very concerned about my fish and although they have seemed to have turned a corner and everyone is eating I believe these nitrite levels are still stressing them out.
<yes, although nitrite is not as worrying as ammonia, yet you make no mention of this>
Any suggestions what to do? Do I just wait this out? Put in some live rock? Sand?
<No, at this salinity it will just cause die-off w/ increased ammonia/nitrite>
I have dosed with BioSpira which seemed to have no effect.
<Hmm, did you check the expiry date? Try Hagens 'cycle'>
Thanks in advance, the life you save may be my precious fish's
<let's hope so!>
Re: 03/02/2010 Nitrite goes marching on
Also on a side note I use RO/DI water for my water changes. The water is premixed for 2-3 days before its used.
<Good practice, it should be heated as well>
<No problem!>

Setting up and cycling a proper QT, 12/11/09
My name's Chris.
<Is a good name.>
I found your site a while back, but I didn't realize its true value until recently. You guys are definitely the best source for answers about any problem I've been having. Please excuse me if I ask any stupid questions; I'm still a relative newbie at this.
<No problem.>
However, I need a bit of help with this one. I've been running a 70 gallon tank + 20 gallon sump with 90 lbs LR (total volume about 77 gal after factoring out sand and rock) for about six months, with two clownfish, a Brittlestar, a shrimp and several snails. They were all quarantined - I decided to try to do it right the first time.
Last week I decided to add some more fish - I got two Allen's Damsels and a Royal Gramma and put them into my 15 gallon QT. I took a sponge filter that had been sitting in the sump of my DT for 2 months and attached it to the powerhead in the tank just before I acclimated the fish and put them in. I put water from my DT into the QT. Waited a day to check my parameters, ammonia 0, pH 7.9, and salinity at 35ppt. The fish were eating. I was really happy.
Unfortunately, a few days later, one of the Damsels died. He had brown marks near his pectoral fins and a vertical one at the base of his tail.
The LFS said it was probably a bacterial infection (although, personally, I'm thinking it might have been bad handling by the LFS when they removed him from the tank to sell him to me - he looked stressed since he got here) that some Chromis and Damsels get, and that it shouldn't spread (any advice about that?).
<Bad handling is definitely a possibility, as far as a Pomacentridae specific bacteria, bunk.>
But, his body was sitting in the tank for a few hours. Whether his body produced the ammonia, or the ammonia existed prior to that, I'm not sure, but by the time I discovered him the ammonia was up to at least .25.
<Most likely due to decay.>
So, I did an immediate 75% water change from my DT to get the ammonia to a manageable level, and then I added some Ammo-Lock. I had to do this with my Clownfish every other day for three weeks, since I had forgotten to seed the filter. However, this time, I was sure to seed it for months. Anyway, the ammonia is back up to .25, and I plan to continue doing the water changes.
Basically, I said all that to ask two questions. One, the most important, is: is there anything else I should do to help my fish stay alive?
<Sounds like you are on the right track.>
They seem to be acting normal - the Damsel is still blue (I've been told they turn black if they're stressed - the other that died was like this since he went into the other tank) and they both swim around normally without any heaving of the gills that I can notice. But I'm still very worried, particularly about the Gramma.
<Are pretty resilient little fish.>
Secondly, what did I do wrong? I'm sick of trying to give these fish a peaceful environment to calm down and a place where I can observe them, just to have it turn into a deathtrap that I have to constantly change water from. I realize the first time I did a QT, I screwed up. But this time, I thought I did it right. I let the filter sit in the sump for two months - I didn't exactly place it in a high flow area, but I put it in the compartment with the skimmer next to some live rock. I filled the tank with DT water.
<Possible here you are seeing false positive reading for ammonia due to the ammonia lock, which "detoxifies" the ammonia but does not prevent a positive test result. Step up the water changes but do not add any more ammonia lock and see if it helps your situation.>
What's the best way to start up the QT next time? (I clean and sterilize the QT between new fishes.)
<Pretty much the way you did it.>
Is the filtration system in adequate for the QT?
<Most likely ok.>
Must I squirt in some ammonia and let it cycle on its own prior to getting fish?
<Could feed the tank a few days before getting the fish and then checking for ammonia, just to make sure the bio-filtration is working ok.>
Like I said, it complicates matters since I don't know if the ammonia came before or after the Damsel died. I attached a picture to help illustrate how I have the tank set up (it was taken before the third fish died).
<Looks good,>
Please help me out. I really don't want to be getting into this kind of situation when I start getting more sensitive fish like Mandarins or Pygmy Angels, or when I start getting corals.
<You are on the right track here I think, just may be getting results that are not really indicative on what is going on in the tank.>

Re Setting up and cycling a proper QT, 12/11/09
Hey Chris,
Thanks for your swift response. :) I've already added the Ammo-Lock, but Saturday I plan to do another big change, so I'll try not adding it then and see what happens. Thanks!
PS: (It is a good name :) )
<Sounds like a good plan.>

Re: Nitrites In Quarantine Tank 1/10/09 Thanks for your reply, however, I am unclear with the reply. Will the high nitrites (around 0.3mg/L) harm the blenny? Should I move him to the display tank rather than having him exposed to the high nitrite levels? I have been testing for ammonia for the past couple days and have shown no traces of ammonia. <Forgive me for my insight. Your QT may not have been running long enough to complete the denitrification cycle. This generally takes about three weeks to complete. You are at a stage where nitrites would be present, which is the second stage of the process. I'm thinking there may not have been enough denitrifying bacteria on the sponge filter for a smooth takeover. Keep in mind that the denitrification cycle cannot take place without a waste source. Your blenny that is now in the QT is providing that source. I'm thinking by now your nitrite level should have dropped some. As long as there is no ammonia present, the blenny should get through this just fine. Depending on the quality of the test kit you are using, you may be reading the residual level of the test. You can confirm this by testing a sample of distilled or RO water, there should be no color in the test sample.> Thanks again for all your help. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Melanie

Quarantine filtr.   2/22/08 Hello Bob I'm running a 7" X 2" star shape sponge filter with a air pump in my 30 gallon quarantine tank. I would like to shut the quarantine tank down while I'm not using it. I'm going to use my main display's sump to keep a sponge seeded while the quarantine tank is down. Do I need to keep a air pump running with the sponge filter or can I just put the sponge in my sump by itself to keep it seeded? Should I fully submerge the sponge or can I float the sponge? I'm thinking of getting a Bak Pak protein skimmer for my quarantine tank so it can handle bigger fish and some corals (do you think that's a good idea?) <I do think it's a good idea... and I would use the air line/pump to keep the media/sponge much more viable> So could I do the same with the bio bal from the Bak Pak as I would with the sponge filter, just submerge it or float it in my main display's sump to keep it seeded? <Mmm, yes... but still needs circulation over it to retain aerobic activity...> Being that I have good circulation from a powerhead, what would you recommend to keep the bioload down (I'm careful with feedings and will be doing weekly 20% water changes), the sponge filter or the Pak Bak in a 30 gallon quarantine tank for anywhere from 3" to 7" fish like tangs and angels and some of the easier to care for corals? <Mmm... I'd have, devise some sort of "add-on" filtration system here... perhaps a refugium or sump I could just turn on/off one system to the other... via valves...> Do you think either one of those, the sponge or the Bak Pak is enough filtration, <No> there will be only one bigger fish (6"-7") or two smaller fish (2"-3") at a time. Thanks again for your time and help, Todd <Try it and see... You'll need more surface area... Bob Fenner>

Re: Quarantine, filtr.   2/23/08 Bob <Todd> I thought quarantine tanks should have simple filtration (as say a sponge filter), as I have read tons of times?? <Yes> Would the Bak Pak or sponge filter be enough if I leave the quarantine tank up and running all the time with like 5 small damsels, <Too many... one, non-social species will be fine here... Like a Stegastes...> and separate or remove the damsels from the quarantine tank when I add a new fish or invertebrate? <Likely a good idea> Or just add food to the fishless running quarantine tank every so often to keep the nitrifying bacteria growing. <Yet another possibility> When you say not enough surface space, Is that because the quarantine tank isn't cycled from not being up and running all the time? <Yes. BobF> Thanks Todd

Ammonia in Quarantine Tank...What To Do? - 05/26/07 I took part of my filtration out of quarantine and my ammonia is over 1.0 and I'm running my 55 fallow from ich.  Do I put my only fish which is a Tomato Clown back in and hope or just cycle the 20 gallon with him cause now he is scratching like crazy? <<I would not put this fish in the quarantine tank with an Ammonia reading of 1.0 (ppm?)>> I'm afraid I have sent him to his death bed.  Even after all the reading on your website I can't figure out where I failed.  I did the huge water changes to help and now it's worse.  So do I keep him in 20 and hope or the 55 which hasn't had fish since a week ago? <<It's not clear here what you did/did not do...but I recommend you put the fish back in the 55g tank...restart/stabilize your quarantine tank...freshwater-dip and move the fish back to quarantine for treatment (if necessary) and restart the fallow period on the display.  EricR>>

Re: QT Questions 4/3/07 Dear WetWeb, <Hi> I think I understand how QT works after thinking about it. I understand that you need to seed a sponge filter for 2 weeks or a month. Then I understand that you use 50/50 water new water and main display water. So then when you get the fish and put them in there you might always have some really low level of Ammonia, because the tank was never really cycled is this correct. <Yes> Because when I read on your web site I see that most people have some type of levels of ammonia and I know it is harmful but are really low levels. <Yes, ammonia is very toxic.> And also what has had me thinking about the fact that you will always have ammonia in the tank is because you have to do water changes up to 50% every day or every other day. <Until a cycle takes place this is the only way to keep the fish healthy.>  And for example when you use copper it is going to destroy your biological filtration anyway correct. <Most of it, yes.>  So when you are treating fish in a QT that is why you do so many water changes during the process. Please let me know, I understand it is a simple process but when you are new to the QT game and saltwater it can be nerve racking to see levels of ammonia in a tank that is supposed to be for there on good and safety until they a deemed disease free. So does having some Prime or Amquel help the get rid of the Ammonia or are they a waste of money.  <Will help bind it into a less toxic form.> Again I really thank you for helping us new people in the world saltwater aquariums.  Jeff PS I have looked into Bio-Spira and I have heard a lot of mixed reviews on this product but I am tempted to try some. Do you think it is worth trying? And is it true that you can end up with bad batch that will not work at all. <If properly store (refrigerated) it is a very good product.> <Chris>

Re: QT <filtr.> Questions Part II 4/4/07 Dear Wet Web, <Hello> I know I'm back sorry for asking so many questions. Here goes my question. Can you have too much current in the water when it comes to QT's? <Sure, if the fish get pinned to a wall by it.>  I have always thought the more water current the better. I have to hang on power filters that are never being used can I take them and use them to keep water moving around in the QT or is this going to be to much current for a fish that is in QT. <Probably fine, but a single powerhead seems easier to me.> I have one whisper filter for a 10 gallon and one for a 20 gallon. However I am still going to ask use the sponge filter for the main bio load. I was just going to let the hang-on filters run with out putting sponges in them. <Seems ok.> <Chris>

Re: QT Filtration Part III 4/4/07 Hi Wet Web, <Hello again.> Let me ask a quick question if you don't mind. Do you think the reason why my QT was showing signs of Ammonia was because I let the sponge run in the QT without fish for to long. <May be part of it.> I let the sponge run in my QT for a little over 3 days after thinking about it and after thinking about that I would think wouldn't the colonized bacteria die off and show ammonia. <Some would.> Because from what I have read your bacteria needs to feed on something and by not having anything in the tank I think it killed the colony of bacteria that I had built up. Please let me know what you think. Because my display has been cycled for well over three weeks.   Jeff <Some would have but not all.> <Chris>

QT Issue 4/2/07 Dear Wet Web, <Hi> I have a little problem. This week I set up a QT with my sponge filter. I used 50/50 water from my display and my new water. I then took my sponge filter that was in my display's sump for almost 2 weeks and placed it in there. Then I let the tank run for 3 days before I put a fish in it. Then when I checked the Ammonia levels with the fish in it they were a little high. And the fish became very stressed and was losing his color. Why was this happening? Should I of left the sponge filter in the sump for a lot longer like 1 month. I thought you could use the filter even after a whole week has passed. Please write back as soon as you can. And let me know what I need to do to keep the Ammonia from spiking up in my QT. I really want to learn how to use a QT because from what I've seen this is the only way to go. These fish are so unpredictable when you buy them. It doesn't even matter how healthy they are.    Jeff <Usually two weeks is enough for the filter to be able to support 1 small fish in a QT.  However due to increased feeding, low bacteria levels in the main tank, or a large sized fish, among many other reasons, it may not be enough.  Daily water changes should rectify your situation, along with adding Bio-Spira if it is available in your area.  Keep testing the water and keep the ammonia levels down.> <Chris>

Establishing Filter on QT Tank......Not with Copper Treatment   4/1/07 Hi crew at WWM <Hi Fiona.> Just a quick question about my saltwater tank and Ich. <Okay.> I have just had a couple of deaths due to a Ich brake out. <Sorry to hear that, if you're still having trouble do look up Steven Pro's articles on the online magazine: reefkeeping, specifically his articles on marine ich (Cryptocaryon) and quarantine procedures.> I have moved all remaining fish into a small quarantine tank, and now treating with copper. <I'm sure you have done this but for you and as a note to others reading; do look up proper copper administration on WWM. To me copper is the fish equivalent of chemotherapy, the treatment can be as tumultuous as the ailment it is treating.> My quarantine tank is not quite large enough to hold six small fish for six weeks. So I wanted to set up another quarantine tank and transfer half of my fish into there. <Good, the crypt will not move on until the display can fun fallow.> The question I have is: Is it still OK to seed a sponge for the filter in the main tank that also has the Ich. <If your treating the quarantine with copper there really isn't a point in establishing a biological filter, you'll kill them with the copper. I would compensate with daily, large (50%) water changes.> From my understanding is should be alright as the ich attach themselves to the fish. I just don't want to transfer them  into my new quarantine tank. <I wouldn't bother seeding in this specific situation.> Please advise if this would be alright.   I love you site, I have read everything I can even before setting up a saltwater tank. And still read details and information every day.   Thank you for your advice on this matter <Welcome.> Fiona from Australia <Adam J from California.> <<Quarantine tanks are NOT Treatment tanks... RMF>>

Quarantine Tank Question, bio. filt.   - 03/12/07 Hello Bob, <Josh> I have a question for you about setting up a quarantine tank I did not see covered in the FAQ. <Okay> As per your advice, I am preparing to quarantine all new arrivals for 4 weeks. I would like to do a 2 week copper treatment during this time for added security. <Mmm, not carte blanche I wouldn't... better for many species to just observe for a couple weeks... copper exposure can "cost" more than it's necessarily worth...> My question is specifically related to biological filtration. From what I understand, the copper destroys the bacteria in the system. Is it necessary to have biological filtration in the system when copper is used? <Either this or some other means of nitrogen cycling, removal... Dilution by volume and/or water changes, chemical extraction...> If it is, how do you go from treating with copper, to implementing biological filtration during the last 2 weeks of the 4 week quarantine cycle? <Changing out filter media mostly> I have heard that a marine tank must be "cycled" for the fish to live, but how can this be when you are treating with copper? <... less linear "western" thinking... think about "all the boxes"... not just outside the one...> Would a daily 10-20% water change negate the need to have a biological cycle? <Not likely... but possibly... testing and close observation of the livestock should be your guides> Thanks, Josh <Welcome, BobF>

QT Tank Help? Ich Outbreak 3/6/07 My main display tank just had an Ick outbreak. I moved my fish to a QT tank but I'm having a lot of trouble with the ammonia. It's mostly due to overcrowding. <Mmm, we learn the hard way...> I am currently getting bigger quarters. The last Ick outbreak I forgot to replace the sponge, so I used some ceramic media from my canister in a Fluval 104 filled with tank water for filtration? <If you are treating the tank with copper, beneficial bacteria will have a tough time getting established on the media.> Would a hang-on be better? <Easier to work with in a QT.> For the ammonia I am doing water changes and using ammonia detox. Do you only use the detox once daily? <I'm not familiar with the product.  I'd follow directions on the container and/or contact the manufacturer.> I am currently treating with CopperSafe. I treat for 2 weeks, then when water changing do not add anymore? <To ensure all stragglers are killed, treatment should be done for a minimum of 21 days, and a copper test kit should be used to ensure an effective dose is always present.  Ammonia must be closely monitored during this period and lowered, if necessary, by frequent water changes.  Do read here and related links above. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm Would a sponge filter be better? I can't drop one in now, but for next time? <I'd rather use a hang-on.> In the QT tank the salinity and temp should be normal? <Depends on the type(s) of fish you are treating.  Some fish such as tangs and butterflies are sensitive to lower salinities.  I'd keep the temperature 78-80, helps speed up the process.> In the main display with anemones and starfish, the salinity should be normal and the temp. raised to? <Leave be here.> This should run fallow for at least 4 weeks correct? <Yes> I know all fish are susceptible to Ick, but what actually causes an outbreak? Any suggestions to prevent this for prone fish ex. puffers, powder blues? <Stress due to overcrowding, poor water quality and diet will all aid in the outbreak of disease.  Pretty much like us humans.> I hope I have this correct and am doing the right procedure. Thank you for your time and response. <Do take the time to read the articles along with related material so you will get a better understanding of this subject.  James (Salty Dog)>

UV sterilizer 2/28/07 I have done very much research on this but have yet to see where it did or did not work.  I have a 115 Gallon saltwater tank.  Below it I have a 60 gallon refugium stocked with Caulerpa so that I can handle a decent fish load.  My question is this, how effective is a UV sterilizer run from a 50 gallon quarantine tank back to the refugium? <Not thorough enough, does not kill everything in the first pass.> I have one pump that sends water from the refugium to the display tank.  That water flows into the refugium, but I have a valve that I can switch that flow to go from the main tank in to the quarantine, and an overflow on the QT to send it through a 55 watt UV at about 200 gph and return to the refugium to start the cycle again.  I thought this was practical so that I would not have to constantly monitor a separate QT as much and the biological filtration would be handled by my main system.  I hope I was clear on describing this.  Do you foresee any problems with putting the fish in the quarantine, even with any problems and the UV killing anything before it gets to my display tank?   S. Brett Fuller <UV's do not have a 100% kill rate and this will lead to problems in the main tank.  Best to keep these tanks completely separate, not even sharing nets or other paraphernalia.> <Chris>

Quarantine Part II 2/8/07 Hi I'm back again, <Welcome back.> After the tank has cycled and you know it has cycled by checking it over and over. How long should you put the sponge filter in the sump before you can use it for the QT. <The longer the better, at least a week or two would be best.> Also did you say when you put the sponge filter in the sump, you leave it on or do you just put the sponge in the water and leave it or can you just place the whole sponge filter its self in the sump and not leave it on. Thanks Jeff <Best if you can get some water movement through it, helps the colonization process.> <Chris> 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.>

Small system - carbon, HOB fuge, and quarantine   8/24/06 Hi WWM team, <Jeff> Thanks for all your hard work. I've had a 29 gallon system running for about 8 months: AquaC Remora, vigorous water movement owing to two powerheads, 35+ lbs of live rock, and less than half an inch of CaribSea substrate (1mm). The tank is currently stocked with a single small mushroom, owing to a move I've long anticipated. (This is still a pretty interesting tank in its own right, as the various macroalgae have flourished absent predation.) I'm about ready to begin stocking this tank in earnest, but know I need to address at least two deficiencies first: 1. I'm not using activated carbon (having opted temporarily for frequent water changes given the low bioload). <Can use/add or not...> 2. I have no media in my tank ready to transfer to a quarantine tank for biological filtration. <Mmm, yes you do... you mentioned some substrate and macroalgae> I don't strictly consider the lack of mechanical filtration to be a problem, but perhaps it will be when I increase the tank's load. <Might> Now my questions: I've been eyeing some of the HOB refugiums lately and was hoping I might be able to place both activated carbon and sponge (for the quarantine tank) in such a fuge. Would this generate enough water flow through the carbon to achieve a reasonable level of chemical filtration? <Yes> Would sufficient bacterial colonies grow on the sponge? <Yes> Or am I better served by a power filter with activated carbon and filter media? <Nope> Of course, I could try both, but real estate is a little scarce. <Not here in S. California... and the price, along with the U.S. economy, will be dropping rapidly and soon> Also, how important is water movement in a quarantine tank? <Can be...> From some of Calfo's posts my sense is that a sponge filter will suffice, but Steven Pro's RK article (2004) suggests one may want additional water movement. Thanks. -Jeff <Need to have some of both. Bob Fenner>

Protein skimmer in QT?   8/6/06 Hi, Thanks in advance to the crew member who may be receiving this, I must say that I don't know what I would do without your resource - thanks. I didn't see anything in the archives that directly addressed this issue so here goes... I am running a quarantine tank (65 gallon) which is a bare bottomed tank with some PVC tubing, sponge filter and an Eheim Ecco canister filter for the past three months. Due to having to shift around my residence a little I have not been able to set up my main display tank properly as yet and therefore have had a Niger trigger in my quarantine for an extended stay, the fish seems fine in all ways and water changes are done regularly to keep the parameters in check. I need to keep him in the quarantine setup for about 20 more days as the main tank he will be going into will take about that long to fully stabilize. Should I consider firing up a protein skimmer (Aqua c - remora) in the quarantine tank or would it be better to leave the biological colonies as they are, ready to accept the next livestock after the trigger Is moved? The trigger has been in the quarantine for  2 months now already - will this be ok? I have another tank but that is not for aggressive species so I didn't want to risk putting him in to it. Any advice would be great - thanks. Best regards, Aehsun <<Aehsun: You don't have to use a protein skimmer on a fish only QT; but, if you have one, it shouldn't hurt anything.  Best of luck, Roy>>

Sponge Filter Question   6/24/06 Good Evening Crew!     I have a rather embarrassing question.  I guess not that embarrassing or I wouldn't be asking on a public forum. but I  digress. After the past few months of reading your site like it was the new  gospel <Heeee! Perhaps old or at least middle-aged> I thought I had a few things figured out. Long story short. Too Late. I  set up my 10 gallon QT for a mated pair of tank raised true Perc. That I  will be picking up tomorrow. I know 10g is small but so are the clowns (1" and  3/4") and any other species I may be adding later. My problem is that when  I read about a filter sponge I apparently had a slight stroke and thought it was  the white filter pad in my Rena canister. Let the ridicule commence. <Mmm, might still work... to seed other media> Have 2 or 3  beers and it makes perfect sense. At least now I know better but my problem is  what to put into the QT now. So far the only solution I have been able to think  of is taking half the ceramic rings out of my canister filter (from 3 month old  50 gallon display tank with 1 damsel, 2 peppermint shrimp, 2 Turbos and 6  bumblebees, 6"LS/40lbsLR) and putting them in a berry basket in the qt. <This would likely do for the same purpose> Would  you recommend this or should I instead up my QT water changes? <I would be ready to do these in any case> I was going to do  a 1 gallon change every other day or more as H2O chemistry dictates. <Yes!> I  appreciate any advice and finally a BIG thank you for everything I've already  learned from your site. Out went the SeaClone150 P.O.S. skimmer and in came the  Aqua-C Remora Pro. The sand sifting star also went back to the LFS. Too bad I  didn't find this sight sooner.     Thanks Again!     Josh from  L.A. <I would also still get/use either a sponge filter (along with whatever seed choice you go with). Bob Fenner>

Re: Jawfish/Feeding...Now QT Problems   6/2/06 Ah, will do. LFS has them frozen. And one more thing...I am having trouble with my quarantine tank. I set it up, originally with a powerhead from an old tank, but it had some gunk in it, and pushed said gunk around the tank. Long story short, ammonia rose. Even with a Bio-Wheel from the QT filter put in the display tank for a few days and then put into the QT tank, I still couldn't get the ammonia down.  I read that putting water from an established tank would help-is this because some nitrifying bacteria is in the water? I am a bit shaky on just putting a specimen in a tank with some old water and a seeded sponge and hoping for the best, but you guys put your whole faith in it. Would it be better for me to wait for the sponge to be able to eradicate the ammonia by itself or is the old-water trick reliable? <I'd put a Poly-Filter somewhere in the QT for about a week.  Do clean the power head thoroughly including disassembling it and putting the parts in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water for an hour.  Do rinse parts in fresh water before re-assembly.  Sam, when the subject matter changes in the query, do send in a new query/new subject title. We place the queries in our FAQ's based on subject matter. Thanks.  James (Salty Dog>

Re: Quarantine  6/3/06 I think I'll do that! I have a bio-wheel filter on the QT tank right now-I can just put some poly-filter in there. Assuming I don't have   to medicate the tank, I can just leave it in there to negate any metabolites. Thanks for the advice! <You're welcome.  Just cut the Poly-Filter to fit the carbon basket that comes with the bio-wheel filter and you should be fine.   James (Salty Dog)>

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 Bio-Media - 03/22/06 Hi Bob (or Crew, whoever is on duty just now) <<EricR here...>> Ok, I guess I am just dense or something but I have been reading and reading and reading all about QT tanks and their set up and there are a couple of things I just don't get. <<Hmm, okay...let's see if I can clear things up for you.>> First of all, everything says to use a simple sponge filter or a wet/dry canister or something like that and to put in media and water from your main tank. <<Agreed>> That is what is confusing me as I don't have media that I know of in my main tank, I use live rock and a HOB skimmer, no sump or refugium or mechanical filtration, so what media are we speaking of? <<The "media" in question is the sponge filter, or media (sponge/bio-balls/etc.) from a canister filter.  The idea is to transfer beneficial bacteria from your display tank to your quarantine tank...either by moving in a sponge filter that has been residing in your sump/tank, or transferring some "media" from a canister filter that has been running on your system.  Obviously, the fact that you don't employ a sump means an alternative means of maintaining some beneficial yet transferable media will have to be determined.  Making sense?...Or am I just muddying the waters more for you? <G> >> Also, if I fill a ten gallon tank with water from my main tank that is only a 46 gallon won't that be too much to remove from my tank at one time? <<Mmm, no...20%-25% water changes are quite beneficial...> The other thing I can't figure out is if I only set this tank up a few days before I need it what about the cycling period? <<That is the reason for using water from your tank (contains beneficial bacteria)...using a sponge filter already "seeded" with nitrifying bacteria.>> Don't QTs need to cycle? <<Not if set up as described.  Fifty-percent daily water changes are also not uncommon for QTs to help deal with the build-up of nitrogenous wastes.>> I have bought a complete ten gallon set up from the Pet Shop which includes one of those filters that hang on the back.  Is this acceptable? <<Sure...can you keep the "media" used in the filter where it will be in contact with water from your display tank?>> I really want to use a quarantine tank, but am so confused by these things I am beginning to feel pretty dumb and wonder if I should just skip it, (although I know the answer to that). <<Indeed, the answer is "no"...don't just "skip it."  No need to feel "dumb", it will come to make sense.>> Also, the setup I bought has only two sort of long incandescent bulbs for lighting, is that sufficient for the QT? <<Depends on what you plan to acquire...but it will serve just fine for the majority.>> One other thing please. <<Certainly>> In my main tank I was thinking I would like to run some carbon, but is that possible without a sump, refugium or mechanical filter box to put it in? <<Mmm...Some "limited" benefit can be had by adding some carbon to a filter bag and placing the bag in your tank.  You would be much better off to purchase a small canister filter for this purpose.  This would also solve your dilemma of where to keep some bio "media" to use in your quarantine tank.>> Thank you for your help.  I hope you aren't laughing too hard at this point at my ignorance. <<Not at all Debi...and do write back if it's not yet clear to you.>> Debi <<Regards, EricR>>

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>

Keeping a Quarantine (QT) filter strong 2/18/05 Hello all, <cheers> Once you have a quarantine tank cycled and established by the typical transient bioloads of new fish, do you have to keep "feeding the tank" to keep the biofilters fed when you do not have any fish in the tank?   <Hmmm... you are missing an easier way to start and keep a QT filter strong. Always use a removable media that is easy to clean and service. Sponge filters like HydroSponges are excellent for this. un such filters in your main display (sump) at all times to keep the filter stable and strong as well as support the healthy display fishes. When the filter is needed for QT... you remove it then with some aged water and have a stable QT in a moment> I don't plan to put anything new in the QT for a month or two and I was concerned that all that good bacteria would die off because of lack of nutrients and I would have to re-cycle the tank again when I need to use it again.   <avoided as per above> If this is the case, how quickly does all that happen?  Can you go 1 week, 2 weeks, etc..?  If I do need to feed the tank while it is empty, I am assuming that I should put the same amount of food that I would put for a typical QT bioload of 1 or 2 fish to keep that equilibrium established.  Is that much really necessary to keep things going?  I'm also assuming I should continue the normal weekly tank maintenance of water changes, etc. if I am putting food in it regularly. <yes... with or without. QT needs near daily small water changes for some fishes/disease control (Ich)> Thanks for your wonderful and generous help.  It is truly appreciated. Don <best of luck! Anthony>

QT filtration 3/22/05 Hey guys! This is my first time to post here. I have read Steven Pros article on QTing which I thought was excellent. <Agreed> The reason I was reading it to begin with is because I have a hippo tang that I think has Ick with white spots that come and go. Wonderful personality and very whimsical, eats like a horse, and has become a "pan frying size" hippo. She is my favorite fish and of course her name is Dori. Other than the white spots she does not act sick. <This is all common hepatus tang behaviors... Ich and all> The other 16 fish in my 120 gal. reef show no signs of ich but I understand if one has it they all have it. I had bought a couple of big tubs to use for QT. But after reading Stephen Pros article I went out and bought an acrylic 55 gal long tank. (not reef ready).  I'm hoping this will be large enough for all of my fish (hippo tang, yellow tang, fox face, 2x blue-green Chromis, 2x zebra gobies, 4x lyre tail Anthias, a man- eating Clarkii Clown, Christmas Wrasse, Shrimp goby, Coral Beauty, Spotted Hawkfish. I do have a 10 gal tank and a 6 gal tank that I could also use. <Hmmm... why don't you just QT the tang for now? The tank can almost never be "sterilized"... thus removing all fishes is not the answer> Stephen Pro mentions using a sponge filtration. What I have at this time is a Magnum 350. It's only been used twice to polish the water in my 120gl. <A fine filter... but not as biologically sound as a large, coarse foam block> Would this work fine and would I just use the paper filter that comes with it or would I put something else in as the filter? <You could put ceramic noodles or fused, sintered glass beads> Would I put this cylinder paper filter in my sump for awhile or did Stephen Pro mean that the Magnum 350 would be have to be running the whole time in my main tank to get it ready for the QT?  <Whichever filter you use... run it on the main tank for at least 2 weeks (better 4+) to condition it somewhat> I don't have to use the Magnum 350 but that is what I have on hand. If there is something that would work better for a QT just let me know and I will go out and get it.  <A sponge filter like the hydro-sponge really is the best way to go> I will be using the hyposalinity method. <ah, good> I'm still very new at this. <No worries... it's a fun journey :)> My 120 is a pre-existing tank that I bought about 11 months ago. It's my first tank and has been a real challenge for me. I will also be changing out my sandbed at the same time I do the QT. Thanks for any advice you can give me. I have talked with Anthony Calfo on the phone after purchasing one of his books and he was very helpful with some other things at that time. I felt this would be a good place to come! Cindy <Ah, thanks for your kind words my friend :) Anthony Calfo> 

Nitrites in QT (3/25/04)   Hi again: <Howdy. Steve Allen today.>   I bought a yellow tang and I put it in my aquarium without quarantine, and it came with ich, now it is dead I guess I am learning the hard way because I have Dr. Fenner book. And it is very clear about quarantine.<Well, I'm certain you'll never skip QT again.> I have an spare tank 40 gallons and I set it as a hospital tank one week ago I am treating one mandarin, one false percula and another small fish that came alive inside a live rock 8 months ago.   Last night I tested for nitrites and since it is a new setting it is cycling but I followed instructions on taking all my fishes from the main tank and wait for at least one month, I am doing that but I am worried with nitrites in my hospital tank, Last night I changed 3 gallons and tested again water this morning and nitrites are the same as last night 0.2 mg/LT please advise how can I keep my nitrites close to 0 since the main tank is only with invertebrates until the 30 day period end. On the other hand I read on treatment for marine ich and I decided not to use copper compounds, I lowered the salinity to 1015 and rise temperature to 82 f. I also added Flagyl 500 mg. twice, I do not see white spots any longer, I know many in your crew do not like hyposalinity treatment
<By itself anyway, in conjunction with other things, may be useful>, but it looks like it is working for my fishes, I have been with you through all the process of setting my aquarium and thanks for all your help. I am in Colombia, South America and many times I can not get the things for my aquarium or I have to import them.
<I understand this can be a problem.>
In Dr. Fenner's book it says Flagyl is for experts and I am pretty far of being an expert but I saw this after treatment reviewing his book. <Flagyl (Metronidazole) has antibacterial and antiprotozoal activity. It could well have killed off the biofiltering bacteria in your hospital tank. In that case your best bet for controlling ammonia and nitrites in the hospital tank is large (50%) water changes every other day or even every day while you are treating. Once the Flagyl is out of the tank, the biofilter should re-establish. Since you have read the item a lot, I'm guessing you know that we recommend 4-8 weeks of no fish in the display for the Ich to die off.>   I guess this is all for now and promise to send pictures of my tank next time, that I owed to your crew all that I have gone so far in setting my aquarium. <Looking forward to see pix of your success.> Best Regards Andres Saravia Colombia  

Cycling A QT Tank Hello all, <Hi! Scott F. here today!> I have been reading your site for about a month and have found everything very informative.  I wish I found it sooner.  I have a 29 gal tank that has been fallow for 10 days, waiting for velvet to die off. I have purchased a QT set-up and would like to get it up and running (no seed from the main tank, don't want to introduce disease).  If I set it up and let it cycle with a shrimp (from Publix not LFS) will it maintain the biological filter until I get a fish to QT in mid to late Sept? I will have nothing in the tank except an Aquatec power filter, small bubble rock, and heater. Thanks very much Beth <Well, Beth, I think that if you "feed" the tank and provide the nitrifying bacteria an ammonia source, you should be in pretty good shape. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Mixed Up Media (Hospital Tank Filtration Media) Me again, Scott.... <Hello!> "I'd just use one of the replacement filter media and keep it ready for use in the hospital tank...It's that easy" <What a brilliant comment! Who said that? I'd like to shake that guy's hand...Uhh- wait- that's me! LOL> How can I keep replacement filter media ready for use if the replacement filters for the hospital tank won't fit in the baskets of my display tank? <I'd probably be inclined to simply place them somewhere inconspicuous in your display tank-behind rocks, plants, etc.> Sorry if I seem like the dimmest light bulb in the drawer....... Cyndy Monarez <Not a problem at all! Sometimes what seems obvious is not all that obvious! My pleasure to be of service! Feel free to write us again any time! Regards, Scott F.>

Question on Q/T Filtration >Hello, I have read through many of the FAQs regarding qt. >>Hello and let the coolness ensue! >However, one question still remains. >>Hotay. >If one was to use a sponge filter or BioWheel filter that has been seeded by the main display by sitting it in the sump, to allow colonization of bacteria, and then use it in the QT. >>Yes?  Yes yes? >Question is, if the QT has an outbreak of some sort what do you use to sterilize the sponge or BioWheel in order to safely put it back in sump for recolonization, or should one just stick to using sponges as they are inexpensive and use a new one for each qt session? >>Aahh!  Believe it or not this HAS been answered, but I realize there is MUCH to slog through.  I am a frugal woman, and don't like to throw things out.  One can bleach (then dechlorinate properly - either by airing out well or chemically dechlorinating), or, if you can afford it and don't mind adding to the landfill buy new sponges.  If you use COPPER, though, I would DEFINITELY toss them if they've been exposed. >Also, if there was no outbreak, in the qt and no meds were used, could you just place the sponge right back in the main display sump? >>Yes!  Boy O boy, you ROCK. >Thank you in advance, Peter >>Much welcome, Peter.  Marina
Question on Q/T Filtration - II
>Any Risk of introducing the sponge back into the sump (if no meds were used but an outbreak occurred)? Can a good fresh water rinse take care of it? and air dry? >>Hi Peter, no, I wouldn't risk it.  I would sterilize with bleach.  Marina

QT Crowd and Ammonia (1/13/2004) Hi Crew, I currently have my new fish in a 10 gallon QT have been there for 3 days. <I take it these are new fish you are quarantining, not ill fish you are trying to treat.> Coral Beauty 2-3" Blennies Salarias fasciatus x2 Yellow-Tailed Blue Tang 2-3" I used water from my display and a small rock from the display for my biofilter and a place for them to hide. <not enough biofilter> Because of the crowd I have been executing 3 gallon daily water changes with new salt mix. However I am battling ammonia (keeps jumping to .5). <Argh> Should I do larger water changes? <Not more than 50%.> I was planning a 3 week stint in the tank, I know this is a must for the Coral and the Tang, but could I remove the Blennies earlier to the display to reduce the bio load? <Better not to.> Any other Ideas, how about a chemical ammonia reducer <If your fish seem mal-affected, it would not be bad to use one dose of Amquel Plus as a last resort.> or adding some bacteria like "Cycle"? <You do need to increase your biofilter in there right away. A sponge filter would be good. Seed with Bio-Spira Marine if you can get it--provides almost instant cycling. Costs $20 per little pouch and is kept refrigerated at the store. You could put the extra in your main tank. "Cycle" takes weeks. In my QT I use a combination heater/sponge filter I bought at PetSmart. Quite a handy gadget actually.> Also, is there any way I can put the rock back in the display after the cycle, or should I just let it die and use it for a little house for future QT use? <We generally recommend PVC fittings rather than LR for shelter in QT. There is always some small risk that these fish might leave some parasites behind on that piece of LR. If you can leave it in the QT with no fish for 6 weeks, then you can be rather confident that there are no cysts on it.> Thank you for your time and this forum. KR  <A pleasure.>

QT Crowd and Ammonia - Sorting it Out >Marina, I'm sorry, you misunderstand me the fish for the new QT are the fish already in my display. >>Ah, alright! >i.e.: Maculosus Angel tank bred (3-4") 1 Yellow Tang (3") 4 Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris tank bred (1-1.5 ") 1 Starcki damsel (3") 2 Neon Gobies I've purchased this second QT (30 gallon long, with skimmer, filter and heater) to remove them from the display, treat and run the display fallow for 6 weeks. I am not buying more fish, that's all I need right now. I purchased the 4 fish "currently" in regular QT before I knew of the outbreak. I also have purchase a larger tank for these fish as well, since this is gonna take awhile. >>Ok.. WHEW!  I was trying to sort everything out there, and it sounded for all the world as though you had all these fish in the q/t.  Gotcha. >By the way my display is a 210 gallon, should be enough room for these guys once they are squared away right? >>Absolutely.  If I understand you then, the Hippo tang will be being established before the yellow?  They should mix alright (the angels should be good, too), do watch the Starcki damsel  for aggression, too (glad it's only one!).  You can add a few more neon gobies, I love these little fish for their low bioload demands AND propensity to act as cleaners. >Thank you for your time and advise. I will follow the quarantine plan to the letter.  Kurt >>I think you have also been answered by Adam, I haven't read the full outline, but I believe we may pretty much jive.  Good luck!  Marina 
QT Crowd and Ammonia - II (The Unknown answerer?)
>Well, Looks like I started the QT tank too late. My Yellow Tang and several of my Clownfish appear to have ich. >>This makes the use of quarantine apparent.  Here they can be treated much more easily than in a display. >Did not quarantine the first batch. I will NEVER add another fish without the use of a QT.   >>You don't know how often I read this.  Wise words. >I'm going out tomorrow to purchase another QT. Here are the fish going into it. >>Why are you getting MORE fish when you have yet to get the first batch through treatment and subsequent 30 days quarantine?  SLOW DOWN, mate! >1 Maculosus Angel tank bred (3-4") >1 Yellow Tang (3") >4 Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris tank bred (1-1.5 ") >1 Starcki damsel (3") >2 Neon Gobies >Would a 30 gallon do, or should I go for a 40 or 50 gallon? >>Get three or four Rubbermaid tubs, they're about 30 gallons each.  You're stuffing way too many fish into the first q/t tank, you've got two angels and two tangs (these fish CAN be mixed, but deal with one thing at a time, my friend) on this list.. too much too fast.  30 days q/t!  And that means get them through 30 days CLEAN, not treated as part of the 30 day counter, and as soon as you *think* they're clean put 'em in the display.  It means once they are disease free the 30 day counter starts again.  Show signs again?  Treat (with copper, hypo - the first line I would recommend - or Formalin), then when clean start the counter over again. >My plan is to catch, FW dip and treat with copper for 2 the prescribed period. >>I highly recommend the f/w dips (with Methylene blue).  Have you considered using hyposalinity as a treatment instead?  You've got a LOT of fish on your plate there, <hee!> you could end up with disastrous results when trying to copper all those fish at once.  Not to mention, how are you going to add these animals to the display?  Are you keeping your bacterial cultures active and in proper proportions for the coming bioload? >At the same time, allow my tank (with inverts) run fallow for 6 weeks with a decreased salinity and increased temp.   >>Oh my goodness, NO, do NOT use hypo with inverts!  You are definitely on the right track with the hypo AND fallowing.  Run the display fallow for at LEAST 8 weeks, be sure to drop in a bit of raw shrimp every week to keep whatever nitrifiers you currently have fed.  During this time keep the display at normal salinity, though. >Should I do the same to the hospital tanks (increase temp and lower SG).  Anything I am missing? >>My apologies, it's very difficult to start where someone else has left off here.. but let me try.  Hyposalinity (read with a refractometer at 1.007 - 1.010) in the QUARANTINE tanks - fish can take this, inverts CAN'T.  Fallow the display for 8 weeks, elevated temperature will help speed up lifecycle of C. irritans.  Find articles by Steven Pro and Terry Bartelme (we do disagree on some things, for instance, efficacy of f/w dipping with fish infected with ich.  I feel it is of some benefit, especially if water has Methylene blue in it.  Also, dip must be sufficiently long duration).  READ those, these men have done scads of research.  Stop buying fish until you have THIS present problem eradicated!  Get thee thine own Rubbermaid tubs (unless you can afford to buy actual aquariums), along with at least two large trash cans and black trash bags (just the plain old black plastic trash bags) for liners.  Extra heaters for said tubs and cans.  Keep both trash cans filled with make up water for water changes.  PVC elbows and chunks for hiding places for the fish - once infection is there you do NOT want anything porous in there. >Will read further.  Thanks for all your wonderful help.  Sigh.... Kurt >>Ok, this is a follow-up to a previously answered query, don't know by whom.  I feel there are some issues from the previous answer that need to be addressed. ">I currently have my new fish in a 10 gallon QT have been there for 3 days. Coral Beauty 2-3" Blennies Salarias fasciatus x2 Yellow-Tailed Blue Tang 2-3" " >>Alright, BIG problem going on here.  You threw ALL these fish into a TEN gallon tank all at once (2 of these species are very active fish, too). No can do.  This is a recipe for disaster (as you're learning).  You need to either separate these animals into their own q/t tanks (doesn't even need to be a proper aquarium, can be as simple as a Rubbermaid tub) or put them into something about three times larger.  But now it's an even bigger problem because you now have disease and are adding MORE fish.  You MUST slow down with this, even in a 30 gallon tub your new fish list is not to be endeavored without MUCH previous experience.  Don't purchase these new fish UNTIL you get what you presently have through q/t, PLEASE!  Now we move on to the following: "> Because of the crowd I have been executing 3 gallon daily water changes with new salt mix. However I am battling ammonia (keeps jumping to .5).  <Arrgh> " >>This is to be expected. " > Should I do larger water changes? <Not more than 50%.> " >>Ok, as I said before, I don't know who answered this for you, but this is incorrect.  Water changes of 100% can be done, and if need be SHOULD be done.  At this point, because you now have ich present I want your q/t to be entirely bare-bottomed.  There are a few reasons for this, one of which is that you're going to siphon off the bottom of the q/t EVERY DAY to remove dropped parasites.  By doing THIS, you will also be controlling the ammonia levels that ARE going to rise.  As long as the make up water is matched for pH, and if not temperature matched then a little warmer is fine, you'll be golden.  You'll need the refractometer to make CERTAIN you've got this low salinity level, swing arm and float hydros are not going to cut it here.  Feed your fish the best you can feed BEFORE you siphon.  If you feel you must use copper, then know that you may need to take it as high as 30ppm, be SURE you have the proper test kit for the type of medication you're using (chelated vs. non-chelated).  There, I think we've covered most of the bases.  Puhleeze slow down on fish acquisitions, mate, you need to let everything catch up here.  Also, for the numbers and types of fish you listed, I'm really hoping we're looking at a system of 180 gallons or better.  Knowledge is power.  Marina

QT Crowd and Ammonia - What is This? >Hi Marina, >>Hi Kurt! >It's me again, sorry to bother you. >>Don't be sorry, please.  We're here for this very purpose. >Anyway, not knowing precisely what ich looks like, I had the owner of my LFS come out to have a look see. He claims that is not Ick, but marine velvet....nice. >>Don't be so quick to think that's what it is. >None of the fish are in distress as of yet, but we are moving fast and wanted to run this by you. >>That's a KEY statement, as the first sign of velvet (Amyloodinium) is severe STRESS, rapid gilling, staying on the bottom of the tank, not feeding.  Plus, this disease moves FAST.  However, ich or velvet, much of the treatment remains the same. >We set up 40 gallon (traded in the 30, figured better for the fish) >>Absolutely bigger is better. >..with a aerator, skimmer and mechanical filter all in one with a seeded sponge for biofilter. >>Um.. how are you going to medicate for velvet if it's being removed by skimming?  How's the biological filter going to keep going if it's killed by the treatment (and it will be)? >Bare bottom with some PVC pipe for some tiny hotels. >>Perfect. >Using "SeaCure" which contains, copper sulphate and acid. >>"Acid"..  I prefer Cupramine for coppering, but in any event, DO get a copper test kit!  Know that your biological filter is useless when coppering.  DO do the f/w dips with Methylene blue! >Do you know of this product. >>Not terribly familiar. >Also plan to slowly lower the specific gravity to 1.012. >>Not quite low enough to eradicate ich or velvet, not sure if it should be used in conjunction with the copper.  If your fish are not showing signs of stress, I would try holding off on the copper and go 1.010 on the salinity. >Plan to catch the fish (should be fun with 170lbs of rock). >>Heh.. your LFS guy should be real good with the net.  However, a tip or two; move as much of the rock as possible so that you have at least 1/3 - 1/2 the tank open.  A piece of tank divider, egg crate, acrylic (anything the fish can't swim through or around) will be used to block off.  If it's opaque that's even better (they WILL be watching and the last ones will be THE most difficult to catch!).  You may very well end up having to remove rock, see if the LFS guy will let you use some of his solid Styro boxes (you can partially fill them with water to keep the rock wet). >Freshwater dip them and place them in the QT. >>Check - include the Meth blue. >Follow up with 2 weeks (would 3 be better, thought may be to rough on the Tang) of copper treatment and fresh water dips every few days, as long as they tolerate. >>If you're set on coppering, this is prudent.  Know also that Formalin is an excellent treatment for both ich and velvet.   >Allow the  tank to run fallow for 6 weeks and see what happens. >>After that two weeks treating, 30 days clean is the rule. >See any problems with any of my fish for this treatment? >>Only as outlined above.  If they've got velvet, you will KNOW it FAST. >Maculosus Angel tank bred (3-4") 1 Yellow Tang (3") (copper tolerant?) >>They'll be fine - it's long term coppering that harms most fish (outside of froggies, which canNOT be coppered at all). >4 Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris tank bred (1-1.5 ") 1 Starcki damsel (3") 2 Neon Gobies 2 scooter blennies ( read that they cannot handle copper) >>I wouldn't copper them at all. >Or would formaldehyde do better for treatment? >>That's the Formalin I've mentioned.  If you opt for this, DO use gloves to handle it and the water, it's a known carcinogen if I recollect correctly. >Look forward to your input. >>Why thank you, I'm hoping that you get your fish through this cleanly.  Do remember to feed the tank (keep up your bacterial cultures). >Best regards, Kurt >>Be chatting, keep us updated.  Marina
Update on "The Plan" - QT Crowd and Ammonia
>Actually slight modifications after much ready. >>It's good to be flexible. >Updated plan. >>Lay it on me. >Pull fish , FW dip with Meth Blue. >>Check. >Into the QT without the skimmer. >>Ok (skimming is fine if you're NOT medicating, btw). >Hold off on copper, instead lower salinity (should I do this gradual) 1.010 and raise temp 83-4.  Couple this with daily FW dips with Meth Blue. >>The salinity can be lowered over the course of a couple of days, I like a slow drip, but you'd need to make a device.  Very easily done with silicone (or waterproof epoxy), an airline valve, and a plastic jug (2 liter soda bottle, milk jug, something like that).  Just make your hole to fit, silicone in place, add airline, set drip rate.  Voila. >If this doesn't do it, add copper. >>That or the Formalin (though you already have the copper).  If your fish aren't severely stressed by now, I very much doubt it's velvet you're dealing with.  Be thankful for small favors. >The copper scares me and the fish are not that sick yet. Thanks again, Kurt >>Understood.  I honestly think that between the hypo and daily dips (don't leave out siphoning off the bottom of the tank after dipping and feeding - you can do this with a bit of airline tubing for better control), and the fallowing, you should be golden.  The fish will be doing MUCH better in a 40 gallon, but you will likely be forced to do the water changes on a rather large scale.  Good news is that you CAN use a sponge filter for bio-filtration, the hypo won't  kill off the bacteria the way the meds will.  You can also skim, it just won't be quite as efficient.  I like your plan, Kurt!  If the copper can be avoided, let's do try.  Marina
Update on "The Plan" - QT Crowd and Ammonia II
>Hi Marina, >>Hi Kurt.  Nice to hear from you again. >An update with pictures and a opinion please. >>Hhmm.. gotta look for those pics.. >Moved all the fish Saturday to the 40 gallon with a 6-8 minute dip each with Meth blue. >>Excellent. >All are doing great, eating well and acting like their old selves. The have been without symptoms  since, so I have delayed copper or hyposalinity. Attached are pick of my Clownfish, Maculosus Angel and my Yellow Tang. If you look closely at the Tangs dorsal fin, you will see the spot that first alarmed us. The dip nor manipulation would remove it. It neither moves nor grows, I have the feeling it doesn't amount to much. >>You've attached a very good image, and I happen to have pretty good vision (20/13), but I can't see anything on the yellow tang's dorsal that appears out of the ordinary from this picture. >None of the other fish have a mark on them. The few small dots on the Clowns and the slight misting on the Maculosus caudal fins, (which my LFS owner told me was velvet) are gone and have not returned. >>Right, the picture isn't so clear (seems that angel is married to the PVC, eh?), but what I can see all appears well. >The thought has crossed my mind that he just wanted to sell me more goods.. who knows. >>That, or he didn't want an animal you'd purchased from him to die.  <shrug> >If things remain the same I believe my best course of action would be to just keep them there for the 4-6 weeks, observe and treat if necessary. >>Agreed.  Indeed.  If you haven't already, do search on Google for Cryptocaryon irritans, you will find several EXCELLENT articles with detailed descriptions of lifecycles.  This is to warn you that it may reappear (I'm assuming you know this, but since this is "published" we like to add reminders to readers).  However, your vacuuming daily does help with removal. >I have been executing daily 10 gallon water changes, vacuuming the bottom. >>Fantastic! >Now for my problem. As you know (see below) I have a Hippo Tang and a Coral Beauty in another QT. (I got them before the other fiasco began) >>Right (plus including your previous is helpful). >I have attached a pic of each. The Hippo is showing a few dark colored dots on the lower half of her body and is going nuts scratching.  She has also injured 1 of her eyes, I assume from the scratching. I am treating this with Epsom salt.  The Beauty is also twitching and scratching her gills on the PVC. I also attached a pic of her. I understand that the Beauty responds poorly to copper and the Tang also ( will never quarantine more than 1 fish again!!)   >>There are many folks who make this assertion, I have not had troubles with either genus/species.  It's long-term exposure that will cause troubles, but again, F/W dips and hyposalinity MAY be all that's needed.  I would start dropping the salinity at this point.  However, I cannot really make out any dark spots.  So I'm going to shoot from the hip, as it were; if the spots appear to be essentially just like ich, but black, then what you may have is something known as "black spot" or "black ich".  I would be rather surprised, knowing that they'd been dipped, but it could happen.  Of the parasitic diseases I've dealt with in the past, this is BY FAR the easiest to eradicate - F/W dips (which you've done) and hyposalinity are in order. >Thinking dips and Formalin treatment. Your thoughts would be appreciated. >>Try dips and hypo FIRST, then if it continues, say, another week, then go with Formalin.  I think you're on the right track, and I notice that ALL FISH appear quite FAT, well-rounded bellies and dorsal regions. >Muchos gracias for all your help. If you're ever in Cleveland, I owe you a drink.  Kurt >>De nada, mi amigo.  I'm a teetotaler (can't take a drop or I get SICK), but I'll take a soda or tea any day of the week!  I'd have to hit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame out there, wouldn't I?  Isn't there a football Hall of Fame there, too?  (Jebiz, I ought to know this..)  Marina

High Nitrites in Q/T - To Be Expected >Good evening, >>Hello Kurt, Marina again. >10 days ago I was forced to move my fish out of my 210 gallon display into quarantine due to an ich attack. >>Yes, I remember. >I purchased a 40 gallon QT and put in the following 1 Maculosus Angel 3-4" 1 Coral Beauty 3" 1 Yellow Tang 3" 1 Starcki Damsel 3" 4 Clownfish 1.5" 2 Scooter Blennies 2" Yes I know it is crowded, but it's the largest tank I could afford right now. I am running a Skilter filter with a skimmer using a sponge seeded from my sump and running a carbon filter. The fish are clear of ich after several FW dips and everyone appears healthy X 6 days. No meds at this time. >>So the hyposalinity did the trick? >My problem is a battle with water quality. >>Yes, to be expected.   >pH 8.2 Ammonia 0 Nitrate 10 Nitrite.5 Water temp 80 degrees. I have added 2 doses of Bio-Spira which brought down the ammonia and am executing 10 gallon daily water changes. Could the water changes be interrupting the cycling?   >>A bit, yes, but they're necessary to ensure the fish are under as little stress as possible. >I am feeding very lightly mostly with Nori, but I do need a little frozen food, not everyone eats the Nori. I however vacuum the tank and do the water change right after the feeding time. Any ideas on what to do? >>I'm afraid you're rather married to the water changes, Kurt.  I hope I'd mentioned this during our earlier correspondences, but may have neglected to do so.  My apologies. >I really do not want to put the fish back in the display until the 4-5 week fallow time is up. >>Absolutely agreed! >Since I'm not dosing with meds, should I get 10 or so lbs of cured rock? >>Because you're dealing with ich, I personally would recommend against it. >Or maybe another dose of Bio Spira or possibly forgo the water changed for a few days?  I appreciate you help.  Thank you! Kurt >>As noted above, less stress, and you want to provide NO footholds for the ich protozoa.  I would continue with water changes, monitor levels, WATCH the fish.  Marina
High nitrites in QT - II
>Hi Marina, >>Hi Kurt. >Glad you replied again. Actually I never needed to lower salinity. Whatever is was has disappeared, so it seems. >>Let's hope it remains so, but I'm curious as to how long it's been "gone". >My biggest concern is the Nitrites. >>Indeed. >I am beginning to see a bit of fin deterioration on 2 of the fish and the Coral Beauty must have injured an eye from scratching, it is inflamed, actually popped out a bit. >>If the fish is scratching, then *please* do lower the salinity and treat as though for parasitic infection with hypo.  It won't hurt the fish to undergo this, and may actually help.  It will also make water changes a bit less costly since you won't be having to use so much salt mix. >I am treating with Epson salt, hopefully that will do it.   >>That and the water changes, AND the hypo. >I dosed with the  Bio Spira and  turned the skimmer off for a day to hopefully spur a cycle in the tank.  Any other suggestions? >>I honestly would NOT make the fish endure a full cycle - there's a reason why we generally no longer cycle with fish, it really is quite stressful.  Water changes are to be expected, and they will be your (and your fishes') salvation. >Am watching my guys like a hawk. >>Or is that a Hawkfish? ;) >Thanks for all of your advice. >>You're very welcome, Kurt.  Marina >Kurt

Sponge filter in QT 2/5/04 Hi, I'm back.  I have been reading about the QT's and I want to purchase a filter for a 20 gal. glass tank that I have.  I am new to the hobby and also kinda confused.  In almost all the FAQ's it states that a sponge filter is best for a QT.  What is a sponge filter?  What are some brand names? In one FAQ Anthony recommends the AquaClear Power filter for a QT.  Shortly thereafter, a writer stated that she was planning on getting a AquaClear Power filter and Steven Pro stated that "I would prefer a sponge filter".  I was thinking that the AquaClear was a sponge filter... Please help... very confused.   <it is as literal as it sounds my friend. Various filter styles employ a coarse foam block to pass/filter water through. In some cases like the Aquaclear, the water is forced through by a motor/water pump... in others it is lifted through by air like an undergravel filter tube. Either would be fine> So, could you please provide me with a few brand names for "sponge filters".   <The Aquaclear filter is one choice for motor driven... and Tetra and Jungle brands both make popular air driven "sponge filters". A look inside any mail order catalog or most local fish stores will make this all clear> On the same subject, I was thinking about getting an Eclipse Hood 2 for the QT.  I don't suppose this is a sponge filter.  Would this be a good choice for a QT?    <it is nice perhaps... but more expensive than it needs to be. And the light fixture is also optional with many QT applications. With some stressed fishes, bright light is to be avoided during the short stay in QT> Thanks a million in advance.  Dan PS.  Thanks for all the help that you and your team provide to all of us "needy people".  Have a good night. <thanks kindly, my friend. Best of luck, Anthony>

- Quarantine Water Quality - I recently set up a QT tank because I noticed my maroon clown with a cluster of small white dots one of the fins.  The white dots (I am guessing is Ick) are only located on this one particular fin.  I thought this was kinda strange.  The QT tank has been running for about one week.  I took water from another tank that is Ick free and topped it off with fresh water. I took a sample of the water to the local pet store to get my water sampled.  The ammonia and nitrate level was high.  I did do a water change the day before.  I am treating the tank with quick cure.  I was using Greenex but it did not seem to help.  Is this normal for my nitrate and ammonia level to be this high. <Yes... the Quick Cure and Greenex are both toxic enough to stall any biological filtration that might have come in from the other system's water. Once you have a fish in quarantine, you need to perform very frequent water changes, on the order of 25% a day to 50% every other day - whichever works for you, along with frequent tests to see if you need to step up the water changes. Cheers, J -- >

Quarantine Tank Filtration - 3/10/2003 Hello, I have a few seemingly random questions. <Ok, shoot.> I have a 55 gallon, with a 10 gallon hospital tank.  My question is filtration on the 10 gal.  I am currently using a Skilter 250 that was on my main tank (got rid of it and upgraded to a CPR skimmer).  The Skilter was there for about 2 months.  Is this sufficient for the quarantine tank?   <Yes, a Skilter 250 should be more than sufficient for a 10 gallon.  However, if you do use any medications or treatments requiring the removal of carbon, don't forget to take the black pads out of the Skilter cartridge.> I also have a power head in it because my hippo tang with Ick likes the strong current.   <Ok.  Whatever makes him happy.> Next, is it okay to have the qt tank directly on the floor?  I have hardwood floors and was wondering if vibrations from footsteps would bother the livestock in the tank..   <Too much activity could cause more stress for an already weak fish, but unless you have kids jumping up and down right in front of it, I highly doubt there would be any problem with it.  Harder to get a good siphon going when you need it though!> Finally, my CPR produces about ½ cup of dark green liquid daily.  I was under the impression that most skim waste was more of a foam.  Is it normal, or as effective if the only waste I am getting is liquid? <It's the foam carrying the waste into the collection cup, but the bubbles break and accumulates as a liquid.  It's working just fine.> Thank you!!! <Not a problem!  Enjoy!  Scott V. > John M. McCarty

Mass Quarantine and Ammonia Levels After cycling a 90 gallon tank, I noticed one of my starter damsels had developed ich.  I immediately removed him but he soon died.  This is where my big problem lies:  my roommate purchased three fish (two dogface puffers, one about 2" and the other about 4", and a 1.5" Niger trigger) and put them in the main tank (no quarantine or any pretreatment).  I know I know...disaster struck. <Quarantine roommate from tank. Do not him/her get near it again or you may have another outbreak of shortsightedness/lack of information!> The trigger has developed ich, and I'm suspect about the little puffer.  I want to set up one quarantine tank for all three fish and run my main tank fallow for a month (specific gravity 1.017 and temp at 82, correct?). <Not necessary, run normal SG and 83 temp to push process/life cycle of Ick along. You may find 2 months is better, a month is pushing it.> How big of a quarantine tank should I employ to house these three fish (cash and space is an issue) for joint treatment? <Get a Rubbermaid container the same size as the main, low cost, low light, plenty of room.> Also, how will I be able to keep the ammonia levels in check?  Will 10-20% water changes everyday be enough? <Perhaps, test daily to determine need.  Same for copper.> Will I really need to buy a filtration device, and if so, what do you recommend (specific products would be very helpful in guiding me along)? <Any filter to provide mechanical filtration (removal of actual waste/particulate matter). Aqua-clear, Marineland, etc. are fine.> My main concern is the ammonia since I'm dealing with the three fish.  I don't have a spare sponge for the bio media unless I use the only one in the main tank which is the prefilter over the wet/dry.  I don't want to use this b/c I don't want to introduce any amt of copper into the main tank when I return the sponge (I'm not an expert so I took my LFS' advice about copper being harmful to eels, inverts, and corals if I ever want to convert to a reef).  Hence, my concern about swapping sponges b/w the main tank and quarantine. <I would use the sponge and replace it when ready to run main. LFS is right about copper, do be careful to not cross-contaminate.  Sponges are inexpensive.> I've been reading through the vast info about quarantine procedure on the website, but I was hoping for an alternative to having a spare filter constantly running in the main tank just so I can run the quarantine tank when need be.  Any advice would be helpful.  Thanks. Sandy <Running a separate filter isn't necessary, the media can be in the wet/dry or hung tank-side at surface to provide bio-activity. Hope this helps.  Craig>

Qt tank Hello crew,<IanB here> I'm using a Skilter 250 for my QT tank, so my question is, how long should I leave the bio cartridge in my main tank so it can establish beneficial bacteria? <I suppose about 2-4 weeks> My main tank is been running for 6 months.<I would leave it in the main aquarium to establish the beneficial bacteria for about 2-4 weeks just to be on the safe side, (you don't want to have nitrites and ammonia readings in your quarantine tank) good luck on your qt tank, IanB>

Quarantine woes. Hello Kevin, <Hi!>  I just went to my fish store to buy water for my main tank to transfer to my qt tank to get started. And I spoke to my fish guy  about my QT tank and he said, why do you have bio cartridge in your main tank? And I told him to have some bacteria growing on it before I transfer it to my QT tank. And he said If you are going to add medications in your QT tank  its going to kill all your bacteria that you worked to have in your main tank for about a week or two. <Since this is just a quarantine tank to watch new fish for several weeks before entering the main tank, it really needs to be cycled or you will be battling with toxic ammonia and nitrite. Since you're not treating with anything (I don't recommend any preventative meds like copper sulfate, etc), you don't have to worry about disturbing the biological filter.> He said it will be better to medicate the water before hand and QT for about 7-8 days. Then intro to your main tank. <That is completely unnecessary. I wonder what magic medicine he would propose that would cure all potential problems?! Standard quarantine procedure is just to put the fish into a separate tank with water parameters very similar to its ultimate home. You watch the fish for a month or so before introducing it to the main tank. That's it, no treating for anything that you don't know is there.> So I said to my self how do I know what the fish has to begin with I don't know what medication to add if is not sick? <Exactly my point.> Kevin what should I do? <Don't treat for something that isn't there. Get the quarantine tank cycled with a neon goby or a damsel after putting in your pre-cultured bio material and go from there. Have fun! -Kevin> THANK SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.

Fighting nitrite's in QT tank >Good afternoon crew, >>Good morning, Alex, Marina here.     >I've been doing 20% water changes every day to drop my nitrites down to 0, just like I had them when I first set up my QT tank (10 gallon QT). Right now they are at 0.50 ppm and holding, is that ok? >>NitrItes?  No, that is too high a reading.  I'm assuming you're using a decent quality test kit as well, something like SeaChem, Salifert. >The rest of my water is doing fine. Also I'm feeding much lighter every day...Maybe it could be that I only had my Skilter cartridge in my main tank for two weeks only instead of 4 so it can establish beneficial bacteria? >>Yes, without a full complement of nitrifying bacteria, this would be likely.  You'll get better results changing  50%, or better, of the water. >Right now I only have a Royal Gramma in my QT tank and he's doing great. >>Good to know, though he may like enough food to fill his belly.  Do some big water changes so you can feed him well.  This is all part and parcel of quarantine, my friend. >He's only been there for 1 week.  What can I do to get my nitrites down, or should I ride it with 50ppm and do 10% water changes every day until the QT is up??? >>50% and up is what's going to make a significant change in the readings.  While there certainly are fish that will survive just fine, it is taxing on their health, better to give them a boost during these stressful times.  Also, I'll suggest a regular regimen of added nutrition in the form of Selcon.  I hope this helps!  Marina

Kick-Starting A Quarantine Tank! I have two (2) QT tanks. A forty and a 20 long. <YEAH!!! My kind of hobbyist! Scott F., your biggest fan tonight!> I have a sponge filter in the sump of my 100 gallon that I usually use for the 40 QT when needed. I just got the 20 so I can QT more incoming. Since I will need to wait 4 weeks for another sponge filter to gain the needed bacteria, could I instead use the polishing foam sponge from my wet dry in the 100 or some of the bio balls and put one or both in the 20 to have it up and running sooner. <If you're going to take these materials from the established tank, then you can certainly put them into an inside box filter or outside power filter, and use this to get the QT up and running until the sponge is ready to go. By the way, I don't think it would take 4 full weeks to get the sponge filter fully "populated". The sponge filter creates an environment where beneficial bacteria multiply like crazy, and usually can be very functional in two weeks or less, in my experience. No harm in waiting for 4 weeks, but I think 2 will do it!> Or will replacing the sponge in the 100 cause more problems? <Well, I assume that there are bioballs, or some other form of filter media in the wet/dry...? If this is the case, then replacing the sponge should not be problematic. The impact of replacing it should be negligible, IMO.> Thanks Always, Randy <Thanks for writing, Randy! Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>
Kick-Starting A Quarantine Tank (Pt.2)
I may not have explained correctly in the first question but I think you did answer my question. I have a 100 gallon display. Wet Dry with bio balls and sponge after the bio balls and before the actual sump area. In the sump I have a sponge filter that I use on the 40 QT tank. Now I also have a 20 QT tank but no extra sponge filter yet (Will pick one up in the morning). But if I get impatient of need the 20 up and running sooner can I use some of the bio balls to kick start the 20 or use the large sponge that is between the bio balls and sump and just put in a new sponge there. The smaller sponge filter waiting in the sump would be in the 40. Any way if I understood you correctly I could throw some bio balls (Hey How Many?) in the back of an emperor (One of many I have) and that would work, or take the sponge out from the wet dry cut it to make it fit and use on the 20. Thanks Again. <Yep-that's the general idea! I'd use the sponge in the power filter, myself, rather than the bioballs. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Feeding  the bio filter in a hospital/quarantine tank Hi Bob: My Hospital/Quarantine tank is not always in use in fact it may set many weeks between uses. In order to keep the biological filter going strong I need to feed it during times of no animal load. How is the best way to go about this? I am leaning towards ammonium chloride, but do not know how much to use. As always, your thoughts on this matter is appreciated. R Luckert <Best to make water changes from your main tank to the quarantine... and keep your filter media in the main/display tank till you need to use it. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Tank Cycling Dear Folks, I have read through the FAQ's but maybe I'm missing something somewhere. My QT is 10 gallons and currently has it's first resident, a juvenile Hawaiian Yellow Tang. He's been there for a week, now. The water was sourced from my display tank which is fully cycled. I have undertaken frequent water changes using about 50% freshly made salt water and 50% water from the main tank. I am running an Aquaclear Mini with a sponge filter which previously dwelled in the sump of the main tank for a month or more. The ammonia levels have never tested very high, but regardless of how many water changes I do (three 40% changes today, for instance), the nitrite levels remain very high.  I am relying on "Prime" to de-toxify the nitrite, but am seriously considering releasing him to the main tank, since he looks just fine and has a healthy appetite. <Filter may not be truly cycled, too small, or rinsed in tap water? Have you tested your source water for ammonia/nitrite? This is more common than you think. Do not overfeed and clean mechanical portion of filter daily. Is this tank ever going to cycle without a substrate? Will PVC fittings harbor enough bacteria within the tank to control the nitrite levels? Do I need a bigger filter than the "Mini"? Is this fish gonna croak from quarantining? <The filter should be cycled, if not it was done-in someway or is too small (I can't imagine that for a 10 gallon QT) I suspect tank/source water. He won't if you can get him into some waste free water for another week or so to make sure he isn't infested with Ick or.... You have to wait longer than the gestation period.> I'm a newbie and I'm trying to learn as I go, but I find the "wealth" of commentary rather overwhelming when I'm looking for answers to specific questions. Every Q seems to have twenty A's, each with it's own set of ancillary Q's. Thank you for your time,  Sincerely, Jerry <That's for the FAQ's Jerry! Try searching on specific subjects. In your case, searching on Quarantine will yield quarantine FAQ's and also specific articles on quarantine. Go to the specific articles to get all the info at once! I sure hope this helps you and your fish! Test your source water and see if it isn't coming from there.  Craig>

QT sponge filter is the way to go 2/20/03 Thanks, Anthony, for all the good advice.   <and Jason C too> I feel prepared to march ahead into the valley of (ich) death!  Your answers just raise one remaining question: In the answer to question # 7, I didn't understand the comment about keeping a sponge around in the main tank to move into the quarantine tank at the onset of quarantine.  I'm lost here.  Can you clarify?   <"the sponge" is your main and only filtration necessary. It's a common air operated (or power-head operated) sponge filter like Tetra Brilliant sponge or Jungle brand "Dirt Magnet". These filters are extremely effective but a big ugly for small display tanks. You can hide a small one in your display or a large one in your sump at all times. Thus it will be fully cycled with bacteria and ready to go on command if/when the need for QT arises and spares you from having to leave the QT up and running empty (or worse... with a mean damsel that will terrorize new fishes)> What does the sponge do, and why might I want to move it into the quarantine tank?  Is it to bring nitrifying bacteria into the quarantine tank? <yes... it will be your whole and only filtration for Qt and it will be very well seeded for having worked on the full load in the main display in wait for the call to QT> George <best regards, Anthony>

Quarantine question Hi, I need some advice! <Okay.> I have a 20 gal QT tank set up with a Penguin 550 powerhead, a Whisper Power filter 3, a heater, blah, blah, etc.  I also have about an inch of crushed aragonite as a substrate...I know, I know, that was a mistake.   I set up the tank several days ahead of the fish delivery last week (which included: 3 - 1" Green Chromis, a  2" Firefish goby, and a  1" Tank raised Tomato clown).   The day of arrival, I put in 2 pieces of PolyFilter from my MT (an Emperor BioWheel).   Despite initial 10% daily water changes (using Main Tank water to replace), vacuuming the substrate, increasing aeration, replacing carbon in filter, and 25%+  water changes (for the last several days), the water chemistry is continuing to suffer (along with the fish).  Despite everything, levels have remained the same now for several days:  Ammonia - between 0-.25 (I put in some Ammonia Detox), Nitrites have been hovering at .25 and just below, Nitrates - 5.0, >pH - 8.2, Temp: 77 this AM, and Spg at 1.023.  Okay, here's the dilemma, or should I say consequence?  One of the Green Chromis developed what looked like some cloudy spots on its tail  2 days ago.  I did a 25% water change, vacuumed the gravel,  turned up the heater slightly to about 79 degrees and kept my eye on him.  There was no "flashing" and otherwise the fish seemed normal, ate well ( but refused to eat any medicated fish food...naturally). Next morning, the Chromis looked a little worse, tail looked more "cottony", a couple of cloudy patches on body, and possible cottony stuff at mouth. After eating a little, it pretty much went into a decline and was hiding behind the powerhead.  I netted him out and put him in a bucket, mainly to get him out of the tank ASAP.  I ended up putting him out of his misery, poor thing.  In the mean time, I did another 30% water change and kept an eye on the remaining fish.  Late yesterday afternoon, I noticed one of the other Chromis had small light patches on his body (none on fins/tail).  I immediately went out and bought some Furacyn (by Aquatronics) which isn't the combination Furan based medication that I've seen recommended here, but is Nitrofurazone only (that's all I could find at either of my 2 LFS).  I removed the carbon, medicated the tank (the stuff turns your tank Yellow by the way!), and gave the fish a very small amt of food.   This morning the cloudy patches are gone, and all fish are eating voraciously.  I'm wondering what to do about water changes.  I checked the chemicals this AM and results are the same (as best I can tell with yellow water!).  Considering these levels, do I need to do a larger 50% water change, and re-medicate or what? <That's what I would do, as you are essentially dealing with an uncycled tank. Since you are in Everett, to save some $$$ on your water changes, you might want to think about trekking down to the Seattle Aquarium with some largish containers and purchase a bunch of water. They sell filtered UV treated Seawater for .05 a gallon, a big savings for those nearby (I know, Everett is a bit north, but I'm in Shelton, a bit further!) Then stay on top of the water quality and re-medicate as it appears to be the trick.> I'm afraid that if I do nothing in order to keep the med's at the right concentration,  the water conditions will worsen as a result of no carbon, possible damage to any budding biological system, etc.  What would you recommend?  Okay, other than next time, don't overload the quarantine tank!! <Let's not beat ourselves up! Hindsight is 20/20! Next time you will run this sponge a good while on your main system to provide the biocapacity. You really don't have much of a biosystem, so I would treat it like a total loss system and keep changing water and re-medicating based on water volume. The carbon won't be a huge help but stay on top of the mechanical filtration and cleaning, perhaps scooping out the crushed coral to go bare bottom as well.> By the way, as an afterthought, will my tank raised Tomato clown ever get to the same dark orange as the non tank raised?  Mine is definitely a "washed out" orange color.  I had read that they tend to be lighter, but will that improve over time? <Possibly with better conditions/food/time.> Thank you so much for your time and input, you guys are great! Lynn <Our pleasure Lynn!  Craig>

Problem With QT Tank? Hi, <Hi! Scott F here again!> Thanks for your quick reply!  I did check the water parameters in the QT, and the ammonia was on the rise already. <Kinda suspected that, huh?> I did a partial water change tonight (afraid I'm going to stress them all too much!) and the Nitrite is at 0. I have had the QT running for a few weeks with an extra piece of Live Rock. My damsel is not looking well - he (she?) is now lying on his side and breathing rather shallow.  Don't think there is much hope for him now - but I'm going to leave him alone and see what the morning brings.  The clowns still seem OK and the wrasse has actually been swimming around a bit.  I'll definitely keep an eye on the water though.  I have about 5 gallons ready to go.  Anyway, thanks for your help and I'll just let them be for a while. <Ya know- this may be one of the cases where you may want to actually purchase a "bacteria culture" product, like Cycle or Fritz Zyme, as a sort of "biohazard intervention kit"...> On to another thing you mentioned... The skimmer.  I've been having some trouble adjusting it.  I have been getting some waste in the collection cup, but it doesn't seem like enough according to what everyone says.  Only a small amount each day (1/8 - 1/4 cup ..maybe)... and it has been spitting some air bubbles into the tank.  I currently have some snails (which the wrasse may eat, but that's ok - can always get more)... I have followed the manufacturer instructions for setting it up, but it's that fine tuning that's got me. <Yep- the fine tuning is the tough part...just keep making small adjustments, and observe the skimmer for a few hours between them. It is tedious, but once the skimmer is "dialed in", you'll be set- and the results will be worth it...Stay with it!> Anyway, thanks for all your help and patience!  I only wish I had a reputable SW person to buy fish from instead of "mail order" sight unseen! <Well, I'd rather order sight unseen from a reliable mail order place than choose from poor quality specimens locally...Hopefully, the local stores will improve, but in the meantime, there are a number of great mail order places to get fishes from...hang in there! regards, Scott F>

QT prep and ending tank cycle Thanks Don. I'm kind of hoping that before the weekend, my NO2 will drop completely to 0. I think it's likely, as it's been dropping steadily and nicely. Honestly, at this point, there's one step between 0 and .025, and I'm not sure I could tell the difference between that step and .025.  It's so slight!   Even .050 and .025 are hard to tell the difference between.  As for the little white things being food, you may have a point, and I guess it doesn't look that bad after all, especially now that I cut the circ back a bit.  I don't think I'll sweat it for now, and see what happens. <Yes the color change charts can be very difficult to read.> One more question if I may, then I'll leave you alone (I'll bet you've heard that before  ;-).   <No problem> I have had my small, hang-on filter w/ sponge hanging on the sump, and running since Sunday (.025 NO2 day), and plan on taking it off and hanging it on the QT tank on Friday (provided everything looks good).  On Friday, I'll also put in the QT tank, 15 gallons of fresh seawater mix, and 5 gallons from my main tank, and let come up to temp.  I was advised against doing a full 50/50 with 10 G from my main tank for now (because it may be harmful to the main tank so early on.  I also have a puny little "mixing" pump (40G hour, maybe less, can't quite remember) that came with the salt mix for free, that seems about perfect for a little added circ. in the QT tank (and to think I thought it was useless when I saw it for the first time!) This is basically what has been recommended to me.   <All sounds good/appropriate> Question------>The question is, do you still think I'll need to do large daily water changes on the QT tank? <Depends on many factors. I would plan on 10-20% daily/every other day. Monitor levels closely and react accordingly. I always like to have a bunch of water mixed up (40G) just in case. Makes changes a lot easier if you have cured water around. You are on a good course, continue and be patient and all will go well. Don> Thanks again! Eric N.

QT filter Hi, you say to keep my Fluval 404 running on the tank at all times even if not being used on my QT.  <yes... you need to have a fully cycled bio-filter running on your main display in wait for any new purchase. When the QT is needed is can be brought out from storage, filled with aged water and the seeded Fluval jumped over to it> Do I need to clean the Fluval after using on the QT or just take it from the QT and put it directly back on the main display?  <if the Qt animal is healthy enough to send to the main display... so is the Fluval. $ week QT for all... no exceptions please. Rinse the media on a normal schedule but not right before a new Qt animal us brought home> Wouldn't this transfer undesirable critters or diseases from the QT to the main display if something undesirable should come in on some corals or fish?  <Simply send the filter to the main tank to continue the bio-activity when the QT'ed animal goes over.> As always thanks for the great feedback and your concern, Jeff <best regards, Anthony>

Quarantine Tank, Bioballs Dear WWM crew, I am a little confused on the reference to sponge filter for seeding a quarantine tank. Do you mean a power filter unit that utilizes a sponge for a filter or simply a sponge type filter that would come from the display and dropped directly into the quarantine tank. <We are generally referring to the simple sponge filters run by an air pump, but either would work.> Question number 2: My 180 gallon tanks has two corner internal overflows which I have packed with bio-balls to kill the waterfall noise. I know I have a nitrate factory going on here. Do you have suggestions for killing the noise without the use of bioballs? <Search for plans for the Durso overflow modification. This should be very easy to find on Yahoo or a similar search engine.> I have thought about large hair curlers and the possible use of high density polystyrene. <Any media will give you the same nitrate problems.> Question number 3:  Can I move my powerheads (2 MaxiJet 1200's) from the main tank to the sump and have the same results. <No, not really.> Fish only (Huma Trigger, Regal Tang, Map Angel, Green Bird Wrasse, Marble Wrasse and Raccoon Butterfly) with 150 to 200 lbs. live rock tank. I have two Mag 12's returning water from the sump to the display. Sump capacity is approximately 60 gallons. <Best regards. -Steven Pro>

Quarantine tank questions Thank you for reading my message.   As I am new to this hobby, any suggestions would be appreciated.    My questions are in regards to a quarantine tank. I understand that most quarantine tanks are simple and barebones.   If so, how do you keep a healthy enough biological filtration for your fish if it is absent of substrate, live rock, and other surfaces that aids in biological   filtration?   <Use of pre-established biological filter media, like sponges, fibrous pads in "clean" (disease-free) systems> Do you most people shut down their quarantine tank when not in use?   Or do you run it year round? <Some keep them running continuously... for use as isolation or treatment systems... others just keep the components at the ready>   If it is shut down, how do you get the biological filtration ready (cycled) when the time comes when you do need it?   I guess you could piggy back some stuff from the main tank but I am afraid of contamination. Sincerely, Jimmy <By using such media in the main/display tanks. Please read our sections (articles and FAQs files on Quarantine) starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm following on by way of the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

Seeding The Sponge For A Quarantine Tank I thought you'd all would like to know that I've been what feels like all throughout the web and your site far exceeds any other with respect to content, professionalism, size, straight clear cut answers and above all you don't belittle people who's knowledge is less than yours. That's why we all come to sites like yours in the first place, the learn more and/or to keep on learning. <Really glad to hear that! We're all really just learning more each and every day! That's part of the fun, IMO! Scott F. with you today!>     Now to my question, I'm setting up a Q-tank and will be putting the foam block from it in my display tanks filter to seed it. <Very good idea!> I was thinking if for example a display tank has obtained a disease, virus or the like won't it contaminate my foam block?  Thus contaminating my Q-tank when transferred, just thinking out loud. <Good question/thought. Which, of course, begs another question...Why would anyone think of adding new fishes to a tank in which disease is present? (You knew I'd have to ask that, huh?). Seriously, though, if you're using the foam to seed say, a hospital tank, in which fishes from the affected tank are to be placed, then you're not really exposing them to anything new. And, they are in all likelihood going to be treated with medication anyways in the hospital tank, so it's probably not a big problem. On the other hand, if you really are using the tank for quarantine of new fishes, and, for whatever reason, are fighting illness in the display tank, you have two options, IMO: 1) Ask a friend who has a healthy system if you could keep the foam in his or her tank...or...2) Use freshly mixed water in the QT and seed it with some cured live rock pieces (which you will later remove, of course) from a healthy tank...or...3) Set up the QT as indicated above, skip the LR, and use one of the proprietary "bacteria starter" products, like "Cycle", etc. to help "seed" the foam. I'm thrilled that you're thinking about quarantine, and even more thrilled that you're thinking of the "what ifs" in the process! Hope that these ideas spur more great thoughts! Take care! Regards, Scott F>

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

Re: Biological Filtration/Q-Tank Hi Doc (grin) <Derek> Thanks for the speedy reply. One thing I forgot to ask was how long it takes for something like a sponge or a Merlin to be properly "infected" with the bacteria ? Am I correct in assuming that you need about a week ? <Several days to a few weeks> There are so many test kits available, but to date I haven't found one that measures how many Nitrosomonas or Nitrobacters bacteria you have in a sponge, if you know what I mean...I don't even know if there is 1 in there :) <Interesting possibility... as far as I'm aware there is no such assay. Perhaps you will devise one. Bob Fenner> Thanks for the advice, Derek

Turbo cycling? OK, I've been reading up on quarantine tanks, and have convinced my wife of the need. <Good> Current plan is to get a 12 gallon Eclipse system and some PVC pipe - nothing else in the tank. This could change based on your answers to the following. I read in the FAQ about keeping the bio filter in your main tank, then just setting up the QT as needed. <Yes> Sounds great, and will work in the future. But for now, I am going to need a QT on a constant basis for stocking my tank - if I am adding 1 fish a month, and quarantining for 4 weeks, then the QT will be very busy for the next 6-8 months. <Ok> So, I'm trying to figure out how to cycle the QT to get it started. I don't want to sacrifice damsels (the 2 we have now have been through enough, and I don't want to buy any more and put them through hell). I like the idea of using some bio-filtering from my main tank, but I'm not sure how to do that with my setup. In the main tank, there are 3 types of bio filtering being used - live sand/rock, some bio-thingies (not really balls) in my Fluval filter, and there is a bio-bale in my CPR Bak Pak skimmer. Don't want to mess with the skimmer, and the live rock/sand is a no-no in the quarantine tank. So, that leaves the bio-thingies in the canister. Now, as luck would have it, I wanted to remove SOME of that media eventually, to open up a chamber for adding some carbon. The Eclipse filter system has a mechanical sponge-type filter, I believe some chambers for chemicals, and a bio-wheel. So, would I just remove the BioWheel and add my bio-thingies from the Fluval? <No, would not really fit in the same place.> Or should I use a different type of filter system altogether, say one that might accommodate the bio-thingies better (not spending another $100 on a canister filter, though). <A old-style cheap box filter would work for holding the ceramic rings. These are the ones that used to come with all starter freshwater tanks, clear plastic box that you stuffed with white floss and carbon and bubbled with an air pump. You could fill it up with the Fluval rings easy enough.> And once I get some bio filtering setup, how do I test the system to make sure it is cycled? <Once the fish is in there, monitor ammonia and nitrite closely.> I would sure hate to get an ammonia spike after I get a new critter in there. <Agreed, but not much else you can do but set it up as best you can, add a small fish, and hope that the ceramic rings have enough beneficial bacteria on them to support that particular bioload.> Again, thanks again for your help. I am learning that I can't rely on my LFS for anything - they tried to talk me out of buying a QT. <What? Beyond the poor philosophy, how many LFS salespeople try to talk anyone out of buying anything?> I also found out that they won't take a deposit and hold a fish for you. <Poor business to not hold a fish for a few days at least. Maybe not an entire quarantine period, but a few days is standard for many.> I think I will have to look elsewhere when it's time to purchase livestock. <Yes perhaps that would be best. -Steven Pro>

Quarantine Tank Well once again I come with a question but more for direction than anything. I've done the Google search on QT tanks and can't find the best way to set one up. <Do see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and the linked FAQ files.> Could you point me in the right direction. I know it is here. I'm running an Eheim 2217 with filter sponges in it and don't really want to spend that much on a filter for a QT tank but could I buy something like a Millennium and run it on the main for awhile to get the bacteria built up? <I prefer sponge filters, but the Marineland Penguin hang-on power filters work, too.> Thanks again guys you are all great. Colleen in Pittsburgh <FYI, the next PMASI meeting is on Saturday, September 21st in the Neptune meeting room of the Palace Inn. Adam Cesnales is presenting a plumbing workshop beginning at 6:00 PM. -Steven Pro>

Biological Filter in Quarantine Tank Hello Bob! Hope your Saturday has been pleasant. I have just one quick question. Because I am concerned with the water quality in my main tank (may have parasites still in some stage), I don't want to use it to jumpstart my biological filter in the quarantine tank. I am introducing a 7-member school of 2.5" Lyretail Anthias, and a 5" Sailfin (Desjardinii) tang. Would it be safe to simply run something like Amquel in the QT (along with a mechanical and chemical filtration / Chemipure) while I am getting the biological filter up and running? <Not for me> I could also use some of those pre-packaged BioZyme type products to introduce some bacteria. <Yes... do check into hobbyists opinions... Cycle (Hagen) or fresh Fritzyme (Fritz Chemical) are better regarded... I think> The LFS has said that I don't need to take everything at once, though they don't really want to hold everything for "too" long, either. As always, your insights are greatly appreciated! Thanks again. Jim Raub <Bob Fenner>

Setting Up a Hospital Tank Hello. I have set up a hospital tank with a simple filtration system, like you'd see in a fresh water system, with floss filter bags, sponge and charcoal. In fact it is an old fresh water system that I converted to a hospital tank. The ammonia reading is really high and the nitrate is climbing. It has been up since mid January 2002. I started with 10 gallons of water from my main tank and then 10 gallons of aged salt water. How can I get the ammonia and nitrate to go down? Should I start over using 20 gallons of water from the main tank when I change water in about two weeks? Suggestions welcome. Richard <Changing all the water out for old might do it... Do read through this establishing cycling piece: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm (does apply to freshwater as well), and the quarantine system article and FAQs files on WetWebMedia.com under the Marine Index. Bob Fenner>

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

More Questions about Quarantine Jason, Thank you for your reply. I think you are telling me to stay the course. Water changes and Amquel. What about one of these 48 hr cycle kits (Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter boosters) or would copper just kill? D Stanley <<stay the course, indeed. Those booster formulas are mostly junk - I would avoid them. The best thing I've found of late is the stuff "cell pore" which is available in little rock-sized chunks. Anyway, you can leave a chunk in a well-cycled tank for a week or two and then throw that into the quarantine tank after the medication to bring about a quick cycle. Good luck, J -- >>

Quarantine Filter Hi Bob, <Steven Pro this evening.> I have a question, right now I have a penguin bio wheel filter that has been on my main tank for 6 weeks in order to seed the wheel for a quarantine or hospital tank. It is not my main source of filtration so I was wondering if I could remove the entire bio wheel filter to reduce the clutter in the tank. But, the problem is that I still need some biological filtration on deck in case I want to add new fish or hospitalize a fish. My idea is to float the bio wheel by itself in the main aquarium, if this will work. <Would not work well and would be more "clutter", IMO.> Or I could place the wheel in the bio media column of my CPR bakpak2. <A better solution. My only concern is some of these BioWheels used to come with a stainless steel spindle. I think they have switch to ceramic now. If yours has a ceramic shaft, I would go ahead and submerge it in the Bak-Pak. It will work, but probably not quite as effectively as in the Penguin filter. -Steven Pro> Quarantine Tank I have a question about setting up a Q-tank. What should I use to cycle a Q-tank. I am new to salt water (but have been reading, reading, reading, & researching for 5 months now) and do not have my main tank set-up yet. All the info I have gathered suggest you quarantine all new livestock. So my plan is to start my Q-tank first since it will take 6 weeks to cycle, and 4 weeks to cycle the first livestock. Would you recommend cycling the Q-tank with LR, and after the cycle, put the LR in the main tank and buy more to cycle it. <Sounds like a good plan.> Or should I cycle both tanks at the same time? <You could do this also, but do not leave any liverock in the QT.> The Q-tank is a 30 gallon and the main tank is a 120. If I cycled the Q-tank with LR, how much should I get to cycle it with? <10-20 pounds should be enough.> I plan on getting an AquaClear 300 or 500 filter to run on the Q-tank. <I would prefer a sponge filter.> What type of skimmer would you recommend me running on a 30 Q-tank gallon tank? <Not really needed. You should/will be doing many water changes and only having livestock in there occasionally.> I also plan on getting a UV for the Q-tank. I have also read that you like the Kati Ani type of deionizers. I have searched the web and seem to only find the Deion 200 from AquaDirect for $200. Is there another brand/model you recommend, and where would I find it? <I know you can find the Kati-Ani's at Drs. Foster and Smith, an e-tailer.> Thank You for the support and hours of work you put into the site. Six months ago, I thought it was impossible to have a marine aquarium. Now, I am close to having one. Jesse <Glad to hear it. -Steven Pro>

Quarantine Tank Bob, <Steven Pro in this morning.> I have recently set up a QT (thanks to you) but since I know better than you I decided to include crushed coral so that I could develop a bacteria bed, etc., and not have to worry about constant water changes. <I am guessing by your sarcasm that you are having second thoughts. The crushed coral in a quarantine tank is a truly horrible idea; makes cleaning/siphoning difficult, absorbs medications rendering them ineffective against the pathogen in question, etc. Biological filtration can be effectively accomplished via sponge filters or BioWheels.> Well, I'm at the point where I do a water change every other day and after 3 weeks the tank does not seem to be cycling. I keep getting ammonia readings but not nitrite. In addition, the pH keeps going below 8.0 even though I'm using buffer. What am I doing wrong? Should I bite the bullet and cycle with damsels so I don't put the beautiful angels at risk? <I am confused. What are you cycling the tank with now? Liverock? And why are performing the daily water changes?> Thanks as always. Joe <Steven Pro awaiting your reply.>

Re: QT Steve <Anthony Calfo with the follow up> I lost the bottom of your response but I'll continue on the topic. I have a whisper filter which contains a sponge. Will that be enough to harbor the bacteria without the crushed coral?  <not at all...too modest/small> I want to avoid using a sponge filter due to the noise since the QT tank is in my daughters bedroom.  <hmmm... the tetra brilliant sponge series with most any better air pump mounted on brass chain (the key! to quiet air pumps... swinging from chains under the stand) is really quite silent and a much better filter. Else, an AquaClear power filter with two coarse foam blocks is a close surrogate> How often do I need to do water changes in the Qt under these conditions?  <depends on the nature of the holding... just acclimating a new import or diseased fish. Also, follow your water chemistry. At least weekly small water changes and as much as daily during treatment for parasites> The water that I am using for the water changes has been Ph balanced with buffer so why does the PH keep dropping? <was the water purified before hand (R/O or DI) and not aerated (very soft and high in carbonic acid). Else, test the hardness of your tap water suspecting it is med to soft and simply needs more buffer> Thanks again. Joe <best regards, Anthony>

Biological Cycling I have a 10 gallon QT setup and have been trying with no luck to maintain a biological filter (pre-seeded sponge etc). In lack of thereof, I have been doing a 10% water change (premixed and PH adjusted) every other day in order to limit the nitrites and ammonia. Is this an acceptable approach? Thanks as always, Joe <Please have a read through here re establishing (or keeping going) biological cycling: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm and the associated FAQs, and the FAQs on Quarantine: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Tank -poor choice of substrate Bob, <Steven Pro in this morning.> I have recently set up a QT (thanks to you) but since I know better than you I decided to include crushed coral so that I could develop a bacteria bed, etc., and not have to worry about constant water changes. <I am guessing by your sarcasm that you are having second thoughts. The crushed coral in a quarantine tank is a truly horrible idea; makes cleaning/siphoning difficult, absorbs medications rendering them ineffective against the pathogen in question, etc. Biological filtration can be effectively accomplished via sponge filters or BioWheels.> Well, I'm at the point where I do a water change every other day and after 3 weeks the tank does not seem to be cycling. I keep getting ammonia readings but not nitrite. In addition, the pH keeps going below 8.0 even though I'm using buffer. What am I doing wrong? Should I bite the bullet and cycle with damsels so I don't put the beautiful angels at risk? <I am confused. What are you cycling the tank with now? Liverock? And why are performing the daily water changes?> Thanks as always. Joe <Steven Pro awaiting your reply.>

Quarantine Tanks Bob - I have just finished reading the quarantine process article on the FFE web page and I have a couple of questions that maybe you can help with. First, the biological filter: how do you recommend maintaining the bio-load of the filter when a new fish is not in "quarantine"? Normally, a hardy fish or two can handle this, but doesn't that defeat the purpose of having the "new" fish alone? Or do you recommend filing the tank and running it only when buying a new fish? Second, would a simple exterior hanging bio-filter be suitable for the quarantine tank and is a protein skimmer needed? Third, and lastly, what type of lighting do you recommend for the quarantine tank? The article says that you may not need lighting, but...Thanks for your advice! Chris <Very good questions... 1) I'd keep the bioload up by offering a bit of dry-prepared food occasionally if I was pretty sure I might want to use the quarantine system in the near term (I do not encourage using inorganic sources of ammonia, or organic products made for "goosing" nitrification... they're too dangerous, unreliable). Otherwise I'd "float" the biomedia (I mainly use sponge types) in a clean system so they're pre-made, "ready to go" if needed. 1B) Yes, I generally fill, refill the quarantine system with used system water and the move pre-popped filter media anew when either bringing in new livestock, or isolating existing for whatever reason. 2) A hand on filter works fine for quarantine tanks, and unless the organisms are going to be in there a long time (weeks) I generally skip on using a protein skimmer... especially if medicating (fractionators readily remove most coppers). But I do monitor water quality twice daily (or more), effect water changes, and replace media if the system appears to be "crashing" in terms of biological filtration/support. 3) Re lighting a quarantine system: Unless the organisms are obligate photosynthates AND are going to be in the system more than a week, I wouldn't use any lighting. In addition, I remind you to provide chemically inert cover (I use PVC parts, pipe) for your mobile livestock to get out of view and even the dim non-added light. Bob Fenner, who thanks you for writing and encourages you to read his quarantine pieces at the wetwebmedia.com site.>

Quarantine tank After my first year as a "fishkeeper" and replacing a number of tropical saltwater fish in a 55 gal tank w/bio-wheel and skimmer, I have decided to set up a 10 gal. quarantine tank. The stores that provide me fish, etc., have conflicting ways to operated this tank. I would like to keep, at least, a couple of small fish in the tank at times that a sick or new fish is not being treated, one says ok the other says keep dry till needed and use half existing tank water and half fresh mixed water. Help, Carlton White <Good news all the way around... Great to hear of your quarantine plans... and I do have my own Standard Operating Procedures for same... posted for all's use at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com  To answer the one point: I wouldn't leave the quarantine/treatment/acclimation empty at all... but at least do consider doing the following: during water changes take the water out of the quarantine tank, and siphon your system water into the quarantine tank... replacing microbes and organics... in one throw.  Bob Fenner, who's glad to be here>

Quarantine Tank Hi Bob, What is the fastest way to cycle a quarantine tank? Secondly, once cycled, how do you keep the tank from re-cycling if it goes for a bit of time with no  fish in the tank? Thank You. Patty <Move cycled water and some substrate, filter media from your main/display tank... answer to both! Bob Fenner>

Filtration for quarantine Hello, I am in the process of finally setting up a 20 gal. quarantine tank after  much demise in my 120 gal. FLWR tank. My question is what would be the best  filtration to set up on this tank for permanent operation with a few damsels  occupying it. Or what other fish would be advisable to occupy the quarantine  tank to keep the bacteria going in this tank? I was considering a Skilter,  what are your thoughts on this product? Thanks for your help in advance. <The Skilter (modified with an airstone down the contact chamber for added function) would be great, plus I'd add an airstone to the tank... as well. For "keeping the biological filtration going" there is no need to stock the system with damsels... instead, just some of your main system water siphoned over to the tank during routine maintenance will keep it "primed". Bob Fenner, who is very glad you're "raising the bar" on your aquarium experience, rather than...>

Quarantine Hi Bob, Finally the nitrite level is back to normal (Tetra test) and made a 20% water change last night. I have also prepare a 18g quarantine tank using back the change water from the main tank. Running on a power pump sponge filter without gravel. My question is can a 18g tank quarantine a large clown trigger (10 inch) for two weeks? Can the water deteriorate? Is it better to treat the water first? <Probably, yes, and yes... I'd be monitoring water quality daily... and changing parts as necessary.> Appreciate your reply soon. David. <Bob Fenner>

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

Saltwater hospital tank/transfer tank Bob, Sorry to bug you again. I have one last question for you. What do you need to do to set up a saltwater hospital tank or holding tank. Do you need to cycle it like a show tank? Is there a part of this web site that tells you about this type of thing? <Yes... these issues and related items are covered on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com under "Quarantine" and related FAQs files. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Pat

Quarantine Tank Bob, I have read your information about the quarantine of fish and I agree totally. I believe even if you have a fish only tank, live rock, etc. is important to have so the fish can constantly pick at. Live rock and parasitic treatments don't mix. Nor does a lot of things. It just seems the whole system goes south when treatments (all even the so called safe ones) are introduced. <You are correct> I have a 20 gallon quarantine tank. I have purchased 3 butterfly fish from internet supplier. I use an Emperor 400 bio wheel filter system (I keep the wheels and the cartridge in my sump with a bunch of bio balls that I stuff in the back pocket of filter. I also put a couple pieces of live rock from my main tank (completely cycled) into QT. I divide the tank to separate the fish. I took water from main tank and started filter and introduced fish. My concern is I got a small .2 ammonia spike. I have no nitrite. I put in a couple of capfuls of Kent Detox and got the Ammonia down to 0. Granted I have way to much fish for 20 Gallon tank, but they are doing great. Will I keep getting Ammonia spikes?, <Hopefully not... the Butterflies presence has likely elevated the populations and metabolisms of beneficial microbes...> should I be concerned with this level .2? or will the bacteria and filter/live rock knock it down?  <Not too concerned, and yes, should> I know eliminating Ammonia with chemical probably not best, is this a real problem. Is water changing every other day? necessary? <I wouldn't be doing this unless the ammonia exceeded 0.5 ppm with these fishes> I think freshwater dips would be beneficial in long run, but hate to disturb extremely healthy, vigorously eating fish. What do you recommend? <Doing what you're doing. I wouldn't do the freshwater dips either> If dip, what brand name and mix strength can I find the Methylene blue? <Just very blue... very safe material> I also have not altered Specific Gravity or temperature. To some up, I know I have to much fish in small tank, and am concerned for their health for two weeks. Should I set up another QT? <If another tank can be put to use, yes... otherwise you should be fine (I assume the Butterflyfishes are small specimens, you're keeping the tank in an area of low traffic... A couple of weeks going by, a pH adjusted freshwater dip enroute to the main system... is what I'd do. Bob Fenner> D Stanley

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: