Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Quarantining Freshwater Livestock

Related Articles: FW Quarantine, Freshwater Livestock, Acclimation of New Freshwater Livestock by Bob Fenner, Fishes, Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs:  FW Livestock 1, Freshwater Livestock Selection

Wild-collected stocks are always suspect as carriers of disease.

Lack Of Quarantine, Bad Mix, Ich - 10/17/2005 I have a 37 gallon tank with 5 assorted Rainbows, 2 Congo Tetras, 1 South American Puffer, 1 Silver Dollar, 1 Pleco and 1 Clown Loach. Until recently, it also had a few Furcata Rainbows.  <Not really a great mix.... Schoolers without schools, aggressive fin nippers with very delicate animals, fish that will outgrow this tank....> 2 weeks ago, I added one of the Rainbows, the SA Puffer, a BGK and a Buenos Aires Tetra.  <The knife does not belong with fish that nip fins.... or in a 37g tank at all for that fact.> The BGK died 4 days after purchase (and no, I did not stick them into a quarantine tank), <Bad move, man.> and just 2 days ago, I noticed the Rainbows and the Silver Dollar all had chunks of their fins missing. The SD also looked like it had developed Ick.  <....and now you realize the vital importance of quarantining new livestock?> I observed the tank and noticed the Buenos Aires Tetra nipping at the other fish <To be expected.... learn about your animals prior to mixing them, and keep schooling fish in schools.> and removed him to our 10 gallon tank with our Blue Lobster and Goldfish.  <....you do realize he's likely brought ich to your goldfish now, yes? Furthermore, do you think he'll be any kinder to the goldfish than the tropicals? No. He also should not be in with cool water animals.> I turned off the bio-wheel filtration system and added an Ick medicine I had used in the tank last year called Metronidazole by Seachem.  <Not the best or most effective choice at all....> The fish were eating fine until tonight. They ate very little (including the SA Puffer who loves his Bloodworms) and I noticed several of them had the white spots. <Hope that didn't come as a surprise to you, and I hope you've read our information regarding ich: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> I removed all of the fake plants and ornaments and rinsed them off. Next, I gravel vac'd the tank and removed 25% of the water. I turned the filtration system back on because the water was still a little cloudy from the water change (which is done every 3 weeks) and I wanted to clean it up a bit. I have been reading all of the responses for ick and I am completely confused since I have a wide array of fish. Please help! <Much to think about here, for the long-term health of all the animals involved. Do please read the article linked above, and also search the 'net about treating freshwater ich with salt. I would likely treat with salt and elevated temperature for these fish, and begin considering what sort of fish/system I want.... and plan.> Sincerely, Steven M. Doctors <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Maintaining Nitrifying Bacteria Without Substrate - 05/20/2006 Hi!  Thanks so much for your wonderful website.   <Thanks for the thanks!  I'm glad you've found it useful.> My husband thinks I have become addicted!   <Shh!  He's probably right....> After many searches, I can't quite find the answer I'm seeking about biological filtration.  In order to prepare a home for 3 African dwarf frogs, I have set up a 5 gallon tank with 3 gallons of water (my research tells me the lower water level prevents them from escaping as well as makes their trip up to the surface for air less stressful).  I've also decided to keep the substrate bare of gravel or pebbles since these apparently can inure the tiny frogs and make it difficult for them to find their food. I've added some silk plants and some smooth, cave-like decorations for them since they enjoy hiding.  My question - and I hope I'm not missing something really obvious here - is about how to maintain beneficial microbes.  I purchased a Whisper filter and have it set on low since the little frogs like their water as still as possible.  But then I read that Whisper filters are not great for biological filtration.   <Mm, they're alright.> My old Marineland Eclipse won't work for the lower water level, since the unit is built into the lid.  I know I can introduce beneficial microbes into the tank by transplanting them from a LFS or with Bio-Spira, <Stick with Bio-Spira, gravel or anything from the LFS will possibly have more than just what you want (ich, etc.).> but what I don't understand is how to maintain the microbes through all the water changes and filter changes (especially since there is no gravel).  Before, my Bio-wheel took care of that.  Do you know of a bio-wheel type filter which will work when the water level is well below the top of the tank?  Or can I create the same effect some other way?   <Yeah, you sure can.  What I would do is get a piece of filter floss or filter sponge (I like the AquaClear sponges for this purpose) and wedge it into the Whisper filter along with the Whisper cartridge.  This way, you can change your filter cartridge and have a chunk of material that will still have a lot of nitrifying bacteria on it.  I would place this piece of material after the filter cartridge so it doesn't get too clogged with particulate material, so you can just keep using it.> Thanks so much,  -Dianne <I hope that works out for you!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Maintaining Nitrifying Bacteria Without Substrate, Thanks - 05/20/2006 Sounds like a perfect and easy solution!  I'll pick up a sponge right away.  Thanks so much, Sabrina!  -Dianne <Glad to be of service.  All the best to you,  -Sabrina> Freshwater Quarantine 10/9/05 Good afternoon WWW crew. <Hello!> Your site is absolutely amazing. The world and all its aquatic fauna thank you. :) <Glad you have found us useful!> I am about to set up a new 10-gallon QT/hospital tank. What is your take on this plan? I would like to run this tank permanently. <Having a quarantine set-up all the time is a great idea, however after each 'session' it is good practice to drain and sterilize the tank, especially after treating disease.> -10 gallon glass, bare  -PVC piping -fluorescent lighting, ONLY when needed - there is diffused sunlight in the room with the tank -sponge filter, after maturing in a display tank -heater (of course) -One small algae eater as a permanent resident <Everything looks good except for the last one. A quarantine is for isolation. New fish need time alone to adjust, having an already established fish would not allow them to do this. Also what happens in the case of disease? Lets not forget that new fish bring in new diseases at times, it would not be fare to expose an established fish to another sickly specimen or medication he/she does not need.> Would the small algae eater be ok in this bare tank? I would feed him small algae wafer bits and of course, oodles of love. :D <No I would only use the quarantine tank for new additions and ill specimens.> My fish and I thank you for your sage advice. <No problem, Adam J.>

A Cycle of Questions Hi again and thanks for your response. I do have some further questions. I believe I must remove the live plants from the tank during  treatment? <Yep, Although some tough plants can handle the salt. Keep them in a fishless container for at least one month. Adding them back earlier could bring back the Ick>   Should I keep the temp up at 86 during the minimum 2 week treatment? <Yes, Ick can only be destroyed during one phase of it's three stage lifecycle. Higher temps speed up the lifecycle and kills it quicker. Do not raise the temp until the salt is in> During this minimum 2 week treatment, do I continue the daily water changes and replace the salt in the new water? <Continue testing for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Do water changes if you see any of the first two or when nitrates climb above 20ppm. Yes, you would have to replace the salt in any new water. Mix it in before adding it to the tank. Be careful to keep the same concentration. Doing 50% water changes makes it easy to figure out the dose. Remember, treat for two weeks AFTER the last spot drops. Very important!>   Being how I have a whisper power filter that has the filter and the sponge-thing, is there a way to remove the sponge thingy to a bucket or something therefore preserving the biological filter? <Not really. The bacteria will starve without an ammonia source (the fish). Keeping it with fish will spread the Ick> Or if I were to go out and buy a small QT tank, could I use the established filter or some water from the established tank in the new QT tank? or would that just be contaminating a new QT? My concern is that possibly killing my tank and  causing it to recycle. Would my existing fish (powder blue Gourami, 2 clown loaches) die in the recycle? YIKES! I am not aware that these are "hardy" fish. <The best way to do this would be a small, bare bottom QT. Fill it with water from the problem tank. Add the fish, but not the filter. A simple sponge filter, or even just a airstone will do. With all fish out of the main, turn up the temp to 86. Throw in a small frozen shrimp to feed the filter. A little fish food added daily will also work. Let it sit this way for 30 days while you treat the fish in QT. The parasite will starve out with no fish host. Test the QT daily and do water changes to correct spikes in ammonia or nitrite. If you are doing enough water changes to control ammonia and nitrite, there is no need for a filter. Just an airstone. Treatment will prevent the establishment of any bio filtration anyway>   Could I possibly use some sort of "dip" or "bath"? I guess what I am really saying is. I can probably afford to go and buy a small QT tank (with filter, heater, hood, and I could use my existing air pump for the new QT) but by doing so, (will probably get in the dog house with hubby) it would be starting out with new water? new cycle? same dangers?   (ammonia, nitrites).. help.. I'm so confused! <All you really need is the tank with a glass lid, heater and airstone. You do not need a lighted hood or a filter. A 50% water change in a 5 gallon tank is easy. Just siphon the water from the bottom to remove the Ick that is reproduction mode. A dip may (doubtful though, IMO) clear the fish, but not the tank>   If I were to go and buy a QT tank, what are your recommendations for this route? I understand that if I remove the fish from the main tank, that the ich will die because there will be no host. So I think that I can possibly save my main tank by getting a QT tank? <Correct, just add that ammonia source (shrimp).> Should I use the water from the main tank in the QT tank? And since I have to buy a filter for the QT tank, can I just put my  established filter in the new QT tank and put the new filter in the main tank? Or will this also cause a recycle in the main tank? Or can I maybe switch out the sponge thing? (i.e.: keep the sponge in the main tank, and add a new filter, and put the old filter from the main tank in the new QT tank?) If I were to use  new filter in the main tank, that contains the carbon, this would clear up the  meds from the main tank water right? A final thought here... I am getting some algae on the walls of the tank (due to the lack of an algae eater), would this  be enough "stuff" to keep the biological filter going if I put new filter assy. in the main tank and moved the established filter assy. to the new QT tank? <Only if it died and rotted> Ugh.. ok.. now I am getting a headache LOL... thanks for your help and support in this matter! Nancy   <Now my heads spinning with filter jumping all around. But I think I answered all above. Main point is that you can save yourself a lot of money, work and worry, along with lives, by using a QT before adding any living thing to your tank. Moving an established filter will move the Ick, and any new filter will need to do through a cycling period. So any way you do it, you're going through a recycling. Better in a small tank while letting the large go fallow. Don>  

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: