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FAQs on Quarantine 12

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

Related FAQs: Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2Quarantine 3Quarantine 4, Quarantine 5, Quarantine 6Quarantine 7, Quarantine 8, Quarantine 9, Quarantine 10, Quarantine 11, Quarantine 13, Quarantine 14, Quarantining Invertebrates, Quarantine FAQs on: QT Rationale/Use, QT Methods/Protocol, QT Protocol 2, Quarantine Lighting Quarantine Tanks & FAQs on QT Tanks, QT Filtration, QT Maintenance/Operation, Quarantine Feeding & FAQs on: Quarantine Feeding  & FAQs on Acclimation 1, Acclimating Invertebrates, Acclimation of Livestock in the BusinessTreatment TanksAmmonia, Nitrites, Nitrates

Some fish species take very poorly to quarantine in small volumes, and should not be subjected.

Prophylactic qt treatment     6/24/17
Hello Bob,
I am currently going through a reboot of my DT (velvet outbreak) and I have 2 QT tanks set up while I leave the DT fallow. As I am treating with CP, I was wondering if I should prophylactically treat for flukes. The fish show
no obvious signs but there is so much misinformation about fish not showing symptoms that I am now paranoid. I have Prazi-pro and API General Cure. I read that CP and Prazi should not be mixed due to oxygen depletion so I
was considering using the GC.
<With adequate aeration these med.s are mixable. You should be able to find flukes in the bottom of a settled pH adjusted freshwater dip/bath... need to look close as they're small and translucent/transparent>
Also, all new incoming fish will be QT and treated with CP and either Prazi or GC. I know you are not a fan of prophylactic treatment,
<Au contraire; I am a huge proponent... of appropriate prophylactic procedures; esp. at the collector/jobber-wholesaler level>

but what should I do if symptoms can be masked.
<Depends on too many factors to elucidate in email. Read over our writings on disease/pathology, books I've penned. Some fish groups, species are to be treated differently, depending on apparent states of health/condition...>
One incoming fish is a wartskin angler which is not a very active fish so it would be nearly impossible to determine reclusive behavior.
<Antennariiform fishes are almost always robust (or dead due to delivery issues) on arrival. I would expedite most all>
Jason Russo
<Robert Fenner>
Re: prophylactic qt treatment    6/25/17

Would you consider 2 airstones w/ a HOB filter in a 55g and 2 airstone w/ a HOB filter in a 20g adequate aeration for a Prazi/CP combination?
I never want to go through this again. This experience has been enough to make me rethink this hobby.
<I understand. When, where in doubt, my practice is to stand back (time, mentally/emotionally), review my position; judge the merits of my actions, feelings. B>

Dead Personifer, QT use f'     11/28/12
Hello Crew, Help, what did I do wrong? I decided to QT my Personifer when she developed cloudy eye.
<... one eye? Likely a physical injury. No sense moving the fish unless there's something wrong w/ the main/display>
 I used Maracyn & followed directions on box.
<See WWM re antibiotic use; rarely efficacious used in this manner>

My QT tank is 20 gallon,
<... for how large an Angel?>
backpack filter ( no carbon), 1 1/2 sandbed, heater & some rock for hiding, proper lighting, added an airstone for oxygenation. The parameters are the same as in my tank. In fact I used 1/2 Scripps water
<See the protocols for using natural water archived on WWM>
to make sure it was better. I live in SoCal. & use Scripps for my water changes.
<Mmm, I live in San Diego, have/had used this source off and on for decades... has its real and potential downsides, and not really "free", considering time, transport and troubles>
There parameters are perfect, 0 ss across the board. I used 1 packet as indicated.
<Do understand what tests we have for water quality are scant, just a glimpse...>
Slowly dissolved over time. Other than   hiding out, she was doing fine, she was not eating as voraciously. With in hours she showed stress in the QT and it was all downhill from there.
<Yes; the move, the small volume. Again, I would not have moved this fish>
 She didn't even make it 24 hrs. In fact I was going to move her back, but by 3 in the morning she'd passed. I wish now, that I never had moved her!
<Me too>
 That was my 4th & last time with a QT,  my 3 prior incidence's turned out as badly! Everybody touts how necessary a QT is, but I beg to differ. Why are my experiences turning out so horrible?
<Perhaps the reasons for your use are not valid... Again, review simple dip/bath procedures; here:
Bob Fenner>

Sterilizing A Quarantine Tank - 10/08/05 How are you Bob? <<EricR here...very well, thank you.>> Thanks to you guys I can get out of trouble with my fish.  I have had a problem with Oodinium in my 20gal QT that keeps coming back with every new fish that goes into it. I read in your book that you should tear everything down and sterilize the tank to get rid of this parasite if it continues to haunt you and you've tried everything else. Well, Im at that step now. Could you please tell me what you mean by sterilize?  I already took the tank outside and hosed it down with fresh water and now I'm letting it dry before I put new display water into it. Should I use a chemical or something, or is a fresh water hose down good enough? Can I use the same hang on filter/bio wheel and the same air stone?  Does this parasite live even in dry areas with no water, or does it only survive in water? I also soaked my plants and pvc pipe in hot water for a while, is that good enough? I don't want to have to deal with this again, please help? I'll wait to hear back from you before I proceed to get any new fish. <<Well Chris, your best option here is to scrub/wash the tank down with a dilute bleach solution (cup of bleach in a gallon of water)...rinse thoroughly...fill the tank and add a dechlorinator to remove any trace of the bleach...empty the water and let dry in the sun.>> Thanks a lot Bob, Chris <<Regards, EricR>>

Re: Sterilizing A Quarantine Tank - 10/08/05 To go with this last email I sent. Basically what I'm asking is: Is letting everything dry for a day or two after hosing down with fresh water, sufficient enough to kill Oodinium? <<Understood...please proceed as previously outlined (rinse with a dilute bleach solution). Regards, EricR>>

Ich and Quarantine (the next Tarantino film) 10/7/05 Hi <<Hi.>> Yesterday my sixline wrasse had two white specs on it. I removed all three fish to quarantine tanks last night assuming they were all infected. <<A partially correct assumption, and likely what I may have done in the same situation. Sixlines, in my own experience, are not very susceptible to C. irritans, but such a small fish can be overwhelmed easily.>> No other fish were displaying symptoms. <<As you've probably surmised, they don't need to be displaying symptoms to be under attack.>> My question is since the severity of this ich outbreak is so small how long do I have to keep my display tank fallow? I have read on your web site a minimum of six weeks, but with my quick action I am hoping to only leave the tank fallow for 2-4 weeks. <<The reason for this length of time fallowing is because of the life-cycle and lifespan of the protozoa in question. This can be speeded up by raising the tank temperature.>> My problem with leaving the display tank empty for 6 weeks is my yellow tang, which is 4-5 inches long really pollutes the water fast. <<Ah, indeed. Yet that's the fish most likely to completely succumb. Have you considered going with large tubs or trash cans? I, and others, have posted on this sort of "tank-in-a-pinch" methodology. Also, lowering the salinity is helpful in ensuring better O2 saturation. Again, search via our Google bar, on hyposalinity.>> I had a really hard time keeping the yellow tang in the initial quarantine period and had to move her to the display tank a few days early when she was first introduced. The wrasse and the damsel are receiving a copper treatment, but I would rather not treat the yellow tang with copper so I could place a piece of live rock in the quarantine tank and help with biological filtration, or should I just treat the tank with copper? <<My personal preference is to start with hyposalinity. However, I've not had problems treating most tangs (especially Z. flavescens) with copper, either. Again, consider hitting one of the "Marts" (Wal, K) and getting a larger plastic tub for her. 30-40 gallons should allow enough room for swimming, etc.>> Also, would it be safe to take a piece of live rock from the infected tank and place it in the quarantine tank without copper, or would it be best to go buy a new piece of live rock from the LFS to place in the quarantine tank? <<Don't transfer any live/porous material into Q/T. That will just transfer the disease. Also, if you're treating with copper, it's pointless to put *any* live rock in there, as it will quickly become both dead and saturated with copper. Just don't put anything porous in a tank that's being treated with copper. Again, do use our Google bar, as you'll find a WHOLE lot of information previously posted - more than I could add here.>> This is my first experience with a disease, so any help would be appreciated. Thanks for everything, Jed <<You're welcome. You've acted and read, now just read some more and see about getting the tang some larger temporary digs. Marina>> 

You dont want your fish to eat? Quarantine 10/6/05 Hi Crew, <Hi Lynn.>      Can you tell me how long can fish safely go without being fed while in a bare QT. <Depends on the species, some will go on feeding strikes for 3 weeks and show no ill effects. Though you should try to induce feeding as soon as possible.> I quarantine mine in a 40 gal, doing 20 gal changes every 48 hours and adding Amquel as well. <Sounds good.>  Prior to this I always  have ammonia problems, so this time I haven't fed them at all (its now 10 days) Can they go the duration of 21 days with no ill effects?  <Ok, I understand your ammonia problems, when I have my QT set-up I feed twice daily, and I also execute a water change immediately after the feeding is complete.  Getting fish to eat is hard enough I would not purposely induce a hunger strike. You want them to be as strong as possible before leaving the confines of your QT and being added tot he display.  Heres a scenario for you to consider, lets say you dont feed them and they do survive.  You then add the fish to the display and they refuse to eat do to the induced hunger strike. Lets also say they are too weak to deal with or compete with tank-mates that are already established in the displaynot a good scenario is it? Please feed your fish. QT is not solely for preventing disease into your main tank. QT is to be used as a time to make sure a new inhabitant is eating, alert healthy and strong enough to be added to a display.> Thanks so much Lynn <Adam J.> Raccoon Butterfly, Copper, Quarantine 9/30/05 My name is Kristen and I just bought a raccoon butterfly for my 70gal tank.  Currently he is in my 25gal QT tank that I am treating with copper.  The last fish in the QT tank had been treated with copper before because of either velvet or angel fish disease (I figured after 4 months of letting the tank sit with no hosts, the parasite would die off). <Although Ick and velvet would die after this amount of time, quarantine tanks should always be drained and allowed to completely dry between uses to be absolutely sure than any pathogens can't survive.> Surely enough, my butterfly started to get white spots and was darting all over the tank.  So I'm assuming he contracted the same thing. <Most likely, it was carrying the disease when you purchased it.> I do notice that he is breathing very fast and heavy at times, other times not.  I have a good-sized air bar in the tank along with good circulation with a bio filter running and heater. <Rapid gill movement is usually a sign of stress and often of parasites damaging gills.  This occurs even when there is plenty of oxygen in the water.> Before I put my butterfly in the tank, the copper treated water had been sitting a good four months w/o any fish in it.  One quarter of the water evaporated, and I sucked out the other 1/4 of the water for a 50% water change (including the water that evaporated).  So 50% of the old water still remained and I put the other 50% full of new water. <Yikes!  If the water was allowed to evaporate 25%, this could cause unpredictable changes in water quality.  Also, if you have not done so, please be sure that the salinity is correct as it would have increased with evaporation.  I would suggest performing a couple of large (25-30%) water changes with water from your display to ensure proper water quality.  Replace the water in your display with new well aerated salt water.> Do you think after all that time there was still copper left (I forgot to test to see)?  As of right now, I only put the first dose of two in the tank.  Im going to hold off on putting the second and final dose in until I hear from you. <It is impossible to predict how much copper might have been left in the water.  Copper treatment must be done according to the package directions and should be tested regularly during treatment (some preparations can't be tested for... just follow the directions to the letter).> Do you think his fast breathing are signs of a copper overdose already, only after 2 days?  I'm concerned even though the fish looks great/very colorful, is eating, and is active.  He just seems a little spazzy. Please help!!  Thanks so much, Kristen :-) <I doubt that this is copper toxicity.  I would guess that it is a water quality/stress issue.  The fish should have plenty of cover to make it feel secure (flower pots or pieces of PVC pipe work well) and water quality should be optimized with water changes and good filtration.  Be sure to add the appropriate amount of copper to make up for water changes.  Hope this all helps.  Best Regards.  AdamC.> Chromis!  9/28/05 Hey Aquatic Masters!   <Heeee! Not quite> I have a 175 gallon FO (bowed) tank. <Beautiful> I am considering getting a Foxface Rabbit, 2 Heniochus, Yellow Tang, Threadfin, Raccoon, and 5 or 7 Blue Chromis.  I have a 20 gallon quarantine tank the fish will be in for about one month before going to the main tank.  My question is, would 7 Blue Chromis be too heavy a load for a 20 gallon quarantine tank?   Thank you for your help, Dan <Mmm, better to go with two sets... one of three, the other of four... with a collection of good-sized PVC parts to duck into, away from each other. Bob Fenner>

Cycling and Quarantine Tanks  9/27/05 Hey guys! <Leslie here for the guys today.> I had another quick question for you. I have a QT tank that I had empty for the last four months with just an airstone circulating the water with the pump off. If I do a decent water change can I put some fish in it for quarantine without having to cycle new water all over again? <Nope, not unless you had some sort of a biofilter up and  running and were feeding it. Most of the beneficial bacteria live on surfaces within the tank called biomedia....like bioballs, a sponge, live rock and live sand, not in the water. Even with those you would still need to be doing something to keep them "charged" or active by supplying them with ammonia to break down. If you have access to several pieces of completely cured live rock that you could spare for the Q tank, that would work, otherwise you will need to re-cycle the tank.> Thanks <Your welcome, Leslie>

QT sterilization  9/24/05 I just lost a couple fish from my QT to Amyloodinium, and am breaking the tank down (I just got a smaller tank better suited as a QT).   My question is whether the Amyloodinium can survive complete desiccation (as in at least 3 days completely dry). I know bleach will sterilize & will use that on the net, etc, but for the tank itself & the power filter, I'd prefer just leaving dry a while if possible. <Scott, the surest was is to copper the QT for a minimum of 21 days with a maintained copper level of 0.15 to 0.20ppm.  This does require the use of a copper test kit to ensure these levels are maintained.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for a very helpful site! <You're welcome> <<... can resist drying for three plus days... I would lightly bleach all. RMF>> Scott

QT sterilization - clarification 9/27/05 I'm not sure I was clear in my question - I mean the tank is currently empty, and I want to nuke it, to have a safe QT in the future.  From the other response, I should keep copper in it for 3 weeks with nothing at all in there?  Can I just empty the tank for 3 weeks & leave it dry for that long - or can the cysts survive drying out totally? <You should be OK in that regard.  James (Salty Dog)>

Quarantine questions  9/19.5/05 First I would like to say your web site is great!!!!!!!!! it has answered so many questions. And I have the book CMA and that is great to I have probably read every word five times!!!!! I have a few questions for you on quarantine. I have a 30 gallon quarantine and a 200 gallon main tank with sump. I will be using a hang on filter probably with a BioWheel, when seeding bio filter can I but just the bio pad, media, or BioWheel which ever I decide to use in the sump fully submerged under water between the baffles so the water flows through the media or just float the media in the sump or do I need to run the entire hang on filter in the sump? When I'm adding meds should I take any of the filter media out (mechanical, chemical, biological)? Will the meds kill the bio bacteria or just stunt the bacteria so if I leave the filter media in while using meds when am done with the meds should I replace filter with a fresh seeded filter or can I keep using the same one? Charcoal is needed for quarantining inverts but not fish right? Do inverts ever need meds if so should you turn the skimmer off? Thanks a lot for all of your help your web site is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Todd Shiparski <On medicating read here.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm  On your sump/wet dry questions, search same subjects on the WWM.  Your questions should be answered here.  James (Salty Dog)> Re: Quarantine questions  9/21/05 Salty Dog, <Todd> When I was talking about a hang on filter I would be using it for a 30 gallon quarantine <Now it makes sense> and seeding it in the 200 gallon tanks sump, The 200 gallon would be full of live rock with filter bag going into sump with Euroreef skimmer and baffles for carbon, etc and refugium. The question was say if I use a BioWheel filter, CPR  BakPak, or bio ring type filter can I just put the BioWheel, BakPak media, or bio rings between one of the baffles submerged under water or does it also need a air source <It will get an air source from the water passing through, although the media is a little more efficient with water trickling over it.> (like a sponge filter) to grow the bacteria or should I be putting the "(entire hang on filter)" in the sump. "why don't you understand bio pad <Understand it, it's the way the sentence was worded.> (a filter sponge or pad, cartridge with sponge or pad that grows biological bacteria)."  And I know carbon will take the meds out I was just using a example of all three, the main question was biological, if meds kill the bacteria should I leave it in. <Only if you're using copper based medications, then remove.> And again I'm talking about a 30 gallon quarantine tank not the 200 G, when I'm done with meds should I replace filter with new seeded filter or leave the one that the bacteria has died <again, if you are using copper based meds, move the filter to the 200> on running for rest of quarantine period seems like you should switch it out, but I have never read anything on your web site that tells me to do so, not saying its not there I just have not got there yet. All questions were for a quarantine tank. Anyone who has a 200 G quarantine tank in a home must have some pretty big fish "HA HA"!!!!! <Indeed> And I know inverts definitely need a protein skimmer, I just didn't know about the meds, I figured no but I just wanted to make sure. And I have read the book many many times more of the of the fish stuff  Then the inverts but I have read the whole thing, I cant remember everything!!!!! And I have also read very much of your web site I spent half the day Sunday on it and there is a lot of great info on it, but you can read read and read, but sometimes its really helpful to be able to ask someone a certain question and get a straight answer right away, especially from people as smart as you guys in the hobby!!!! <In reading you will retain more than you realize.>  I'm just starting in the hobby. <Good> If someone had a question on a sports car 0 to 60, 1/4 mile, how fast, what kind of performance, price new, price used etc. "which is my #1 hobby" I would love to answer someone's question I wouldn't tell someone to go read it on a web site or you should of remembered it when you read it in a book, I would just tell you the info "AND LOVE DOING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  Its called loving your hobby!!!!!!!!!  And you want to help out people interested as much as you can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <Todd, there is a section on the WWM concerning sending queries.  We encourage people to find the info on the WWM first, before sending.  If everyone sent in queries because they wanted an answer "right away", we wouldn't be able to keep up.  Keep in mind plenty of queries pass through this site in one day.  Good luck in your new hobby.  By the way, what is the new Mitts Spyder clocked at in the 1/4 mile.  Wife is thinking about one.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again for your time.      Todd

QT questions  9/17/05 Hi, After reading about quarantine tanks on your site, I set up a tank today for some  invertebrates I bought today ( I drip acclimated them over several hours). I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank going (1/2 display tank water and 1/2 newly mixed saltwater aerated for 1 day before adding to display tank) and I have some questions.  1) I put a sponge filter from one of my Fluval filters from the display tank into the filter in the quarantine tank to provide some beneficial bacteria-could I put a small piece of live rock from my display tank into the quarantine tank to also help keep ammonia etc. <Yes, definitely> levels under control?  2)  I have  a few small feather duster worms in the quarantine tank-will they get enough to eat just by adding water from the display tank into the quarantine tank? Or should I add something else to the quarantine tank to feed the feather dusters? <I feed my dusters Cyclop-Eeze and they seem to be doing well.> 3)  I have 2 small (2 inch diameter) starfish in the quarantine tank. They are meat eaters ( Echinaster echinophorus).  I have had one of these for 1 year and feed him/her twice a week.  How often should I feed them while in quarantine? <No difference, just don't feed more than they will eat in these smaller quarters.> 4) My plan is to test water quality in the quarantine tank daily and make water changes with water from the display tank. <Not a good idea.  If any disease is present in the display, you will be transferring it into the QT.> I am thinking 1 or 2 gallons a day for the water change in the quarantine tank-does this sound correct to you? <10% weekly will be fine unless your ammonia levels start to go up, then you may need to do more frequent changes.  James (Salty Dog)> Should it be more? Thanks for all of your help! <You're welcome> Chris Need Help Going Fallow   9/17/05 I have a 55 gallon with 2 clowns, 1 neon pacific goby, 2 Rainfordi gobies, 1 Blacklip butterfly fish, 1 choc chip star, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 coral banded shrimp, 1 bi-color Pseudochromis. I just had an outbreak of ich, the butterfly was the first one hit. I quarantined him to a 20 gallon hospital tank, everything seemed fine. While keeping an on any of the others for symptoms, signs started to show on the neon Pacific and the Pseudochromis, none of the others, but to be safe I decided to go fallow, and follow with treatments obviously. My question is, for the 4 week period, is the 20 gallon going to be large enough, especially with the Pseudochromis, who is quite territorial at times? Thanks for your help. Doug Poage Thanks for the speedy reply, and I think I know the answer to this, but since your advice is that the 20 gal. will not be large enough to hold all livestock for 4 weeks, should I go ahead and quarantine everything, and assume that they will all get ich eventually, or only quarantine the ones with symptoms? <Do you mean quarantine everything in a larger tank?  You said signs started to show on the neon pacific so I'm sure ich cysts are in the display tank and will develop and multiply looking for a host(s). Search WWM, keyword "ich" for detailed info.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks.

A Refugium Is Not A Q.T. - 09/04/05 Hi again, <<hello>> Thanks for your advice. <<Welcome>> One more thing is that can I use the refugium as a quarantine tank? Q.T. <<Um...no.  Think about it Sam...the refugium shares water with/is part of the display...a Q.T. needs to be isolated from the display.  Do some reading here and among the related links to learn more:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm >> Sam, Malaysia. <<EricR, South Carolina>>

Cycling <quarantine> Question  9/1/05 Hi Guys, We set up a 20 gallon hospital tank using 15 gallons from our display tank and mixed 5 more gallons to complete the fill. (no substrate and 2 pieces of baseball sized live rock from the main display tank) Even though the water came from a cycled tank (5 months) does the Penguin 200 power filter also need to cycle? Thanks, Brad <Possibly... sometimes moving all produces a "check" in bacterial metabolism, die-off in populations... the only way to "tell" is experience, testing. A good idea to have more cycled filter media, water ready... Bob Fenner> Quarantine Query  8/31/05 Thank you all for everything you do! <You're quite welcome! We have a great group of dedicated hobbyists who are great to work with! Scott F. on call tonight!> Perhaps a quick question? <Of course...Doesn't have to be quick, BTW!> As I'm getting closer to being ready to introduce life into my acrylic box, I've been thinking about my quarantine system. <I love you already, man!> I have planned and set up, although still dry, a 29g tank with all but the front pane darkened, an external filter - foam blocks to be provided from main tank sump-, heater, standard output lighting, PVC hiding places and a UV filter - because I already had it.   <Excellent...sounds perfect.> Have now begun thinking on a Q-tank  for inverts.  Seems one could accomplish this with a 10 gallon tank., heater, HO filter and some PC lighting.   <Absolutely...It sounds crazy to some- but quarantine for just about ANYTHING you put in the tank will reap benefits down the line, trust me!> My question is: If I elected to treat incoming fish with copper via dips when necessary - rather than dosing the tank prophylactically, and then running carbon in the fish QT- to remove what Cu made it in on the fish, could the fish QT serve double duty as an invert QT?  Or, would it be safer just to set up a tank to use exclusively as an invert QT? <Good questions. First thought is to NOT use copper unless its use is called for (i.e.; in the case of fish infected with Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium-and even then, only with fishes that can tolerate a therapeutic dose of the stuff.). You don't really want to get in the habit of prophylactically using copper or other meds, IMO. A simple freshwater/Methylene blue dip is fine before placing the fish in the quarantine tank. As far as using the same tank to quarantine inverts- you could, especially now that I've (hopefully) convinced you not to use copper. However, be aware that a quarantine tank is not a permanent feature. You set it up when you need it and break it down when you're through. It's always a good idea to keep some filter sponges or other media in the sump of your display tank, so that you're ready to go when the situation arises.> I'd guess that this might be one of those questions that has as many perspectives as aquarists, but would appreciate any guidance you folks can provide. <It is true, there are a lot of different thoughts on the process...Mine is just one of the techniques- but it works for me. Here is a link to my articles on the process here on the WWM site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm > At this point, I might have a difficult time selling 'another' tank to my domestic financial officer (read: wife). Much thanks in advance, S. King <I hear ya! Just let the DFO know that you'll be breaking it down after each use...might be an easier sell! Groveling and bartering might be involved, too- so be prepared! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Powder Blue Tang Blues  8/30/05 Hello crew, <Larry> As always, thanks for the great website and all of the help you provide.  I find myself in a quandary and would appreciate an outside opinion. <Okay> I purchased a powder blue tang, knowing the poor success record, but having a good tank for it.  I am planning on introducing him to my 240 gallon reef tank with an additional 100 gallon sump housing a macro algae refugium.  The tang has been in a 20 gallon quarantine for 16 days.   <Good> I did make the mistake of cleaning the quarantine tank too thoroughly before introducing the tang.  I initiated a mini-cycle, but quickly got through it by adding some spare live rock to the quarantine and doing daily 25% water changes from the reef tank until the parameters settled (ammonia, nitrites at 0, nitrates undetectable on my kit, specific gravity 1.024, temp 79 degrees).  The water has been stable for about a week and I have cut back to 25% water changes every third day. For the last three days, the tang has been losing weight and it's color is fading.  It does eat the food I've offered (frozen Mysis, frozen blood worms, Caulerpa racemosa (not much eaten), another Caulerpa (I forget which one).  It does not seem interested in Nori I've put in the tank.  While it eats all of this, it would seem that it is not eating enough or getting the correct nutrients.   <Mmm, may be time to dip/bath this specimen and place it... if it continues to lose weight, to lace its favorite food/s with Metronidazole/Flagyl> My quandary is should I abbreviate the quarantine and risk bringing harm to the other fish in my tank or wait it out in the 20 gallon where the tang is obviously not thriving? <Your call... I would move it if it looks "that bad"> I think the tang has a much better chance of success in the reef, but am hesitant to make the switch.  He shows no other signs of disease or parasites.   Thanks in advance for the help, I anxiously await your thoughts. Larry <Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Basics - 08/29/2005 Hello all hope everyone is well. <Yes, very, thank you.  I hope you are well, too.> Thanks again for being there I never feel alone in this marine frontier with you guys around. <The 'net is a wondrous tool, huh?> Question-I am setting up a QT tank; is my thought process correct that the tank cannot be tied in with the sump that is used for the main tank? <You are correct.> Or is it okay? <Absolutely not....  it would be completely counter-productive to having a quarantine at all, for new fish.  Any pathogens harbored by the newcomer would be transferred to the main system.> Thanks again in advance. <Sure thing!> Dan Palmisano <All the best to ya,  -Sabrina>

Low Salinity Quarantine? 8/22/05 Hi all, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I am going to set my QT up in a few weeks, which leads to my question.  Would it be okay to quarantine all new fish with hyposalinity to prevent any disease?  After the quarantine period, I would then acclimate very slowly to the salinity of the display water.  If this seems okay, what would be a good salinity to quarantine with?  Thanks. <Well, there are many hobbyists and wholesalers that advocate lowering the specific gravity (to 1.010-1.012) during quarantine because it is thought that this will lessen the possibility or ferocity of (parasitic) illnesses. There certainly seems to be some merit to this process, but I personally do not employ it. I believe that maintaining "normal" specific gravity during quarantine may be a bit less stressful...One less environmental adjustment for a newly-acquired fish to make. Similar to the reasons that I don't use "prophylactic" medication while quarantining fishes. That's just my take on it; certainly NOT the last word on the subject! give it a shot and see if it is ok for you. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.> Quarantine Tank with Ammonia problem    8/16/05 I have a 20 gal (Cycled) QT and have added a Coral Beauty Angelfish to it. We are now showing signs of Ammonia.<<A problem. Did you medicate the QT tank?>> Salinity 1.021, Temp 78 degrees, Ph 8.3, Ammonia between .25 - .50ppm, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10ppm, Penguin bio filter 200 Penguin powerhead 550, small airstone I have been cleaning out all food he is not eating and only have him and a PVC pipe in there. We did a 10% water change last night and a 25% water change today. Is there anything else I can do? No change to ammonia levels. (Using RO water for changes).<<Good>> At what point will the ammonia become toxic or harmful to the Coral Beauty Angel? <<How old is the test kit? Test the ammonia in your main tank and see what the values are. Unless you did something to disturb the beneficial bacteria in the QT tank (like adding an anti-biotic), I would wonder why a cycled tank has measurable ammonia. The level at which ammonia is toxic depends on the individual specimen. Keep cleaning up the excess food and doing the water changes while monitoring the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. The goal is to keep the ammonia (values below .25) while the fish is in quarantine and the nitrifying cycle is reestablished.>>  If I added the BioWheel & filters from my main tank would that help? <<Potentially but do not do anything that would disturb the nitrification capacity of the main tank. Add a sponge filter to the main tank and use that in the quarantine tank in the future.>> My main tank is in excellent shape and worst case scenario I transfer him early. He has been at our LFS for 3 weeks and eating fine there with no signs of problems. Our LFS quarantine fish when they get them so I am not too worried if I need to transfer him. <<I would add the Coral beauty to the main tank only as a last resort (meaning you are unable to do daily water changes to keep the ammonia level down). Keep monitoring the ammonia, change the water daily and keep the feedings light. If the fish is healthy, he will pull through this.>> Any advice is appreciated. <<Good luck - Ted>>

Why did my new arrival die? Gobies, QT, Dipping... 8/11/05 Hello Crew, <Thomas> I have a question about a Yashia Goby that died about 28 hours after it arrived by FedEx yesterday.  It had been sent FedEx Standard Overnight, and had been in transit approximately 24 hours before it arrived here. I gave the fish a very slow acclimation over about 3 hours using a drip method.  Before putting it into the quarantine tank, I prepared a dip of RO/DI water, dosed with baking soda to a pH of about 8.2 (to match quarantine tank), <And shipping water?> and dosed with 2-3 drops of Methylene blue in perhaps a quart of this water. <Sounds good> When placed in the dip, the fish went ballistic -- darted around, rolled over on it's back -- a terrible scene.  It may have been in that dip for 2 seconds before I removed it to a rinse of water from the quarantine tank.  Then, after a minute or so, I put it into the quarantine tank.  This was last night about 8 PM. Since then, it basically hid in the bottom of the tank behind PVC pipe.  It appeared to be breathing hard, when I could briefly see it.  Other than that, there were no obvious symptoms, except a sunken belly, which is very apparent now that it is dead and I can examine it closely. Quarantine tank parameters are specific gravity: 1.025 pH: 8.1 ammonia: 0 nitrite: 0 nitrate: 20 ppm temp: 78 deg. Question is this: Did my dip kill this fish? <Likely did add stress... but this, most small gobies ship poorly... many do die soon after arrival... from point to point... and if you read through WWM, writings by myself, you will find I am not a fan of dipping many such fish groups, or even quarantining them per se> If not, how should I think about this event.  It is only the second time I've ordered fish by FedEx.  The first time, I ordered tank-raised clown fishes that I acclimated but did not dip -- these fish were fine and are still happy 18 months later. <Much hardier... and accustomed to novel, stressful inputs> Thanks, Tom <Bob Fenner> Quarantine questions 8/3/05 Hi there, Firstly, a big thank you for such a informative site. <Glad you find it beneficial!> I have a question regarding quarantine. My quarantine tank is 47 litres, since it is a bare tank with only a few PVC pipe for the fish to hide, I sometimes feel that the environment is not natural for the fish and the fish refuses to feed because their environmental needs are not met. This is particularly true with sensitive dwarf angels which requires live rocks to graze on before they will eventually take frozen and prepared food. <This is an area of concern with some fishes, especially those with specialized feeding requirements.  We urge aquarists to be creative under these circumstances and not allow this to be an excuse for not quarantining!> I have also tried to QT a couple of copperband butterflies and they refused to feed in the QT tank but immediately started to graze on life rock when transferred to the display tank. It is always difficult for me to decide if the fish goes straight into the display tank w/o QT or QT first than display tank. I can't possibly include a piece of live rock in the QT tank because the tank is dosed with copper from time to time when the QT subject has ich. <Under these circumstance, it may be necessary to sacrifice a small piece of live rock and/or experiment aggressively with other food options.  Once a piece of rock has been sacrificed, it can be bleached, rinsed and re-used for future quarantine.  You can simulate the grazing of fish like butterflies by imbedding morsels of food in the holes in the rock.  Please do try and resist skipping quarantine!  If ich is common enough that you feel a piece of live rock is too risky in the quarantine, what about the risk to all of your other animals if the quarantine is skipped?> Thanks for reading my longish mail and I hope you can provide your expert opinion on this problem.  Thank you. Regards, Kan Ten-year  <I hope this helps.  Best regards, and good luck finding creative solutions for difficult to quarantine fishes!  AdamC.> Maracyn and copper 7/31/05 Is it ok to use Maracyn and copper together in a quarantine tank <Yes, this antibiotic (Erythromycin) and copper compounds (chelated and not) can be safely used together. Bob Fenner> Always on QT Plan 7/7/05 Throughout the next year, I will be stocking a 90g tank - a fish per month with proper quarantine, and breaks in the schedule if any treatments are needed. I would like to keep my QT running continuously, through this procedure and afterwards. My thoughts (or rather those that I have pouched from various web sites) suggest this can be done if I'm particularly careful with the quarantine / medicating schedules and post-illness clean up. I would appreciate   any advice on my plan. The plan is to build a 20g bare-bottom, glass tank including lid, light, filter, heater, covered back / sides, and an array of  PVC tubes. Keep this tank in a "normal daylight location" and leave the hood-light on for six hours a day (a medium of always off and the recommended 12 for a display tank). I would feel most comfortable with a copper/low-salinity quarantine: Salinity between 1.010 - 1.013 and keeping "CopperSafe" present with a monthly dose. <Needs to be checked daily while fish/es are present> (temp 75, pH at 8.2, ammonia at 0, nitrite at 0, nitrate as low as possible). Here's the particularly iffy part of the plan. I would like to keep a 2-4 blue-green Chromis in the tank (in my compatibility plan and are the most hardy and least harassing fish I've encountered).  These inhabitants would keep the tank cycled (at times the tank would be empty of other fish) and if/when medication was needed the Chromis would be medicated with any sick-fish. Is this plan sound? <Yes. Bob Fenner> Travis Neal

"Retroactive" Quarantine 30 Jun 2005 I feel foolish asking this question because I know we should have waited to add new fish until our quarantine tank was running, but I am going to ask anyway, because I am unsure what the best next step is for our fish. <No problem! There really are no foolish questions!> After reading about the benefits of a quarantine tank, I ordered a 30 gallon tank with an Eclipse 3 filter/hood so we could quarantine new fish. <Good move!> After waiting several weeks, the tank/filter/hood arrived today.  A filter replacement for the Eclipse 3 filter has been soaking in the sump tank of our main display tank for 3 weeks. <Excellent.> So, we could now immediately start the quarantine tank. Three days ago, my husband and I fell in love with and bought a small Naso tang (2 to 3 inches) and a juvenile Red Coris Wrasse (about 2 inches). The Naso tang had just arrived in the LFS that day. The Coris Wrasse had been there for a few days. Since our quarantine tank was not up and running, we added the tang and the wrasse to our main tank (6 ft long, 125 gallon with 75 pounds of live rock, 4 Damsels, one Clownfish, one Chocolate Chip Starfish, one giant clam, a Lawnmower Blenny, 12 hermit crabs and about 6 Turbo snails). <Uhh-Ohh! Bad move...> The wrasse seems to be adjusting well to its new home and is eating quite well.  The tang is also eating, but not with the same gusto as the wrasse.  My question is whether it makes sense to move the wrasse and/or tang to the quarantine tank now that they have already been in the main tank.  I have read the quarantine facts several times, but have not seen this question addressed.  Thank you so much for your advice and time! <Well, it's kind of a moot point, I guess. The purpose of quarantine is to prevent infection from new fish to spread to your display tank, as well as to provide a "hardening" period for the new arrivals. Since the fish has already been placed in the display tank, any potential illness carried by the new fish would have already been transmitted to the inhabitants of the display tank. In my opinion, removing the fish again to another tank would be unduly stressful at this stage. I'd opt to observe the fish very carefully and be prepared to take action should disease manifest itself in any of your fishes. Next time, I KNOW that you'll do the quarantine process BEFORE you introduce the new fish to your display, right? Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Q tank filtration 6/29/05 I have a question that only you could probably answer. http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevor-jones/simplebiofilter.html on this site above there is instructions for a DIY bioball filter.  Would just the bioballs be enough for a quarantine tank filter? thanks mike <Mmm, generally not... most folks want something more in the way of mechanical filtration, to remove particulates. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Set Up Questions (6-28-05) Dear Crew, <Hi there, Leslie here with you this morning> I'm setting up a quarantine tank after learning the 'hard way' of the true importance of quarantining and letting the tank go fallow for 7 weeks.   <Sorry you had to learn the hard way. I have certainly had my fair share of hard lessons but that is one of the ways we learn hopefully ?. > I read an article on your site that said not to put substrate, and PVC piping is a cheap and easy way to provide hiding places.  I have three questions, and you guys and gals are the most knowledgeable people on the subject I know. 1) Is substrate a bad thing for a quarantine tank?   <Not necessarily but it is not quite that simple. > I had been planning to add sand and put some 'pods in the quarantine tank to provide myself more places to cultivate them. <Substrate itself is not a bad thing for a Q tank. I often use some bagged bio active sand like Natures Ocean, however this can be costly as the sand would need to be disposed of if the fish in quarantine showed any signs of disease. Should you need to medicate this becomes complicated. Most medications will wipe out any sort of biofilter. In terms of cultivating pods this is not an optimal situation for the reason mentioned above. You would be better off with a refugium or a separate tank. > 2) Will PVC piping be enough to make the fish feel safe and secure?  Its not similar to their natural environment, so I don't know if that makes a difference in how they cope with their stress. <PVC works well and they should be fine for the quarantine period of 4 to 6 weeks. You can add some LR or plastic plants if you like. I almost always do, however again these things will have to be sterilized should the fish become sick. The LR will make medicating difficult should you need to employ the use of Copper based medications.> 3) Are their any chemicals or anything on the PVC piping that I need to be concerned about, and if their is, how should I get rid of it to make it 'fish-safe'? < Nope no worrisome chemicals, PVC is fish safe. As with anything you place in an aquarium it should be rinsed off first.> Thank you loads. Mike <Youre welcome and best of luck, Leslie>

When To Quit Quarantine? Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. hee today!> I have had a hippo tang in QT for 3 weeks now and I was wondering if you think that is enough time.  She is doing well, looks beautiful and has a great appetite. <Good to hear!> I have to leave for a couple of days out of town and I don't have anyone that is knowledgeable enough to do a partial water change to the QT. Would it be better to just transfer it to the main tank at this point? <Well, I'm a stickler for the full one month quarantine period. However, given your circumstances and the apparent good health of the tang, I'd add him/her to the display at this point.> Also, I know this site recommends FW dip prior to entry into the main tank, but I've also heard that since this type of fish is so ich-prone, this may just stress her out.   <It's okay to pass on the FW dip if you are uncomfortable about how the fish will fare...> Thank you for your time. Jocelyn <You're quite welcome, Jocelyn! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Quarantine Quandary I have a 30 gallon QT that was set up on May 31.  It uses a large sponge filter that had been sitting in the sump of a fully cycled main tank since May 15. On June 1, seven small (1") Chromis were added to the QT.  There was a six gallon water change on June 10th.  A test on June 2nd suggested the tank was already cycled (as intended from the sponge filter) with no ammonia or nitrite and 10 ppm nitrate. On June 11 ammonia went from zero to 0.5 PPM, about 0.5 nitrite and still 10 ppm nitrate. On June 13th there was a dead Chromis in the QT and ammonia was in the range of 1-2 ppm.  (the test kit color goes from 0.5 to 3.0 and it was somewhere in between from what I can tell). I removed the dead fish, did a 5 gallon water change and used some Amquel. Today, the tank measured 0.25 ammonia and the remaining six seem to be doing okay. Feeding has been modest, once per day 1/3rd of a formula one pellet with uneaten food removed immediately.   <Good practices...> 1.  Is my tank going through a normal cycle (or mini-cycle)?  If so, then the sponge filter was not sufficiently "cultured"? <Quite possible. Generally, the sponge should colonize beneficial bacteria sufficient to handle a small bioload during this time. However, there are no hard and fast guarantees here.> 2.  My original idea was to break down the QT with each new fish.  But I'm not going use a QT to protect the main tank only to lose expensive fish in the QT due to ammonia. <I agree with you initial intentions and I understand your hesitation. Two other things that may make future use of the QT system more successful. First, always use water from your display tank. Second, this is one of those situations where I would utilize one of the commercial "bacteria in a bottle" products to "kick start" things if necessary!> I can do a water change once every 10 days but it is hard do much more frequently than that (a service tech brings in the water every 10 days to my home office). <Frequent, small water changes with water from your display tank should do the trick.> So, I'm now considering running the QT continuously, maybe with a couple of the Chromis.  I realize this is not considered ideal, but what are your thoughts on this approach. Thanks. Jeffrey <well, Jeffery, I'd try the two modifications suggested here first before running a permanent quarantine system. Hope things work out for you! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine Query Hi! <Hi there! Scott F. here tonight!> I have an old 12 gallon tank I took down a while ago. Would I be able to use this as a QT for a small-medium tang? <For a small tang, probably. For a medium sized specimen, it may be a bit small.> If not, how big should I have? <I'd shoot for a 20 gallon "long" style tank for a medium tang> And how long should I keep it in there under what water parameters? Thank you. -Adam <Well, Adam, I'm gonna refer you to an article I wrote on the subject a couple of years back. It's right here on the WWM site at this link, and should answer most of your questions on the quarantine process: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm Hope this helps! Good luck and I commend you on embracing the valuable quarantine process! Regards, Scott F.> Lots of Quarantine Tanks-Less Fish Trouble! Hi everyone, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Have some questions but also thought I would update you on my fish. I had a Raccoon Butterfly, Painted Wrasse, and Arc eye Hawkfish left in my 55 qt, recovering from their battle with ich and Coppersafe treatment. While they were recovering I moved my [Iridis] Radiant Wrasse, who was in a separate quarantine tank, to the main tank after 5 week fallow. I had 3 extra tanks, 2- 30 gallons and a 20 gallon, so over a couple weeks time bought a Yellow Candy Hogfish [or Twinspot] 2 small False Percula Clownfish and my sister and I took a trip to Inland Aquatics [ 1 1/2 hours from Indy] And I got A pair of tank raised Argi Angels [SO CUTE !!] All qt in separate qt tanks. <A nice practice, if you can swing it.> My basement looks like the Shedds Aquarium!! I ended up dipping and moving the Clowns  to the main tank after 2 1/2 weeks to free up the 30 gallon so I could temporarily house my Hawkfish. I wanted to  set up a 55 for him with some established live rock, live sand and 3 established filters . I decided not to place him back in the main with the cleaner shrimp, I would like them to live. Yada, yada yada, I have moved all the quarantined fish to the main after 2 weeks recovery for the ich fish and 4 week qt for the new fish.[ I moved the ich fish first then a week later moved the new ones] I moved the Wrasse at night, He always slept in an old decor I had in qt, looked like driftwood with mushrooms and it was hallow. I  placed him and the decor in the main until he emerged the following morning, then removed the decor. The two Wrasses circled then to my surprise the Painted Wrasse attacked! This did subside in a day but the Raccoon, who in qt decided he did not like the Painted Wrasse, became more aggressive towards him [ the Radiant Wrasse stayed close to the Raccoon] So I decided to move the Painted Wrasse in with the Hawkfish in the 55. So I placed his favorite decor in the tank before lights out [ the Raccoon continuously chased him away from it] He finally got situated for the night so I removed him and got him to the 55. Now all is peaceful in both tanks and the Painted Wrasse is happy  to have his sanctuary [ his favorite decor] with him. I will not be adding anymore fish to either tanks as I believe they are at capacity. <That is great restraint; you seem about maxed out in these tanks.> Now for my Questions [ I forgot I had some] I would like a little brighter light than my Coralife 50/50, I don't plan on corals so I don't want to spend a fortune on lighting. Is it possible to use regular house hold fluorescent light bulbs in the hood I have? [The regular light hoods that come with the tanks] <You could, if corals are not in the game plan. Some of the nice full-spectrum bulbs out there are relatively inexpensive and can do a nice job in fish-only systems> Also I have noticed a couple of times the Argi's having stringy poop, usually grey or brown. They are eating and active so I just planned to keep an eye on them. I have some SeaChem Metronidazole to soak the food in but was concerned that the cleaner shrimp would die if they ate the food. Do you think it is okay to just observe them as long as they seem healthy otherwise? <I would. I'm not a big fan of medicating fish prophylactically. I only advocate medicating when you're sure that you are dealing with a sick fish, and when you've exhausted all other methods.  If the fish are eating and appear otherwise healthy, simply stay the course and observe them more. Treat only if symptoms dictating medical intervention manifest.> Well thanks for listening to my continuing saga, and thanks for any advise you have. Have a great week, Kim <Kim- hobbyists like you make our task here really easy! You have such a great grasp on the quarantine process and the need for careful evaluation of fishes during quarantine. Simply keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine Procedures... I have a 10 gal. QT that I set up by using 100% water from my FOWLR main tank and a foam sponge sitting in my main tank's filter. All the levels in the QT are at 0 (Amm, Nitrite, and Nitrate). I had a damsel in there for a couple of days just to make sure that things were okay before I purchased a hippo tang (my favorite, even though I know they are a challenge). In the past I had not quarantined anything, but with this tang I felt I should because of the high risk of ick, etc with this species. <Once you successfully embrace the quarantine process, you'll be thrilled to use it with all of your new fish.> I did not do a FW dip prior to putting the tang in there because I didn't read about it until after the fact. <A useful practice, but not mandatory for success, IMO.> By the way, I also have a very small (3/4 inch) neon goby in the QT with the tang because the LFS said it may help rid some of the parasites if present off the tang. My question is: should the neon goby stay there? <I suppose that you could leave it there, but I would not be in the habit of leaving a quarantine tank set up and populated indefinitely. It's a temporary feature, set up when you need it and disassembled when you're done with the quarantine process.> I know you recommend only having one species in a QT. Also, my tang is very skittish, only coming out if I am hiding and being very still. But I have seen her eat, but only if no one is standing in front of the QT. It has only been 2 days, do you think she'll make it? <A fish that eats is a fish that lives! Remember, the quarantine process also gives you an opportunity to let the fish acclimate to the norms of captive life. If you keep the fish well fed, keep the water quality high and the conditions stable, the fish can certainly do well!> I plan on checking the water parameters daily and possibly doing changes every other day. What else do you recommend? Thanks, JD <I think that you're right on the mark with your maintenance regimen. Just be consistent and aggressive in your care. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantined dwarf angel Greetings all.  <Hello, Jim.>  I have had a flame angel in a ten gallon quarantine tank for ten days. The tank is bare bottom, with a sponge filter, MaxiJet 1200 powerhead, and a piece of PVC for shelter. The fish looks very healthy; it is active and will eat nearly anything that is put in the tank. Anyhow, I have always had problems with high ammonia levels in quarantine tanks, and have measured increasing levels to about .25 to .5 as of this morning. I have been doing one or two gallon water changes every other day, with tap water treated with Prime and mixed with Oceanic salt. I also added a packet of BioSpira on the fourth day after testing ammonia levels of .25. Ammonia went down to 0 for a couple of days, but is now steadily increasing again. Would it be okay to do a freshwater dip and move the fish to the main tank, or is there something else I should do? Thanks to you.  <Jim, to be on the safe side, a minimum of 21 days @ 80 degrees to be sure. Preferably 28 days. With the sponge filter, keeping 3 to 4 hermits (feeding them of course) in there on a continual basis should maintain a decent bio filter that would readjust quickly with an added fish for QT as long as copper isn't necessary. For now, I'd add the BioSpira if levels exceed .25. James (Salty Dog)>

QT 10 gal limits Should I treat for ich and velvet in the same QT? I have a 10 gal bare bottom with a 3" niger in it. It has velvet and is being treated with CopperSafe. I have a 7" Bluejaw trigger with ich, can he go in that same tank for QT? It is fully cycled and easy to vac daily. The Bluejaw is in a 100 disp and I have slowly moved the spg to 1.010 and the ich is still there after 4 days. Should I move him to the 10 and get the CopperSafe treatment? <Ten gallons is much too small for both these fish.  Try looking for a used 40 to 55.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Dan.

Ich quarantine question not answered in faq I have a 130g FOWLR main tank that developed ich. I pulled all fish out yesterday to a 55g quarantine. My koi went to their pond just in time.  <? What? To free up the tank?> Anyway my LFS told me that I could run copper in my main tank to get rid of the ich. I knew this not to be true so after reading through the site did the move yesterday. I used main tank water and all parameters are good. No substrate in quarantine but I did pull some fake plants and a couple fake corals with algae growth for the lawnmower blenny. Your site stated that they did not take too much other food. <Generally not> I am treating all fish with quick cure...a malachite green & formalin product. How long do I continue to use this? <... posted... on WWM, the product label... This product/mix is dangerously toxic... will kill all biological filtration... hence the need for massive water changes, augmentation, monitoring...> On bottle it says until symp. are gone. Also I am afraid that the quarantine is over its bioload but I have no other place for fish.  Occupants include 1 porc. puffer 5", 1 Foxface Rabbit 6 1/2", 1 4 1/2" Raccoon Butterfly, 1 yellow tail damsel, 1 pink damsel, 1 Chromis and the lawnmower blenny. I will check water daily. <Twice daily> The puffer and butterfly were the only ones showing spots but I pulled all fish and am letting the main tank go fallow for 5 or so weeks. Temp. is 80, and sg is 1.024 in quarantine. I have lowered main tank to 1.021 (was originally going to do hyposalinity) but temp. is 80. Is this ok? <Should be> Also is it ok to leave hermit crab in main tank. <Yes> I also have snails but knew they were ok to leave in. I run two PC units on main tank. It equals 220 watts of actinic and 220 watts of 10,000k daylight. My question is, is this overkill for live rock and fish. <No... is fine> I have a lot of hair algae and if I can would like to use this opportunity to lessen their hours on from 12 down to 4 or 5 while fish are out of tank. Do you think this would hurt the live rock and copepods? <No... a good plan> Also, can plants and decor from quarantine eventually go back into main tank if I do a bleach wash and FW rinse on them?  <Not live plants, but faux ones, yes> Also I usually do a smaller water change on main tank every 2 weeks but would like to do one or two big ones. When do you recommend I do these?  <At the end of the fallow period> I was going to do one at two weeks and another at four and vacuum coral gravel at that time. Thanks in advance for your reply. Sherry <Take your time here... careful observation, regular measuring of water quality, sparse feeding... lots of stored water... will be your keys to success. Bob Fenner>

Re: Crypt in a big reef... Quarantine!  Be Human - Learn From Others' Experience How do I feel about quarantining all incoming livestock now? <Yeah, tell us all about it!> Well I guess that when I kept tropical fish and got white spot it was a whole lot easier to treat it but getting white spot in a 130 gallon reef tank with corals inverts and a lot of money spent on it all is a nightmare world! From now on nothing gets in my tank without going through the quarantine tank I can now see why having a quarantine tank set up is so important. If my first purchase had been a hospital tank and I had seen it as being more important then the latest skimmer or wizard gizmo my fish would all be ok and I wouldnt be spending more money on salt for all the water changes I'm having to do now not to mention the hours I have spent worrying about my fish surviving all this. So if I was telling others about keeping marine fish I would say this.. Get a quarantine tank set it up and DO NOT I repeat DO NOT! Let any fish in your tank with out passing the quarantine period first. I would then add to that.. ok you're not taking me seriously are you your thinking no I will be ok... Well your wrong you won't be ok the dreaded white spot will come after you and when your up to your neck in ick infested water and your fish look like salted kippers you will remember my words...USE A QUARANTINE TANK! <Thank you! Bob Fenner>  

Tangs, Crypto and UV - In Other Words "QUARANTINE"! (5/15/05)  I have 3 tangs in my 125G tank, and they are all getting along very well. Rarely see a raised fin, tail slapping, etc.  <Lucky you. It may not stay that way as they grow.>  That said, two are the most common contractors of ich, the hepatus and the powder blue.  <Yup.>  My reef has way too much rock with coral frags all over to dig out. If I wanted to be proactive, what is the best way to make sure ich does not enter the picture.  <4 weeks of quarantine for any new additions. Make sure they get a good variety of food with plenty of algae. Supplement with vitamins and HUFAs, which may help prevent HLLE, a big problem with the Hippos. Keep system as stable as possible. Minimize stress. Remove aggressors if problems do develop eventually.>  I do weekly 15% to 20% water changes, aggressive skimming, etc. Occasionally I'll see a tang scrape against a rock a time or two, but I always hope it was just an itch.  <If this is occasional, it is probably not a concern.> Bottom line: do UV Sterilizers, large enough with a slow flow rate, eliminate ich with destroying too much beneficial stuff? <No guarantees. It may help and some people run it periodically or continuously, though there have been unsubstantiated concerns of this leading to immunodeficiency in the fish. For a great summary of UV pros and cons, read Scott Michael's marine parasite article in Aquarium USA Annual. It was the 2004 Edition, I think.>  Thoughts on the best way to avoid problem before it starts?  <As above.>  Thanks.  <Hope this helps.> 

Live rock Yeah...uh...me again.  <James, today>  Hopefully you didn't run away screaming when you saw my email address again. I can't stop reading through your site...so much info...learning tons. But, of course, it has brought up more questions. I know live rock isn't susceptible to the fish diseases like ich, but is there any reason to quarantine live rock when you first buy it?  <Only if it is not cured>  Seems like a stupid question, I don't even know what you'd watch for...just wondering. Also, should I wait the 4 weeks for the tank to go fallow and all the ich to die off before adding any live rock?  <It's not necessary>  My thoughts was that this might help build strong bio-base for when the fish (the only one that is left) returns home from QT.  <Sounds good to me>  All that will be in tank during 4 weeks is Fire Shrimp. Thanks again and again and again.  <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> 

Quarantine I'm starting to stock a new cycled tank - quarantining first of course. Is it ok to put two different new small fish in a 10 gallon quarantine tank at the same time? I'm thinking of a small butterfly (about 2") and possibly a goby or cardinal. If it's ok, do I need to put a separator in the tank?  <As long as the two inch size doesn't get any bigger. The two fish should be compatible, gobies or cardinals would be fine. James (Salty Dog)> 

Re: Coral Beauty and Tang in quarantine tank Hi, I think my fish might be out of time now, the Coral Beauty looks about done for. It seems to be reacting poorly to everything I try except maybe the Paragon and the freshwater dips. I am alternating treatment between Formalin3 and Paragon, water changes and daily FW dips. <The Formalin by itself will kill this fish...> The tang is still eating but I can't knock down the ich. <... Even by freshwater dipping? This may not be ich/crypt> On Sunday I even put both fish in a bucket with heater and airstone while I bleached the tank and Skilter. It has been a week since I wrote, but have not seen an answer on your page. Is this the right address? <Is the right address... did someone respond to your initial email below? Please read through our (albeit many) articles and FAQs files on Crypt, Dwarf Angel Disease... I would dip (w/o Formalin and place these fishes... pronto... The pH adjusted bath should eliminate all external manifestations... Leaving them where they are, "treating" them further will spell their demise. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Coral Beauty and Tang in quarantine tank <...  Even by freshwater dipping? This may not be  ich/crypt> Thank you for your prompt answer yesterday.  I had been  watching every day but had not checked after noon.  The dips (pH/temp adj.) seem to work quite well, but the next  day or two the ICH is right back. <Mmm, are you (re)placing the fish/es back into the same system they were in? The system itself is infested...> I finally dropped the S.G. to 1.017  maybe 3 days ago, today's water change now it's 1.015.  Have not seen white  or black spot on either fish.  The tang is clean and acting pretty  normal.   The coral beauty is another story.  I found several  things on your site warning about copper, and one advising formalin and  Methylene blue.  Not being a rocket scientist, I figured out the formalin  was causing the problems with the coral beauty, but only after a couple of days,  during which the fish went pretty far downhill.  Today the white patches  seem much smaller, it is acting less stressed, but the color is quite pale, and  the fins are somewhat ragged.   I am now still using the Methylene Blue, and just gave a half-dose of  Maracyn to see how they do.  Is this a proper course of action?  <Yes... though the Dwarf Angel will not fare well, long at such reduced spg> Even though I read though and searched as much as possible I had to take action  quickly.  Found lots of stuff about copper but didn't research  formalin and coral beauties enough, judging by your answer.  Thanks  again.  Kevin     <... time to start back, way back in your education, planning, aquarium keeping... learn to avoid (simple to do) such troubles. Bob Fenner>

Learning Curve for New Aquarists: QT and Ich links 5/10/05 Anthony, Thanks for your answers and suggestions. I have read so many things it seems to all blend together. <Understood my friend. But no worries... you are just looking for a consensus among reliable sources. Internet information can be rather dubious at times too - be careful. Books are generally reliable, but dated (slow time to print). A local aquarium society is really a great place for current and objective information in many ways. Do look for a local club at the club forums on Reefcentral.com  Better yet, perhaps, go to MASNA.org (the society of societies) and send them an e-mail asking for a list of clubs in your region> It seems when I read allot of the FAQ, it assumes that a certain level of knowledge already exists. <Hmmm... not so much an assumption, but rather that each individual query is answered (we try at least) on the level of perceived experience. Do be resourceful when you come across hobby words you do not know. A simple google search or use of the search tool on that given website you are using will usually do the trick. Many hobby sites keep a list or thread of definitions to help new folks like yourself :)> In my case it took me 20 minutes to realize that when you said DSB you were referring to Deep Sand Beds. (you were right?) Yes you may laugh but I am really not joking. <Ah, yes... my fault. Indeed, I was referring to deep sand as a means of denitrification (nitrate reduction) for you. Most folks use a "DSB" (deep bed in their tanks)... but the same can be done (nitrate control) with a bucket full of sand tapped inline to the display or sump. It is a very cheap and easy upgrade> Where can I get a copy of your book would go buy immediately? <Hmmm... since I don't know where you live, I can only recommend that you take a peek at the list of dealers and distributors for our books: http://www.readingtrees.com/dealers.html> I Read allot of the Dummy series of books because it breaks things down for the "NEW GUY". <I must say with regret, while I rarely find such fault with established book series/authors... the dummy type series is a disappointingly dubious source of information. Some of the information in is inconsistent with accepted safe and successful aquarium husbandry (we saw in one such book a recommendation that cleaner wrasses were suitable fish for beginners. The truth is that they are so difficult (!) for experts that we even contemplate their collection/use in the hobby at all! Absolutely dismal rates of mortality on import :(> Is there some where I can get a basic breakdown on exactly how and what is needed to set up an "inline DSB filter"? And exactly how and what is needed to set up a Quarantine tank. <This is all in the archives of big free content websites like wetwebmedia.com and reefcentral.com  Do learn by experimentation to finesse/manipulate various keyword/phrase searches with the search tool (Google.com in general... and again, a given websites specific tool like the one on our wetwebmedia.com home page and: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/search.php?s= As for QT articles, for example... if you do a keyword search here on WWM for "quarantine by" (a strategic way to get a hit on an article by using the word "by" that would/will usually appear with an author credit... you get many hits for FAQS, posts and an article on the first page returned for: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm and at RC... a must read from WWM friend Steven Pro: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-10/sp/feature/index.htm and another http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-07/sp/feature/index.htm> The LFS here is really no help at all, some don't know, and others real in the glory that they can speak over your head and try and sell you allot of things not needed. <Very sorry to hear it, but that doesn't make them bad or useless at all. It should inspire you to become a better (educated) consumer so that you can get the most out of their service and convenience> I have had fresh water tanks for years and try to have a basic understanding of some of the things that transfer from fresh to salt water. I know just enough to be dangerous is what I say. I understand the importance of water quality and equipment but don't know exactly what and how to achieve the goal in salt water. When I read through the FAQ's I seem to get more confused. <Let me strongly recommend that you temporarily tune out the Internet chatter, gossip, truths and mistruths... and get yourself two time-tested and very reliable books: first read Mike Paletta's "New Marine Aquarium" then read Robert Fenner's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" I promise you that if you take the time and have the patience to NOT BUY any new living creatures until you have read these books, you will clarify so much more of what you read later (like on the Internet) that follows. And you will be a much more successful aquarist for it. Please take my (very experienced, if I may say) advise... and consider that I have nothing to sell you in giving such advice :) I just hope to see you succeed my friend.> (I do learn allot from them but not how to put it all together) I leave with the feeling of "ok I understand the concept and importance of the subject but not how to obtain the result." <You are missing the fundamentals, yes. Do read a fundamental book like Paletta's and the journey will begin properly... and you will be less confused reading Net tidbits later> I really want to do the right things and my money defiantly does not grow on trees. (I have spent at least 1500 to 2000 on things that I was told I needed and come to find out that I didn't and am to the end of my budget) the sad thing is I really have read and researched thing and still got it wrong. <This is where a local aquarium club membership/participation REALLY pays off.> Now what I am trying to do is get a few things a month starting with the most important ones first. I am done buying fish till I get everything on track. <Whew! Excellent to hear. Its very sensible my friend> It seems that this DSB inline filter should be one of the first which is why I asked for the how to location. I appreciate all your and the crews help and will end this shortly so you can get to others also. Once I get the Quarantine and DSB done I will inquire as to what is next so to speak. Update on Hippo.... Both eyes are now clouded over (almost like cataracts). She is also developing what I believe to be ich. <Yikes! This fish needs to get into a bare-bottomed QT tank with meds immediately. Please take Steven Pros advice in his two articles listed above to heart!> I gave her a 15 minute freshwater bath and she has made it through the night. Will repeat this. Any suggestions on what else I can do would be great. I can set up the quarantine tank as hospital first for her if that would help, but again not sure what is needed or how to set one up. I was also thinking of trying a cleaner goby or wrasse as I have read they eat parasites off other fish. Is this a good thing to try or more harm then good at this point? PS... If you have a sight or a way to buy your book over the net I would gladly purchase one immediately. Thanks a million from me and all those you help. Warren <It is much cheaper to buy our books through dealers (unless you care for a signed copy, in which case you can go to readingtrees.com). But thank you for your interest. Above all... kudos to you for your efforts to succeed in the hobby. I can assure you that it gets much easier in time. A most pleasurable hobby and science. Anthony :)> Quarantine Quandary Hi Guys, <Hey there! Scott F. at your service tonight!> I hope you have an answer for me. I have a 55 gal reef/fish tank for about 6 months. It was an 18 month old tank when I bought it and came with: a.. 75 lb live rock b.. a soft coral (unknown) c.. several mushrooms d.. several cleaner crew (hermits and snails about 40) e.. a Mandarin Goby f.. a Scooter Blenny g.. a large Maroon Clown Fish h.. 4 sea cucumbers Since, over time I have added: a.. Yellow tang b.. Purple Tang (I realized latter not a good idea I will get rid of the yellow but they are ok now) c.. Yellow Jawfish d.. more snails and hermit crabs e.. 2 Lyretail Anthias f.. 1 Blackcap Basslet g.. about 20 pounds more rock h.. several soft corals and a couple LPS However, I did not QT as I should have. <I know that you will in the future, right?> My Jawfish, Basslet and Anthias appear to have varying degrees of ich. I have read extensively how to eradicate this problem, starting with letting the display tank go without fish for 40 days and QT the fish to cure the ich. My problem is what to do with the blenny and Mandarin. They will die if I QT them. <That's really an assumption, wouldn't you say? Yes, these fishes have special needs, but if you quarantine them in a system designed with their needs in mind, it can be done successfully. They need a constant source of small copepods and amphipods. By ordering a supply of these animals from an etailer, like IndoPacific Sea Farms or Inland Aquatics, or copepods through SeaPods, you should be able to feed them their preferred foods during the process with no problems.> I read that the Mandarins do not get ich because of the oily skin.  <They may be more resistant to parasitic diseases than some fish, but they can still get them. I personally do not believe that this perceived "resistance" is any reason to skip the quarantine process. The benefits far outstrip any possible downsides, IMO.> What about the blenny? <I am a big fan of blennies, and I have quarantined every one I've ever kept without incident. You should not experience any problems with the quarantine process for these animals. Just provide some PVC pipes or other inert materials for them to hide in and provide plenty of food for them.> Help please. I want to do what is best. Vicki <I think that you're on the right track, Vicki. Just embrace the quarantine practice and you should be fine. The Mandarin can be quarantined successfully if its nutritional needs are met. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine Procedure/ Swim Bladder Treatment 5.3.05 Good day, <Hello, Ryan helping you today.> I have a 5½-inch long Pacific Sailfin Tang, which got white spots disease recently. When I noticed it, I removed the Tang to a quarantine tank and added treatment. After two days, I noticed that the Tang is spending a lot of time in a vertical position and is not swimming normally, as if it would not have any balance. It also looks like it is breathing quicker than normal. Do you perhaps know what this could be?  <Sounds to be a swim bladder infection, although it could be simple suffocation. Is the temperature getting high in such a small tank? Is the surface of the water being covered with a film?> Is there anything I can do? <Read Scott's article on Quarantine procedure: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm. Did you miss anything? How is the copper level? Water changes will require a redose, as copper will be removed. Copper will not evaporate, however, so you don't need to redose when topping off. As for a possible swim bladder disease, bacteria and parasites can cause this. A new tenant could have brought something along. He needs a calm, clean environment to rebuild a healthy immune system- He has maxed out.> The water conditions are: Salinity - 1.023 Ammonia - 0 Nitrites - 0 Nitrates -15 Your response would be highly appreciated. <I would try some medicated foods, for a bacterial infection. Call it a hunch. Give the bottle a good read and make sure that it is compatible with any copper medications. Have a look here as well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/fishdisho.htm  Cheers, Ryan.>

Quarantine Hello guys -  <Hello Phil> First, I thank you profusely for sharing your knowledge through this website which I came across while reading 'Reef Invertebrates' - what a great book!!! Anyway, onto the problem... I currently have 4 clownfish in a 2' X 1' X 1' quarantine tank (I am 99% sure they are Percula or Ocellaris). The tank is glass, bare bottomed, with a heater, basic filter, thermometer, 12hr. photoperiod <I wouldn't use any light, room light is sufficient for quarantine.>  ... and a few lengths of (inert) piping for hiding. I change 1/3 of the water every 2 days using reef quality water from the refugium on my main tank. The problems I am experiencing are twofold: First, 3 of the 4 fish have slightly red gills (this problem seems to have reduced following FW dips of approx. 10 minutes duration, but still persists) and occasionally shake or twitch rapidly for about 2 seconds. Other than this, these fish appear healthy - there is no sign of damage on their fins, their complexion and colouration is good and they are now eating well. (frozen Artemia).  <Need to get a better diet than Artemia.> Secondly, the only fish which does not show the symptoms described above (this fish also happens to be the smallest) is being bullied by the other fish, and has resorted to hiding in a very small crevice within the filter housing. When this fish bravely ventures forth to feed, damage to the fins is visible which I suspect is the result of the other fishes' bullying. <Try putting a divider in the tank to isolate it.> The fish have now been in quarantine for 2 weeks and my gut instinct is telling me to remove the smaller fish, put in a FW dip then add to the main tank to give it a rest from the bullying. The only thing that is stopping me from doing this is the fact that it may be carrying the disease/parasite or whatever the other fish are suffering from, even though it does not appear to display the symptoms. (I don't want to contaminate the main tank!) <Two weeks isn't long enough, minimum 21-28 days.>  Also, I need to find a suitable regimen for the other fish to get them back to health, but am unsure of the correct action to take. Your thoughts on the above would be very much appreciated. Many thanks in anticipation of your response.  <Phil, read through some of the FAQ's on clownfish disease and see what Wet Web has suggested. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisfaq5.htm  James (Salty Dog)> 

Aiptasia infestation & quarantine question Dear Crew,  <Hi Paul, MacL here with you this fine and lovely day.> Last week, I obtained a half-pound of live Gracilaria parvispora (Ogo) from a dealer in Hawaii. I specifically asked the dealer if I needed to quarantine the Ogo before adding it to my downstream marine refugium. His emailed reply was no. <First and foremost, quarantine everything!> Upon adding the Ogo to my refugium, I noticed a few dead amphipods. A few days later, I discovered three 1-inch Aiptasia specimens attached to the glass and to a clump of Ogo. I've never had Aiptasia in my tanks before. After spending all night throwing out everything in my refugium including live rock, quarantining the Ogo in a bucket after the fact, sanitizing my refugium and hoping that the Aiptasia hasn't made it to the main tank, are there any other precautions I should take?  <You should be aware that lots of people use Aiptasia in refugiums for nutrient export. On the other hand its possible that this dealer was unaware that he had Aiptasia in his Ogo. Most people are going to say that you don't have to quarantine grasses etc before you put them in your tank because usually they come out of a situation where they've been used for nutrient export.> Regarding the dealer, should I simply warn him to check his Ogo tanks for Aiptasia or should I also demand my money back? What is customary?  <I might email him and tell him that you ended up having to put the Ogo in quarantine because you found some Aiptasia in it and you didn't want to chance having that go into your tank. I'm sure he didn't mean you any harm, but if you feel very strongly about it you might see if he's willing to give your money back or perhaps you two can come to a compromise. You'll need to treat the Ogo in quarantine to remove the Aiptasia from what's there.> 

Blueface angel eyespot disappearing with growth Hi, <Hello there> I've been in the marine aquarium hobby about 25 years.  I started way back in the "caveman" days with undergravel filters and crushed coral.  I have definitely had my share of heartbreak and disappointments with ich until I "learned" the absolute essential of quarantining.   I then became a fanatic about quarantining - and I do it a minimum of 6 weeks just to be sure. Since I've done this one simple step of quarantining, I've have never had ich in my main systems.  I've still lost some while in quarantine, but all of my main systems have remained ich free.  Yes, ich-free is possible. <Agreed> I actually started doing the transfer method (aka water change method w/ bare bottom vacuuming today) back in the late eighties.  This is somewhat of an intense process, but I believe is the very best method of eliminating ich in quarantine - not to mention that it's chemical-free.  I was thrilled that you guys are such proponents of intense quarantine practices upon discovering your website some years ago.  It is probably the single most important thing to learn in order not to become frustrated and drop out of the hobby. <Perhaps so... vies with a lack of ready, useful information IMO>   Anyway, about four years ago I moved and was able to set up my dream tank:  A four hundred gallon (96"x30"x32").  FOWLR, DSB, 125 gallon sump with two Red Sea turbo skimmers - I know, I could stand to upgrade here but the newer turbo series is way better than the old venturi models that Red Sea has.  Anyway, the current occupants are:  10" Blueface Angel, 6" Rock Beauty Angel (alive and doing well for over four years now :-)), 4" Flame Angel, 4" Lemonpeel Angel, 8" Blue Tang, 8" Blonde Naso Tang, 6" Purple Tang, 8" Harlequin Tusk, 5" Clown Trigger, 4" Stars and Stripes Puffer, 4" Bicolor Goatfish, 4" Yellow Goatfish, 3" four-stripe damsel, and two 2" yellowtail damsels.  All are doing well and thriving.  A special thanks to Bob Fenner regarding the Goatfish. <Welcome>   I read his article about them which inspired me to try them - mostly for stirring up my sand.  They are really cool, both behaviorally as well as functionally.  Now to my question. Or, I guess it's really more of an observation.  I have had the Blueface angel for about 5 years now.  I got him at about 4-5 inches with his full adult coloration which included the black eyespot on the rear top fin.  As he has grown this eyespot has slowly faded and has now disappeared.  It is totally non-existent now.  I have seen pictures of wild specimens where this eyespot is still present on similarly very large full adult specimens such as mine is now.  Does anyone know if this disappearance of the blueface's eyespot with age/growth is normal?  Or, is it related to something else? <Interesting possibility... perhaps the "false eyespot" has utility in the wild (where there are more predators), but whatever mechanism for its expression is somehow lost in captivity...> Thanks for all you are doing for this hobby.   Tom Duck        <Thank you for sharing your experiences, opinions as well. Bob Fenner>

-Q/t and ich again- Hello Gentlemen, <Evening> Firstly, I just want to thank-you for all the excellent information your website is providing. I will not belabor my story, its the usual stuff, mainly not quarantining new arrivals, thus ick. My LFS never once ever suggested Q/T new fish prior to introducing them to my 125 gallon reef tank that is fully equipped with all the bells and whistles. <Well thank you for the compliment, and I am sorry that you were not informed of the Q/T being the best defense against outbreaks.> Anyway, I have purchased a 20 gallon Q/T and moved all the fish into this tank to allow the main tank to go fallow, this was not very much fun with the live rock !!!.<I bet not.  However, it is for the best.> In the main tank I still have a Cleaner Shrimp, Emerald Crab and various Corals. I guess they will not host the parasite, if I'm reading your instructions properly, I'm planning a 6 week period to allow the parasites to die off and treat the fish in Q/T. <This is all correct, and thank you for reading and researching before writing into us.  It saves us a lot of time and energy to handle the problems that need it  the most.> Here I said I wasn't going to belabor my story, my question is, I'm treating the fish with Seachem/Cupramine in the Q/T tank, what has been your experience with this product ? Good or bad. I am going to get a copper test kit tonight to monitor the copper level. I will follow the instructions to the tee. Even with this horrific infestation, I have not lost any fish yet. The fish as are as follows, Hippo Tang, Yellow Tang, Kole Tang, Nocturnal Goby, False Clown, 3 - Green/Blue Chromis. <Well, I would not use copper products at this time with the fish you list.  Tangs are not copper tolerant in most situations and can die more easily if not very carefully controlled.  I would think formalin and water changes with vacuuming the bottom to be your best option with the tangs.  As for the copper being a good thing, if used on the other fish and not the tangs, and with a proper testing kit you will have great success 90% of the time.  The other ten percent it is usually simply too late to save the fish.  Copper is very good at being anti ich. The only problem for you is that its anti tang in a lot of cases as well....> Your friend, Keith Mitchell <Thanks Keith and glad to hear you have not lost any fish yet, hope it stays that way.  Good Luck.> <Justin (Jager)>

Is Velvet the Problem, or What? Will the Real Problem Please Stand Up? My tank was doing wonderfully. No algae and I had 5 fish - a royal Gramma, a true clown... <<As opposed to a fake clown? Aren't they *all* clowns..?? Clowns creep me out, as do monkeys, but hey..>> ...a red-headed solar wrasse, and 2 Klein's Butterflies. I had been having a lot of fish die in my quarantine tank and I told that to the people in the two LFSs. They all said "I don't believe in quarantine - I think it's a real stressor on the fish and causes more harm than good".  <<Yep, that's why you'll find NO public zoo or aquarium that skips quarantine. Because it does no good. Oh yeah, sage words. And people wonder why some of us have problems with the information coming out of local shops.>> Another thing that was said over and over was "Ich is always in the water - the only time your fish get ich is when they're stressed". Is this true? <<It IS debatable, to be honest. I, personally, am of the opinion that a whole lot of bad things are present, just as in the ocean. I also believe that it is external stressors that allow diseases to take hold. However, there are some diseases that I would assert that, if always present, would always kill. Let's see where this one's going.>> Having said that, I wanted a flame angel and from everything I'd read, it would not be a problem having those 6 fish in my 75 gallon tank.  <<Not so much the number of fish as the biological load they place on the system. Given your list, I tend to agree, six smaller fishes *should* be no problem.. except for the fact that you haven't quite got the quarantine thing down, that's a problem (and not a small one).>> I bought the first flame angel and he died in my quarantine tank - don't know why.  <<This is a problem. It's important to know why.>> I thought he had something on his fins but was not sure.  <<Fish don't die from "something on the fins". That "something" is an indicator of a larger problem. Think "globally" here, think husbandry, environment, nutrition, sourcing, original fish health. All avenues must be explored.>> On March 13th I purchased another Flame from the other store in town and put him directly into the main tank without quarantine. <<I cannot recommend strongly enough against this practice. For instance, let's say that you did indeed introduce a fish with marine velvet (Amyloodinium/Oodinium). This parasite is EXCEEDINGLY virulent. So much so that you cannot hope to re-use a *thing* without using extreme disinfection procedures.>> As of April 8th five of the six fish had died. I believe it was velvet.  <<Why do you believe this?>> The red-headed solar wrasse did not die and looks perfectly healthy. Today is April 16th and he appears to be doing great. All my snails, hermit and 2 emerald crabs are also doing great.  Now for the questions. Did the velvet come from the Flame Angel or is it "always in the water anyway"?  <<I don't know. You haven't described a single symptom that would even begin to lead me in the direction of velvet. As for "omnipresence", re: specifically velvet, my experience has been that if it's present at all, it's going to show up FAST KILL FAST MOVE FASTFASTFAST. As in "You better have your nuts together little squirrel 'cause we've got some rough riding ahead." This stuff is BAD. Brooklynellosis is another one that leaves little time for action, tends to be virulent (though often we'll see one or three fishes affected, and others showing nothing). This is about the best reason I can see to quarantine for a FULL four weeks (and this next bit is really important) Disease Free. If they show signs of illness, that clock starts all over again. I think it's time to examine more closely your quarantine procedures/husbandry.>> Is it true that Ich is always in the water?  <<Do a search on the many reefing bulletin boards, search Terry Bartelme, Steven Pro, et al. You will find that there is some debate regarding this assertion. However, a different take on my own stance: If one ASSUMES omnipresence, then one is more likely to act accordingly, yes? This means utility of hyposalinity, freshwater dipping, and proper quarantine/hospital housing at the ready. Make yourself ready as a Marine, and it will stand you in good stead. However, we really need to sort out the original troubles with your quarantine, no fish should be dying so readily in a good set-up.>> Was it possible that it was a really bad case of Ich? Did the fish get sick because the Flame Angel introduced a parasite or because the last fish was one fish too many, slightly aggressive, and I stressed out my fish and made them susceptible to infection?  <<Not a one of these questions can be answered intelligently with the dearth of information you've provided. However, if I assume that you had live rock only for filtration in that tank, and if I assume that those butterflies weren't more than 6" in length, I would have to say that, no, I don't think it was just one fish too many that pushed it over the edge. However, I can't really make ANY assumptions that would allow me to be more definitive for you.>> Did they sick because I added one too many fish (the butterflies were pretty active)? What should I do now - is there a period of time I must wait before introducing new fish into the tank (the LFSs say 1 month)?  <<It's time you search our site on marine parasitic diseases, including but not limited to Cryptocaryon irritans, Amyloodinium/Oodinium, and Brooklynellosis. I can't even begin to offer a guess as to what's going on here without any identifying information.>> The wrasse did not get sick but how do I know that he's not just one incredibly immune fellow and any other fish I put in there will get velvet?  <<Cannot answer.>> How long does the parasite stay alive in the substrate? Toni <<Depends on certain conditions, really, starting with temperature, and the availability of host organisms. I'm sure you've heard of people carrying diseases that they don't show symptoms of, but can give to others. I believe that it is *generally* safe to say the same is true of fish. However, there really is no way I can really help you at this point. Water parameters (as well as age and brand of test kit) are the beginning here. If you used hyposalinity, how low, and how did you measure (yes, what tool you used is really important). How big is your Q/T system? Is it filtered? How so? What test parameters have you found in your quarantine? Observation is the keystone of science and good husbandry of ALL animals/children, etc. Please, do start with our Google search tool using the keywords mentioned above, you have a LOT of reading to do, my friend. Marina>>

Help With Quarantine Part 2 4/15/05 Thanks very much. What is the minimum time I can keep them in quarantine?  <Generally, I would recommend that any fish be kept in quarantine for three weeks. This is long enough for one complete life cycle of Ick (Cryptocaryon) and Velvet (Amyloodinium) to be completed and maximize the likelihood that you will observe it if it is present. However, fishes with special needs (like mandarins, Jawfishes and your Anthias) often require slightly different quarantine practices. Introducing these fishes to the display before any other fish is effectively a quarantine. If other fish are already in the display, you may have to alter the ideal quarantine tank for their needs. For example: adding sand for Jawfishes, live baby brine for mandarins, or in the case of your Anthias, using a much larger quarantine tank with lots of cover, subdued light and lots of water movement. Good luck! AdamC.>

Parasite Problem....Or Why Quarantine Must be 30 Days (Pt.2) Hi, <Hello again! Scott F. here today!> I wrote to you about a possible parasite problem. I will include our old correspondence in case it does not come with this email for some reason that I am computer illiterate about.  I just wanted to update you on what is going on. I stood poised with the huge garbage can ready and lots of aerated salt water on hand (for possible mishaps) and stared at the tank for a whole 3 days.. NOT A SPOT anywhere. <That's good to hear!> So I have gone from the 31st of March to April 19th without a single spot appearing in the tank.  I am still not convinced that I am out of the woods, remember that I quarantined the clowns for a solid 3 weeks and then they were covered with little specks. <Yep...sometimes this happens despite our best efforts!> It still could appear and I am on the watch for any little dots, magnifying glass, children with good eyesight, the cats... all checking for spots. <Good. A "team effort"!> All seems fine. I suppose now that I have said this they will appear today. <"Murphy's Law"...> I just thought that I would let you know what is happening. I know that there is so much in the ocean that we don't even know about. I have no idea what this was (is) but I don't think that it was any of the normal parasite stuff that we understand the life cycle of. Some other thing was at work which in some ways is more disturbing. It does not seem to respect the life cycle rules and has me nervous. <I can understand your concern. There is much that we don't understand, and our keen observations are the best thing that we can do sometimes. In this case, I'd keep vigilant, as you are doing.> And so I will keep you abreast of what is going on....I thought that this would be good for all of your memory banks. I will let you know if it comes back. Aside from water changes we have not done anything differently. I hope that it is not lying in wait and I know that it could be.... Thank you for your help...I'll keep in touch.... <Please do...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>  Arrow Crabs and Bristle worms - part deux Hi Jim, I'm not sure how to measure or compare the size of the arrow crab. I guess if you were to put a half dollar under it, it would stand on it perfect? It's not that big. As for the sixline wrasse, it was about 2 inches long. Sorry about calling the tang "Dory" I couldn't think of the name of the fish. How quick do the arrow crabs grow? My husband went to the LFS that we bought the crab from last night, they told him that he's got nothing to worry about and that he owns one and some gobies and never had a problem. Are there any other fish or anything that will eat the bristle worms and not harm anything else? As for my QT, it is just a 10 gallon with a accurate heater and an over flow filter. I don't have room for anything bigger. Every time I qt a fish, it will do fine for a few days and then die. I have no luck with fish. Also, what do I do if I had an ich outbreak in my main tank? The LFS sold my husband medicine called NO-ICH. It says it is safe with inverts. This stuff was quite expensive. If you could suggest anything I would greatly appreciate it.  Thank you, Kris >>>Hello again Kris, Call the fish what you want, just know some folks may now know what you mean. :) In the end, the Latin name is all that matters really. I forgot to tell you before, bristle worms are nothing to worry about! They are a natural and harmless part of the marine ecosystem. The consume detritus and uneaten bits of food - no need to try and eliminate them. Please do not put any medication in your main tank, I've heard too many horror stories to feel good recommending that to you. Also, these "reef safe" medications have a spotty record for effectiveness at best. Running hyposalinity (lowering the salinity to 1.009 over a week or so, and keeping it there for two weeks) in a hospital tank, or a more conventional ich medication in a hospital tank is your best bet. Do NOT use copper. Some people have had luck feeding garlic soaked foods in the display and getting rid of ich that way. I myself tried it some years ago, and it SEEMED to work, although I cannot be sure if the fish didn't just fight it off on their own. The best thing to do is just quarantine your fish properly, and you will not have to worry about C. irritans in your display. Myself, I use live rock in my QT tanks, and a bit of sand of the bottom. A small power head is used to circulate water, and of course there is a heater - that's it! They are pretty much another small reef tank, even with a few mushroom corals. The tank stays running all the time, and I've had EXCELLENT results with this method. I can't medicate in it, but I haven't had to medicate a fish in many years.  Jim<<<

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