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FAQs on Quarantine 11

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 12, Quarantine 13, Quarantine 14, QTing 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,  

Good Lessons Learned 3/11/05 Hi again, I learned the importance of quarantining new fish from WetWebMedia years ago. This site has been a valuable tool! Jason <thanks kindly... indeed, QT is one of the most important lessons to learn. Anthony>

We Need a Q/T Booking! Q/T Booked! Hello, Crew... <<Hello Bob. Marina tonight.>> I've got a good one for you.  <<As I you, but we hardly know each other..>> Here's the scoop...I have 2 FOWLR tanks - a 37-gallon at my home that has been running for about 2 years and a new 90-gallon tank at my office that has been going for about 4 months. I have a 20-gallon QT tank. <<That's a good one.. where's the punch line? Sorry.>> During the past 2 years, my home tank has been (what I would consider) relatively successful - minimal fish loss and no signs of ich or other disease. It currently houses an ocellaris clown, blackcap Basslet, bi-color angel, sixline wrasse and a small Fiji damsel. Plus the tank has a small cleanup crew of snails, crabs and a hitchhiker brittle star that has remarkably been in the tank from day 1 - through cycling and all. <<REMARKABLE!>> The tank at my office currently houses 2 percula clowns, 2 blue-green Chromis, 2 neon gobies, a lawnmower blenny and a blood shrimp. <<Mkay.>> Two days ago, I bought a very nice looking (active and fat) regal tang. It is in my 20-gallon QT tank. It had been "watched" at my LFS for over a week as I got my QT set up for him. He is eating great. Now here comes the challenge... All of a sudden, my bi-color angel is salted with what I believe to be ich. Seemed to have almost happened overnight. <<Oy, veh!>> The other fish look clean, so far. The angel is active, but nonetheless covered. Problem is, my QT tank is housing the tang before release in my office tank. <<Therein lies the conundrum. A challenge even for Mr. Spock.>> I'm an active reader of your site, and these are the options as I see them. I'd really like your opinion on each of these courses of action... <<And so you shall have it.>> OPTION 1: Remove tang from QT and put in main office tank and convert QT to treat bi-color angel and tankmates for one-month while home tank runs fallow. <<Not an entirely acceptable option for the following reasons: 1: One month fallow is entirely too short a period of time. Six to eight weeks, eight being much better. 2: Never allow anything to bring about the skipping or shortening of quarantine. Headaches may soon follow, and I'm running low on aspirin.>> OPTION 2: Perform dips on the angel and place back into home tank - keeping QT dedicated to the tang. <<Again, not a good option. Dipping can remove some parasites - those likely ready to drop anyway - but will not entirely remove them, nor will it address the issue of parasites already in situ, and we KNOW they are now in situ.>> OPTION 3: Hurriedly rush another QT tank into action. I have an empty 10-gallon, but it needs parts, etc. Could I put all the fish from the office tank into this? I'm worried a bit about its size. <<This is a more likely option, but how about instead just hitting one of the "Marts" (K, Wal, or Target - pronounced "Tar-zhay", in the French manner) and getting a big plastic bin? Rubbermaid would work, but it doesn't have to be Rubbermaid. All it has to be is watertight and chemically inert, most all of them are. They tend to be around 30 gallons, much better for either tank. It would be an adventure for the fish. Marineland's Bio-Spira will give you an instant dose of nitrifying bacteria, too.>> OPTION 4: Rush the 10-gallon QT into action and house ONLY the angel, leaving the rest of the fish in my home tank and not involving my 20-gallon QT/tang/office tank at all. <<Again, not such a good option, as this still won't address the problem of the parasites in that display. Me likely option 3 with modifications.>> My best thought is OPTION 1 - to move the tang in QT immediately into my office tank.  <<I like that one the least.>> I have intentionally kept this tank light until the tang was in place and comfortable just so I didn't risk a great deal of livestock to an "ich magnet."  <<The rest of the livestock would be less of a problem than the tang, it could still very well introduce disease into your established display. Hand me an aspirin, please.>> In essence, the 90-gallon becomes a large QT, lacking only the ability to medicate/treat the water if necessary. In fact, the neon gobies and the shrimp were added to my office tank right after cycling in order to have a "ready and waiting" cleaning crew for the tang. I realize this is a bit risky due to the inability to medicate, however I have read elsewhere on the site that QT can also be stressful on tangs and he would certainly have more room and very little competition in the 90-gallon. <<I have never NOT quarantined a single fish because of perceived stress. Most people who make this assertion have not a clue as to what the fishes went through just to get here (wherever "here" might be), let alone how they're held until someone says, "I would like X number of Regal tangs, a dozen yellows.. are those from Hawaii? Oh yeah, you have a special on neon gobies? Lemme have 30 of those. Thanks.">> In fact, my 20 gallon QT was started with water from the 90, so there should be very little difference in water quality. <<Water quality is not the only issue here, my friend. THE issue, in my opinion, IS in preventing disease from entering displays. That's IT.>> What do you think?  <<My "Option 3 with Mods" is, in my own opinion, the ONLY option.>> I REALLY appreciate your time, patience and wisdom. You all perform a great service to all of us in the hobby. MANY, MANY Thanks!! Bob <<You're very welcome, Bob. We also sometimes offer options not readily apparent, such as not worrying about the composition of the vessel a fish is held in. They can be quarantined in a bucket if you do it right (to answer that question, yes, yes I have). A larger 2nd HOSPITAL tank is the ticket here, and in my opinion you should be able to get away with using hyposalinity only - no meds should be necessary assuming all are eating well, getting the best nutrition. Something tells me they are. Marina>>

Quarantine tanks and Stomatopods Hi everybody, A small piece of advice please regarding QTanks and Mantis Shrimps please. I presently have a 180G simple reef system without QT, yes I know I know, that\u2019s the reason for this. Cut a long story short, I managed to catch a Mantis a few weeks back and asked Bob about placing him into my sump which he said I could. All fine. However, this creature is amazing and beautiful and has actually got me watching his activities just as much as the main system. In fact I quite enjoyed feeding the little guy (3") on hands and knees peering through the glass of the sump, so much so I decided to convert a 10G freshwater into a Micro reef.  I did this and got a 'Chinese' hang on skimmer (Not too good), internal canister and external power filter to try and emulate the best conditions I could. Put a few pounds of live rock in, a YT damsel and cleaner shrimp for other activity or live food in the case of the shrimp (4 weeks and still there however) and read up as much as I could on mini's. However, due to time, the not so good Chinese available equipment and my own knowledge more than anything; I am struggling to keep the correct parameters and maintenance regimes to keep this small system viable.  Therefore I had a thought as I would love to keep this guy, and the second mantis from the main system I noticed recently but not been able to trap yet, could I place this 10G alongside the main 180G, pump up from the sump of the main into the 10G, overflow back to the sump thereby using all of the same equipment and water quality from the main system?  In an emergency then I could also return the internal/external canisters onto the 10G with seeded inserts from the sump I would do, turn off the supply pump to the 10G, remove the live rocks with inserted mantis's back to the main sump, and use the 10G as a hospital? If not a hospital due to still not being able to treat with copper due to future overflows back to main, then at least a QT tank? As a final question about this, is it possible to keep (2) Mantis together in a 10G? Thanks as always from afar distant China. Dave >>>Greetings Dave! Quite honestly, that little system should be the easiest thing in the world to take care of. The lowest maintenance system I've ever had was a 7 gallon nano-reef sitting on my desk at work. You don't NEED a skimmer on a tank this size, ESPECIALLY for a Stomatopod! ("mantis shrimp") For one thing, the tank being so small, water changes are a snap which negates the need for a skimmer. Secondly, stomatopods are TOUGH little hombres! They are the roaches of the reef world (as far as hardiness goes) and you have to be quite negligent to kill one quite honestly. All you need for that little tank is a shallow layer of sand, some live rock, a heater, and a powerhead to give it some circulation. That's it! Whatever light you have available will work. Just change out 2 or 3 gallons of water every two weeks, keep it topped-off, and you're set. I certainly wouldn't go through all the trouble of plumbing it to the main system as you described. Small tanks are a snap, and I'd be glad to lend you further advice on the matter should have an more specific questions. Cheers Jim<<< 

Help with Quarantine Hi Crew, After reading your advice to other aquarists, I finally decided to invest in a quarantine tank for the first time. On the advice of my LFS I took water directly from my main tank, and added a BioWheel filter, heater and an air pump. He said that between the pump and the filter there should be enough oxygen and water movement in a 10 gal tank.  <Sounds fine.> I have in the tank a Midas blenny, 2 coral gobies and 2 Anthias. The blenny is doing great and the gobies seem to be doing reasonably well, but the Anthias are really unhappy. They are losing colour and haven't eaten after 3 days. One is hiding in a piece of plastic piping and the other is pretty unmoving between the piping and the tank wall. I keep checking to see if he is breathing. At one stage I saw the blenny nipping at him. <This is quite a crowd for this small tank, especially considering the activity levels of Anthias. Also, putting multiple specimens in largely defeats the purpose of quarantine. What you are describing is a common problem with Anthias. They tend to ship poorly and arrive weak. Not being part of a shoal, they are timid. They fail to feed well and become easy targets of other fish.> I have checked ammonia and nitrates and they are negligible. The rest of the water parameters are fine - my main tank is really happy and stable. What can I do to save these Anthias. I'm getting tempted to put them into the main tank. Thanks for any advice. Sharon J.  <Anthias are difficult, and my advice would have been to add them to the display first. This would have acted as a quarantine since no other fish would have been present. This would also have give the Anthias time to acclimate, become bolder, feed without competition... all in the best possible conditions.> I omitted to mention that these are Evans Anthias - really beautiful. I have offered frozen Cyclop-eeze, Mysis shrimp and brine shrimp and am nervous about overfeeding. I don't want to mess up the water quality. Should I add one of the hermit crabs from my main tank to clean up any excess? Sharon.  <The ideal quarantine tank is bare bottomed so that missed food can be easily removed by siphon or net. A. evansii are not among the hardiest of Anthias. Do try live brine shrimp (fortified with Selcon if possible) to get them "over the hump". If they can't be tempted with live foods, I am afraid they are doomed. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Prophylactic Cupramine in the QT Hello again!  <Good evening, Mark.> Seems like I always have "just one more question". Thanks for your patience. Over the past 5 months I have had two outbreaks of ich, each occurring about 2 weeks after the introduction of presumed healthy fish. I have learned my lesson, and after spending a lot of time on your site, I'm getting the equipment ready for a QT (really fairly simple and inexpensive as outlined by your team). My question, is it ever recommended to prophylactically treat with Cupramine in the QT without signs of ich on the new arrivals, or is this too stressful on the fish? Would a freshwater Methylene blue dip be just as effective?  <Mark, I don't recommend treating a fish that isn't diseased. As you say, it does add a little stress to the animal. I would just do quarantine and observe and after the QT period, if everything looks honky dory, then add to the display tank. James (Salty Dog)>

"Cooking" A Quarantine Filter! Thanks again for your outstanding site. <Awesome! Glad that you enjoy it! We're happy to bring it to you every day. Scott F. in tonight.> Just a quick question regarding my QT filter. I have two filter sponges for an AquaClear 20 hang filter "cooking" in my main display Eheim canister. How long until they are mature and ready to use in the QT?  <Good question, and funny that you use the same term that I do-"Cooking"...kinda fits, huh?. I suppose that there is no "absolute" as to when the filter will be ready, but I'd give it at least a week or so to "colonize" a good bacterial population. That's why I think it's a great idea to always have media "cooking" somewhere in your system, ready to go when those "impulse" buys happen at the LFS!! Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.>  Powder Blue - QT Tank Setup Hi Crew, <Hello, MikeB here.> Currently I am running a 90 gallon reef ready tank, about 80+ lbs. of live rock, 80lbs live sand. This tank has been setup for about a year. Currently, I have about 14 random soft and hard corals, 1 Orange Tail Damsel, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, a Powder Blue (4.5 inches), Serpent Star and plenty of snails and hermit crabs. The corals and the Damsel are doing great! I added my Powder Blue about two weeks ago. When I purchased him he was skinny (I could see his spine through his sides) but active. Of course within a couple of days he began to show signs of ich. I fed him a variety of veggie flakes, dried seaweed, and have added Kent's garlic and some vitamins to his Formula 1 food which has seemed to help keep it under control. Some days are better than others, one day almost no signs, then the next covered in tiny white dots and bumps. A couple of times he has even shown vertical white stripes on his sides that only last for a few seconds. He is super active and eats like crazy, I am hoping that I can get him to full health. He shows some, but limited interest in the Cleaner Shrimp. My Damsel so far shows no signs at all that he is getting sick. After much reading of your FAQ's I have decided to setup a quarantine tank (better late then never I guess). Salinity 1.025 pH - 8.2 Ammonia, Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 15 Temp - 82 Calcium - 460ish Alkalinity - 8 (I am buffering to pick it up a little) Phosphates - Almost 0 I use the 40g trash can method for preparing new water with my RO filter. I am planning on treating them with copper. Here are my questions/plans for setting up the QT tank: - Besides the Damsel and Tang, do I need to take anything else out of my main tank? <No, the fish should be the only ones treated.> - What tank size would you recommend for these two fish? Would 20g be too small for the Tang to be in for a month? <For a month and ONLY a month a 20 gal. would suffice for a quarantine tank for the two fish.> - I have read that if I have a sponge soak in my main tanks sump to get it full of the necessary organisms I can then use this as filtration in my QT. Does this just rest at the bottom of my QT tank? <If you have a filter you can throw the sponge in that will work better, if not, the tank will work.> - Do I also need another type of biological filter? <Yes, you need some sort of filter with NO carbon or chemical filtration....It will remove the medication you are trying to use.> - If I use water and a presoaked sponge from my main tank for the initial QT setup and future water changes do I still need to cycle my QT?  <No, that is the beauty of this set up.> - The room that they will be in has no windows (basement) so I was going to get a small light strip to give them some light. I don't need anything specific, do I? <A glass lid so the light doesn't fall into the water.> - If needed I need to find a sufficient external filter, any suggestions? <A Whisper power filter is good for quarantine tanks in my opinion. No protein skimmers are needed.> - As long as I am doing frequent water changes do I have to run a skimmer? <See above.> - By using water from my existing (sick) tank for water changes am I going to be continually infecting my QT tank with Ich? <No, the ich reproduces in the gravel and if you have a UV sterilizer or protein skimmer on the display tank the ich will be killed off.> - Small pump with air stone. - PVC pipe for cover. <Salt may effect the lighting. Elevate the lighting> - Heater and thermometer. - Once the signs of Ich are gone, 3-4 weeks in this tank - Small water changes, 3 times per week <Good> - Frequent water testing - Besides sifting the sand during water changes in the main tank (and using my new QT tank for new additions), any other tasks that will help remove the ich while my fish are in quarantine? <A UV if you have one. If not, time will do the job.> I know this is a lot of questions, but I really want to get this setup right the first time. Thanks for your help my friend(s).. Matt <No problem on the questions. That is what we are here for. Good Luck. MikeB.>

- Keeping Twinspot Gobies Alive in Quarantine - Dear Crew, HELP!!! This is DianeV. and I have ick in my 40 gal. semi-reef (inverts but no corals). It has been present for some time now but other than an occasional spot or two on my Royal Gramma there seemed to be no real adverse reactions and the other fish never seemed to be bothered. In the tank I have 1 Royal Gramma, 1 Yellow Watchman, 2 Ocellaris Clowns (largest one 1.5 inches), 2 Twinspot Gobies, and a prize Golden Angel (Centropyge aurantia). Now the confession.  I needed my 10 gal. QT tank for the angel so an Orange Finned Tang went in the 40 early. Well, three days ago when the lights came on and I was doing my first check of the day and saw that the tang was COATED with ick. However, no one else had any spots that I could see and with no time, I went to work.  When I got home the spots were gone. Next morning though it was the same, lots of spots, then nothing when I got home. But yesterday morning I noticed that my babies, the Twinspots, had it bad and it does not go away! I dashed straight out and bought 4 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp but they hang in the back and the gobies hang in the front. Now, what I want to do, (I think?), is move everyone out, freshwater dips for all and then into sterile tanks for at least 4 weeks, preferably 8?, for treatment and to let the 40 remain fallow.  <Four to six weeks should be sufficient - and given your concerns for their feeding, you don't want to go longer than is practical.>  Which brings me to the subject of the title. My Twinspots only sift sand at this point, it is live sand and I feed among other things frozen Cyclop-eeze and small frozen Mysis which has been soaked in Selcon and they do get some of that but it is incidental and I'm worried that they will starve in QT without the live sand.  <Actually, I think they'll do fine with the Cyclop-eeze on a bare bottom. Sand sifting is their primary mode of gathering food, but they should make the adaptation pretty quickly when they realize they don't have any sand. Would still keep your eyes on things though and consider your options if they stop eating all together.>  I have available 3- 10 gal. tanks and 1- 20 gal. so I can give them a tank to themselves but if they don't eat I don't think they can last long,. they're not even 2 inches yet. Any ideas. I do have also a 125 gal tank with a 6 inch sand bed can I take bits from this?  <I wouldn't - if you have to treat the gobies with anything, the sand will interfere with that treatment so better to leave the sand where it is for now.>  Thank you  DianeV. <Cheers, J -- > 

Ammonia in Quarantine Hey crew. <Hello> I have to admit I'm a bit frustrated over this one. Yesterday I purchased two aquarium-raised false percula clowns and placed them in my 10 gallon quarantine tank. It's simply a bare bottom tank with PVC for cover.  I have an air stone and a heater; sponge filter for supposed biological filtration.  <Ok>  I used 75% aged water from display (all good readings here) and 25% new. Now 24 hours later ammonia is reading .50ppm!!!  I don't understand why. The sponge was running on the display for 5 weeks... <There is why> ...shouldn't it be able to handle two little clowns? I did a 50% water change and threw in some Prime, but I'll admit 50% daily water changes is not what I had in mind, not for three or four weeks anyway. I also tested for nitrites, came in at 0 (so far anyway). Would that ammonia removing charcoal help at all? Any suggestions would be most helpful. I really want to quarantine my fish before putting in display, but I also want them to live. Thanks so much. Eric <What has happened Eric is that your q/t sat for too long with no continuing source of ammonia to keep the bio cycle going. to keep up a q/t either put in one fish to keep it going or simply throw the sponge back into the main tank in an area of high water flow and oxygen (mine is in the sump on the outflow of the protein skimmer.) As for the fish, keep those water changes going my friend. It will cycle, though if you want a faster response go buy Bio-Spira and use that. it will cycle the tank in a day or so. Good luck my friend.> <Justin (Jager)> 

Ammonia in Quarantine - James' Take Hey crew.  <Hey Eric>  I have to admit I'm a bit frustrated over this one. Yesterday I purchased two aquarium-raised false percula clowns and placed them in my 10 gallon quarantine tank. It's simply a bare bottom tank with PVC for cover.  I have an air stone and a heater; sponge filter for supposed biological filtration. I used 75% aged water from display (all good readings here) and 25% new. Now 24 hours later ammonia is reading .50ppm!!!  I don't understand why. The sponge was running on the display for 5 weeks, shouldn't it be able to handle two little clowns?  <There is probably little bacteria on the sponge, it should multiply fast and I'm guessing within a week things should be back to normal.>  I did a 50% water change and threw in some Prime, but I'll admit 50% daily water changes is not what I had in mind, not for three or four weeks anyway. I also tested for nitrites, came in at 0 (so far anyway). Would that ammonia removing charcoal help at all?  <That's just for freshwater> <Zeolite> Any suggestions would be most helpful. <Might want to put a piece of your live rock in the qt to speed things up.>  I really want to quarantine my fish before putting in display, but I also want them to live. Thanks so much. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> 

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

Cupramine in my Sand.. and New Quarantine Tank I really appreciate the wealth of information that's available on your site. I'd sing your praises, but I'm sure I should get to the point. I had an outbreak of marine ich about two months ago and treated the tank with Cupramine since I wasn't planning on ever doing a reef. My wife suddenly decided to tell me that she 'hasn't wanted a reef' because she couldn't justify wanting something so expensive (she's priceless). I've always wanted one, so we're looking at doing the reef thing in our 150 gallon probably in about nine months from now. From what I read about copper, I though I wouldn't be able to use my 'live' aragonite sand for anything reef related... ever. Was I wrong? <Mmm, not "that" big a deal to re-use this substrate... the Cupramine product is likely almost completely insolubilized... You can/could add activated carbon and/or a bit of Polyfilter to your filter flow path to remove the bit that may be present, re-released...> What about using it to make Aragocrete? <Could use it for this as well> What kind of time-line should I work off it is possible to put inverts and the like in there? <Mmm, try your test kit/s... there is likely no soluble cupric ion that is detectable... Know that there is some copper added to many foods purposely... and many source waters have a bit of free copper ion content...> Also, after our experience with ich, we are definitely doing to quarantine tank thing religiously. <Yay!> Would it be wise to run a 20 gallon bare-bottom QT tank with a protein skimmer (waste export), FSB (nitrates & ammonia), and UV sterilizer (parasites, etc...). <Could... I'd add a sponge filter and/or a hang-on... and a few bits of PVC pipe/fittings for cover> Thank you for any help you might be able to give me. Thank you, again. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Outdoor Quarantine? Hey guys- <Joshua> I've read through the marine quarantine stuff pretty thoroughly, so sorry if this question has been answered already. I am about to set up a 120 gallon reef, but have extremely limited space. All the equipment needs to go under the stand except for a small free space on the other side of the wall which will house my chiller and external pump for closed loop. After a decent sized sump (about 30g), the space I have left over under the stand is minimal (the tank is going to be 36x36x24) once you figure in a Kalk dosing system or calc reactor etc. I really want to have a quarantine system for fishes as well as corals and would like to maintain separate tanks for the two. I'm pretty sure I can fit a shallow coral qt tank under the stand, but definitely not both. What do you think of having a fish qt tank outdoors? The first thing that comes to my mind is temperature issues (esp. during the summer)......any input is appreciated. Cheers. Josh <A novel idea... Really... no room elsewhere in the house? Perhaps a negotiating tact... Bob Fenner>

Tank moving I have a 50 gallon set up and have recently just got over white spot and I am planning to move to a house locally next month. Is it ok for me to put a Naso tang and a yellow tang into a 10 gallon tank for a month when I've moved so that I can sort out putting live rock into the 50 gallon tank? I am keeping them out of there so that I can hopefully kill off the white spot in my 50 gallon tank, do you know any other ways I can get rid of the white spot? <See below>  Can crabs/invertebrates carry white spot?  <Putting the tangs in a 10 gallon would be the equivalent of canned tuna. You need to separate them, and in larger quarters than that, especially for a one month stay. You will also need to have an effective biological filter in each tank. Read here for ich control. http://www.google.com/custom?q=ich+control&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com. James (Salty Dog)> 

Idiots cause ich breakout..  <Hello> As everyone out has a unique story, here is mine, 20g 17lbs LR, 4 snails (turbo or Astrea, they had babies) 6 hermit crabs, 1 blood shrimp, two damsels (which have been happily swimming for about a month and a half). Things have been fine until a week ago we threw in a coral beauty. <Argh The mention of q/t is not here, I smell trouble...> And you guessed it...Ich, or some other salt dusting parasite. Well I learned my lesson on not using a qt, just a day late and a dollar short.  I would like to make a qt for my ailing fish, but all I have are two 5 gal buckets, realistically can I accomplish this with what I have? Any advice from you guys would be greatly appreciated. Btw, I now know why to have a qt. <Well unfortunately, your story is not uncommon. Please always use a Q/T. Your five gallon buckets are fine. Simply put an airstone and a sponge filter on it or use a hang on filter and a heater. Do be prepared for daily water changes. But good luck> <Justin (Jager)>

Marine Roulette Anyone? We all know how awesome the WWM crew is - and so do they - that's why we all come back here! <They told me there was free beer! You mean there isn't? I'm outta here!> Enough said. What's odd is that so many of us have learned what we know of the marine hobby right here and by reading the works of WWM authors - yet so many of us insist on learning the hard way.... <Heeeeee! Human nature... my fave species> For example, I have an overstocked 75 gal mixed reef and have never quarantined so much as one thing... The system has been up and running for over a year and I've watched the dreaded white spot signs of Ich teeter-totter between the fish's favor and the parasites favor. Had never had a serious enough outbreak to warrant pulling all of the fish out for treatment or letting the tank go fallow.... 'til now.... <Doh!> Hadn't seen any signs of Ich for close to six-months, so in my infinite wisdom what do I do? Add a "King-O-Ich" Hippo Tang. Well the pendulum quickly favored the Ich and I end up with a major breakout. Fortunately I had a 55 gal. sitting around looking thirsty so I tear the rockwork apart and catch the fish.... Yellow Tang, Hippo Tang, Royal Gramma, Two Ocellaris Clowns, Copperband Butterfly, and a Flame Hawkfish. They're being treated with Cupramine and for all those who've had trouble measuring this, the Seachem kit seems to keep a good handle on the copper levels.  <They do have good products>  Did I keep a sponge in the 75gal display to use in case of an treatment emergency such as this? Of course not.... <Doh times two~!> So I'm changing significant amounts of water every other day to keep ammonia as low as possible. Livestock seem to be progressively doing better - but I'm concerned about the Copperband. He hasn't hardly eaten any provided foods since we got him. He seemed to pick off the rocks rather than touch anything we fed... Problem is - their obviously aren't any rocks in the hospital tank - and I've yet to see him eat a thing. <Try a small "bivalve"... clam, cockle... opened up... these are almost irresistible to Chelmons... even stressed out ones in tiny volumes and copper> It's been 8 days since he was admitted to the hospital. Before this Ich outbreak began, we had already been planning on a move into a 180, which is about another month out. We had purchased 40 lbs of additional live rock, which is curing in Rubbermaids. My question is this. ( I know - Finally) The new live rock in quarantine will be cured about the time that the copper treatment comes to an end, and hopefully the hospital tank has completely cycled. Yet I will still be weeks from moving into the 180 - so the fish will remain in the hospital tank until the move. The only thing in the hospital is PVC material (nothing Calcareous). <Natch... as it would absorb the copper...> For the betterment of the environment, can I add cycled live rock to the cycled hospital once the copper is removed with water changes, PolyFilter, and carbon? <Yes> Or should I not add anything copper sensitive since the tank has been exposed to copper. <A small amount of precipitated copper is not a big deal> I had read somewhere (don't know the validity) that the tank seals will act like a sponge and leach copper even after it is testing zero and believed removed.  <Very, very little... in most cases/scenarios> Obviously, the best thing would be to not get into this situation, but.... In light of the fact I am, what would be the best way to proceed? And yes, lesson learned... From now on apply the generous sharings of knowledge from those in the know.... Thanks, Brad. <Better to move the Copperband elsewhere after two weeks treatment... with larger, more stable setting... try Mysids (live if you can get them)... soaked in Selcon or equivalent... Do pH adjusted freshwater dip the fishes enroute... Bob Fenner> 

Marine Roulette Anyone? avec James' Response We all know how awesome the WWM crew is - and so do they - that's why we all come back here! Enough said. What's odd is that so many of us have learned what we know of the marine hobby right here and by reading the works of WWM authors - yet so many of us insist on learning the hard way.... For example, I have an overstocked 75 gal mixed reef and have never quarantined so much as one thing.  The system has been up and running for over a year and I've watched the dreaded white spot signs of Ich teeter-totter between the fish's favor and the parasites favor. Had never had a serious enough outbreak to warrant pulling all of the fish out for treatment or letting the tank go fallow 'til now.  Hadn't seen any signs of Ich for close to six-months, so in my infinite wisdom what do I do? Add a "King-O-Ich" Hippo Tang. Well the pendulum quickly favored the Ich and I end up with a major breakout. Fortunately I had a 55gal sitting around looking thirsty so I tear the rockwork apart and catch the fish.... Yellow Tang, Hippo Tang, Royal Gramma, Two Ocellaris Clowns, Copperband Butterfly, and a Flame Hawkfish.  They're being treated with Cupramine and for all those who've had trouble measuring this, the Seachem kit seems to keep a good handle on the copper levels. Did I keep a sponge in the 75gal display to use in case of an treatment emergency such as this? Of course not. So I'm changing significant amounts of water every other day to keep ammonia as low as possible.  Livestock seem to be progressively doing better - but I'm concerned about the Copperband. He hasn't hardly eaten any provided foods since we got him. He seemed to pick off the rocks rather than touch anything we fed. Problem is - there obviously aren't any rocks in the hospital tank - and I've yet to see him eat a thing. It's been 8 days since he was admitted to the hospital.  Before this Ich outbreak began, we had already been planning on a move into a 180, which is about another month out. We had purchased 40 lbs of additional live rock, which is curing in Rubbermaids. My question is this. ( I know - Finally) The new live rock in quarantine will be cured about the time that the copper treatment comes to an end, and hopefully the hospital tank has completely cycled. Yet I will still be weeks from moving into the 180 - so the fish will remain in the hospital tank until the move. The only thing in the hospital is PVC material (nothing Calcareous).  For the betterment of the environment, can I add cycled live rock to the cycled hospital once the copper is removed with water changes, PolyFilter, and carbon? Or should I not add anything copper sensitive since the tank has been exposed to copper.  I had read somewhere (don't know the validity) that the tank seals will act like a sponge and leach copper even after it is testing zero and believed removed. Obviously, the best thing would be to not get into this situation, but.... In light of the fact I am, what would be the best way to proceed? And yes, lesson learned... From now on apply the generous sharings of knowledge from those in the know.... <I don't think you would have a problem putting the live rock in the QT once you filter out the copper. I would try one thing for your Copperband. Get some Cyclop-eeze in the pump bottle. I'm thinking that will trigger him into eating. It's great stuff. Good for corals....my Percs love it and really colored up nice. James (Salty Dog)>

Quarantine tank Hi again, <Hi again to you> I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank that has already been cycled. I have live rock, a sponge filter w/air pump and a Penguin outside filter with filter cotton in it. All test levels checked out good. My question is, would you recommend putting in the carbon pad that goes with the Penguin filter? My guess is no, since my main tank doesn't need it but just wanted your expert opinion anyway.  <It would help improve water quality in a small tank. Of course you don't want to use carbon if your medicating. James (Salty Dog)>

Quarantine and disinfecting Q's Crew, <Michael> I'm a long time reader, first time writer. I learn something new literally everyday from your site. I have a few quick questions that I was not able to find clear answers to on the site: <Okay> 1). Regarding quarantine tanks: Do they need to cycle in the same manner as other tanks and run continuously (artificially feeding the tank ammonia when not housing fish), or are they set up shortly before the purchase of any new fish and broken down/ disinfected after those fish are introduced into the main tank? <Either way... and do either have to "cycle" then and there or previously, OR provisions made to test, switch out large volumes of water> If it's the latter, I assume water changes need to be made every few days to prevent the inevitable ammonia and nitrite spikes from an uncycled tank. <Oh, yes> 2). Regarding disinfection: Can driftwood, from a tank which had parasites, be disinfected with the same water/bleach mixture used to disinfect other ornaments, or is there a danger of the bleach permeating into the pores of the driftwood and leaching out later. <Yes and yes> I'd like to disinfect the wood, rinse thoroughly, dechlorinate for a day, and then reintroduce into another tank (fully cycled with fish) shortly after, before it has the chance to dry out. <Would be better to let it "dry out" for just a day... to liberate the chlorine... residue> I'm just not sure if the dechlorination step can fully remove the bleach from the pores of the wood as effectively as it can from non-permeable aquarium decor. <Me neither. But have done this... many times. Bob Fenner> 

Sponge Filter Dear WWM Crew, You guys have been a great help in assisting me, but I have another question. Now this may be a stupid one, but I want to make sure I'm doing it right. In anticipation of quarantining new fish, I added a small foam block sponge filter to the back of my power filter (the hang on the back kind) on my established 30 gallon tank. There are two slots for filter cartridges on the filter, and I slipped the foam block behind one of the cartridges. However, it is in there tight against the cartridge and the back of the power filter (literally no room behind it). Do I need to have more room in there for flow? Should I remove one of the cartridges and just leave the sponge filter in its place? It has been in there for about 12 days and it still looks new. I plan on leaving it in there for 30 days, but I want to make sure it is properly "seeded" for transfer. Thanks again, and any help would be greatly appreciated.  <Eric, should be OK, obviously the water is getting through. James (Salty Dog)> 

Quarantine torture Hey Bob, thanks for the opportunity to reach help when needed (and GREAT book!!!). Just had a quick question regarding an Emperor angel (6inch) in a 20g QT tank. No matter how hard I try I cannot keep my nitrite levels below 0.25.  <Okay for the duration of quarantine> I have tried water changes every day with vacuuming, bacteria (cycle) and nothing seems to keep nitrites down. I even tested immediately after water change and the level barely even moved a bit. <Your fish is excreting ammonia...about this amount continuously...> Right now I am treating with malachite green and formalin for parasites because the angel is darting and flashing in the tank with no signs of velvet or white spot, is this the right choice of medicine? <Actually... no... Much of the darting and flashing is likely due to the very "medicine" being administered... CAREFULLY hold the open bottle near your nose, face... toxic and unpleasant... I would NOT use formalin in this setting, for any purpose> I refuse to use copper again only as an absolute last resort because I killed a beautiful long nose butterfly from too much copper because of a faulty test kit. And, what can I do to get these nitrates to zero and is 0.25 nitrites ok for a short period of time in QT until I get rid of these parasites? <Yes... if there are parasites... I would dip the fish... move it to all new water... see if it actually develops spots...> Please, I need some help I would appreciate it if you could respond whenever you're able to. The angel is hiding a lot and not swimming much but fins aren't clamped he's eating very well and he's alert looking at me through glass, I'm hoping this is normal. Thanks so much Bob.  Jay  <Jay... from your note here I have little idea of what you're trying to accomplish with this angel... Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Query! Hello there WWM crew. <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I just had a couple of questions that I need addressed. To give you a brief scenario; I had a fairly bad outbreak of ich in my tank with a Yellow Tang. Unfortunately he died in quarantine, most likely from ammonia because I had issues controlling it. <Sorry to hear that.> So, I'm starting over and want to do things right. I'm letting my display tank fallow for a month (I read Stephen Pro's excellent paper on Cryptocaryon and I understand the biology of the little bugger). <Awesome...It's a great piece that every hobbyist should take the time to read!> I added some sponge filters to the back of my power filter to be later transferred to qt. <Good procedure> I'm afraid if I use those if I'll be adding the ich to my qt. <Well, the possibility exists if your display tank had an outbreak of the disease during the time that the sponges were "colonizing" bacteria.> After letting the display tank fallow for 30 days, would I still run the risk of transferring ich to my qt by using the sponge filters?  <Well, there is no way to get a 100% guarantee of an ich free tank, short of breaking it down completely, but you are seriously interrupting the life cycle of the causative protozoa when you fallow a tank, greatly increasing the chances of a "good kill".> Also, I want to freshwater dip my fish before I add them to qt. <Great procedure if done correctly> Do I need to acclimate the bag in the qt and THEN perform the dip? <I would acclimate to the temperature of the QT, then perform the dip. Ideally, you want the pH in the bag and the dip container to be the same, or very, very close. A dip can be a traumatic experience for the fish- goes with the territory. However, if you can minimize the trauma by acclimating the fish, all the better.> Likewise if I want to FW dip before adding to the display tank after 4 weeks in qt? <I don't see a point in performing the dip after quarantine, but some hobbyists choose to perform it again. My reasoning is that of the fish hasn't contracted an illness in 4 weeks of quarantine, then you'll be able to make a fairly solid conclusion that the fish is otherwise healthy, thus making the dip an unnecessary step, IMO> And would adding LR to the qt help with beneficial bacteria, or is that a bad idea?  <I think it's a bad idea, as you will potentially be adding extra bioload to the system, as well as interfering with any medications that you may need to use. Inert materials are the way to go, IMO.> I planned on just using PVC for cover. <Good plan!> Thank you so very much for your advise and your outstanding website. Sincerely, Eric <Thanks so much for the kind words, Eric! We're thrilled to bring it to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine of... Macroalgae? YES! I recently obtained some algae (Grape, Ulva and I think the others Chaetomorpha). I noticed lots of critters on them. My question is, can I add this directly to my display tank until I set up a refugium? I understand that it does grow real fast. <I am a big fan of using macroalgae in our closed systems, but I am also a huge advocate of quarantining everything that goes into my tanks. Even if you are sure of the source, I'd think about the potential for introducing some undesirable creatures. A couple of weeks (for macroalgae-fish and inverts should be 3-4 weeks) in a lighted, heated and well-circulated holding container may be a bit obsessive, but it really can help you prevent something potentially nasty from getting into your tank! Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.> 

Quarantine Right From The Start Is it necessary or not to quarantine the very first fish or two before adding to a SW tank, such as a damsel or clown? <I would. It would be a lousy start for your new tank to bring in a virulent disease, such as Amyloodinium, which could have been kept out with a 3-4 week quarantine period. It's a conservative practice that can pay huge dividends down the line.> If the answer is yes, does that mean that the tank should cycle empty of fish for 4 weeks? <I would not cycle with fish, myself. There are many more efficient and humane ways to cycle a tank. Do read up on the WWM site regarding some of the alternative cycling techniques for new systems> I'd leave a sponge filter in my sump for the first 4 weeks to get it ready for the quarantine tank. <You could probably "colonize" the sponge quicker than that, and the use of some of the "bacteria in a bottle" products can help expedite the process.> Then the quarantine tank would be ready to use and I'd put the first fish in there for another 4 weeks. That would mean that the first fish going into the display tank would be 8 weeks from the start. Is this right? <That's right. Not everyone will agree with my conservative approach, but I have not introduced ich or other diseases into my systems for the past decade or so. I attribute most of my success in this area to the quarantine practice I embrace. Patience is such an important part of the hobby, and I think that it is invaluable. It works for me, so I keep using it, and I recommend this practice to others.> I'd appreciate your comments.  Mitch <Glad to help! Regards, Scott F.>

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

- Hippo Blues - Dear Mr. Fenner, <JasonC here in his stead.> I am extremely unhappy about an incident I just had with 3 hippo tangs that I recently purchased. I had planned to quarantine them for 4 weeks in my 10 gallon quarantine tank. Today makes 2 weeks of the quarantine period. Up to yesterday, they all had great color and were even feeding on the Spirulina flakes I was giving them ravenously. Now could you please verify to me if the following was the cause of their demise. I changed about 25% of the water which I know if probably too much.  <Is ok in quarantine to change this much but very important to make sure the parameters match the tank.>  The pH at the start of quarantine had been about 8.3 After they all died, I measured the ammonia and nitrite. Both were very good readings. The pH however was at about 7.8. Could they have gone into pH shock?  <Yes... very possible. Few people realize that the pH scale is a logarithmic one, which means that for each tenth of a point there's been a change by a factor of ten. This means a change from pH 8.3 to 7.8 means the new water was 50 times more acidic... no fun.>  My guess is probably yes since the ammonia and nitrite were good. When I made that water change I added buffer to the water but apparently I did not add enough. My quarantine tank has live rock, a sponge filter seeded from the main tank and an external whisper filter. I also used Bio-Spira in the Quarantine tank to make sure I had plenty of nitrifying bacteria in the tank at the start of quarantine. This is really awful since the fish seemed perfectly healthy except for some ich spots on one of the hippos I noticed a few days ago. I was also using Cupramine to knock out the ich and it seemed to be effective. I was also testing the Cupramine level with the proper SeaChem test kit for that product.  <Please keep in mind that once you go down this road, you're live rock will no longer be live and your biological filter will die. I always advise folks using quarantine to not waste time trying to keep a biological filter running and instead have lots of water made and perform water changes every other day of about 25%. The live rock will have absorbed some of that copper so don't return it to your main tank. In the future, pick up some PVC fittings that the fish can swim in and this will give them places to hide that won't also absorb the stuff you treat the tank with.> Perhaps I forgot that a 10 gallon tank is small and will manifest effects on the fish much quicker than a large tank, where bad things happen slower. It just kills me when I know its my fault.  <Am sorry for your loss. Don't beat yourself too much... a valuable lesson was learned.>  My other fish in my main tank are good and I've had them for about a year and they are all doing well.  Thanks for you help, Ed K. <Cheers, J -- >

Quarantine and small fish. Hi Crew, I need some help with a few wrasses I just bought from my LFS. I bought a canary wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus), 6-line wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) and a Carpenter wrasse (Paracheilinus carpenteri) to add to my 180g aquarium. The Carpenter wrasse was lying on the bottom of the bag, gilling heavily so I added it to my QT in hopes that this would ease its stress. The fish is now lying on its side inside a piece of PVC pipe. It is now gilling at a more normal rate but its tail fin is cupped tightly, it appears thin and it has a black “attachment” hanging inside its mouth. This “attachment” sways in and out of the wrasses mouth with each breath.  Unfortunately I have been unable to take a picture of the fish. Could this be a parasitic worm? I have had fish die due to worms previously because I could not get the fish to eat. I do not want this to happen again. Should I add something like CLOUT to the water to try to eradicate any such parasites? I have had good luck ridding crypto outbreaks in QT with CLOUT previously but I do not know if this is a good solution in this case. My next issue: WWM advises against long QT periods for small fishes like wrasses and gobies so I plan to QT these fish for only two days. I had also read that a freshwater dip might be a good idea since the QT period will be less than the normal minimum of 4 weeks. I assume the best time to dip the fish would be before placing it in the QT (to minimize the chance of introducing parasites into the QT).   If this is the case, then what is the use in acclimating fish? I typically spend 30 minutes to an hour adding small portions of tank water to the fish’ s bag water. If these fish should be FW dipped, this is the most extreme salinity change they would ever experience. It kind of makes meaningless the slight differences between LFS salinity and our home aquarium water’s salinity -- correct. What are your thoughts on this? Is a FW dip not recommended or is acclimation not really necessary? Thanks for the help! --Greg >>>Hello Greg, I doubt what you are seeing is a parasite. Let him be for a few more days, I bet it goes away. Secondly, I don't know who said that small fish should not be quarantined for the full duration, but this simply is *NOT* the case. As hard as I try, I'm unable to even conjure a rationale for such a policy. Only with a fish that MUST be in a large system in order to eat properly (mandarin fish for instance) would there be a reason to consider such a thing. Quarantine EVERYTHING for at least 3 weeks. A 2 day quarantine is useless for the most part, and you might as well dump the fish right in your display quite frankly. Forget freshwater dips, they stress the fish and are of marginal effectiveness anyway. C. irritans for instance has a life cycle that prevents a FW dip from doing anything unless you happen to catch a free swimmer on the body of the fish, not a likely scenario. The cysts themselves are not affected by the dip. Good Luck Jim<<<

Re: Quarantine and small fish. Thank you for the advice Jim. FYI, it was Bob Fenner who suggested a reduced (or dip in lieu of) quarantine. I have read Anthony Calfo's similar recommendations. Everyone has their own experiences, but following is Bob's reasoning regarding his recommendation: "<I am inclined to suggest an extended bath/dipping procedure in lieu of actual quarantine. There are other folks here that are staunch four weeks or heck re quarantining, but I am of the opinion and experience that many smaller, shyer species of fishes are worse off for the experience... gobies, blennies, small wrasses included>"  You appear to be correct about the black attachment that was hanging out of the Carpenter wrasse's mouth - it does appear to be gone now. This fish is still very shy but it now has a normal breathing rate and it does occasionally take a brief swim around the QT. I just hope the wrasses make it through the QT process (after losing my previous 6-line wrasse unexpectedly in QT). Thanks again! --Greg >>>Hello again Greg, There is no rule that says a quarantine tank has to be a stressful bare tank with PVC and a bare glass bottom. Provide your fish with some sand and plenty of live rock. Make it as you would a display system in that regard. Medicating will probably not be necessary, and can be done in another "hospital" tank. Remember, it's better to lose a new fish in quarantine then to infect your ENTIRE system with a pathogen. Cheers Jim<<<

Quarantine question Hey guys, Question on quarantine. I have a long nose butterfly in QT with Cupramine for a week so far. My copper test kit tells me that the copper level was 0.3 but the directions on the bottle say to bring it up to 0.5, so I did. Now, my butterfly is acting very strange and breathing heavy. Could I have overdosed?  <Yes, it is a possibility. If the test kit says to have it at .5 ppm and your test kit tests meq then you could be potentially be way off and stressing your fish out.>  Are these the signs of an overdose... <Yes, absolutely.> ...and what can I do to save him?  <Add carbon to the filter and do a 25% water change.> I already performed a 30 then 20 percent water change and brought the copper back down to 0.2 and he's not breathing as heavy now but his personality has changed, he's not swimming much (but not on the bottom of the tank, he's just floating in one place) nor is he picking or looking around the tank/curious about his surroundings. I need help, thanks a lot. <Add the carbon to the filter and give him some time. I would do a water change every other day until he is more active and then treat the new water to the copper concentration needed. Good Luck. MikeB.>

A Quarantine Convert! I just recently had an Ich problem in my 37 gallon tank and my blue damsel and coral beauty got Ich. I decided to get a 10 gallon quarantine tank with a small Aquatec external carbon filter, heater and lighting hood. I medicated the fish with copper medication and they are doing fine. <Glad to hear that! Good work.> My question is regarding the use of this quarantine tank in the future. I decided after reading articles and the stuff on your wonderful site to QT all incoming stuff (fish, inverts, coral) <YAYYYYYYYYYYYY! You will never regret embracing the quarantine process! It will pay huge dividends for you and your animals down the line!> However, I have used copper in this tank. Since inverts can't come in contact with copper, can I still use this tank after replacing all the water? The filter has both a carbon filter (which I removed prior to treatment) and a bio filter that I left in the external filter box. Will I have to replace the bio filter if I decide to put in inverts. <I would employ a chemical filtration media, such as Poly Filter or CupriSorb, which really excel at removing copper from the water. Run some of the media for a week or so, and you'll visually see the copper being absorbed by the media through color change (copper turns Poly Filter blue). Then, drain and rinse the tank thoroughly, refill it, and run a copper test. Hopefully, that will do the trick.> Also, I had a question about the water changes for this tank. I plan to do 5% water changes 2 times a week, but can I use the same siphoning tube on both of the tanks or should I purchase a separate one for the QT. <A great question...I highly recommend separate, dedicated equipment for the quarantine tank. It's a relatively small investment, but well worth the expense. Having dedicated equipment will eliminate any possibility of cross-contamination.> I was also told by my LFS that I should throw away my ornament (a porcelain barrel) in my QT when I am done with treatment because they would be infested with bad bacteria and stuff. Do I really have to throw it away? Thank you very much for having such wonderful site. <Nah- don't throw it away- just sterilize it with hot fresh water, give it a good scrub and rinse, and soak it in some water with a little household bleach for a couple of days. Then, another good rinse should do it. The possibility of any nasty parasites surviving that is quite remote! Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine  Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2005 Hi James. <Hello, Pat>  I emailed last week about high levels of ammonia in my ten gallon quarantine tank. I had the water tested by two LFS, both read ammonia levels of .25, nitrites 0, nitrates 20. One suggested changing out all the water in the quarantine tank to try to suck out any "bad" substance that could cause the high ammonia; the other suggested dumping in Bio-Spira bacteria. What should I do? Oh, I had both stores test my fresh water and they read .25 and .50 respectively for ammonia. Thank you too much for your help.  <By "freshwater", do you mean your top-off water, or water used for water changes? If you do, then I would suggest treating the top-off water or water change water with a product by SeaChem called Prime. When you add water with ammonia, the system will not be able to immediately handle it as there is just enough bacteria growth to support the present waste in the system. James (Salty Dog)>

- Hyposalinity/low pH Problem - I am QT'ing a small 1" yellow watchman and a 2.5" coral beauty in a 10 gallon tank. It's been 2 days since purchase and, predictably, the CB now has ich.  My preferred method of treatment is hyposalinity. It seems to work every time; the only drawback however is that once my salinity is leveled off at 1.009-1.010, the pH drops dramatically (especially at night), even though I aerate and buffer the change water (which reads 8.2-8.4 ph when I add it in) a day in advance. Now matter how much buffer I add, pH dips to 7.6 at night. I use DI water for the change water.  I'm going to lower my sg over the next 2 days to fight off the ich for 14-21 days, and I'm dreading the low ph already..... Any suggestions?  <I'd try adding buffer to the quarantine tank directly. Baking soda will work fine as it's difficult to overdose. Still, take a small vessel of tank water, mix in a teaspoon of baking soda and add that mixture to the tank. Wait an hour or so and then test. Would consider adding it in the evening before the lights go out. Cheers, J -- > 

QT For Sohal Tang (2/4/05) Thanks for your speedy reply.  <You're welcome.>  I think I will just go with the 1 Sohal. Is it possible to keep him in my 30gal QT Tank until the 125 cycles or is that tank too small?  <Should be OK.>  Also what is the longest period of time I should keep him in the small QT tank without seriously affecting him.  <If alone and if you keep the ammonia and nitrites at zero, I'd think it could be in there for several weeks, perhaps a couple of months. Being as Sohals are generally aggressive, you should consider establishing all of your more timid fish first.>  I was hoping to get a fish about 4-5 inches in length. Thanks Again, Brad  <Good luck to you. Remember that patience is well-rewarded in this hobby.> 

To Quarantine or not to Quarantine part II 2/3/05 Thank you Adam. The other clown (ocellaris) was dead when I came home - it may have been dead this AM, it was hard to find. And yes I have a bulb anemone. Sounds like I can't do anything right :-) What type of clown would be better?  <Don't be so hard on yourself! My A. ocellaris pair shacks up in a bulb anemone, it just took a while for them to move in. Maroon clowns are the most popular choice, but red saddlebacks and Tomato clowns are also natural residents. Unfortunately, these are all aggressive fish.> So lesson WELL learned - all fish WILL be put in QT for a month. Of course, my husband may just divorce me if I put one more dollar into this so I hope I have the correct setup. I have been reading all day about QTs - I put substrate in the QT, but will remove after it has cycled. I already have pieces of cut up PVC pipe for good hiding places. It is a 10 gal with Emperor 280 filter. For possible future medicine purposes, I will not use live rock.  <Sounds like a reasonable set up. I am partial to leaving a piece of filter pad material in the sump of my display so that it stays colonized with bacteria. When I need a QT tank, I simply put the filter pad material in a power filter. When I am done with the QT tank, I discard the old filter pad and put a new piece in my sump. Everything in the QT tank should be drained, cleaned and air dried between uses to be sure to kill any pathogens.> I will watch my Chromis in main tank. Two of them have a white "clump" on either the tail or side fin. One had it when I got them, the clump, and fin, fell off and he was fine until it showed up in his tail. What could this be? Doesn't seem to be Ich, just one lumpy patch on each. Ideas for treatment? Thanks again for your help, fully, fully, appreciated. Ceri  <Sounds like Lymphocystis, but this would be unusual in damsels. There is not treatment, but it is rarely life threatening. Best Regards! AdamC.>

Quarantine set up for Emperor Angel 2/3/05 Hi Crew, Just wanted to run my proposed quarantine set-up by you for approval. The tank is 36"x12"x15" (LxWxH). Basically, I cannot run this q-tine tank on an ongoing basis (no space in house). <I wouldn't recommend running it all the time anyway. Draining, cleaning and air drying between uses ensures the death of any pathogens.> My display is a 180 tank which is over 6 months old. I was simply going to position the q-tine tank, and pump water from my display to the q-tine tank. decorate with some suitable hiding places, and add a heater and a 24" NO florescent tube for light.  <If you mean that you will fill the quarantine tank with water from the display, but not return it to the display, great! All else sounds good. Bundles of PVC pipe and flower pots make great non-porous hiding places for quarantine tanks.> For filtration, I have a spare 300 gal/hour canister filter. I was going to fill this with wool and bio media, and run it on my main tank for a month (prior to filling the q-tine tank).  <Excellent idea! Be sure to clean it at least weekly to prevent the build up of crud. A good vigorous rinse in some tank water will work will without disrupting the biological activity. In fact, the wool may add unnecessary maintenance and could be omitted. Because of it's porous nature, I would bleach and dry the bio-media between uses.> A couple of days before I get new stock (next addition likely to be a 3-4" juv. emperor angel), I will fill the tank, transfer the canister filter, and allow to settle for a couple of days. Does this sound suitable? Regards, Matt  <Sounds outstanding! Kudos for having the patience and good sense to employ sound quarantine practice! Best Regards. AdamC.>

Cycling quarantine tank After a horrible experience with marine velvet a year ago (introduced into my main tank by an unquarantined fish) I now follow your advice. I need a little help though. I have 5 fish (royal Gramma, clown, blue-sided fairy wrasse and 2 Klein's Butterflies) all of whom have been quarantined. After the wrasse, my 29 gal q tank looked really dirty so without thinking I emptied out all the water, cleaned it thoroughly, and placed new water in it. Duh!!! <Ah, yes... cleanliness is not sterility> I bought a Longnose, put it in the q-tank and then noticed a brown spot on its side. I think it was bacterial. He died in there. I bought another Longnose who had Ich and he died. I bought another Longnose who looked perfectly fine and he died within a few days. I gave up on Longnose. On reflection, I think the tank was cycling but I'm not sure because sometimes it tested positive for low levels of ammonia and sometimes it didn't. <Mmmm, best to set up a regular procedure... either keeping some biological filter media... a sponge filter, a pad... in your main tank... OR in the Q-tank with changing water from the main to it weekly... to maintain the biological filtration integrity for such use> I then bought two Klein's and put them in the q tank together ( I know that's wrong :-(). I had a horrible time with the ammonia. I was doing water changes like crazy but the ammonia continued to remain high. After about 4 days I put them in the main tank because I thought I'd kill them in the q tank. That was 32 days ago and everyone looks great so I think I was lucky.  I decided to put a small piece of live rock in the Q tank on the 23rd and do an ammonia and nitrite/nitrate test each day to see if I could get the cycling over with. I added another small piece of live rock on the 29th. The ammonia has been at 0.25 since the 24th (it might be 0.125? today), the nitrites have been less than 1 (about 0.05). the nitrates have been 5, 0.2,1.5,5,1. What's the deal? Will it ever really cycle? <Yes... a dynamic process... with more ammonia per bioload (livestock, food...)... and a period of time for all to "catch up"> Do I need to put a crab and a snail in there? I didn't have all this trouble with the other fish in the q tank but I had mollies in there to help in cycle. <Ahh!> When the cycling was done, I gave the mollies back to the LFS. HELP!!! Sorry for the long e-mail. Toni <No worries... and am hoping I'm not adding to the confusion here... your idea of using cured live rock is a good one... and removing it in case of treating the water of course... consider methods of moving ready-made biological filter material to this tank for when the need arises. Bob Fenner> 

Re: cycling quarantine tank I've heard you say this before about a sponge filter. <Mmm, what did one of Aristotle's graduate assistant's say? "Nothing new under el sol?"> I'm not sure what you mean though. I have an Emperor 400 on the main tank with two carbon cartridges (I keep Phosguard in the other two cartridge holders).  <Oh, you could take one of the carbon cartridges from there...> The Q tank only has room for a Penguin 125 and it doesn't take the same size carbon cartridge or bio-wheel. <Just insert it... sideways... as long as the water is flowing about it...> Originally I thought that I could take the Bio-wheel that had the bacteria from the main tank and put it in the q tank but it doesn't fit. Is that what you mean? <Yes, one possibility> If not, (dumb question) what is a sponge filter?  <A air lift of pump driven bit of (usually polyurethane) foam... that has water drawn through it... supporting nitrifying bacteria and mechanically trapping particulates> I don't have much room on the back of my tank what with the Emperor, the remora protein skimmer and my Turbo Twist UV sterilizer. Thanks again for your help!  Toni <You're "about there". Bob Fenner> 

Re: cycling quarantine tank - Umm.. more Questions So are you saying that the carbon cartridges have bacteria on them and support nitrifying bacteria? <Yes my friend... in a very short while... minutes to a few hours, the carbon is "used up" as a contactor media... but in days to weeks it becomes a potent biological filter> I thought the carbon just cleaned the water and just mechanically trapped the particulates and it was the Bio-wheel that had the nitrifying bacteria?  <Assuredly no> I just tried putting the Emperor carbon cartridge in the Penguin and it just doesn't fit - even sideways. But, I just tried and was able to put a Penguin carbon cartridge in the Emperor 400 in front of one of their carbon cartridges and it was just a tight enough squeeze so that it would stay there - no problem - is this what you mean? <Yes> It seems that I could always keep a little penguin filter in my main tank and then if I were to need the q tank again because I was going to add a new fish, I could pull out the Penguin cartridge from the Emperor, put it in the Penguin for the Q tank and the tank wouldn't need to cycle - or at least have a shorter cycle. Am I thinking correctly here?  <Yes> (BTW, tonight it tested 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 5 nitrates - I'm going to test again tomorrow to be sure). Also, my next fish will be a Flame Angel and that will be the last for my main, 75 gallon tank (that will make 6 fish) so do you suggest just keeping your Q tank running all the time anyway?  <Mmm, if you're going through a good deal of gyrations with new livestock, treating/isolating specimens...> Or what's the best way to handle that situation - should you empty it, turn off the pumps and when you need it again start over?  I know I have a lot of questions but you'll be happy to know that I have read your book cover to cover and use it as a reference all the time! Toni <Ahh, if it is of use to you. Bob Fenner>

To QT or not to QT, that is the question 1/31/05 Hi guys...need some direct assistance with a sick fish. I bought 2 clowns, a skunk cleaner, and a bulb anemone for my 65 gal marine tank this weekend. LFS wouldn't sell me anything until they tested the water ( I was quite impressed with this - I found a new home base LFS !!) and everything is fine - calcium is high, but rest is fine.  <Sounds like a good responsible LFS!> Well when we got home, I noticed the clowns were breathing quickly and had white spots on them. By morning the male (they said they were a mated pair) was dead, and the smaller one isn't looking too great herself. Called the store, and they are going to replace the fish that die - rather nice of them I believe.  <Very nice indeed! Guarantees are becoming rare.> So here is the question. I know, I know I should have done this BEFORE, but I went out yesterday and got a 10 gal QT tank that I will use for all future fish - but here is the question. Do I take the sick clown out once the QT tank has cycled? A different LFS store says no - it will stress the fish out more, they think it just has Ick and that it will just "get better" in good water. I will get the "replacement" fish in a few days. I have Chromis and assorted snails in main tank in addition to new shrimp and anemone. <Whether or not to quarantine is not even a question. It should always be done. The life cycle of Ick is about a month. This period of time represents a reasonable quarantine time. Don't believe the hype that quarantine is more stressful than not!  It gives the fish time to settle down, eat and build strength without competition, as well as time to ensure that it is disease free.> Do I put only the new fish in the QT, do I put the old one in the QT, do I put the old and new in the QT? HELP !!! I am going to cycle with live rock and the assistance of BioSpira marine to speed up biological growth.  <Skip the BioSpira... it probably won't help much, and with so small of a bioload, it won't matter. Ick is now present in your display and the fish that are in it have been exposed. I would leave those fish there, but keep any new arrivals in quarantine for a month after all signs of ich have disappeared.> And if they were a mated pair, will the one, if it survives, accept another? And why won't it go to the anemone I bought for it?  <Clowns will accept a new mate if the sex is correct. The larger dominant fish is the female. Males will become female in the absence of a female. Females cannot change back to males. The best strategy is probably to wait until yours grows larger (assuring it is female), and then adding a much smaller fish (almost certainly male). You didn't say what kind of clowns, but it is not uncommon for it to take some time for some clowns to accept a host anemone, especially an unnatural host for the species. (like A. Ocellaris with bulb anemones.) In time, they generally will "move in". Best Regards. AdamC.> 

Quarantine Hi all. I have had a ten gallon quarantine tank running for over two months. During that period, I have lost several fish, including what was to be the prize fish of my aquarium, a lionfish. Filtration is a sponge filter and powerhead, and the only other object in the tank is a piece of PVC pipe. I perform two to three gallon water changes on the quarantine tank every two to three days, using water from my main tank (ammonia, nitrites are 0, nitrates 0-10). The cause of death in each case appears to be high levels of ammonia in the quarantine tank, which consistently remains at .50 (nitrites .25-.50, nitrates 0-20). I cannot get this level to change. I have tried daily, even twice daily water changes from one to five gallons; I have taken a piece of live rock from the main tank and put it in the quarantine to try to build up the biological filter; I have taken the emperor 280 power filter from my main tank to aide filtration; I even bought two damsels to try to help cycle the tank and build up the filter (they lived, but the tank didn't appear to cycle). Should I use a product like ammo-lock to detoxify the ammonia or is there another solution? I wanted to get a lawnmower blenny but don't want it to die. <Pat, to be sure it is not your test kit, take a sample of your water to your dealer and ask him to test it to verify your readings and then we can go from there. You might want to check your tap water also. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you.  Pat P.S. I also tested my synthetic sea water, and found the ammonia to be at .50, made with Oceanic salt (this is added to the main tank, not the quarantine). Has this brand been known to cause problems, or is the tap water itself likely responsible?<There are no salts that contain ammonia> I treat with tap water conditioners, and do not have a RO filter.<<The conditioner/s themselves may be rendering a false positive on the ammonia tests.... RMF>>

Wrasses and Basses 1/25/05 I've managed to find a very special friend ;) to acquire me a Liopropoma carmabi. It will be the featured fish in my 125G reef tank. I also love the 5 bar mystery wrasse. Do you guys and gals feel that the mystery wrasse would potentially pick on the candy Basslet, keeping this reclusive fish even more reclusive? That would be a MAJOR bummer. Any thoughts before I order the 5 bar?  Thanks! <You'd be much better off and safer to QT these two fishes in a partitioned QT tank for the first month. You can observe likely behaviors and perhaps acclimate them to each other. Else, throwing one fish into the others (display tank) territory is just asking for trouble IMO. Anthony> 

QTing new live rock, yes 1/22/05 Yes, thanks for the advice about QTing the live rock also. I guess this detail slipped my mind, or never stuck in my mind, because I bought all my rock at the initial set up.  <understood. But do simply remember that everything wet without exception (LR, algae, snails, corals, sand, fish, etc) gets QT> I have been diligent about QTing the cleaning crews and the few fish I've added, but never thought of this.  <no worries> Now I know for sure, why I saw ick on my Fridmani's Pseudochromis last night <OK... small worry <G>> ..and spent most of the day setting up QT, tweaking temp & pH, and tearing all the rock out of my system so I could catch my fish. They all seemed to have faired well with their fresh water dip and transfer to QT. Hopefully this course of treatment will work the first time. Thanks, Sher H. <wishing you the very best of luck! Anthony>

Quarantine for a Large Fish Hi, We recently lost a beautiful and friendly Tang, probably because I misunderstood how difficult it would be to maintain water quality during hyposalinity-quarantine (we did diligent water changes twice daily - but after 3 weeks, the cycle was completely lost and the bioload won). <Very common... a principal reason I am not a fan of such hyposalinity treatments... besides the fact that they rarely work> I do not want to purchase another fish without understanding how to quarantine properly. We've read and read - but are trying to be as sure as possible this time so as not to murder anymore pets.  The family really wants a Hippo Tang if it can be done without endangering the species even more (6 foot tank was planned for one).  Hopefully you won't mind reviewing this quarantine plan. <Nope> Plan for safely quarantining 4-5 inch Hippo Tang ( and treating for ich if necessary): - 20 gallon long tank with plenty of PVC and plastic plants - Air driven sponge filter seeded in cycled tank for at least 1 week - and... an Eheim 2213 with media that has been running on cycled tank for at least a week - UV filter - Heater - Battery air back up (because given our luck with fish, the power is sure to go off while we are at work). - Amquel or Seachem Stabilizer Acclimate Hippo for no more than one hour (cup method).  Introduce to quarantine, lights off for 24 hours.  Then resume normal light (not high power) and attempt to feed algae, later pellets - etc.  Make a giant sign that says ONLY FEED LIGHTLY (something I have trouble with).  Vacuum food and poop daily, perform 10% water change.  Test for Salinity, pH, Ammonia, Nitrites at least once a day.  Increase water changes immediately if any high traces appear.  If no ich shows up in four weeks, add to main display (I know six is better - but the Yellow Tang made it through the first quarantine and is now waiting in a separate 20 gallon long to go into the reef after the Hippo). At first sign of any ich:  Remove Eheim 2213 and UV.  Clean/bleach Eheim media and add back to main tank to rebuild bacteria while doing Cupramine treatment.  Slowly do water changes with Cupramine to bring up the dosage to recommended strength (using copper test).  Complete copper treatment.  Do several small water changes to get copper out.  Add back Eheim and UV.  Wait 2 more weeks.  Apologize to Yellow Tang.  If ich comes back within the 2 weeks, shoot myself. Thanks once again for your help/advice! - Doug <Whew! You have been studying and taking good notes. Your plan is sound and complete. Bob Fenner> Re: QT Not Working James, I have tried to take a multiple pics, problem is nothing is visible in  them. The fish looks perfectly healthy in the photos. I am just wondering how in the heck I can be sure when it will be ok to put the  fish in the main reef. I used to know that the hypo-salinity wiped out the parasites, but in this case they are still there. The only sure way I know to kill them is copper, but I have not used it in like 10 years... <Ryan, a virtue you must have in this hobby is patience.  Leave the fish in QT and observe daily.  When they look OK, then move them back.  Personally, I think the use of copper is the last resort.  If the fish are weakened by whatever disease, the copper just adds more stress to them.  Copper should be used at the immediate onset of the disease before the fish weakens.  As long as they are eating good and swimming normally, wait.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Ryan Treating New Fish In Quarantine (Pt. 2) Howzit Scott F. <How's it going?> Yes you are right, that is the proper Hawaiian greeting. <Yep, my "significant other" is a Big Island local! Pidgin spoken here daily!> My Flame and Hippo are still being quarantined and there are no external signs of ich as of yet. They continue to do fine but occasionally the Hippo will flash against the PVC and the Flame will flinch a little. Should I continue to monitor or at what point should I start using formalin to medicate? Next week they will have been in quarantine about 4 weeks. Please big kahuna, shed some light on this problem. Mahalo and aloha, Les <Well, Les- it's a tough call...Although I am a big fan of medicating when conditions dictate, I also am concerned about the potential for stress induced during treatment regimens. Sounds like you're doing a wonderful job with the quarantine process! If the fish are still displaying these behaviors, but not displaying any visible external signs of disease, I'd still hesitate to medicate. I'd give the fish another week or two in this tank, with careful observation and attention to water quality. Sometimes, such occasional scratching and "flinching" is simply the fish's way of responding to discomfort. Perhaps utilization of a biological cleaner, such as the Neon Goby, to see if the fish migrate towards the Goby for its services. This may be a much more friendly way of verifying if the fish are indeed ill; and if they are- providing a less stressful "treatment". If the fish do decline, however, and show overt signs of illness, then start the treatment immediately. Best of luck to you! Keep me posted...A Hu'i Hou! Regards, Scott F.

QT Question Sorry but I didn't find an answer to this question. My main tank (250 FOWLR) was fallow for 30 days following an ick outbreak. <A tank of this size and type may take longer...> I have since set up a 30 gal QT.  My LFS, took all my fish and QT them in a 60 gal tank with copper for two weeks, then normal water for two weeks.  All my fish seem fine except for one yellow tang has red blotches on his top fin and side near the rear of his tail. <Likely from the move, actual treatment>   He is still my QT. (the tank has .5-1.0 ppm of nitrite, I can't get it to go down. <Not likely, w/o biological filtration> I have changed 5 gallons daily for a week). <I'd do more frequent changes... every other day let's say>    He is eating but not overly aggressive.  I figure this is from the exposure to copper and his digestive system is struggling right now. <Yes, likely so> I've been feeding emerald entree w/Selcon and Nori strips.  So far his is still alive and ok.  Should I dose the Qt with Nitrofurazone? <I would not> Second question....the same LFS has had a 300 gal display tank setup for 6 months.  In the tank is a majestic angel, a Singapore angel, a Blueface angel and a true falcula butterfly (about 6in) that seem to be thriving.  They have been in their for over 90 days.  They tore down the tank to get out all of the non-reef safe fish, because they are making it reef only now.  Do I need to put him into my QT tank before he goes into my display tank?  Or are Qt tanks only for fish that have been recently shipped?   Thanks, Dave <I would have the shop hold on to the new specimen/s for another month, then still run them quarantine myself. Bob Fenner>

How to deal with Ammonia in a Quarantine Tank (1-12-05) Hi guys, <Hi Ted, Leslie here this morning standing in for the guys.> I have a serious problem.  Over the last two months I have lost two dwarf lions and a clownfish (in three separate cases) during quarantine, apparently to ammonia poisoning.  My quarantine tank is ten gallons, filled half with water from the main tank and half with synthetic water (made with oceanic salt).  The tank has a piece of PVC pipe for shelter, and a sponge filter attached to a Rio 50 powerhead for filtering.  I perform 2-3 gallon water changes on the quarantine tank every 2-3 days, using water from the main tank.  I also test for ammonia and nitrites every day.  The tank is also dosed with copper.  Here is what happened.  The fish were all visibly healthy when introduced to the quarantine tank (after a freshwater bath), actively swam around, and readily accepted food. <Copper is a pretty harsh medication and should be reserved for sick fish. I am not a believer in medicating prophylactically. Hyposalinity is a good option for quarantine. > Ammonia and nitrite levels showed about zero for the first few four or five days.  Then, after the second feeding of both lionfish (the fifth day), and after about ten days for the clown, ammonia levels spiked to .25.  In each case, I performed a 3 gallon water change to try to lower these levels.  But to my dismay the ammonia increased to .5 when I tested the next day.  I performed emergency 5 gallon water changes from the main tank, and switched my power filter (with the carbon taken out) from the main tank to the quarantine to try to provide more biological filtration and lower the ammonia.  The next mornings when I tested, the ammonia levels were back down to .25, but had again increased to .5 by those nights.  All three fish died soon after.  None of them showed any signs of disease.  What can I do to help lower ammonia levels in the quarantine tank?  Is there any other quarantine procedure that I should take? <Yes, live rock works very well and also provides the fish with a more natural environment as well as places to seek cover. > I cannot afford to lose any more livestock, and money.  Thank you very much for your assistance. Ted <You're most welcome and best of luck with your tank, Leslie> (Oh, I thought you might want this information.  The main tank is 40 or 50 gallons, 36x16x18, with an emperor 280 with carbon and an aqua c skimmer for filtration.  Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels have been zero for over six months, the ph is 8.2, and the salinity is 1.023.  Due to logistics, I have no sump.) ORP, Quarantine Nitrogenous Levels elevated Hi to all the Crew<Hi Robbie, MacL here with you> Can any of you please fill me in on a couple of issues I need a little help with. Firstly I have a main 100 Gall FOWLR tank that I would like to connect to an Ozonizer via my Skimmer, Ozonizer is 200mg/h I do not have an ORP Meter as these are very expensive in the UK. Would this amount of ozone be too much to have on 24/7 or would I be better setting it on a timer to come on for say 1 hour out of every 2 or 3.<I would be very cautious about using something that you cannot monitor.  You are just running the risk of a catastrophe. Would be much better to wait until you can monitor it. Sorry.> Secondly I have a Regal Tang in my QT after an out break of Whitespot, (Been in there 10 days) the Tang is clear of whitespot and Cuprazin treatment finished 3 days ago but he does not seem to want to swim around just hides in the plastic Pipes (I put in the QT for just this reason) or lies on its side in the tank, the tank is a Reckord 96 with internal filter and power head and no matter what I do (5 / 10 Gall water changes every other day) I cannot seem to get the Ammonia 0.50 ppm and Nitrite 0.30 ppm down to zero (Could this be why my Tang will not swim around) the other problem is it does not seem to want to eat and I am just worried that it will wither away and die. <It could be the problem but it also might be a secondary infection left behind after the attack of the white spot. You might try a bit of MelaFix and do small water change every day to get that ammonia level down to zero.> I currently have Polyfilter in to remove the copper and I was under the impression this would also help with the Nitrite/Ammonia. <It will help some but it doesn't take it out like carbon does> Any help would be much appreciated

Treating New Fish In Quarantine! Aloha from Hawaii. <Howzit? Scott F. here today> I purchased a Flame Angel and Hippo Tang which I believe came from the Christmas Islands according to the LFS which are temporarily keep in a copper holding solution. They are presently in the mandatory 30 gallon quarantine tank w/ a fully cycled sponge filter after being in a 5 minute freshwater dip, kept in Methylene Blue for two days and Furazone green for an additional two days or course 25% water changes were made daily with good aeration. They have been in quarantine now for two weeks and both display vibrate colors and look very healthy. <Excellent> Originally visible was 1 grain of salt on the tang's side which went away after the pre-quarantine treatment. <Good to hear that. I am a bit leery of "prophylactically" medicating new fishes unless the need dictates- and you were correct in following this course of action...> They have been weaned from live brine and now aggressively eat flakes and frozen brine soaked with Zoecon and fresh garlic. Now my problem, although they do not show physical signs of Ich, they scratch the pvc periodically and the flame occasionally flinches, so I slowly lowered the salinity to 1.018 however I do not have a heater, so the temperature is quite low and fluctuates at approximately 74-79 degrees. <That's a fairly broad fluctuation. The temperatures in this range don't sound all that bad, but I'd like to see a lower fluctuation...Do obtain a heater to keep things more stable.> Water parameters (ammonia/nitrate/nitrite/ph) seem to be fine according to my Fastest test kit. I change water at 4 gallons per week and top off with tap fresh water. <Procedures sound fine...> Should I continue to monitor the progress of my fish or should I medicate? If so, should I do formalin or some other type of dip and what should I put in the QT since I know that both are sensitive to copper. <Good observation. Do continue to keep a close eye on these guys for the next few days to see if physical symptoms do, indeed manifest themselves before embarking on another, potentially stressful treatment course. I'd use a formalin-based preparation in lieu of copper with these fishes. Follow the manufacturer's directions to the letter concerning dose and duration.> Also I would like to know for how long this proposed recommended treatment should be. In other words, please give me your prescription to good health so I can place these beauties into my display tank. <I'd follow the manufacturer's recommendation for treatment duration, which is usually like a week or so. After symptoms disappear, I'd still give the fishes another 2-4 weeks in the quarantine tank to assure that they are in good health before placing them in your display. You've done such a careful job with the fishes so far- another few weeks won't hurt!> Mahalo for your helping all of us mere mortal fish enthusiasts. Les <My pleasure! We are all quite mortal- I assure you! Regards, Scott F.>

Rabbitfish Concerns I purchased a Foxface 2 weeks ago and placed him in a 10 gallon QT.  At the same time I purchased an Indigo Hamlet (although it has never been blue - it is tan and white stripes- anyway the Hamlet is ~2.5" and is peaceful) and placed in the QT. <This tank is really too small to support these two fish for any length of time...> After a few days, I noticed a white patch on his pec fin and on the Hamlets as well.  I also saw a small loose "clump" on his other pec fin (may be a parasite of some sort).  I treated the QT with CopperSafe.  They were both eating and seemed to be getting use to the tank.  They have been in the tank for 2 weeks now and in the last 2 days they have both stopped eating and do not look as good. <Do check your water chemistry... likely the ammonia has started to accumulate.> The white patches have gone away (probably ich), but the lose "clump on the Rabbit's fin is still there and the Rabbit's breathing is more rapid now. <"Clump" is likely Lymphocystis and will not be removed with copper or quarantine - is pretty much harmless and not contagious... do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm > Any suggestions as to what the "clump" is and as to what's going on with them? <Read on...> The water parameters (due to the CopperSafe) have been iffy (the nitrites are ~3ppm and nitrates are ~40ppm), but this is with 30% water changes almost every other day.  Any thoughts? <Keep changing the water... consider changing larger percentages. Likewise, as it's been two weeks, you might be better off putting both fish through a pH-adjusted freshwater dip and letting them into the display. Any more time in quarantine at this point may do more harm than good. Cheers, J -- >

Quarantine for fish Mike, again thanks for the advice. The Tang and Porcupine are small about 2". I will take your advice and see how they do. They have now been in the tank for about 5 days with medication and there are looking better already, except for the Tomato Clowns seem a littler depressed and lay at the bottom. Is that normal? << For clowns, maybe so.  But I'd offer them some live food and try to get them excited to swim about. >> Thanks!     Mark Gertiser <<  Blundell  >>

Quarantine a blue tang? A general question about the Yellow-Tailed Blue (Hippo) Tang.  I have read through your website and FAQ's.  Several comments concerning ALWAYS quarantine your new fish, especially the Tangs because of there susceptibility to disease.  However, reading your material on this tang the website specifically says not to quarantine them and put them right into the main display tank. << Odd information.  I would say that most people on this site would encourage you to quarantine them. >> "Introduction/Acclimation This is one of those species that are better off not being purposely quarantined; put another way, IMO (in my opinion), the stress induced via isolation and re-moving Paracanthurus is generally more harmful than the risk of introduction of some contagion. I would run newcomers through a preventative bath/dip of pH adjusted freshwater and promptly place them in the main/display unit." I would like to purchase one of these beautiful fish in the near future. Should I quarantine or not? << Well that is the question isn't it.  I don't quarantine my fish, but many experts do.  I don't think I can really answer your question, only say that it is up to you. >> I have only a 20 gallon quarantine tank. Your opinion? << Just add him to your tank. >> Thanks, Dave <<  Blundell  >>

Using UV for quarantine Hi!! I tried to use a different approach to quarantine for my new fish additions. I set up a 5 gallons QT with a huge Eheim canister with plenty of bio-media, carbon, Chemipure and nitrate remover so I can keep the water quality at its best. << 5 gallons is pretty small. >> It really works perfect, even with such a heavy bioload as two very small ocellaris, a Salarias fasciatus, a small blue Chromis and a 2 inches Zebrasoma flavescent. Also I kept about 3 pounds of live rock with some Actinodiscus. For keeping parasites and bacteria in check, I installed the biggest UV sterilizer I could find: a 24 inches, 36 watt one running 250 gallons per hour irradiating 90.000 uw sec/cm2, what is twice the required for killing the ich swimming larvae. You see, nearly every minute a volume of water equal to the whole system (11 gallons) pass through the UV. I expected this overkill method would be enough to exterminate this nasty disease without the need of chemicals but... NO!  Doesn't work. Even adding a pump so all the water goes to UV every 30 second still the ich has time to find a host INSIDE the aquarium. I had to go back to the copper, something that I don't like at all because the brand that I use (Sea Cure) make my fish to look miserable and I always have to take some losses no matter how carefully I monitor the concentration. I don't know if there is any flaw in my idea, but I wanted to share my experience with it. << Thanks for sharing, I'm sure it will help others. >> Thanks you all for your wonderful and generous work. << Thinking the UV may still be a good idea, it just may need other treatments to go along with it. >> Cheers! <<  Blundell  >>

Marine quarantine, clownfish behavior, mixing grammas 1. I have an empty 20g tank that sits in the garage.  I would like to set it up for a QT tank, but don't want to have the heater running 24/7.  I am thinking of an insulated blanket of some sort - perhaps a modified moving <When the fish are in the tank, a heater is a must for a constant temperature.> blanket.  Will total darkness for extended amounts of time (2-3 weeks) cause fish to go psycho? <Total darkness for such a long time would not be beneficial for the fish. Just about any light will do just fine for a QT. You can also purchase a standard socket/reflector and run a regular 50wt bulb off of that for less than $10.00 from Home Depot. This is a very cheap way to go about getting light for the QT.> I don't need the fishy version of Hannibal Lechter causing havoc in my display tank after doing hard time in a dark QT... 2. Do clowns rest?  I was up at 0300 last night, whipped out my...flashlight, and had a look at things.  Everyone was "asleep" except for the two clowns...they were bobbing along - fat, dumb and happy.  Do they ever "sleep"? <No, they do not sleep in the way that we think of sleep. They do not have eyelids, and they do not loose consciousness during the night due to sleep. Instead, they rest. They will always be on a constant alert, but they will rest -- they will often lay in the anemone for a few seconds, or swim around it very slowly.> 3. I have a Royalus grammiticus (my version of scientific naming...).  Your faq says not to add another...c'mon, can I?  Please?  He's the coolest fist in the tank - along with the duskimus jawfishicus.  I have a 120g, 6 feet long - isn't that enough room for them to roam?  I mean, c'mon - can't we all just get along? <It would be very very risky to add two of them. If you did, you would need to add them at the same time. Because your tank is so long, however, it may be possible. If you did decide to get another, I would first re arrange your rockwork so that both will establish their territory again. This is likely to reduce any aggression. I would also turn the lights completely off when adding the fish. But as I said above, this is extremely risky. You may end up loosing the newly added fish due to aggression. And as you likely already know, the Royal Gramma is a very aggressive fish.> Thanks, Dave Brooks <Take Care! Graham.> San Diego

Ammonia in QT (12/12/04) One more question...then I promise, I'll be done! <No problems. Steve Allen again tonight.> My 30 gallon qt is showing .25 ppm nitrites and a little ammonia. Tank inhabitants are:  2 percula clowns, a pygmy angel, and cleaner shrimp. I am doing 5 gallon water changes daily.....and dosing with Amquel + to keep the levels down. <This only locks up the ammonia in a less toxic form. Keep up the water changes.> I have a little media from the pet store in my filter (a little biological from existing tank to stop a cycling...obviously not working).  Should I take some sponge from my aqua clear filter in my existing 46 that is going fallow? <This will work, but I'd be a bit concerned about ick cysts being in there.> I am concerned that ick may be in the filter....and don't want to re-introduce it.....it has been fallow for only a week. Or is there any other way that you know of to keep the levels down? L <In your shoes, I'd look for a LFS that carries Bio-Spira Marine and add it to the tank. This ought to introduce enough truly functional and live bacteria to ring these down.>

Quarantine Tank Hi Bob, <Lisa> I've recently set up a 74 gallon tank (120 cm x 40 cm x 60cm) a couple of months ago.  But I already have 320 gallon tank (190 cm x 80 cm x 80 cm) since May.  The fishes in this tank are doing fine.  Just an occasional ich here and there.  But feeding ferociously. :-) I mostly keep fishes as compared to reefs or plants except for a couple of anemones and a few shrimps.     I've read Steven's articles on Marine Ich on the site.  He's mentioned the use of quarantine tank in case of marine ich infestation.  In the 74 gallon tank, it currently contains a juvenile clown wrasse, Sailfin tang, bicolor parrotfish, green parrotfish, a juvenile round batfish, 2 harlequin shrimp, 1 skunk cleaner shrimp and 1 anemone.  The fishes all have ich on them. I've separated the green parrotfish and batfish to a separate tank after giving them freshwater dips.  Both seem to be recovering and having less ich.  Previously all the other fish seem to be doing well even with the ich.  However, lately the sailfin's turning pale and I plan to separate it as well.  Will it survive a freshwater dip or should I just put it into a hyposalinity tank instead?   <Will survive either/both> Also, when I buy new fish, it was advised on the site to give them freshwater dips and to put them into a quarantine tank for at least 1 month to prevent spreading of ich. <Yes> However, should I purchase other fishes next week, then the first batch would effectively need to be quarantined for a total of 5 weeks? <I would NOT purchase any more fishes till you are either comfortable with your persistent ich/tank infestation, OR have cleared it out entirely>   How does this quarantine work?  Please explain.  I haven't been able to find any detailed information about the process.   <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and the Related Articles and FAQs (linked, in blue, at top)> Also, with regards to feeding the fish sushi Nori, my fishes prefer lettuce to the seaweed.  Is that alright? <Not really... though children may prefer candy to vegetables...> Or could you please a method for them to accept the seaweed as an alternative food source? <Offer only the marine macroalgae> Thanks a lot for your help.   Lisa <Read on my sister. Bob Fenner> Quarantining Live Rock? Yep! Hello Crew, <Scott F. your Crew member tonight!> I have just had a guy drop off about 65 lbs of live rock at my house.  It is still wet, but there is no coralline algae or growth on it.  The color is really pale gray.  He only lives about five minutes from my house, but I have never seen his  tanks.  I have a 75 gallon reef set up ( have a 120 waiting to be set up) with about 60 lbs of coralline covered rock.  My tank is doing great ( I have had a bubble tip anemone split and both are doing great, and a branching hammer that looks like it is about to separate into another head!!)  So my question is how long should I wait to introduce this new rock into my tank.  I immediately put it into  a tub with an air stone, so if he was truthful it was only out of water ten minutes tops.  There  is no foul smell coming from it so should I cure it to be safe, or just add a little at a time and do water changes in the holding tub until it is all in. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. <I think that you're on the right path. I'd keep it in the tub for a few weeks, just to be sure. If there is some die-off, or if this turns out not to be "cured" rock, you don't want to learn that in your display tank! Treat it like fresh, uncured live rock. Frequent water changes and even skimming in the container will help. The time will also serve to "quarantine" the rock before placing it into your display. Most parasites will perish after several weeks without a host.> I love your site, it has helped me on a wonderful journey into the reef tank world....I don't think I could have had such great luck with it if it was not for your FAQs.  Thanks a million ....Heather Leneave <We're happy to be here for your journey, Heather! Good luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

QT and acclimation Hello! <Hi,> At my LFS, there was a royal Gramma in QT for the past few weeks.  Today, they were going to put it in a display tank, but I bought it instead and took it home.  I don't have room for a QT tank, so I usually shop around for fish that are being quarantined elsewhere.  Is this a bad practice? <Yes, it doesn't mean that the fish is healthy.> Does it matter *where* the fish are quarantined as long as they are? <It does matter because the shipping could make susceptible to getting sick again.> At any rate, I brought the fish home, and started slowly replacing its water in its bag to acclimate it.  I was planning on replacing a cup of its "bag" water with a cup of my tank water every five minutes until most of its water would be water from my tank.  Well, as I was pouring the water and Gramma from the bag into a small 2-gal container I would use to acclimate it, just before being poured into the container, the Gramma jumped! <Opps!> It sprang clear of my container.  In my panic to catch the "flying fish", I knocked over the container (my wife is going to kill me when she sees our drenched carpet).  I had to pick the Gramma off the carpet and just let it go into my main tank.  The poor Gramma swam to the nearest and smallest cave it could find, and has not come out since, not even for feeding (I tried feeding "enriched" brine shrimp, bloodworms).  I can tell it's still alive, though, as it moves slightly when one of my clowns comes near the cave. My Gramma has NOT had a good day.  It's "acclimation" consisted of dry carpet.  I know I should be worried, since there's obviously a reason you tell everyone to acclimate their fish... but my question is: HOW worried?  Will the Gramma get better?  Will it ever come out of its cave?  Will one of my two clowns prevent it from doing so?  The clowns and Gramma are all I have in the tank besides a cleaner crew.  <I would be concerned about the fish but not overly worried.  I have done this before and had fish survive.  Grammas in particular are fish that like to jump out of tanks when scared.  If your clowns are picking on him then his chances are slim.  But, if not you should be O.K.  Give the fish a couple of days and then try feeding live brine.  This is just to get it to start eating again.> Last question: Your site says that brine shrimp is not very nutritional food.  My LFS said it was, because they were selling brine shrimp "enriched with HUFAs.  I have no idea what that stands for, except it's something about fatty acids.  I requested Mysis shrimp.  They said my clowns and Gramma would not be able to handle it since they were too small.  I didn't want to sound like an uninformed idiot, so I trusted what my LFS had to say.  So far, I'm feeding the fish bloodworms and "enriched" brine shrimp, in addition to the little white critters that came as hitchhikers on my LR that they regularly feast on.  <Discontinue with the bloodworms.  They are freshwater worms and do not provide the proper balance of nutrients and vitamins for your fish.  As far as the enriched brine goes, it is O.K. for supplemental food but not a main staple diet.> I did search FAQs (I spent the past three hours searching your site) and I can't find any other examples where fish were dropped on the carpet prior to acclimation... <The best thing to do is to quarantine (I know you don't have one) and treat it with stress coat.  The time spent on the floor probably removed its protective coating and exposed its scales to infection.  If your tank is not a reef tank you can do that.  If you decide that this is the way to go then watch your protein skimmer for it will overflow.  Good luck! MikeB> Thanks in advance for your responses. Paul

Quarantine tank 11/10/04 hello WWM crew <Howdy!> Gil here I recently made the jump to salt water and I came across this invaluable knowledge base through my LFS. I have read pretty much all the quarantine FAQs but I still have a few questions to fine tune my understanding of this whole practice so here goes and sorry in advance to the barrage of inquiries that's going to go your way here. <Welcome to marines, and no need to apologize. That's what we are here for!> First when placing a fish in the QT should I get in the habit of dipping the fish and then a few days later starting a medication such as copper even though there is no sign of disease a sort of prophylaxis if you will?  <I generally do a prophylactic buffered FW dip before introducing a fish into quarantine.  I don't ever use medications unless I see signs of disease.  One possible exception would be very sensitive tangs (like powder blues).  In this case, I may do a prophylactic one time Chloroquine diphosphate regime as I am not a fan of copper.> Next since I don't have a sump yet I won't have the luxury of keeping a sponge medium collecting bacteria for use in the QT, start new every time or should I clean it with warm tap water and store it dry till needed? <This is one of the vast numbers of great reasons to join a local aquarium society.  Someone who has a sump could provide you with this service.  Alternatively, you could place such a piece of media in your display for a few days while you have your retailer hold a specimen for you.> Wait there's more...I'm planning on buying about 20-30 pounds of live rock in about a week, it is cured rock from the aquatic outlet here in Los Angeles, but should I still place it in the QT for 21 days like the fish (separately of course) and what should I look for in LR in the QT? <If you are adding this to an existing set up, I would suggest conducting your own cycling of this rock (which will double as quarantine).  Be on the look out primarily for pests such as crabs, undesirable anemones, etc.  If you are starting the set up from scratch with this rock, all of this can be done inside the display before any other animals are added.> And should a cleaner shrimp be placed in the QT also or is that OK to be placed in the main tank?  <QT is recommended for any addition, although inverts are safer than fish.  Keep in mind that anything that is in the water that came with the shrimp from the LFS could contain anything.> And last one for now I have brownish algae growing on my glass and on my sand I bought 4 spiral snails with the hopes of them cleaning up the glass but they seem to be infatuated with the live rock instead should I try to "stick" them on the glass myself or should I get on of those magnetic glass scrapper things? <Different snails prefer different habitats.  You may consider adding a couple of a different species.  No number or type of snails will save you from at least occasional scraping.> OK that's it for now I'll let you breathe.  Thank you in advance and I'm sorry for the package. I really want to thank you for this site my good friend and myself have spread the word about this fountain of information to other newbies at pet stores around our area.<Thanks for the kind words, and please feel free to take advantages of all of the resources here!  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Bypassing new tank cycling Hi Bob <Hello John> I have a 3 foot tank that I am setting up as a quarantine tank. I need to put a fish (clown trigger) that I purchased into immediate quarantine as I don't want to place it in the display tank. If I take some media (ceramic balls) from the trickle filter, some media (ceramic balls) from the sump and water from my display tank (Running for 10 Months) and place it in the quarantine tank canister filter, will I still need to cycle the tank? <Likely you won't have to do more to aid nitrification... but do move a good amount of material ( a couple of cups), keep it moist in the process, move a good part of the current system water with the media... to the filter AND tank, and be careful re feeding the trigger (hope it's not very large)... and do monitor for ammonia> Will this idea work to bypass the nitrogen cycle completely and avoid ammonia and nitrite spikes? Will the fish be fine? Thanks John <Should be fine, but do test for ammonia as stated, keep an eye on the specimen for signs of deteriorating water quality and have water pre-made for switch-out. Bob Fenner> QT/lighting for Tridacnid good evening crew: I have my eye on a Tridacnid clam that my LFS has had for over a month, so I'm guessing it's healthy (I'll ask some questions, check the response to shadow). I have a QT:  30 gal, partitioned into a 20gal side that I have equipped with a hang-on filter and mediocre skimmer, and a 10 gal side with a hang-on filter/no skimmer.  I don't want to sink a fortune into lighting, but I don't want to compromise the clam, either.  I have a 36" hood with 2 25w NO aquarium lights that I could use, or I was considering building a fixture and mounting some compact fluorescents (the kind meant for replacing normal incandescent bulbs, not PC's) each of about 20W.  I probably don't have much choice in the color temperature, but if this option were viable, and I could choose from "cool" or "warm", which is best?  the tank is about 16" deep. what would you recommend? thanks! Ken Baker

Neon Gobies Hi Crew, Wonderful site!  Read most everyday. Have learned a ton here. My question is about some neon gobies (oceanops) that I have in quarantine. I've had 6 of  these guys in my quarantine tank for almost 3 weeks now. All 6 eat voraciously and seem alert and active. My concern is that 2 of them lack almost any color at all. Just a hint of a lateral black line and no blue at all. Even the little black color that they do have is very patchy. When I received them from the LFS they all lacked color, I assume from stress. Four of them gained their color back within a day of quarantine. The other 2 have never regained their color.  The water prams are excellent (no detectable ammonia or nitrite,  ph=8.1, spg 1.022, temp 82 F)  I perform a 10% water change daily, 50% with water from my 120 gallon reef tank and 50% with newly mixed salt water. Should I be concerned about the 2 gobies that still have no color? thanks! Jim >>>Hello Jim, I wouldn't be concerned, they may just be the subdominant fish. They should color up once in the display with enough territory and cover. Cheers Jim<<< Quarantine Question I have never set up a quarantine tank as long as I have kept marine fish. <You have perhaps been "lucky"> I am planning on doing a large setup and thought that it would be a good idea to set up a quarantine tank.  What I don't understand is ok you put a fish in a Quarantine tank for say 3 weeks, ok the fish is showing no signs of stress.  So I put him in the main tank, this was not a stress for him and could he not introduce ich into the main tank? <Yes, but much less likely so. If the new fish/es were harboring such a parasite, it would manifest itself during the quarantine period> I guess I am just not understanding how a Quarantine tank works.  Please explain to me the reason and logic behind these tanks.. thank you  Chris <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm and on to the related articles and FAQs files (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner> Quarantine Question I have never set up a quarantine tank as long as I have kept marine fish. <Neither have I, until I unfortunately learned the hard way and introduced an "infected" fish into the main aquarium -- this was quite a hassle to deal with. I would highly recommend starting up a quarantine tank.> I am planning on doing a large setup and thought that it would be a good idea to set up a quarantine tank.  What I don't understand is ok you put a fish in a Quarantine tank for say 3 weeks, ok the fish is showing no signs of stress.  So I put him in the main tank, this was not a stress for him and could he not introduce ich into the main tank?  I guess I am just not understanding how a Quarantine tank works.  Please explain to me the reason and logic behind these tanks.. thank you  Chris <First off, let me state that a quarantine tank is only to help the fish already in the aquarium. By quarantining all new arrivals, you can make sure that the fish does not have any diseases that you may accidentally introduce to the fish in the main tank. By holding the fish for a period of 4-6 weeks, you can make sure that the fish is not carrying any diseases. You can also make sure to give the fish some specialized attention. It will be simple to get the fish to eat, especially when there are no competitors around waiting to get a meal. Second, if the fish does happen to get a disease, it can be easily treated. A quarantine tank can also double as a hospital tank for fish or injured fish. As an example, lets say you purchase a blue hippo tang (P. hepatus), which happens to be one of the fish which often gets ich in captivity. You then put the fish into quarantine and after several days the fish develops ich. This means that most likely the fish caught the parasites in a wholesaler or retail store. Because the fish is isolated, treating the fish is very easy when no invertebrates or other fish are involved. You then would have a variety of methods to choose from to fight the disease. I hope this answers your questions. Take Care, Graham.> Re: QT, Biological filtration Gone? I just e-mailed you earlier about the Clown Trigger scenario. I also asked about the QT. I took my Maroon Clown out. My NO2 is now above 1.6 and my NO3 is above 50. <Way too high! I would dilute the nitrite immediately with a fifty percent water change, or move the livestock from this system> But NH3/4 is still 0.0. I re-vacuumed the inside of the whole tank and a 20% water change. <Not enough. You need to get and keep the nitrite below 1.0 ppm> I also have a spare skimmer that I have on my 55 for helping to get my 125 going when the time comes. I put it on to see if it could help. Did the Formalite kill my Bio? <Yes, very likely> was it the days it ran without anything in it prior to starting the treatments? <Possibly a contributing cause> Why is the NH staying at 0.0? <Perhaps some of those initial nitrifying microbe populations are intact> The Formalite's box and web site said it was not harmful to your Bio system? <Not so> Like I said earlier the tank was a 10gal with water from my 55, a spare filter with one of my bio-wheels from my 55, and bare bottom. After running a few days all parameters were a mirror of the 55. How can it go so bad so fast? <Formalin/Formalite is a general biocide... it kills all life... on contact. Bob Fenner> Foxface Quarantine Acclimation (10/8/04) Mr. Fenner: <Steve Allen tonight.> I realize you have probably gotten this question a hundred times. <Actually, only 93 ;)> I purchased a Foxface lo <Great fish. Love mine. Very hardy.> and acclimated him to my tank for approx 1 hours, freshwater dipped the fish with a drop of Meth. blue ich treatment and pH balanced water. <Temp needs to be the same too, BTW. And a drop of MB does nothing. Actually, even a large mouth really doesn't do anything for ich. It helps oxygenate the water and calms the fish by darkening it. I usually add enough so that the water is fairly dark, but I can still see the fish.> The fish was active, bright colored, and eating at the LFS. <All good.> I have purchased all of my fish there and have not lost one to ich (knock on wood). <Knock hard. There's always a first time--been there, done that.> I read your forum post on added Foxfaces to your tank without qt due to extra damage of transfer. <There are differences of opinion on this and that may be an older post, as well. The general consensus would be to quarantine. I would consider this vital with any Tang and most Butterflyfishes, but it is strongly advised for most all fish. The hardcore quaranitiners of the crew QT every living thing, including inverts and plants.> The fish has now been in my reef approx 14 hours, lights off, but was out actively swimming checking things out. <Good, for all their venomous spines, Foxfaces are quick to hide and turn ugly colors when frightened.> I purchased a Foxface previously from the store, QT'd for six weeks <4 is plenty> with no signs of disease but the fish passed via powerhead after 3 days in display. <Ouch. I hope you have those protected now. I notice a C-shaped bruise on mine once from an unprotected intake to a canister filter I was polishing the water with. The wound healed fine, and the intake has a basket now.> I am worried I was being too impatient and should have QT'd the fish as I do all my others. <Too late now. Rabbitfishes aren't among those fishes most likely to have/contract/transmit ick, so hopefully everything will be OK. The horse is out of the barn now anyway, there's no going back, is there?>  I guess I am just seeking reassurance besides what I read on WetWebMedia. <I'll bet everything will be OK, but no promises.> The fish is in a lightly stocked 75 gallon softy reef with carbon and aqua c remora pro skimmer. Peaceful tankmates. <These fish grow fast and get big--it may get a bit tight in there for him. Mine was under 3" a year ago, now over 6"> Mike Uscio  - Thank you <I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Jut keep a watchful eye and act if needed.> Blue Throat Trigger WWM gang, Great site. I recently purchased a male Blue throat trigger. About 4 inches long, appears to be in excellent health. I have him in a quarantine tank (~40gals) by himself.  He's been in there a week with no signs of any parasites. He ignores any food other than fresh water "ghost shrimp" however.  I've tried a variety of frozen foods, but he shows no interest.  A ghost shrimp however, is immediately hunted down and eaten.  I've been adding a little bit of frozen food with the shrimp in hopes that he might accidentally eat it and figure out that it is food, but no luck. Intend to try some raw fish, muscles, etc. from the grocery store tonight. Two questions: 1)       Any recommendations as to how to teach this fish to eat something other than ghost shrimp? 2)       Would it be a good idea to move him to a display tank now, i.e. is he likely to learn to eat other food from seeing his tank mates eating?  He is headed to a 125gal that is networked into 500 gal system w/ large sumps and skimmers. Thanks in advance for your help. Dick >>>Hey Dick,   It's just a matter of time. Some fish take weeks or months to acclimate to a wide variety of foods. As long as you have him eating something that is nutritionally sound, you're doing fine. I had an emperor angel that wouldn't eat anything but brine for weeks on end, then one day something just snapped and he started accepting frozen foods. Continue feeding the ghost shrimp, soaked in Selcon, and keep offering other foods. He will come around. Don't cut his quarantine period short whatever you do. Cheers Jim<<< Cycling In A Quarantine Tank! Hi Crew <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a 20 gal qt tank that has been set up for 6 weeks (took a while between hurricanes here in FL to finally get) awaiting the arrival of some fairy wrasses I ordered online. <First off- hope that you and your family are okay...> I have a 170 BioWheel and a h/o protein skimmer. I keep a spare BioWheel in the sump of my 90 gal reef tank for the q/t. <Good procedure> The fish arrived just fine and gorgeous and I put the long cycling BioWheel on the Penguin. I took 10 gal from the main tank and 10 gal fresh saltwater for the qt. since I added the fish I have had detectable ammonia. The fish seem fine even with the ammonia and I have been doing 10% changes daily from the main 90 to the qt. Why is the ammonia detectable with the water changes? <Hard to say, but the tank should ultimately cycle...> Will the BioWheel do its job??  What else can I do?    <If it were me, I'd use one of the "bacteria in a bottle" preparations, to help "kick start" things. Given time, the BioWheel should do a fine job. I'd probably make smaller water changes at this stage, to give the biological filtration a chance to establish itself. Use some chemical filtration media, such as Poly Filter, to help pull out some ammonia. You're doing it all right, just be patient, and go with your instincts here. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine and Dip? Kind Crew, I'd like to run past my FIRST Quarantine and Dip past you to see if on the correct path. I purchased a 20 gal complete with hood and lights for seven bucks at a yard sale to use as my Quarantine Tank. ( The plan is to pick up a long nose butterfly this weekend and add to my 75 gal after 4 weeks of QT.) I did a water change last weekend (10 gal) and added it to the 20. I'm in the process of mixing up another 10 gal to add to the 20 to make it a 50/50 split. I added a filter "sock" and whisper cartridge to my penguin in the 75 to transfer to QT after 1 week. Is this enough time to accumulate enough bacteria? The QT will consist of a whisper filter, heater and a pvc elbow to be purchased shortly. I read the article on Dips and one section has me confused. Number seven lists the best dip would be Meth blue and FW. Number 1. under "How do you do this stuff" states mixing up the dip with new or system water. I picked up the Meth blue but I'm not sure if I should mix it with fresh or salt water. My guess is. I should have the dip mixed up with fresh water same temp and pH as the QT tank. Net the butterfly, carefully and dip in the solution. After a few minutes the butterfly will let me know when the time is up? Remove the butterfly from the dip and place into the Quarantine tank. As long as the long-nose butterfly remains healthy and water tests acceptable can get away with a 2 gal water change weekly? I should I look to do it more often? Again, thanks for all you help! Dave ***Hey Dave, Forget dips for now. Dipping only happens on an "as needed" basis, and I haven't had to do it in years. Usually the only thing that is accomplished is a stressed fish. Aside from the Whisper, I would add a chunk of live rock form your main tank. This has proven the best method for me, as long as you don't medicate. In fact, my quarantine tanks are set up just like little reefs, and stay running all the time. Hospital tanks are a different story. Your water change plan sounds good. If you run into a problem with ich, use hypo salinity, not copper. Jim***

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