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FAQs on Quarantine 6

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 7Quarantine 8, Quarantine 9, Quarantine 10, Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantine 13, QTing Invertebrates, Quarantine FAQs on: QT Rationale/Use, QT Methods/Protocol, Quarantine Lighting Quarantine Tanks & FAQs on QT Tanks, QT Filtration, QT Maintenance/Operation, Quarantine Feeding & FAQs on: Quarantine Feeding  & FAQs on Acclimation 1, Acclimating Invertebrates, Acclimation of Livestock in the Business Treatment Tanks Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates


QT new rock and red algae Greetings O wise & wondrous crew! <Hmmmm, maybe wondrous, but the wise part?????? Don with you tonight> I have two fairly quick questions... 1.  Do I need to quarantine live rock prior to introducing it to my tank?  This is being added at your suggestion, I have none.  I had lost my 29 gal a month ago, and you consoled me then. <I have taken new rock, used pvc pipe and eggcrate to create a platform a few inches off the bottom of a plastic container. Then, you can add some shrimp pieces (food) to bait any hitchhikers out. You would need heater, light (simple day florescent is ok) powerhead and filter. Maybe for a few weeks??> 2.  We have a dark red algae in the left front corner of our tank 3in x 3in in size.  Upon closer examination of the substrate it is apparent that there are threads of this algae across the floor.  Is this "good" algae?   <Hmmm, sounds like BGA to me. Can you siphon it out? Might be the best course. Increasing water flow will help keep it at bay> At this point all that remains in our tank is an electric blue Damsel, 2 Choco chip starfish, & 2 Condylactis anemones.  Oh, and one happy little ghost shrimp. We are sufficiently grieved, and are ready to move on.  I humbly await your knowledgeable reply.  Tanks a lot! :D <Ahhh, yes, time to move on. Learn from your mistakes, continue to learn/share, you and your critters will be happier! Don> Heather

Water Changes And Quarantine   Hey all, <Hey! Scott F. here!> I have a few questions regarding tank maintenance.  First off, I'm glad I found your website, otherwise I would not have known anything about QT's or fresh water dips etc. <Glad that it is so helpful for you! Lots to learn!> But all this info leads me to some questions about water changes both in the main and hospital tank. Being a 29 gallon, I've read where smaller, frequent changes are best. <Yep- I'm a full-on water change "junkie"! I advocate small (5% of tank volume) water changes twice a week...really work well to help dilute organics before they get a chance to accumulate> I was initially gonna use treated tap water for water changes, but I took a visit to the pet store last night that offered RO water in 5 gallon and 1 gallon jugs.  The dude said all I had to do is add salt to this stuff? <Well, not really. With RO water, you need to do a little prep work before it's ready to go. Be sure to aerate it for about 24 hours prior to use. This will help drive off excess carbonic acid present in the water. Remember, RO water has little, if any hardness, and should be buffered before mixing with salt. There are a number of buffering and "reconstituting" products out there to do the job.> I figured if I bought the five gallon jugs, then it would be easy to keep consistent, making maybe 2.5 gallon changes every two weeks (5 gallons / month). Is this enough for a tank that will have roughly 15 or 20 lbs of live rock, 15 hermits, 3 crabs and 5 shrimps some snails and one fish (flame angel)?  I'm trying to get up some kind of schedule here to start with. <That's a decent schedule, but I'd try to go for those 5% changes twice a week. The labor involved would be minimal...I don't think it would be too costly, either...Consider it, okay?> About the QT.  I have an old ten gallon, heater, and the filter that used to be on my 29 gallon (some kind of whisper), but I haven't set it up yet. What is required as far as maintenance goes for this tank? (If all is going well in the main tank).  I didn't initially plan on having a QT, and still aren't really sure if I need it being that I'm only planning on having 1 fish or any fish at all.  The thing is, I know it's a good idea, but the wife isn't too thrilled about the main tank being in the dining room in the first place, which is the only place suitable in the house, and I have no place to put the QT. How important is one if you mainly have inverts and not any fish......we'll maybe one!  Thx in advance! <I can understand your wife's concern! However, you do need a quarantine tank, even for inverts, IMO. The good news: A quarantine tank is not a permanent feature! You simply set it up when you need it, with water from your main tank, and break it down when the 3-4 week quarantine period is up. Easy! As far as the filter and cycling are concerned, just keep the filter media in the sump or somewhere else in the main system, where it will constantly be colonizing beneficial bacteria. Then- when you need the quarantine tank- just fill it up (with some water from those frequent water changes..) and you're ready to go in hours! Great for those "impulse buys" that always seem to arise when we visit the LFS! Use water from your changes in the main tank to replace water changed in the quarantine tank. Don't neglect the quarantine process- it's so easy to do, and it can really make a huge difference in the long-term success in the hobby! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Re: QT new rock and red algae Hi again!  In need of clarification on live rock QT.  1.  What's eggcrate/where do I get it?   <This is the plastic diffusion panel used in overhead lighting sold in 2'x4' sheets. See here for a pic http://www.selectacoustic.com/eggcrate.htm. Look at a hardware store or Lowe's/Home Depot/Menards> 2. What type/how big of plastic container? BTW, how much LR should we have for 29gal ? <Around 30-40 pounds would be good. Plastic storage container (Rubbermaid (tm) or the like) that is usually sold in 10, 20, 30G sizes. Probably 20G would be sufficient> 3.  Bait hitchhikers?  Then what to do with them?  What kind of hitchers should one expect to see?   <Oh, most anything, crabs, stars, worms, shrimp, etc. Identify and if good, keep if not, try to find someone who wants the critter> 4. What's BGA algae?  Yes, we can siphon it out.   <See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm. BTW did you know that you can open the main page for WetWebMedia.com and use the Google search at the bottom of the page? I typed BGA Algae to find this link. Have fun, Don> Many thanks...you are the very best!!   <Ahh, shucks, Thanks> Heather Here's Why We Quarantine! Dear WetWeb Crew, I have 2 blue Chromis, from the Caribbean, that have some type of infection and was wondering if you could give me some advice.  I have read through various FAQs but either missed something or could not find anything that matched their condition.  I purchased the Chromis about 3 weeks ago and placed them in a bare-bottomed 10 gal qt tank. <Excellent!> About a 1 1/2 weeks ago, one of them started to develop a small white patch on the tip of its anal fin. A few days later, it disappeared but showed up on in the anterior end of the lateral line.  Initially, it was visible on one side of the fish, but now it seems to be on both sides and there is also now a small white lump on the head of the fish, just behind the eye.  The other Chromis is now just starting to exhibit the same white area on its lateral line.  The white areas don't look like the salt grains as seen with ich.  Both fish act normal: no scratching, heavy breathing, or listlessness, and both eat well. Also noticed one of the fishes excretes white colored fecal matter. Was wondering if these fish have some type of bacterial infection, perhaps internal as well as external? <That's kind of what I was thinking. Some of the symptoms you're describing sound like a parasitic problem, and others a bacterial (fungal) issue. I'd take "the high road", and consider a broad spectrum antibiotic, such as Maracyn, to deal with it. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully concerning its use.> Not sure that it is ich. As of yet, I have not treated the tank with any medication as the fish are otherwise healthy. Any recommendations on a medicine?  I perform weekly 10-20% water changes. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.    Sincerely, Jason <Well, Jason- as outlined above, I'd consider the use of Maracyn, perhaps in conjunction with a few freshwater dips (to tackle any possible parasitic problem in a gentle manner...Take it slow and careful. But give yourself a pat on the back for using a quarantine tank! A disease that shows up during the quarantine period is EXACTLY why everyone should utilize this technique! Keep up the good work! Good luck! Scott F> New Corals Needing Quarantine 3/6/03 Hello everybody. <cheers, Kostas> I finally added my first living organisms in the tank. The fish are in the quarantine and some feather dusters, green polyps and mushrooms in the tank. <good to hear> Everything is ok except one mushroom and one polyp. I have already send an-email with the problem and I got a reply from Mr. Fenner but I don't think I explained the problem every well. The problem is that one mushroom (green) and a green polyp got covered in some milk like  thick dust. For a couple of days it kept getting bigger (the dust) until I turned a power on it. <Hmmm.... it sounds like sloughing mucus and/or infection> From the current the white milkish substance was blown away with all the polyps which were under it. They looked like they we rotting away. I took out the polyp and in a plastic container with salt water I gave it a good shake. About 40% of it's polyps detached (It was a very gentle shake), and the surface of the rock where the polyps where had a grey mood like surface. <alas, I am sorry to say that is infection and decay.> I put it back in the tank and the rest of the "healthy polyps" opened again under the lights. <perhaps some of these will live. It also sounds like you may not have enough water flow in the tank as evidenced by the lingering "dust" (mucus)> Same exactly thing happened with the mushroom. The rest of the polyps and mushrooms are doing excellent. The are expanding really well. <understood. Kostas, it is very important, my friend, that you quarantine every animal and live product you bring home (including plants, algae, live rock, live sand, etc) in a separate quarantine tank before adding it to the main tank. Anything that comes from saltwater could bring an infection or disease into your main display and is a potential danger. Please read more about the simple QT procedure here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm > I am about to add my first Sarcophytons (some leather corals) so I'm afraid if I should leave the polyps in there or remove them. I feel sorry for the ones that are healthy but I don't want anything to happened to the other roommates !!!!!<please do not sacrifice the living polyps... either remove them to a small QT tank, or put the new leather into a QT tank. Keep both separated for 4 weeks to be safe> All polyps and mushrooms are in the tank for about a 10 days. Salinity is 1025-1026 no ammonia, MH and 03 on for about 10-12 hours a day, Protein skimmer full time, calcium reactor as well, No additives of any kind, some phytoplankton (Marine snow, and brine shrimp.) <I would recommend that you reduce or stop the Marine snow and brine shrimp... they are not very useful by size and nutritive quality. I don't think you have enough corals in the tank either to feed yet. Minced mysids or Gammarus shrimp (or krill) will be fine for the mushrooms and polyps instead (more nutritious)> Waiting for your reply  Take care Kostas <best regards, Anthony>

Ill Naso Tang and UV sterilizer Hello Guys, <Hi Scott, Don with you tonight> First of all, you have sold me on the QT and I just purchased one today after reading through the many testimonials on the web site and in light of my sick Naso. I will follow protocol of many other write-ins with a description of set-up and with a few questions. Sorry for the information overload, and thanks for any guidance you can offer to this novice aquarist.   Tank description : 75 gallon, custom sea life wet-dry and protein skimmer. live sand, Rio 2500 powerhead, no UV sterilizer yet, but am currently shopping for one and open for suggestions in this area. Water parameters: ph- 8.2 ammonia - .40 (?color chart!) nitrite - .25 nitrate - 20 --- I can't seem to affect these parameters, with my biweekly 10% water changes, or even after a 25% change today. any suggestions <If these numbers are accurate, you have something dying/decaying (like food, snail, crab, etc) keeping these high. The ammonia and nitrite need to be 0. Could be the 'dry' part of the wet dry filter. Is your skimmer giving good skimmate, dark color/good quantity, daily? It should. Could your tests be inaccurate? See if you have a local Fish Store or another aquarium friend that can confirm?> I purchased a Naso from an out of town dealer with several specimens - half of which had black powdery spots all over and half of which looked and acted fine. I chose one of the healthy ones and after 5 days, mine is looking the same. He has been pacing constantly from one side of  tank to the other around rockwork for 3 days. I found him lying motionless this morning and thought he was dead. I have set up a 10 gallon quarantine tank ( I know, finally). I gave it a freshwater dip and placed it in QT. <Yes, we should never buy from a tank (or even an apparent 'clean' tank if the store uses a combined water system) that shows any kind of disease. Never, as you now know :(.> prior to reading your website I : set up QT with all new water (oops) and new sponge filter (2nd oops) -- now what?     <Make lots of salt water and aureate the heck out of it. Get ready to use it for  daily (20-50%) water changes. You will need to do this to keep ammonia and nitrite in check> also dosed with 1st dose of copper treatment (now wishing I hadn't)-- stop or go?     <Hmm, yes, for black spot, fresh water dips are highly successful and much less stressful. Initiate water changes and remove/replace sponge from filter. Make sure the fresh water dips are pH, temp adjusted and aerated> Naso is not eating (offered live kelp, and Mysis shrimp among others)-- hasn't eaten in 3 days <Continue offering, siphoning off uneaten excess right away> I also have yellow tang in tank that was successfully treated for pop-eye, but is showing pale coloring around face. is this disease or nutrition deficiency? <I would increase veggie in diet, maybe a supplement by soaking in Selcon if you can find it> I am also concerned about: purchasing an appropriate UV sterilizer with the correct flow rates-- my water parameters and the ever presence of  am, ni, and na-- <I would read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/UVFAQs.htm and the blue links at the top of the page for more. I found this link by typing 'UV sterilizer' into the Google search at the bottom of the WetWebMedia.com home page. Try it you'll like it!> my dealer sold me an air pump to match the 10 gallon tank but I'm not sure if it is adequate for this fish-- <I am sure the pump is OK for the QT. A small powerhead is a good idea as well. But let's be frank. The worst news for your fish is that a 75 is possibly (but I don't think so) large enough for a yellow tang. And for the Naso? Forget it as this fish is heading for 18". The Yellow Tang needs 90-120G and the Naso several 100's of gallons. Don> Feeding A Fussy Fish In The Hospital Tank OK, Thanks for the great tip, to which I will adhere. <Scott F. on the follow-up this morning> My only concern is that one of the fish in this QT (which is bare, except for two medium-sized formerly-live rocks) is a scooter blenny, who always picks around among the live rock for little critters to eat.  He does not eat prepared of frozen food.  It's almost 4 weeks and he seems to be doing ok (maybe a little skinnier), but I'm wondering "what is this poor fish eating?  Will he make it?"  So it's on account of him that I feel a little pressure to get them back in the main tank.  Any comment? Jeffrey M. Zegas <Well, Jeff- you've done very well so far in getting your fishes to this stage...Don't rush the process, okay? You have to keep these fishes in the hospital tank for the full 30 day period, at least...Ich is a very tenacious disease, and you need to make your stand here and now to beat it! As far as the Scooter is concerned- at this stage of the game, I'd consider dropping in a couple of small pieces of live rock for him to forage on for the remaining period of time. Unfortunately, these rocks will become "hot" after being in  system that has copper, so I would not return them to the main system after the treatment period. Another idea would be to "go on safari" in your main system's sump one evening, and try to catch some live amphipods to feed this little guy. It's kind of tedious, but it works well. The other option is to purchase a 'pod culture from an e-tailer, like Indo Pacific Sea Farms (my fave) or Inland Aquatics, and pop in a few 'pods each day...Hang in there- you're almost home free! Good luck! Scott F> Returning quarantined fish to main tank? Hi, Thanks much for your previous help and wonderful site. I have a 120g reef system and had an outbreak of marine ich about 5 weeks ago.  About 3 1/2 weeks ago I caught all the fish (not much fun), isolated them in a 20g quarantine tank and began treating them with 1 tsp CopperSafe for each 5g.  All signs of ich on the fish were gone within about 10 days.  The fish are doing beautifully now.  My weekly 5g water change is done using water from the reef tank to which they will return soon. <Ahh, be patient here or will be going through this all over again :( You put the fish in QT 25 days ago? The ich took 10 days to disappear? That means the QT period started 15 days ago. I calculate you have at least 2 weeks to go (3 better) my friend. If ANY ich reappears, the counter starts over from 1> Meanwhile, I let the reef tank go fallow, raising the temp to 80 to expedite the lifecycle of the parasites (so they die off sooner without hosts).  The corals have thrived, and minute little critters are all over the place.  Now that it is approaching a month, in the coming week or so I'll be ready to re-introduce the  fish to their home. <All very good. Fallow normally is suggested for 4-6 weeks. Another reason to wait an additional 2-3 weeks>   Any tips on doing this?  Over the coming week I will gradually lower the reef tank temp to 76-77, which is what I have historically kept it at.   I will also not add any copper to the QT in the next 5g water change, thereby weakening its concentration gradually.  Any other suggestions? <Of course, match pH and SG as well. If you can find some PolyFilter (tm) that will help 'clean' the copper from the QT. This material is costly but works well. It should turn blue with copper absorption and you keep replacing until the blue no longer appears. You can use a pH, Temp adjusted and aerated fresh water dip if you want to> Thanks very much... <Your welcome very much, Don. BTW, kudos to your use of hospital/QT it will reward you in the long run> Jeffrey

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

QT Water Changes  3/3/03 Guys<Joe> I have 2 QT's set up but since I'm running the display tank fallow I have not seeded a sponge filter nor did I transfer any water from the display to the QT's. Do you have a feel for how much of a water change I will need to do?<In the 10g, change 2 gallons of water every other day.  In the 20g change 4 or 5 gallons of water every other day.  By not using the water from the main tank you stop the risk of infection to the fish.>  I have 1 angel in each (10 gal and 20 gal tanks).  I will test the tanks but I'm looking for a feel so that I know how much water to prepare and how big a job it will be.<Best thing to do is to go to Home Depot and buy a 55g garbage can.  Use this for all water changes, this way you always have saltwater that is aged whenever you need it!>  Thanks as always.<No Problem!  Hope this helps!  Phil>

pH woes in QT tank Hey, I bought a 10 gallon tank to use for quarantine and was trying to set it up this weekend so I could pick up a tomato clown. Unfortunately, things didn't go too well. I took about 5 gallons from the display tank and added another 5 or so of premixed salt water. After adding a bit of baking soda to the water I checked the pH which was about 8.1. Since this was a little low, I started adding baking soda. <Did you mix and aerate the new water for 12 - 24 hours? Was this RO/DI water? Baking Soda is only sodium bicarbonate and will throw ionic balance well off. It should kick the pH in the pants, but it sounds like you have some source water acidity/aeration issues that you should resolve before adding anything. Also, unless you are raising the pH of fresh water for dips, use a good balanced marine buffer to raise and maintain pH and carbonate alk. NOT baking soda.> The pH then dropped to below 8.0 (checked with two different test kits) and no matter how much baking soda I added, it wouldn't come back up. <Now completely out of whack, ionically. Try again, aerate for 12-24 hours, and then test pH before adjusting. 8.1 on new water in the AM isn't a problem.> Now there's so much baking soda that the water is really cloudy and still it's reading below 8.0.  My question is: I use baking soda to raise the pH in the display tank (a 35gal) and that works fine - what could have gone wrong here? <Stop doing this! Are you adding carbonates and Boron with your baking Soda? If not you are not doing your tank any favors. Use a good balanced marine buffer. Poor ionic balance will come home to roost sooner or later and wreak havoc on your carbonates, pH calcium, etc.> The QT tank has just a heater, a powerhead with filter attachment (cycled in the 35gal) and one piece of PVC pipe. No sand, rock, or other stuff. I'm assuming at this point all I can really do is empty it all out and try again later. <That's what I would do.> Thanks in advance for any suggestion you can give, Derek <Hope this helps, please do test all of your water params, including alkalinity, boron, magnesium to see if this isn't the up front cause being that half of this water is from the main, and that could be part of the problem.  Craig>

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

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

QT of new macrophytes Follow-up question if I may I am getting some Halimedas from same supplier-should plants be freshwater rinsed, drugged or quarantined before going into main tank? <Just rinsed (in seawater) on removal from the shipping water, and quarantined for a few days. Bob Fenner> Thanks again!

Quarantine Procedures Hi guys <Scott F. your guy today> My main tank has been running fallow for a while and I am now about to begin the QT'ing of my new stock. <Good for you- it's the best thing you can do to prevent disease in your tank, IMO> My main question comes down to parasite prevention.  Are fresh water dips recommended upon introduction to the QT and if so how many? <I like to perform a single 5 minute FW dip (with Methylene blue) upon introduction to quarantine. I only perform additional dips if I am treating for a specific situation> Is it recommended to treat the fish as if it had Ich, i.e. hyposalinity or Copper as a preventative or just treat them if an outbreak occurs? <The hyposalinity technique is used by many hobbyists and retailers, but I generally do not use any special water conditions or medications, unless I am treating a disease...Basically, I just use water from the main aquarium, observe, perform frequent water changes, and intervene if disease shows up...that's basically it! Easy!> I'm trying to do it right this time and properly QT the fish for 3-4 weeks thus avoiding another Ich outbreak in the main system.  Thanks as always for the help. Joe <I'm telling you, Joe- you are on your way to a great deal of success by implementing a quarantine protocol! You're going to love the control and confidence (not to mention the healthy aquarium that you'll get!) that you get from quarantine. Use it- spread the word...It works, it's easy, and it is necessary! Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>

Send In The Clown- Hold off On The Anemone! Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. here!> Anyway I have only 2 people to help me move my tank so far, so I had an idea. I wonder if this is workable: I thought of setting up the 10 gal QT ahead of time. <YES!! I like it! I like it!> Setting it up and getting it going. Since all the critters know each other and are disease free to stick in a piece of LR. <Sure- this would be the only time I'd use other than inert materials in a QT. However, don't assume that they are disease free and get lax on the quarantine process...Three weeks, minimum, okay? Plan for the worst, hope for the best!> Anyway I have a feather duster attached to a piece. Might also have a container for some sand as I have a small fighting conch and Nassarius snails. Anyway get the QT going and  then put in the Royal Gramma, snails (quite a few), hermits, conch, duster. I'd acclimate them to the tank and put them max a couple weeks. <It would be optimum if you could do a separate tank for the inverts, and one for the fishes. Maybe not practical...but optimal! I'm thinking I'd do 10% water changes a week on this. And also feed the Turbos Nori. <I like smaller water changes twice a week (like 5% of tank volume). Maybe a piece or two of algae encrusted rock for the snails> Could also set the Ecosystems on the QT (other Equipment is AquaClear200 or Whisper 3, 50 watt heater, top). Then I could pack up the LR, LS, and equipment and not worry about the critters. Do you get my drift and do you think this is workable? <I think I see what you're thinking of. However, keep in mind that a quarantine tank is not meant to be a permanent feature. Just use a sponge filter, outside power filter, etc. Break it down when you're done. The Ecosystem method is a long-term approach, best suited for the display tank. Keep it simple> Stocking order: Plans are Royal Gramma; Red sea Clarkii clowns and anemone (both TR); blenny (midas or bicolor); and maybe an Angel (i.e. Coral Beauty). This is a 40 gal. What order should that be, considering I will have the RG already? <I like the Gramma first, blenny second, clarkii third, and finally, the angel fish. I'd avoid the anemone unless you have superior lighting and pristine conditions. The clown can do fine without it, really!> Also do you think an angel fish would try to eat the anemone? des <Not likely, in my experience. I have kept coral beauties with anemones before without incident (of course- that does not mean that your won't chow down on the anemone in YOUR tank!), but again, I'd hold off on the anemone for a while. Take care! Regards, Scott F>

Returning from Quarantine after copper use Hello again, 'crew'. <Howdy> I followed Don's advice and for the last 5 days have been running Poly-Filter (you wouldn't believe the price of this stuff in Canada) and carbon, trying to eliminate the copper (in tri-chelated form as included in Organicure with formalin) before returning fish to display tank.  However, so far the filter is turning red (I was expecting blue) and the copper levels are not falling. <Interesting... the reddish coloring generally portends iron removal... I would definitely check your test kit here for the copper> The last treatment was 3 weeks ago and I have also done water changes totaling approximately 60 gallons during this time to help to bring copper and nitrites down. Oh yeah, in an ammonia spike panic I also added Amquel detoxifier. <It may well be that the Amquel is rendering a "false positive" in your testing here> 1) How long should the Poly Filter take to do its job and why would it be red vs. blue? <Should/will remove in a few hours to a day or so... the iron content has been mentioned> 2) What else can I be doing to keep a medicated QT tank cycled? As mentioned I am water changing (using display water), pounding it with Cycle, brought sponge in from display, etc. but given the lack of all other things that help like substrate, live rock etc., it seems like a losing battle. <Mainly what you list and water changes, addition/switching out of pre-cycled media. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm and the linked file (above, in blue) on Quarantine... it's FAQs files> My impatience at this point strictly relates to the stress that my fish, particularly the clowns, continue to absorb. And Don, you were also bang on re the damsels. <Will relate to Don re. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Ron

- New Fish Arriving... - Saturday I will be receiving a Black Cap Basslet and a Scott's Velvet Wrasse. I have the possibility of using a 10 and 20L tank for quarantine. My question is can I just use the 20L for quarantining both or separate tank for both. <I would quarantine each in their own tank.> Kind of limited on the biological filter. <Don't worry so much about this and instead change the water often - perhaps 25% every other day - keep your eye on the particulars and step up the water changes if needed.> As always thank you for your time. <Cheers, J -- >

Low Low pH  - 2/22/03 Thanks to Phil on the Forum,<No problem, saw you needed a hand.> I just learned what should have been obvious: the pH being way too low!  I somehow overlooked the fact that the pH could drift without any critters in the tank (presumably just from the biol. filters running?)<Well, have you been keeping up with water changes and temp. control?  They play a factor!>  If you guys agree with that theory, does that mean I don't have to totally break down the tank, but just get the h2o parameters in line?<Nah, just get the H2O levels in line!>  I'd also like your opinion on the "cycled vs. sterile" debate for QT tanks.   I went for cycled cuz I don't think I could possibly keep up with the h2o changes I assume would be needed for the sterile approach.<Keep the tank cycled by doing a 5% water change a week and maybe once and a while dropping a very small amount of food in the tank.  IMO this is the best way to keep the tank up and running.>  I feel horrible about killing those 3 little guys!!<When you lose a fish it's really tough!  But learn from this mistake and move on.  This way you become a better aquarist!!  Hope this helps!  Feel free to ask anymore questions!!  Phil>

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

New 10 Gallon QT Tank Hi Guys, <Hello> I have been reading your website and think the info available is awesome.  I have a 55 gallon community tank set up since October and all seems to be well.  In the tank are Red Wag Platys and Sunburst Platys along with tetras and others.  My concern is the fat bellies on the Platys.  The females are fat and have been over 6 weeks.  The males are continually chasing them too.  Is there any way to definitely rule out Dropsy on the female Platys?   <If this were Dropsy they would have died by now without medication. The most tell-tale visible symptom of Dropsy is the bloated bellies with the scales sticking straight out.> What is the gestation period for pregnant Platys? <About 4 weeks. I'd be willing to bet that they've had some babies that are either hiding in the plants or that have gotten eaten. The females can still look fat because they could already be ready to have more.> I have started a 10 gallon QT that has been cycling over the last 10 days. I would like to transfer the Platys if I can definitely figure out that they are pregnant.  How can I make sure that the QT will support the Platys? <Have your water tested to make sure the tank is fully cycled. Then slowly add the Platies over a few days, no more than 10 Platies in this tank.> I wouldn't want to loose the (Pregnant?) females due to an improperly cycled tank.  The QT only has some gravel from my larger tank in it with two plastic plants to hide the filter tube and air hose.  It is heated to approx 77 degrees. <Sounds good but you may want to add more plants to give the babies a place to hide so the females don't eat them.> Should I just transfer the Platys and hope that with the stress relief from the males with suffice? <I wouldn't. Not without making sure the tank is fully cycled. The females will deal with being chased. There is some stress but probably more for you than for them.> Should I move some of the tetras to the QT for a few days to cycle it a little more? <Definitely not. Platies are a tougher fish than Tetras. Adding your Tetras to this tank may kill them if it's not fully cycled.> Any input will be much appreciated. Thanks, Kevin <You're welcome. Ronni>

Re: Update on yellow tang/  QT tanks are great This is an update on my yellow tang who was stressed and bullied by damsel. I put the tang in a QT tank because he looked terrible.  He was really discolored, tail was chewed up and raggedy and all he did was hide in the rocks and would hardly eat. I did a freshwater dip for 10 minutes and put him in a 38 gallon tank that I am using for a QT. Within 24 hours he started to eat more and his color improved.  I used Boyd's Vita Chem to help heal his chewed up tail fin.  I am feeding strips of Nori 2-3 times a day that he munches steadily and some Formula 2 once/day.  I am thinking about leaving him in this tank.   This QT tank definitely saved my fish. <Yes, along with your fast action> If I had left him in the main tank he'd be dead now. On the site now I see why everyone stresses  the need to keep a QT/hospital  tank,  they can truly save your fish. <Yes!> Thanks to the whole crew for helping me with my fish I am a newbie and you have helped me so much.  Thanks again,  Brian Smith <Thank you for the follow-up. Bob Fenner>

QT duration I'm back. Haven't had to bother you for a while, but I have a quick question. I bought a Purple Tang at my LFS 20 days ago. He is thriving in my 18T QT and eating voraciously (various algae foods). I am having a hard time with ammonia in the tank--requires 25-50% water change every other day. This despite the fact that is has been running 3 months with internal power sponge & external power/BioWheel filters. Have run a few fish through in that time. <Okay> Anyway, I am concerned about the effects of this small amount of ammonia coming & going on my tang. Tomorrow is 3 weeks in QT for him. Is that long enough with him looking great? I've heard so many different durations. <Folks get 95 some percent of what can be gotten from a two week time frame... 98 plus from three weeks> Thanks for all of your advice over the past couple of months. My fish and I are far better of for having followed it.  Steve Allen. <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: QT duration Thanks. Does one get 100% at 4 weeks--seems to be the most commonly recommended time frame on WWM. I think I'll go with three on this on (unless you think that's really risky) because I think the tang will be healthier & happier in my display tank (plenty of room & LR & all parameters perfect). Steve Allen. <Ah! Don't know if you're joshing... considering your name... but that 100% is elusive as approaching the speed of light. Now should be fine. Bob Fenner>

- Any Ich-Resistant Fish? - Anthony: <Today, it's JasonC at your service...> You've made a believer out of me (with some help from Bitch Ich!).  I went out today and bought a 10-gal tank to be used first as a hospital tank, then to be used later as an isolation tank for new livestock.  I think I've been misled by some local experienced aquarists who don't use quarantine tanks nor dipping.  They've either been lucky, or else downplay their disease problems. <Or have yet to get truly burned...> I'm just a beginner, and I got nailed early in the game, so I'm going to correct my evil ways very quickly! <No worries, just consider it this way, you are taking every possible precaution to avoid future problems - it will pay off.> I've also printed out and read the two articles on quarantining fish and corals and inverts.  The articles answered a lot of my questions, but also raised some new questions, if I may impose on you just a little longer: 1. Do I need a protein skimmer and a power head on the 10-gal. tank for 30-day quarantine stays and/or for disease treatment stays? <I would use the powerhead - I would not use the skimmer.> (Controlling cost is a big issue right now.) 2. Can I use the same tank to quarantine fish and non-fish livestock? <Not at the same time - if you had to treat with copper or similar harsh therapy, the tank would be toxic to invertebrates.> I am suspecting that some of the medicine for the sick fish could stay in the tank and harm the inverts. <To an extent, but you can always clean out the tank.> 3. Should all critters be quarantined, such as snails, shrimp, hermit crabs, starfish, etc? <Anthony would probably say yes, I don't feel as strongly about snails, shrimp, or starfish... although the latter can bring problems in for existing seastars so if you plan to keep more than one seastar in the tank. Corals and fish are the most important quarantine subjects.> 4. I have 2 apparently healthy fish left in my main tank, in which the flame angel died and the Sailfin tang became sick.  Should I remove and treat the 2 healthy-looking fish even if they have no apparent symptoms? <Would be a wise and prophylactic   measure.> 5. After each treatment of sick fish, what is the recommended way to clean and sterilize the tank?  Just wash everything in hydrogen peroxide and rinse well? <Actually, a weak bleach solution would be better, followed by a good rinse and sun dry.> 6. When using the 10-gal tank for quarantining new fishes, should the tank be broken down between new fish additions, or is it OK to leave it up and running indefinitely? <I would say that depends on what happens during the quarantine period - if you end up treating for disease, then by all means the tank should be cleaned. If nothing significant happens, you are probably in the clear.> 7. When I first set up the quarantine tank without live rock and live sand, do I still need to go through the standard tank cycling process? <Not really, it's better to be prepared with lots of mix-water to avoid ammonia build up with frequent water changes - you could also keep a sponge around in the main tank to move into the quarantine at the onset of quarantine, keeping in mind that you may still need to treat the tank.> 8. I bought some "Rid Ich" by Kordon today, base on a fish store recommendation.  The active ingredients seem to be formaldehyde and salt of malachite green.  Is this a form of copper? <No... copper products are labeled as such. This is exactly what the ingredients describe it as - also known on another label as Greenex.> Is this a good product? <Very toxic - should be used with caution and according to the directions only.> Thanks in advance for your help, Professor. George Nolta (A 65-Year-Old Child lost in the (fish) forest!) <Cheers, J -- >

QT protocol 2/19/03 Thanks for your prompt reply! <cheers, my friend> I'll give this advice a try.  (Or maybe I'll just grow live rock, and watch the algae grow!) George <Ha! It actually is amazing to watch live rock develop (especially plant growth) for even just 3-4 months without fishes. Remarkable. Many European aquarists are very strict about not adding fish for 6 months or more to let populations of worms, shrimp, plants, etc grow on the rocks. Most of us American aquarists do not have those kind of patience though <G>. If you didn't come across it already... here's a good article on QT: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm Best regards! Anthony>

QT and refugium Hey guys and gals, <cheers> I have wrote about my 55 gal corner bow with Aqua C remora skimmer and magnum 350 filter. We are in the process of changing to a DSB and more live rock and also leaving the tank fallow for a month in case something in there killed Piggy the lionfish.  Is there any reason not to move all the sand and rock into the display now and let it cycle there?   <good heaven's... please don't. Understand that there are practically no exceptions to the 4 week QT rule. We could talk for hours why it is bad to evade the full QT/cycling period. In this case... what is a pest or predator gets into your sand in the display and reproduces? Many many reasons not to cure rock in a display tank> There aren't any fish and the current live rock in the tank is only 1 piece.  The reason I ask is I have buckets, trash cans and small tanks all over the living room. <understood... if the display is bare-bottoms, I could concede to using it to sure the rock so that you could screen all matter in search of pests and predators before doing a large water change and adding sand> Also is there any method for adding a refugium to a glass tank that has no holes in it?  I will eventually need to add one to support the green mandarin we would like to have.  There is no room behind the tank, the Aqua C Remora barely fit. Thanks for your help Bryan and Dana Flanigan <actually... there is a common solution and the best type of refugium in my opinion: upstream. Have your refugium above your tank drilled and fed by water pumped from the display below. Such refugia have no problems with plankton shear from pumps since they gravity overflow. If you want to get fancy <G> you can put a single mangrove seedling in it and shine a spotlight on it. Bets regards, Anthony>

Returning from Quarantine after Copper Use Hi, guys. Great, helpful site. <Thanks Ron, and I agree as I spend hours here myself, Don here today> My first question though - I hope I am following proper protocol. I am 3 weeks into a QT period (29 gallon), during which I have 'apparently' won the round with ich .  I used Organicure (no copper sulphate available) per instructions, which of course contains chelated copper, and formalin. The slight exception to this is that 14 days after initial treatment, a couple spots reappeared on the domino damsel, so I gave one more dose.  24 hours later (one week ago) I added charcoal to filter, thinking this will start to bring down copper levels. <Congrats on the QT Ron, you have learned well young one> In my 90 gallon display tank, I have  anemones, crabs & snails and hope to 'graduate' to corals when I am comfortable with the maturity of the both the tank and my skills.  Thinking I am 1-2 weeks away from a safe return date <When was the last time you observed the ich? 4 weeks from that date before returning is what I would do. You indicate that you saw spots 1 wk ago. Assuming they were gone the next day, you have at least 3+ wks to go>, my question is: how to return the fish to the display tank in a way that they are not going to bring copper in with them? <Continue the carbon, add Poly-Filter (it turns blue when copper is removed), keep both fresh by changing often. Continue small water changes (2 - 4 times a week) and get a better test kit. When copper levels test 0 you don't have to worry about the fish 'carrying' copper into the tank. If you are really concerned, you could fresh water dip (matched pH and temp with tank), but unnecessary if you follow this protocol> In addition to the domino, there are 2 clowns that will hopefully going back.  My thinking at his time is to leave 2 yellow tail damsels and a blue devil behind to maintain the cycle in the QT, as I will slowly be repopulating. New fish will therefore also be going through the QT and be exposed to remaining copper, plus whatever I may need to add for treatment,  which I will again want to 'remove' copper from fish before transferring to display. <I would QT all the fish as above. When copper is 0 take all to tank. Break down the QT, clean, setup and cycle for the next new fish. BTW are you aware that the damsels are very aggressive and territorial. Let alone a real pain to catch late in the main tank with live rock for them to hide in. > In terms of copper levels today in QT, the best I can tell you is > 0 < .3 mg/l - the only test kit available in the small city I live in. <See if the LFS can special order a decent test kit (LaMotte/Salifert etc) and the Poly-Filter (this is a brand name, accept no other) if not, I would order via an Internet dry good supplier> Thanks for whatever advice you can provide, guys.  <Hang in there Ron, you are on the right track and have done your research as is obvious by your use of QT. Go slow, have patience, and you will be rewarded, Don> Ron

Friend's Fish for Free! Ladies and gentlemen:<howdy do?> My neighbor is going to be dismantling his 600G salt water tank. He has asked me if I would be interested in any of his livestock.<Son of a....you lucky dog> I have yet to see the tank, but let's assume for this discussion that all inhabitants are doing fine. <OK> I think that I already know the answer, but I will pose the question at the risk of reprimand.<uh-oh> Should I quarantine the prospective new additions?<I think I would. If for anything, to ensure a smooth transition to your tank conditions> If they have been in the neighbor's tank for some time, and have exhibited no signs of disease, might just a freshwater dip do the trick? <Tempting, but I would try to quarantine for at least a few weeks if not a full 3-4> Thanks as always, <My pleasure. Mitch, what is he doing with his tank and other equipment?? Pablo, wishin' he lived by your neighbor> Mitch

- Quarantine Questions - dear Jason and crew: <Hello.> 1. the question I have is this. when I put the new sponge filter into the main display for seeding the bacteria, how long do I have to put in there in order to have adequate count?? <Don't bother... once you start treating the quarantine tank with copper, you will kill the biological filter so waiting to seed the sponge will be a waste of time. Get the fish in there now.> 2. and also, if the fish from the main display is now getting better, I mean less ws and doing fine, should I wait and observe before putting it into the qt?? <I wouldn't - parasitic problems are like cheap horror movies - the bad guys have gone away to reproduce and will be back soon in larger numbers. Your troubles are just beginning.> 3. baking soda, you mean the household use ones?? <That's right.> arm and hammer?? <You bet.> do I have to premix? <I would.> 4. I notice a less change in pH during the course of night and day,. does that mean the added buffer is working <Perhaps - there could be other explanations.> last question is: 5. what is the conc. of CU needed?? <Follow the directions on the stuff that you buy - it will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.> I know I have a lot to learn and I would not know how to thank you guys... well. I will support you guys by buying your merchandise!! (already did!!) and the new book!!!! to show some appreciation!! and especially to Jason, thanks a lot!! Fish guy Eric <Cheers, mate. J -- >

- Quarantine Setup - Hello Bob, <Actually, it's JasonC today...> I really like your site.  It's been quite useful to me so far.  I only wish I had discovered it before I purchased my Powder Blue Tang. I've had the PBT for 11 days now.  He has been exhibiting signs of some kind of infection whether it be Ick or something else.  Those signs include scratching on rocks and spending about 60% of his time lying down next to the return tube holes.  He seems to be eating ok at this point.  A few days ago I noticed 2 obvious white-spots just behind the eye.  The larger of the two was approx. 2-3mm in diameter.  I went to pick up some medication and ended up getting 2 cleaner shrimp.  The PBT immediately went to the shrimp to get cleaned.  The next morning both spots were gone.  I thought that I was making progress but he never really stopped exhibiting the other signs mentioned above.  I've been monitoring the water quality very closely and I've done 2 partial water changes.  This morning I noticed several new, smaller white spots and the body texture is not as smooth.  It sort of resembles a cottage cheese look but not so drastic.  I believe that what I'm experiencing is Ick at this point.  I'm ready to take the next step which is to quarantine the PBT. <It sounds that way. Do keep in mind that one of the reasons that these fish typically don't fare so well has to do more with the trauma of capture... it's always a safe bet that fish coming in from the wild will have parasites. It's why quarantine is so important.> I've read some of your articles on this subject and I'm just wanting to know if what I'm about to do is the right approach. <OK.> I'm planning to acquire one of those small complete mini-reef tanks (hopefully 10g if I can find it). <Will this fish fit in this tank? I'd shoot for a 20-long if you could.>  I'll add the water directly from the main tank and perhaps a piece of pvc for cover. <I'd say the place to hide should be a definite.> Assuming I can catch the PBT, I'll move him over and begin treating with copper.  How long do I need to have the QT setup before moving the PBT over? <Not very long - not even an hour or more - long enough for the heater to stabilize. You can depend on having to do frequent, large water changes in the quarantine tank, and likewise the copper will make establishing a biological filter difficult at best... water changes will be your best ally at avoiding high levels of ammonia.> Thanks for your help! Dave <Cheers, J -- >

- Quarantine Setup - Thanks for that quick response! <My pleasure.> I ended up getting the 20-long and I've  got the PBT in there now.  I'm treating with Cupramine and I've removed the carbon filter pad from the filter (Penguin Bio-Wheel 125) and placed a 4" pvc y-connector in the tank.  He's yet to use it for hiding though. He seems to be eating today as well. <Sounds good.> Can you give me any idea what kind of water changes I should be doing?  (i.e. # of gallons, frequency)  I know that you said to plan on doing frequent, large water changes but I'm not sure of the definition of large in this case. <About 25% every day or 50% every other day... do test for ammonia in case you need to change the frequency and/or percentage.> Thanks again! Dave <Cheers, J -- >

- Treating Fish with Quarantine - Dear Crew: <Hello, JasonC again...> From your reply, this is what I will do: 3 quarantine tanks Each 3 feet long, (maybe one small one for the little fishes..)  2 with sponge filter (2 of each) and heater, 1 with AquaClear 500, heater, and powerhead. All tanks will be covered by backdrop (black, blue..) to reduce stress All copper treatment for 14 days with 1.021 and 80F, perform water change using main display water pre-treat with appropriate Cu, vacuum all uneaten food. Will feed garlic soaked food and algae. They will all share one light source from a 4 feet fixture on 8 hrs a day. (using just normal household fluorescent tubes) After 14 days, CU cut off with new Carbon and water change gradual (30%) using new mixed water. Keep all fish in these tanks for 45 days. During fallow period, vacuum all sand/ gravel from main display and wash. <I wouldn't bother washing it - just a vacuum will suffice.> Lower tank salinity to 1.021 and temp 82 F for entire fallow period. Question: 1. Is it appropriate to use main display water to perform water change during copper treatment?? <Not after the treatment starts.> Will the ick be introduce to the qt when copper is use? <It could, but additionally, if you are pulling water out of the main display for this, you will need to replace it with clean water - better to just put the clean water directly into the quarantine tanks.> 2. The sponge filter is new, if I want to seed the bacteria in there to reduce the NH3 spike, how long do I have to put into the main display?? <Once you put any copper into the quarantine tank, your biological filtration will stop - this means having a precycled sponge is not worth your time. You will have to avoid the ammonia spikes by performing large, frequent water changes.> 3. Other than buffer powder, what is a better way to increase pH of a system? You wrote earlier saying the buffer powder is better maintain/increase Alk, but if my alk is correct, say 3.0-3.5, and my pH is low, say 8.1-8.2 what should I do?? <Add some baking soda.> I have already added a powerhead to increase circulation, but that did not help a awful lot.. pls advise. <Again, fresh saltwater should have the correct pH - 8.2 is fine.> 4. what do u mean a copper test kit? Because I know some brand cannot detect some kind of copper... I need some recommendations.. thanks! <I can't recommend a specific brand, it will depend on the type of copper you use. Ask the people at your store where you purchase your copper to match you with a test kit.> 5. is the sal and temp level adequate and invertebrate safe?? Sal 1.021 temp 82F <Yes.> pls Advise thanks! Eric <Cheers, J -- >

- Quarantine Theory - Thanks Jason. <My pleasure.> What would I do without you guys.  I think I'm clear now.  I think I was misinterpreting some of what I read, as it doesn't seem that "cycling fish" so to speak, are really necessary or recommended.  Of course if I knew that, I probably never would have sent this e-mail.  The first part anyway. <I always recommend reading through not only the articles but the FAQs that go along with them. Many of the little tid-bits can be found there.> It's an exciting day!  Tonight I'm going to drain my tap/test water in my tank (it's seems all the equipment works well with no leaks), and then the real fun begins! <Oh excellent - you wouldn't believe the number of people who don't perform leak tests. Good one on you.> Take care, and thank again Eric N. <Cheers, J -- >

QT help Okay, to add a couple facts, and an update. My salinity is  1.021 and temp is looking to be about 77 degrees.  Money is unfortunately an issue, so I need to be economical with the fish stuff.  How big of a QT would I need, (or how small could I get away with for the 5 fish we have?  They are a juvenile emperor angel, yellow tang, cleaner wrasse, blue damsel with orange tail, and clarkii clown.)  All are around the same length, maybe 2-2 1/2 inches at biggest? Hard to measure a swimming fish.  And the good news is they are all eating like crazy and are very friendly coming up to the tank and they seem to behave normally.   But...the tang and angel do linger in the bubbles, and the emperor does seem to be getting something white on him.  really hard to tell, but looks like maybe something is there.  Tang looks fine now, but as I mentioned, he's been dealing with black spot. <A QT need not be expensive, a rather large-ish Rubbermaid container from Wal-Mart will do the trick. I would think 20-30 gallons would be fine, with pvc pipe fittings, plastic plants, other inert hiding places. No rock or mineral containing items that tend to interfere with copper treatment. Go to WetWebMedia.com and read articles (not FAQs) on black spot and ick and velvet treatments. (Use the google search).  Treat accordingly as directed.>   I have not gotten any other water tests yet. Kids have been very sick and been dealing with our wonderful Eheim filter that sprung a leak.  : (But it is fixed for now).   <Do be careful with O-ring placement and valve set-up...other than operator error, these are great filters.> I have read a ton of stuff on the site, but in my sleep deprived mind...I need it really spelled out to me.  If you don't mind. <WetWebMedia.com will be much more complete and comprehensive. Just search as above and read specific articles. (black spot and ick/velvet).> As a reminder to our setup: 55 gallon tank, running for 4 months Eheim filter bubbler crushed coral rocks and coral for decoration/hiding Thank you guys so much.  By the way, OUCH about the LFS comments.  : (  He is a personal friend.  I am trusting he just maybe doesn't know all this stuff yet?  And if he knew better he would do better, you know?  Becky <Not meant as a personal dig, I would hope you would get the best advice at your LFS.... Perhaps kindly suggest one of the better books on holistic, systematic care of marine inhabitants?  LFS owners tend to think in commercial terms, more concentrated on "holding", less on systematic whole care. He should know better than to hoist that kick-ick crap on you though....better get after him for that! Tell him you have some of that "enhancer" from the internet for various body parts you want to sell him and see how he reacts to that!  Same stuff.  Just follow the treatment/QT direction at WWM and you'll be fine! You'll need copper and a good test kit for copper, ammonia, nitrite, for your QT.  Best of luck, write again if you need more help!  Craig>

- More Tank Troubles, Quarantine Issues - <Hi, Chris, JasonC again...> Ya know I've read your article over a couple of times and still have questions... <Did you also read the Frequently Asked Questions that are attached to these articles. The speed at which you came back with these questions has me concerned that you are reading the text but not trying to apply any of it to your own circumstances. Please make sure you also read the FAQs attached to each article as the questions you ask have been asked and answered many times before. There are other people's experiences that you stand to benefit from. Sadly these are very, very common issues.> Your article states Dipping baths, continuous exposure to 0.10 - 0.15 ppm copper & antibiotic feeding <That is correct.> Ok here is my plan of attack I am going to transfer some of my primary tank water to my newly setup quarantine tank.. I can't use new water as it will be just like a new tank, I can't use a sponge filter as the medication will kill everything on it so it's like I am going to have a brand new tank and dumping a bunch of animals in it....doing water 25 % water changes daily?? <That is correct.> No skimmer and pretty well a non existent biological filter bed.. <That is also correct.> In my world the only Methyl Blue that they have is Methyl Blue made by Aquatronics which you stated just aerates the water... Should I use this stuff?? <Actually, I said it oxygenates the water - a big difference from simply aerating it. You can use it if you want, it won't hurt the fish, and can help eliminate stress.> It doesn't sound like I should... <Again, Methylene blue is not by itself a parasite killer so don't use it in hopes of eliminating your problems. Personally, I do use this stuff for freshwater dips.> So to summarize this treatment I am going to go out, buy some baking soda and use it in a bucket of freshwater to get the PH equivalent to what is in my tank.... <Heat the water as well to the same temperature as the tank.> Put my fish in this bucket for approx 5 minutes then catch and place in my hospital tank. If I am correct here, how often should I do these dips? <If things go your way, perhaps only twice - once on the way into quarantine, and once on the way out before placement back into the main system. If things don't go your way, you may have to dip every other day. Time will tell.> Copper medication...should I use this Quick Cure stuff and if so how much...should I follow buddy's 2-4 drops per gallon? <I would follow the dose recommendation on the bottle, and unless this problem is definitely Amyloodinium, I wouldn't use the formalin... it's deadly stuff. Try if you can to find some chelated copper - Copper Safe or similar.> The reason that he said to keep the lights off was that it would disrupt the protozoans normal living <There isn't a fish parasite on the planet that is affected by sunlight... and additionally, these parasites are not protozoan. Turning off the lights will only convince your fish that it's time for rest and perhaps reduce some stress.> I have a divider in my tank...I could keep my eel on one side and my trigger on the other... Would probably also keep my wrasse and damsels with the trigger (thank god they are small) Will I win if I do this <Win... I'm not sure we're playing a game here with winners and losers. This is life, my friend and sometimes things don't go the way we like. Much better to plan in advance to insure success. Instead of the word 'win' let's try the word succeed. I think if you follow the treatments outlined on the web site, you will have about as good a chance of succeeding as anyone, but it really is all up to you at this point. Keep in mind as well, you are acting now to repair mistakes you made when you placed the fish... success is not guaranteed at this late stage. I do wish you luck. Cheers, J -- >

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

Quarantine theory Hi all! <Howdy Eric> I hope everyone is doing well.  I've read through most of the FAQ about quarantine tanks, but I still must be missing a "piece of the puzzle" when it comes to cycling a new tank, and quarantining  new arrivals. If I understand correctly, a new display tank, with nothing but water, cured live rock, substrate, and maybe a cleanup crew, needs to have a "cycling fish" or two, to help with the cycling process. <Mmm, no. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm and the associated FAQs files.> But then I'm not supposed to put ANY creature in to the tank, without quarantining them first.  Isn't this kind of a catch-22 situation.  How will I fill 1/2 the quarantine tank with cycled water from my new display tank, if I can't cycle the display tank by adding a hardy fish?  Or is it o.k. to put the first hardy, cycle fish into the main display tank (for cycling purposes), and then just make sure to quarantine any new arrivals?  And do cleanup crews (snails, crabs, etc.) need quarantining?  I'm guessing not, as I've never read anywhere that anyone has done it. <See the above... best to cycle the display system w/o fish/es> Also, is it possible to have live rock and sand that has parasites and etc on/in them? <Not practically by itself> The reason I ask, is I see little fishes and whatnot swimming around in the tank that my LFS has his live rock housed in?  Isn't that risking contamination from parasites and etc. (that will eventfully get to my fish), and if it is, how in the world would I know if his live rock (and mine eventually) has any parasites and other things living on it that will make my fish sick? <Bingo! More the reason for quarantining all livestock> Thank you all once again for all your help. Sincerely, Eric N. <Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner>

Re: quarantine theory Thanks for the quick reply Bob!  Sorry to not have read that web site.  I guess it's a tribute to how large and good this site is.  In my countless hours of perusing, I just never came across it before. <Yes, a joy to have such a tool as the Internet> For the second question, I guess I should have stated it a bit less wordy (bad habit of mine).  The boiled down questions are: -  "Should I be concerned that there are fish in my LFS's live rock tank?" <Mmm, not overly so... as they almost all do... and there is not much you can/should do about it/this, other than quarantine or at least dip/bath new livestock.> - And since he has allowed me to pick some choice rock right after it comes in (to him), "should I be concerned if he volunteers to take my chosen pieces and set them aside in another tank that has a couple of fish in it?" <Not realistic approach. Do be reconciled to the protocol... stores cannot hope to keep specimen containers, nets, fishes... from cross-contaminating other areas/systems WITHOUT dedicated areas to do this... There are a few stores that do have such excellent (quarantine) procedures/systems... but they are few> He doesn't seem to think they are too uncured to hurt his fish in that tank.  I smelled the rock and it's not too bad. <It's not the rock... but the possibility of parasitic disease transmission I thought you were concerned about> -God only knows where that fish has been ;-)  "Will the fish in his other tank possible infect my live rock that he sets aside?" <Oh, yes, possibly. Again, I thought this was your principal concern. Bob Fenner.> Thanks again! Eric N.

- Questions about New Tanks and Quarantine - Hi all! <Hello, JasonC here...> I hope everyone is doing well. <Well, at the very least I am, thanks for asking.> I've read through most of the FAQ about quarantine tanks, but I still must be missing a "piece of the puzzle" when it comes to cycling a new tank, and quarantining new arrivals. <OK.> If I understand correctly, a new display tank, with nothing but water, cured live rock, substrate, and maybe a cleanup crew, needs to have a "cycling fish" or two, to help with the cycling process. <Not entirely true. If the live rock has re-cured in the tank, quite likely it is cycled... live rock often contains the various bacteria necessary to work on the nitrogen cycle.> But then I'm not supposed to put ANY creature in to the tank, without quarantining them first. <This part is true.> Isn't this kind of a catch-22 situation. <Not as I see it.> How will I fill 1/2 the quarantine tank with cycled water from my new display tank, if I can't cycle the display tank by adding a hardy fish? <Again, chances are good that the main tank IS cycled... and likewise, because you can't predict what will happen in quarantine, the odds are that you will never get a chance to "cycle" it. More often than not, and especially if you end up treating with something harsh, you will need to do daily water changes to stay ahead of nitrogenous wastes in a quarantine tank.> Or is it o.k. to put the first hardy, cycle fish into the main display tank (for cycling purposes), and then just make sure to quarantine any new arrivals? <I wouldn't risk it - what if that first fish you introduce has a parasitic problem - so that anything you then quarantine and then add to the tank will be subject to the cycle of parasites introduced by the lead-off fish.>  And do cleanup crews (snails, crabs, etc.) need quarantining? <Only for the truly detail-oriented, paranoid types - in some ways it makes sense - parasites of all types can ride in via system water.> I'm guessing not, as I've never read anywhere that anyone has done it. <Some do... I'm not sure I would.> Also, is it possible to have live rock and sand that has parasites and etc on/in them? <Some people think so, I've not had this problem myself, but then again, most of my own rock I've re-cured all by itself which tends to starve out the parasites that would cause problems for the fish.> The reason I ask, is I see little fishes and whatnot swimming around in the tank that my LFS has his live rock housed in? <Anything that you can see clearly with your eye [with only a few exceptions] is not a parasite that you need to worry yourself with. The actual fish parasites can't be seen with the naked eye.> Isn't that risking contamination from parasites and etc. (that will eventfully get to my fish), and if it is, how in the world would I know if his live rock (and mine eventually) has any parasites and other things living on it that will make my fish sick? <I think you've seen something else like copepods and/or amphipods, and I wouldn't be worried about it. Thank you all once again for all your help. Sincerely, Eric N. <Cheers, J -- >

New fish in quarantine Dear Don and Crew: As you said, I will keep them in the QT. you said to get rid of Ammonia, but my qt has no ammonia, what should I get rid of?? NO3?? <<Eric, my sincere apologies, I misread NO for NH. Now if you could recommend a good foot from mouth removal tool<G> This is exactly why I am not a chemist!!> Or I read your faq on qt, the backdrop paper is important right <Yes, recommended. Even to the point of covering all sides of the QT tank. The whole point is to keep the fish quite and calm to recover from the stress of capture and transport. Then over time removing the covers and exposing the new guys to room light. Except for better observation, you don't really need any additional light>>?? And on qt how much lighting required?? <as above> Can I try garlic oil in qt <You can, but I prefer to keep it simple. See here for comments http://www.wetwebmedia.com/garlicfaqs.htm >?? Also, is it normal to add buffer powder as a maintenance procedure for my display?? I change 20-30 gallons of water monthly (8 gallons or less per week) and pH is low. <How are you preparing your change water? One technique: Draw the water from your source, aerate 24 hours, add buffer to get pH up and aerate another 24hrs, then add salt and aerate for 24 hrs. Lastly, supplement any calcium if you need and fine tune SG>>. Should I try adding a powerhead and see how it goes as far as possible co2 buildup?? (I think it is a cause.... need advise on that) <Simple to determine. Take a glass of tank water and aerate it for several  hours/overnight. Take reading before and after and you will have your answer. Might also recommend changes of 10% once a week or better yet 5% twice a week if you can> my display have the following parameter/ Alk=2.8 <can be aided with buffer or sodium bicarbonate will help stabilize pH too, or make good stable change water and wait for it to come up/stabilize with time> NO3=7 ppm Ph day (8.16) night (7.94) Ca = 400+ PO4 =not detected Lighting = 12 hrs Capacity 125 gallon With overflow and sump, carbon, PO4 remover, UV 25 W, No3 absorber, good algae growth (red coralline, green) have NO powerheads for horizontal water movement <knowing total water flow would help in the future> Pls answer ASAP need help!! <actually, outside the Alk/pH it looks like you are doing well!>> And thank very very much!! <You are very, very welcome <G> Don> Your loyal fan Eric

New fish in quarantine I have some questions that need answers immediately,  pls help!! I bought 3 fish, 1 little scooter blenny, 1 coral beauty and a 5.5 inch raccoon BF's and as you recommend, they are in my QT (treated with copper b4 but removed by carbon filter)   They are in the qt 33gal full setup for 4 days now <<Full setup? I hope this means a bare bottom tank with pieces of PVC big enough to give the fishies some cover>>, all the fishes show no sign of disease, and all are fine, <<This is good>> but the raccoon are not eating (when I bought it from the LFS, it was eating brine shrimp), so I am a little bit concern, I tried squid, clam, brine shrimp, he kind of nibble at it, but spit out the food after he gobble it. otherwise he is healthy. I have a question. My qt tank parameter is not very good, NO3=25-50. And not a very good protein skimmer, should I F water dip the blenny and raccoon and put them into my display?? My display is a 125 gallon with live rock and a few soft coral. (established, assume to be out of ich (thank god) I read your faq about the raccoon and they are pretty parasite resistant, so is it better for me to just dip and put them into the display now?? Also, the blenny is eating, should I put it into my display too??   Lastly, the angel, leave him into the qt or put into the display?? They show no sign of parasite or any fray fin and appear healthy, they have been in the LFS for 1.5 weeks and eating, their tankmate in LFS are all disease free. <<I would leave all where they are. The Raccoon is most likely stressed from the new environment and the ammonia. See here and beyond for ideas http://www.wetwebmedia.com/raccoon.htm. You must find and eliminate the source of ammonia. See here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm for addition info on QT. Be patient and methodical, keep offering a wide variety of foods. Daily water changes with fresh, aged water and siphoning from the bottom after feeding to remove left over food/waste>>   Really lastly, I have seen a garlic addictive from SeaChem , for soaking food items that make the food more appeal to fish, and as a supplement for treating parasites,, any good ???<<See here for comments http://www.wetwebmedia.com/garlicfaqs.htm Continue to observer (in QT) and let us know how they progress, Don>>

Water Changes In Hospital Tank Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. with you this morning> I have a 20 gal Long QT. I change 3 gal every other day with main >tank water. My question is that I am letting my tank run fallow for a month due to a small ick breakout, can I use the main tank water to change the QT if I don't siphon gravel, rock etc. ? <Good question...In this case, I would not use main tank water. I'd mix some "fresh" saltwater...It's a better, more conservative approach, given these circumstances that you are in> Also how many cleaner shrimp do you recommend for an 80 gal FOWLR tank with a couple of tangs, clowns etc? Thanks for your help !! D. Mack <Well, I don't think that there is any hard and fast rule, here. It all depends on the species of shrimp that you're considering, IMO. Also, a lot of times, we are disappointed when the "cleaner" shrimp don't engage in cleaning behaviour! I guess, in a tank of your size, and population of fishes, I'd try maybe 3 or 4 shrimp. See if that does the trick! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Quarantine Questions I set up a ten gallon with an eclipse hood as a quarantine tank.  It finally cycled after a couple of weeks of stressing my fish.  Now that they are out and the tank is without fish, what do I do to maintain it?  Seems a waste to break it down now that it's biologically active and then have to start all over again.  I see you recommend quarantine tanks a lot.  What do others do? Thanks, Mark <Glad you asked, Mark! The easiest thing to do is to place the "BioWheel" and filter pad in the sump of your main aquarium, where it will maintain an active bacterial population. Then, when you are ready to use the quarantine tank, simply yank out the BioWheel and the filter pad, fill the Eclipse with water from the main tank- and you're ready to go! It's that easy- remember, a quarantine tank is not a permanent feature, so you only set it up when you need it. I'm so obsessed with quarantine that I wrote an article that you may want to check out. Try this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm   Hope it helps answer some more of your questions. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

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

Re: q tank hey bob, Jodie here again.< Phil fill'n in...> well I have set up the q tank with water from good tank and did a 25% water change also (I do water changes every two weeks, which is good I think).< Very good, I do bi-monthly water changes too> the gravity in the q tank I set at 1.018---is this alright or should I keep it at normal. I did read that the lower the gravity, the parasites have a harder time to live.<Yes, IMO whenever a fish needs to be in a q tank you should lower the SG a small amount.>    I do have a question about fish now though.  since I will be buying new fish I have been interested in a golden butterfly; but have heard they like to eat corals. I was wondering if I were to get a juvenile and fed it formula one frozen food and algae food, if the fish would be more likely to eat what we feed it from a baby, or will nature take it's course and the fish go ahead and eat my corals??<Well, you never know.  I had a clownfish once that though he was Rambo.  Nothing I put in the tank would last more than a week w/ him.  Your butterfly may take to the frozen food.  Or he may make short work of your corals.  See what I mean?>    thanks for everything  :-) P.S.  what are the names of your books, and may they be ordered from a book store <Bob's books are: The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, A Fishwatcher's Guide to Saltwater Fish of the World, and his newest book: Vol. 1 Reef Invertebrates.  It's part of the new series by Bob and Anthony.  You can get them at almost any Borders Book Store or local fish store.  Well not his new book yet as it comes out in March!  Hope this helps!  Phil>

Quarantine Questions Hey Bob, Jodie here again. hope you don't mind small caps) <Scott F. here tonight!> Thanks a bunch for the link, it helped and answered some questions. I plan on setting it up tomorrow. The site mentioned to use water from tank, do I fill the QTank fully with it or just about 20% because I  can get already made saltwater at the pet store I work at (I know what your thinking- but that's another story-believe me). <Frankly, I like using water from the main system, especially because that is where your fish will ultimately end up!> The site also mentioned to medicate, do I really need copper because that just sounds bad; or may I use hex-a-mit, that is what I have been using. <Sorry- I missed the first correspondence. If you are simply using the quarantine for a new fish (without disease symptoms), then I'd avoid any medications in the quarantine tank. Usually, a good freshwater dip prior to quarantine will reduce the potential parasite count on the fish substantially. If, however, you are treating a fish that is infected with Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium, copper sulphate is one of the best ways to go with most fishes, IMO. Hope this information helps! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Antiparasitic Food Would you use the antiparasitic food just as a precaution if the fish in quarantine were new and showing no signs of disease? <No, I wouldn't treat with medications unless needed specifically for a diagnosed problem.  Craig>

Redoing Tank <Greetings, JasonC here...> Thanks for your invaluable advice.  I have recently been redoing my 55 gal, FOLRLS.  I added an additional 45 Lb. of live rock that I recurred and an Aqua C protein skimmer.  Since I took all of my large fish back to the fish store I only have a Percula Clown, and a Coral Beauty in the tank.  My question is can I use a Rio 600 power head with a sponge filter attached that has been in my main tank to cycle a 20 gal. quarantine tank? <You mean as a biological filter? I think so... if that tank is truly cycled, then the sponge should 'seed' the new tank, and be up to the job for the clown and angel.> If so, how long should I have the quarantine set up before adding any critters to it? <Ahh... you don't need to cycle a quarantine tank, just change half the water every other day. But using the sponge filter, likely you would have some semblance of a biological filter. The problem comes if you have to treat with something that would nuke the biological filter, hence the need to be ready for constant water changing.> I was also wondering if you have any suggestions for adding as much interest as possible to the 55. <How about Playboy centerfolds as a backdrop on the tank?> I was thinking of a brittle star for the sand, and some kind of goby, also shrimp, blennies and other small fish. <Oh, right... do go through the pages of the Wet Web Media web site as there are many, many possibilities.> I only have the regular fluorescent light setup.  One is a daylight 10,000 K and the other actinic. <Should be fine for everything you listed.> Trying to add as much interest and diversity as possible. <Start your research.> Also, in what order would you add to this tank. <None in particular... one every month or so.> Thanks for your time. <Cheers, J -- >  

- Quarantine Questions - thanks for your help. <You are welcome.> I actually took the damsels out prior to adding the clown and coral beauty. no other inhabitants bother the clown at all, unless they do at night. <I doubt it... it's just getting used to the new system.> I did not quarantine these two because they were the first fish added to my main tank. I guess I took bad advice huh? <First, second, last... any/all additions to a system should be quarantined.> so should I remove the clown or wait and see what arises? <It's in there now... give it some time to stop stressing.> also I was thinking about adding a neon goby to help control parasites. <You will need to quarantine this fish too.> should I do this now before the clown comes down w/ ich, or should I quarantine the goby with my coral beauty for a while, instead of placing it directly into the main tank? <You should quarantine them each separately.> thanks again. mike, Toledo <Cheers, J -- >

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

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