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FAQs on Quarantine 7

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

Related FAQs: Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2Quarantine 3Quarantine 4, Quarantine 5, Quarantine 6Quarantine 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


Quarantine Tanks Hi Mr. Fenner.... Thanks for getting back to me so quickly re. the glass panels for the public aquarium in Mauritius. I need your advice on the quarantine tanks that we will be setting up. Basically I intend to set up approx. 20-30 quarantine tanks . The tanks will be of various sizes, the smallest being 36x 15 x18. The tanks will be bare bottomed i.e.. no sand and no live rocks , just an internal powerfilter of approx 1200L per hour (OTTO) . The fish will be freshwater dipped prior to introducing to the QTs.  The tank bottom will be siphoned every day for the full 3 week period of quarantine and partial water changes performed twice weekly. My questions are as follows:- 1)  Is the set up as described above sufficient? <Yes> 2)  Is protein skimming required? <No, and not recommended. If you find yourself wanting to add treatment chemicals, the skimmers may complicate matters. Rely on the daily water changes with the vacuuming, some sponge filtration to provide dilution, conversion of wastes> 3)  What is the maximum no. of fish that can be kept together in quarantine assuming compatibility. <Variable... by species, size, even individual... you will need to study each family likely for the general safety here. Best in most cases to keep just one individual, perhaps conspecifics per system> 4)  Do I need to do a final freshwater dip before introducing to the main tanks or will this be too stressful to the fish. <A judgment call depending on the apparent state of health of the individuals, the perceived need/benefit of such dip/baths. In general all fishes will benefit from pH-adjusted, similar temperature freshwater baths... of 15 or so minutes duration... do add aeration, particularly if augmenting the dips with copper and/or formalin> Finally, if you are aware, could you please let me know what methods of quarantining is adopted by other public aquariums around the globe. <A syncretization of these methods is posted in a few pieces on quarantine posted on our root web. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and the linked (in blue, at top) files. You might check with the AZA re the public-domain documents they can provide on the same issue> I assume that this is a vital requirement. <Yes my friend.> Thanks once again for all your help. Regards. Mick. <Be seeing you... maybe in August. Bob Fenner>

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

The Voyage Home (End-of-Quarantine Procedure) Good morning Scott, <Hello there!> All is well so far with my Royal Gramma ,1 week to go. (in my QT tank) Scott, I got a silly question for you..... When I'm ready to move him to my main tank, how would I do this? The temp are the same in both tanks and I've been doing water changes from my main tank as well to my QT. Could I just fish him out and drop him in my main tank? <Yep! That's the beauty of using the same water and temperature as the display tank...The only discomfort the fish will probably experience is from being netted, then placed in a new social situation (which is why I like to add the new arrivals at night, after the lights are out in the display, and after the other fishes have been fed). Just give the Gramma one last heavy feeding (to satisfy him in case he doesn't feel like eating for a while in the new home), and put him in the tank! Well done! THANX so much for your time. Hope you have a good morning! <Any time! Enjoy your awesome Gramma! Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>

4+ inch Pervagor melanocephalus (Redtail filefish) >Hi Crew!   >>Good morning, Connie, Marina here. It's Connie again with a new question.  I have a new red-tailed filefish in my quarantine tank, which is only 10 gallons.  He looks so uncomfortable in there due to his size (he'll be the largest fish in my main tank), I wonder if it will be too stressful for him for the full four weeks.  The dealer only had him for a week, and he is not tank-bred.  Could I safely cut the time down to three weeks?   >>Are you willing to medicate him prophylactically?  If so, then I would wager you *might* be able to.  I would first try joining some larger elbows of PVC (if you just cannot get him into a 20gal minimum container--heck, even a plastic trash bag lined trashcan could work...lotsa vertical space, that's for sure!) to make him feel a bit more secure. >I have a 30 gallon and a 60 gallon, but each has three fish.  If I really had to, could take 3 fish from 30 gallon and put in 60 gallon, but that would mean taking down two tanks to get them out of one, and then out of the larger tank later on.  I am doing daily water changes and have a skimmer, etc., but he seems really uncomfortable there.  If it weren't for you and your great support over the past year and a half I would still be back in the dark ages.  Aloha and Mahalo. >>The question would also be "Are you risking losing the other fish for this one"?  If so, this isn't such prudent action.  Remember, q/t-hospital does not have to be a fish tank, it can be any suitably-sized, watertight, chemically inert (and sufficiently strong) container.  You would be surprised the myriad items that fit this description.  Target, Wal-Mart, K-mart should all have something that would fit the bill.  I know this wasn't exactly the answer you were looking for, but I do hope this helps.  Best of luck!  Marina

Sans quarantine Hello, <Good morning Lance, Marina to help today.> I know, I know: gotta have one. I have that really common 55 gallon tank; Eheim ECCO 2233; cheapy skimmer but functioning; no LR. I intend to have a fish only tank. Set up 6 months old and have only a blue damsel and percula clown (I have patiently been going slower than slow). <Far better to err in that direction.> Things are fine, but I am wondering about going without a quarantine. First there's the money, and more importantly it's space. I don't have either. So what steps should I take if quarantine is not possible? <Are you positive?  Q/T does not have to be pretty, just watertight.  With that size tank, you'd need no more than the space of a 20-30gal Rubbermaid (or similar) tub.  It doesn't require light, for the most part, but would require water changes (true no matter what your setup).  You would need little more than either a HOT (hang on tank) powerfilter with mechanical cartridge, carbon if you're not medicating.  That, or even a basic air-driven sponge filter.  Your system is already up and running, and there is SUCH a good chance that you'd end up requiring a hospital system (yes, even with fish only) in the short run, prevention is so much better.  That, along with a (an adjusted and matched) freshwater dip will do wonders for the most basic of disease prevention.  I know it's not what you want to hear, but it's my honest opinion.>   Feel free to not answer lest others read about getting around QT tanks. :-)   <That would be assuming I told you you *could* get around q/t systems.  But experience heavily bears out the truth--if it isn't q/t, it's hospital.> Also (assuming the above answer is not that I must quit the hobby straight away), what would you suggest for total number of fish in this set up, as well as species? I am completely open to ideas, I want to have a peaceful, healthy environment within my means. (Although the damsel hates me if I come close it seems to be OK with the clown.) <I would suggest something like a pseudochromid, neon gobies (a small group) would add easy-to-get-along-with little flashes of color without great bioload.  Six-line wrasses (and other small wrasses), only one to the tank), Hawkfish, fairy Basslets (though do be careful about mixing with Pseudochromids).  I would expect the damsel to become pugnacious with any other fish that utilize the water column the way it does.  Cardinalfishes, quiet, easy to care for, though I'm not sure that any but the more resilient could withstand aggression from the two established fish in the system (that damsel, and the clown depending on species, could present a problem).  The only other suggestion (which I would save for last) would be a Centropyge, possibly a C. argi, C. loricula (Pygmy and Flame, respectively).  Now, as to numbers of fish, in my opinion, you could safely add something with the activity level of the angel, three neon gobies, and a Pseudochromis (Dottyback) species. (In my experience the gobies present a very low bioload, they remain small, slim, and are almost always 'rock-sitters').  If you truly have no way of performing q/t, try asking the shop if they could work something out with you.  It's not the most kosher practice in the world, but there are those who do so with some very good merchants.  I do hope this helps, and best of luck.  Marina> Quarantine Q & A Good evening crew, <Scott F. with you tonight!> I'm glad to say that I have my first fish in a qt tank!!!!!. <Awesome! This process is sooo important; I'm really glad that you are utilizing it! Make it a habit and you'll never regret it!> All is well so far (first day), but I'm still happy that I'm doing things the right way for the first time!!! I was reading your killer  web  site and I have not feed yet, still waiting for a day to go by. What is a good temp for my QT, I have it at 80 just like my main system. I read that is should be much higher? <Honestly, I try to maintain the conditions in the QT exactly like those in the display tank...This way, the fishes are acclimated to the same conditions that they will encounter in the display. This will further reduce stress upon transfer to their new home!> Also if my pH is a little low, how much should I add in a 10 gallon QT, would water changes from my main tank take care of that once a week or when needed? <If you can get into the habit of changing water twice a week, you'd be in great shape, and your pH would probably be more stable. Certainly, the water quality would remain much higher. What you would do is take water from changes performed in your display tank twice a week (yep!), and utilize that water in your quarantine tank (you'll perform water changes at the same time in the quarantine tank). Easy and efficient!> Thank you so much for your time. (ps) LOVE THIS SITE KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK CREW!!! <Glad that you enjoy the site! Feel free to write us again any time! Regards, Scott F>

Percs in QT Good afternoon  Don, <Right back at ya, Alex> The size of my QT tank is 10 gallons, and the Percs are about 1 inch in size. At the fish store all of them are in the same tank. You think they will still fight in my QT tank if I buy 2 of them? <It really depends on the individuals. Since they are together in the store, I would think the chances of fighting are less. Provide them with hiding places (PVC pipe) and observe. Likely all will go well> And should I even QT the clowns....they are tank raised fish, aren't they the strongest of all fish not to have any illnesses or stress? <I would never introduce a fish or coral into the main display without QT. Just no reason to take the chance.> Also, should I buy a hood for my tank? <All tanks should have a cover. Could be simple egg crate (the stuff they use in fluorescent lighting to diffuse the light. Open 1/2" white plastic grid usually in 2'x4' pieces. You can find this at home improvement stores) which is actually what I would use. BTW Percs are jumpers so the cover is important> Thank you so much for your time Don!!! <Anytime, Don>

QT...aquarium? Hi I don't know what to do fw dip or quarantine I don't have a heater for my quarantine tank fw dip is too risky everything dies afterwards so I heard the tang is in my 30 with coral hermits and crabs so no copper for it or medication I hate to see him die maybe till go away by its self what do you think? <If it is parasites they will not just go away by themselves...the fish needs treatment IMMEDIATELY, if you can't treat the main aquarium (because of inverts and its not a good idea to treat the main aquarium for many reasons) then you will have to do a freshwater dip...I will enclose a link that will help with the process   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm  Good luck, IanB>

Percs in QT Good afternoon crew, <Howdy, Don here today>   I'm sorry for so many E-mails but I don't TRUST any body with my fish! You guys always point me in the right direction, and I always follow. You guys are AWESOME!!!! <Aww, shucks ;)> Monday afternoon I saw some great looking tank raised perk clowns! And of course I want to buy two of them, Is it safe to intro the two of them in my QT tank or one at a time? <With no info on the size of the fish or QT, I can give you a definite probably! Two things to watch for are 1) overloading the QT, combated by changing water frequent and keeping an eye on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate and 2) battles between the fish. Removal of one is the remedy here. Hope this helps, Don> Thanx

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

Qt Questions Hello, IanB It seems I e-mail you once a day, but I just don't want to make a mistake (sorry). I was reading your killer site and I read... please tell me that this is not true, maybe I didn't understand. If I QT all my fish before intro, and I have all my 5 fish in my main tank and one comes up with ick, do I need to move all the fish to my QT tank and leave the one with ick in my main tank? Or is it the other way around?<you should remove all the sick fish and place it (them) in the Qt aquarium, IanB> THANX again, again and again Qt tank Hello crew,<IanB here> I'm using a Skilter 250 for my QT tank, so my question is, how long should I leave the bio cartridge in my main tank so it can establish beneficial bacteria? <I suppose about 2-4 weeks> My main tank is been running for 6 months.<I would leave it in the main aquarium to establish the beneficial bacteria for about 2-4 weeks just to be on the safe side, (you don't want to have nitrites and ammonia readings in your quarantine tank) good luck on your qt tank, IanB>

Setting Up A "Triage Unit" For Sick Fishes Hi, thanks for your time and expertise. I set up a 36 gallon plastic container to treat a hippo tang infected with ick. Right now I have no bio-filtration established and I need to keep it and the rest of my fish (2 clowns and a Coris wrasse) in there while I medicate them with copper and let the display tank remain fishless for about 8 weeks to kill the parasites. <Way to go!> So what is the best plan? Do I do large frequent water changes to dilute the ammonia? Is there a chemical media, like "Detox" I can use to eliminate the ammonia? Does this product even work? Right now I have just the tang in isolation with a heater a power head and two air stones. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks again. Ang <I'd run a sponge filter or two in the main tank for a few days to a week, then put them into the hospital tank. They will have acquired a population of beneficial bacteria, and will be ready to get to work for you. I'd consider using a commercial "bacteria culture" like "Cycle" to help "kick start" things in a pinch. And, of course, frequent water changes in the treatment tank are important. You also need to monitor the copper level regularly to assure that a proper level of the medication is maintained. This is vital, lest the cure become the poison! Stay the course with the treatment, keep water quality high- and things should work out well! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

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

Effort 2.0 (Restarting a Tank The Right Way!> Hi, <What's up? Scott F. with you today!> I set up a 50G marine tank about 4 months ago and it started more successfully than I imagined. <Great to hear that!> Temp 78 SG 1.023 Ammonia 0 Nitrates 0 Nitrites 0.1 <Do recheck- should be undetectable...> Ph 8.3 5% water change every second week and all levels were very steady I did not however employee the dipping and QT procedures recommended on this site, I merely acclimatized the fish to the main tank. <Yikes!> I introduced a yellow tang a few weeks ago and got with it the dreaded itch. <Uh Oh...> Unfortunately, I discovered this site and its recommendations too late and all 3 of my fish are now dead leaving only the inverts and live rock. <Don't give up...do it right this time, okay?> The plan ahead is that I'm going to set up a QT tank on Saturday: 10 gallon Heater Sponge Filter Hood I then plan on cycling this tank (4 weeks) as I do not want to use the main tank water. <This is one instance where I would agree with you on this procedure> I then will buy a new fish, acclimatize it to QT, FW (methblue) dip and place in QT tank for 4 weeks. <Excellent procedure; one that will pay real dividends down the line> During this period my main tank will have run fallow for a period of 8 weeks, I will then add the new fish after another FW dip and acclimatization. <The second FW dip is optional, IMO...FW dips are really intended to eliminate parasites in fishes...If the fish has been otherwise healthy in the QT for 4 weeks, I don't see the need to FW dip and cause it further stress> All other stock to be added over time will all be dipped and QT'd. <Excellent> I'm pretty sure what I'm planning is cool and recommended on this site but I would be grateful if you could comment on this just to be safe. <I am in complete agreement with your intended procedures, with the exception of the second FW dip> Couple of other questions; Would I be better moving live rock and inverts to QT then drying main tank instead of leaving fallow? I thinking will this might be a more likely way of ensuring eradication of itch. <Well, it certainly is a more certain way of eliminating ich, but I think that the fallow tank technique is very successful, if followed through according to plan> On the walls of my tank are some tiny white dots with kind of tiny thread tentacles, is this the Ich parasite itself or something else? <Not the ich parasite; probably some other kind of harmless animal...lots of possibilities> Cheers and thanks for giving this the once over. John <My pleasure, John- sounds like you're off to a good start this time...Hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Quarantine corals? Hello again, <Hi, Don here today> I recently had a bout of ick due to not having a quarantine tank.  Yes, I know, I'm an idiot.  I now have a small quarantine tank for new arrivals.  Wish I'd done that to begin with, but I digress... <Oh, I think everyone has that thought more than once, learn from this and apply your new knowledge next time> My question is this.  My 30 gallon tank has been sitting fallow for almost a month.  According to your FAQ's, one month of sitting fallow is sufficient to get rid of the ick. <Yes, 3-4 weeks is recommended> Herein lies my problem... 1.  I want to get some small corals for my tank. 2.  I want some fish for my tank too (coral friendly of course). All corals come attached to a small piece of live rock.  Can ich (or other bad diseases) "ride" in on the coral/live rock?  Do I need to quarantine the coral too?    I would think that quarantining the coral for a month would be too rough on it.  Obviously, I need to quarantine all new fish for a month. <Yes, I my opinion, coral should be QT'd as well. I don't find it that difficult to do. See here for more for an article written by our own Scott F! http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm.> Thanks again for your help, Jeff No problem, Jeff. Let us/me know how you come out. Don>

New Quarantine Tank Hello crew, I'm about to Qt my first fish!,<Good, Qt is very beneficial in many ways> How long should I leave my Skilter cartridge in my main tank so it can get some beneficial bacteria? <keep it in until your aquarium "cycles" then you will know it has adequate amount of beneficial bacteria> And also, when my fish needs medication should  I remove the cartridge from my Skilter in my QT tank? <well the thing that I personally do is buy a sponge filter and take it out and put it in the main aquarium (for bacteria growth) and just stick it in the Qt tank when your ready to Qt the fish, when medicating the fish I would take the sponge out...because the chemicals will most likely kill a lot of the bacteria any how, make sure you feed very sparingly and siphon all uneaten food that has settled on the bottom. Do read more about Qt aquariums on WWM http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm, good luck. IanB> THANK YOU SO MUCH! Re: New QT tank Sorry, I got  more ?'s. When I get my first fish should I wait until he gets sick or should I place him in medicated water from the start and wait 2-3 weeks until I intro into my main set up?<Don't add any medication to the water. Make sure the fish is sick before you treat him, and make sure you are 100% sure of what his malady is before you treat him (some medications are very toxic to the fish)> or wait until he gets sick then medicate then wait 2-3 weeks then intro? <Qt him for 3-4 weeks and don't treat him unless he gets sick> What do you think is the best way to go? And also what is the best temp in a QT tank? <mid to upper 70's, normal aquarium temperature> Sorry for the ?'s I forgot to ask you. <the purpose of QT is to keep a close eye on the fish for its first 3-4 weeks in captivity. (when the fish is most susceptible to disease.) Your welcome, IanB   THANK YOU SO MUCH

Re: QT tank Hello again, <Indeed, good morning!> So sorry to bother you,  but I can do every day water changes no problem!!!  I just don't want to lose any  more fish!!! I'll do what ever it takes. So, how many gallons of water should I change out every day for a 10 gallon QT? <On the order of 50%-75% should do the trick for controlling ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.  Marina>

QT tank Hello crew,    I have a used Skilter 250, can I use this for my 10 gallon qt set up? instead of a sponge and pump? <The Skilter should work fine, the light skimming is also a bonus, although it wouldn't hurt to have an additional bio-filter> Should I have the black cartridge in my main tank for a few days for  beneficial bacteria to grow so it can be ready for my new fish? <You've read my mind> Should I have the skimmer working at all times to help with ammonia spikes in the tank? <Sure, I run a skimmer on mine 24/7> And how much water changes should I do? is once a week good like 5 gallons a week like I do in my main tank?? <I suppose that would depend on the bio-load and if the tank is cycled or not. It would be a good idea if you were quarantining something directly after setting the tank up to do large water changes like this weekly, as well as monitoring the water quality daily. You can change much less if the tank is well cycled and the fish is small. I would suggest using replacing the water in your quarantine tank with water from your main instead of newly mixed seawater. Both the quarantine and the main will benefit from this weekly exchange while you have a fish in there. Good luck! -Kevin-> Thanks for your time

QT tank Hello, <Good morning, Alex.> I'm going to set up a 10 gal q/t tank in a week or so!  I know what to buy I read all your killer advice so I'm ready to go! But my question is when I have my q/t tank running, and I see my fish not doing so well and  add copper or what ever I need , doesn't the copper or any other medication I add destroy the beneficial bacteria on the sponge itself?   <In a word, yes.  You must compensate for this by making frequent water changes, which is generally a necessity when using something like copper.  Keeping the lighting somewhat dim and the area quiet helps to reduce the fishes' activity, which can help *somewhat* in preventing ammonia peaks.  Really glad to hear another hobbyist is going to use q/t!!  Best of luck, Marina>

Reintroduction After QT Dear WWM, I have been quarantining my Banded Goby, Tomato Clown, and 1 Green Reef Chromis (The other died during quarantine) for one month. They show no signs of ich. How should I reintroduce them. Should I dip them?  >>Yes, another freshwater dip will be helpful, again, being sure to match pH and temperature.  (And it's great to know that more folks are making good use of q/t procedures!) Marina> To Feed Or Not To Feed (Pt. 2) Update on Powder Blue Tang.  Unfortunately since I am a relative newcomer to Marine fish I don't have a quarantine tank set-up.  I have however monitored the PBT and it seems quite active and has a good appetite still. Color seems a bit faded but I haven't seen any other PBT. <Well, faded color is a sign that something is off- either environmental conditions are not to the fish's liking, or it is under some other kind of stress> Today as a try I started a dip in freshwater with sea cure (copper medication) for 5 minutes. Do you suggest I continue. <Well, I would probably dip in the freshwater,  but I think that copper is better utilized in solution on a continuous basis (per manufacturer's instructions) in a separate treatment tank...> The spots that were there first have developed into a gash like form running up and down the PBT body, about a 1/4 inch now.  They were originally small, about a 1/16 inch.  They appear almost as a wound that appears to be healing. Is this possibly my answer. <Could be...And it could be that, if this "disease" is parasitic in nature, that these skin traumas are the "collateral damage" caused by the parasites (which may have been destroyed!)...Continue observation, and maintain impeccable water quality to assure that the fish has every opportunity to recover in a healthy environment> Nitrite is 0, all of reading the same. Do you have any inclinations to this being a parasite, wound or any thing other, I'm not worried about a concrete answer, I am just looking for some ideas. <Well, I think that this may be the "after effects" of a parasite of some sort, as I indicated previously> Suggestions for quarantine tank, size, protein skimmer, filtration. Thanks again Bill <Well, Bill- a quarantine tank is so simple to set up- a piece of cake, really...Nothing fancy required...All the information you need to know about quarantine of fishes is available on the WWM site. Do a search of the WWM articles and you'll find some good information. I recently wrote an article that's on the site and ran in FAMA about the quarantine process which should answer your questions...Do check it out! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Angel Tear? Oh ye fish guru's, <Well, I reserve that title for others. I'm more of a gurgling currently. Hi Neil, PF here this PM> I have a 3" Lemonpeel angel in my 20 gallon QT that I obtained this past weekend.  Tonight, it has what looks like a "tear" under one eye.  I presume that it's from an injury, possibly from the live rock in the tank. <A QT really shouldn't have LR in it. Some plastic pipe pieces to hide in, sure, but LR isn't a good idea. Medications will kill it off, and you'll pollute the tank.> I also have a black percula clown in the tank, just because "he" won't get along with the 2 tank raised ocellaris clowns already in the show tank. <Not surprising really, best kept as pairs/singly> Since the angel is already in quarantine, should I wait & watch for improvement or worsening, or begin the Epsom salts treatment? <Well, from what I understand, the Epsom salts don't hurt anything, so I'd say go ahead.> Other than slightly high nitrates, water quality is good. Amm.0, nitrites 0, s.g. 1.025, pH 8.2, temp 82. The fish eats fairly well for a newly QT'd fish, and is active, although a bit shy.  I have read through the Popeye faq's, and found opposing opinions on the Epsom salts treatment. Thanks, Neil <Your welcome, hopefully that clarifies things. Have a good evening, PF>

- Red Herring - Having lost my B&W Heniochus to Popeye after a thorough course of Furacyn, I purchased some more fish another Heniochus and put it in the  same hospital tank without sterilizing and restarting it. I lost another to the same cause, Popeye, as well as a Royal Gramma which just dies without Popeye. <My friend, there is a very important clue here - it's very difficult for a fish to be killed by Popeye, it can have fungal causes, but it's really more like a bruise, or trauma to the eye itself, and will usually heal on it's own provided a quiet place to recuperate. I think you may have a more serious parasitic problem here, carried on because you didn't sterilize the quarantine tank between fish.> Two fish remain showing no signs of disease, Percula Clowns. They have been in the isolation for a month but I am afraid to move them into my display tank for fear they might carry something with them. What precautions should I take such as sterilizing the hospital tank and then keep in them in the restarted  isolation tank for another 3-4 weeks? <Take the system down and run a weak bleach solution through the entire system, pumps, filters, everything.> Or have you another suggestion? <In fact, I do... just give the fish a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip and place them in the display - you can do more harm than good by over-quarantining sometimes.> Thank You, Stephen Pace <Cheers, J -- >

Re: my poor judgment, and how it will affect my tank I have done plenty of studying.  :-)and yes, the qt was pretty small (10g).  I need to get a bigger one.  thanks!!! <You're welcome, Roger.  Your diligence in educating yourself really shows!  Best of luck, Marina>

Re: quarantine of.. clams, starfish and corals. Should all of them be quarantined for four weeks?  <I would as they can all bring in some sort of disease or parasite.  Cody> thanks

Setting Up A Quarantine Tank Hello tonight, <Scott here, Captain...!> Just wanted to thank you again for all the information all of you continue to provide me as I get my feet wet in this hobby.  My question for you tonight is in regards to a quarantine tank.  Assuming that my main tank has just about finished cycling, what is the procedure for setting up a quarantine tank.  I have heard that I should not include substrate or live rock or a typical filtration system, is this correct? <That's correct...There should be no substrate, rocks, etc. in the tank. You can use PVC pipe sections for our fishes to hide in...You only want inert, nonreactive items in the tank> If I add new salt water to the QT, then add fish, what keeps the nitrite, ammonia, nitrates etc. in check for the next several weeks, other than continuous water changes?  Should I 'seed' a mechanical filter sponge in my sump for a few days and then add that to the QT tank for biological filtration? <You hit it right on the head! By "seeding" the sponge filter ahead of time, you'll have a fully functioning filter. Yes, it will need to adjust to a changing population, but it will do the trick in a (lightly) populated quarantine tank. The QT is not a permanent feature, so you simply rinse it out and replace it in the sump and get it ready for the next time> What about an airstone?  Regarding the size of the tank, can I use a 10 gallon tank, or might this be to small (considering I will probably add one or two fish at a time, before ultimately transferring them to the main tank). <A ten gallon tank is a nice size for quarantining a few small fishes. If you are working with larger fishes, then I'd utilize a larger tank, like a 20-40 gallon tank. Airstones are fine if you need extra oxygenation...But should be unnecessary if the filter is aerating effectively> Do you recommend dipping fish in some type of parasite control solution before and/or during the quarantine period? <I like a freshwater/Methylene blue dip before placing the fish in the quarantine tank> What other maintenance do I need to do on the tank or fish during the quarantine period? <I am a fiend for 2 smaller (5% of tank volume) water changes per week...works really well in a small tank like the quarantine tank> Finally, should I break down the QT between inhabitants or can it just be left to run in between?  Anything I need to do to keep any biological filtration alive in between? <As mentioned above, the quarantine tank is not a permanent feature. Simply break it down and clean it/store it when not in use. Some fish nerds (like me...yikes) will always have a sponge filter in their display tank sump to be ready to go for those "impulse buys" that we all succumb to now and then at the LFS! (nah- not me...LOL).> Thanks again. <My pleasure. I think that you'll really be happy that you employed the quarantine process...It gives you terrific control over your livestock and the control of diseases...If you want more information, do read some of the articles we have on the site (In fact, I wrote one on quarantine that should answer most of your questions...) on this and other topics...Lots of good information here. Good luck with your system! Regards, Scott F.>

What did I do wrong/stocking questions. Hi crew,<Hi Rob, PF here this AM> I wrote to you guys a little while back concerning my potter angel.  Unfortunately, he didn't make it out of the QT. <Sorry to hear that.>  Ammonia spiked, his fins were starting to become burnt.  I had been doing small water changes every other day.  I did a 50% water change (QT tank is 15 gallons), and he didn't make it through the next day.  He started swimming up by the filter against the current, by the next day he was resting on his side, and eventually died. <Ok Rob, from what I can see, it appears your QT hadn't cycled yet. Like any other tank, the QT has to go through the ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate cycle. Before putting any fish in it, put a small piece of shrimp in there and let it decompose. When the cycle runs it's course, then it's safe to add fish (after there's 0 ammonia/nitrites and minimal nitrates.)> I asked the LFS what was wrong, they said, probably not enough oxygen (I have a little Skilter on the QT), <I will be polite and say I find that advice suspect. With the ammonia in your tank, adding more air would only drive the pH up and harm the fish more>   and they suggested a pump and some airstones. <IMO, a Skilter would work for a QT, but if you did want more O2, you could add a sponge filter driven by a an airstone to the tank. I think that would help. One way to speed up the cycle in your QT would be to use the aforementioned sponge in your main tank for a week or so. After it's been nicely colonized by the bacteria in your display, it should jump start the cycle in your QT.> Anyway, I broke down the QT, cleaned and refilled it, and now am looking at getting some new fish. <Remember, cycle that QT first>.  Since I'm already 0 for 1, I'd like to not make the same mistakes. <Good move, you can join us in making brand new mistakes. : )  > I was looking at a Foxface rabbit, but am confused by the advice on your site.  The main portion discussing rabbits says not to quarantine them <I'm not sure when that was written, but IMO always quarantine new fish>, just a fresh water dip, while the FAQs claim that rabbits are ich magnets, and should be quarantined.  Which one is it? <Go with the FAQs> also, as they'd have to be ordered (none of the LFS have one), does that change the decision about quarantine (since they haven't been in possibly infected waters). <Well, nothing says an online supplier's water is any better than an LFS. A lot depends on the quality of the supplier you are dealing with. Do some research about the company before ordering from them. Have you asked your LFS about special ordering that rabbit fish for you?> I was also considering the following:  longnose hawk, school (6 or 7) of either green or Vanderbilt Chromis, dogface puffer, Dottyback, then maybe getting another pygmy angel.  I have a feeling the Chromis won't survive the puffer <Nope, it'd be a case of "Mmm... chomiliscous..." or Dottybacks <Now that depends on the breed. My orchids leave my Chromis alone, and from what I understand Springer's Dottybacks are also pretty mellow (for Dottybacks that is)>, but I would like a little school, especially to make an angel less secretive. My display tank is 120 gals with about 100 lbs live rock, wet dry <You don't really need the wet/dry. Have you thought about converting it over into a refugium? Just slowly replace the bioballs with LR (say a cup a week). Wet/dry's are notorious for becoming nitrate factories.>, protein skimmer. Thanks in advance for you help, Rob <You're more than welcome, have a nice day, and I hope this helps. PF>

What did I do wrong/stocking questions. Hi again, PF (or whomever is manning the lines today),<Hi again Rob, yep, it's PF here.> In response to your response, <reminds me of some of my letters to Bob. : ) > I have a couple of observations/questions. <S'okay> I originally had 10 lbs of LR in the QT.  Upon asking a question to the crew, I was told to never put LR in a QT.  Why is that? <Well, the LR could be harboring infectious organisms when it's brought in, it could also harbor something that comes in off the fish you are QTing. In addition, if you have to medicate, then you'll kill the LR off, spike ammonia and cause all kinds of havoc. Better safe than sorry.> Anyway, I removed the LR <Good.>, and forgotten I had changed the filter on the Skilter not too long before.  I think that's what caused the system to crash so badly. <Ah, it does sound like the bacterial population didn't have a chance to rebound.> Also, is the PolyFilter on the Skilter enough to sustain the bacterial colonies on a 15 gal, or should I add something else? (I think I know the answer, add a sponge filter).<Wow! You read my mind. Any lottery tips? ; )  > In regards to stocking, if I replace the puffer with a Toby, do Chromis have a fighting chance? <I would think, though you might be careful with any shrimp.>  I'm also concerned about combining a Hawkfish with inverts (which I was thinking of getting to stir the substrate).<As far as I know, Hawkfish's aren't really a threat to hermits or snails. Shrimp, OTOH, are tasty treats.> Finally, in regards to the wet/dry, I was wondering if wet/dries get a bad rap as nitrate factories because of the way they are typically set up.  They tend to go tank -> wet/dry -> skimmer -> tank.  In my mind, skimming before putting the water through a wet/dry would eliminate detritus from building up on the bio-balls. <Sound reasonable to me, but a skimmer really only removes smaller particles, larger particles would be a problem.> It seems the bio-balls are more efficient at harboring bacterial colonies than LR <Not from what I understand (though I could be wrong, could you please point me at the source of your information?), LR has a very high surface area because it's full of nooks and crannies on the inside (makes me hungry for an English muffin just thinking about it), said nooks and crannies also act as an anaerobic processing area for nitrates>, so skimming before hitting the wet dry might be a better mechanism.  <Well, I'd say give it a go, and keep us apprised of your results.> If that is the case, wouldn't it make sense to take the top off the wet/dry, use it to feed a second sump (i.e. a Rubbermaid tub) which contains the skimmer, having the output of the skimmer go to the top of the wet/dry? <In effect, re-skimming a portion of the water, sounds like a plan to me. Watch your levels, and record them, and keep us in the loop. Would you be willing to post your results over on the forum?>  This would increase the water volume of the system (cheaply) <Always a good thing>, and reduce the problem of detritus being built up on the bioballs.<Hopefully> I guess what I'm asking here, is why go through the bother of a refugium (LR isn't cheap <You could also use base rock, or lace rock> , plus, I'm not sure if you need additional lighting/heaters <no you don't, but a backup heater is never a bad idea> ), when you can do it this way instead? <IMO, it's worth a try. Do watch your results closely.> Thanks in advance, Rob <You're welcome, PF>

Fallen Angel? Dear WWM Crew, <Scott F. your Crew member today!> I read the articles and used the Forum, but still need some help.  Bought a Flame Angel that the LFS had for 2 weeks.  The fish looked perfect.  QT tank is 10 gal. with a BioWheel filter and some plastic plants for hiding places. Tank had been freshly set up and pumping water for 2 weeks and BioWheel was sitting in my main tank?s sump getting pre-conditioned. <Awesome! Well done!> Acclimated and placed fish in QT and placed BioWheel in the filter. The fish was eating good the next day and all water tests were OK. Three days later, noticed a little ragged edges on the blue tips of back fins and the next day saw that the fin loss was pretty dramatic...at least to me.  Did a 25% water change and hit this web site for info.  The next day even more fin loss and decided to try a 4-day treatment of FURAN-2.  Followed directions exactly.  Funny, I expected the water to turn blue but it turned green...plastic bucket turned blue.  I suppose I would have tried for a self cure if the fish hadn?t been a Flame Angel, since I wanted one for so long. <I can understand your desire to treat immediately...Just a quick thought-probably not the cause- but consider it: Was there ANY detectable ammonia or nitrite at this time? Adverse water conditions can some times lead to destruction of fins...A long shot- but just a thought...> Anyway, while on FURAN-2 the fish didn?t eat very much, and the fin loss just kept going.  After 4 days of FURAN-2 there was no noticeable change and fin loss continues.  I?m changing water and cleaning the bottom of the tank, of course, (bare bottom) every 2 days, now.  The fish has lost a lot of weight but appetite is slowly returning.  Blue tips of the back fins are almost gone. <Well- the fact that the fish is eating is a good thing! I'd back off on the medication for a bit...Monitor water quality regularly> I can?t logically believe that the water quality went down the tube like that in only 4 days.  It was always crystal clear and all tests were OK.  I didn?t allow any uneaten food to hang around.  There was a little fish poop on the bottom but I always planned to clean and change water every week anyway.  So now I?m on the self-cure track because another round of antibiotics will probably kill it. <Your quarantine technique sounds good...I concur with your thought about backing off on the medication...Chances are, you eliminated the disease with the first round of medication...You may be looking at the "collateral damage" on the fish, and hopefully, with continued good water quality and feeding, he will heal up and regenerate the damaged fin tissue in short order...> I figure I?m responsible but what did I do wrong?  This same QT setup has been successful in the past. <Hard to say from here- but if it was not a lapse in water quality- I'd say that there is little that you did wrong...This fish might have been sick (or "incubating" the illness) before you purchased it, and the symptoms did not manifest until the stress of bagging, transport, and acclimation occurred...I'd keep doing what you're doing, and avoid additional medication if you don't notice any subsequent fin damage...Observe carefully, and stay on top of things...> Thanks for your help. Doug <Hang in there, Doug! I think that you're on the right track! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Regal tang in QT Hello again, looking for a little insight into my newly purchased regal tang.  Been in quarantine for 16 days <Good for you, a process that will benefit the animal and your display tank> Question #1 I am currently housing the 3 and a half inch regal in a 25 gallon quarantine tank. Aquaclear 200 with two floss filters in it that has been running on the main tank's sump for over a month to seed it.  The regal is eating good, though I feed very little.  Ammonia 0.  Nitrite is showing approximately 0.05 to 0.3 ppm for the past week.  I change about 5 gallons of water every day to two days.  Is this level of nitrite going to harm him? <Really would like to see the Nitrite 0. More frequent/larger water changes should help. Keep an eye on the reading and react accordingly> Question #2 How much longer should I keep him in quarantine?   <Minimum 4 better 6 weeks after all signs of problems are gone> I have seen the occasional scratching, and fluttering of his left pectoral fin (like something is irritating him).  These occurrences are fairly rare.   <Still a sign that something is 'bugging' him/her> That didn't stop me from giving him two 9 min ph adjusted fresh water baths, within 5 days.   <Yes, a good reaction to this behavior> His color is a little different then what I see in pictures.  The very bottom of him is whiter then the top 90 percent of his body.  Other then that, his color is very brilliant, though he has one small white spot on his body.   <All individuals will be uniquely colored. Also, this fish is recovering from very stressful collection, shipping, and several different environmental acclimations. Would not worry about minor color changes. The white spot is a concern. I would continue the adjusted fresh water baths. Can you get some Methylene blue? That would help> He is also very shy.  Always hides when I come in the room or he sees movement.  When I feed him he is instantly aware of food in the water.  He then shoots out of his hiding spot to grab some food, and then quickly swims back to his favorite spot.  He repeats this action about 5 or 6 times until all the food is eaten.  When I feed him he seems to get stressed.  His color will turn whiter when he is quickly grabbing food and then within a minute go back to dark blue.   <Again, nothing to be too concerned about consider the rough handling the fish has experienced the last few weeks> He is breathing normally.  I would really like to be feeding him more.  But am afraid of rising nitrite levels.  What is your opinion on when he should go in the main tank? <You can attempt to feed it well, but remember fish are stomachs with fins. If you can get some food into it daily, I think that will be fine. Do you have a light on the QT? Reducing the wattage or shutting it off may help. Darkening the sides of the tank (cardboard/heavy paper) would help with the shyness/skittishness as well. I would not put this fish in the main tank until all spots and scratching are gone and then an additional 4-6 weeks have passed. I cannot tell you how many messages I have read where folks put the fish into the main tank to soon after a parasite infestation only to carry the nasties into the main tank> Thanks for your time. <My pleasure, Don>

Re: Regal tang in QT Some more questions on my regal tang still in quarantine, if you don't mind. He is not scratching himself at all anymore, he is eating vigorously, and is less shy, still a bit skittish.  There is still one small white spot on his side.  I have noticed a spot at the base of his pectoral fin.  5mm in diameter, white in the center, grey on the outside.  It does not look like flukes, I have found nothing on your site that positively identifies it, it appears to have gotten smaller over the past week.  Other then the 4 freshwater dips (9 min.s) that I have given him what else should I do, could it just be a permanent scar?  By the way nitrite is now down to 0.  I have heard of giving a 4 min copper dip in fresh water to help get rid of external parasites.  Is this a good idea, if so, how much copper and how many times should I do it? < Copper is very poisonous to the animal and the trick is to find the amount that will kill the parasite and not the fish! Too much of a gamble for me. From your description the spot (probably a parasite) is getting smaller? I would continue the current course of using FW dip and add Methylene blue or formalin. Stay away from the copper for now> One other unrelated question.  My 90 gallon FOWLR tank has 170 pounds of LR.  I dose with Kalk everyday.  In order to dose the proper amount of Kalk to sustain calcium at 380 meq/l, I have to dose 1 and a half teaspoons.  My alk is at 11 dKH.  This causes my ph to go from 8.16 to 8.40.  Is this too big of a jump?  If so what should I do, dose twice per day?  I really don't want to do that, but will do what is required.  Thanks again for all your hard work answering our questions. <Yes .24 pH jump is extreme. Dosing twice daily or using Kalk in a lesser dose and some other calcium supplement would work. Good luck with your tank, it will be a beauty. Don>

Preventing Ich Hi guys <Scott F. your guy today> After numerous disasters and chastising from you guys I now religiously QT my fish for 3-4 weeks. <Great move! You're assured a much greater chance of success with this process!> Some people on the chats recommend preventative Hyposalinity in the QT for new fish while others do not.  What are the benefits vs. drawbacks of this and do you recommend preventative Ich treatment?  I and a few others would like your educated opinion. Thanks as always. Joe <Well, Joe, the theory behind hyposalinity is that it creates an environment that is not conducive to the lives of parasites. They cannot make the osmotic "stretch" (as Bob refers to it) as easily as fishes can, and therefore, are less likely to propagate and infect fishes (This is the same rationale for prophylactic freshwater dips, by the way). The "drawbacks" to this procedure are mainly that you need to acclimate the fishes very carefully, and changes to the environment must be made slowly. Sometimes, overall water chemistry stability can be difficult to maintain in hyposalinity situations. As far as "preventative" ich treatment is concerned, there are a number of things that you can do: First- the use of quarantine procedure is a great first step. Also, maintaining stability in all environmental parameters is very important. Some people feel that feeding foods soaked in garlic extracts can help repel parasites (the thought being that a substance in garlic, Diallyl thiosulphate, may interfere with the Cryptocaryon parasite to recognize their potential hosts -your fishes, due to a sulphurous chemical "signature"). The jury is still out on that one, however. You're doing it right so far! Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>

Quarantine Tank Setup (04/03/03) I thought I would check the consensus here before I got too far into this. <Hi! Ananda here today, having read the consensus on the WetWeb discussion boards on this one...> I've set the following up for a QT: 10 gal glass bare bottom tank cover c/w fluorescent light fixture bio wheel filter 50 W heater <Sounds good...> My display tank is in day 5 of its first cycle. I added a piece of LR last night to the QT to start it cycling. I got to thinking, that if the two tanks cycle at the same rate (4 or so weeks) then the quarantine period for the first fish won't start until after the display has cycled. <Quite possibly, though if you have good live rock you *might* have a shorter cycle. Keep testing.> If this is true then why don't I shut down the QT and stick a sponge (or the wheel from the bio wheel) into the main tank to get inoculated. <I would set up the BioWheel filter on the main tank and then use water from the main tank to fill the quarantine tank.> Then after the display has cycled, I can put the sponge in the bio wheel and fill the QT with 50% fresh seawater and 50% water change water from the main tank and avoid having to cycle the QT. <Sounds good...though do let the fresh saltwater mix for a full day first.> Is this a workable plan or am I better off cycling the QT as an independent system? Jim Quinn <I vote for keeping the quarantine tank as much like the main system as possible. Go ahead and use the water currently in your QT for your next water change. --Ananda>

Continuing A Course of Treatment Scott, <Hi there!> Just an update on the current situation described below with your comments. <Sure> I raised my Spg on the QTank at 34ppt and added the first dose of Cupramine on Day 1 and also performed a 2min. freshwater dip.  (Not as bad as I thought) Day 2: 7 min. freshwater dip Day3; Second dose of copper to a level of 0.5ppm of Cupramine., 2min. freshwater dip Day 4: 1min. freshwater dip,( he's catching on to me and trying to jump out of the bucket.) Day 5: 1 min. freshwater dip. Copper is still at 0.5ppm and I'm on day 7 and still no change.  Spot still there, no smaller or larger.  No change from the very first day I noticed the spot.  Fish is healthy and eating fine. <Well, we may not be dealing with a parasite here...just a thought. If he's otherwise healthy, I'd consider "repatriating" him into the main tank> I'm at the point of just keeping this guy in the q-tank as a buddy for the next fish I plan to purchase.  I want to purchase a neon goby and have him in the q-tank with the copper for the three weeks and then transfer him over to the main tank while keeping the Firefish in hiatus until he loses the spot, if ever. I was hoping maybe the neon goby will nip off the spot, but who knows? <A definite possibility> So do you think this plan is flawed?  Let me know what you think my next course of action should be? Thanks, Tom <Well, here's my thinking on this: It's important to quarantine all new fishes, and I commend you on that! However, I'd be hesitant to add a new fish into a "hospital" situation, such as the one that exists at this time, particularly if copper is in the water. I'm a big fan of copper sulphate to treat parasitic diseases, but I don't like to use it as a "prophylactic". It can be hard on many fishes, especially little guys like neon gobies. I'd give the Firefish another week in OT, then move him back into the display if he shows no further signs of illness. Then you could purchase the neon goby. Just quarantine the neon goby in the QT without copper, per standard procedures...I think that will work best. You're doing fine! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Quarantine/Hospital Tank Water Quality I'm sure the water changes are making a difference, but only temporarily. The test kits aren't great, but I know they work because the readings are all perfect on the main.  I guess I'm just saying that it seems like the biological filtration can't keep up (though, it shouldn't be a problem with only two fish and a seeded filter). <Unfortunately, it simply takes time for the biological filtration to establish from a "cold start" situation...You could use one of the commercial bacterial preparations to help> The QT is not tied into the main, but I put water from the main into the QT to replace what I remove.  I was merely stating that the replacement water tests perfectly. <Good procedure> There are two fish in there now that have been in there for a month and a half with no signs of disease.  I know I shouldn't put QT water in the main (and I don't), but the other way around should be OK because the main is OK.  I've even heard it suggested on this site that it's a good idea. <Absolutely- it is...You're doing it right> New development, the fish might have the beginnings of ick.  I know... good thing I didn't put them in the main.  But quite frankly, I think it's the water quality in the QT that's causing the problem to show itself. <Could be- but, nonetheless, it's important to embrace this process...It's much easier to treat the illness in the QT tank instead of the main aquarium> Anyway, I can't treat an angel with copper, so are there any other meds I can use?   <Formalin preparations work when you cannot use copper. They are often just as effective> Is it OK to put a cleaner shrimp in the QT with the fish?  Is the shrimp going to be very sensitive to the water problems here?  Will it be sensitive to a lower SG if I wanted to go that route? <I would avoid placing a cleaner shrimp in there, particularly if you may be performing environmental manipulations or administering medications>  Plus, if my chemical levels are causing the problem, then the QT is doing more harm than good!  I guess the only other thing I can do is add a skimmer, but it's really not in the budget right now.  I guess that's what credit is for, huh? <I can understand you concern, but I really think that you are better of for embracing the quarantine process. It's important to remember the "big picture", and realize that new fishes are often carrying parasites and other diseases, regardless of whether they spend time in quarantine or not, so it's always better to quarantine. Small, frequent water changes in the quarantine tank are simply a way of life...It will take some time to get the system stabilized, which is why we always recommend running a sponge filter or other media in your main system's sump, so the filter is always "charged" and ready to go. Hang in there; if you keep on top of things, it should work out fine. Good luck! Scott F>

Re: QT I have a potentially stupid question, but I tried getting some advice on the forums and got only one reply. <Sorry to hear that.  You may have stumped our members, eh?> I have a 10gal QT set up with a mini-bio wheel and a 301-quick filter filled with Ehfi-Substrat for filtration.  Even though I'm changing 20-50% of the water every day or two, I can't seem to get the Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels in check.  The quick-filter was seeded in the main tank, and the thing should have cycled by now... if I only had high nitrates I could handle that, but this is frustrating. <I can see why.  What I don't understand is why doing a water change of 50% isn't making a dent.  What test kit are you using?Especially with ammonia, there are some test kits whose reagents will show a reading when you use certain dechlorinators.> There is one 2" hippo tang and one 2" coral beauty in the QT right now with come PVC caves, and I added a Zeolite pouch to the bio-wheel to try to get some of the ammonia before it is converted... all to no avail. <Not too surprising.  Zeolite can become quickly saturated in salt water.> If after two weeks the fish still seem healthy (they look great now, both eating and swimming normally) can I put them in the main?  <I really wouldn't.  My standard is 30 days minimum.  Try a 75% water change, and if you're not using a kit such as Salifert or SeaChem, then I suggest acquiring one of those good quality kits with which to test.  I'll also suggest putting a small foam fractionator on the q/t, instead of worrying about the cycling process so much.  If you can't afford to go buy a fancy one, do a search on our forums, there is someone who has posted about a good soda bottle skimmer.  It's not pretty, but it works.> I know at least 3 weeks are recommended, but I don't want to put them in further danger by keeping them in QT under these conditions.  Any other ideas?   <Please see above.> Also, when I'm going to transfer them to the main, can I just net them and place them directly in?  The temp of the main is about 1-2 degrees F warmer than the QT and the water I'm replacing in the QT water changes is main tank water.   <Fish can handle a temperature change going up far better than they can going down.  Yes, you can just net them up, though you might wish to do a quick freshwater dip first.  However, if they're showing no signs of disease, I see no problem with just netting and placing in the display.> By the way, I have tested my main tank water and the levels are perfect... it is not contributing to the problem. <I'm not sure I understand.  Are you saying that the q/t system is tied into the main display?  If so, then you've defeated the purpose of a quarantine--this means no mixing of water or anything else of the main display with the quarantine.> Thanks guys and gals, Jeremy <Quite welcome, Jeremy.  Marina>

QT and Mandarinfish 3/25/03 Hello everybody ! <cheers, from America> You helped me many times in the past and I would like to thank you once again for all your valuable help. <always welcome :) > I would  like to ask you the following. I keep a quarantine tank. I add all the new arrivals and keep them there for a couple of weeks just observing them. <FWIW... do keep only one specimen per tank for a full 4 weeks to have an assured safe screening process for pests predators and disease. Mixing fishes or short isolation periods increase risk> Of course I try QT to be same like the normal Tank. I spoke to the LFS and he said that since I'm not adding any medication that it's useless. <that's not correct, my friend. QT is not about drugging animals unnecessarily... and no drugs could "sterilize" a fish at any rate and guarantee disease free. What QT is really for is screening. If a clear problem exists... it can be treated... if it does not and the fish stays in QT for a full month, then you are fairly assured that most pathogens will have died or waned without a viable host. Its not foolproof... but it is very effective> I believe that QT is more to observe if the fish has something. If sick then I treat, if not why should I subject the fish to unnecessary treatment ?????? If sick then I move it  to a smaller (hospital) tank. <exactly correct... I am sorry to hear the LFS dispense such inaccurate advice> I've done a lot of reading. Most of your site, Mr. Fenner's book, Mr. Tullock's, Mr. Calfo's (very good!!), Mr. Sprung's etc..... Unfortunately to follow all rules is almost impossible. (at least for me). <understood... there are many different paths to success> Simplest reason, I live on a remote island as you might remember, and to check on the fish or the coral before purchase is impossible. (most are not imported and must take flight!!!!! to Athens to the LFS). Anyway I'm saying all these because although I knew that my reef would be very limited my LFS suddenly called and said that he has just received a shipment that's even he never got before. From a mandarin fish to hard corals (those are really rare here even a sun coral!!!! ( Do I have to feed every "polyp" and how often ?) <yes... every single polyps is an individual and must be fed several times weekly... if not a small amount daily. Hardy if fed well... dies slowly if not> Now question is that my tank is 4 months old. It's 150 gallons with plenty of circulation, lots of currents, metal halides, UV's calcium reactor I mean the works. I have a deep aragonite sand bed (Guess why I mention that? Mandarin Of  ! (Hope population is enough ? I also cultivate brine shrimp.) <the tank is probably too young still for a mandarin. If you have or will add a fishless refugium to the display to generate enough copepods (most only all they will eat/survive on)... then you will have better success in time> My readings are Temp steady at 26 C, PH 8,35-8,40 but drops to 8,20 during night, and ORP 500 steady ( falls to 430 when water change (5-10% every week) but rises to 480-500 again after hours. Since My tank is new, but these species don't come easily should I attempt to get them ? <my advice would be to avoid it... most starve in a year or less in captivity. Very challenging> Already in tank are some polyps, mushrooms and three Sarcophyton that are doing very well. Polyps have covered the entire rock they came with as well as mushrooms. Sarcophytons two are doing well but the third closed up and hasn't opened yet. I noticed that I have two maroon clowns and the small one has taken up residence at night in the Sarco... that looks likes an mushroom anemone. Probably gets angry and that's why it stays retracted ? <correct... but it causes little harm, I must admit> Also I'm going through a green algae (although I don't feed very much.) Salinity is at 1,023-1,025, and only added some iodine some days ago. Take care Kostas <best regards, Anthony>

Coral Eating Flatworms and need for QT 3/25/03 Dear WWM crew- <cheers, mate> For the last year my Acropora sp. corals have been ravaged by coral eating flatworms (see picture in Julian Sprung's Invertebrates book or The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium).   <yes... quite familiar with it. It is an aquarists penitence for not properly using a QT tank for all new livestock. Its a dreadful lesson to learn the hard way. Please be sure to QT all (algae, plants, fish, live rock, coral... everything) for a simple 4 weeks first. There are several very good articles here on WWM for guidance on the topic from Fellman> I first noticed that areas of my corals were bleaching usually underneath in low flow areas.  Upon closer inspection I noted masses of <1 mm golden brown eggs next to the areas of bleaching.  The worms themselves are cream colored and blend in with the coral quite well.  In their wake they leave a pock-marked appearance to the tissue of the coral and eventual bleaching.  My control methods so far have been to scrub the eggs off (although they can be in rather inaccessible areas) and blast the corals with a powerhead so that the worms come off.  This seems to work better after the coral has been taken out of the water for 2-3 min.  By the way, my Anthias have learned to love eating the flatworms and don't usually miss a single one. <yes... but labor intensive especially for a pest that has direct development (on its prey)> My question is do you know of any other method of control or better eradication?   <nothing surefire... although many have been suggested. Anampses sp. (delicate) perhaps, but only if your tank is large (over 100 gallons), peaceful (fishes), mature (over 1 year old) and preferably with a fishless refugium to support it. These "Tamarin" wrasses have thick rasping lips... advantage over other wrasses> The worms seem to prefer my Acropora valida type corals (aka "tricolor").  They recover after my removal method but within 1 month are back in the same situation.  Halichoeres wrasses seem to ignore the worms (hard to see) and I can't imagine that a Nudibranch would climb on to a coral to get them.  Know anything about "Flatworm Exit"?   <"Coming to a Theater Near You!"> Thanks, John Boe <best of luck, John. Anthony>

Fish in tank order and vacation issues Dear Bob and Crew: To keep this short. I have fallow my main display for 30 days now because of an ick outbreak. All the fishes that made it are in my QT and all free of parasites (at least that is what I can see).   <Unfortunately, because ich can remain in a subclinical state, you can't rely on visual analysis.  Allow a 6 week minimum, eight is better.  You haven't mentioned utilizing one of the two proven methods of curing ich outbreaks in the q/t's--hyposalinity or copper.> In this month, I changed 60-80 gallons of water, my tank is 125 gallons and siphon the top layer of my sand substrate and cleaned with freshwater.   <Not necessary to clean with freshwater if you're leaving it fallow.  Water changes don't hurt as long as you don't go crazy with the gravel-vacuum.> Just to be safe. Within this month, I also added about 100 lbs of live rock. And a devil hand soft coral. <Not sure I understand what you mean, mate.  But no harm in adding l/r.> I added appropriate supplement keep water conditions as best as I can. I am intended to wait for another 2 weeks before I start adding fish back in there. This is the third time I have fallow my tanks so I have to get this time right. I would like to ask you about the order of fishes that I put in. <If this is the third time, then allow another 30 days.  I know it's a pain, but you're clearly having trouble with this parasite.  Also, it's not the order of fish you put in that will determine whether or not you'll have success eradicating the ich.  You can go through the whole thing and with the addition of the last fish you could end up with a new outbreak.  There's really no need.> 1st. 2x2inch Palette tang for 14 days (because tangs are ick magnet, I put them first to see if the ick has gone away). <Please don't.  Just let the tank lie for another month.  This is unnecessary and stressful for the fish.> 2nd.  Clowns (tomato and common), Firefish and Scooter blenny, and a 2 inch squirrel fish. 3rd.  Rusty and Coral Beauty angels (2.5 inch). 4th.  clown tang (4 inch). 5th.  shoal tang  (6+ inch). <Do these fish get along already?  That's my first concern, truth be told.  Even if you have perfect tank parameters, the stress of harassment could sufficiently suppress an animal's immune system to allow ich a toehold.> I am intended to keep other fishes, Powder blue tang, Harlequin Tusk, Queen angel,  and a clown trigger. <I'll tell you right now that it appears that you're putting together a volatile mix.  Your tank is well stocked as it is.  I feel that you cannot add any more fish, especially because you need to first slow down and get the fish that you already have well, and well on their way for a minimum of 3 months before you consider adding to the mix.  Do NOT mix Pomacanthids unless you have a system of very large dimensions--I'm talking thousands of gallons here.  Also, expect the trigger to eat any inverts, and for large angels to eat or at least nip at corals.  Therefore, knowing that you've only got a 125gal tank, in my opinion you may actually need to thin your numbers.  Do not purchase any more fish for this system.> (These I have not bought) Maybe Emperor angel (juv),  Asfur angel and Regal angel. <Read above.  You're asking for trouble here.  I wouldn't mix these fish in a system of 3,000 gallons. You cannot safely add more fish to this tank.> Questions 1. Is the order right?? How long should I wait between introduce another group into the main? <Refer to above.  You must always follow proper quarantine protocol (freshwater dip once acclimated by drip to the quarantine system, then q/t for 30 days minimum), as well as ensuring your tank is properly cycled *before* you add fish. Then you *must* add them slowly (I encourage folks to allow 2-3 months between additions--this allows the addition to get through q/t and the tank to adjust well).  I personally would add the clowns first, as they're more hardy and will survive hikes in ammonia or nitrites better than the others.> 2. Should any future fishes (the ones I have not buy) be put into the main before the Shoal and Clown tangs?? <No.  Absolutely not.  Stop buying fish.>   3. I am thinking I should get the powder blue the bigger than the other 2 tang.  Any thought?? <Yes.  Again, stop buying fish--especially this mixing of tangs, it's tricky and can be problematic even for folks with experience.  You are buying fish of differing sizes, but that does not ensure harmony.  Your tank is well-stocked (indeed, overstocked in my opinion) as it is.> 4. Not related. If I feed the fishes fresh clams, is there a chance that the clams carry ich into my tank?? <No.> 5. I am trying a kind of seaweed that I bought in a Japanese food store to feed my tangs. My Shoal and Clown tang are living at a separate q/t for now (due to size of QT). The kind of seaweed is used to make sushi. This is called "sushi Nori".  It is very good for tangs, though Hippocampus like much more meaty food.  I would also free feed romaine lettuce, and offer krill soaked in a good quality vitamin supplement (Selcon is good).  You can also soak the Nori in the supplement as well.  Then, see them get fat. Do they justify to be fed to my beloved fish?? The Shoal actually prefers this type of seaweed over brine shrimp mix meaty stuff. <This is very good for them, I would free feed the Nori as well.  I would stop feeding brine, it's nutritionally deficit.  Mysis, krill, small bits of squid, clam, and shrimp are better (go for food grade here).> Will the seaweed kill my fish if they are lightly salted??? I am not sure if they are salted. I tasted it and they are kinda lightly salty. Please help. <Because sushi Nori is seaweed, it will indeed have a salty taste.  I doubt that it's salted, and wouldn't worry.  Check the package for ingredients.  Be sure to offer the romaine.  They'll poop like mad, but it allows them to graze all day (they're much like horses that way) and it's both physically beneficial as well as psychologically.> 6. If my synthetic sea water has low pH values (8.0-8.05) using Instant Ocean, what should I do??? <This is not a terribly low pH.  If the pH fluctuates by one tenth of a point, then yes, use a buffer.  It could be bumped up a point or three, but you *must* be very careful whenever making any changes to pH, otherwise it's an exceedingly quick way to kill fish and other aquatic animals.> Should I add pH buffer first then put into the main? Or is that other alternative? <Yes.  If you decide you need to use a buffer then it should be added when you mix the new water, in that container, and allowed time to dissolve and incorporate.  This way, if there are any problems you will have the ability to test it before it's added to the main display.> Lastly, want to ask about holiday/vacation issues.  I am going away for about 2 months for the summer (Thailand/Malay snorkeling, <Lucky you!> and I need some instructions as to how my tank is going to survive this period.  I have read your FAQ's and most of them are not applicable, so I would like if you can give me some comments about my plan. <I'll do my best.> (1. Evaporation) First evaporation is replenished via a automatic top off system using float switch and Rubbermaid container and a powerhead (28 gallon), so.. I usually evaporate 3-4 gallons a week. That should last at least 3 weeks. <Then if you're going to be gone longer you'll need to ensure you have sufficient for that time period, and allow for at least another week for emergencies.> (2. heating, temperature) Second, I will only turn on light for 10 hrs. I have 4 fluorescent lights and afraid overheat tank water.  I will turn on a fan and install it at the water surface, turn on during the middle of the day. Might even do a little controller for it.. ( :-) ) Usually this is not a problem, but error on safe side. <That seems prudent if overheating is a problem where you are.  If you haven't used a fan on the tank before, this will cause much higher evaporation rates than what you normally see.  Install the fan at least a month before you leave (assuming you have this much time) and see what happens to your evaporation rates.  If you have photosynthetic animals, please try to keep the photoperiod to natural time lengths: 12 hours on, 12 off.> (3. feeding, additives) Feeding is left minimal. Will measure amount of food and feed every 2 days. Additive are keep minimal. PA and PB additives added weekly. Will dosed in vial and let my friend add for me. <Sounds like a plan, however, with all those tangs they really can't go very long without regular feedings.  Otherwise they'll grow thin and you'll end up with a new set of problems.  If you can get an actual house sitter (or something similar who'll be there daily) that would be safer.> (4. water changes) Water change will be made after the first month with the help of my LFS owner (20-30 gallon).   <Then before you leave do a massive water change--60% or more.  This will allow you a bit of a buffer.> Is that a good plan?? Any comments?? <With a system that's experiencing troubles, I would feel more comfortable with someone taking closer care, along with regular testing, etc.> Sorry for taking you so much time.  Your help is greatly appreciated. I spread the words around in Calgary ( a place for stampede in Canada) for your website!!!! Confused and help is needed.  Eric. <Never be sorry to ask for help!  We're here to help (let's face it, folks like you make us possible, eh?)  I've heard of the Stampede, what a show!  Just watch where you walk.  Marina>

Tangling With Quarantine Hello; <Hi there! Scott F. here today> Just wondering what your take is on quarantining  hippo tangs. I want to buy one and plan on quarantining it for a couple of weeks. A friend of mine read here that you people don't believe in quarantining this particular fish and I would like to know the reasons for that. Want to make the right decision.              Thank you. Craig <Well, Craig- I'd have to disagree with whoever suggested that you should not quarantine this fish. The Hippo Tang is notorious as an "ich magnet", and tends to be particularly prone to acquiring this disease. It is for that very reason that it should be quarantined. I suppose the school of thought which suggests not quarantining this, and other species of tangs assumes that they are more stressed out by the quarantine process. Again- I tend to disagree. It seems to me that a fish which is easily stressed should be a prime candidate for quarantine. I would not, however, use medications, such as copper, with this or any fish, unless the appearance of disease dictates. Tangs have digestive bacteria that can be easily damaged by prolonged exposure to copper. In the end, though- quarantine all new fishes a minimum of three weeks. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Treatment in a Quarantine tank Dear Crew, I recently experienced a significant fish loss that I am unable to figure out.  I have noticed that one of my fish, a yellow tang, likes to rub his sides against the substrate suggesting a possible parasite.  However, I do not see any visible signs on the tang, or on the other fish or on the fish that died.  The tang appears healthy and eats very well.  I noticed that my skunk clown is sluggish and not eating now!  Pretty soon, all I will have left are the damsels and Monos. All water parameters are normal with nitrate about 30ppm.  Tank is 150g, fish only & no live rock. I am considering a fresh water dip with Methylene Blue for the Tang.  Should the tang also be quarantined?  If so, should any preventive medications be added to the quarantine tank?  I read on WWM that copper and tangs don't agree. thanks...Jeff <Hey Jeff, sorry about your losses.  At this point it would be safest to quarantine all of the inhabitants until we figure out what is going on with the main tank.  The rubbing on the substrate sounds like we could be dealing with parasites.  If this is the case you will want to let your tank run without fish for at least four weeks to disrupt the life cycle of the parasite.  I would not add anything to the quarantine tank until you know what you are dealing with.  Formalin is always a good one to have on hand for those who do not like copper.  Let us know if you have further questions Regards, Gage>

Setting Up A Quarantine System Hi folks, <Hey there! Scott F. with you today!> In reading your information on lighting for quarantine tanks it is listed as subdued.  Would it be ok to use the stock canopy bulbs, they are not fluorescent tubes? <The type of light is not too important in quarantine setups, IMO- just as long as it is subdued somewhat (Better for otherwise stressed-out fishes, particularly in a quarantine tank, with sparse shelter)...You could always place some window screen over a too-bright light source, if that's all you have> Also I am planning on curing the live rock right in the display tank. It will be 100lbs of Fiji rock in the 65gal tank. I understand that it will take approx. 4 weeks to achieve this. <Well, no absolute time table, but on the average, it takes about 4-6 weeks to cycle (lots of variables, such as temperature, etc.)..> Is it safe to install a foam sponge in the sump or run my Fluval canisters on the tank during this process with hopes of having seeded filters or sponges that will be ok to use in the(2x)10gal QT tanks that I will be using when it comes time to purchase fish? <Sounds like a good idea to me! I'd also run a protein skimmer and clean it constantly during this process...> Fluvals are 104 & 204 models. If it is ok to use them should I also put charcoal in them? <I think you meant carbon...And, yes- I like to use activated carbon in all of my systems...> I am hoping to be able to introduce 1 or 2 post quarantined. fish into the display tank 3 to 4 weeks after the rock has finished cycling.  Any suggestions for a better method would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you from Krista in Cold Lake Canada. <Well, Krista, I think that you have it down pretty good! Get those filter sponges "seeded" for a while before you place them in the quarantine tank, then quarantine your fishes for 3 weeks or so. Monitor ammonia and nitrite levels in the main system...Be patient, and you'll be fine. I love the way that you have accepted that quarantine is just a "given"! I wish everyone would embrace the process! You're on your way to success! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Quarantine of Corals and Inverts 3/13/03 I completely understand the necessity of quarantine for fish (i.e. to treat them with meds, observe behavior, etc).  However, the concept of quarantine for corals and inverts has me thrown for a loop.   <it is the exact same thing for all "wet" livestock... invertebrates, live rock, live sand, plants, algae, fishes... everything> I read over Scott's article, "Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates," but I still don't really understand what good quarantine would do for a shrimp for example (esp. since you're not supposed to FW dip them).  Wouldn't whatever unwanted hitchhikers, parasites, diseases, etc. just remain on this shrimp throughout the quarantine only to be eventually introduced into the main tank?   <actually... many fish pathogens carried in the water, or on the invertebrate, will simply die without a host after x days/weeks in QT (or infect your fish if you do not QT). More importantly, what of an invertebrate bringing in a an invertebrate pathogen? Shrimp infecting other crustaceans in your tank because of a lack of QT (hermit crabs, other shrimp, etc)... and of course an infected invertebrate bringing in an infection or parasite that infects many or all other living invertebrates in the tank? QT is the same for all.> Is it even possible to spot these pests on an invert.   <many we expect to simply die without a viable host or become expressed on the host in QT if you run a full 4 weeks of isolation (best)> The article mentioned that putting corals on a platform would promote these pests from falling off of them.   <true for larger pests/predators like fireworms and Xanthid crabs especially... you can bait them away from the coral so they don't enter the tank, grow large and attack and kill fish and other invertebrates> Is this the only reason for quarantine...so things can just fall off naturally into the qt instead of the main?   <much more than this> I know there's a vast number of meds available for fish, but is that also true for inverts and corals?   <QT is mostly about observation... not chemotherapy. But there are indeed numerous antibiotics for corals and inverts> And if it is, how would you go about spotting disease in corals and inverts <by reading and researching the natural color, behavior and cycles of the invertebrate before you buy it... just preparation. Even watching a candidate in the shop for a few weeks to observe/learn natural behaviors helps a lot.> (I'm aware that some of the external parasites are visible).  I'm very new to the hobby so excuse my ignorance.  Thanks in advance.  Sandy <no worries at all... it is a very good question, and one that is not clear to many aquarists. The rule is to QT anything wet because it could carry something in... but only medicate/treat when a problem is apparent. Else, Qt is simply a 4 week waiting period of observation to confirm that the new stock is as healthy as you had hoped it would be. Best regards, Anthony> Mass Quarantine and Ammonia Levels After cycling a 90 gallon tank, I noticed one of my starter damsels had developed ich.  I immediately removed him but he soon died.  This is where my big problem lies:  my roommate purchased three fish (two dogface puffers, one about 2" and the other about 4", and a 1.5" Niger trigger) and put them in the main tank (no quarantine or any pretreatment).  I know I know...disaster struck. <Quarantine roommate from tank. Do not him/her get near it again or you may have another outbreak of shortsightedness/lack of information!> The trigger has developed ich, and I'm suspect about the little puffer.  I want to set up one quarantine tank for all three fish and run my main tank fallow for a month (specific gravity 1.017 and temp at 82, correct?). <Not necessary, run normal SG and 83 temp to push process/life cycle of ick along. You may find 2 months is better, a month is pushing it.> How big of a quarantine tank should I employ to house these three fish (cash and space is an issue) for joint treatment? <Get a Rubbermaid container the same size as the main, low cost, low light, plenty of room.> Also, how will I be able to keep the ammonia levels in check?  Will 10-20% water changes everyday be enough? <Perhaps, test daily to determine need.  Same for copper.> Will I really need to buy a filtration device, and if so, what do you recommend (specific products would be very helpful in guiding me along)? <Any filter to provide mechanical filtration (removal of actual waste/particulate matter). Aqua-clear, Marineland, etc. are fine.> My main concern is the ammonia since I'm dealing with the three fish.  I don't have a spare sponge for the bio media unless I use the only one in the main tank which is the prefilter over the wet/dry.  I don't want to use this b/c I don't want to introduce any amt of copper into the main tank when I return the sponge (I'm not an expert so I took my LFS' advice about copper being harmful to eels, inverts, and corals if I ever want to convert to a reef).  Hence, my concern about swapping sponges b/w the main tank and quarantine. <I would use the sponge and replace it when ready to run main. LFS is right about copper, do be careful to not cross-contaminate.  Sponges are inexpensive.> I've been reading through the vast info about quarantine procedure on the website, but I was hoping for an alternative to having a spare filter constantly running in the main tank just so I can run the quarantine tank when need be.  Any advice would be helpful.  Thanks. Sandy <Running a separate filter isn't necessary, the media can be in the wet/dry or hung tank-side at surface to provide bio-activity. Hope this helps.  Craig>

Live Rock & Copper Is live rock, when used in a quarantine tank with CopperSafe to treat marine ich, still "live"?  Or does the copper kill off all the little critters in the live rock, essentially turning it into inert but porous rock?  Once your copper treatments have been completed, does restoring the live rock to freshly made salt water, without copper, restore its live qualities? (if they were ever gone...?) <NO! The calcium carbonate the rock is principally made from fixes and absorbs the copper making the rock unsafe for further use with invertebrates, etc.  Use only bare bottom tanks with inert hiding places, PVC, plastic, etc.> I ask because there are some fish that eat prepared or frozen food, but feed by pecking at live rock (like scooter blennies or mandarin fish); how can you quarantine them for a month without starving them? Thank you. Jeffrey M. Zegas <Good question Jeffery. Many fish have different QT procedures. Copper is not always used or required.  The best way to find out what is best for each is to search on each on WetWebMedia.com. Bob includes much useful info on introduction of each fish. Some Blennies, Gobies, etc.. including Mandarins do not get copper and are best purchased from reputable dealers where they have been observed over a period of time, then placed in an appropriately set-up QT (live rock/no copper for some) for at least two weeks and preferably three, or dipped as needed. Please read more at: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm and: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm Hope this helps, Craig>

Quarantine Is A Beautiful Thing! Hi Guys <Scott F. your guy today!> I have a recently purchased Majestic Angel. In QT for the past week. <Excellent procedure! Glad that you're quarantining your new fishes! Ya hear that, everyone?> Since I have no biological filtration (currently running the display tank fallow so I can't run a sponge filter through it) I do about 30% water changes a day (1/2 in the AM and 1/2 in the PM).  Today I noticed a white spot on the bottom of it's belly.  It's too large for ich and yet does not look like cotton (yet since it's only been there for a day).  Any ideas as to what it could be and the possible treatment? <Well, it's really tough to say from here, but it may simply be a spot of fungus from a minor scrape or injury to the skin. Could even be a parasite of some sort... I'd keep up the high water quality, and observe carefully. If the fish shows any additional symptoms, such as scratching, heavy breathing, etc.- take appropriate actions (Medication, freshwater dips, etc.) for a parasitic illness. Also, be sure to congratulate yourself on having the foresight to quarantine! So much easier to address potential problems in the quarantine tank than in the main system! Keep observing, stay calm, and move as required.> Thanks, Joe <And thank you for stopping by, Joe! Hang in there with this gorgeous fish, and you'll be fine! Regards, Scott F>

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

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