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FAQs on Quarantine 8

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

Related FAQs: Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2Quarantine 3Quarantine 4, Quarantine 5, Quarantine 6Quarantine 7, Quarantine 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 TanksAmmonia, Nitrites, Nitrates


QT in process, a few questions Hi Bob, <Matthew> I have a 90G reef tank that has been running for about a year.  Water quality has been near perfect the entire time.  Corals have flourished and the tank looks spectacular.  But ich has been a huge thorn in my side.  I have gone through about ten fish since I purchased the tank, ich killed them off in two separate batches.  Of all fish the only thing that survived was a Powder Blue Tang.  I have lots of corals so no way I could treat the main tank.  I finally wised up and setup a 29G, bare bottom QT tank, a few tubes of PVC, and placed my Powder Blue in there three weeks ago to get him healthy and let my main tank run fallow for at least 6 weeks.  While in the main tank the Powder Blue would show signs of ich really bad in the morning, then he would look ok in the evening.  So I placed him in the QT tank I started him on a very low dose of copper for about two days.  Immediately all signs of ich went away.  Since I heard that Tangs can be sensitive to copper I have not added any more, and since I do small water changes in the QT tank every three days or so the copper level is barely detectable.  He has looked great the entire time in the QT tank, no signs of ich, swims around like crazy, his fins are extended, eats out of my hands.  His color is a little light, I am thinking that this might be due to the fact he only has ambient light from the ceiling.  He has shown zero signs of ich!! WooHoo!!! Here are my questions: Since I am not running copper in my QT tank, and my Powder Blue has shown no signs of ich, is he still "relatively" ich free? <Maybe> If my fish shows no signs of ich for almost six weeks, but no medication is being dosed in the QT tank, can the ich be surviving and when I place him back in the main tank will it spread again? <Possibly> Do I just need to give him a fresh water dip before I place him back in the main tank? <Yes, I would... possibly with a light dose of formalin in it> The water changes for the QT tank have been new water, not water from the main tank, so I am not periodically adding "ich water". <Good> Since I have another three weeks to go before I re-introduce my Powder Blue to the main tank I would like to get another fish now, so he will be in quarantine for three weeks as well.  I can then introduce both fish to the main tank at the same time. <Mmm, negative... better to wait the three weeks with this fish alone>   I would really like to place either a Scopas or Yellow Tang in the QT with him. <Particularly poor choices with this fish in this size system...>   I have read that since these two belong to different families that they might be able to co-exist. <All are acanthurids, same family> Is being in a 29G tank for three weeks together too small an area for these two? <Yes, likely>   In the past, the Powder Blue would be aggressive towards new fish for the first day or so, then he would calm down. Thanks for your help.... Matt <Bob Fenner>

Mauritius Aquarium quarantine issues - 3/31/04  Hi Mr. Fenner.......  We are experiencing a number of problems with the public aquarium project here in Mauritius. As a result of inadequate quarantine procedures fish in most of the aquariums have developed either Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium ( or both) and we have been forced to delay opening. All fish have been removed from the aquariums and we intend to let the tanks go fallow for a minimum period of 3-4 weeks. <Just flush with fresh water for a few days> Will this period be enough? <Again fresh water for a few days> If we were to drop the S.G. to 1.018 <Not low enough. Drop salinity to 15ppt not sure what specific gravity would be> would this help and can we shorten the fallow period? Would a freshwater flush-out of the system help? <Yes as per above> Presumably this will destroy beneficial bacteria. <It will kill them but also kill the crypt>  In addition to smaller species, we hope to stock some large species (i.e. Trigger fish, parrotfish, surgeons etc. measuring 8-14 inches in length) ....what procedures do other public aquariums operate to quarantine fish of this size? <Same as with small fishes fresh water dip (temp, pH matched water, no ammonia) for three minutes, then immediately remove the fish and place in quarantine tank and the two options for treatment Formalin and copper (one or the other) For Formalin: 5 treatments one every third day 1ml. per gallon for one hour and flush system and refill. For copper: .2ppm for 28 days flush and retreat as needed to maintain water quality. For the long term display tanks drop your salinity to 15ppt not sure what the specific gravity is but easily found.> and Should we incorporate UV in our closed system? <It will help> If so what dimension wattage etc..... For your information the aquariums are set out in four separate shelters( each shelter with its own biological filtration system) Each shelter contains approx. 12 tanks containing 1500 gallons in total. The pump used for each filter is rated at 32 cubic metres per hour. <You will need to go to the manufacturer of UV unit you are looking at and get the ratings for flow and volume before purchasing or you can base your UV unit on the volume of the system and flow rate of the pumps>  We should be grateful for any advice as to procedures used by other public aquariums and persons we may contact who specialize in public aquaria systems. <No worries ~Paul>  Thank you once again for your awesome site. <No problem>  Michael

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Redux >Thanks so much, Marina. >>You're welcome Barb. >As quickly as you've replied to me, my Coral Beauty just gained a light spot right above his left nostril and I think I see some lightening along the edge of his dorsal fin.   >>Not surprising, thank goodness he's in q/t! >I can't tell if it's the result of rough play or the start of an ich infestation. >>Hmm.. well, either is likely if you've observed the rough play. >Will dipping each of the fish in a freshwater bath and then putting them back into the QT tank re-expose them to the parasites that might be present, or are parasites only living on their hosts? >>Yes, this is why it's a good idea to siphon the bare bottom of the tank daily, along with keeping it hyposaline. >I've got a fake plant, large piece of grotto (cement-type "rock" with lots of holes and curves), and a "made for fish" vase with large holes in it for swimming/hiding fun. >>I would remove the rock and plant in favor of good old STERILIZABLE (is that a word?) PVC elbows and pieces. >Could parasites live/breed on these non-living things and should I remove them from the tank? >>Yes, and yes. >I've never dipped fish before and read about the stress that it can cause them, so I'm anxious about the whole thing to say the least. >>Not unusual to have those feelings, just be sure to have a container of clean q/t water next to the container of freshwater, and be positive it's all matched for temperature and pH (pH is MOST important!  pH shock can kill quickly). >Also, how often should I do partial water changes during this process? >>Daily, to every other day, doesn't need to be much, but you do need to stay "on top" of nitrogenous readings.  Don't forget the benefit of removing any parasites that may have fallen off the animals. >Yesterday, after 2 weeks of quarantining, I tested the water (temp was 80.1 degrees) and found the salinity to be 1.023, the pH to be 8.0, the alkalinity to be 3.6, the ammonia to be 0.25, the nitrate to be 20, and the nitrite to be 0.2. The last three readings led me to do a 10% water change. >>Indeed, though you'll need to be certain that this water change has brought the ammonia and nitrite down to zero.   >It raised the pH to 8.2, luckily, but the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels didn't go down.   >>You need to ensure the new water is matching the pH, or begin a process of changing the water much more frequently. >Do you think another water change would help, or are the 7 fish too much livestock for the 35-39 gal Eclipse 3 tank? >>It will definitely help, and yes, they're too much for this tank, but not for the temporary housing of quarantine.  Do a 25%-30% today/tomorrow, and if it STILL doesn't bring ammonia and nitrite down to zero then do another one, just as large and test again.  These waste products are enough to really stress the fish and weaken immune systems just enough so that parasitic and other infections may set in. >One final thing.  Will exposure to anything in the freshwater bath or the formalin that these 7 fish will be subjected to hurt the invertebrates in my main tank once the 30 days (or more) of quarantining elapses and I put everyone together? I know copper is a no-no for inverts.  Thanks, again, Barb >>Alright, what you don't want to do is introduce any of the water from the q/t into the display, easily done by transferring the fish into a container of freshly made up water (remember, during the last few days of q/t you'll want to bring the salinity back up to match the display, in the meantime keep it at 1.010), then rinsing well the net that you used to get them out of q/t before you use it again to put them into the display.  Or, you could just have one net for q/t (that you keep sterilized), and one for the display... just don't get them mixed up!  If you accidentally do introduce a few drops of q/t water into the display, it shouldn't be a big problem, though a water change would never hurt.  Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Redux II  >I had a feeling you'd be in favor of a 25% water change, so that's what I did.  >>Yep, practically a mantra: When in doubt, do a water change!  >The white spot is gone (must have been a piece of something stuck to his nostril), but his "skin" looks faded in the area where his pectoral fins flatten against his body. Here are the new readings: temp: 80.1; salinity: 1.021; pH: 8.4; ammonia: 0.125; nitrate: 15; nitrite: 0.1; and alkalinity: 3.6. Better, but not great. Should I do another water change?  >>Absolutely, you really need zero readings of ammonia and nitrite.  >My husband went to a different LFS to pick up some Methylene blue, but they didn't have any in stock. They said that a 30 sec to 1 minute dip in R/O water would work just as well.  >>Well, I'm hesitant about the RO RO/DI water if it hasn't been buffered. Unless it's buffered properly it may prove very difficult to bring the pH up. Just use tap or bottled water, again, matched for pH and temperature. The Methylene blue has a mild antiseptic effect, as well as keeping the oxygen content a bit on the high side (it's also used as an antifungal agent for fish eggs).  >What do you think? Better than nothing?  >>Just fresh water is fine, don't worry about it being RO.  >My husband picked up some PVC tonight, too, so I'll pull the plant and rock. What about the fish vase? OK?  >>If it's at all porous, I'd pull it out.  >We'll siphon the bottom as best we can.  >>I find it's best with airline tubing, a bit tedious but you don't remove too much water.  >Should I treat the Q/T water with anything to rid it of possible parasites?  >>If it's freshly mixed saltwater, then no, there can not be any parasites in it.  >The LFS recommended formalin/malachite green (and you mentioned it in your reply), but I read an article on your Web site  ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm ) last night that said:  "Formalin and formalin/malachite solutions are probably too dangerous and may well be disallowed by law in your area, they are in California. These cross-link peptides indiscriminately, destroying any and all proteins they come in contact with. In a very real sense, you're poisoning the "good guys" as well as the "bad". Hopefully the latter faster than the former. Due to their narrow range of safety, toxicity to livestock and handler, and legal constraints, I would avoid formalin mixtures for pet-fish applications. Malachite green, zinc-free is no longer even used at most government labs and fish hatcheries."  >>I cannot speak to the peptides, but I can tell you that formalin is even approved for aquacultured animals in California:  http://www.caa-aqua.org/news/formalin.htm -- as well as that copper can be just as dangerous to the fish you use it on. If you do a Google search on copper sulfate, or Cupramine, you'll find that it's a pesticide. As far as malachite green, its efficacy against marine ich is somewhat dubious, and is often the touted ingredient in "reef-safe" ich medications.  >This is very confusing at times.  >>Yes, it certainly is, research, my dear. Please do a Google search on Terry Bartelme, as well as Steven Pro and Anthony Calfo on this subject. It should help make all this a bit more clear for you.  >I just want the Coral Beauty to get better.  >>Of course, we only buy fish to kill them if we intend to eat them.  >I've too often read in your FAQs that some fish don't live very long after being dipped/bathed when they're put back into the Q/T tank. Scares me to death.  >>Yes, though I've been doing it since I first started as a hobbyist, and have never had a problem simply using my powers of observation of the animal.  >Thanks for taking the time to give me advice, Marina. I truly appreciate it. Barb  >>That is what we're all here for, Barb, we were all new once, and we all have the same intention as Mr. Fenner; to give folks information to help them succeed in this endeavor. Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Redux III  >Thanks, Marina. Last night, the 6 green Chromis ate the Formula I flakes, as usual, but now my best eater, the Coral Beauty, didn't eat a thing.  >>Mm.. she's feeling some stress, or this is a sign of something being up.  >I siphoned the bottom and it resulted in a 10 gal loss of water (in a 35 gal tank), so I replenished it with a new mixture.  >>Excellent.  >Today, the CB has a swollen upper lip on the left side and a clouded right eye. And now no one is eating.  >>First things first, another water change is in order, and this would indicate a possible quarrel between the fishes. Epsom salt may help, go with 1 teaspoon/gallon (it won't hurt, that's for sure). I would, at this time, get some Spectrogram to have on hand in case this progresses. If anyone starts pooping white, stringy feces, then you will have a symptom of internal bacterial infection. During this time keeping the water quality high is of great importance.  >I even tried to tempt them a bit of Formula II thawed frozen... nothing. I just added some MelaFix (by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals) that the LFS recommended to my husband last night.  >>Eee... I hate that stuff, haven't found it to be of much use. I've seen Spectrogram pull many apparently doomed animals (including disintegrating starfish!) back to health. Don't add one on top of the other, filter with carbon, do a water change, then use the Spectrogram. Since you've started an antibiotic regimen you can't stop at this point, but you can change to a better one.  >Directions say to dose once daily for 7 days, then do a 25% water change... so I will.  >>I would not follow those directions because there is no other way to control water quality in a quarantine without them (any antibiotic will kill indiscriminately, including nitrifying bacteria).  >Water test results from last night's change are: Temp:80.1; salinity: 1.0195; pH: 8.4; alkalinity: 3.6; ammonia: 0; nitrite:  0-0.05; nitrate: 10.  >>MUCH BETTER!  >(Gotta tell you that these water tests are wearing me down using the Red Sea Marine Lab bottles of Reagent As, Bs, and Cs. With two aquaria, I'm looking for a faster, more convenient method. How do you rate Dry-Tab test kits by Aquarium Pharm's or the Dip and Read test kits by Aquamarine?  >>Very low, not very accurate OR reliable. You can simply forego the tests in favor of water changes, simply assume that a water change needs to be made, and even if it doesn't you'll do no harm.  >Your FAQs lead me to believe that the SeaTest and FasTest kits aren't too great.  >>You've been led in the right direction. My own preferred test is by SeaChem, but Salifert also makes tests that offer a good balance of quality, reliability, and cost. It's at this point, however, that many folks decide that equipment like electronic pH meters and Refractometers are a good investment.  >Anything you can recommend to me is, as always, very appreciated. Thanks for your time. Barb  >>My pleasure, Barb. Even though the fish aren't eating, you're on the right track and may have indeed averted something much worse (my own feelings, at least). The Spectrogram shouldn't be terribly expensive, and as I said, I've been amazed by what it's done (first saw it used on inverts at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, left me slack-jawed). Don't offer the fish too much at this time, they'll be fine. As the oldest old-timer of them all used to tell me, "A hungry fish is a healthy fish". Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Redux IV >I already administered the first dose of the Ampicillex, so I might as well continue for the other two (over the next 4 days). >>Agreed. >I did buy enough for all three treatments. >>Perfection. >In reference to your comment on internal infection, I think the angel's suffering from one, because I do see a couple of white stringy feces on the bottom of the tank. >>If you see it actually coming from her, then you'll be more positive.  However, if they're all being treated together, then no matter who's got it, they'll all be treated (this would help knock out latent infection in the others not demonstrating anything but possibly infected). >By the way, the 6 Chromis ate this morning and this evening, so they seem to be okay. No external physical signs like the angelfish displays either. The angel doesn't look any worse today relative to the lip and eyes, but I noticed a lot of fin and tail rot this morning.   >>Well, you're stocked, and you should have time to get the other at this point. >Wish me luck with the Ampicillex!   >>Good luck, Barb! >Further to my last message, I'll stock up on Spectrogram, just in case the Ampicillex doesn't do the trick. (FYI, Aquarium Pros sells Ampicillex online for half the price the LFS sold it for. Even with shipping costs, I'd be ahead, just no time to waste right now. Aquarium Pros sells Spectrogram for only $3.99/10 capsules.) >>What a difference, eh?  But, when time is of the essence.  We're all keeping our fingers crossed, Barb.  Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Redux IV.V  Thanks, Marina. A quest to find Methylene Blue led me to another LFS. They agreed with you about the MelaFix ("like a cough drop for a bad cold") and recommended Ampicillex (by Aquatronics). Expensive, but it's worth it to me. Thoughts? Barb  >>This product is quite a mix of agents, meant to treat fungal and bacterial infections. It is a synthetic penicillin, and as such in my opinion it's not going to be as effective or be able to hit as many different bacteria as Spectrogram. Also, reading up on it on Inland Reef's site, they say the manufacturer lost their source (not expected to have new source till '04) for the product. I would surmise that this is the reason it's so expensive. The actual active agent is "Ampicillin Trihydrate". In my opinion Spectrogram is going to be a better route, considering that we can only surmise a likely internal bacterial infection, no signs of fungus. The Ampicillex does claim to address mouth and eye infections, especially stubborn infections of such, so may prove ultimately useful. However, make sure you've got enough for at LEAST the three recommended treatments. Marina 

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Redux V >Thanks, Marina (very appropriate name you've been given, don't you think?!). >>Indeed.   >Now both of the Beauty's eyes are clouded and the body slime (I'll assume that's what I've been seeing on the sides of her) has now spread to the sides of her face. Swelling of her eyes seems to have receded, but she still won't eat. >>I'd like you to search our site and Google for "Brooklynellosis/Brooklynella" and "Marine Velvet/Amyloodinium".  I would expect velvet to present a bit differently (and it kills FAST, too, much faster than what's happening here, but still..).  However, Brooklynellosis has been rampant this year, it's worth taking a look into it since you're the one looking at the fish.  Also, I suggest using Epsom salt.. I believe I'd suggested that earlier but honestly can't remember.   >One LFS advised putting a meal/blood worm in there to entice her to go after the movement of it. Another recommended that I throw some ghost shrimp in there. I went for 5 shrimp and, though it intrigued the fish, no one was interested in eating them, maybe just befriending them. What should I do? It's probably been 4-5 days since I've seen her eat. >>She'll be fine not eating for a while, you need to lick whatever this is that's making her sick first. >She might be getting some miniscule amounts of the frozen (thawed) Formula II simply be swimming through it, but how long can she go without a good meal?  Barb >>Assuming she was well fed when this started, she can easily go a week.  Watch the ammonia and nitrite levels, and be prepared to do water changes (again!) if they're up.  The bloodworms may actually entice her better than the shrimps, btw.  Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Redux VI Yes, you did recommend Epsom salt. I'll try it tonight. Before each new dose of Ampicillex, I do a 10% water change (to siphon the bottom of the tank). >>Very good, Barb, very good. >I'll test the ammonia and nitrite levels nonetheless. I'll pick up some bloodworms on the way home from work tomorrow evening. (Yes, she looked very well fed and healthy when I purchased her and she had a very hearty appetite before all of this started.) >>Ok, that means you've got a bit of leeway with her here. >Thanks for the tip on the other possible diseases/infections. I'll check them out. Tonight I physically saw the internal infection effects. Started as a thin white string and ended up as a 1/8" white plug that took her several minutes to clear. Bet THAT felt better! >>LOL!  ECK! >Thanks again for your time and advice, Marina.  Barb >>My pleasure, Barb.  It's really nice to work with someone as diligent and intelligent as yourself.  Marina P.S. Sorry for the late reply, it's been a helluva past few days around here!  Let me know how the Beauty is doing at this point. Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Redux VII >Hi, Marina. Well, I tried the bloodworms...many, many bloodworms, and my Coral Beauty wasn't interested (the 6 green Chromis enjoyed them, though). >>Too bad we don't have chicken soup for fish. >I'm convinced that her clouded eyes are completely obstructing her vision, because she not only lets food drift past her face, but she often bumps into things (even my hand when I'm cleaning). >>I'm with you on this assessment, plus she probably feels just terrible. >If fish have a sense of smell, it's obviously weakened from this infection. I've mashed up the thawed frozen Formula II enough so that she can hopefully get miniscule traces as she swims around (though she's been partial to the upper left corner of the QT and doesn't venture away often). >>Vision is definitely an issue here.  Meds are the best course and hope here. >I just administered the 3rd dose of Ampicillex today. >>Ok. >Her color seems to be coming back on her gills and sides of her body, but the edges of her lips and her eyes are still quite gray (her eyes look like there's a thick coating on them with a whitish ridge around the edge...like a contact lens). >>Good choice, and you may wish to go another round with it since it IS helping. >Her fins and tail still display rot.  I will most likely be repeating this Ampicillex treatment in 3 days (as the directions indicate if necessary). >>Good plan. >Should I keep the green Chromis in the QT for the duration of this second treatment? >>I would, because she's accustomed to their presence (rather as we will give horses a "buddy"), and the fact that whatever the angel's got, they've been exposed.  Once she's cleared up, it's back to the full 30 days for all, then on to the display. >As you may remember, they've never displayed any symptoms/signs of any malady. They've been in quarantine since October 22. >>Yes, I remember, but feel it's far better to be safe than sorry.  At this point, because the angel is rather blind, I would prefer to keep them there.  Plus, it won't HURT them to remain for the duration at this point.   >Thanks, Barb >>Here's keeping our fingers crossed!  Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Redux VIII Okay, now I don't know WHAT to do. I did a 30% water change to get as much of the worm and food residue off the bottom of the QT as possible the night before last. Last night, a few hours after administering that 3rd dose of Ampicillex, I noticed that the tank was very clouded, so I did a water test and the ammonia was at nearly 0.5, the nitrates were at 20, and the nitrites were at 0.5. >>Unfortunately, this is to be expected, as the antibiotic will wreak havoc on whatever nitrifying bacteria you have.  This leaves you with the issue of ensuring proper dosing while often having to perform large water changes.  One trick is to medicate the new water once mixed. >The pH is the only thing that looked decent at 8.2, so I did another 25% water change. I ran another test on the previously high parameters this morning and there was no change, so I did another water change. (The clouding in the water was getting worse...no carbon filter during Ampicillex treatments, so I bit the bullet on this last day of its effectiveness and put the Eclipse 3 carbon filter back in.) >>That's ok, you have to do what you can. >I just came home to see if things were improving only to find the Coral Beauty in the lower corner of the tank treading water, and that's about it.  I ran another test on the high parameters and found that the ammonia is slightly down at 0.25 and the nitrates are slightly down at 10ppm. Why can't I seem to get these to stay at a normal range? >>It's normal, Barb.  The antibiotic WILL kill many bacteria, even if it's not a broad spectrum, you just have to count on it.  The cloudiness was free-floating bacteria making use of the ammonia present.  Water changes are the only way, while medicating, to deal with this.  What a pain, huh!? >Should I do yet another water change? >>I'm afraid so. >And, unlike the furry crew of animals we've got here that you can force feed when they're ill, what on Earth can I do to get this fish to eat something? >>Very little, I'm afraid.  There is some anecdotal evidence that garlic extracts can stimulate feeding.  If you can afford it, it may very well be worth a try.  But again, plan on more w/c's. >Her color looks so much better and I just know that if she ate something she'd be on the road to recovery. Very frustrating to feel this helpless and out of control. Please help, Marina.  Barb >>If her color's better, then the role you play is ensuring that water quality is UP, and if she seems at all to still be suffering from infection CONTINUE with the Ampicillex, it's working.  Water changes are the mantra here.  Once it's licked, this fish really should start feeling like eating.  It sounds to me as though, even though it SEEMS to be going so slowly, you ARE beating this thing.  Try not to fret, and I'm sure you are completely sick AND tired of hearing about water changes, but they really are one of our best tools.  (This is why I love the big trash cans and black trash bags, keep it mixed on hand in large volumes is the way to go.)  Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Redux IX   >Thanks for the pep talk. I just received the shipment of Ampicillex and Spectrogram (online shopping for fish supplies is definitely the way to go).  By the way, this morning, I decided to blend the Formula II frozen with Vita-chem (I'm treating my Yellow Tang for HLLE in the main aquarium), mashed it up and poured it into the QT (some literally over the CB's body as she was treading at the top), in hopes that she'd get SOMETHING.  By the time I left to go to work and said my goodbyes to all the furry and finned kids, I found the CB with the 6 Chromis in the top corner diagonal from where she started, attentively looking at me.  It made my day to see her behaving the way she did before she became ill. >>Excellent! >Did another water change tonight.  I'll start round two of the Ampicillex treatment tomorrow night.  Thanks for the tip about black trash bags in the big trash cans.  That'll save a step or two at post water change clean-up time. >>Indeed, and always makes for "instant clean water mixing container". >Take care, Marina (I had a girl named Marina in my 1st grade class in Frankfurt long, long ago. Be funny if it was you.)  Barb >>Alas, no, not a common name in America, never been abroad.. well, I've been "a broad", but never abroad.. I think that one just fell FLAT.  It seems to be a very common name in Russia and other Slavic/similar countries, though.  In any event, I sure will, and thanks for keeping me up-to-date on events.  Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Redux X Well, things don't look good today at all. When the lights came on in the QT this morning, the CB had positioned herself behind the intake strainer (basket at the base of the intake tube). I put thawed, mashed Formula II in there about a half-hour later. The 6 green Chromis fed well, but the CB darted to the surface of the water and frantically kept popping her head above the surface as if either looking for bits of food, or more likely, trying to get air. She did this for several minutes, then sank to her favorite bottom back corner and eventually was on her side. Not good. I immediately did the 25% water change I had planned to do after I fed them, adding the first dose of the second treatment of Ampicillex. No improvement whatsoever. She swam around my arm while I siphoned out the bottom of the tank and added the new mix, but once I stopped, so did she. She came up for more air a few more times, but now she's back in that corner on the bottom, gills moving about 3 times/sec. Her eyes are even clearing up, but her lips are white. I'm certain that her disinterest in food for a week and a half has led to her physical state. Antibiotics can only do so much. Am I correct to assume that she is dying? >>This is a tough call.  She's not doing well, but going to the surface indicates a need for oxygen.  Methylene blue, and even hydrogen peroxide can help in emergencies.  You can add the Meth. blue--enough to turn the water a rather dark blue (you still want to be able to see through it.  H2O2 would be about a teaspoon/gallon.  It can boost O2 levels, help alleviate stress. >Is there anything I can do for her? If she does die, shall I continue the full Ampicillex treatment over 5 days for the other fish, even though they've never displayed any symptoms of infection? >>To be safe I would, just because we don't want to allow the chance of virulent strains from this.  You may want to start the Spectrogram, too.. though the Ampicillex seems to be improving her condition.  Honestly, I think the elevated ammonia levels may be a culprit, as they'll bring about this same behavior.  You're doing w/c's, this is good, I'd keep it up. >Thanks, as always, for your words of wisdom, Marina.  Barb >>You're very welcome, Barb.  Don't give up on her just yet.  Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? It's all Over >I'm still interested in seeing your answer to my questions, but I wanted to let you know that my sweet Coral Beauty died an hour ago. >>OH Barb.. I am very sorry.  You did your best with her, I hope you know that. >I just hope the green Chromis fish don't contract whatever she had. They're looking for her.  Barb >>I honestly don't think they will, if they were going to I would think you'd see signs by this point.  Finish the treatment, then give them their 30 days to finish out q/t.  I am really sorry, Barb.  Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? It's all Over >Thanks, Marina. >>You're very welcome, Barb, I'm just sorry I couldn't help you keep this fish from dying. >Just breaks my heart. >>Of course. >I truly appreciate all the advice you've given me. Just out of curiosity, is Methyl Blue the same as Methylene Blue? I can't seem to find the latter, only the former.  Barb >>Hhhmm.. you know, I'm not sure.  Logic might dictate that it is indeed Methylene blue, but I couldn't say for sure.  If there's not an ingredient list, then I suggest contacting the manufacturer, you don't want any surprises (added ingredients).  Hope this helps.  Marina <<Mmm, yes. These two terms refer to the same material. Methyl Blue is a product/trade name for Methylene Blue. BobF>>

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Questions.. >Thank you for being there for me, Marina. It means a lot. >>This is what we're here for, Barb.  Also, whenever we can, when we start to work with a particular person, we like to "see it through".  I'm sure I'm not the only crewmember who's built some relationships with folks that go beyond one or two queries.  You are, as always, very welcome. From what I've read on the Aquatronics Methyl Blue label, it's 5% Methylene blue. Is Kordon's Methylene Blue 100% strength or the same as the Aquatronics product? >>I'm not positive, but I believe they are the same.  I don't know that one can use 100% strength, same with hydrogen peroxide, it comes in different percent strengths. >Just out of curiosity, what is your experience with Shieldex and Cravex. >>Actually, have not used either. >Not sure if both are (or just Cravex is) used as an appetite stimulant, but I've got to know if it could have helped my Coral Beauty to want to eat. >>Honestly, I doubt it.  She was fighting, but then she was just taken over.  That's the thing with bacterial infections, too, they can move FAST. >For my own education, I'm also curious about the fact that, on the last day of her life, one of her pectoral fins was almost completely rotted away and her gills were deteriorated. I could swear that her upper lip was completely gone because I saw a line of little teeth as she repeatedly poked her head above the water surface for oxygen. How could she have gone so drastically downhill overnight? All as a result of starvation?  Barb >>Starvation alone would not have shown these other signs you speak of.  If she appeared to be too thin (head too big for her body, being able to see the vertebrae along the midsection of her body), then I would say that this left her in a weakened enough state for the bacterial infection to make its final blow.  However, she would NOT have been in this condition (likely at least) had she not been so weakened by it in the first place.  As I said, bacterial infections can move FAST.  Also, most folks are not aware that bacteria are not only able to mutate at a far heightened rate (compared to many other life forms), but they are also able to SHARE DNA.  This means that if there were any resistant forms making their way through the treatment, not only can they reproduce at phenomenal rates, they can actually share their genes, the "recipe", if you will, of how to survive the antibiotic.  So, while the antibiotic may have given the original infection a run for its money, she very well may have had just a few bacterium that were able to survive, multiply on their own, and basically help others do the same.  (Dad studied microbiology in college, hipped me to a few things, so did SciAm!)  Marina

Quarantine Confusion? I'm setting up a 29g QT that I plan on running on a continual basis. As such I've been thinking that I might like to have a permanent member live there. <Wooaah...Bad idea- I have to stop you right here...A quarantine tank is not a permanent feature; it should be broken down after each use. If it is not broken down, you'll end up with what could be a "parasite hotel"...If you want another tank, do set one up- but please read up on the quarantine FAQs on the WWM site and reconsider this course of action. Your fishes and their future tankmates will appreciate that.> I plan on dipping every fish in freshwater and Methylene Blue before putting them into the QT. <That's an excellent procedure...> I'm thinking a cleaner shrimp might be a good guy to live there, that way the new fish in QT can have a little natural help when they come in. <On the surface, it sounds like a good idea, but once again, a quarantine tank is a temporary feature, and introducing a fish into a tank with another "resident" is not a good idea...> So here are the questions: If I were to have a cleaner shrimp live in the QT on a permanent basis, what would I need to put in the QT to support him, and what would I feed him when no fish were in the tank? <I'd veto the idea, as outlined above> My original plans were to have No substrate, and just PVC elbows and such for fish to hide in. <The only way to go in a QT, especially if you need to use medications...Think "temporary" here> My thought was that if there were to be a sickness problem, I could treat the fish, and afterwards empty the tank and bleach the PVC. <You should do that anyways- a great procedure after any use...sickness or not> Would a cleaner be able to set up a station on top of PVC or does he need a rock? If there were a really sick fish that needed an extreme treatment (like copper) could I move the cleaner to the main tank before I added copper or would it be too late and would the cleaner possibly have the disease from the fish <Again, I implore you to keep this a temporary feature...It will greatly benefit your fishes...You're on the right track, you just need to adjust a few things...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Treating Fish In Quarantine Hi WWM Crew, <Scott F. here tonight> I am hoping you can resolve a QT dilemma for me.  I have spent countless hours reading through the FAQs and information on your site and I am very grateful for all of the terrific information you provide! I am still a little uncertain about medicating my quarantine tank though... I have read several responses, stating we should not use medications in our tanks with knowing specifically what disease / parasite / fungus we are dealing with --that we should QT new fish for four weeks and observe for any outbreaks or odd behavior. <Correct on both counts...You do not want to medicate unless you are certain what you're dealing with. And, I cannot think of a better place to medicate a sick fish than a quarantine tank. Never, ever medicate in the display tank.> I have also read that Cryptocaryon is nearly always present on fish but that it is just not typically visible or does not become a problem unless the fish is stresses or has a compromised immune system. <Lots of differing opinion on this...And the jury is still out...> If this is the case, it seems probable that no outward symptoms would be noticed while keeping new fish in a QT for four weeks but these fish could be carriers of ich. <Well stated...> Introducing these fish into our display tanks would then be introducing ich...Just waiting for a stressful opportunity to take advantage of weakened fish. <True, if you subscribe to this theory. I like to think that the parasites are present in the tank, rather than on the fish, where they can be in a "dormant" phase, waiting for the proper conditions before striking. Typically, if the fish's resistance is high, and the population of parasites is low, the fishes should be able to resist infection. This is one of the main reasons that I recommend that a quarantine tank not be set up as a permanent feature. There will be no parasites waiting for the next opportunity this way.> After recently purchasing a purple tang that looked perfect at my LFS but appeared as if had been "sugar-coated" the following morning, I feel inclined to always keep Cu in my QT.  To copper or not to copper... that is my question. <Well, copper is a beneficial anti-parasitic medication, it should not be used unless required. Many fishes do not take well to continuous copper exposure. Plus, you need to test continuously to assure a proper therapeutic level of medication. I'd recommend a freshwater dip prior to placing the fish in the quarantine tank. Then, if medication is necessary, you can safely medicate in this tank, and enjoy a greater measure of control.> By the way, all crypto disappeared from this purple tang within a day of adding Cu to my QT but, as the life-cycle goes, I woke up two weeks later to find this fish covered in ich again.  I gave the tang a freshwater bath (pH/temp adjusted) and added formalin & malachite green to my QT in addition to the Cu.  All white spots have now been gone for about a week but, since I had this second outbreak only one week ago, should I keep the fish in the QT for another four weeks (a total of six weeks)?   <Yep...I would. In my opinion, I would have followed the full course of treatment with copper, rather than "hit and run" with copper, then move on to the next medication...Just a thought> If so, should I be concerned about the extended exposure to Copper? Greg Wyatt <Yep- as above...If you are using copper-or have been keeping it in the tank continuously- be sure not to use the malachite green/formalin product on top of that. Just too much for a fish to handle for extended periods...I'd check your copper level to make sure that it is at a proper therapeutic level....Be sure, also, to employ regular small water changes in the tank...All things to consider... Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Quarantine Concerns - Hi all, Thanks for the help in the past.  Much appreciated.  I am new to the QT process and fear I screwed up.  Basically, I set up my 55 gallon tank for QT (the tank is being sold once done since all will go to a 120) and moved all of my fish over since I have what appears to be the beginning phases of an ich breakout.  Total of 8 fish (Flame Angel, 2 Perculas, 2 Watchman's, Bicolor Blenny, Six Line Wrasse, and a Blue Spot Naso - yes I know too big and I am giving away once this QT is complete).  The problem is that I do not have a sponge filter that has been cycled.  The filter is in the 55 now with the sponge, but I am worried about an ammonia spike. <A reasonable concern. Do have plenty of new saltwater mixed up and ready to go for large, daily to every other day water changes.> The Naso is getting large and goes to the bathroom like no fish I have ever seen.  With the way it eats, I am not surprised though. <You also need to lighten up on the feeding.> Anyway, I completed all of this yesterday afternoon and am sitting here at work in a panic thinking that I might get home to a disaster (after reading the posts about ammonia spikes in QT tanks). <Will come soon, do tests often. Also do a change now to hold off the ammonia build up.> I plan on doing small daily water changes, but what other additional measures should I take to help 'cycle' this system while being treated? <Most times, especially when treating with something, cycling isn't always possible.> I will test ammonia daily to be sure.  The tank is being treated with Coppersafe. <Then for certain, you will not cycle this tank... stick with the water changes.> Can I do water changes by taking water from the main display? <I would use only new water after the initial quarantine setup.> Will doing this continually add new "parasites" to the hospital tank? <Certainly a possibility, but really the new saltwater will be better off in the quarantine.> Tank is bare bottom with PVC hiding spots, a heater, an air stone, a powerhead, and a new filter. <Sounds good to me.> Top is covered with egg crate to keep fish from jumping and promote gas exchange.  I understand the importance of QT, but have failed every time I tried it.  The fish find ways to die in QT for me. <Look to changing 25-50% of the water each day. May also need a separate 20g [long perhaps] to break this group up. All this in a 55 will be tight quarters and stressful.> Also - Do you know if Ecolibrium goes bad? <Hmm... probably.> I have some from 4 years ago that I have not used figuring it may have expired. <I would toss it.> Is the stuff any good? <Can't at the moment recall the formulation.> I think it is called "Kick Ich" now. <If that is the stuff that is pepper-based, then no, I wouldn't rely on it. Give this article a read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm > There are no dates on the bottle though.  Thanks in advance for all of your help.   Andy <Cheers, J -- >

- Quarantine Issues - WWM crew, Great site and great books (BF and AC). I set up a 10 gal QT tank 2 weeks ago using a hang on filter, a piece of foam that I had in my main system for ~1 week and ~2lbs of live rock.  Last week I placed a cherub angel in there. At the time there were no detectable nitrogenous compounds. <I wouldn't expect any on a tank you 'just' set up.> That little guy is awesome and has already overcome his shyness and is eating well.  I've been doing water tests on the tank to be sure things are ok.  While I expected to see some nitrates (they are now at  ~2.5ppm) I'm also detecting nitrites too (0.3ppm) and this worries me (should I be?). <Yes.> I don't detect any ammonia otherwise I'd be real worried. Is it possible that the rock I put in there is cycling again? (die-off from the lower lights in my QT tank?) <I doubt that, but it is obvious to me that your tank is cycling.> I have stopped feeding (for now) and have started daily 10% water changes by adding water from my main system tank, which is what I filled the qt tank with in the first place. <I would do the changes with fresh mix water, don't use the tank water at this point.> I figure I can always just abort the qt and place the little guy in the main tank. <If you choose this route, consider a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip before you place that fish in the main tank.> Thanks in advance for the help. -matt <Cheers, J -- >

QT or not, part.. III? >Well, it at this time is mild and I understand that it will always be in there to some degree no matter the water changes and maintenance I do. >>This is actually up for much debate.  However, you seem to be well aware of how ich is handled. >I have read all thru WWM and know what has to be done. 30 day qt, fallow tank etc. I am going to wait at this point a little bit.  I have to wait regardless to cycle the qt tank(s). >>Understood.  Best of luck.  Marina

A Disagreement of Opinions Among Crewmembers Re: QT? >I just read in your hippo tang FAQs where it says not quarantining and placing new specimens in the main tank after a FW bath was preferable. >>(Groan)  This woman STRONGLY disagrees. >I find that surprising since I have read on the site hat "everything wet" should be quarantined before entering the tank. >>Let me just say that the majority of us are in total agreement of this policy, though we might disagree about sufficient q/t time (I'm a strong advocate of a 30 day minimum). >I have a relatively new blue tang addition to my 90 gal which I didn't qt and he has had mild ich since a week after arriving. >>Uh oh. >It wasn't the advice of WWM that precluded me not QTing,. It was the fact the damsels in the tank for 2 mo.s previous never showed signs of any problems.  Joe Culler >>I will strongly suggest you look for the writings of Terry Bartelme on ich and its lifecycle, how and why it may rear its ugly head. You will also find in his writings and hear what to do now that you have an infestation in your display.  Marina

QT protocol 10/7/03 All fish would be out for 120 days. Leaving existing rock, shrimp, snails. So you are saying 30 day q on corals and inverts also??    < it is the most critical aspect of animal husbandry. No exception here if you goal is to be pest and parasite free> All the LFS people I have talked to say inverts need not be quarantined. <you (and they) are missing the big picture here mate. Pathogens are carried in the water as easily as upon a host. The inverts are just as risky (with many of them being actual carriers in critical life cycles of some parasites and pathogens). Your LFS is point blank wrong unless they only have fishless systems and they never dip a wet hand, net, feeding spoon, etc. from a fish tank to a fishless system (which is not possible in a retail shop with both). Algae scraping, maintenance, etc. We are not talking about lab trained aquarists here (sterilizing hands and equipment between uses)... we are talking about LFS employees making little more than minimum wage. I assure you... you must QT all livestock.> Is it because my tank has been exposed to the parasite or is qt' ing all "wet" life the way to go?? <the latter my friend... and we have a ton of info (articles and FAQs) on this subject in our archives here at wetwebmedia.com if you will take the time to read it. Speed up your search by using the google search tool on the main page. Best of luck. Anthony> 

Mysterious Fish Deaths... Hi guys!!! <Scott F. your guy today!> My boyfriend emailed you a question concerning our Volitans lion's death about a week or two ago.  The Foxface Rabbitfish we had added the day before is still doing just fine.  However, we decided to add a Coris Wrasse juvenile (from the same LFS as the Rabbitfish) approximately two days ago.  He just died, inexplicably, after swimming around all morning and spending the last two days hiding.  It was kind of a shock, because we have a white Turbo Snail, Green Brittle Star, Emerald Crab, and a Foxface Rabbitfish, all doing fine.  Our water keeps testing just fine and we did a small 5 gallon water change last night (we had the water sitting in a bucket with a powerhead running and the water tested fine before addition). <Well, I see no mention of any quarantine procedure used here...In addition to helping keep diseases out of your display tank, this process helps "harden" newly-received animals by providing them with a quiet, secure place to recover from the rigors of collection, shipping and other stresses. Quarantine is a simple, yet vital process that can really improve your chances of success with fishes. Do read about the process and principles on the WWM site> tank parameters and inhabitants: 125g 2 AquaC remora pro HOT skimmers w/ mag3 pumps 4 1200 Maxijet powerheads 99 lbs LR with lots of little things living happily (including two largish bristle worms that we find fascinating, a money plant growing insanely fast, and kelp everywhere) 1 Foxface Rabbitfish 1 white turbo snail 1 emerald crab 1 10" green brittle star (who leaves our rabbit alone) We haven't sprayed anything in the room (not even hairspray), nor have we put any metal of any kind in the tank. When our lion died, we thought it was because we were having problems with the temperature of the tank.  We had since resolved that problem so have no clue why the wrasse would have died like that.  Please help!!!! <:( Thanks! Carole <Well, Carole, it sounds to me to be a problem with the selection and/or acclimation process. In addition to embracing quarantine, you should really read up on the WWM site about selecting healthy animals for your system. It's also possible that your LFS is not carrying the highest quality livestock... Perhaps you need to check out the way he handles his livestock...Lots of possibilities. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Quarantine Question Hi: <Hi there! Scott F. here for you today!> I have a 90 g tank almost ready to start the cycling process, I'd like to add a quarantine tank, my question is:  Can I use a 10g tank, with a 15w light, an AquaClear powerhead with a QuickFilter for the tank, or the size is too small? <That sounds just perfect to me, unless you're planning on quarantining very large fishes. You can "seed" the sponge with nitrifying bacteria from a healthy established aquarium. Works great! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

QT For Plants... Hey Crew, My question is in how to quarantine Thalassia, right now my quarantine tanks don’t have any Substrate in them and I know these plants need a deep sand bed. So do I need to add sand to my QT? <Ahh- the easiest way for us hard-core quarantine freaks to use for a plant like this is to pot it in a container with some sand, like a glass jar or other plastic container...This will work just fine> The QT I was planning to use for this is a five-gallon tank or should I use a twenty-gallon tank? <as long as you can maintain stable conditions, the 5 gal tank is just fine!> Also the place I found this and other sea grass for sale is www.floridapets.com and they ship using two day delivery is this an acceptable means of shipping these plants to Colorado. Thanks for all the help! Joe Masyga       <The shipping period is okay...I would not be overly concerned. And I commend you on your use of quarantine! Good luck! Regards, Scott f>

- Quarantine Dilemma - Hi, I obviously made a mistake with this quarantine tank and now it is showing ammonia spikes... despite repeated water changes using the display tank water for the changes (along with some premixed salt water)... I am having trouble getting it to cycle... <Please don't bother with cycling a quarantine tank. The whole point is to have a place that is suitable for treatment with harsh chemicals that would do damage to your display tank. Along with that is a regimen of daily to every other day water changes between 25-50%. Basically, you are avoiding ammonia build up by changing a lot of the water.> Do you think that I could remove the clown fish... only one remains... to a small goldfish type tank and replace the water in that every 12 hours with the display tank water or some such crazy thing... <I'd really start using fresh-made salt water for this. Using tank water for the change is good to start, but even that will have some portion of dissolved organics and nitrogenous wastes. I'd leave the clown where it is because the goldfish bowl will need aeration and some form of filtration for the clownfish to survive in it.> I really want to get him out of the quarantine tank and let the quarantine tank cycle... <Again, forget about cycling the quarantine tank - just do a 50-75% water change with new water.> Not at all happy about this... or should I chance him in the display tank... I am 'assuming' that the ammonia did in the other clowns but it could be a coincidence... maybe they died of something else... <Maybe, but ammonia is quite toxic.> I will take out the snails etc and put them in the display tank... of course now I am nervous about doing that... I am not really sure what happened with this tank but I will try to figure that out later, probably with your help... thanks... H <No real mystery here. Do a couple of large water changes with new mix water and things so go back to a more even keel. Cheers, J -- >

- Mixed Quarantine - Hi to all, <Hello to you.> I have a quarantine tank that right now has a 2 clowns and a cleanup crew that consists of Scarlet Reef Hermits, Margarita snails and dwarf red tip hermits. I got them all together and that may have been my mistake. I got the clean up crew to augment my existing guys in the display tank. We are having a bit of a problem with algae... not too bad but still... I am concerned about keeping them in the quarantine tank... they have been in there for 4 days and there is no algae present in the tank and they are acting starved... when I feed the clowns they are scrambling big time... They are supposed to eat algae and hmmmm the display tank looks a little too pristine. <Many of the most popular hermit crabs available to the hobbyist actually eat meaty foods in addition to algae. You could probably sustain them for the rest of your quarantine with some pellet food that will sink to the bottom. There are also sinking algae pellets available for freshwater fish which would work fine.> I know I have to keep the clowns in there but what about the snails and crabs? <It's a smart practice to quarantine everything.> Do you think they should go into the display tank a little early so that they have plenty to eat or are they OK? <Or... just feed them where they are now.> Do you chance diseases with the little hermits and snails? <Sometimes or other organisms riding in on their shells - hydroids, etc.> Any advice is appreciated.  Thank you. <Cheers, J -- >

Quarantine 09/10/03 Hi you guys, <Hello, PF with you tonight> I sent the following to you a few days ago and I guess you're kind of busy because I have received no response so...... here it goes again Hi to all, I have a quarantine tank that right now has a 2 clowns and a cleanup crew that consists of Scarlet Reef Hermits, Margarita snails and dwarf red tip hermits. I got them all together and that may have been my mistake. I got the clean up crew to augment my existing guys in the display tank. We are having a bit of a problem with algae...not too bad but still. I am concerned about keeping them in the quarantine tank....they have been in there for 4 days and there is no algae present in the tank and they are acting starved. When I feed the clowns they are scrambling big time. They are supposed to eat algae and hmmmm the display tank looks a little too pristine. I know I have to keep the clowns in there but what about the snails and crabs? Do you think they should go into the display tank a little early so that they have plenty to eat or are they OK? Do you chance diseases with the little hermits and snails? Any advice is appreciated.  Thank you. <Well, I'm going to say that after four days, it should be safe to add your clean up critters. Be sure though, and make sure you extend the quarantine of the fish from the time you add the clean up critters. You may also want to inspect their shells and make sure they're not harboring anything like hydroids. Here's the info on quarantining, be sure and read up on it. www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm Have a good night, PF>

- Quarantine After the Fact - Background:  I have an established FO tank (along with two Featherduster worms).  It is 150 gallon tank with a protein skimmer, a 25 gallon wet/dry filter and sump with bioballs, a UV sterilizer which is currently turned off, 125 lbs of live rock, and 2 inches of crushed coral.  The tank currently has a 4" Green bird Wrasse, a 4" Maroon Clown fish, an 18" Snowflake eel, two 1" Yellow-tailed Damsels, and a 2.5" Panther Grouper. Problem: I made the mistake of adding a Regal Tang to the tank without quarantining it.  Ironically, I received both the Tang and the quarantine tank for my birthday.  Within two hours of placing the Tang within the my main tank it was covered in ich.  Immediately, I set up the 10 gallon quarantine tank, pulled one of my sponge pre-filters, a small live rock, and 20 bioballs from the established tank, and I moved ten gallons of water from the established system to the quarantine tank. After placing the tang in the quarantine tank, I waited a few more hours to see if it might show signs of improvement on its own.  The fish got worse. It was apparent that the fish was succumbing to ich, so I dosed the tank with Cupramine. <Hmm... you really should pull that rock and toss it out. Quarantine tanks should be set up bare - no substrate or rock as both of these will absorb copper and make it more difficult to reach the dose appropriate for treatment. Decorate instead with large PVC fittings, which don't react with copper.> Within a day the ich seemed to go away, and I planned to keep the Tang in the tank for a total of three weeks to ensure that no ich returned. <Well, for a copper treatment to be effective, you need to dose the copper continuously for 14 days.> Unfortunately, secondary infections seemed to occur in the form of red spots and raised bumps on the fish's body. <If you haven't been doing daily water changes, then you probably have water quality issues that are making matters worse.> I waited a couple of more days to see if the fish might get over the secondary symptoms, which it didn't. Additionally gray, fuzzy spots and indentations showed up and spread along the fish's body. The fish had no appetite and would not eat anything.  To make matters worse, ammonia levels started to spike in the quarantine tank, so I had to change out water a few hours after every attempted feeding. Finally, I treated the water with antibacterial/antifungal medicine from Mardel, which isn't recommended to be used with any copper treatment.  As such, I didn't re-dose the water with copper after the water change prior to using the antifungal/antibacterial treatment. As the situation now stands, the fungus/bacterial infections have only gotten worse (red spots, grey patches, raised bumps, and body indentations), the ich has returned, the fish has eaten nothing for over a week, and it is becoming lethargic.  I fear that the fish will not live, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes to try and keep it alive if possible.  On the other hand, I don't really want it to suffer much more than it has if this is a hopeless cause.  Do you have any suggestions? <Hmm... besides pulling the live rock, I'd skip the anti-fungal treatment and go back to the copper. Start with a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip and then medicate copper consistently for two weeks, along with daily water changes. I agree with your assessment that this may be a lost cause, and that would be a shame, but any fish can take only so many insults before it simply gives up. As a post-facto item, unless you selected this fish and gave it to yourself as a gift, I would make clear to all concerned that gifting fish is not in your [or the fish's] best interest. If someone wants to buy you a fish, they should take you to the store and let you make the selection. I'd be willing to bet that this fish wasn't looking so well at the store and was doomed before you got it.> Would a freshwater dip help with the apparent fungal and bacterial infections as well as the ich? <Yes, is where I would have started all this.> A second question:  The day after I removed the Tang from the main tank, I noticed trace amounts of apparent ich on the Green bird Wrasse.  I waited to see what would happen, as I had no room in the quarantine tank for it, given the fact that the tank hadn't been cycled. <Cycling a quarantine tank is not important, treatment is. The standard operating procedure is to have make-up water in a constant state of readiness and change 25-50% a day to every other day depending on conditions. Copper, formalin and other compounds used as treatments in quarantine will stall biological filtration so it makes no sense to try and establish it.> After a couple of days the spots disappeared.  A week later, they reappeared, and a day after (today), they are almost gone again. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm The best example I can think of is fleas; if your dog gets fleas then the fleas lay eggs, and while the fleas might seem to go away, later on the eggs hatch, and now your whole house has fleas. Very similar with ich - is able to reproduce at a very rapid and prolific pace. So... the white spots will come and go on their own, but become more virulent all the time.> No other fishes in the main tank have shown any sign of ich.  My question is this:  should I turn on the UV sterilizer? <Yes... make sure the flow rate is slow enough to kill protozoans. This will depend on the wattage of the bulb, but as I recall, a 25 watt bulb will kill ich at a flow rate of no more than 150 GPH.> If so, will the sterilizer harm the invertebrate food that I'm feeding to my Featherduster worms? <I'd be willing to bet - unless you use DT's [which is too large a particle for feather dusters] - that your 'food' is already dead.> If the ich disappears completely from the Wrasse in the next day, do you think I might have averted an outbreak in the main tank? <Most likely not. Please read the following articles - will provide some background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm > Your help is greatly appreciated. T. Cave <Cheers, J -- >

- Quarantine After the Fact, Follow-up - Thanks for your reply. <My pleasure.> I gave the Tang a freshwater dip, which seemed to perk it up substantially (although it's still not eating). <Well good to hear on the first count - I'd try every food you have, and perhaps some that you don't have yet to encourage this fish to eat. Perhaps some Mysis shrimp will perk it up.> I changed the water yesterday and today, making sure to re-dose with copper each time. <Do try and procure a copper test kit if you can so that you can make sure you don't over-dose the tang with copper.> Hopefully, it'll make it. <Indeed, will keep my fingers crossed.> Sincerely, T. Cave <Cheers, J -- >

Quarantine Quandary (Pt. 2) Scott, <Hi there!> Thanks!  Bought some bacteria today.  The other idea I had was to buy a sponge filter and stick it in the LFS guy's tank for a week to get a good coating of bacteria?  Danger of importing something into the QT? <Well, the possibility does exist, but this is a great method to "seed" the system. In a worst case scenario, the fishes would become ill in the quarantine tank! A sucky situation, but infinitely preferable to disease manifesting in your display tank!> Per your advice, have nixed the Chelmon rostratus.  Thinking of substituting with Forcipiger flavissimus, which got good reviews on WWM. <Yes! The "best of the bunch" for Butterflies, IMO> Only question, Bob says keep specific gravity low, 1.020.  I am at 1.025 now, and want to add a couple of Amphiprion percula, which site says keep at 1.023.  Would the later number be a happy medium, or take SG down to 1.020? <Really, for the best long-term results, I'd mimic natural ocean specific gravities, and shoot for 1.025. The lower SG is good in many situations, but for the majority of us, we'd be better off at 1.025, IMO> The only other fish I want to add for a while is a Paracanthurus hepatus.  Maybe a Flame Angel down the road.  This sound like an O.K. mix? <Yes. If you keep in mind the ultimate size and requirements for the tang. A very colorful and interesting combination!> Also, since I have set up all the hardware for a reef tank (AquaC EV 180, 100lbs live rock, circulation 20x tank volume, 100g tank, 2 x 150w metal halides and 160w of NO fluorescents), how about a couple of easy invertebrates? Selection is pretty slim, but have seen (I think) some Condylactis gigantea (white tentacles with purple tips, about 4" across) with a couple of Amphiprion melanopus making a home in them, and what I think are Lima scabra. <Wow! Very unusual (not unheard of, just uncommon) for clowns to inhabit a Condy...I wouldn't consider them a "host" species...> I also found a Enoplometopus debelius.  Will of course do a lot more reading first, but if any of these sound more reasonable (for a beginner) than others your advice would be appreciated. <Well, I do like the Condylactis as "starter" anemones, being more abundant in nature, and far more forgiving than many Pacific species...They still need bright light and excellent water quality, however...Do consider picking up "Reef Invertebrates" by Bob and Anthony and the "Book Of Coral Propagation" by Anthony for a lot more information on corals and invertebrates for your system...Lots to choose from> Thanks again! Saludos, Jim <Any time! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Consecutive Quarantine Residents? Good morning Scott F. <Hi there!> Scott, can I leave my QT running after I'm finished with my fish , then right after, get another fish and intro into my QT. Or should I take it apart clean it, then introduce a new fish??? Thank so much, have a great morning!!! <Well, I like to think of a quarantine tank as a temporary feature, simply set up when you need it, and broken down when not in use. I don't see why you couldn't put another fish into the QT immediately after the last resident was added to your display. Generally, though, I just clean it and set it up again when needed. Glad to see that you're using this procedure! Much success to you, my friend! Regards, Scott F.>

-Pearlscale butterfly not eating- Hello WWM Crew. I have a problem and have tried all the suggestions I could find here, on the forums, and in CMA but to no avail.  I hope you might "save the day". <Hope so> I have a new Pearlscale Butterfly (Chaetodon xanthurus) in QT for 5 days.  QT is 29 gal. and also currently housing a Majestic Angel (Pomacanthus [Euxiphipops] navarchus. <One fish at a time in quarantine please!> Both fish about 3.5 inches.  (Probably a little too crowded in there, I know.) <You got it>  The QT is classic "bare bones" hang on power filter, heater, extra power head for circulation, pvc pipe; and has been set up for about a month, but had to be disinfected due to a previous fish having had a bacterial infection, so there is no appreciable bio filter established. <Even more reason not to put two large fish in> Sg is 1.023, pH 8.3, Temp. 81 F, ammonia 0 to barely readable on SeaChem test, nitrites varying at about .25ppm despite daily 20% water changes <That's likely the problem provided nothing is already wrong w/ the fish>, nitrates 0.  Now finally to the problem... the Butterfly refuses all food.  I have tried, OSI flake, frozen angel/butterfly formula, frozen Mysis shrimp and have tried using Kent Garlic Extreme with each of those. I have also tried Seaweed Selects in a clip, opening a fresh clam (as per CMA), and yesterday resorted to trying live brine shrimp, just to get it started eating. <Wow, I suppose it is still a relatively new introduction, but it should at least go for the fresh clam>  The fish hasn't eaten a bite.  It will approach the food slowly, showing a little interest, but never "digs in".   Other than this it appears to be in good health. <If it ate at the shop, it is likely because of the water quality. If you don't know if it did, then it's likely a mishandled fish> Its gill movements seem a little fast, but its breathing seems in no way to be labored or distressed.  This is my first Butterfly, so I'm not really sure how fast they normally breathe.  The behavior seems normal, moves slowly around the tank, shows attention to things inside the tank and reacts to motion outside the tank.  There is no aggression between the two fish, and the angel is eating normally.  The fish also shows no signs of starvation... it has good body mass and shape, so we're not at the "911" stage yet, but I'd like to get this thing started eating before it is too late.  My thoughts are... maybe the low Nitrites might be the problem, or even worse, the possibility that it was captured using Cyanide and had digestive system damage. Any thoughts you might have or other feeding suggestions you could offer would be greatly appreciated. <The best you can do is keep trying different things *conservatively* so as not to create any additional nitrite. Siphon out what is not eaten and test frequently (verify with another brand like Salifert or fastest as well). Otherwise, you've tried everything. I'd just make sure that the water quality is MINT and keep trying, but it could just be a bad fish. Good luck! -Kevin> Glenn Brookes  (Bladuser on WWF message boards)

-Pearlscale not eating: part 2- Kevin, Thanks for your reply and helpful info. <You're very welcome> I really should have known better than to put more than one fish in QT, I don't know what I was thinking!!!  I apologize in advance for the length of this email, but I will have to ask your help once more, for now things have gone from concern to really bad!  As I mentioned, housed with the Butterfly in question is (was) a Navarchus Angel.  As of yesterday morning's water change, just before I first emailed you, the Angel was perfectly fine.  In the afternoon, I noticed it was hiding in it's pvc pipe, and was breathing heavily.  I immediately checked parameters and found that pH had dropped a lot... to about 8.0 or 7.9.  I can't account for the reason for this, I don't think it was the water change, it had been mixed and double checked the day before.  I mixed some SeaChem 8.3 buffer and added it to the tank in 3 stages over a 30min period.  A little later, the fish started moving around the tank a little bit, but still kept retreating to the pipe, and I also noticed some whitish material laying in the pipe... possibly excrement from the fish... which I siphoned out.  I figured the fish's distress was caused by the pH shift. Things stayed pretty much the same through yesterday evening. This morning when I checked on the tank, I saw the Angel sitting near the bottom, but it then went right up to the surface and stayed there "surface breathing". <Gasping?> It also seemed to either to have lost color in patches around it's head or possibly had patches of something on it.  Up till then I didn't suspect Amyloodinium or Cryptocaryon because neither fish ever showed signs of scratching or flashing, but now I am not sure.  I'm sorry I don't have a more accurate description, but I didn't spend a long time examining it because I went right out to get some Methylene Blue for a FW dip, and also to get another tank to separate the two fish into two QT's.  I was only gone about an hour, but when I returned, the Angel was sitting dead on the bottom of the tank.  The color loss / greyish areas were more pronounced, but I'm still not sure if it was color loss or something on the fish. Now finally to my questions: The pH shift?  Any guesses for the cause? <Check the kH, maybe it was low, allowing for this shift. I doubt that the .3 downward shift killed the fish though> Was the Angel's problem triggered  by this, or is it possible the fish was already in trouble, and excreting  a lot, which caused the shift? <If there was white excrement where the fish was, then it likely had internal problems.> What is your best guess for the death of the Angel?  Amyloodinium? Bacterial  infection of gills? Stress from the pH crash?  Something else?  It went really fast! <I would wager that it was something internal, maybe bacterial. Keep in mind that it could have been poorly handled/collected.> What do I do now?  Should I treat the Butterfly in the tank with copper?   Antibiotics? <There's still really no symptoms, I would leave it be. The butterfly still moves around the tank, but also sometimes just sits in one spot for awhile.  It has been doing this for a couple of days though. It's breathing is the same as it's been all along. It's hard to get an accurate count on gill "beats", but seem to be about 100 - 120 per min. <That seems fast, but who knows...> with small movements of the gill covers, (not like wide open "gasping").  I haven't tried feeding the butterfly yet today, just dealing with the emergency. Any help, insights, suggestions, or even just "best guesses" will be greatly appreciated! <There is definitely more than meets the eye going on with both of these fish, whether or not it was the same thing we'll never know. I would skip trying to feed the b'fly today and resume tomorrow. It is also possible that the 20% water changes are stressing out this fish, so if water chemistry allows, stretch out the time in between. At this point, I would not suggest running random medications, just sit back and wait. I'm sorry I don't have a good answer for you, but it's not a simple situation. -Kevin> Sincerely (and sadly), Glenn

QT methodology Thanks for the QT advice. Is 4 weeks without any signs of Ich a good indication that he and the tank are _probably_ ick-free? Or should I push this out to 6 weeks or more? <I would say a 4 week Qt should be adequate> SLC <IanB>

Amyloodinium affecting Sohal in Q/T >Dear WWM crew, sorry to bother you on a holiday weekend, but could use some of your advice.   >>No worries about that.  Marina today. >I am quarantining a Sohal Tang that I believe has marine velvet (Amyloodinium).  When I received the fish from the online retailer, it was completely covered in spots, which at the time I believed to be ich.   >>Great, remember to never use that outfit again, eh?  I hope you informed them immediately. >However, a week in hyposalinity and a copper level of 25ppm, has not improved the spots.  Actually I think the ich spots may have disappeared and the marine velvet spots appeared??  Anyway, the Sohal seems to be fairing considerably well, he is eating, has good color, clear eyes, and is not breathing to heavy, he is not darting or scratching.  So, if this is marine velvet, how long should I expect to see these spots?   >>If you think it's velvet (which appears to be more of a dusting of finer spots than Cryptocaryon) you MUST begin treatment immediately.  Do not wait, even if the animal appears to be doing well. >My concern is, if the spots are not gone after a reasonable amount of time, should I change the treatment plan to something a little more aggressive, as I know first hand how fatal marine velvet can be.  Thank You for your time.   Jen Marshall >>Absolutely, and I'm glad you contacted us right now.  Now, you say the fish is breathing normally, you haven't exactly described the appearance of the disease, so we could still be dealing with ich, but better safe than sorry.  Also, you haven't said how low you've taken the salinity -- for hyposalinity it should be 1.010.  Nutrition is going to be of paramount importance right now, so if you aren't already, get some Selcon and begin soaking foods in it.  You may need to utilize the copper as a treatment bath, this means a much stronger dose to be CAREFULLY monitored.  This will be stressful for the fish.  I would also highly recommend you disinfect the QT, if the fish isn't too large you can place him in a large trash can with a black plastic liner (with no "extras"--these are chemically inert and generally safest) while you disinfect with chlorine.  Be sure to have a good amount of dechlorinator (sodium thiosulfate) on hand. The copper bath is charted thusly-- Add to freshly mixed and pH adjusted water: Baslow's solution copper sulfate + TRIS buffer + EDTA at 0.10 -0.15ppm to dip specimen in ONCE.  This is not a bath to hold the fish in for any extended period of time, dip the fish, and remove to untreated water.  Be SURE to disinfect your nets as well!  Please see these links as well, and there may be links within that might prove helpful to you as well.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, and major MAD PROPS to you for using QUARANTINE!  Good luck, Marina http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm

QT methodology Dear WWM QT-guru: I've had a juvenile Coral Beauty in QT for about 2 weeks since I purchased it from an LFS. This fish had been there for about 6 weeks and had contracted a mild case of ick that had 'almost' completely subsided by the time I bought it (without it going into the LFS' sick tank.) My thinking is that if this fish survived 6 weeks in my LFS and came out of an ick cycle seemingly unscathed, then it should be relatively hardy. <agreed> Within 1 day of being in QT it lost the single remaining white cyst on its fin, or at least I can't see it anymore. I haven't done any kind of dips or hyposalinity treatments or run copper; I just used a liberal amount of Methylene blue in my acclimation tank (also known as a Rubbermaid bucket) during the acclimation procedure, for about 30 minutes.<ok> Now I know that using M.B. as a dip alone isn't really an effective treatment against the embedded-in-the-fish part of the ick's life cycle, but I'm curious why the ick seems to have just 'gone away' so quickly, <because it probably is reproducing in your QT container. and believe me it will come back in record numbers!> especially after removing it from a constantly coppered LFS fish tank. So (here's the question:) what would you recommend doing besides my waiting the 30-days in QT to ensure I've really nuked the ick? <nothing unless your fish shows signs of ich> I do the every other day or so vacuuming of the entire QT floor, and I take out and sterilize the minimal decorations in the tank at the same time, but that's it. Should I try a freshwater dip and return the CB to the QT after changing 100% of the QT water, and sterilizing everything (filter, decor, etc.?) Or should I try the hi-temp & hyposalinity thing for 14 days? Copper? Or, just do nothing and keep watching the CB for 30 days?<I would just keep watching and see if the ich does come back, I would not treat the fish unless he shows signs of the ich.> Your advice is greatly appreciated and taken to heart ..... SLC <IanB>

QT aquarium I've read that you can set up your q-tank using water from your main system. <yes you can> I did that with my first one. It worked great for making the q-tank stable. <ok> Now I have had ick in my main system and am letting it sit empty of fish. Is it a good idea to use that same water in the q-tank as well?<yeah you can use this water. the parasites reside in the gravel and rocks> <<No! Ian... the tomites are free-swimming... RMF>>  It doesn't sound too smart to me.<it should be ok.. and if you treat the qt aquarium with copper sulfate all the parasites will be killed> Wouldn't that just be introducing the ick to the q-tank?<not necessarily> I need to know because I am starting the q-tank again. Also, if you already have a fish in quarantine and need to remove a fish from your main tank is it ok to put the ill fish in with the new fish and extend the quarantine on the new fish as well then?<yes, but make sure you treat them> This hasn't happened to me yet but I want to know in case it ever does. How do you clean the q-tank after having disease in it?<you just wash it out with soap and water. <<What? No! Do not use surfactants in or around biological systems. RMF>> but make sure you rinse it well, Good luck, IanB>

QT Tank >I have followed your advice and have set up a QT salt tank for my new fish before putting them into the main tank. I have a question though.  Every time the water evaporates I add fresh water w/tap water conditioner and would like to know why the water gets cloudy. Is this harmful to the fish?  Thank you, Nancy >>Sounds like a small bacterial bloom, similar to new tank syndrome.  Don't JUST do top-offs, you need to also make more frequent water changes.  Best of luck, Marina

- Crystal Clear - Dear Jason C.: <Hello...> Thanks for your advice on my 46G FO tank. However my Centropyge loricula didn't make it in the QT tank... live and learn.  <Oh... I'm sorry to hear of your loss.> Now that I've treated my tank with Malachite Green + Formalin, my skimmer (Remora) has stopped skimming.  Contacted Jason Kim @ AquaC and he mentioned that he has no experience with Malachite but does know that Formalin "might" increase surface tension of the water thus reducing the foaming process. <Sounds about right.> Well, "might" is not a good enough answer for me because I invested a lot in that highly recommended skimmer.  And that's why I'm turning to the crew... Have you guys had this happen to you?  <No... I don't run skimmers on quarantine which is the only place I dose such stuff.>  And how can I get a quick fix?  <Run activated carbon to remove the formalin.>  I did a 10% water change yesterday to no avail. Has the staining from the Malachite rendered the skimmer COMPLETELY ineffective?  <If so, only temporarily, as long as the formalin is in the water.>  Or is it just my water?  <Well... yes. You've put in some additives that change the way the skimmer works. Remove the additive and you should be set.>  Please take note that my water is crystal clear.  <Then please take note that 'crystal clear' means very little. Bottled ammonia, vinegar, turpentine, etc. are all 'crystal clear' liquids that are outright toxic and would kill livestock almost instantly. There are potentially many things in your tank water that can't be seen or measured that effect the 'quality' or suitability of the tank's water to livestock. By your own admission you've treated this tank with a formaldehyde derivative so... you're water may be clear from the way you see it, but it's a mixed soup.> Please advice and thanks in advance.  Best,  Bala <Cheers, J -- >

Starting Again from Scratch... Ian, Thank you for your help.  <you're very welcome>   Unfortunately, my clown did die as well as two other fish. <sorry to hear of the losses>  I only have a Fourstripe damsel left. <they are tough little buggers>   Time to start over.  <agreed>   My next step is to get a Q tank.  <THIS IS A DEFINITE MUST>   I talked to another specialist, and he told me it was probably ich.  <could have been or some other form of parasitic infection>  He also said I probably should put in one fish at a time, and that I may have to stick with a sturdier fish, since my tank is so small (35 gallons)  What do you think?. <yes, also I would purchase a neon goby or 2... they are excellent cleaner fish. Please stay away from cleaner wrasses. Most die... even though some people get lucky from time to time... same with Regal Angelfish... but I won't get into that right now LOL>   I am going to visit him on Wednesday, and hopefully I will get things going again. <sounds like a plan my friend, good luck and keep me informed on how the Qt aquarium and the new aquarium works out. IanB>

Skimming the QT? 8/16/03 Thanks for the reply.  I am more secure now.  One additional thought or rather question.  Should we be protein skimming the quarantine tank? Thanks again <not necessary for the amount of water changes that are patently necessary for the brief term of quarantine. Anthony>

Refugium Q Mr. Fenner: <Steve> First off let me tell you what an honor it is to have your ear here, after all you have done and brought to light in the aquarium keeping business! <An honor to serve> My original letter was... currently have a:  45Gallon, 35Lbs LS, 45Lbs LR, 2 False Perculas, 2 Chocolate Chip Stars, 1Peppermint Shrimp, ~15 blue and scarlet leg crabs, 3 Bumble Bee snails, 1 Nassarius snail, ~2 Queen Conchs, Equip: AquaC Remora Skimmer w/MaxiJet 1200, Magnum 350 Canister, ZooMed PowerSweep powerhead, Coralife 96W 36" 50/50 10,000 Kelvin/Actinic Blue VHO lights.  In the next few weeks, I am planning on setting up a refugium...so that I can just use the Magnum on a very occasional basis to clean the particulate stuff in the tank, set up MH lighting in the main tank, move the stars and current lighting to the to the refugium so I can place some corals in the main tank.  My question is this...space is very very limited, and I was wondering what the smallest size of a refugium I could setup...and still get all it's benefits, and how much LR, and LS should be in it? <At least ten gallons... minimum. "The bigger the better"... twenty or more if you can fit it in> Thanks in advance!! Cheers! Steve <Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner>

- Quarantine Water Quality - I recently set up a QT tank because I noticed my maroon clown with a cluster of small white dots one of the fins.  The white dots (I am guessing is ick) are only located on this one particular fin.  I thought this was kinda strange.  The QT tank has been running for about one week.  I took water from another tank that is ick free and topped it off with fresh water. I took a sample of the water to the local pet store to get my water sampled.  The ammonia and nitrate level was high.  I did do a water change the day before.  I am treating the tank with quick cure.  I was using Greenex but it did not seem to help.  Is this normal for my nitrate and ammonia level to be this high. <Yes... the Quick Cure and Greenex are both toxic enough to stall any biological filtration that might have come in from the other system's water. Once you have a fish in quarantine, you need to perform very frequent water changes, on the order of 25% a day to 50% every other day - whichever works for you, along with frequent tests to see if you need to step up the water changes. Cheers, J -- >

Another Convert To Quarantine! Scott, Thank you kindly for the response and a push in the right direction. From your response it looks as though I better start quarantining the long nose butterfly while the live rock is curing. <Good idea! The quarantine technique is so essential that it should simply become part of the basic practices of all hobbyists...> (I went with the Fiji LR, based upon what I read in Reef Invert, great book!!! Figure that would be better as a base and maybe some Caribbean added later). That way when I rearrange the tank the yellow damsel may be a good host. (if not the children will allow me to return to LPS) <Breaking up territories is a great way to help diffuse potential aggression...Good idea!> I read the articles on QT and FW dips and have a few questions. I'm a bit concerned dipping the long nose. (It would be my first time dipping a fish) I think I read in Bob's CMA to be careful with using a net for fear of harming the nose. <Yes, you should. Plus, the fish can damage the nose/mouthparts by thrashing about in a small area. Best is to employ "net less" capture: Use a specimen container to scoop the fish out of the tank, then gently place it in the dip...A bit tricky- but a potential "nose saver"> I will be setting up a 10 gal tank, (all I have) with water from the 75 gal. I have a old whisper 2000 filter, Which I plan on running in the 75 for a week then putting that on the 10. The LPS carries Methylene Blue, which claims it can be added to the tank. <I'd save the Meth for dipping- it shouldn't be used in the tank unless it's for treating a malady of some sort...> I thought about just acclimating the long nose to the QT tank with the Methylene Blue added, or would a quick dip still be better than none? <I think so, if done carefully> Also the Methylene Blue claims not to affect the biological filtration bed, is this something that I should/can add to the display? <Nope- It is not  recommended...And it is "Tidy Bowl Blue!"...not something you want to see in the display!> Currently all in the 75 are fine and I haven't had problems with disease in a long time. (5 years) Also, is the Methylene Blue all that would be required, unless the fish is sick? <It's what I use in my dip for all new fishes...Nothing else needed for a dip, IMO> LPS is about an hour away and figure I'd pick up all I need at once. Another LPS (40 min away), that I went to this weekend to observe had an outbreak of Ich. The butterfly was a mess and since it was setup central filtration, there were a lot of sick fish for sale. <Yep- an unfortunate occurrence...> It only reassured the point to Quarantine. <Absolutely! It only takes one round of ich to convince most people of the value of quarantine!> The 10 gal is currently set up as a tad pole tank. Seven tadpoles slowly becoming frogs. <Lots of fun to watch! A great way to study biology!> I'll be converting them over to a rubber made tank, any special way to clean the 10 gal? Or just rinse out with clean water? <And baking soda. Give it a really good scrub. Some people use bleach, then refill the tank with water and "Dechlor" to help rid the tank of excess chlorine...> I want to use the 10 gal for the QT so I can better watch the fish. Since it will require a lot of small water changes would it be better to add the water from the 75 and put the new mixed saltwater in the 75 or maybe do a 50/50 split. Again thanks for all your help! DaveK <I like to use water from the display and nothing else! You can read more about the technique in this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm>   Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Filter for QT (8-2-03) Is there any reason not to use a Penguin 330 power filter on a 10 gallon quarantine tank? What about a 30 gallon quarantine tank? If so, how big of one could you use on each tank?<That would be fine for both a 10 & a 30.  Cody> Thanks, Tom

Quarantine Quandary Hi WWM crew, <Hi there! Scott F. with you tonight!> Sorry to write again so soon. But here is the thing. I just had a very pretty Coral Beauty die on me in my QT. <Must be a lot of that going around with Coral Beauties these days...> I feel I may have killed it but wonder if it might have been the reverse. The tank was started over---here is what I did: I put a new sponge (Whisper) in my main tank for 3 weeks. Then I put in maybe 6 gals of new water and added 4 gals of water (maybe more) from the main tank. <Good, although you could have used 100% tank water, too> The main tank is doing nicely aside from some nasty algae <This, too, shall pass> , but everything is thriving, and it has been going for over a year. The QT sat around like this for awhile. <Remember, a QT is not a permanent feature...You break it down when not in use> Anyway on to yesterday: I had the fish just about two weeks.  I had just done a water change (1 gal), this is in a ten gal. This was the second water change. The water change is from my main tank. During the water change I pulled some PVC around and the fish swam about briefly. It looked healthy but has been rather shy. Yesterday sometime or other the fish died. <Bummer...> I was rather busy yesterday and I think pulled the dead fish out today. <Not the best practice, but we all have busy lives to lead....understandable> Post mortem revealed no burning, spots or marks of any kind-- darn healthiest looking dead fish I have ever seen. When the fish was alive I don't remember seeing heavily clamped fins or trouble breathing. I turned the Whisper off last night. Today I did a water test on the Qt and found the following rather alarming figures. I must say maybe I have gotten a little unconscientious on the water tests. <Oops> Both tanks are usually almost boringly stable. Even the Qt. But anyway here are the test results: temp 7.8; SG 1.023; ph 8.2; ammonia .6 !; nitrite 1 ! and nitrate 10. <Don't like that ammonia level. or the nitrite level..> To me this looks like a cycle or maybe a recycle. Could a dead fish have caused this? <In a small tank with minimal filtration, it's entirely possible...> Or could the fish have lived that long in water that bad? I know a damsel might but this was a Coral beauty. Or was the tank just too unestablished? (BTW, this doesn't sound too dissimilar to how I have started up a QT in the past.) I can't say I have not had unexplained deaths in the past. Would I see no distress in a fish with this water quality or lack thereof? <You would most likely see distress of some sort...Again, I'd opt to break down the QT between uses...Do test the water during the QT period...Hard to be sure exactly what it was that killed the fish...It could have been the ammonia and nitrite levels, if they were detectible prior to the fish's death...Or- it could have been poor collection practices (entirely beyond your control), etc. Don't be discouraged...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F> BTW, I did look in the FAQs but didn't find anything quite like this mentioned. Also what to do at this point with it? Big water change or let the tank just cycle itself out. Only biomedia is the sponge in the whisper. Thanks. --des

Quarantine Quandary! (Pt. 2) A couple more questions. Don't worry we won't have a round like I did on the algae. :-) Thanks for your reply. <No problem!> Have you seen a lot of problems with Coral Beauties? I have heard someone in Texas mention this-- that several friends of theirs lost  CBs under similar circumstances. <I have heard of quite a few people having problems with Coral Beauties lately. I have a feeling that a lot of the problem stems from collection and handling. Unfortunately, some of the CB's coming in from the Philippines are still collected under suspect conditions (i.e.; chemicals), and this may contribute to the problem. Perhaps it may be worthwhile to ask your retailer to obtain stock that are known to come from other regions. Australian Coral Beauties are great fishes, conscientiously collected, well-handled, and of high quality. You could purchase some from Marine Center, where they actually list them as "Australian".> Perhaps I should look for a different dwarf angel for the tank. I was going for the CB as I have reason to believe they might be a bit more reef "safe" (relatively I mean!) than say a Flame and easier to find than an Argi (though I just love these). <I personally keep a Coral Beauty in a reef system, and have never noticed a problem. This doesn't mean that they are "reef safe", of course- just that I have a specimen that likes what I'm feeding him better than the coral foraging in the tank! I do believe, however, that they are a bit more "reef friendly" than some other Centropyge. BTW, C. argi are also one of the more safe choices for a reef system, IMO.> Are there just not such good ones now or something? BTW, I did not mention but this was an unusually small one, maybe an inch long. <Well, sometimes, small Centropyge angels don't travel or acclimate well. This could have been another factor...> BTW, my corals are all softies and 'shrooms. <I think that, as Scott Michael says, some of the "more noxious" soft corals are safer than LPS when kept in the company of angels> The main tank is doing nicely aside from some nasty algae <This, too, shall pass> Hopefully. Actually I believe it is looking a bit better the past couple weeks. <Consistent, aggressive maintenance will win out!> I've been changing and adding fish though. Due to the weirdness of the Albuquerque market I have only 2 fish in the tank. A variety of inverts though. <That' under crowding...I like that! LOL> Long story.   I must say maybe I have gotten a little unconscientious on the water tests. <Oops> Yep I think I learned my lesson. And as for aquarium lessons it was probably a cheap one. :-} <Yep, in the scheme of things...The key word is "learn"!> Ok which of these would you recommend. I am trying again with another fish. Should I do the large water change or let the tank (re)cycle. <I'd let the tank cycle at this point...> Hey this time I'll do the water tests!! <There ya go!> Thanks again, Scott, des <My pleasure! Ahead Warp 1! Regards, Scott F>

Quarantine Quandary? Pt. Nth Scott, <Hey there!> O.K., I lied! (about leaving you alone). <I like the company! LOL> Have spent several hours again today reading through articles and FAQs (really liked the one you did on quarantining inverts) <Glad you like it! An oft-overlooked procedure, IMO!> and have a question I could not find an answer to. <Ahh...ask away...> All the hardware is up and running, the rock is in, the water is pristine (all thanks to you), so working now on the lighting and quarantine and stocking plan.   <That's the fun part!> Since I have at least a few weeks before I can do any stocking (checking ammonia, nitrites/trates every day just so I can see what is going on), and will need to quarantine the fishes for another four weeks, can I actually start quarantine now, without any bacteria-rich filtering media (don't have any as display is only on third day of cycling) by doing say, 25% water changes every other day? <You can, but this is an instance where I'd be inclined to use one of the "instant bacteria" cultures (such as "Fritz Zyme", "Bio Spira", "Cycle", etc. to "kick start" the QT filter...> The set up I was thinking about was a 20g aquarium I have with a hood, following all the guidelines on WWM (sponge filter, no substrate, pvc hiding places, freshwater dips, etc.). Thought was to put in the two small Amphiprion percula and 3" Paracanthurus hepatus.  Once those are QT'ed for four weeks, then start on whatever the next addition might be. <Perfect! Should work really well, and a great practice to get in to!> Assuming this is even workable without the bacteria, is this too much load?  I also have a 55g that I have not set up yet, but if I can avoid changing out that much water every other day (or every day if necessary) would like to. <In a QT tank, I'd monitor water quality just as in the main tank, and would go for the twice weekly (or more frequently, if you're a water change geek like me) changes to maintain high water quality.> Finally, in reading FAQs I read a response from Bob that said there are two types of quarantines, one for actually treatment of disease, that should be at least 4 weeks, and one for just checking out the new fish to make sure he is acting right and shows no visible signs of stress or disease, that can last for as little as a few days or a week.  Only saw it in one FAQ and wondering is this is a workable approach. <Well, for certain fishes that have a reputation for being "clean", or which have extreme hardship during a prolonged quarantine process, it is sometimes possible to keep them in a QT for "hardening" for a shorter period of time. For most of us, however, I would adhere to the 3-4 week rule without exception> The fish store I finally found has a pretty strict quarantine system and pretty low turnover (they only get fish once every 4-6 weeks, so most of the fish there have already been quarantined and in the tanks for at least a few weeks). <Well, remember, once they are placed in the dealer's system, they are subjected to all of the potential diseases that may be in the system...I'd err on the side of caution and quarantine the full 3-4 weeks...> Thanks again.  If I am abusing my privileges, just let me know :o) Best regards, Jim <Not "abusing" at all, Jim! That's why we're here! Feel free to write any time! Good luck with the new system- wishing you success! Regards, Scott F>

Preparing Filter For Quarantine Good morning Scott <Hi there!> Long time don't talk, I have a silly ?question for ya, <I'll try not to have too silly an answer!> I'm using now a Skilter 250 for my QT tank!!! ( 10 gallons) pretty neat it has a little skimmer!!! That should  really help ha!!! <Yep- should be nice for this sized tank!> So my question Is... Is  it a good idea to leave the Skilter cartridge in my main tank for 3 to 4 weeks with the carbon on or with out? Then intro into  my QT tank??? <I'd be inclined to place the whole cartridge in the display to "colonize"....Should be ready to go whenever you need it!> THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! <And thank you for staying in touch! I'll catch you soon! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine Story... Hi - Story and question: I quarantined a juvenile Coral Beauty for 14 days. During this time it apparently thrived, showing no signs of illness or disease or weaknesses of any kind. On day 15 it became pale, lethargic and disoriented, keeling over within about 12 hours of first showing these symptoms. I noticed as it was dying that it had a small incision under it's right front fin, where three half-rice-grain sized white specks appeared to poke out from. Upon its death, the specks had disappeared but the incision remained. The moral of the story is that QTing a fish for more than 2 weeks is a good idea, <YES!!! That's what I'm talking about! You heard it hear first, folks....That is why we stress quarantine so much. I've had fishes get sick on day 19 and 20 of a 30 day quarantine period. Don't gamble with fate...> and the question I have, is : what do you think killed it? <Well, it sounds to me like it was some kind of internal parasite (a rather large one, at that). Could have been with the fish all along, or it could have been acquired during it's time at the LFS, or even in your quarantine tank, if you use live rock in there (Not recommended)...Hard to be sure without dissection, but that's my guess> The QT tank had its bottom vacuumed spotless daily, which resulted in about a 33% water change per day to replace this water. Perhaps the constant water changes? Or were those 3 white specs some kind of parasite? I don't think marine ich would kill a fish so quickly, especially if it had only manifested itself in 3 or so trophonts? <I doubt it, too. Your water change routine is fine for a quarantine system, IMO...Again- I favor the internal parasite theory> Salinity was at 1.024, temp at 78, all bad nitrogen-related measurements at 0ppm ... <Doesn't sound like H20 quality was a factor here...> Thanks, SLC <Well, SLC- sounds like you did everything right, but the cards just didn't fall in your favor. I commend you nonetheless on your use of quarantine! Thanks for sharing this experience with your fellow hobbyists. As I only have jokingly say about use of quarantine- "Spread the word- not disease"- corny, but true! Good luck, and don't be discouraged...Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine Story (Pt. 2) Thanks Scott F.: <You're welcome!> I have yet to have a _single_ fish make it out alive of the intro. dip/QT procedure and into my main tank. Since I am a newbie marine aquarist, this has proved to be irritating and saddening, but not frustrating yet. <Good...don't let it prevent you from keeping up this practice I really recommend that you keep trying. The procedures are outlined on the WWM site, so do read up and get that confidence back!> have no specific questions, but I wonder how many fragile yet perfectly healthy fish are killed in this hobby, simply from the stress of dips and QTing. <Far, far fewer than the number of fishes that are saved by this procedure, I'll bet. It's an absolutely standard procedures at public aquariums and professional aquatic facilities worldwide. The procedures and equipment that the pros use for quarantine are essentially the same as those utilized by hobbyists...> I would have dissected the CB as you mentioned below, but my feelings for this fish outweighed my forensic curiosity. <I totally understand. And please don't get discouraged by this bad experience. I think that the Coral Beauty may have been doomed before you ever acquired it. It simply was not your fault...> Onwards, SLC <Absolutely! Hang in there and you'll prevail! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine Concepts Hi there <Hello! Scott F. with you tonight!> Great site by the way! I can't believe just how much useful information there is on this site. However, I've searched high and low and I don't think this question has been answered yet... <Well- let's give it a shot!> I have a question re setting up a quarantine system: I have a 150 gallon tank set up, with sump, skimmer, refugium etc and a circulation pump back up to the main tank. As the 'cleansed' water goes back into the main tank from the sump, can I take a drip-feed off the return pipe that goes into a separate tank (the quarantine tank). Once this quarantine tank is full up, it will overflow into a waste bucket which I empty every few days when it is full. The lost water from the main tank (that fed the quarantine) is replaced, just like I replace water lost through evaporation. <Interesting...> The advantages of this are that the quarantined fish is being quarantined in the water in which it is eventually going to live in, there is no feedback from the quarantine tank to the main tank, the water in the quarantine tank is continually being flushed through and is of the same high quality as my tank. Best of all, its cheap! Please let me know if this is possible. <Agreed- a unique concept. However, I tend to favor a more simple concept in a quarantine setup: A separate tank, set up on a temporary, as needed basis-without any interaction whatsoever with the main system. Although your concept is novel, and the likelihood of serious malfunction is low, I'd keep it as easy as possible...Good old fashioned sponge filter with in a 10-20 gallon tank. Use water from the main tank (like what you are correctly thinking of using), and there you go! Easy> Thanks! Gubs <Again- I like your idea- I just like a more simple application. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

QT Setup One more follow-up please.  If I wanted to use something in addition to the sponge filter, what other filter can you recommend? <It depends on what you need the other filter to do.  If it is just for flow, power heads work well.  If you want to add carbon the hang on the back type, or a canister filter would work.  It's up to you really.  -Gage>

QT setup Well, everything has advantages and disadvantages.  I'm looking for a reason to choose one over the other.  What would you add and why? <I personally would go with a seasoned (left in other tank or sump) sponge filter, and maybe a hang on the back because they can hold some media for me and they are cheap, and I am cheap. check out this link for more info.  Best Regards, Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm >

Rockin' In The Quarantine Tank! Hello Scott. F <Hi there!> How are you today??? I hope you had a GREAT weekend!!! <Doing great! Hope you're doing well, too! My weekend was about two days too short! LOL> Well, all is good so far with my Royal Gramma! <Glad to hear that! Aren't they awesome fish? Even as an admitted Indo Pacific "snob", I love grammas!> My next two fish are going to be 2 Banggai Cardinals. I would like to buy a male and a female, how can I tell them apart??? <My understanding is that there are some external sex differences, but they are somewhat unreliable. I've heard that the females have more full bodies, other people swear by the fins- more rounded in the females...I dunno-none sound too reliable to me. If it were me, I'd either shop for a proven pair, or consider a small group to allow them to pair off on their own...> Also ,do you think is a good idea to put 2 small pieces of live rock in my QT tank for more bio filtration for my 2 fish, then when the QT is over put them back in my main tank??? <Honestly, I favor inert materials in the QT for a couple of reasons. Number one- even live rock carries with it the possibility of "on board" parasites or other undesirable animals. Number two- If it becomes necessary to medicate, live rock can essentially "suck up" medications, making it more difficult to maintain a correct therapeutic dosage. I'd use inert products (PVC or ceramic flower pots) for hiding places. I do occasionally make an exception and use a piece or two of cured live rock when attempting to acclimate fussy Centropyge angelfish, which may "graze" on it as they transition to captivity. However, for most situations- I'd pass on any live materials in quarantine...>   Thanx for all you do, talk to you soon Alex <Any time, Alex! I wish you luck with your efforts! Sounds like things are going well! Regards, Scott F.>

Ich and QT Questions 7/11/03 Hi Phil,<Hey Rob!> thanks for getting back to me, <No problem!> but I still have a couple of questions:<Let's hear them!> I'm seeing what looks like air bubbles on the fish.<Hmmmm...>  on the bottom of the tank there now are white flakes ranging from grain of salt size, to about 1/4 inch size.  are these the "resting" ich, or something else? <I don't think "ICH" can get to the 1/4 inch size.>   actually, I just netted some.  When I squeeze it, it dissolves, so I'm guessing it's just undissolved salt because if it was ich, I wouldn't be able to do that. Am I correct? <I would bet on salt.  But if I was in your shoes I would just remove whatever it is just to be safe.> also, as to your assertion that the QT needs to be cycled, I had put the sponges in the sump of my display for about 4 weeks.  I had thought that would do the trick, but for some reason it hasn't.  could this be because the display is already cycled (it currently is fallow with just live rock and algae)?<Very possible, next time before you add fish to your QT.  Drop in a piece of raw shrimp.  After a day or so remove, check the water for the next week or so.  If all goes well your tank should have cycled.> thanks in advance, <I would get rid of whatever the white flakes are.  Just suck them up in a water change.  Try the shrimp in the QT sometime, works like a charm.> rob<Good luck!  Phil>

QT setup When you say bottom should be bare, does that mean no live rock? <Yup, no substrate, no live rock, just a filter, some hiding places (PVC works well), and frequent water changes and testing of water to ensure quality water.-Gage>

Quarantine 411! I was convinced to quarantine new arrivals per the encouragement of Bob Fenner's Conscientious Marine Aquarist and Anthony Calfo's book on coral propagation. <Absolutely...Probably the best thing a hobbyist can do to ensure success and health with new arrivals> However, my first two subjects -- a blue tang and a pygmy angel -- nearly died.  After 24 hours in the QT, they were both laying on their sides on the bottom breathing heavy.  I transferred them to the main tank, and a week later they seems to be doing fine. <Hm...> The QT tank was about 20 gallons (it's about a 1/3 section of my 60 gallon refugium that I can feed from the main tank or not as I choose, and the dimensions of the QT portion  are approximately 12"L x 24"W x 16"H). There wasn't much current in the QT, just a sponge filter, and the air pump on that sponge filter was a bit tired. The sponge filter was in the refugium a week prior (on the theory that it would soak up good bacteria>)  The water in the QT was from my main tank, and I transferred in some live rock to the QT, and there was also some macroalgae in there. In the 24 hours that the fish suffered in the QT, I did two 10% water changes, again using the main tank water. <Well, letting the sponge acquire beneficial bacteria in the main system is a good idea...It may have been detrimental to utilize a pump that couldn't produce enough bubbles to help aerate the system...A thought> What can I do to improve the QT?  Perhaps I should  not put in live rock or macroalgae?  Should I put in a powerhead?  What kind of filter should I use instead of the sponge filter?  A protein skimmer?  A bio-wheel?  A wet-dry filter? <Well, my concept of a quarantine system is a completely separate tank or container, which is not attached in any way to the display tank. I generally use a sponge filter (which sits in my sump when not in use). Do power it with a sufficiently powerful sump. You could add a powerhead for some additional circulation. Bottom should be bare. Change water frequently (2 to 3 times a week is optimal), and utilize overall good husbandry techniques...Should be fine!> Please help.  My first attempt at using the QT was pretty discouraging. <Do retry with the very minor modifications that we discussed here. Also, do check the WWM site for more details on the quarantine process...Lots of good stuff here. Most important of all- stay with it! Don't give up this process because of this one bad experience! You'll be fine! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine questions 7/9/03 I am a bit confused over what should be qt. Fish? Inverts? Coral? Anemone? Thanks a lot... I will be getting an anemone soon and was wondering about the qt. <all live plants and animals are to be quarantined almost without exception. 4 weeks ideally... 2 to 3 weeks minimum. Read more about QT here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm best regards, Anthony>

QT Problems  7/9/03 <It appears that another crew member helped you out before.  I'm gonna try and fill in for that person.  So tonight you've got crew member Phil w/ ya!> *Note this is the current tank info* recent readings: 7/3 (day before I went on vacation) ammonia 2.0, nitrite 5.0 (I think, hard to tell with the kit when nitrites are high), nitrate 20 <All the levels are too high.> 7/6 (when I came back) ammonia 0.5 nitrite 5.0 nitrate 20 <Still not good, do more water changes.> I did a 20% water change the day I came back, and 2 x 20% water changes 6 hours apart the next day (to try and get the nitrites down). The original response said to use cycle (bacteria colonization product), but if the fish is due to be moved out of quarantine this week anyway, wouldn't large water changes be more useful? <Yes, but in the future make sure the QT is cycled so this doesn't happen again... LOL> Also, I'm seeing some talcum like particles around the heater, etc.  it's sort of reddish.  I can't tell if it's undissolved salt that has been colored by the Gracilaria (there was a dusting of undissolved salt on the bottom that never seemed to dissolve for some reason ever since I mixed the saltwater), or if it's ich. Fish doesn't seem to be showing symptoms of ich.  saw 2-3 white dots before I went on vacation, but these have since disappeared.  If it is ich, how do I tell? <It would be tough, your best bet is to just remove it.>  Also, how did it get there, as I originally did a 12 minute Methylene blue freshwater dip?<Sometimes a few particles get through and can cause ICH.  Another great reason for a QT.>   could it have hijacked it's way on the Gracilaria? <Doubtful, most likely on the fish itself.  If it is indeed truly ICH.> thanks in advance, <Hope this helps and good luck.  Phil?

Quarantine & Dips Hi guys, <Welcome Bryan, Don here today> Been doing some reading in F&Q's about quarantine and dips.  Basically I would like to get some feedback as I piece all this info together.  I am starting back in to my aquarium and I am one who did not quarantine b/f.  I am also wanting to dip w/ Methylene blue. Here goes.... I take my newly arrived specimen and acclimate him to the quarantine tank (20 gal. tank w/sponge filter that has been in my main tank sump, water from the main tank...pH, temp adjusted) and put the fish into quarantine first, b/f I do a dip right? <I would go through whatever process you do to add QT water to the bag the fish arrives in. (Setting up a drip over several hours is recommended.) Then do a FW dip with M. Blue on the way into the QT tank.> B/c I don't want to further stress out the fish.  Then after about 4 weeks and b/f I put into main display I can do a Methylene blue dip?   <I would only dip again if the fish shows some type of disease that a FW dip can help with. If it stays healthy during QT then let it be.> Couple questions.  When is the dip performed? b/f or after quarantine?   <As above> And also is the Methylene blue dip with fresh buffered RO/DI water or is system water fine? <Hmmmmm, if you use system water, it wouldn't be fresh water eh? <G> RO/DI is great making sure it is pH and temperature adjusted.> I am sure there will more question.  Thanks for your help. <Keep 'em comin' and your welcome, Don> Bryan

QT tank! (6/30/03) I just bought a 10 gallon tank for quarantine.  I bought the little kit things they at the store.  Will the little whisper 5-15 gallons filter work for my quarantine?  Or will I have to buy something better?   <This should be fine, just do frequent partial water changes almost every day.  Which you should be doing anyway in a QT.> I don't have much money to be going out and buying a super powerful filter like the one I have for my main tank which is 55 gallons.  Do I have to use the carbon with the filter? <Yes, unless you put the pad in a sump or somewhere it can get lots of bacteria before adding fish.  Although if you use any medications the filter is going to be useless since the carbon takes out the medication and most medications will kill the bacteria which leads you to daily water changes if using a med.> Since all I am doing is using it to treat the fish with copper.  I have a marine system.  As far as quarantine goes do I have to do weekly water changes?  <See above.>  I know that I have to siphon out the food that wasn't ate since its a real small. <It will also help siphon out many parasites.> How long would you recommend being able to put fish in there?  I'm going to use the water from my main tank when I do a water change to fill most of the quarantine tank up. <If you use that water from the main tank, right away.> Then use a new batch of water with a five gallon bucket.<From the main tank?>   One more question and I'll be done the lights that I have for my 10 gallon tank aren't fluorescent they are the little lights that you screw in and they are similar to the ones in your house (incandescent) are those fine to use, and should I run the lights as long as I run the lights with my main tank. <Yes these are fine.  And yes, run the same light cycle as the main tank.>   Thank you for your time.  I've read so much of the information you guys have on your website  I'm truly glad that that there is information like that available to people like myself.  I'm a firm believer in the whole quarantine tank its makes so much sense.  Spending that little extra money is well worth it if something goes bad in my main tank and I end up losing all my fish.   <Good thing you listen to us and don't have to learn the hard way like me and so many others!  Cody>

Quarantine tank setup I have learned (the hard way, which seems the only way I actually learn)   <Welcome to a very large group that I too am a card carrying member of!> that I QT is necessary. I have some white spots on my porcupine puffer, although no other fish seems affected (yet), I don't want to fool around anymore with garlic, etc. <You will save time, grief and life in the long run, using the QT is a good decision> I have a 180 gallon main tank with a large volitans lion, 6" bird wrasse, 6" lunare wrasse, 3" dragon wrasse, 5" porcupine puffer, small yellow tang, small blue tank, 6" Picasso trigger.  I want to QT all of them. <Ok> I've got another 180 gallon tank that I'm slowly setting up (that I intend to move some of the existing fish to as they outgrow and crowd this one), but I don't want to use this as a QT (it cost me too much).  My LFS has a bunch of 35 gallon tanks that they took down with scratches, etc.  They're all drilled at the back and painted 3 sides. <Excellent for QT>    I was thinking that it might be best to get a few of these instead of a 100 gallon as I could separate the fish (if I feed lightly, who knows what the lion or trigger might decide looks good).  How many would you recommend?  I'm thinking 3.  I was also thinking about using a wet/dry as filtration.  I've got tons of bioballs and a few mag700 pumps that aren't being used on the main tanks.  I also have an Eheim canister that I could use (rated at ~140gph) that I'm using on the main system, but don't really need to. <All it really needs to be is a simple power filter. Any more is up to you> I also have a vortex filter that I use on the main system part time. Can I use the vortex on the QT tank (with copper) and then use it on the main system later (after cleaning)?  Can I use the same filter in the vortex (with new DE powder) or will I need new hose, filter, etc? <I would not chance reusing the material unless it can withstand a mild bleach solution cleaning> My plan is to transfer everyone from the main tank over a few days (I think it will take that long to catch everyone).  Treat w/ copper and leave the main tank empty of fish for 4 weeks.  I'll leave the 3 starfish in the main tank unless this is a problem. <You are saying treat in QT right? Thought so. Never treat the main tank or any tank with invertebrates. The stars should be OK in the main tank and the fallow period should be 4-8 weeks.> I've asked you guys a bunch of questions recently and I really wanted to thank you for all your answers, both the ones to me and the others listed on your site that have helped me.  I really feel like I can make things work with your help and advice.  Peace of mind is a very valuable thing that you have given me. <Thank you very much. Remember, you and others who write are as big a part of the learning and sharing that goes on through this site as we are. Thank you for your input> I work with computers and breed dogs for a living, so if my expertise can ever help you feel free to ask. <Okey doke, thanks. Don> Cameron

The Voyage Home (Returning From The Hospital Tank) Good morning WWM team: <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> Quick question - my aquatic family has been in Q for 5 weeks while display tank fallows (ick). Is there a preferred protocol for returning to the display? As in - do you send in one volunteer to check for ick return or return all to the display at the same time (in aggressive order)? <Personally, I like to get all of the fishes back in at one time. It's certainly acceptable protocol to add them gradually, too-in "aggressive order" as you suggested. It's just a matter of personal preference. Since I assume that your biological filtration has been continuing in the fallow tank, I'm sure that the organic processing capabilities of the tank are intact. If you feel it necessary, than by all means proceed slowly with re-stocking> Follow up question: do you prefer gradual transfer of display water to replace Q water over a week or two for acclimation or standard float, acclimate as if coming in from outside supplier? Charlie Shatzkin <Well, Charlie, I'm an advocate of using display tank water in the quarantine or hospital setup, so that the fishes are adapted to your display tank's conditions. If you have been using other water for the QT, I'd begin replacing the QT water with display tank water for a week or so. This has two advantages: 1) It will allow the fishes to re-adapt to their home environment again 2) If there are some free-swimming parasites still about (unlikely, but a theoretical possibility), it's a lot better for your fishes to become "re-infected" in the hospital tank, where they can be readily treated again if required. You've done well so far- just proceed slowly, in a manner in which you are most comfortable. Hang in there, and good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Crowded hospital tank? (06/19/03) <Hi! Ananda here this afternoon...> I have a cycled 20g tank that I am moving my pufferfish into to treat for what I suspect to be some sort of parasite.  It is cycled, but I don't know if it can handle the increased bioload of the 4-5" fish (previously just temporarily housed feeder shrimp).   <Probably not. You're going to need to do *daily* water changes.> I have been running back and forth for 5 gallon jugs of RO water, can I just mix up about 50g of tapwater instead?  I would treat the water with Amquel (municipal water) and then mix and aerate for a day.   <Sounds good.> Until I get an "OK", I am just going to keep running.  I will be using chelated copper sulfate (CopperSafe) to treat the parasite, its the only copper I could find. Ryan A. <Ack! No copper in a tank with puffers or other scaleless fishes! You don't give any details on what parasite you think it is, or we might be able to give you some direction on what to use. If it's an external parasite, start out with a freshwater dip.... --Ananda>

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