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FAQs on Quarantine 9

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

Related FAQs: Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2Quarantine 3Quarantine 4, Quarantine 5, Quarantine 6Quarantine 7, Quarantine 8, Quarantine 10, Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantine 13, Quarantine 14, QTing Invertebrates, Quarantine FAQs on: QT Rationale/Use, QT Methods/Protocol, Quarantine Lighting Quarantine Tanks & FAQs on QT Tanks, QT Filtration, QT Maintenance/Operation, Quarantine Feeding & FAQs on: Quarantine Feeding  & FAQs on Acclimation 1, Acclimating Invertebrates, Acclimation of Livestock in the Business Treatment Tanks Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates

Quarantine Question Hi there <Hello, Ryan with you> I am in the process of quarantining two fairy wrasses for my 90 gal reef tank. <Beautiful fish> They have been in qt for a week and I plan on keeping them in there 4 weeks. <Golf clap> My question is should I perform a freshwater dip or any other preventative exercise before I release them to the display tank?  <Not unless they're showing signs of disease.> .They look great, are eating voraciously and have no signs of disease so far <Give them a month, and introduce them as normal.  See ya, Ryan>

- Quarantine and Treatments - Dear Crew: Thank you all of you. I really want to buy you guys' dinner because all of you save me thousands! <I won't say no.> Anyway, I have a question or two. First I have 2 fishes in QT, luckily I did this because the juv emperor appears to have ich all of a sudden, and really, when I bought the specimen, no visible spot on it.. (Please post this into the faq because I finally realize the qt save me money). Anyway, I discover a couple of spot on it's fins on the morning, and by afternoon it has already spread to the body, so I decided to administer Cupramine. With the blue hippo seems unaffected. My questions are: 1. if I follow the recommended dosage by SeaChem, and use SeaChem test for copper, but the result is less than 0.05, should I trust the kit or recommended dosage? <Make sure the kit is appropriate for the Seachem copper - although I can't recall this exact product, it may be chelated copper which requires a specific test kit.> 2. When I follow the treatment for 14 days, do I keep both specimen in the qt a little longer even they show no ich, and cut copper with carbon?? <That would be fine.> 3. I used 2 sponge filter for biological filtration, and usually I keep it in my display sump (like you recommended) after cupper treatment I am a little bit weary about putting it back in, even I will use carbon to take cupper out.. Is there other way the sponge can be reuse? <No, I'd toss it.> 4. For dips, I read an article saying using Formalin.. Where can I obtain Formalin and how to administer? <It's available straight up and in mixes with malachite green - Quick Cure is one of the most popular of such mixes - do be careful when you dose Formalin - it is toxic and overdoses will kill. But do keep in mind that with angels/tangs - Formalin is actually preferred over copper because of the sensitivity of these fish to copper - not to say they can't take copper, you just need to be very careful of the dose.> 5. Is lighting period important in the qt?? <No... I'd even just leave the light fixture off the tank - subdued lighting will help keep the fish at ease.> What is the minimum lighting period and how it is affecting the fish? <I'd just use whatever daylight is available.> Is it suppose to leave the QT dark? <Perhaps not a complete absence of light, but certainly a night/day cycle of lighting in some form would be best.> I think my specimens are already getting used to 10 hrs photoperiod. will it stress them out? <Not really.> 6. I am using vitamin b complex and c tablets, dissolved and soaked the Mysis shrimp before feeding, can vitamin soaked food be refrigerated? <Yes, but if these are vitamins made for human consumption, I would stop adding these and switch to vitamin compounds made for aquarium use.> Will the vitamin disintegrated? <Only over long periods of time.> Can vitamin be overdose? <Yes... more the reason to not use vitamins meant for human consumption.> If so how much is good? <Purchase aquarium-use vitamin formulas - Boyd's Vita Chem, Selcon, etc...> 7. I currently have angels and tangs, also some Anthias in the tank, can Nori be a main staple food source for these fishes? <Not for the Anthias, and really not for the angels either - most all angels need some meaty food in their diet, and the tang would likewise benefit from such offerings.> I heard dried Nori seaweed are better food because they have less organics (problems of overfeed.) is it true? <Don't know - haven't heard this rumor, have no way to substantiate it.> I am currently feeding 50% Nori and 50% Mysis. And I think feeding is a main source of problem for my recent algae boom (red slime). 8. Can I "overdose" carbon? <Yes.> Will carbon harm fish? <There is a condition known as carbon shock, where too much carbon is added to a system, and the carbon changes the water chemistry instantly and drastically - just avoid using excessive amounts of carbon and you should be fine.> Thank you very much! Waiting to hear from you guys! Sincerely, Eric <Cheers, J -- >

QT Issues - cont'd. >Thanks for your quick response. >>You're welcome. >Yes I agree , going to start a  treatment with the Formalin. It's the Formalin 3 by Kordon. >>Ok, should be good. >To clarify the dosing regime I called the company today and they told me to give a full dose daily (incredible the conflicting info in this hobby). >>Sounds like talking to a computer tech (rolling eyes). >I  trust your judgment more, it makes better sense to me to dose the change water daily, don't want to OD my guys. >>This is key. >I'll run this treatment for several days, vacuum the tank daily with the water changes and see of there is an improvement. If not  I will filter it out, give them a rest and use the Cupramine if all else fails. Should I keep the lower salinity  or raise it a tad to cut down on their stress? >>I would raise it to about 1.015-1.018, mostly to help keep just a tad better O2 saturation. >As for the dips, I am using PH and temperature adjusted water with an airstone running during the dip. >>Couldn't do better myself, my friend. >I am gonna save these guys, have become quite attached to them.   >>Good on you!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, you should be able to lick this. >Thanks for everything. Kurt >>Again, you're welcome.  Marina Trying to Find a Balance - Almost There So fluctuations of - 3 degrees during the night and + 3 degrees with the lights on is o.k.? >>Yes, that would be fine, +/- within a 24 hour period. >It is so hard to keep it at an even 77 or 78 all the time with fluctuations in room temperature and varying temps when the lights come on. >>Indeed, it doesn't have to be kept at an exact temperature, just within a certain range.  Know that it's not as harmful to let it rise more quickly than drop, that's a big stressor for many fish. >When the lights go out temp drops. If I jack the heat up to compensate for night time it gets too hot in the tank when the lights come on and the chiller constantly kicks on. >>No no, no need for that.  What you want to avoid is getting those big drops as we discussed before.  I hope that makes sense.  Marina

QT Issues - cont'd. >Hello again Marina. >>Hi Kurt. >Sorry to keep bothering you, but here I am again :) >>Oh man, should I start busting your chops? >Thought we may be in the clear, but went to check on my fish the other predawn AM and behold, the Maculosus, Hippo Tang, Damsel and 2 of the Clownfish were covered with ick....nice! I had noticed some scratching, but no visible signs until now. Don't know if it is related but I lost the Coral Beauty a day before, no signs of spots, but she did have a nasty case of Popeye, assuming from an injury as she was scratching a lot and the injury was on one eye. >>The scratching is a giveaway that it's more than just an injury (ich), my friend.  >It was pretty bad, appeared to be infected. >>This can happen with such injuries. Sometimes it's better to act prophylactically with antibiotics. >Anyway I dropped the salinity (over the course of 2 days to 0.012) as gave everyone a 5 min FW dip. >>1.012 isn't low enough, it's got to be in the range of 1.010-1.007.  >Next morning the spots were still there. I purchased some Formalin 3 and gave everyone a 30 min saltwater bath with the Formalin and also dosed the tank with it as well. >>Ok, REALLY important question here: was the saltwater MATCHED for pH? They can take the brief change in salinity, but not a big change in pH. >All the while executing 20% water changes daily. >>Has this been enough to keep ammonia and nitrite down to zero? If not, it's got to be more. >It's been 2 days and no change in the spots, they are still there. Shouldn't they have back off at least a little by now? >>One would think. It may be time to administer long term treatment of the Formalin. >I used the Formalin due to the copper sensitivity of several of my fish, but am starting to doubt it s effectiveness. >>It is effective from what I've read. I believe Greg Schiemer has communicated (going on memory here) that he uses it at the Waikiki Aquarium rather than copper for just this. >I am considering diluting the Formalin over the next couple if days with water changes and trying the copper treatment instead. What do you think of that move? >>Ahh.. I thought you were using the Formalin only as a dip. I believe you'll need to be absolutely certain ALL Formalin is removed, best done by PolyFilter and carbon along with HUGE (as in total) water changes. >Also a little confused with the dosing instructions, if I continue with the Formalin. It says to dose with 1 tsp per 10 gallons, perform a 25% daily water change and re-dose.. Do they mean a full dose? >>No, what they want you to do is to dose the new water. For instance, you change 5 gallons. Dose the new 5 gallons with the Formalin to achieve proper dosage levels. It's got to remain at therapeutic levels here. >I am concerned about an overdose putting a full 40 gallon dose ever day, since there are no testing kits for Formalin. >>No no, just do as above. Let's work with your numbers, here. Assuming you KNOW you've got a full 40 gallons (if you're not sure, then take - in inches - height x width x length = total cubic inches. Divide by 231, and that's the number of gallons you actually are dosing), and you change 25%, that's going to be 10 gallons at each change, yes? Pull the ten from the tank, take the fresh ten and DOSE THAT with the Formalin, put it in. Make sense? >Appreciate all of your help. Best regards, Kurt >>You're welcome, we'll see you through. Marina

Sponge filter in QT 2/5/04 Hi, I'm back.  I have been reading about the QT's and I want to purchase a filter for a 20 gal. glass tank that I have.  I am new to the hobby and also kinda confused.  In almost all the FAQ's it states that a sponge filter is best for a QT.  What is a sponge filter?  What are some brand names? In one FAQ Anthony recommends the AquaClear Powerfilter for a QT.  Shortly thereafter, a writer stated that she was planning on getting a AquaClear Powerfilter and Steven Pro stated that "I would prefer a sponge filter".  I was thinking that the AquaClear was a sponge filter... Please help... very confused.   <it is as literal as it sounds my friend. Various filter styles employ a coarse foam block to pass/filter water through. In some cases like the Aquaclear, the water is forced through by a motor/water pump... in others it is lifted through by air like an undergravel filter tube. Either would be fine> So, could you please provide me with a few brand names for "sponge filters".   <The Aquaclear filter is one choice for motor driven... and Tetra and Jungle brands both make popular air driven "sponge filters". A look inside any mail order catalog or most local fish stores will make this all clear> On the same subject, I was thinking about getting an Eclipse Hood 2 for the QT.  I don't suppose this is a sponge filter.  Would this be a good choice for a QT?    <it is nice perhaps... but more expensive than it needs to be. And the light fixture is also optional with many QT applications. With some stressed fishes, bright light is to be avoided during the short stay in QT> Thanks a million in advance.  Dan PS.  Thanks for all the help that you and your team provide to all of us "needy people".  Have a good night. <thanks kindly, my friend. Best of luck, Anthony>

Qt trouble Mr. Fenner, Great forum, been an eye opener for me. I have set us a 210 gallon FOWLR tank 3 months back. Not being aware of proper quarantine procedure, we stocked it with the following. 1 Maculosus Angel 3-4" >1 Yellow Tang 3" >1 Starcki Damsel 3" 4 Clownfish 1.5" 2 Scooter Blennies 2" 2 Neon Gobies. After much reading decided to employ a QT for new arrivals. Set up a 10 gallon for this purpose, purchased a Hippo Tang and a  Coral Beauty placing them in the tank for the prescribed time. <Wish this had been a larger QT tank> However we noticed a few spots forming on a couple of the fish in the main tank. Not knowing for sure we paid the owner from our LFS to come out and have a look. <Good idea> He informed us that we have Marine Velvet. We Immediately purchased a 40 gallon and set up another QT for a sick tank and removed all our remaining fish to it after a FW bath for each. ( I am still to this day not convinced after much reading, that we had anything at all). They have all been clear of visible parasites since, however we have been battling (in both QTs) with Nitrites and ammonia the whole time. Both have been running between .5 and 1ppm. I employ daily 25-30% water changes and have added Bio Spira to try and kick in a cycle. <Good moves> The fish have been in quarantine for 16 days and are doing much rubbing on their gills and jerking, obviously bothered by something. Also the Starcki and the Yellow Tang are showing a bit of fin deterioration. I mistakenly transferred the Coral Beauty to the larger tank because of the ammonia level in the 10 gallon and she was picked on horribly. She developed pop eye on one eye and was scratching a lot, so I moved her back to the 10 gallon. Since this time my other fish have been scratching even more, but not showing any signs of parasites. I have lowered the spg to .012 and raised the temp to 80 degrees on both tanks , dipped all the fishes and am using no meds. <A shame... I would have administered copper, chelated or not> Is it possible the Coral Beauty brought a bacterial or fungal infection to my other fish? <Not bacterial or fungal... these are almost always very secondary to other causative factors... perhaps parasites though> Or might it just be the water quality causing them to scratch? <Might well be> Should I medicate with some Maracyn just in case? <I would not> My plan was to allow the main tank to run fallow for 4-5 weeks. But I need to decide if the treatment is possibly harder on them. <You are wise to consider this> My temptation is to move them all back to the main tank, I am still not convinced that we had ich or velvet for that matter at all. It seems that the treatment may be more stressful on them. Any advise would be appreciated. Kind regards, Kurt frigid NE Ohio <Wish you were out here in HI with me... it's actually getting lonely diving day to day! I might well move all into the larger, more stable system and hope for the best... as you suggest, this may well be the better choice. Bob Fenner>

High Nitrites in Q/T - To Be Expected Good evening, <Hello Kurt, Marina again.> 10 days ago I was forced to move my fish out of my 210 gallon display into quarantine due to an ich attack. <Yes, I remember.> I purchased a 40 gallon QT and put in the following 1 Maculosus Angel 3-4" 1 Coral Beauty 3" 1 Yellow Tang 3" 1 Starcki Damsel 3" 4 Clownfish 1.5" 2 Scooter Blennies 2" Yes I know it is crowded, but it's the largest tank I could afford right now. I am running a Skilter filter with a skimmer using a sponge seeded from my sump and running a carbon filter. The fish are clear of ich after several FW dips and everyone appears healthy X 6 days. No meds at this time. <So the hyposalinity did the trick?> My problem is a battle with water quality. <Yes, to be expected.>   pH 8.2 Ammonia 0 Nitrate 10 Nitrite.5 Water temp 80 degrees. I have added 2 doses of Bio-Spira which brought down the ammonia and am executing 10 gallon daily water changes. Could the water changes be interrupting the cycling?   <A bit, yes, but they're necessary to ensure the fish are under as little stress as possible.> I am feeding very lightly mostly with Nori, but I do need a little frozen food, not everyone eats the Nori. I however vacuum the tank and do the water change right after the feeding time. Any ideas on what to do? <I'm afraid you're rather married to the water changes, Kurt.  I hope I'd mentioned this during our earlier correspondences, but may have neglected to do so.  My apologies.> I really do not want to put the fish back in the display until the 4-5 week fallow time is up. <Absolutely agreed!> Since I'm not dosing with meds, should I get 10 or so lbs of cured rock? <Because you're dealing with ich, I personally would recommend against it.> Or maybe another dose of Bio Spira or possibly forgo the water changed for a few days?  I appreciate you help.  Thank you! Kurt <As noted above, less stress, and you want to provide NO footholds for the ich protozoa.  I would continue with water changes, monitor levels, WATCH the fish.  Marina>

High nitrites in QT - II Hi Marina, <Hi Kurt.> Glad you replied again. Actually I never needed to lower salinity. Whatever is was has disappeared, so it seems. <Let's hope it remains so, but I'm curious as to how long it's been "gone".> My biggest concern is the Nitrites. <Indeed.> I am beginning to see a bit of fin deterioration on 2 of the fish and the Coral Beauty must have injured an eye from scratching, it is inflamed, actually popped out a bit. <If the fish is scratching, then *please* do lower the salinity and treat as though for parasitic infection with hypo.  It won't hurt the fish to undergo this, and may actually help.  It will also make water changes a bit less costly since you won't be having to use so much salt mix.> I am treating with Epson salt, hopefully that will do it.   <That and the water changes, AND the hypo.> I dosed with the  Bio Spira and  turned the skimmer off for a day to hopefully spur a cycle in the tank.  Any other suggestions? <I honestly would NOT make the fish endure a full cycle - there's a reason why we generally no longer cycle with fish, it really is quite stressful.  Water changes are to be expected, and they will be your (and your fishes') salvation.> Am watching my guys like a hawk. <Or is that a Hawkfish? ;)> Thanks for all of your advice. <You're very welcome, Kurt.  Marina> Kurt

Quarantine Quandary I had ich before, and as of right now my main tank has been fallow for about 40 days. I also have two q-tine tanks. a 10g with a flame hawk and 4 Chromis in it, they've been in hypo for about 3 weeks and have seemed symptom free ever since. My other is a 30g, that contains a juvenile. Maculosus Angel, Blackback Butterfly, and an Australian Harlequin Tusk. The Mac and the butterfly have been there about two weeks and the Tusk only a week. The Mac and butterfly have been eating good and I have yet to get the tusk to eat. My plan was to keep them in there until they all starting eating and then do hypo for about three weeks just to be safe, before introducing them to my tank. But now the Blackback appears to have a couple ich spots and I'm not exactly sure how to go about treating him.  I really hate to treat the tank its in because the tusk is not eating and I'm afraid if I add any copper or use hypo it will further prolong the feeding strike. <A logical concern on your part> Assuming this, my options would be: 1)Add the fish from the 10g to the main tank even though it hasn't been a full 6 weeks, and putting the butterfly in the 10g for treatment. From what I understand, both the Mac and Tusk are relatively tough and might not ever show symptoms of ich, so they might be fine if left in the 30g. 2)Move both the Mac and the Blackback to the 10g (they are both small) so that I can make sure they are disease free before adding them to the tank. I want to leave no doubts, and would use either copper or hypo?. This option would also give my tusk the 30g to himself, and I could use room lights only, he hates the tank light what are your thought? <I kind of like plan B. I have never been a big fan of hyposalinity as an ich therapy, but I guess that if it's been a full three weeks, you could take a calculated risk here. Besides, this frees you to treat medically the fish that need it, and gives the Tusk a chance to acclimate better.> Also my Tusk is my most prized fish, he is by far the best looking one I've ever seen, and is quite large (about 5-6in) even though I ordered a medium. I'll kill myself if I lose him. What can I do to make sure he begins eating? <Keep the water quality high, the food plentiful and of good quality, and the lighting subdued...> he just always hides and doesn't seem interested in clams, mussels, squid or Mysis. And at what point should I begin worrying? Thanks so much. Brandon <Well, Brandon, it's always appropriate t be concerned when a fish does not eat. However, the Tusk is a fairly sturdy fish, so I'd keep attempting to feed him with a variety of foods. You may also want to introduce some liquid vitamin preparation, such as Vita-Chem, directly into the QT water, as fish do drink, and can derive some benefit from the careful use of vitamins. Keep trying. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Quarantine and Livestocking - Morning Guys- I trust all is well. <So far, so good...> Got a couple of questions for you all today. First off, the tank is a 6' long 125 with about 100 pounds of live and almost-live rock (dead rock that has been sharing the tank since I started it a year ago.)  I test for Calcium, alkalinity, nitrite, ammonia, and pH. Aside from the occasional snafu between calcium and alkalinity, all goes well.  (i.e., no ammonia or nitrites in about 10 months, pH between 8.2 and 8.4, calcium 380-450, and alkalinity 10-12 dKH) I have a mid-range protein skimmer, ten gallons of Bio balls, 900 gph flow through on the wet-dry and a 500 gph powerhead in the main tank, so I've got some nice, fun, flow. I recently moved to the 125 from an 80, but imported everything, including filter and bio balls.  My assumption is that between the substrate, live rock, water, and bio balls, the new tank should cycle nearly immediately. (a few weeks at most) It has been two weeks since I did the big switch.  The current inhabitants are one peppermint shrimp, one skunk shrimp, two emerald crabs, and a steadily growing black urchin, which crawled out of some live rock six months ago so small its spines wouldn't have reached past the edge of a dime, but now is a good three inches across.  No fish have been in the tank since I lost two tangs to ich about three months ago. (more likely to Formalin).  And I'm heavily on guard against any new diseases coming into what must by now be a completely ich-free tank.  My plan for this tank is to slowly construct a reef tank for a beginner.  The only corals I am interested in are pumping Xenia and maybe other polyps, with a possibility for mushrooms; nothing really advanced.  The lights for the coral will be a question to be addressed in a couple months.... To this end, I have planned on (hopefully) coral-friendly fish.  I especially like A few of the Fairy wrasses (Scott's and the Solar headed), the small angels, Kole and Powder- Brown Tangs (or whatever they are calling japonicus) and would love to have a Hippo tang, but I am leery about the size they reach.  Even in my 125 I know my bioload will be getting up there when everybody matures, so it is very unlikely that I'll ever get one. Also, I'm thinking of a pair of tank-raised Percs (hoping they host the Xenia- too many horror stories on anemones), tank-raised neon gobies, and maybe a couple Chromis, though I could do without them.  Further, in the Arthropod realm, I would like to have more shrimp.  This will probably include more peppermints and skunks, one Caribbean blood shrimp, plus, my girlfriend would really like for me to have a marble (Saron) shrimp.  This sound good so far? <So far, but I would caution you against mixing same-species fish - two different Cirrhilabrus or two different Acanthurus... could very likely leave you with just one of the two you chose. You have better results by choosing just one of each.> Nobody going to take out Xenia? <Don't think so.> In hopes of maintaining the healthy tank, I have yet to plum or add substrate to my new refugium, a 30 gallon tank (36" long), and am using it for my temporary quarantine tank.  I have a dedicated one, but it is only a 20 gallon, 24" long tank, and I felt the new guys would be more comfortable in the longer tank.  (more room to play) I have as yet made three purchases, and only broken two major fish-buying rules that I know of.  Last week I picked up two small angels (mistake one)- a 3.5" bicolor and a 2" Flame angel.  The Flame had been at the store for a week, but the bicolor had come in more recently (mistake two).  I went ahead and bought the bicolor because it looked healthy and both were eating readily, plus I knew that if I was going to pull this off, I'd need to introduce both at the same time.  I had them do a freshwater dip in the store and bag them in water I brought from my quarantine tank.  I took them home and put them both into quarantine where they have remained happily, eating a mixture of dried seaweed and minced squid. Territoriality has yet to be a problem- there are eight mugs in two stacks of four, but they usually hang out together, and often hide in the same mug.  I hope that I guessed the size difference these two need. <Time will tell.> I hope that I made up for the two indiscretions with stringent quarantine procedures, but I am worried.  I've heard of these fish mysteriously dying without live rock...  Every now and then, I drop a few copepods in, but should I take a piece of live rock from the main tank and drop it down? <I'd wait just a little longer until you are sure they are disease free... in case you need to treat with something. So you know... it's not the copepods that Centropyge nip at, it's algae... these fish are omnivores, but do require the green portion of their diet to remain healthy.> If there's a problem I could just move it to the normal QT for a month or so. Regardless, there's not much algae left after the clear-cutting emerald crabs took care of my bubble algae problem (and my Caulerpa, and my maidens hair, and......).  I'm trying to get hold of some fresh algae, but that's turning out to be a problem.  Any suggestions? <The real trick is to keep some portion of rock in a tank away from anything else... letting it stew so to speak. Once the rock in the main tank is well picked over, swap out with the rock that's been stewing and continue the cycle.> Next, I committed another slight indiscretion returning to my fish store yesterday.  For the first time since I started this hobby, I had the opportunity to buy a solar headed Fairy Wrasse.  (I adore these fish).  And long story short is I bought the little sucker (2.5-3")- I arranged to pick it up on Monday.  The unfortunate part is that the two angels are only a week into the QT and by adding the wrasse, everything will move back.  Will the angels and the wrasse be content in a 36" tank for another 4 weeks? <Probably.> Right now, I am running two HOT filters, one with carbon, the other with ceramic media (both cycled on the main tank for weeks before moving over, plus I've added an airstone and a carbon sponge filter (overkill is my middle name) - would it help to add a small (200 gph) powerhead, or should I wait and see? <Is probably fine as is.> I am already cycling another cartridge in my main tank, and planning on changing carbon every week.  So my rambling question is - Should I put the wrasse in with the angels, throw in live rock and a powerhead, and leave everybody for another four weeks, or do I need to set up yet another QT? <Throw in the wrasse, skip the live rock... leave them for another week or two.> Right now, the QT tank is testing well; no ammonia, and maybe the slightest trace of Nitrite.  Certainly no more than 0.1 mg/l, but I am going to take it to the store and get a second opinion. Next, should I be doing any freshwater dips on these guys if they remain healthy looking? <I would perhaps do one just before you place them in the main tank.> Should I slowly yo-yo the salinity down for two weeks and then back up for two weeks? <No.> I hope that the initial dip and separation from the store water was enough to make them loose most, if not all parasites, but with Tangs in the future, I would very much like an ich-free tank.  That's about it- thanks for your help, and I look forward to hearing from you. -Brendan <Cheers, J -- > Thank you for the info Bob: <Chris>      I am relatively new to marine aquariums and after having one set up and running for about six months I had my eyes opened with the loss of two animals, a Fame Angel and an Australian Dottyback.  The Angel showed signs of illness about four days after  introduction to the tank (no quarantine).  Ragged pectoral fins and buoyancy problems.  I spoke to my store manager and as a result set up a hospital tank.  We treated with Coppersafe.  Unfortunately the angel died the next day.  That same day the Dottyback showed signs of ich.  He was removed to the hospital tank and treated.  He died within two days.  We had a yellow tang, which was our first fish,  show some ich.  He was removed to the hospital tank and has successfully recovered and been returned to the main tank.  Having learned our lesson, we purchased a powder blue tang and he went straight to the hospital tank for isolation.   <This last species is easily lost>      I was looking through some older Fresh and Marine Aquarium magazine and came across your article on Quarantine of Marine Fishes.  I read it through a few times and am now confident that I am doing what I can to ensure the survival and general health of all the animals I purchase. <This and many other articles, parts of books are available on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com> My wife and I were surprised at how attached we became to our fish and want to ensure that we do everything in our power to give them good, healthy lives.  I also went to the website you recommend in the article and have printed and bookmarked several articles. <Oh, good>   The printed articles are going into my aquarium journal, where I keep daily records of all things aquarium-related. <Outstanding>      Thanks for the excellent article and website suggestion.  Are you available for specific questions regarding my fish and their aquarium?  Do I need to/can I sign up to join such a group? <Mmm, just write in here... same bat channel. Bob Fenner> Regards, Chris M

QT Crowd and Ammonia (1/13/2004) Hi Crew, I currently have my new fish in a 10 gallon QT have been there for 3 days. <I take it these are new fish you are quarantining, not ill fish you are trying to treat.> Coral Beauty 2-3" Blennies Salarias fasciatus x2 Yellow-Tailed Blue Tang 2-3" I used water from my display and a small rock from the display for my biofilter and a place for them to hide. <not enough biofilter> Because of the crowd I have been executing 3 gallon daily water changes with new salt mix. However I am battling ammonia (keeps jumping to .5). <Argh> Should I do larger water changes? <Not more than 50%.> I was planning a 3 week stint in the tank, I know this is a must for the Coral and the Tang, but could I remove the Blennies earlier to the display to reduce the bio load? <Better not to.> Any other Ideas, how about a chemical ammonia reducer <If your fish seem mal-affected, it would not be bad to use one dose of Amquel Plus as a last resort.> or adding some bacteria like "Cycle"? <You do need to increase your biofilter in there right away. A sponge filter would be good. Seed with Bio-Spira Marine if you can get it--provides almost instant cycling. Costs $20 per little pouch and is kept refrigerated at the store. You could put the extra in your main tank. "Cycle" takes weeks. In my QT I use a combination heater/sponge filter I bought at PetSmart. Quite a handy gadget actually.> Also, is there any way I can put the rock back in the display after the cycle, or should I just let it die and use it for a little house for future QT use? <We generally recommend PVC fittings rather than LR for shelter in QT. There is always some small risk that these fish might leave some parasites behind on that piece of LR. If you can leave it in the QT with no fish for 6 weeks, then you can be rather confident that there are no cysts on it.> Thank you for your time and this forum. KR  <A pleasure.>

QT Crowd and Ammonia - Sorting it Out >Marina, I'm sorry, you misunderstand me the fish for the new QT are the fish already in my display. >>Ah, alright! >i.e.: Maculosus Angel tank bred (3-4") 1 Yellow Tang (3") 4 Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris tank bred (1-1.5 ") 1 Starcki damsel (3") 2 Neon Gobies I've purchased this second QT (30 gallon long, with skimmer, filter and heater) to remove them from the display, treat and run the display fallow for 6 weeks. I am not buying more fish, that's all I need right now. I purchased the 4 fish "currently" in regular QT before I knew of the outbreak. I also have purchase a larger tank for these fish as well, since this is gonna take awhile. >>Ok.. WHEW!  I was trying to sort everything out there, and it sounded for all the world as though you had all these fish in the q/t.  Gotcha. >By the way my display is a 210 gallon, should be enough room for these guys once they are squared away right? >>Absolutely.  If I understand you then, the Hippo tang will be being established before the yellow?  They should mix alright (the angels should be good, too), do watch the Starcki damsel  for aggression, too (glad it's only one!).  You can add a few more neon gobies, I love these little fish for their low bioload demands AND propensity to act as cleaners. >Thank you for your time and advise. I will follow the quarantine plan to the letter.  Kurt >>I think you have also been answered by Adam, I haven't read the full outline, but I believe we may pretty much jive.  Good luck!  Marina 

QT Crowd and Ammonia - II (The Unknown answerer?) >Well, Looks like I started the QT tank too late. My Yellow Tang and several of my Clownfish appear to have ich. >>This makes the use of quarantine apparent.  Here they can be treated much more easily than in a display. >Did not quarantine the first batch. I will NEVER add another fish without the use of a QT.   >>You don't know how often I read this.  Wise words. >I'm going out tomorrow to purchase another QT. Here are the fish going into it. >>Why are you getting MORE fish when you have yet to get the first batch through treatment and subsequent 30 days quarantine?  SLOW DOWN, mate! >1 Maculosus Angel tank bred (3-4") >1 Yellow Tang (3") >4 Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris tank bred (1-1.5 ") >1 Starcki damsel (3") >2 Neon Gobies >Would a 30 gallon do, or should I go for a 40 or 50 gallon? >>Get three or four Rubbermaid tubs, they're about 30 gallons each.  You're stuffing way too many fish into the first q/t tank, you've got two angels and two tangs (these fish CAN be mixed, but deal with one thing at a time, my friend) on this list.. too much too fast.  30 days q/t!  And that means get them through 30 days CLEAN, not treated as part of the 30 day counter, and as soon as you *think* they're clean put 'em in the display.  It means once they are disease free the 30 day counter starts again.  Show signs again?  Treat (with copper, hypo - the first line I would recommend - or Formalin), then when clean start the counter over again. >My plan is to catch, FW dip and treat with copper for 2 the prescribed period. >>I highly recommend the f/w dips (with Methylene blue).  Have you considered using hyposalinity as a treatment instead?  You've got a LOT of fish on your plate there, <hee!> you could end up with disastrous results when trying to copper all those fish at once.  Not to mention, how are you going to add these animals to the display?  Are you keeping your bacterial cultures active and in proper proportions for the coming bioload? >At the same time, allow my tank (with inverts) run fallow for 6 weeks with a decreased salinity and increased temp.   >>Oh my goodness, NO, do NOT use hypo with inverts!  You are definitely on the right track with the hypo AND fallowing.  Run the display fallow for at LEAST 8 weeks, be sure to drop in a bit of raw shrimp every week to keep whatever nitrifiers you currently have fed.  During this time keep the display at normal salinity, though. >Should I do the same to the hospital tanks (increase temp and lower SG).  Anything I am missing? >>My apologies, it's very difficult to start where someone else has left off here.. but let me try.  Hyposalinity (read with a refractometer at 1.007 - 1.010) in the QUARANTINE tanks - fish can take this, inverts CAN'T.  Fallow the display for 8 weeks, elevated temperature will help speed up lifecycle of C. irritans.  Find articles by Steven Pro and Terry Bartelme (we do disagree on some things, for instance, efficacy of f/w dipping with fish infected with ich.  I feel it is of some benefit, especially if water has Methylene blue in it.  Also, dip must be sufficiently long duration).  READ those, these men have done scads of research.  Stop buying fish until you have THIS present problem eradicated!  Get thee thine own Rubbermaid tubs (unless you can afford to buy actual aquariums), along with at least two large trash cans and black trash bags (just the plain old black plastic trash bags) for liners.  Extra heaters for said tubs and cans.  Keep both trash cans filled with make up water for water changes.  PVC elbows and chunks for hiding places for the fish - once infection is there you do NOT want anything porous in there. >Will read further.  Thanks for all your wonderful help.  Sigh.... Kurt >>Ok, this is a follow-up to a previously answered query, don't know by whom.  I feel there are some issues from the previous answer that need to be addressed. ">I currently have my new fish in a 10 gallon QT have been there for 3 days. Coral Beauty 2-3" Blennies Salarias fasciatus x2 Yellow-Tailed Blue Tang 2-3" " >>Alright, BIG problem going on here.  You threw ALL these fish into a TEN gallon tank all at once (2 of these species are very active fish, too). No can do.  This is a recipe for disaster (as you're learning).  You need to either separate these animals into their own q/t tanks (doesn't even need to be a proper aquarium, can be as simple as a Rubbermaid tub) or put them into something about three times larger.  But now it's an even bigger problem because you now have disease and are adding MORE fish.  You MUST slow down with this, even in a 30 gallon tub your new fish list is not to be endeavored without MUCH previous experience.  Don't purchase these new fish UNTIL you get what you presently have through q/t, PLEASE!  Now we move on to the following: "> Because of the crowd I have been executing 3 gallon daily water changes with new salt mix. However I am battling ammonia (keeps jumping to .5).  <Arrgh> " >>This is to be expected. " > Should I do larger water changes? <Not more than 50%.> " >>Ok, as I said before, I don't know who answered this for you, but this is incorrect.  Water changes of 100% can be done, and if need be SHOULD be done.  At this point, because you now have ich present I want your q/t to be entirely bare-bottomed.  There are a few reasons for this, one of which is that you're going to siphon off the bottom of the q/t EVERY DAY to remove dropped parasites.  By doing THIS, you will also be controlling the ammonia levels that ARE going to rise.  As long as the make up water is matched for pH, and if not temperature matched then a little warmer is fine, you'll be golden.  You'll need the refractometer to make CERTAIN you've got this low salinity level, swing arm and float hydros are not going to cut it here.  Feed your fish the best you can feed BEFORE you siphon.  If you feel you must use copper, then know that you may need to take it as high as 30ppm, be SURE you have the proper test kit for the type of medication you're using (chelated vs. non-chelated).  There, I think we've covered most of the bases.  Puhleeze slow down on fish acquisitions, mate, you need to let everything catch up here.  Also, for the numbers and types of fish you listed, I'm really hoping we're looking at a system of 180 gallons or better.  Knowledge is power.  Marina

QT Crowd and Ammonia - What is This? >Hi Marina, >>Hi Kurt! >It's me again, sorry to bother you. >>Don't be sorry, please.  We're here for this very purpose. >Anyway, not knowing precisely what ich looks like, I had the owner of my LFS come out to have a look see. He claims that is not ick, but marine velvet....nice. >>Don't be so quick to think that's what it is. >None of the fish are in distress as of yet, but we are moving fast and wanted to run this by you. >>That's a KEY statement, as the first sign of velvet (Amyloodinium) is severe STRESS, rapid gilling, staying on the bottom of the tank, not feeding.  Plus, this disease moves FAST.  However, ich or velvet, much of the treatment remains the same. >We set up 40 gallon (traded in the 30, figured better for the fish) >>Absolutely bigger is better. >..with a aerator, skimmer and mechanical filter all in one with a seeded sponge for biofilter. >>Um.. how are you going to medicate for velvet if it's being removed by skimming?  How's the biological filter going to keep going if it's killed by the treatment (and it will be)? >Bare bottom with some PVC pipe for some tiny hotels. >>Perfect. >Using "SeaCure" which contains, copper sulphate and acid. >>"Acid"..  I prefer Cupramine for coppering, but in any event, DO get a copper test kit!  Know that your biological filter is useless when coppering.  DO do the f/w dips with Methylene blue! >Do you know of this product. >>Not terribly familiar. >Also plan to slowly lower the specific gravity to 1.012. >>Not quite low enough to eradicate ich or velvet, not sure if it should be used in conjunction with the copper.  If your fish are not showing signs of stress, I would try holding off on the copper and go 1.010 on the salinity. >Plan to catch the fish (should be fun with 170lbs of rock). >>Heh.. your LFS guy should be real good with the net.  However, a tip or two; move as much of the rock as possible so that you have at least 1/3 - 1/2 the tank open.  A piece of tank divider, egg crate, acrylic (anything the fish can't swim through or around) will be used to block off.  If it's opaque that's even better (they WILL be watching and the last ones will be THE most difficult to catch!).  You may very well end up having to remove rock, see if the LFS guy will let you use some of his solid Styro boxes (you can partially fill them with water to keep the rock wet). >Freshwater dip them and place them in the QT. >>Check - include the Meth blue. >Follow up with 2 weeks (would 3 be better, thought may be to rough on the Tang) of copper treatment and fresh water dips every few days, as long as they tolerate. >>If you're set on coppering, this is prudent.  Know also that Formalin is an excellent treatment for both ich and velvet.   >Allow the  tank to run fallow for 6 weeks and see what happens. >>After that two weeks treating, 30 days clean is the rule. >See any problems with any of my fish for this treatment? >>Only as outlined above.  If they've got velvet, you will KNOW it FAST. >Maculosus Angel tank bred (3-4") 1 Yellow Tang (3") (copper tolerant?) >>They'll be fine - it's long term coppering that harms most fish (outside of froggies, which canNOT be coppered at all). >4 Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris tank bred (1-1.5 ") 1 Starcki damsel (3") 2 Neon Gobies 2 scooter blennies ( read that they cannot handle copper) >>I wouldn't copper them at all. >Or would formaldehyde do better for treatment? >>That's the Formalin I've mentioned.  If you opt for this, DO use gloves to handle it and the water, it's a known carcinogen if I recollect correctly. >Look forward to your input. >>Why thank you, I'm hoping that you get your fish through this cleanly.  Do remember to feed the tank (keep up your bacterial cultures). >Best regards, Kurt >>Be chatting, keep us updated.  Marina Update on "The Plan" - QT Crowd and Ammonia Actually slight modifications after much ready. <It's good to be flexible.> Updated plan. <Lay it on me.> Pull fish , FW dip with Meth Blue. <Check.> Into the QT without the skimmer. <Ok (skimming is fine if you're NOT medicating, btw).> Hold off on copper, instead lower salinity (should I do this gradual) 1.010 and raise temp 83-4.  Couple this with daily FW dips with Meth Blue. <The salinity can be lowered over the course of a couple of days, I like a slow drip, but you'd need to make a device.  Very easily done with silicone (or waterproof epoxy), an airline valve, and a plastic jug (2 liter soda bottle, milk jug, something like that).  Just make your hole to fit, silicone in place, add airline, set drip rate.  Voila.> If this doesn't do it, add copper. <That or the Formalin (though you already have the copper).  If your fish aren't severely stressed by now, I very much doubt it's velvet you're dealing with.  Be thankful for small favors.> The copper scares me and the fish are not that sick yet. Thanks again, Kurt <Understood.  I honestly think that between the hypo and daily dips (don't leave out siphoning off the bottom of the tank after dipping and feeding - you can do this with a bit of airline tubing for better control), and the fallowing, you should be golden.  The fish will be doing MUCH better in a 40 gallon, but you will likely be forced to do the water changes on a rather large scale.  Good news is that you CAN use a sponge filter for bio-filtration, the hypo won't  kill off the bacteria the way the meds will.  You can also skim, it just won't be quite as efficient.  I like your plan, Kurt!  If the copper can be avoided, let's do try.  Marina>

Update on "The Plan" - QT Crowd and Ammonia II >Hi Marina, >>Hi Kurt.  Nice to hear from you again. >An update with pictures and a opinion please. >>Hhmm.. gotta look for those pics.. >Moved all the fish Saturday to the 40 gallon with a 6-8 minute dip each with Meth blue. >>Excellent. >All are doing great, eating well and acting like their old selves. The have been without symptoms  since, so I have delayed copper or hyposalinity. Attached are pick of my Clownfish, Maculosus Angel and my Yellow Tang. If you look closely at the Tangs dorsal fin, you will see the spot that first alarmed us. The dip nor manipulation would remove it. It neither moves nor grows, I have the feeling it doesn't amount to much. >>You've attached a very good image, and I happen to have pretty good vision (20/13), but I can't see anything on the yellow tang's dorsal that appears out of the ordinary from this picture. >None of the other fish have a mark on them. The few small dots on the Clowns and the slight misting on the Maculosus caudal fins, (which my LFS owner told me was velvet) are gone and have not returned. >>Right, the picture isn't so clear (seems that angel is married to the PVC, eh?), but what I can see all appears well. >The thought has crossed my mind that he just wanted to sell me more goods.. who knows. >>That, or he didn't want an animal you'd purchased from him to die.  <shrug> >If things remain the same I believe my best course of action would be to just keep them there for the 4-6 weeks, observe and treat if necessary. >>Agreed.  Indeed.  If you haven't already, do search on Google for Cryptocaryon irritans, you will find several EXCELLENT articles with detailed descriptions of lifecycles.  This is to warn you that it may reappear (I'm assuming you know this, but since this is "published" we like to add reminders to readers).  However, your vacuuming daily does help with removal. >I have been executing daily 10 gallon water changes, vacuuming the bottom. >>Fantastic! >Now for my problem. As you know (see below) I have a Hippo Tang and a Coral Beauty in another QT. (I got them before the other fiasco began) >>Right (plus including your previous is helpful). >I have attached a pic of each. The Hippo is showing a few dark colored dots on the lower half of her body and is going nuts scratching.  She has also injured 1 of her eyes, I assume from the scratching. I am treating this with Epsom salt.  The Beauty is also twitching and scratching her gills on the PVC. I also attached a pic of her. I understand that the Beauty responds poorly to copper and the Tang also ( will never quarantine more than 1 fish again!!)   >>There are many folks who make this assertion, I have not had troubles with either genus/species.  It's long-term exposure that will cause troubles, but again, F/W dips and hyposalinity MAY be all that's needed.  I would start dropping the salinity at this point.  However, I cannot really make out any dark spots.  So I'm going to shoot from the hip, as it were; if the spots appear to be essentially just like ich, but black, then what you may have is something known as "black spot" or "black ich".  I would be rather surprised, knowing that they'd been dipped, but it could happen.  Of the parasitic diseases I've dealt with in the past, this is BY FAR the easiest to eradicate - F/W dips (which you've done) and hyposalinity are in order. >Thinking dips and Formalin treatment. Your thoughts would be appreciated. >>Try dips and hypo FIRST, then if it continues, say, another week, then go with Formalin.  I think you're on the right track, and I notice that ALL FISH appear quite FAT, well-rounded bellies and dorsal regions. >Muchos gracias for all your help. If you're ever in Cleveland, I owe you a drink.  Kurt >>De nada, mi amigo.  I'm a teetotaler (can't take a drop or I get SICK), but I'll take a soda or tea any day of the week!  I'd have to hit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame out there, wouldn't I?  Isn't there a football Hall of Fame there, too?  (Jebiz, I ought to know this..)  Marina Quarantine Questions... Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I was wondering: I have a 100gal reef tank with a red sea Sailfin tang, gold bar fairy wrasse, peppermint hog and numerous inverts and corals. I had a bout with ich about a week ago and lost my chevron tang. All fish are fine for now. <That's the key word here..."now". Do keep a close eye on things and assume that the tank is a "hot zone"> I'm just about ready to add a bunch of various zoanthids and a lineatus wrasse. Obviously I have a Cryptocaryon irritans problem. I was wondering if it makes sense to attempt and catch the three remaining fish and quarantine them in a hyposalinity situation for a month. <Absolutely! Good move...Let the display run "fallow" , without fishes, during this period of time> If so, after I re-enter them and decide to put another piece of coral into the tank, do I have to quarantine that coral for a month due to torments that might be attached? <I'm a quarantine freak. I quarantine all new arrivals-fish and corals. However, in a "fish free" environment, it is quite likely that the majority of the causative parasites will die for lack of fish hosts, so you might as well leave the current coral residents in the display.> Or, should I add the lineatus (which has been in a tank without ick for a month) and hope that all fish in the tank build up a tolerance. Don't know which one is more stressful. Thanks Scott <Well, Scott- I have two options for you. Set up another quarantine tank for just the wrasse, or ask the LFS to hold the fish until quarantine space is available. Either way-it's less stressful on both the fish to keep them in a disease-free environment. Patience! Regards, Scott F> Ammonia Spikes in QT/Hospital (1/13/04) Hello again, <Steve Allen here.> Sorry to bother you again. I took your advise and seeded the sponge filter with  Bio-Spira <Marine?> for my QT.  I first executed a 40% water change and then added the bacteria. I did a water test about 2 hours after adding it and the #@#@ ammonia is a 1ppm. I assume I should wait it out and let the bacteria work, the temptation is to do another water change, however the fish look OK. What do you think? <It will take a little time for the bacteria to grow, but you still ought to do some water changes to keep the ammonia down.> I think for the future I will get a larger QT. <Yes. BTW a large Rubbermaid container works great. I'm fortunate enough to have an extra bathtub to put mine in.> Thank you for all you advise. <You're welcome. Hope it all turns out OK.> Regards, Kurt QT/Treatment questions (1/13/2004) I have a question for you guys <Steve Allen tonight>; What's a good chemical to quarantine a moray in? <Is it sick? If we're talking quarantine before adding to a tank, no chemicals are needed. If we're talking ich, that's a different story.> I know because they are scaleless that copper is extremely dangerous <risky indeed, can be done carefully, but I would not try it myself--better options are available> so how could I quarantine them with other fish if chemicals are a threat? <Use something other than copper to treat.> Also when doing a freshwater dip practically what you're doing is letting them lay in conditioned tap water for a certain amount of time to allow any external parasites to release under the harsh water conditions? <Yes> And when doing a dip is there a need to add any chemicals to the freshwater, or just the fact of a being in freshwater work? <The FW helps, but if there is a serious infestation, the addition of Formalin may be helpful. Be careful with it though, it's toxic. Read/follow instructions carefully. When dipping most fish in FW, I like to add Methylene blue. However, I recently learned that this is not good for eels. For other fish, it increases oxygenation of the water. I also think the darkness of the water helps to calm them. If you do dip an eel, be really careful--it'll try to jump out. Start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copperfa.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrthyposalfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm Hope this helps.>

QT Crowd and Ammonia (1/13/2004) Hi Crew, I currently have my new fish in a 10 gallon QT have been there for 3 days. <I take it these are new fish you are quarantining, not ill fish you are trying to treat.> Coral Beauty 2-3" Blennies Salarias fasciatus x2 Yellow-Tailed Blue Tang 2-3" I used water from my display and a small rock from the display for my biofilter and a place for them to hide. <not enough biofilter> Because of the crowd I have been executing 3 gallon daily water changes with new salt mix. However I am battling ammonia (keeps jumping to .5). <Argh> Should I do larger water changes? <Not more than 50%.> I was planning a 3 week stint in the tank, I know this is a must for the Coral and the Tang, but could I remove the Blennies earlier to the display to reduce the bio load? <Better not to.> Any other Ideas, how about a chemical ammonia reducer <If your fish seem mal-affected, it would not be bad to use one dose of Amquel Plus as a last resort.> or adding some bacteria like "Cycle"? <You do need to increase your biofilter in there right away. A sponge filter would be good. Seed with Bio-Spira Marine if you can get it--provides almost instant cycling. Costs $20 per little pouch and is kept refrigerated at the store. You could put the extra in your main tank. "Cycle" takes weeks. In my QT I use a combination heater/sponge filter I bought at PetSmart. Quite a handy gadget actually.> Also, is there any way I can put the rock back in the display after the cycle, or should I just let it die and use it for a little house for future QT use? <We generally recommend PVC fittings rather than LR for shelter in QT. There is always some small risk that these fish might leave some parasites behind on that piece of LR. If you can leave it in the QT with no fish for 6 weeks, then you can be rather confident that there are no cysts on it.> Thank you for your time and this forum. KR  <A pleasure.>

Get Religion, Get Quarantine! >Hey again, >>Hey for the first time. >I call my 220g a live rock tank because for a year now that's all it's been.  I've managed to kill many fish with ick, including an emperor angel, regal tang, raccoon butterfly, red sea raccoon, Pearlscale, flame angel, Flamehawk, tusk, you get the picture. >>Yeah, you don't seem to believe in quarantine, eh? >Well this time, the third time I let my tank go fallow I want to get it right. >>Then get religion, get quarantine. >I've tried copper before in q-tine before for two weeks.. >>Two weeks only?  And.. why copper a fish that isn't sick?  Have you tried hyposalinity?  Freshwater dipping before placing into q/t?  Formalin?  Another source of fish? >..followed all advice on here and 45 days later after reintroduction I had ick again. >>Uhh.. not *you*, the fish, right? >This time I'm trying hyposalinity. And this time I'm doing whatever it takes to beat this. >>I do hope you have a good refractometer.  You can't do proper hyposalinity and hope measure very accurately the low levels of salinity required (1.007 - 1.010). >Right now all I have left is (are) 5 Chromis and a Flamehawk in q-tine with salinity at 1.009. >>I do hope this is accurate. >I'm going to wait 30-45 days and then slowly raise the salinity and every other possible parameter to match my main tank and then reintroduce fish. >>But.. how long has the tank truly been fallow?  It really must be a minimum of 6 straight weeks (8 are much better), and I'm not sure, by what you've written, that you've gone this minimum time.   >Now my question is: should I no longer have ick to battle with, at least with these fish? >>Not if you're only going the 30 days, this is insufficient.  I strongly recommend going two full months. >And now I'm so bent on never reintroducing the parasite, I want to either use a mandatory application of copper or hyposalinity every time I q-tine new fish. Is this feasible? >>Yes, hyposalinity is standard for many well-seasoned fishkeepers.  Copper can get tricky, but it is also used in aquarium shops where hyposalinity wouldn't be such a good thing (taking fish directly from a hypo situation to full seawater salinity).  Include as a standard protocol in your regiment a freshwater dip (excepting particular fishes) with Methylene blue (enough to turn the water a medium to dark blue).  Minimum of 7 - 10 minutes. >I'm just really determined to actually enjoy more than live rock? >>Are you?  I might be.. except for the fact that, if you get uncured rock and manage to preserve a great deal of the original life on it, live rock can often be infinitely more fascinating than an old, stinky fish.  (j/k) >Ok one more thing. >>Ok. >From what I get copper should only be used for only two weeks. >>Roughly, yes, but also no.  It also depends on the levels you keep it at, as well as what fish you're coppering.  This is where a substance like Formalin comes in. >And ick can sometimes remerge to free swimming form up to 28 days later, right? >>LONGER!  This stuff has some serious shelf-life, mate.  (As you're beginning to surmise, yeah?) >Well wouldn't hyposalinity be the treatment of choice because it can be utilized longer and have a greater chance of killing the late bloomers? >>Yes, and no.  There are reports (coming from Hawai'i) that there are some subspecies of C. irritans that are quite adaptable to changing salinity.  However, from what *I* understand, it's supposed to be rather rare that we get these in our home systems. >And shouldn't all fish be put back in the main system from a q-tine containing copper at the end of the two weeks, because it negates the chance of an infestation that wasn't visible in q-tine? >>No, and no.  Here's the part of the deal that someone didn't tell you; once the fish are ich-free, you MUST begin q/t ALL OVER AGAIN.  That is to say that once they are parasite free, the 30 day counter starts over, from the beginning, from scratch.  Get them through 30 days CLEAN, and you are golden.   >I know you're supposed to wait 45 days, but if you use hypo for 30 then raise salinity back and use copper for the remaining 14 days in q-tine, wouldn't that be the only way to be surely eradicated? >>Not necessarily.  Why would it take you 14 full days to get the fish back to full salinity?  This should take a week at MOST.  Search TerryB (on reefs.org) and Terry Bartelme, as well as Steven Pro on Google (general Google, not our search bar alone) - see what they've written on treating ich.  Then, just make SURE you've got the fish going through that 30 days clean before you do anything else, and remember to f/w dip before putting into q/t and BACK into the display.  Marina

- Quarantine Quandary -  Hi again Crew,  Been sending you e-mails for a while now. I've lost probably 6 Rabbitfish, but damn it, I've ordered another one, and I hope to not make the same mistakes again.  Anyway, my questions (and please, please, please, don't be vague in your answers, it's been a year, no livestock, I'm getting very frustrated):  1) Last Rabbitfish I got was from an ich infected tank (yeah, I know, bad move). I Methylene blue dipped it. <I'm assuming you meant with pH-adjusted freshwater with Methylene blue in it??? Flesh dripping off sounds like something was very wrong with the dip.> Looked like the flesh was coming off it when it died (could see the "teeth" under a flapping upper lip). Did I dip it too long? <Well... you haven't given many details about the dip, but it does sound like it was flawed somehow.> It was maybe 3 inches. Dipped it for 12 minutes. <That does seem a bit long - probably doesn't need to be any longer than five minutes.> It never tried to torpedo out of the dip. <Might well have been doomed before the dip.>  2) I ordered another one, along with a Scott's fairy wrasse. Should I bother dipping them? Haven't had much luck. <I dip all my fish, even the expensive ones - you should too. Check your protocol, perhaps you've been doing something wrong. More details here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm >  3) Will they get along together in a 15 gal QT tank? <The wrasse and the tang? Yes, I think so... fairy wrasses are fairly easy going, as are Rabbitfish.>  4) Is it advisable to put 2 fish in the same QT? <Wait... didn't you just ask that question? Honestly, I wouldn't - will affect your ability to control water quality - would be better to put them in individual quarantine.>  5) I have a UV sterilizer I used with the display tank. I've been told that it might be a good idea to hook it up to the QT. <Might be a better place for it.> Isn't that just delaying the inevitable if the fish are sick? <I don't follow... isn't quarantine the place you'd want to treat such problems?> Or is this a good practice? <Is where I run my UV.>  Thanks in advance,  Rob  <Cheers, J -- > 

Cloudy eye on PJ cardinal and quarantine practice. Hello, <Hi Laurie.  Adam here today.> I have a 3 year old 46-gallon bow front reef tank with 1 Percula, 1 Bicolor Angel, 1 Neon Dottyback, and 4 Bar Gobies.....all healthy.  I also have many  mushrooms and polyps and a couple leathers.  I recently added 3 small Pajama  Cardinals.  I am 50/50 about quarantining.  If the fish is a strong one (like  my Dottyback), I will quarantine.  These guys are so delicate I chose not to. <I am befuddled by your logic.  I am strongly in favor of quarantine for all subjects, particularly those that are "delicate" or disease prone.  They are exactly those that are likely to carry or contract disease, not eat, etc.  In other words, they are the fish that quarantine is designed for!>   After 24-hours they are fine.  Eating well and acting quite normal.  Only an  occasional curious peck from the Dottyback.  No one is really bothering them  too much at all. <Good to hear.  Such docile fish are often the subjects of aggression.  Beware also that with three, two are likely to pair off and shun the third.> One Cardinal, however, has a cloudy eye.  I don't want to take him out into the quarantine tank and put him back into the reef only to stress him out even more.  Will the cloudy eye go away by itself or do I need to treat it somehow? <Effective treatment in a tank containing inverts is not possible (another good reason for quarantine!).  The cloudy eye could have many causes including Amyloodinium (velvet) which spreads and kills rapidly.  I would absolutely remove this fish to a quarantine tank ASAP.  One of the best ways to do this is with a tiny (#20 or so) barbless fish hook designed for fly fishing.  Bait the hook and catch the fish.  It may sound cruel, but it is quite effective and much less stressful than a chase with a net.  If you have the containers to do so, you could also drain the tank to within a few inches of the bottom, net the fish and re-fill.  Inverts should tolerate this for a few minutes to a half hour with no problem.> A challenge in a reef with live rock, etc.  (I have a UV sterilizer with a brand new bulb.) <See above tips for removing fish from a reef tank.  Also, you may want to move the UV to the quarantine tank if practical.> Thank you in advance for your help. <Good luck!  Adam> Laurie

Question on Q/T Filtration >Hello, I have read through many of the FAQs regarding qt. >>Hello and let the coolness ensue! >However, one question still remains. >>Hotay. >If one was to use a sponge filter or BioWheel filter that has been seeded by the main display by sitting it in the sump, to allow colonization of bacteria, and then use it in the QT. >>Yes?  Yes yes? >Question is, if the QT has an outbreak of some sort what do you use to sterilize the sponge or BioWheel in order to safely put it back in sump for recolonization, or should one just stick to using sponges as they are inexpensive and use a new one for each qt session? >>Aahh!  Believe it or not this HAS been answered, but I realize there is MUCH to slog through.  I am a frugal woman, and don't like to throw things out.  One can bleach (then dechlorinate properly - either by airing out well or chemically dechlorinating), or, if you can afford it and don't mind adding to the landfill buy new sponges.  If you use COPPER, though, I would DEFINITELY toss them if they've been exposed. >Also, if there was no outbreak, in the qt and no meds were used, could you just place the sponge right back in the main display sump? >>Yes!  Boy O boy, you ROCK. >Thank you in advance, Peter >>Much welcome, Peter.  Marina

Question on Q/T Filtration - II >Any Risk of introducing the sponge back into the sump (if no meds were used but an outbreak occurred)? Can a good fresh water rinse take care of it? and air dry? >>Hi Peter, no, I wouldn't risk it.  I would sterilize with bleach.  Marina

More Velvet Blues >Hey Bob, >>Wrong Bob, you've got Marina tonight. >Hope the holidays were parasite free for you. >>Indeed. >I myself on the other hand believe I have some nasty parasites in my tank. >>Not good. >Clowns and Damsels appear to be coated with little spots that look like sugar. -rapid breathing -scratching -hanging out near top of tank >>You sure make it sound like velvet - you'll need to act FAST. >I have my 20 QT tank running a cycle ( I cycled with live sand, bacteria, and the old filter pads from main tank) >>Cycling is a moot point when medicating, especially for something such a velvet.  Handle nitrogenous wastes by water changes. >-Ammonia is .5 ppm and nitrates are 15ppm (On way down.  Was at  1 for ammonia and 20 ppm for nitrates).  I am waiting for the levels to go down before I quarantine.  Do not want to take the fish from parasite tank to ammonia tank. >>You wait they die.  The bacteria are going to die during medicating anyway.  Search our site on "velvet" for treatment options - they would include hyposalinity and freshwater dipping, copper and/or formalin treatments. >Anything to speed up this process??? >>Treat your fish ASAP! >Or in theory could I just do a water change from main tank to QT tank.   >>No.  You're re-infecting the q/t with the velvet parasites.  This creature is VIRULENT, and not at all easy to eradicate. >I think this would defeat the process of a QT tank though in this case considering the disease is in the main tank. >>You think correctly. >My plan for you to comment on (Once QT tank is ready) -Remove all fish from main tank >>Check.. -Freshwater bathe fish >>Check.. -Add fish to QT tank >>Check.. -Add copper treatment to QT tank (SeaCure) >>Cupramine is my choice, otherwise, check.. -Continue to perform routine maintenance (water changes) on both tanks >>You left out the hyposalinity for the treatment tank.  Otherwise, check.. -After 60 Days return bathe fish (freshwater) and return to main tank. >>Check. Questions: Background - In main 55 gallon tank I will have -Live Rock -Cleaner, Blood, Coral Shrimp >>If coral banded, do watch these for aggression towards the Lysmata spp. -Emerald Crabs -Sifter Starfish -Arrow Crab -Snails -Colony Polyp, mushroom coral, yellow polyp (Fiji Coral) >>You sure you're comfy with an arrow AND an emerald?  Search on Mithrax/emerald crabs as well as arrows to be sure you want these in a reef system.  Both known troublemakers. 1.  From what I read I can increase temp to say 80 degrees to speed up life cycle of parasites.  Is this bad for main tank inhabitants? >>They should be fine.  Don't use hypo in any system with the inverts.  (Hypo for the fish would be 1.010 - 1.007.) 2.  Do I apply copper just once to QT tank? >>Follow the manufacturer's directions and test to ensure maintenance of proper levels.  You WILL need to correct dosage post water change!  The easiest way to do this for some folks is to add copper to the make up water, test and match levels. >My assumption is my water changes to QT tank will dilute copper treatment >>Yep. >3.  Should I add some Amquel to QT tank to help control levels?   >>I wouldn't.  I strongly advocate using water changes to eliminate nitrogenous wastes. >Thanks for your help.  Hope this works. Or please stop me if I am making big error in plan.  Cheers -CPN >>See above, and do search our site ASAP to work out your plan of attack, it needs to be quick, my friend.  Marina

- Copper and Scaleless Fish - WWM : I'm moving all my reef fish into a QT tank to begin a serious treatment for ick. I'm planning on using ionic copper, but I wonder if I should put the scaleless fish like the firefish, blennies and gobies into a separate tank and treat some other way, such as with malachite green? <Not a bad idea.> Any advice would be most appreciated. <Well... scaleless fish can put up with copper, but likely you need to reduce the dose a tad so that they aren't overly irritated by it.> Thanks, SLC <Cheers, J -- >

Disease in the QT 12/22/03 I have had my Quarantine Tank and Main Tank setup for almost 1 month.  Both are cycled, Main Tank with Live Rock, Quarantine Tank with 3 Domino Damsels. Main Tank is still fish free, my question is on my Quarantine Tank.  Three days after we got our first damsels, we lost the smallest one to what I presumed was ich (body covered in white fibers, like it had been through a spider web).  I had a chunk of live rock in the QT (as seed) so I did not add copper at that time.  The other two looked fine so I replaced the third musketeer the next day.  Ten days later, I removed the live rock and immediately began to add copper.  Gradually over the next 5 days I got the copper level to .10 and was inching it up toward .15, intending to keep it there for two weeks to rid the tank of ich. <Congrats on having the dedication to set up a quarantine tank!  See here for info on dips: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm  I am a big fan of prophylactic FW dips for most all fish, and Methylene blue when Ich/velvet are suspected.  I am also a fan of hyposalinity for disease treatment.  Over a period of a few day, reduce your QT specific gravity down to the 1.012 range and hold for two weeks.  Raise back to normal over another week.> A day or two later a small white spot appeared on the smallest damsel (size of a grain of rice, fuzzy whitish gray on the flank more than halfway back and below center).  I?m still thinking ich so I keep bumping up my copper gradually until I am at .15.  Five days later our little damsel stopped eating and the area behind the gill (towards the top - directly behind the eye) is looking pinkish (in a vaguely triangular patch).  I watched for a day as he became increasingly lethargic.  I performed a freshwater dip (about 20 seconds, he seemed REALLY unhappy, I buffered the ph of filtered water but I was still afraid I was doing more damage than good, so I got him out).  That was 24 hours ago, he is still swimming around (not at the usual feisty clip) but not eating and mostly hanging out in the bottom corner by the air stone. <It is hard to guess from this description what might be going on, but FW dips are always quite stressful.  In my opinion and experience, a FW dip of less than at least 10 minutes won't help, and if a fish dies from a properly conducted FW dip, it was doomed anyway.> He is "breathing" more rapidly than his tankmates, both of whom appear totally unaffected.  Water is good - PH 8.2, SG 1.023, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5. <Please confirm these values (particularly Ammonia) with another test kit.> It has now been 9 days that the level of copper (Cuprex II) has been over .10, the last 5 days have been over .15.  After reading more and getting the sense that copper isn't working, I am starting to worry that this is velvet. <Quite possible.  Velvet often has inflicted deadly harm by  the time it is diagnosed, but do try the reduced salinity.  I have found it to be quite effective.  It not only inhibits the parasite, but give the fish a metabolic advantage since much of their energy is expended getting rid of salt.> My plan is to wait and see what happens.  Should I switch the filter for fresh carbon? (I haven't because I don't want to pull the copper out). Any thoughts on how to proceed, what to look for, or what to avoid would be greatly appreciated.  The temptation is to take the Dominos back to the LFS, tear down the QT clean it, leave it dry for a week and restart it. <I would discontinue the copper and follow the steps outlined above.  Carbon will be a matter of personal preference, but probably won't hurt.> Secondary problem (potentially much bigger screw up):  Like a moron I put the Live Rock from the QT in the main tank (I know... but it had these really cool zoanthid polyps and I was so concerned with protecting the polyps from the copper that I didn't consider the rock as a vector to introduce disease to my main tank).  How long should the main tank remain fish free to safely insure that whatever is going on in the QT doesn't affect the main tank? <30 days should be sufficient.  By the time you complete the hyposalinity protocol, you should be pretty close.> As always thanks for helping the bumbling newbie.  Arnold <Don't sell yourself short.  Even if you lose these fish, you are ahead of most beginners by having a QT tank.  Also, do read up on the info here at WWM on selecting an quarantining fish.  Adam.>

Quarantine length - 12/11/03 Crew: I have a Sixline Wrasse in Quarantine for 2 weeks now.  I have read that it mainly eats infauna from the LR. <For the most part but I have heard of some accepting prepared foods>  I had a clown goby that Bob recommended I shorten it's quarantine for danger of weight loss/overall health. <OK>  Do I need to shorten my sixline's stay in quarantine and move it to my 55 FOWLR early to meet it's dietary demands? <Have you tried feeding it or is it eating?? Try Cyclop-eeze or mysids? Try to see if you can get it to eat before releasing it from quarantine, in my experience ~Paul> Thanks, Rich.

Hindsight is 20/20 OK! I learned the hard say, should have quarantined! (As a Biology teacher, I  am ashamed!) I have two new perculas and one is not looking very good, while  both are acting withdrawn, no interest in eating flakes. I am not sure if my  percula clownfish necessarily has clownfish disease (Brooklynella sp?).  Today,  it has developed a white lesion on the body just below the dorsal fin.  It also has a ~2" long whitish/clear excrement strand hanging off of it and seems  to have a loss of appetite and equilibrium.  I have not noticed paleness of  color nor excessive slime secretion.  The other percula seems healthy.  I am  wondering if/how I should treat as well as what are possible causes of infection? <hello, Well I am afraid to tell you it sounds like Brooklynella. The best and fastest way I have found of removing the parasite is a 15 minute freshwater dip. make sure the water is same temp and ph as tank water) I know this seems like a long time but if you do not do a full 15 minutes it will come back. Hopefully it is not to late. As for how the got it. Most likely they were infected when you got them or you did not acclimate them slow enough. Always quarantine!!!!MikeH> (29 gal eclipse 3 system, temp ~ 76F, sal. 1.022-3, pH 8.2 Nitrate, nitrite  ammonia levels 0.  New tank, only 3 weeks with 9lbs live rock, 1 Sebae anemone, <If the tank is only 3 weeks old you should not have put an anemone in there. To keep them alive you will need at least 4-5 watts per gallon> 3 turbo snails)  Thanks for any insight.

Sponge filter for QT tank Hi all, Thanks for your previous replies they have all been very helpful. I have a question, how do I know if my sponge filter is ready to handle the bioload of a new fish in quarantine. I bought a new, sponge filter, you know the under $5 kind that just has an air hose and sponge to promote biological filtration. But I don't know if and when it will be able to handle a fish in a 10gal QT. I just stuck it in my sump w/o the air running through it to try and seed it and get the bacteria growing on it. About how long should I wait b/f I use it and how can I make sure it will work? I would hate to get the fish and then have an ammonia spike in QT and cause harm. Are there some techniques that are better to keep these ready to use or a way to tell if they can handle the bioload yet. Oh for reference I am either going to get a small/med sized scopas tang or a bicolor blenny next and need the QT filter to handle either bioload. Thanks again, -Ryan <You will have to feed the fish in Qt very sparingly... and siphon all food that is uneaten...also do water changes daily and check the water daily (while the fish is in Qt of course). Good luck, IanB>

- Singing the Praises of Quarantine - To All at WWM: Actually this time I don't have a questions but a "thank you" for basically pushing the use of quarantine. I recently acquired a 5" emperor angelfish... absolutely beautiful. As most people, I wanted him in my main system immediately. However, I decided to proceed with the appropriate QT protocol. I placed him in a 29gal QT that I had already had prepared for his arrival. I thought the tank may have been too small but that was definitely not the case. A 29 gal was a good size for this fish. I have a couple of PVC pipe pieces in there and there is still plenty of room. I certainly would not recommend a QT of maybe 10 gal for this fish. Anyway, he had not eaten for almost five days and I feel if he was in my main system, with the other fish he may never have eaten. On or about the five day he ate some frozen brine shrimp. I subsequently replaced the brine with Mysis and now 2 weeks later he is eating all types of food, including taking flakes right off the water surface.  I'm going to go one more week in QT then transfer him in the main system. I guess the moral of the story here is that I feel this fish would not have recovered from the stress of transport and begin eating properly without having a chance to acclimate quietly in quarantine. <Much agreed - many folks think quarantine is only for treating disease but as you have observed, it also functions as a intermediate step and opportunity to ease the transition from the wild into captivity. I agree that this fish may have never eaten had you placed it in the main tank where it would be harassed by the existing occupants.> QT is the only way to go and if one wants to observe their new addition they can just observe them in QT for the time being. <Hallelujah!> Patience for 3 weeks will pay off for years. <Indeed, thanks for sharing.> Thanks again to all. Gene <Cheers, J -- >

- Fallow Long Enough? More Follow-up - Thanks for your advise, <My pleasure.> I will leave him in the tank by himself for a few weeks and observe him.  I went home last night and looked at him and the white dots on his fins were gone, but the fins seemed to be scarred up and cloudy.  But he is otherwise eating normally, and I have not observed him scratching on rocks, or swimming against the water flow. <The latter is not an indication of disease.> I did notice that he seemed a bit more red around the nose area.  If he does become heavily infested, I can always put him back in the quarantine tank for another month or two. One other question I had was.  I had a few hitch hikers with some live rock I purchased; namely bristle worms and a small shrimp like crustacean about the size of Mysis.  They have obviously been multiplying in my tank.  They seem to help keep the tank clean now but I have been told they are a problem for a reef tank. <Don't agree with this... these are mostly detritivores and will do as you suggested and help keep things clean, but you need not worry about their impact on a reef system.> Will they present any problems when I begin to add live corals to my tank next month? <No. There are reports from place to place of bristle worms eating corals, but what usually occurs is that the coral was already dying on its own and the worms were taking advantage of an easy meal.> I was waiting till next month to add corals for my new halide light system and for the tank to season one year. <Good plan.> MT <Cheers, J -- >

Getting Off To A Good Start! Dear Crew: <Scott F. your Crew member today!> Can you please tell me, if I wanted to start a Q tank from scratch, and no seeding (to eliminate the chance of parasite. How do I start? Frozen prawns?? How many for a 33 gallons? <Well, first of all, remember that a quarantine tank is not intended to be a permanent feature, with no substrate, rocks, etc. As such, you don't really "cycle" the tank in a traditional manner. The best way to run a quarantine tank is to use a sponge filter that has been "seeded" with beneficial bacteria from an established healthy aquarium. Ideally, the source water would be from your display tank, or at least, the same source water that you use in the display tank to replace water during changes.> And when cycling, do I have to keep light on/off?? <Generally, I don't think it makes a difference> When there is no fish in the q tank, how do I maintain bacteria populations? More raw frozen prawns?? <Well, once a gain- the quarantine tank is broken down after each use, and a filter sponge run in your display tank's sump at all times, ready to go when the need arises...Easy!> Also, to cycle a new tank, a 90 gallon display FO, how many prawns? <I have not used this technique myself, so I couldn't speak from experience. I've heard numbers ranging from 3 to 6 shrimp, depending on the tank size.> And how deep sandbed?? <All depends what you're trying to accomplish...A "deep sand bed" would be 4 to 6 inches or more. However, different biotopic presentations, etc. will dictate different sand bed depths and compositions... Study up and execute your plan accordingly!> Is it better to leave sand bed in sump?? <It's all a matter of personal preference. This technique is good in situations where you have a population of fishes in the display that can disrupt a healthy sand bed, or when you have lots of current in the display that will blow sand around the water column> I want to create a disease free display of a FO because my reef is nice but infected... and I am intended to keep fishes I like in the new display. <A commendable goal, no doubt!> Can live rock harbor parasites?? <Certainly possible> Is it better not to have LR in the FO display?? <I'd use the live rock in the FO tank, myself.> Or do I Quarantine live rock?? How ? <If it's uncured, the curing process takes a couple of weeks at least, so this will help eliminate any parasites that require fish as hosts...> I am going to start slow, can you please suggest a work plan for me??  thank you very much for your help!  Eric Leung 4 times loser of ich/velvet battle <Well, Eric, there are no real secrets here. Just design a system based upon your prospective inhabitants' needs, cycle the tank with live rock/sand, and stock slowly...Much of this process is covered here on the WWM site in greater detail than I can point out here...Do some reading on the WWM site, and I'm sure that you'll get off to a good start! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Quarantine Questions - Just starting my quarantine tank I am told that before I can put any new fish in this tank I have to get bacteria to grow on sponge filter which will take about 4 weeks? <I don't agree with this - it's my feeling that quarantine always has the potential for medication which means any work you've done to establish a biological filter will be lost when you add the meds. I don't bother with cycling a quarantine tank and instead rely on frequent, large water changes along with testing for ammonia levels. Typically 25% a day or so. You can remove some of this work up front by keeping a filter sponge or two in your main system, so that they have a healthy batch of nitrifying bacteria in them and then add this when you add a fish, but if you have to dose copper or formalin, you're going to have to start with the water changes.> Also I was told only to put one fish in tank at a time for the recommended 4 week waiting time can you help me with these questions? <Yes... one fish at a time is really the best way to go, although I'd say the quarantine period is better if kept to two weeks minimum, with four weeks being too long for some fish. It's one of those things that will vary from fish to fish.> Dale <Cheers, J -- >

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? Questions.. II >Hi, again, Marina. >>Hi Barb, just back in from the Sierras.. gorgeous landscape. >(You're not rid of me yet!) >>Good!  ;) >My husband had an interesting theory that I'd like your opinion on. Does the Bio wheel in the Eclipse 3 system that we're using to quarantine fish still contain the harmful bacteria that did the angelfish in? That is, could it be a detriment to the remaining 6 green Chromis fish and any other fish we buy and quarantine in the future? >>Chances are that the bacteria found a rather unsuitable host in the BioWheel, however, your husband may have a point.  To be safe (and because chances are there are few, if any, nitrifying bacteria remaining), you could bleach the BioWheel.  Not straight bleach, just a sterilizing solution, about a 1/4C to a gallon of water, then dechlorinate till you don't smell any more bleach. >Hopefully, over the next 30 days, the Chromis won't show any effects of the infection the Coral Beauty had (just finished the second Ampicillex treatment) and we can transfer them into the 110 gal. display tank, but we're seriously considering emptying the QT, scrubbing it clean, replacing the Bio wheel and starting over (cycling new water). What are your thoughts on that? Necessary precaution, or paranoia? >>While the Chromis are in situ in q/t, no, I wouldn't do it.  But, before you get any other animals, absolutely the best course of action for something that proved to be so difficult once established.  I think it's really FAR better to be safe than sorry. >Regards, Barb >>You have my best, and I'm hoping that you've seen the last of this.  Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Questions.. III >Thanks, Marina. >>Hi Barb, I posted a pic of the Hope Valley for us in today's dailies. >Shall I assume that the only safe way to dechlorinate is to buy "dechlorinator", or is there another "around the house" product or method that's readily available and equally as effective?  Barb >>For chlorine ONLY, letting it set for a day or two will allow the chlorine to dissipate naturally (yes, it really will).  If your water's treated with chloramine (a combination of chlorine and ammonia), then what will be easiest for you is to buy a ready-made dechlorinator (online, eh?).  The chemical that does the dechlorination, and, if I recollect correctly, breaks the bond between chlorine and ammonia, is sodium thiosulfate.  The only way I know of to get it is in rather large quantities.  There are chemical supply houses online (Google 'em), and I know that you can get several pounds of it (dry, pretty blue stuff) for just a few dollars (something like $5/10lbs.!).  No wonder they call me "The Novel Writer", eh?  Glad you've kept in touch, Barb, I want to see you succeed you've gone to so much trouble.  Marina

Quarantining New Fish - Too Late to Dip? >Thanks in advance for your time.  Love and appreciate your Web site.  Two weeks ago, I bought a Coral Beauty and a Catalina Goby that had been at the LFS for one week already (though each were in different tanks with several other fish of different species during that week).  I put them into my Eclipse 3 QT.   >>Great. >Though the LFS owner said they'd be good QT buddies and good ultimate tankmates for my Yellow Tang, Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel, False Percula Clown, hermit crab, emerald crab, and turbo snail in our 110 gal. main tank, research on the Internet that night led me to believe that I wasn't doing the Goby any favors by keeping him in water that was never going to be lower than 72 degrees (actually, it's usually around 78-80).  Four days later, I brought the Goby back (store owner is a real peach) and bought six Green Chromis that had been at the store for two months (and shared a tank with four fish that were similar in color, but not shape). >>Generally, yes, though there are those that are collected from warmer waters further south.  However, it's more likely than not that you've done the right thing.   >Anyway, the CB and Chromis fish all get along great in the QT, are very active and sociable, and appear to be very healthy. >>Sounds good so far. >I'm very tempted to transfer these new guys to our main tank, but I've read every FAQ and article about dipping and quarantining on your Web site so I've decided to keep them in the QT for another week (maybe two). >>Your quarantine really should be a minimum of 30 days, STARTING with the addition of the Chromis.  Believe me, this ends up paying off. >Do you agree, or do you think it's safe to introduce them to my crew in the 110 gal tank, given the length of time that they've been observed by either the LFS or me? >>It's not just observation we're going at here, it's prevention of introduction of pathogens into your display.  So, no, I would definitely not introduce these animals prior to the end of the 30 day q/t. >Also, if I didn't freshwater-dip any of the new seven prior to putting them into the QT, would it be beneficial or harmful for me to do it at this point in time? >>You can do it at this time, as well as lowering the salinity of the q/t to 1.010.  Neither species will be harmed by this, especially if you do it over two or three days.  When you dip, you can also use Methylene blue, drop in enough to stain the water a dark blue.  I'll take this opportunity to mention to ensure the freshwater dip/bath is matched for temperature and pH. >You've put the fear of ich in me and I'll do anything to ensure that my main tank stays ich-free (as much as I have any control over that) once I merge the two groups. >>Believe it or not it is quite possible to have MUCH control over this.  Use these q/t procedures and times religiously.  The public aquarium I have experience with uses copper prophylactically, except for certain species, with which they'll instead use formalin, again, prophylactically. >Regards, Barb

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