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Best FAQs on Quarantine of Corals, other Non-vertebrate Life

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: Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2, Quarantine 3Quarantine 4Quarantine 5Quarantine 6Quarantine 7Quarantine 8Quarantine 9Quarantine 10, Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantine 13, Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates

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

quarantine a feather duster      11/18/14
What is the best procedure for quarantining a feather duster. My QT is bare-bottomed. Do I need to add some gravel so the ³foot² of the feather duster can be anchored?
<A good idea to have something to "hold it up">
As for feeding, what is recommended?
<Finely blended meaty and algal material.>
I searched the Feather Duster and tube worm faq¹s but didn¹t find any specific quarantining recommendations.
<Other than avoiding hitchhikers; there's not much chance of introducing anything undesirable w/ these animals>
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Quarantine of Nassarius Snails    11/4/14
Hi Crew,
Long time fan, I'm coming to you with another barrage of questions. Please forgive me if this has been answered already, but I was not able to find an answer to my question after searching for a long while.
I currently bought some more clean up crew for my display tank, and as per your suggestions, I'm rather sold on the idea of "quarantine everything wet".
<Almost always a good idea>
The new additions to my tank will be: 1 fire shrimp, 1 skunk cleaner shrimp, 10 Cerith snails, 10 Nassarius snails (the small kind, these stay about the size of a dime), and 5 scarlet red hermit crabs.
Everything is currently in quarantine in my 10 gallon tank, and they will be migrating to my display tank in about 6 weeks.
My issue is that I've read that the Nassarius snails need substrate to survive, but my QT is currently bare bottom.
Knowing this, I added a Tupperware container full of sand in the QT,
and after drip acclimation, I made sure to add all the Nassarius snails inside the Tupperware. I woke up the next morning to see about 5 Nassarius snails crawling around on the glass, and the other 5 I'm assuming were
buried in the sand.
Should I be worried about the Nassarius requiring substrate for their survival in my QT?
<No; they will find the substrate if interested>
or will they be fine in a bare bottom tank?
<Leave the Tupperware in place>
Do I even need the Tupperware of sand in there for the Nassarius?
<I would use>
Also, I am now aware that they are not algae grazers like most other snails found in this hobby, but rather, carnivores. I currently drop in a few pieces of mysis/Cyclop-eeze or whatever food is left over from feeding my
display into the QT for the cleaner shrimp/hermit crabs. The shrimps are much quicker than the hermit crabs and the Nassarius, so I'm concerned that the shrimps will devour all the food before the hermits/Nassarius can get any. Any suggestions on how to make sure everyone is well fed and happy in the quarantine tank?
<You're doing fine. For the duration of the quarantine, the food offered and its recycling will feed all>
Any advice is, as always, very respected and much appreciated.
Thank you, and enjoy your day.
<Do keep an eye on the hermits and shrimps lest they go after (consume) your snails. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine for clams, corals and snails     8/30/12
Hey everyone,
I am hoping for a little guidance. I have become a QT freak and so far it has worked very well for me with no diseases in my main tank. I have been running corals in QT with no issues but was hoping for some extra help with the following:
1. What sort of lighting would you recommend (or better still what PAR) to maintain clams for 4 weeks in QT
<Near 100...>
2. What can I feed snails whilst in QT as the tank they are almost clean of algae
<Sheet et al. macro-algae from the oriental food store, types (of edible)
algae that you've grown or purchased for petfish use. Decent sinking pellets, wafers...>
3. What risk would you see if I decided to only QT for 2 weeks (these are all held separate from any fish)
<None really, other than frailties of human patience... checking on water quality mostly>
Note I am note impatient and happy to wait 4 weeks I just want to make sure I don't unnecessarily stress the new additions.
<I agree; not much to gain from further than two weeks... unless "something pops up" during that observation period>
Thanks for your help
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine tank for corals   3/10/11
Hi All,
<Hello Arthur>
I have a 34 gal Solana with 150 watt MH lighting. I want to buy corals from online retailers but I am worried about parasites hitchhiking on my new corals.
I have only QT¹s my fish before and I have a 55gal tank all set up for that purpose. How long to I quarantine corals for in a tank with a single blue light bulb (T12 or something)?
<6-8 weeks if you are going to do it at all. For most corals I would up the lighting though>
It doesn¹t seem like it would make a whole ton of difference as any critters living off of the coral would not want to leave (unless it was for another bigger tastier coral) in any reasonable period of time (less than a few weeks).
<Might need to periodically add some foodstuff>
My current practice for fish has been at least a month of QT but they don¹t need light to live. So what do I do with the coral?
<Observe closely for 6-8 weeks. This should give enough time for any/ most fish parasites to die off, and gives you time to remove any pests such as flatworms, Nudibranch, Aiptasia et. Al>
Any advice (other than advice to buy a new fixture lol) would be appreciated,
<I would purchase some better lighting for this, CP or T5 in the white spectrum>
P.s. I apologize if this is a rehash of another post I looked through what was on the site and couldn¹t find any with the same concerns I had.
<No problem>

Snail Quarantine, SW   1/19/11
Hello friends, hope all are well. I'm Sure Bob is.....
<Ah yes>
Question regarding Snail Quarantine.
I'm thinking of buying some Nassarius snails, and am assuming I'll be letting them chill in the new QT for a month (though, in my reading, I came across a snail/QT question in 08 in which Bob suggested just adding them to the display, if the system wasn't "too big").
<Am still of that position/opinion>
So, going on that
a) what, if anything am I looking for?
<Mmm, really that they're "just alive"... possibly if they are carrying (on their bodies, shells) snail-eating predators>
Or is this more just a precaution
against parasites etc, letting them live and die without hitting anything else before they make it to the display.
<More this than concern w/ vectoring fish biological disease (infectious and parasitic), though any wet material is suspect, and best isolated/quarantined for weeks, ahead of placing in an established, main/display system>
b) FW dip them?
I've not seen much about dipping them
c) should I put a little tray of sand in there for them to cruise around on?
<Yes; definitely, on and in>
And do I need to add pellets or flake for them to "scavenge"?
<Yes... need to be fed>
<Welcome. Do keep water quality monitored... change their water out with that from an established system. Bob Fenner>
Re: Snail Quarantine   1/20/11

Bob (and crew)
I think I will quarantine the snails when I buy them. I'm not saying I'm buying from an unreliable source, but they do turn over a lot of livestock...
As I won't need to medicate them, etc, would it make sense to just add a small sand bed to my 10g QT, and transfer it to my display with the snails, assuming there is no problems with them during their quarantine period?
<S/b fine>
I know a QT should be bare-bottomed, generally speaking, but should I make an exception for the snails?
<Yes, I would>
I plan on breaking down the QT and cleaning everything (bleach/rinse) before using it for the next tank inhabitant.
<And you, BobF>

Nassarius Snails, QT 4/23/10
I just received my first online fish order. The fish look good, just started acclimation to the QT tank.
<Makes my heart happy.>
My question is on the snails. I got them to help clean my sand bed in my DT, but after reading I see some of you recommend QT on inverts and some don't.
<I personally generally QT everything.>
I had decided not to QT them, for fear there's not enough for them to eat in the shallow sand in my QT, but now I'm leaning towards QT'ing them.
<I think you will find that these particular snail are pretty easy to QT.
Rather than sort of randomly grazing for algae they will actively seek out food particles that make it to the sand bed, plus its fun to watch them emerge for seemingly nowhere.>
I emailed the company to find out if they house fish and inverts separately. They said "typically yes" however they recommend a short QT to be safe. (If I put them in QT they'll have to stay there for 4 weeks as they'll be in with the new fish and I don't want to cross contaminate if I can avoid it).
<Good plan.>
They arrived dry in a bag so I have no clue if they are alive or not at this point.
<Hope the company will compensate you if they are not.>
They're floating in the tank to acclimate temperature wise for now.
Thanks for the info, Pam Speck

Re: Nassarius Snails, QT 4/24/10
Thanks, I did end up placing them in the QT, and I couldn't believe how quickly they started moving around when I put them in there.
The royal gramma was swimming vertical in the bag when I opened the box, and stayed that way all through acclimation, and after I placed him in the tank. Eventually began swimming horizontal, but I'm a bit concerned. I guess time will tell...(The place I ordered does offer a full 14 day guarantee which is nice, but I'd still hate to lose him. The 2 cleaner gobies seem very active.)
<They can swim at odd angles at times, I would not be too concerned, just something to keep an eye on.>
Thanks so much for the advice, and I'm glad I did the right thing by putting the snails in QT.

QT for inverts: Necessary in a new tank? 8/31/2009
<Hi Dustin.>
My display tank has nothing but live rock and a few sponges that were growing on it when I bought it.
I am planning on putting some inverts in next. Should I QT them if there are no fish in the tank and fish will not be in the tank for at least 5 to 6 weeks.
<Should not be necessary on a new tank.>

Quarantine snails and hermit crabs? 1/23/09 Dear Wet Web Media, <Hello> Greetings, I hope this message finds everyone well. <Yes thanks.> In advance, thank you for all the wonderful advice contained here. I now realize that I should have come here, and read much prior to setting up my 120 gallon reef. It is sparsely stocked now, but prior to last week, it was fallow for 11 weeks due to, you guessed it, Cryptocaryon. <All too common.> I know that I am learning much here, but sometimes I tend to slip, and this is one of those times. <Happens> My question is with regards to quarantine, in particular, snails and hermit crabs. <Ok> I received a small shipment of 20 Cerith, 10 Nassarius, and 10 Turbo snails, as well as 10 assorted hermit crabs (a free bonus). <Nice> My question is, do I need to quarantine them, and for how long? <It would be best if you did, they can harbor parasites, although they are not true hosts. Four weeks is usually a good length of time, long enough for any Cryptocaryon parasites to cycle through their lifecycle and die off.> I ask because I remember reading an article by Anthony Calfo regarding to quarantine, or not, and I believe the last line read, "if it's wet, quarantine it." <The ideal way of doing it.> Does this include snails and hermit crabs, because I have these critters floating, and ready for introduction into water tonight , and I am not too keen upon having to keep a tank fallow again too soon. <The risk is fairly small to be honest, but it definitely does exist. After doing the work to run the tank fallow for 11 weeks I would probably not risk it and QT the invert. Fortunately it is a pretty easy QT, no medication is necessary, just a bit of time.> Please advise as soon as possible; I will greatly appreciate it. Best regards, Jeffrey Castaldo <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: Quarantine snails and hermit crabs? 1/23/09 Thank you for your rapid reply. I did quarantine them last night in anticipation of this response. <Good> However, now I have an additional question; what should I feed these critters? There is no algae available in the small tank I have them in. I could feed pellets for the hermit crabs, but what about the snails? <Algae wafers would be good, but they will eat pellets too, you may just need to get them close to it.> Also, I have a heater, as well as an air stone in the tank. Does that sound fine? <Sounds fine> Thank you, Jeffrey Castaldo <Welcome> <Chris>

Quarantining Of Chaeto And Cerith Snails 12/4/08 Hi crew! <Hello Jennifer> Quick question...I just received some Chaeto and Ceriths purchased via internet. The Ceriths arrived on a piece of damp paper towel and the Chaeto was just in a plastic bag (no water). I dripped both of them and put in the QT. The Ceriths emerged fine. Question: Was QT necessary? If so, should I QT for the usual 4-6 weeks? I'm pretty anxious to put the Chaeto in my refugium. <Personally, I'd feel comfortable adding both the Chaeto and Ceriths to the system. Some folks quarantine everything, and if it makes you feel comfortable in doing so, do it.> Thanks! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Jennifer

Re: Quarantining Of Chaeto And Cerith Snails 12/5/08 Thanks for the quick response, James! <You're welcome.> So what do you think the chances are of contracting ich through a paper towel? <Slim to none.> I'm an ichaphobe...I've fought it more than I care to count. <If it would make you feel better, contact the etailer and ask if their Ceriths and Chaeto are kept in fish systems. If the answer is no, then you can feel pretty assured you won't have ich problems.> Thanks again for your help! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Jennifer

QT of corals -03/27/08 Hi, I plan on buying a mushroom coral and a toadstool coral to add to my tank. I would like to put them in QT for about one month. I have read the articles on QT of inverts on WWM and feel I am prepared. However, I have a question about lighting. I have a 20G long QT tank that I can light with three standard AGA fluorescent strip lights about 20W each. I believe they come standard with 8800K or 9250K bulbs. Will this be sufficient and is the K. alright for these corals? <This depends on the lighting under which you plan to ultimately put them (in your display). Ideally, the QT lighting should be similar to the lighting over the ultimate destination of the corals. As for the K values, yes, typically aquarists use bulbs with K values ranging from 6500 to 20000.> Thanks <Best, Sara M.>

Inverts & Quarantine, & cleaner crew sel.  2/29/08 Hi Guys! If I am to quarantine snails and crabs (such as the Scarlet Hermit reef crabs) for 4 weeks, what visual characteristics am I to look for during this time if they are in shells? <Mmm, if the system is not "too" large, I'd summarily place these groups of animals... I.e., not quarantine them> How will I know if they are ok to place in the display tank? Furthermore, if these inverts are carriers of disease or bacteria, isn't it possible that they could still be carriers long after the quarantine? <Yes> Lastly, I have seen recommendations for a clean up crew of 45 units (30 snails, 15 crabs) for a 30 gallon tank. This seems a bit much, wouldn't you agree? Or what would you recommend? Thank you for your time and patience and keep up the good work! -Bob <My opinions on the use of such cleaners is posted: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm the first tray. Am not a fan of their stated use... Bob Fenner>

Quarantine inverts 02/27/2008 Dear Bob & Crew, <<G'Morning, Andrew today>> My son and I are 100% converts to the quarantine system. Six weeks in quarantine no matter what, who, why or where -- because every single time we've tried to sneak around it, rationalize it or take a short cut Mother Nature has taken that opportunity to show us who's the boss and we end up losing some fish we really care about AFTER having wasted the requisite $200 on junk medications that we know don't work, but still have to try out of desperation. <<Its a harsh lesson sometimes, but one which we end up learning eventually>> Last time a fish graduated, we didn't bring the quarantine tank down right away and placed a piece of live rock in it and within 6 days had the biggest case of string/hair algae you could possibly imagine. <<I imagine so, yes>> Ever seeking to avoid having to drain, wash and clean, my son got a Sea Hare instead and the algae is gone in two weeks and so far, I like this critter maybe even more than the fish! <<Yes, they are very effective with hair algae>> But in that time, the "quarantine tank" now has mysteriously acquired three green Chromis that are in week 2 of 6. So my question is ... does the Hare now have to do the remaining 4 weeks just like the Chromis? <<Yes, you may as well continue the quarantine process through to the end>> I hear people say that inverts can't be hosts to fish parasites but what about the water that gets on the net? (or is that being TOO careful? <<Ideally, I would suggest people have a separate set of kit available for use "only" on the quarantine system. For me, it simply is just not worth the risk of transporting anything from the QT to the display>> <<Hope this helps, A Nixon>>

Coral Quarantine Query  6/23/07 Hi!!! <Hey there! Scott F. here tonight!> I've got a quick question for you. I recently purchased 2 acros (A. millepora and a Green Slimer (A. yongei)). I have them in my 5 gallon QT tank for now. <Awesome! Glad to hear that!> The only light I have over the QT tank is a 36 PC half/half light. I elevate the corals so they are one inch below water surface and the lights are sitting only one inch above water surface. Would this be ok for the acros while I quarantine them? <I think it will be fine, particularly if you are feeding them.> I was hoping to keep them in there for 1-2 weeks max while being observed. <Great procedure-would be even better if you could go 3-4 weeks!> My main tank has 150 watt metal halide. However I do not want to transfer them into main tank yet because of possible parasite introduction. <again- I totally commend you for quarantining all new arrivals. It's such an easy procedure- and so beneficial! Keep spreading the word to your fellow reef geeks! You can almost always compensate for slightly lower light levels with increased feeding of the corals. They should do just fine for the quarantine period. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.> Snail Quarantine ? feeding snails   4/21/07 Hey Guys,    Hope all is well and thanks for your advice.  I have a 180 G FOWLR with one large Emp Angel, Medium Majestic, <Not enough room for both of these here...> Large Naso Tang, Medium Fiji Foxface, Heniochus Butterfly, a couple of skunk cleaner shrimp.  When I started this system two years ago I added about 20-30 turbo snails  and 50 small hermits.  The system has been running 20 ppm-30ppm Nitrate <High...> and I have been removing phosphate with resin ( very low phosphate levels )  As my snail population has declined I have noted a bit of a hair algae problem covering the rock even in areas where coralline algae is growing. I run two skimmers ( Aqua C 180 EV Euro reef CS 135 )  I am moving approx 2000 gal hr with wet dry filtration <Please see WWM re... removing plastic media> and powerheads inside the tank.     Lighting two actinic 03's and two actinic white 50/50 are on about 7 hrs per day ( total watts = about 600 w)    This system has been disease free and doing great.  I want to add some more snails and hermits and I am definitely going to quarantine them first.  I have a 55 gallon tank with a few corals and shrimp that will serve as my quarantine ( no fish)  This tank has no visible nuisance algae and has about 120 lbs of live rock.     What is the minimum quarantine time that you would recommend is such a system before introducing into the FOWLR ? <Two weeks>      I am concerned that there may not be enough algae in the 55 gal quarantine to support the 50 small to medium size snails I have added, how can I feed these snails so they do not starve during the quarantine ? Thanks Jimmy <Depends on species... but likely "algae wafers", sinking pellets of good nutritional value (e.g. Spectrum), will do fine here. Bob Fenner>

Re: How long do you quarantine Invertebrates? (pt.2) 1/21/07   1/23/07 Hi Crew <Hello again...> I guess I am a little confused.   <Probably my fault.> Let me give a little more information.   <Good plan. > We had a 29-gallon marine tank for 8 months with several fish, a star fish, hermit crabs, snails, and a cleaner shrimp.  No excuses, but we did not use the quarantine procedure and introduced a sick fish to the tank (Ich). Needless to say, in a matter of a month we had lost all the fish but one clown fish and the invertebrates. We would like to save the remaining livestock and put them in a new tank.   <Can be done.> We have set up a new 65 gallon tank and it is starting its cycle.  We put the clownfish in a 10 gallon quarantine tank after doing a methylene blue fresh water dip.   <Good plan so far.> We are treating his tank with copper.   <Ooh... not so good. There is much on WWM re Clownfishes and copper medication, but in a nutshell: they can over slime with all but the most controlled low-dosages of chelated copper. A FW dip with formalin would be very effective, but keeping the QT sterilized between dips is just as important as the actual treatment. > How long does the clownfish need to be treated with copper and when would it be safe to put him in the new tank. <Copper treatments usually aren't effective under 14 days... if/when they are used.> Then we have questions about the invertebrates.  They are currently in a separate 10 gallon quarantine tank but have not been treated with anything. <Not likely to survive treatment in any case.> Will they ever be able to be put in the new tank without causing problems? <Surely, did you read the link I sent? They are carriers, but not in the sense that they harbour the infection. Just the transient pathogen is carried with them. After the proscribed "fallow-time" they should be considered free and clear. (At least, that is my understanding of invertebrates' relationship with the protozoan C. irritans.> If so, how long should they be quarantined, can or how would you treat them, and when would it be safe to put them in the new tank?  We would really appreciate your help. <In case you don't read the link I sent previously, and the other links you find closely adhered, then you should consider the inverts safe after the lifecycle of c. irritans has passed the point where it needs a host, as discussed here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fallowtkfaqs.htm I would feel safe after no more than 4wks, but if you are worried (and I would be) you should consider no less than 6-8 weeks. HTH - Graham T.> Thanks, Tony

Invertebrates and Parasites 1/19/07 Bringing invertebrates from a tank that crashed with parasite problems to a new tank is that an issue?   <Yes, can be.  Need to be QTed before adding to the new tank.> <Chris> Thanks in advance, Tony

Crustacean Calamity and Live Rock Quarantine - 10/19/2006 Hello, crew! <Hey there! Scott F. at the keyboard tonight!> We are new to the saltwater aquarium world, and our 55g tank is about 50 days old.  It has cycled beautifully, we have a nice system  going. <Glad to hear that!> Recently we came across someone who was getting rid of their tank set-up and gave us some live rock (in very good shape) and a few fish.  Among them there is a large Coral Banded Shrimp, which we acclimated and put in the tank.  Our Arrowhead crab is a bit smaller (body size), and did not like this shrimp at all.  He climbed way up and sat there hiding.  We've never seen him this nervous before.     <Banded Coral Shrimp and Arrow Crabs are mortal enemies. One will always simply beat the you-know-what out of the other! I would not keep these two animals in the same tank unless it's a HUGE one!> Wary about leaving the shrimp loose overnight,  we isolated him for  now, until we can get some information on whether those two are compatible.   <Excellent move!> We know they eat the same stuff, but the crab is   somewhat smaller, and we are not sure if they won't compete and end up fighting.  Do you by any chance have any info on this? <As above...enjoy one and give the other to a fishy friend!> Also, how long would you recommend we quarantine the new live rock for?  We figure we should have it go through a couple water changes in its own container until there are no nitrates left.... but not  sure of the time span.  What is your thought on that subject?   <Good thinking. If it was from another established system, I'd be inclined to give it about a month in it's own filtered, heated container, preferably with a protein skimmer if you can swing it. A month gives adequate time to interrupt the life cycle of many fish-killing protozoa, such as Amyloodinium and Cryptocaryon, which will crash without fishy hosts upon which to prey. Also, it gives you a chance to make sure that any potentially problematic animals, such as crabs or Aiptasia anemones, manifest themselves before they are in your display tank. Quarantining live rock is one of the ultimate acts of patience in our hobby, but it's a good practice that will pay dividends down the line!> Is there anything else we need to consider?  We appreciate all the input we can get!   Thank you for your time and attention. Best Regards, Rich & Nina <I think that you're on the right track! Do make use of the many wonderful resources on the WWM site! Regards, Scott F.> 08/25/06 QT Tank Hi WWM Crew, <Hi there! EricS here>      My tank has finished cycling and I am ready to add some crabs and snails.  My question is regarding the QT tank.  I have a 10 gal tank in which I was going to use to QT the new fish.  I have read that I should QT the crabs and snails as well as the fish.  Do I need to feed the crabs and snails or will they be able survive with just the water from the main tank?   <The water should be fine.  The only concern I would have with using the same quarantine tank is if you need to medicate anything in that tank.  If you ever do then do not put any invertebrates in there.> Do they need to be QT'd for the same amount of time as fish?   <Yes quarantine for as long as you can. Especially with small invertebrates because they will not be as cramped for space as the fish will.> Also, you suggest a sponge filter from the main tank.  I have only used the LR, sand, and a protein skimmer for cycling.  I do have a hot magnum 250 filter that can be set up.  Will I be able to use this for the QT tank and which filter do you think would be better? <That is a great filter.  But probably too much for that little tank.  Unless you hang it on the end of the tank.  But it still will likely blow things around way too much.  Look into something smaller or a bigger quarantine.  Say a 29 gallon.>   The micron cartridge or the carbon media container with the foam sleeve? <carbon container with the foam sleeve I think would be best.  The micron is a great filter to use after doing a cleaning of the tank.  It will polish the water and make it sparkle.  But remove it so it does not create a nitrate factory or pull too much of the GOOD animals out of the water.  Your pods for example :).>   How long should I let the filter run through the main tank to "acquire" the bacteria I will need to run the QT tank. <Not too long.  Just place the sleeve in a hi flow area of your tank or sump and you should have quite a bit of bacteria on it.>   I want to make sure everything is set up properly.  I plan on buying 10 crabs and 10 snails this weekend and I then plan on buying 2 clownfish about 3-6 weeks after the cleaners.  I want to take this slow and build a strong tank without stressing the inhabitants.  I probably won't add more than 2 or 3 small fish (blennies or gobies) after the clowns.  Your input would be greatly appreciated. <Sounds like a good plan. Good Luck!  EricS> Thanks Paul Quarantine... of corals, nod to ScottF      7/1/06 Dear Crew, <B in B> Here are the sophomoric quarantine questions of the month.  1) Six little fish (Green Chromis) have been in quarantine for three weeks.  They all eat voraciously, they all move so much it is hard to examine them, but none appear to have any marks, blemishes, spots or fungus.  None of these appear to be breathing hard, or acting different from the others.  So, how can a greenhorn tell when a Green Chromis is ready for the "big tank"? <Mmm, either continuing observation, subjective evaluation, or just allowing time to go by> 2)  I've read the excellent article on "Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates" by Scott Fellman ~ thank you Mr. Fellman!   <Kudos to Scotter> But, I still have a few more questions.  2a) Is an underwater light meter available/recommended for matching the intensity of the quarantine light to that of the main tank (for very light dependent species)? <Mmm, yes there are such "fishy" PAR meters... others. Can search for on the Net> 2b) Is a comprehensive list of common "trade" corals available with information on which will tolerate prophylactic dips? <Not as far as I'm aware... but such would indeed be useful> 2c)  If quarantine water has been used for fish (see above), and all the parameters are good after a partial water change, can the tank be used for the next arrival without a complete tear-down? <Yes> 2d)  Should feeding be the same for quarantined corals as it would be for those in the main tank (I am concerned about the reduced ability to cycle nutrients)? <Very sparingly, yes> Thank you again for all you do.  I hope that's not asking too many questions about such a simple topic. Brad <Good questions, comments. BobF>

- Need help with infected QT! 6/24/06 - Dear all, First of all I would really like to thank you all perhaps the very best single repository of information. Your site is a gold mine of information, really. You would think that even after spending countless hours on your site going through tons and tons of FAQs and articles, one would not do stupid things. But you know we're all human I guess. So here goes. I've been running a full time QT tank ever since my main tank got hit with Ick. And now my golden rule is, never ever put anything in my display unless it's been QT'ed for at least 3 weeks. So two weeks ago I got a Kole Tang, a horseshoe crab, a pulsating xenia, a BTA and a clown from a couple of local LFS. Put them all in the QT (acclimated all animals between 45 min - 2 hours based on needs). Put them all in over a period of 3 days. Well, I lost the BTA to an accident. It found it's way into the intake of the powerhead I had running in the QT and the rest is history. Tried to sustain some pieces of it in a separate container, changing it's water for 4-5 days. But after I saw no movement whatsoever, finally decided that there was not much more I could do anyway. So I let that go. <Let me first point out that you're taking this quarantine thing in a direction it should not go. If you plan to quarantine invertebrates AND fish, you should do this in different tanks OR purchase these animals at different times and quarantine them separately. Quarantine is not necessarily about treating disease, but it often becomes such. If you have invertebrates mixed in with your fish, you won't be able to treat properly for disease without removing or killing the invertebrates. Also, this is a lot of stuff to put in a quarantine tank... too many animals.> To clean the QT, I changed about 70-80% of the water over a period of 3-4 days (making sure that salinity, temp and ph are close to the QT tank's - SG 1.023, 78 and 8.2). Everything was fine after that. The Xenia's would open up very day, though they would not pulsate very actively. I figured that were not as active because the light was not that strong. Other fish were fine until the day before yesterday. That is when I noticed that there were blotches on the Kole Tang. All fish were eating heartily even then. I though that the fish had possibly injured her self against some lace rock that I had put in the tank to make the fish feel secure. <Or more likely, a reaction to water quality and environment.> Sadly, when I came to inspect the QT yesterday, the Kole Tang had died. Tested the water and Ammonia and Nitrite were at .25 ppm each. <Are you surprised?> Did not test for nitrates. Ph temp and salinity were at 1.023. I have been struggling with Ammonia and nitrite ever since I setup the QT. The tank just does not seem to want to cycle. And now the clown too died yesterday. I've been changing the water in the QT every 2-3 days. Even started putting water and some substrate from the main tank to see if I can get the bacteria. But to no avail. The clown too had the same tell tale signs of botches/skin decay. <A reaction to poor water quality in this case.> I'm going to keep my water changing routine until I know what else to do. <I'd go ahead and place your invertebrates in your display tank and then start the quarantine tank over from scratch. Empty, bleach, rinse, and start over.> Maybe start changing it everyday. However, my questions are :    1. If I'm dealing with some bacteria, how do I get rid of it. <You are actually dealing with a lack of bacteria - specifically nothing to act as a biological filter.> Esp. how do I ensure that the bacteria/parasite does not transfer to my main tank on the xenia/horseshoe? <Typically, bacteria/parasites that infect fish are not transported by non-fish and vise versa.>    2. I intend to leave the QT fallow for an additional 3-4 weeks. Would that crash the bacteria/parasite? <Well... will certainly do that... would be better to just tear down, bleach, rinse, and return to service.>    3. Should I dip the xenia over the next few day in Kent Marine's Tech-D Coral Dip and Conditioner? <If you want.>    4. Can crabs etc. be dipped in anything? <Nothing that I can think of.>    5. What can I do to get rid of all that's infected my QT? <Nothing is "wrong" with your quarantine tank except for the way you are using it.> What are my options. <Will outline below.> Since I don't have any more fish, how will I identify if I have any parasite? <Chances are very good that you don't have any fish parasites in your quarantine tank at this point.> Any help at this point will truly be appreciated. I don't want to loose anything else (the xenia/crab). Please let me know what can be done, or if you could point me to some place where I can get some answers, I'd truly appreciate it. Sorry for the long email, but I wanted to share all the facts! And oh, btw, the QT is setup in a Rubbermaid Tub. It has some crushed coral (for the crab) and has a HOT bio-wheel type of filter. Thanks again for putting together such a great site. Looking forward to your replies. Gurvinder <Ok... much to discuss and so little time. In my opinion, quarantine tanks should be set up and torn down, not kept running between individuals. Also, as I mentioned before, you really should come home with one thing at a time - fish or invertebrate, if you're going to quarantine it, it should be done all by its lonesome. My suggestion is that you keep the BioWheel (just the wheel) always in your main tank, ready to go. When you plan to purchase something, set up the "tank", fill with water from your main system, and get the filter running with the BioWheel that has been cooking in your main tank. Then, place the animal and begin testing the water. If you see even the slightest change in ammonia or nitrite, you need to do at least a 25% water change. If you are quarantining a fish and you have to treat for some parasite, then you don't even need to test for ammonia or nitrite - just start doing water changes every day and re-treat for the water you are replacing. For example: if the tank is 10 gallons and you change out two gallons, replace the medicine at the recommended dose for two gallons. When the animal is ready to move on, tear down the tank, bleach all the components, rinse well, and get ready for the next time. More for you to read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnornart.htm - refers to decor but works on tank and components too. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm Cheers, J -- >

Quarantine...Conchs/Anemones - 06/19/06 Dear Crew, <<Hello Jeff>> After learning the hard way I now will religiously quarantine everything for four weeks. <<...stubborn bunch we humans, seems like we learn many things through this approach...<grin> >> I purchased today several small queen conchs and two "Haitian" anemones. <<A Condylactis species I suspect>> I did notice that there were fish in the invertebrate section of the fish store so all the more reason to keep them quarantined for a while. <<Indeed...though they wouldn't be directly infected by the likes of Ick, they could be harboring/transporting the parasite/cysts>> My q-tank is 25gal with no substrate and limited lighting.  There is no algae in the tank.  What ideas do you have to keep them alive and well for the next month? <<Hmm, with adequate feeding and subsequent attention to water quality they should be fine for four weeks.  I have seen Condylactis anemones kept this way for long periods under NO fluorescent lighting...and it seems to me I read somewhere that many conchs are aquacultured in "bare-bottom" vessels. Feed the anemones a mix of finely minced foods (krill, Mysis, etc.).  The conchs may get by on some Nori, or even the Spirulina algae wafers sold primarily as food for freshwater Plecostomus species.  You might also consider searching the net re "conch aquaculture" for more info, or hitting the bulletin boards (RC, Reefs.org) to see what others are doing/have done when quarantining these animals>> Thanks, Jeff <<Regards, EricR>>

Re:  Compatibility...Fin Nipping...Ongoing, No End    6/14/06 Dear James (Salty Dog) <Rachel>Let me know whether what I am going to do is right.  <OK>Actually in my main tank I have fish so I can't put the anemone directly without quarantining right?<Is the anemone in an invert tank without fish present?  Does the dealer centrally filter his tanks?  If yes to the first question and no to the second, you would be safe adding the anemone to the main tank.> So I am going to buy the anemone tomorrow with a Pink Skunk Clownfish which I saw sleeping in the anemone nicely. So I am going to buy both of them together. Then I am going to put both of them to the quarantine tank with some live sand. Because then it'll be easy for me to remove it with the sand right?<No, they will burrow down to the glass and anchor.> Then I'll quarantine it for 2 weeks and if the clown shows no sign of illness I'll put both of them to my main 80G tank with the Tang, Bannerfish and the Wrasse. Does that sound okay?<So far, but you are taking a risk with the other fish present.> I don't want to add any water from the LFS even to my QT tank so I can give a freshwater dip for the clown but the anemone you can't right?<Wouldn't do the freshwater on the clown if he is healthy, just added stress.  My opinion.  No dip for the anemone.> So is there another careful way to get rid of any parasites before I put the anemone in the tank tomorrow.<Anemones are generally parasite free, but can bring something to the party.  Best to quarantine to be on the safe side.> Also is the Anemone deadly to my Bannerfish, firefish, wrasse or the hippo tang. <Can be, mentioned this earlier.  Seems like I'm answering the same questions over and over.>Thanks, best regards,<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Rachel

QT question    4/25/06 Hello WWM crew.....hope you are all enjoying spring wherever you are located...... <Thanks> I have a question on QT - I've just placed an order for fish, coral and snails, crabs and shrimp (crabs and shrimp are compatible).  I want to QT everything and have a 20 gallon QT ready to go......I'm looking at 3 fish including a butterfly, so I cant QT the single piece of coral and the fish together..... so I figure I need a second QT setup for the coral..... I've read the excellent article on the site on QT of coral.... now here's my question.... can I QT the single piece of coral and my inverts together? <Likely so, yes. I would raise the coral up on a piece of cut PVC pipe... for a few reasons... and keep an eye on the crabs to make sure they are not "bugging it"> I was planning on a Rubbermaid tub with a foam filter and a fluorescent light and heater and maybe a powerhead to give it some flow.  What do you think?  Can I get away with that setup? <With careful monitoring of water quality... should>   The three fish IM QT'ing are a raccoon and falcula b'fly and a diamond goby - all are relatively small....so I should be Ok in my 20 g QT..... Thanks in advance GM Walker <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine... of corals, other invert.s, fishes   1/17/06 I am now starting corals and in the past 3 years I've always quarantined in a 10 gallon with a 50/50 and emperor 280 and heater with a couple pieces of PVC on bottom. When I put a fish or 2 in I would do a 1 gallon water change with buffered seawater ready for my main tank water changes and treat with copper for 3 weeks. Always worked well and never no problems. <Sounds good> With inverts (crabs, shrimps, snails etc) I always used a drip method with success and no quarantine due to the copper in the water. My question is should I go to cleaning out the quarantine tank and redoing it so I can quarantine coral in there. Is that safe? <Not as safe as quarantining/isolating elsewhere for a few weeks, sans copper of course> Will the copper be gone? <? If the system is serviced with a chemical filtrant, likely yes... otherwise, a thorough dumping, scrubbing, re-filling between uses...> Also is a 50/50 light sufficient for a coral during quarantine as long as I feed baby brine to it? <?? Depends on the species, origin/environment it hailed most recently from and further back... Artemia are not a food for many "corals"> Is a 10 gal big enough for a quarantine for corals? <Likely so... if not too many, too large... one or two at a time> I read to prop them up on a eggcrate on 2 pieces of PVC to knock off passengers. <Good technique> I just wanted to check with you guys before I press. Also can I quarantine fish and coral and inverts at the same time? <Some can be... better not to though in most cases, scenarios> I was also thinking of setting up a second 10 gallon, one for corals and inverts and one for fish so I can treat with copper. Is this the best option? Please Advise Thanks Jeff <Is better. Bob Fenner>

Quarantining Live Rock? Yep! Hello Crew, <Scott F. your Crew member tonight!> I have just had a guy drop off about 65 lbs of live rock at my house.  It is still wet, but there is no coralline algae or growth on it.  The color is really pale gray.  He only lives about five minutes from my house, but I have never seen his  tanks.  I have a 75 gallon reef set up ( have a 120 waiting to be set up) with about 60 lbs of coralline covered rock.  My tank is doing great ( I have had a bubble tip anemone split and both are doing great, and a branching hammer that looks like it is about to separate into another head!!)  So my question is how long should I wait to introduce this new rock into my tank.  I immediately put it into  a tub with an air stone, so if he was truthful it was only out of water ten minutes tops.  There  is no foul smell coming from it so should I cure it to be safe, or just add a little at a time and do water changes in the holding tub until it is all in. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. <I think that you're on the right path. I'd keep it in the tub for a few weeks, just to be sure. If there is some die-off, or if this turns out not to be "cured" rock, you don't want to learn that in your display tank! Treat it like fresh, uncured live rock. Frequent water changes and even skimming in the container will help. The time will also serve to "quarantine" the rock before placing it into your display. Most parasites will perish after several weeks without a host.> I love your site, it has helped me on a wonderful journey into the reef tank world....I don't think I could have had such great luck with it if it was not for your FAQs.  Thanks a million ....Heather Leneave <We're happy to be here for your journey, Heather! Good luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

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

Clams... QT, please 6/11/04 Hi Crew, <cheers> I was wondering if there is any type of dip or cleaning process for a clam that may follow me home from the LFS someday. <yes... like wit all new livestock, please quarantine properly for 4 weeks and you will be assured of not contaminating your main display> The store gets in some nice ones now and then, but keeps them in a tank with lots of other corals. I am a little afraid of introducing some unwanted snails or flat worms. <quite a valid concern, yes> My 10g QT tank only has 30 watts of light so I don't think he would be happy in there for several weeks. <on the contrary... its just fine. Although the wattage is low, the water is shallow and the clam can be placed near the surface (more similar lux if you could take a reading against where it will go deeper in the display). More importantly, you can easily overcome deficiencies in light with feeding for corals and clams. The rule of thumb stands: QT for all new livestock without exception> Can a clam be dipped in anything (low salinity, fresh water)? <yikes... not safely and if you want it to live <G>> Any suggestions? <yes... QT and don't dip :) > Thanks! <best regards, Anthony>

Clams... QT, please II 6/11/04 Thanks Anthony, <always welcome> So you are saying the amount of light is OK? <yes... its not ideal, but really is adequate if the clam or coral is kept shallow enough and especially when fed. They can easily navigate the 4 week QT period and better off for it> It is a 2 bulb Eclipse with 1 Actinic and 1 Ultrasun (Zoomedic) bulbs. Should I place the clam up on a eggcrate type stand so it's real close to the surface? <very helpful, yes> Do I QT for 4-6 weeks <4 weeks is all that is needed> and would this setup also work for QT of SPS corals? <exactly> Thanks again for the help. <best regards, Anthony>

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

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

Quarantine of Corals and Inverts 3/13/03 I completely understand the necessity of quarantine for fish (i.e. to treat them with meds, observe behavior, etc).  However, the concept of quarantine for corals and inverts has me thrown for a loop.   <it is the exact same thing for all "wet" livestock... invertebrates, live rock, live sand, plants, algae, fishes... everything> I read over Scott's article, "Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates," but I still don't really understand what good quarantine would do for a shrimp for example (esp. since you're not supposed to FW dip them).  Wouldn't whatever unwanted hitchhikers, parasites, diseases, etc. just remain on this shrimp throughout the quarantine only to be eventually introduced into the main tank?   <actually... many fish pathogens carried in the water, or on the invertebrate, will simply die without a host after x days/weeks in QT (or infect your fish if you do not QT). More importantly, what of an invertebrate bringing in a an invertebrate pathogen? Shrimp infecting other crustaceans in your tank because of a lack of QT (hermit crabs, other shrimp, etc)... and of course an infected invertebrate bringing in an infection or parasite that infects many or all other living invertebrates in the tank? QT is the same for all.> Is it even possible to spot these pests on an invert.   <many we expect to simply die without a viable host or become expressed on the host in QT if you run a full 4 weeks of isolation (best)> The article mentioned that putting corals on a platform would promote these pests from falling off of them.   <true for larger pests/predators like fireworms and Xanthid crabs especially... you can bait them away from the coral so they don't enter the tank, grow large and attack and kill fish and other invertebrates> Is this the only reason for quarantine...so things can just fall off naturally into the qt instead of the main?   <much more than this> I know there's a vast number of meds available for fish, but is that also true for inverts and corals?   <QT is mostly about observation... not chemotherapy. But there are indeed numerous antibiotics for corals and inverts> And if it is, how would you go about spotting disease in corals and inverts <by reading and researching the natural color, behavior and cycles of the invertebrate before you buy it... just preparation. Even watching a candidate in the shop for a few weeks to observe/learn natural behaviors helps a lot.> (I'm aware that some of the external parasites are visible).  I'm very new to the hobby so excuse my ignorance.  Thanks in advance.  Sandy <no worries at all... it is a very good question, and one that is not clear to many aquarists. The rule is to QT anything wet because it could carry something in... but only medicate/treat when a problem is apparent. Else, Qt is simply a 4 week waiting period of observation to confirm that the new stock is as healthy as you had hoped it would be. Best regards, Anthony>

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

New Corals Needing Quarantine 3/6/03 Hello everybody. <cheers, Kostas> I finally added my first living organisms in the tank. The fish are in the quarantine and some feather dusters, green polyps and mushrooms in the tank. <good to hear> Everything is ok except one mushroom and one polyp. I have already send an-email with the problem and I got a reply from Mr. Fenner but I don't think I explained the problem every well. The problem is that one mushroom (green) and a green polyp got covered in some milk like  thick dust. For a couple of days it kept getting bigger (the dust) until I turned a power on it. <Hmmm.... it sounds like sloughing mucus and/or infection> From the current the white milkish substance was blown away with all the polyps which were under it. They looked like they we rotting away. I took out the polyp and in a plastic container with salt water I gave it a good shake. About 40% of it's polyps detached (It was a very gentle shake), and the surface of the rock where the polyps where had a grey mood like surface. <alas, I am sorry to say that is infection and decay.> I put it back in the tank and the rest of the "healthy polyps" opened again under the lights. <perhaps some of these will live. It also sounds like you may not have enough water flow in the tank as evidenced by the lingering "dust" (mucus)> Same exactly thing happened with the mushroom. The rest of the polyps and mushrooms are doing excellent. The are expanding really well. <understood. Kostas, it is very important, my friend, that you quarantine every animal and live product you bring home (including plants, algae, live rock, live sand, etc) in a separate quarantine tank before adding it to the main tank. Anything that comes from saltwater could bring an infection or disease into your main display and is a potential danger. Please read more about the simple QT procedure here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm > I am about to add my first Sarcophytons (some leather corals) so I'm afraid if I should leave the polyps in there or remove them. I feel sorry for the ones that are healthy but I don't want anything to happened to the other roommates !!!!!<please do not sacrifice the living polyps... either remove them to a small QT tank, or put the new leather into a QT tank. Keep both separated for 4 weeks to be safe> All polyps and mushrooms are in the tank for about a 10 days. Salinity is 1025-1026 no ammonia, MH and 03 on for about 10-12 hours a day, Protein skimmer full time, calcium reactor as well, No additives of any kind, some phytoplankton (Marine snow, and brine shrimp.) <I would recommend that you reduce or stop the Marine snow and brine shrimp... they are not very useful by size and nutritive quality. I don't think you have enough corals in the tank either to feed yet. Minced mysids or Gammarus shrimp (or krill) will be fine for the mushrooms and polyps instead (more nutritious)> Waiting for your reply  Take care Kostas <best regards, Anthony>

QT for corals and ick Hi, am curious if Ick comes in with corals and the corals are put in quarantine for 4 weeks will the Ick die off or can it survive on the corals and still enter the main system even after the 4 weeks of quarantine?  Thanks again, Jeff <Hi Jeff, Without a fish host it is unlikely that ick (usually on the live rock mount) will survive this QT. It's not impossible but highly unlikely.  Not to worry, your plan is quite safe. Craig>

Qt for corals I will be receiving three corals later this week and will be putting them in my new up and running quarantine.  <hot dog!... a proper QT <G>> They will be a green bubble, a 6" tall rose leather and a green Galaxea which I will make sure and put far away from the others.  <very good...although a proper QT is actually one species per. At this point, however, I'll take anything! Reasoning, of course, is because one of three sick corals lengthens the stay of the other two and threatens their life (infection, predation, mortality, etc)> I have a heater, a small powerhead and 110 watts of PC lighting on a 20 gallon glass tank.  I will also be using a Fluval 404 to filter the water.  I have had the Fluval running on my main tank to seed it with bacteria for the last week.  Question:  Will the Fluval 404 be sufficient to keep the ammonia down at an acceptable level?  <perhaps not... one week is not long enough to cycle. Add some live rock here too in this case. Next time, though, have a mature sponge filter or fully seeded Fluval (keep running on the display at all times and pull as needed). Bare bottomed QT and no live rock or other porous media to harbor bad guys or absorb meds> I will be using 5 gallons from my main tank to do water changes in the QT every other day to keep the ammonia in check?  <indeed... quite possibly. It would have been better to simply wait on the purchase until you had a seeded filter (4 weeks)> Does everything sound OK?  <as per above. Yes> Will the Fluval work for controlling the ammonia or do I need to add some type of media to the Fluval to keep things in check?  I am only planning on using the sponge filter that the Fluval comes with along with the empty canisters in the Fluval as well.    <agreed> Thanks for your answers to the above questions, Jeff <best regards, my friend. Anthony>

Quarantine for snail? Hey Gang, I have an interesting situation. A couple of days ago I found one of my Astrea snails lying on its back.  I found it right away in the morning so it must have fallen overnight.  It appears to have been damaged in some way, I suspect my blue legged hermits, but other occupants are flame angel, golden damsels (2), green Chromis (2), and cleaner shrimp (1, L. amboinensis).  I placed it on the substrate right next to the front wall of the tank.  For a day and a half it barely moved, and eventually did start moving up the glass.  I could definitely see then that it's foot was missing a chunk near the front, and I fear that it may be missing an eye, a feeler, and possibly even mouth parts, but I couldn't see all that well and it could have just had them pulled in.  The next morning I found it upside down on the substrate again.  It is not moving as fast this time.  I want to remove it from my tank so that if it dies it won't pollute my tank, but I don't know if there will be enough food in my quarantine tank for it to survive.  What would I feed a snail that's in quarantine?  I've always relied on them to help control algae so I never fed anything to them specifically.  I would prefer to get it into a qt if there is something that I will be able to feed it. Is this something that a snail can recover from? Thanks for your help -Luke <Hey Luke, you should be able to feed him on Spirulina pellets or Nori.  There is a good chance that he will recover.  Good luck -Gage>

QT false anemone Hi, How are all of you?  <<Well, I can only speak for myself, but I am well... thanks for asking.>> This is something that confuse me about quarantine... I know for sure the imperious necessity of quarantine all the living things I'm going to put in the main tank, but... my QT does not have light, what if I'm buying a false anemone?  <<Do you mean a Corallimorph? Quarantine is still useful but not 'so' necessary with this animal, you might also have to add some lighting to your quarantine system.>>  how to keep it in QT without light?  <<It probably wouldn't do very well without some lighting.>>  she (or he or it, :) ) needs light to survive...  <<That's right.>>  I'm afraid because the lack of light I'm going to put over the anemone will mean more stress and the quarantine will be a source of stress instead a source of acclimation and observation...  <<So buy some lamps for the quarantine tank.>> Thanks, Carlos <<Cheers, J -- >>

QT & Compatibility for Crustaceans + Hello. I have my 10 gallon QT all set up and running. Mr. Pro wrote back below, "You could house Cleaner Shrimp with Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs or Blue Legged Hermit Crabs". I was about to do that, but then I saw what appears to be very small growth of that Aiptasia on my LR. So, after reading the FAQs, I figured I would go with the Peppermint Shrimp. <Ok> Finally my question, will the Peppermint be okay with the crabs mentioned by Mr. Pro, or are there different crabs I could get (or none)? <The Peppermint shrimp will be ok with the hermit crabs. The big question to you is, do you even what the hermits in the first place. Please see the archived information regarding on www.WetWebMedia.com> Also, I just received my Methylene Blue in the mail. Do I dip the shrimp and crabs, acclimate them right into QT or what? <You cannot freshwater dip any crustaceans. You might as well throw them into a pot of boiling water and eat them. Just acclimate them to the QT tank using a very slow drip acclimation, also outline on www.WetWebMedia.com.> Thanks again for making my venture less fearful. Rich <Good luck to you! -Steven Pro>

QT & Compatibility for Crustaceans + Bob: <Steven Pro, part of the question answering crew for www.WetWebMedia.com, here today.> I am converting a 10 gal freshwater tank to a QT tank. It has been dry for about a year. It was only rinsed out when I took it down. How much cleaning will it need? Do I still need to use bleach or whatever the website says about cleaning? <I would first clean with bleach (one cup of bleach to five gallons water) to remove and old algae marks and then use vinegar (same dosage as per bleach, one cup to five gallons) to remove any hard water marks.> Also, my first candidate will be a crustacean or two. Maybe a shrimp or crab thing. I read in your book, The CMA, where it says shrimps, crabs, lobsters will eventually find each other and...:(. So, I really cannot have a cleaner shrimp and 2 herbivorous crabs together? <It depends on the crabs. You could house Cleaner Shrimp with Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs or Blue Legged Hermit Crabs, for example.> Anyway, I read a lot about keeping QT tank minimal, but is there anything special I should put in there for these characters? <The PVC pipe sections mentioned here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm will work just fine. I would also read through the linked FAQ files for additional tips.> Lastly, do I have to monitor Ammonia as much as daily and change water constantly for them like I have read about fish? <This depends on how well your quarantine tank filters have been seeded/cycled.> Thanks, Rich PS: I now understand how people send such large emails; I started out with one question until I started typing. <This was nothing compared to others. -Steven Pro>

Invertebrates w/Marine Velvet I have a friend w/ a saltwater tank that wants to convert to freshwater because she's lost all of her fish to Marine velvet. She wants me to take her snails, crabs, shrimp, and a chocolate chip starfish. I know they are carriers of this parasite and want to know if I can QT them to make them safe for my reef tank later on. What would be the protocol for this. Thank you in advance for your response. Sincerely, Jennifer Marshall <Hi Jennifer, if you quarantine them for at least 4 weeks you should be safe.  I would not add the Chocolate Chip Starfish to a reef though, they are not exactly reef safe.  Best Regards, Gage>

Inverts QT Hi WWM !!! you are doing a great service to all of us!!  <thanks kindly> Anthony, I have been reading your book and its great, and also your note, it is really true, "the gift of knowledge is second only to the gift of ones time... give both freely" <so true... my pleasure to inscribe it> In Guatemala we have only 2 (medium) specialized stores in marine fish and inverts. Yesterday I was visiting one of them and she told me "you don't need to put in QT the inverts just the fish" and it hit my mind like lighting, because in fact I assumed I have to put the inverts in QT, I never read it about... <you are correct my friend... perhaps you can teach/school your local pet store owner! Every living creature should be put through QT. Although an invertebrate may not contract a fish disease, it can still be a carrier (by virtue of the very water around and in it having come from a tank of other fishes!). Anything "wet" should be put through QT: live rock, plants, snails, crabs, corals, etc. Everything... it is the safest way. Even when the risk is small.. the few short weeks of QT are a very modest demand to insure prevention of parasites and diseases... even pests (like flatworms, nuisance algae, etc that develop from unseen places on an invertebrate or rock). Do observe all in QT for a minimum of 2 weeks and preferably for 4 weeks> Thank your for your comments. Regards, Carlos <best regards... Anthony>

Re: Inverts QT Good afternoon gentlemen! <cheers> Ok, I knew it! We need to put in QT the inverts too, but (it can sound silly, do I need to perform Fresh water baths to the anemones, corals, etc? <not a silly question at all, my friend. A very good question. The answer is no. Although some sick corals benefit by a brief FW dip, most invertebrates will be harmed by the freshwater for osmotic shock. Inverts in QT is more of an observation and acclimation period. We are looking for pests and predators or other hitchhikers. Bait the tank with meaty foods a few times at night to see if any bad shrimp or crabs come out> Thanks, may the force be with you! Carlos <and also with you :) Kindly, Anthony>

Quarantining False Anemone Hi, How are all of you? <<Hi Carlos. I have to tell you, they are all fine, having a good time at MACNA 14 in Fort Worth.>> This is something that confuses me about quarantine... I know for sure the imperious necessity of quarantine all the living things I'm going to put in the main tank, but... my QT does not have light, what if I'm buying a false anemone? How to keep it in QT without light? she (or he or it, :) ) needs light to survive... I'm afraid because the lack of light I'm going to put over the anemone more stress and the quarantine will be a source of stress instead a source of acclimation and observation... <<This *is* an anemone, right?  Sometimes Actinodiscus is called false anemone.  Same family, comes in multiples on rock. If this is an anemone on it's own, (not on a rock), then I wouldn't worry too much. If so it will need light and won't do well without it.  If it's already in your possession I would acclimate it to the main tank ASAP. You don't mention what inhabitants you already have or if you already have the anemone.  I personally haven't had any issues with such creatures bringing in undesirables but I suppose it's certainly possible.  Most anemones are nearly immortal in the wild.. There isn't really anywhere to hide anything on it, give it a good once or twice over and acclimate it to the main where it can get the needed light. To work properly for you in the future you will need to have the proper light for your QT! Anemones are difficult because of the stress involved.  They have little to hide in the way of pests or problems. I hope this works for you! Craig Watson>>

Snail Quarantine? You guys are the best. Thanks so much for all your information. A couple questions... I've read conflicting info about whether or not to quarantine snails prior to adding them to a tank. We want to get about a half dozen turbo snails from our LFS who has them in established reef tanks. Is a quarantine or some sort of dip necessary before placing them in our FOWLR tank?  <Ideally, yes quarantine. Also a good idea to not put outside water (from the LFS) into your tanks.>  Also, how concerned should I be about the copper pipes in our house? <Minimal for most.>  Will R/O remove any copper that may leach into the water?  <Yes with many other things.>  Thanks again. Karen  <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

What Needs Quarantined? Greetings, Do you need to quarantine a maxima clam? <Best to quarantine anything.> If so, why and for how long? <Generally two weeks minimum with one month being best. Clams sometimes carry parasitic snails that can attack and kill clams in the confines of aquariums.> How do you get around the need for metal halides in a quarantine situation? <You really can't. Again, it is a matter of investment. Clams are not cheap and if you have several, bring in a new one that is infected, and then lose all your clams, you will wish you had quarantined. It is actually a quite frequent story that you hear.> Do you need to quarantine soft/hard corals? <Yes, and liverock too.> Many thanks, Michael <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Quarantine Clams Good morning/evening Steven, <Good afternoon.> If I was only to keep one clam, would that reduce the need for quarantine? <Reduce but not eliminate. Always best to follow good husbandry practices.> Does this creature carry organisms which may also be dangerous for fish/corals? <Possible infectious agents in the shipping water.> Having read quite a bit about clams/care/diseases and predators on your site and others, how would I know if some predator snail/worms which are not commonly visible (remain hidden in attached rock) were present, short of seeing the clam die? <See if you cannot find Daniel Knop's excellent book "Giant Clams". He has written an extensive section on identifying and treating various "diseases" of clams. -Steven Pro>

Quarantine Invertebrates? Bob, Should you quarantine invertebrates such as shrimp and crabs? If so, do you do it the same as for fish, e.g., start with a 1 minute freshwater dip before putting them into the quarantine tank; and then run the quarantine tank at a lower specific gravity, like 1.012? Many Thanks, Bob <Strictly speaking, yes to quarantining crabs and shrimps... though they may not likely bring in an infectious or parasitic disease, the "resting time" does them a great deal of good. And no to the dip, lowered spg, just keep them in your main systems water (siphoned, moved into the quarantine tank) for a couple of weeks. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Hi Bob. I'm about to receive an order of snails, crabs, and shrimp.  I was wondering weather these inverts are subject to the same quarantine  procedures as mentioned in your weekly letter?  Thank you, Richard Tarr  <Yes, for me, all incoming livestock with few exceptions should be run through the same procedures. Bob Fenner>

Coral quarantine Do corals need to be quarantined? I have a lot of SPS and am worried they  could get something. If so, for how long? Is good lighting needed for the quarantine tank. <IMO, most corals, SPS and otherwise should be quarantined... for a few valid reasons... One, to give them time and space (without chemical and physical problems from other established livestock) to "harden" from the rigors of collection, shipping. For two, to give you a chance to observe the animal to make sure it's going to "make it", exempting the death in your main system. For three, to see if any "hitchhikers" have come along with the specimen (like bristle, flatworms, stomatopods...). For four, to give the specimen a chance for acclimation/accommodation to light (it's probably been in the dark to low light conditions for a week or more)... which segues into your next query... do provide lighting... but low intensity, full spectrum... to photosynthetic life while in quarantine. Bob Fenner>

Quarantining corals and other inverts. Hello Robert, First let me say along with all the rest that have shared their appreciation for your outstanding book. It gave me a lot of great ideas on how to improve my aquatic system and the wonderful creatures that it houses. <Outstanding. An honor> My question first needs some background. I have a good friend that actually got me started in the hobby many years ago but due to financial difficulties he has to sell his tank and the inhabitants of it. I am really tempted to pick up a couple of his corals and his huge Derasa clam (The thing is over a foot across) My concern is his battle with ick and I do not want to infect my reef tank. He never really got the ick out of the system but some of his tougher fish managed to stick it out. <Yes, as we both know... this does happen> What I wanted to know is there any fool proof, 100% effective way to get rid of the ick on the corals and clam.  <Hmm, actually no... one could leave these animals in a system with no fish hosts (for many months), place organisms that would scour them and consume most of the resting stages... but no 100% quaranteeable method/s...> I am willing to set up quarantining tanks with halides if I must. I just would really love to acquire these creatures from him. Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated. <My real suggestion would be/is to "just" get and risk the ich problems from your friends choice livestock... There really is a chance of infectious and parasitic (not to mention/list environmental, social, nutritional, genetic...) disease in all settings... I would set upon a plan to optimize your likelihood of "success"... please take a long read through "The Three Sets of Factors that Determine Livestock Health" piece posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for a more-rounded understanding/presentation of what I'm getting at here> Thanks again, Robby Phelps <I'll be... Bob Fenner, who had a friend/professor in college (SDSU), Dr. Lee Phelps, many years ago>

Acclimating corals   1/21/06 Hello crew, <Hello Anthony>      After 3 months, I finally have my 60 gal reef tank setup (3 weeks old and cycled with 60 lbs cured LR).  The learning experience is worth the effort - thanks for your assistance.  Now I know how to build a sump and no longer baffled by baffles. I had to replace almost every piece of equipment since the tank was a FOWLR.  God I must have spent $1,200 Ok here's the question: My shipment of soft and LPS corals are arriving tomorrow from LiveAquaria.  So I need some tips and instructions from the experts. <Live Aquaria is very good with supplying detailed instructions on this.  I'm sure it will be in the box.  I've dealt with them and they are very customer oriented.  I'd rather you follow their directions since they guarantee the life of corals/fish for 14 days>   They are:   1. yellow Fiji leather   2. toadstool mushroom leather   3. candy cane coral   4. trumpet coral   5. long tentacle plate coral Do I acclimate it like fish? <Anthony, detailed info will be in the shipping box, believe me.> Any dipping or baths recommended? <No>    Do I have to quarantine for disease? <Read info in box> The tank only has a couple of corals I got 2 days ago so they're at the bottom of the tanks ( I guess to prevent photosynthetic shock) Thanks for everything! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> <<Please see WWM re... I would quarantine... RMF>> Anthony Ref: Quarantining Crustaceans, Worms, Mollusks, etc. - Follow-up  12/8/05 Hello Bob et. al., Here's a question you don't receive every day... When commercial facilities and public aquariums receive new shipments, how do they handle the quarantine procedure of crustacean microfauna such as copepods, amphipods, plankton, etc. Also what about larger crustaceans, mollusks and worms like Mysid shrimp, crabs, snails, bristleworms, etc. Do they bother with quarantine procedures or do they just take a chance of importing unwanted parasites and the like? I am having a larger shipment coming from a reputable dealer in Hawaii but do not want to take any undue chances of introducing parasites and the like into my 370 gal. system. What is the best procedure? Thanks very much! Tage Blytmann <<Tage, it took a little while, but I got a response from Ryan Powers of the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.  "Hi Marina, Sorry I have not written earlier, things are busy around here. As far as quarantine on inverts we follow a fairly simple quarantine protocol. It is normally a 2-4 week wait and see period. The only issues that we have had to deal with are a "melting diseases" more commonly found in Batstars. We treat these animals using Nitrofurazone, any bacterial infection is normally treated with this. We also have flatworms in Corals which we use freshwater dips to get rid of these. They consist of a few minutes only and can be treated a few times. Inverts are normally a fairly easy quarantine. We do not use Copper on any inverts, only fish are quarantined for 3 weeks using copper. If you have anymore questions, please fell free to contact me!" And there you have it. Marina>> 

Clam question, quarantine  10/5/05 Hi guys (and gals), <Howdy> Thanks for all you do to make the captive marine hobby better.  Quick question.  I have read (repeatedly, I might add) your strong encouragement to QT all animals, and I have learned this lesson from experience, too.  But now, I am in a bit of a quandary.  I have a clam (crocea) coming tomorrow afternoon--my first one.  It's final destination is the upper rockwork of my 72G bowfront reef--(SG 1.023, 0 Ammonia and Nitrites, Nitrates under 5ppm, 20G refugium w/Caulerpa, Poseidon 2 skimmer, 4 110W VHO--2 50/50 and 2 A03.  I just discovered my alkalinity and calcium have dipped a little, but will do a partial WC and refill my bionic bottles today).  I have also cleared a space on the gravel for the clam to have a couple weeks acclimating.  Tank occupants are a purple tang, diadema Pseudochromis, green chromis, mandarin, yellow watchman goby, a fire shrimp, and many LPS corals, mostly Euphyllids.  I also have a 20G QT tank set up (with two small reef-safe fish for another tank currently finishing their QT period) with just an undergravel filter and a whisper 1 back filter, and a 15W SO fluorescent light.  No skimmer. Now for the question: should I QT the clam in the 20G? <I would... to check its health, see if any undesirable hitchhikers have come along with it> The lighting seems woefully inadequate, and there's no skimmer, and I don't even check nitrate, calcium or alkalinity in that tank.  I just do a 100% WC after each QT period, dumping all water and replacing with water from my display tank. <Good technique> I want to do what is best for the clam, and for my system, and if that means QT for the clam, that's fine, but I was just wondering if the QT period in the 20G would actually do the clam more harm than good?  Things are pretty stable in the 72G reef.  What do you recommend?  If you do recommend QT, how long?  I generally QT fish about 4 weeks, but in the past I have not QT'ed inverts at all. Thanks in advance, Jim Jensen <A week or two is about all that is called for close observation, isolation of tridacnids. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine for LR , Algae, beating Crypt (hypo f')  9/24/05 Dear Bob,      Hi, it's me the guy that initially did not believe you that hyposalinity would not work for marine crypt. <Saludo> I have done the things I should Have done to begin with.  All is going great in my 180g FOWLR.  I treated all inhabitants with copper in their own QT's.  All of my fish tolerated copper surprisingly well.  ( I used Cupramine )  I did not lose a single fish. <Testimony to your careful measure, patience, observation>     My display now has fish in it.  And 150 lbs of live rock. A gorgeous Emperor, an awesome majestic, a very tame Naso. Plenty of hiding places for the angels to be civil with each other.  Ah, success !  On the plus side, the rock actually "cured" 2 months ago, but because of my crypt outbreak it stayed in a fallow fish display with near perfect water conditions for 2 months and even though I used only 300 watts of standard florescent bulb lighting 50/50 mix of 10,000K and actinics I am starting to see blue a green coralline algae.   <Good> Thanks for all your help!   Is this enough light for my FOWLR ? <Likely so>     I really wish to avoid the nightmare of introducing crypt into a display. So here are my main questions.   1) How long would you recommend that I quarantine Gracilaria, or Chaetomorpha, or even cured LR prior to introducing to my display ? <A couple of weeks should do it> 2) How about snails or hermits ? <About the same> Have a great weekend.  Jimmy <Thank you for the update. Congratulations on your success in beating the Crypt. Bob Fenner> Quarantine of Invertebrates  9/20/05 Hi again, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Thank you for all of your help!  I have a couple more questions to make sure I'm properly taking care of my quarantined invertebrates.  1)  I put in a small piece of live rock and a sponge from one of my main tank filters to help with ammonia etc. levels.  But I'm still getting trace ammonia readings, which I am controlling by water changes daily (taking your advice, I'm using only saltwater I've aerated and mixed the day before, not saltwater from my display tank). I'm testing water quality 2 or 3 times per day (with 2 different test kits just to make sure). <Uhh, actually- I've always used water from my display tank as the water for my quarantine system. When you think about it, using display tank water makes sense...This is the water that the new inhabitants will reside in, so it makes the final introduction after quarantine that much easier.> I'm suctioning any  particulates off the bottom of the tank twice a day.  I'm trying a product called Cycle which is supposed to add beneficial bacteria into the filter.  Have you ever tried this product? <Good procedure, and yes- I have used this and other "bacteria in a bottle" products. A great way to supplement your bacteria in your evolving biological filtration.> 2)  As per your advice, I fed Cyclop-eeze to my feather dusters, and some Astrea snails seemed to come to the feast.  Do Astrea snails eat Cyclop-eeze? <I suppose that they will eat some that falls to the substrate.> Some of the Astrea snails went to the live rock.  Do I need to add anything else (like dried algae tablets) to feed the Astrea snails? <Unless your tank is absolutely devoid of microalgae and detritus, it is probably not necessary to supplement.> 3) The starfish are moving about some of the time, and resting most of the time. The smaller starfish ate, the larger one moved off of the food (offered today and offered 2 days ago). I have had them for 3 days now.  I don't know when they ate last or if the one that won't eat isn't hungry (or is too stressed out to eat).  How long  can a starfish go between meals? (The larger starfish is about 2 1/2 inches from tip to tip of its legs). <These animals are largely detritivorous, but some are distinct carnivores. Do read up on the WWM site about the various species of Starfishes found in the hobby, and identify the ones that you have and what their dietary preferences are.> 4) What salt mixes do you recommend?  The one I have been using allows too much Ph drift (Oceanic). I want to switch to another salt mix. <I have not used the brand that you refer to, but I have tried a number of others during my long tenure in the hobby. I've been using Tropic Marin for many years, and am quite pleased with the results.> 5) I'm keeping the tank at 72 degrees rather than in the mid to upper 70's, because ammonia toxicity increases with increasing temperature.  Once I'm sure the ammonia/nitrite levels are held at 0 by the tank's biological filter, I will gradually increase the temperature to 76 degrees (the temp in my display tank).  Does this sound okay to you? <There is a certain logic to your thinking here, but I'd be inclined to use the "normal" display tank temperature. Again, my thinking for this is the fact that the ammonia can be managed better with water changes, husbandry, and the passage of time. If you change the temperature of your animals while quarantining them, they will need to make one more adaptation before being placed into your display.> 6) Given that I have invertebrates in quarantine, not fish (starfish, snails, feather duster worms) in my quarantine tank), what types of problems or disease should I be looking for during this quarantine month? <Starfishes are prone to bacterial infections (i.e.; Vibrio, etc.), feather dusters can be damaged during collection and shipping, and snails can "crash" quickly if the environment is unfavorable, or if they have been damaged during shipping. You're mainly keeping an eye out for obvious health issues, as well as checking carefully during the process for the potential introduction of pests.> I have Seahorses in my main tank, and I don't want them to catch anything from the quarantined animals. <Hence the 30 day quarantine period! If you embrace this practice from the get go, you're unlikely to face such nightmares!> Thanks again for helping me keep my critters alive and well fed! Chris <Our pleasure, Chris! Keep up the good work, and good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine Question Regarding Cleaning Inverts?  8/31/05 Hello, This is my second time e-mailing a question to you guys and I wanted to thank you for your help in advance. The advice is greatly appreciated. My question concerns inverts and the quarantine process. I have read multiple articles on the web site and still am not totally clear what to do. I have a shipment coming of 100 astrea snails, 100 blue leg hermits, 4 emerald crabs, and 12 scarlet hermits. My question is some of the articles I read said these inverts do not carry disease and I should just rinse them and hand place them into the tank to make sure they are all alive so not to cause a pollution problem. Other articles I read stated the mantra "quarantine everything". I have been discussing this with anyone who will listen and have not gotten a sure answer. I wonder because I have a 15 gallon quarantine tank with a Aquaclear 30 filter, and that's it. <Not big enough... the Hermits will likely eat the snails...> No substrate or rock. What will they do in a bare tank? and what would I feed them they wouldn't have any algae or detritus to feed on. Thanks in advance for your help I really value your staffs opinions. Thanks, Jay <Mmm, there is a definite difference of opinion (here on WWM as well as the wider world of pet-fishing)... I would not quarantine these animals... particularly if they are the only, new livestock in your system... as you state, they are not likely vectors/carriers of pathogenic disease... and very likely will suffer for the experience... But others here, WWM have differing opinions... that are stated... Among other places here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Quarantine (For Everything?) - 08/23/05 I have been reading and following your FAQ's and articles.  Great reference website and materials! <<Thank you>> Because of your information, I am now in the process of replacing my wet dry with a 30g capacity DSB sump with macroalgae.  When this process is done I am planning on upgrading/adding corals to my main tank. <<Cool!>> I understand the importance of quarantining fish before they are introduced to the main tank. <<yup>> My question is should some sort of isolation apply to corals as well? <<Yesindeedy!  Tis the only way you'll ever catch those pesky hitchhiking flatworms, crabs, mantis shrimp, Montipora eating nudibranch, et al... before they get in to your tank.>> I am planning on purchasing detritivores for my DSB sump.  Should I be worried about any pathogens entering into my tank thru the water that will accompany the detritivores and pods?  I am very picky about what goes into my tank. <<Anthony Calfo's mantra is "quarantine everything wet!"...now I have much, much, respect for Anthony and his opinions, but I myself would not bother with quarantine for a detritus kit.  But then, I don't freak or fret over the presence of a few flatworms or redbugs as do many/most of my hobbyist friends...but that's your call.>> Thanks for all of your help and advice. Dallas <<Regards, EricR>> I'm new to saltwater and have been reading a lot. 8/14/05 <<Good for you>> Your site is fantastic! <<Thanks>> We've begun to establish a tank.  Here's the specifics:  50 gallons.  50# live rock.  pH 7.8-8.0, 80 degrees F, ammonia/nitrite/nitrate 0.  Calcium 450.  4 inches of aragonite/live sand mix.  The quarantine tank has similar water parameters and consists of a 15 gallon tank with one live rock, no substrate. Next planned is the cleanup crew/inverts:  20 Blueleg Hermit Crabs, 2 Emerald Crabs, 2 peppermint shrimp, 10 turbo snails, 5 Nassarius snails, 1 brittle star, 1 coral banded shrimp. For which members of this planned shipment do you recommend quarantine?  What should I feed them during quarantine (before they get into the main tank and will have algae and extra detritus to scoop up? <<Sounds like you're off to a good start. Clean up crew seems reasonable. In general, you want to quarantine everything before placing it into your display tank. You may want to add a very small amount of food to the quarantine or display tank to feed the invertebrates if you are not already adding food to feed fish or corals. Please read the following FAQs. I think that you will find the answers to your questions here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/crabs/hermitfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinvertfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/swsnailfaqs2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailfdgfaqs.htm>> Thanks so much. Daniel <<You're welcome and good luck - Ted>>

Quarantine and Dipping of Acropora 7/14/05 Hi, I have read recommendations to dip all new Acroporas in ReefDip, FlatwormExit and  Lugol's (I presume separately?). <...>   We have several frags in quarantine for 4 weeks prior to entry into the tank (for ich as well as other parasites).  During that time, I have examined them every few days with a magnifying glass and don't see any bugs at all (and the color looks very good).  A few of the frags have harmless commensal crabs (smooth shells).  I hate to hurt the crabs by doing a dip and don't want to add unnecessary stress to the corals.  If examined regularly for 4 weeks and nothing looks out of the ordinary, are the dips still necessary or could the corals be pronounced "bug free?"   Thanks in advance! - Doug   <I would not use any of these or other "dips" with quarantined corals unless I observed trouble that warranted such. Bob Fenner>

Re: Quarantine and Dipping of Acropora 7/14/05 That is what I thought.  I just wanted to make sure that Redbugs, etc. didn't have some sort of long cycle where they might lay in wait more than the 4 weeks. <Nah! You'd see them by then> Thank You! <Welcome. Bob Fenner, soon to have a contract on him for debunking chemical products in the trade/hobby>

Shrimp AND quarantine 7/10/05 Hey Crew! I have two quick questions that for some reason I did not find an answer to on the site. Do I need to quarantine decorative shrimp when I purchase them? <It's always advisable to cure anything and everything before adding it to a display tank> After I have the shrimp (skunk cleaner, heard they clean the best, and most likely to clean) in my display tank, would it be a good idea to take one out of the display tank and add it to my quarantine tank while I am quarantining other fish?  I read that they eat parasites and so forth. <If you notice a problem with crypto, it *might* help, but otherwise than that I wouldn't bother> Thanks a lot! <You're welcome - M. Maddox> Lack of QT for new corals... dodging bullets 3/16/05 I am panicking I did something wrong and was hoping someone could answer my question. <Please don't worry/panic... surely no worries> I introduced into my 150g tank last night some coral that had been growing in a friends tank.  <hmmm... OK, maybe worry a little. You did not mention using a QT first. Please (!) isolate every and all new livestock for 4 weeks before thinking of placing them in your display. For so many reasons (do read the art6icles/FAQs for more info). Parasites, pests, disease, etc> It was happy and established coral. It was hard coral, mushrooms and some polyps. Mostly hard corals such as Acropora. I acclimated it over a couple hours adding water from the main tank to the buckets of coral. I began placing all the coral in the tank and it all looked very happy. Then one coral started releasing clear mucus like missiles firing into the tank. It was getting everywhere and then it was like a war, as the corals started doing the same thing. The mucus was clear, but stringy. What happened here, was it chemical warfare? Was it stress?  <Both likely> Was it expelling the zooxanthellae?  <not unless you saw very dark packets/clusters in it> Was it placing too many pieces of coral into the tank at the same time? <Its just a stress response... but please (!) do not underestimate the need for QT. If for no other reason, to protect the considerable money/lives you have invested into this tank. Else every un-quarantined animal you add is like playing Russian Roulette so to speak> I was afraid with all the excreting into the tank they were stinging each other compounding the problem and causing more. Do you think I will lose the corals?  <Its not likely> This morning the tank looked clear, with a few strings still on a couple corals. Thanks a lot! I appreciate your help! Carolyn <Best of luck, Anthony>

Re: Tiny Hippos, Shrimp in quarantine Hi Bob! We ordered them and are going to give them the best care we possibly can!  Our LFS didn't know where theirs came from or much about anything - so we decided on the Solomon/Fiji from LA. <Okay...> We also bought 2 medium cleaner shrimp. Would it make sense to quarantine them in the 20 long with the little Hippos and a UV sterilizer?  <Could... just do take care to acclimate them slooooowly, drip-method... near seawater specific gravity...> Of course we would have to remove them if we needed to treat the fish - but I thought it might make sense to quarantine the new arrivals together (although the shrimp may look like monsters to the little Hippos:-). Thanks again! - Eve <Bob Fenner> 

Quarantine for corals? Thanks for the quick response Adam! << You must have caught me at the right time. >> BTW, no QT! << I don't actually QT anything.  But you should for fish.  I can't think of anyone I know or really any solid reason to QT corals. >> Just making sure it's not some imposter hijacking your email account! Should I try to dip it in something like Seachem Reef Dip at the very least? << Nah.  For corals?  Just throw 'em in. >> Narayan <<  Blundell  >> <<<Other folks opinions vary. RMF>>>

Echinoderm Quarantine (9/8/04) Greetings crew. <Steve Allen today.> Can't find what I need in the FAQ archive. I am planning to get a starfish for my minireef.  After extensively researching my choices, I am leaning towards a Fromia sp. of starfish (waiting for a pretty red or orange one to come in). <Best choice. Most Linckias die.> I am wondering if I should set up my QT differently than I do for my fish and corals? <Bare bottom is fine. Echinoderms are happiest at normal seawater salinity (SG around 1.024).> Is there anything special that I should do for keeping a starfish for 4-6 weeks? <4 is fine. You will need to feed it things like frozen Mysis.> I currently have a 10-gal with heater, 20w of PC, powerhead <Consider leaving this out. Definitely use a screen to keep the starfish room getting stuck in the intake.> and a whisper 30 filter. Plenty of PVC <not really needed for the star, but no harm.> and a fake Caulerpa plant as well. <Again, not needed.> Anything else I should have on hand just in case of problems? <Not that I can think of. The key factor is slooooow acclimation (use drip--read article on WWM). This will also be the case when moving to the display. Stars tolerate only very gradual changes in SG and pH especially. Temp and other factors are important as well.> Just wondering before I get my new reef family member. <Smart to learn first and buy after. Good luck.> Thanks again for all your help. AA pleasure.> -Ray Again... the need to QT: coral ails 8/16/04 a few other things I have thought of to tell you about the mushroom ( the water/lights are all good - everything in my tank and hers both thriving well....) - <do know that the behavior of all other corals in the tank is not a reliable factor of tank health... when something strays, some coral is the first to show stress, you see? And many corals have such very different needs/tolerances that its like comparing apples to oranges. A false sense of security at times> the base feels hollow to me.  it looks like a dried prune - all shriveled up.  the top of the toad has a hard "shell" over it  (and her tank has a very good amount of water circulation - even her hydrocoral (sp??) that the pet store couldn't get to live is thriving)...   <the hard "shell" on the Sarcophyton is a mucus tunic... and if it does not peel off in 2 days or less, it is a sign of very inadequate water flow> when I attempted to remove some of it part of the toad pulled apart and its mushy inside that area.   <this coral needs to be removed, the good parts cut out and sent to a QT tank for settling out> I am mostly scared for my other toads in my tank.... what kind of disease or predator can do this??   <stress, lack of water flow/light, adding corals or creatures to the tank without a proper quarantine in advance (brings in various diseases), etc. Many reasons here> I have been surfing the site for some time now but I'm so panicked I cant think straight. <no need to panic... but it was a mistake to not use a quarantine tank... please do read more in our archives about the how's and whys of QT> Neither of us have a hospital tank (yes I know.. very bad).. <heehee... true <G>. If not for the many living creatures whose very lives depend on you... then only to spend $50 or less to protect the many hundreds or thousands of dollars you have invested in your displays> so my only option is to throw him out and I really don't want to do that without giving him a chance but I love my other toads and sure don't want to infect them.   <another reason for a hospital tank... which costs only about as much as one coral but can save the lives of so many more in the future> this morning when I turned the lights on a few copepods were on his base but they were stripped  shrimp looking things. <just scavenging microcrustaceans - no worries> all others I have seen in my tank are clear.  also when I did the SeaChem reef dip I noticed a few TINY worm like things (I picked the rock/gravel he was attached to see if there was a hole in his base) and some slug like thing (the slug with the partial shell on top).   <I cant possibly ID these from the scant descriptions> also on a few spots of the toad it is fading to a yellow color - not good.  his overall color is a gray.  when I had him he was a softer pink color. <get thee to a QT my friend :) Anthony>

Quarantine Query... Hello, <Hi! Scott F. here today!> I love your site lots of great information.  My setup: 29 gal SW tank, Tetratec filter with built-in heater, crushed coral lei guess),  bubble rock running constantly. Been up for 8 weeks, one survivor of inexperience and poor advice from LFS: Cookie the Chocolate Chip Sea Star (he is enjoying life thanks to your advice).  Lost 2 Percula Clowns to Velvet, then bought a  Yellow Tang and Hawkfish, and Cookie the sea star. Lost the Tang and Hawkfish, apparently to Velvet. I tried doing a freshwater dip with formalin in it as LFS suggested but the Hawkfish died immediately and Tang died within a couple hours. I  panicked and did 50% water change, added 1 much larger Percula Clown who only survived about 12 hours.  I'm currently waiting my penance (4 weeks to go) before I put another fish in the tank (would like another hawk). <Wait a couple more weeks and it will be that much better!> Finally the question: I am about to set up a quarantine tank. Does it need to cycle? Some say yes some say no--would like your advice. <Here's my whole take on the subject: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm > If no, can I put a Hawkfish in it to qt for the 4 wks while I wait for the velvet to die off? <Sure> LFS said "Immuno-vital Marine" , a Marc Weiss Product, will keep fish from getting sick (velvet, ich, etc) any experience with this? <Enough to not use it...LOL. Seriously, I generally rely on excellent environmental conditions and good food to do the job, as you should> LFS said wait a month before any water changes because it was too early to do large change. (SG 1.022, PH 8.2, AMMONIA 0, NO2 0, NO3 maybe 15 using color chart that jumps from 10 to 20, TEMP 78) Should I change water as NO3 gets closer to 20? <Well, frequent small water changes can help lower nitrates over time, but there are many other ways to accomplish this. Check out the many articles on WWM regarding this topic for much more that I can touch on here.> I know it isn't good for sea star that high. Maybe just add Amquel Plus? <No, Beth...I'd try to prevent the problem from the start. Let's address the cause, and not just use a "band aid". We can help...Do a little research on the WWM site and I'm sure that you'll find a ton of information that can get you on your way!> Thanks very much for all your help. Beth the rookie <Good luck, Beth! We're here for you! Regards, Scott F>

Quarantining corals? I will take you advice and try a couple of the "wild caught" SPS corals and go from there. You mentioned quarantining the corals before adding them to the main system. << Sorry, you've got Blundell this time. >> Quarantine with fish is no problem because you can just stick them in a large Rubbermaid container for three weeks but corals are harder. When I moved my system I had all the corals in a 30 gallon Rubbermaid container with some powerheads and 84 w of PC light. This holding system seemed fine for the LPS corals but the nitrite level would rise ever three days, forcing me to do 100% water changes 2-3 times a week. One of my open brain coral suffered during this time. With all that said I think that skipping the quarantine with the SPS and doing a coral dip might be healthier for the corals. Do you feel strongly against this? << I don't feel strongly against this.  That could be a good way to go.  The main idea is the create less stress for the coral, and not introduce something bad to your display tank. >> What dip process works best? I see Kent Marine has a coral dip but others on the internet have a different dip remedy. What solution would you make up for a dip? << Personally I don't dip corals.  But if I did, a quick freshwater dip, that has iodine in the water, would be my dip of choice. >> Also you mentioned that the Imperator and flame may pick at the corals, I was aware that they do this but believe that they usually left SPS corals alone. Is this right? << No, they can still nip at them.  They would be picking at the soft fleshy polyp portions.  However, I wouldn't worry about it. >> I have run into another question since the last email. I understand 6500k bulbs may speed up coral growth, but IMO the yellow color is not very eye pleasing. I like 12000k or 14000k far better. I would like to see coral growth but much rather see vibrant coral color. My question is, will the SPS corals color be more vibrant under 12000k-14000k compared to 10000k. << I'll say yes.  Maybe not as healthy or fast growing, but they will look better in the higher number of Kelvin's. >>  I am aware that this might be an opinionated question but would like your view point on the spectrum of bulbs. << I really like the looks of 20 k bulbs.  But they are just not powerful enough.  That is what I'm currently using, but would like to switch to 10k halides, with VHO actinics. >> To answer you question, yes I do have a skimmer. I have a EV-180 w/ a Mag Drive 7. Thanks for all you help and this site is one of the best for info, Andy <<  Blundell  >>

Invertebrate QT Questions (7/28/04) I've read a lot on the site on QT practices. Yes or no Before putting in QT, perform dip?? <Not always needed if the fish is healthy, but a prudent precaution that many take. Not without risk though. I've never had a problem, but I've read of man y fish dying. Perhaps they were weak. Read the dip articles/FAQs for more info.> Do not medicate qt fish unless they show signs of illness?? <No need to medicate healthy fish.> Leave in QT a minimum of 4 weeks?? <This is a good period for healthy fish, longer for sick ones (4 weeks plus treatment time.> Perform dip again before putting in display?? <Again, some do this, but most would not dip a fish that has been healthy in QT for four weeks.> Also, on clam QT-ing. I want a clam for my reef but I have an underlit QT system and Barry at Clams Direct says I need more light. What is required to qt a clam?? <Good question. I am not certain as to the best approach. If you can't find an answer to this by searching the FAQs, send another inquiry addressing only this issue that I can route to a crewmember with more clam experience.>

Quarantine of Shrimp? Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> (I am resending my letter because the response was garbled and wasn't able to read it thanks) I have read all of your articles about quarantine tanks and I am in the  process of setting one up. <Excellent! A great tool that will provide many benefits to you and your future inhabitants!> I am wondering though if I need to or should put the cleaner ship that I plan to buy in quarantine. The reason I ask is that I have read they are hard to acclimate, and this seem like a lot of stress for them also I have read that shrimp are pretty much the cleanest creatures in the salt water world. <Well, I am a big believer in the quarantine process for just about everything you put in the tank. Shrimp- as you theorize, do tend to come in "clean". However, the other purpose of quarantine is to "harden" new livestock, allowing them to acclimate and begin feeding after the rigors of their long journey from reef to aquarium. And, since the water in the quarantine tank is from your display system, you're acclimating the animals to the very same water that they will be permanently residing in when they arrive in their new home!> I am thinking on purchasing 3 of the Lysmata for my 120 gal. tank. Now I definitely would not add the water they came in to my tank. Thanks for you help always, Rob <Well, Rob- I'd still embrace a quarantine period. It can even be a week or two- but do use one. The results will be worth it! Give it a try! Regards, Scott F>

Shrimp Quarantine Hi, <Howdy!> I have read all of your articles about quarantine tanks and I am in the process of setting one up.<Awesome!> I am wondering though if I need to or should put the cleaner shrimp that I plan to buy in quarantine. The reason I ask is that I have read they are hard to acclimate and this seems like a lot of stress for them also I have read that shrimp are pretty much the cleanest creatures in the salt water world. I am thinking on purchasing 3 of the Lysmata for my 120 gal. tank. Now I definitely would not and the water they came in to my tank.<I like to quarantine everything before they go in the tank.  But you should be ok if they come from a good source and you have seen there is no visible problems in the tank they came from although a lot of problems are not visible at first.  If you acclimate them slowly and the conditions in the quarantine tank are good you should be fine with quarantining first.  I have had best results in acclimation using a slow drip over a period of about an hour.  Cody> Thanks for you help always, Rob

Quarantine of Corals Hi Crew, <Hey> I am planning on purchasing a SPS Coral Frag assortment. Like 5-6 small frags. I have read Scott Fellman's article (and others) on Quarantine the same as for fish. My question is on lighting. My Q tank is only 10 gals with a double Eclipse light for a grand total of 30 watts of blinding power!. Will this be enough light keep the corals healthy for 21-30 days? <Good question. The overall effect on quarantining these sensitive corals (I assume you also mean the genus Acropora?) can sometimes result in dulling in coloration. Because they will be kept under lower amounts of lighting for 21-30 days, their color will most likely darken. I've kept enough species of Acropora under fluorescent lighting (even in tanks as shallow as 10") to find out that most of their coloration will darken due to increased amounts of zooxanthellae which are multiplying to catch as much lighting as possible. By the time these corals came out of quarantine, most likely they will be dulled in coloration. Fortunately, they will regain their coloration under more intense lighting. Also remember to acclimate corals to any "mega-watt" lit systems to prevent burning the tissue of the coral.> I plan on having them up on eggcrate close to the surface. Can frags really have that much harmful parasites or whatever on them? <Some corals can have bad infections of parasitic flatworms while others may have nothing. I've received a few colonies of Acropora only to find that they're completely infected with flatworms. These flatworms often blend in with the coloration of the Acroporid which makes them difficult to see. However, the majority of corals I've received do not contain many parasites.> I have read yes and no to using a coral dip (dilute iodine) Does a dip do more harm than good? <From my experience, an Iodine dip (I've used 20-40 drops of iodine per gallon and kept the coral in the container for less than 30 minutes) will usually benefit the coral and will kill off most parasites. If these frags are all coming from a good source which is trusted, I wouldn't do a quarantine on them unless you actually notice any parasites on them. When you receive the frags, possibly put them in a white or clear bowl and blow the coral heavily with a turkey baster or syringe. After blowing the coral, look around the bowl for any "white worms." These worms will be clear or tan and usually no longer than a few mm. These worms, as their name implies, are also flat. If you do not see any of these worms, I would go ahead and do an iodine dip. Once the dip has been completed, place the coral(s) at the bottom of the main tank. Keep an eye on the coral(s) for several days for any tissue loss or pale areas. If the frag(s) show good polyp extension and otherwise appear healthy, slowly move them to their final location. If you would prefer to make safe than sorry, then go and do the 21-30 day quarantine. Hope this helps, Graham.> Thanks for your help and recommendations.

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