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FAQs on Quarantine 14

Related Articles: To Quarantine or Not To Quarantine-That's a Good Question! By Bob Goemans, Quarantine, Quarantine of Marine Fishes, Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates, Biological CyclingMarine Ich: Fighting The War On Two Fronts, Cryptocaryoniasis, Parasitic Disease

Related FAQs: Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2Quarantine 3Quarantine 4, Quarantine 5, Quarantine 6Quarantine 7, Quarantine 8, Quarantine 9, Quarantine 10, Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantine 13, Quarantining Invertebrates, Quarantine FAQs on: QT Rationale/Use, QT Methods/Protocol, QT Protocol 2, Quarantine Lighting Quarantine Tanks & FAQs on QT Tanks, QT Filtration, QT Maintenance/Operation, Quarantine Feeding & FAQs on: Quarantine Feeding  & FAQs on Acclimation 1, Acclimating Invertebrates, Acclimation of Livestock in the BusinessTreatment TanksAmmonia, Nitrites, Nitrates

Take care not to crowd in quarantine, physiologically or psychologically.


Quarantine, SW, LR to avoid Crypt et al.  11/13/08 Greetings, I hope this message finds you well. <Yes, thank you> I read the excellent article about quarantine written by Anthony Calfo. Unfortunately, I read it after I had already stocked my tank and come up with crypt resulting in a now fallow 120 gallon reef with the five remaining fish fully cured, but quarantined until my display tank has been empty for at least 42 days. I have learned my lesson! <Good> However, with regards to live rock, I just want to be sure that I fully understand what precautions need to be taken before introducing live rock from a very reputable fish store. Currently I have about 20 pounds of live rock purchased from two separate local fish stores. They are currently quarantined in a 20 gallon long aquarium that is in the process of cycling so that I will be able to eventually use it as a frag tank. How long should I leave this rock in quarantine before placing it into a small "fish only" tank? <A good question... as most all stores have little actual success in keeping "wet gear" isolated from their live rock tanks (if even on separate recirculating systems), it may well be prudent to isolate such new material for a few to several weeks... in the hope of rendering pathogens less virulent> Thanks for the excellent information posted here. Best regards, Jeffrey Castaldo <And you. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Tank Use 11/10/08 Hi <Lori> Thanks for the wonderful web site and allowing us the benefit of your knowledge. I really appreciate it. <Thank you, happy it has helped.> I have a couple questions about quarantining wet pets. Which is very sad considering that I have had a saltwater tank for almost 8 years and never quarantined anything before. I recently have done a lot of research and found out that I have been extremely lucky! <If you have had no problems, then yes!> I don't wish to tempt fate any longer, and decided that I need a qt tank. <Smart move.> I ordered a couple of items from a diver from Florida, I asked on a forum of my local reef club about quarantine. I was told that since this came directly from the diver and that he visually inspects each piece not to worry...then I found your web site, and another member wrote to quarantine everything. <Direct from the diver means direct with any pathogens/parasites too.> My order comes in on Tuesday 11/11. I have ordered a mixed lot (before I read), a yellow Atlantic tang, 10-15 polyp zoo frag and 2 emerald crabs. <These crabs are opportunistic predators.> Finally to my questions. I have read everything that I could find and am not sure if they would be okay to quarantine together. <This can be done, but if something needs to be treated the protocols will be different. This is why you remove fish from the display for treatment. Also, just use ich as an example. If your fish end up with it you can remove the corals and treat the fish. But now you must treat the corals just as if they were in the display, with a quarantine/fallow period (they can host to mites). More on this here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm > I would like to use a hypo salinity quarantine, will the crabs and zoos be able to handle the lower salinity, I know the zoos can handle freshwater dips, so I am assuming that they would be okay in lower salinity as long as they were properly acclimatized? <No, not the case.> Can I use carbon filtering up until/if I have to treat with medication or is it better to stick to sponge filter and 1% water changes daily? <You can use carbon, but you will still need to monitor your water quality.> If I treat the quarantine with copper I am aware that I will have to move the zoos but I would prefer to not have to buy another quarantine setup unless absolutely necessary. <Be sure to remove the crabs also.> Any information that you could give me would be greatly appreciated.  FYI Everything that goes into my tank from here on out will spend the mandatory 4 week minimum in quarantine. Also in all that I read I never found this, do you purchase a new sponge filter after each quarantine or wash the old one with freshwater? <You can just wash it out, though if you treat with copper I would just go ahead and spend a few bucks, buy a separate sponge for invert quarantine.> Thank you for your help Lori <Welcome, Scott V. Another link to guide you below.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm

Velvet, fallow, inverts 11/07/2008 Hi Crew, <<Joel>> I made the mistake of buying three small Chromis from a LFS and adding them to a 12 gallon QT that already housed two large feather dusters and three large turbo snails. Two of the Chromis were dead within 24 hours from what I'm fairly certain was velvet based upon factors like rate of breathing, speed of onset, and the pictures I found online of infected fish. Moving the last one to a 3 gallon after a malachite green/formalin bath did nothing to save the poor guy/gal. So, I've left the 12 gallon QT fallow for almost 4 weeks. I plan to go 8 weeks total before moving the dusters and snails to the 55 gal /20 gal sump main display. <<As this is only the quarantine tank, I don't see a need to send this fallow. Empty, wash out with a 50/50 white vinegar and water solution, recycle, and re-use. Move the feather dusters and snails to the main display tank.>> But here's the pickle. I've been wanting a mated pair of purple firefish for awhile, and Liveaquaria.com suddenly has a pair in the Diver's Den. So I my question is about juggling. Would it be safe for the three turbos and the two dusters to move to a mere 3 gallon tank for their remaining QT of 8 weeks? <<Not really acceptable, no, see above re moving them to the display tank now>> Is that environment too small even for these inverts? If that's okay, then I'd be able to empty, bleach, and reset the 12 gallon QT for the firefish. I look forward to your thoughts. Thank you. <<To sum up, move the inverts to the display tank now, strip, clean, re-cycle ready for the new fish. No problem with quarantining the two firefish in the tank as long as they are small specimens, but, keep a tight fitting lid. Inspect the specimens when you have received them, if there are no visibly signs of disease / injury, 4 - 5 weeks in QT is more than ample.>> Regards, Joel Pippin <<Hope this helps. Regards, A Nixon>>

Re: Velvet, fallow, inverts - greater confusion. 11/11/08 Thanks for the reply, but I'm not sure I follow your logic. <Hey Joel, Scott V. with you this go round. Reading over the original query it does appear there was an error in communication. Sorry for the tardy response.> Per Bob and others, I QT everything. If Marine Velvet can live for up to 8 weeks without a host, then moving the dusters or the snails, which currently live in the water that might house latent MV, might introduce infected water into my main display <Agreed.> - my understanding is that even a few drops containing the organism is enough to quickly kill my tang. It seems you believe there is no risk of this, and that does not gel with what I've read on WWW, hence my question about the 3 gallon QT for the inverts for a few more weeks. Please check with Bob is possible and reconfirm that you believe there is no risk to my main display by moving these inverts after only four weeks since MV broke out in this QT. <I would continue your QT for the full duration.> Thanks, Joel <Very welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Velvet, fallow, inverts - greater confusion. 11/11/08 Thanks for the confirmation. <My pleasure.> If you also think the 3 gallon QT would work for the three snails and two feather dusters to finish out their time. <Sure will, just be sure to feed.> Regards, Joel <Welcome, Scott V.>

Should have QT, Read 11/7/08 Hey WWM, You guys are always helpful to me when I have problems or questions about my aquariums. <A pleasure to help out.> I currently have a 55 gallon reef with 2 occ. clowns, flame angel, yellow tang, six line wrasse, hippo/blue tang, scarlet cleaner shrimp, bubble tip anemone and some coral, crabs and snails...not many on the clean up crew though...well I have multiple problems. First the LFS convinced me to buy a clown tang (which I love) for 30 bucks and I brought it home and the next day it was covered in ich. I put it in a QT with copper and it died. <Not to mention the issue of three tangs in a 55!> I knew I shouldn't have even brought this fish home since it's very difficult and my tank is way too small. The rest of my fish were doing perfect but since that clown tang my hippo now is covered in white spots and I noticed the flame angel and yellow tang had it also. I'm very worried I may lose more fish due to this mistake I made. What should I do about this problem? <Set up a quarantine tank and treat them.> Also within the past 3 months I have been getting terrible brown algae on my sandbed. When the lights come on its barely there but by the end of the day its everywhere. Its not cynao I know that, but I cant get rid of it. <Same protocol as cyano.> I changed out my sandbed a month ago with fresh sand and it worked for a week and now its back. <The sand is not the issue, water quality is.> I don't know where to turn for this but it's killing me. I have a AquaC remora skimmer, coral aqualight, magdrive with SCWD for water flow and a Eheim pro 2 for filter. <Do be sure to clean the Eheim quite frequently.> Also my bubble tip is doing really bad, very small and all white. I have reversed bleaching on a Sebae before but it doesn't seem to be working for this bubble tip. <Two anemones are trouble, will not work in a 55.> I feed it mysis shrimp every 3 days...thanks WWM for your help I really appreciate it! Joe <Welcome Joe. Time to do some more reading, these are all very basic answers covered very in depth on WWM. A few links below to get you started. Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracdisfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm

Question about Firefish quarantine, 10/22/08 Hello WWMedia crew, <Hi> I read over the info about Firefish on your web-site and I know that you as a whole routinely recommend to quarantine fish in general. <Yes> However, a couple of times it was mentioned that a quarantine period may be detrimental to Firefish. I realize that it would be a risk to put any fish directly into the main tank; but in the case of Firefish, would it better for them to be placed directly into the DT? <They can at times be difficult to feed and very shy in an overly sterile QT with good hiding places. Sometimes putting them directly into the DT where there are lots of bolt holes and microfauna to feed on helps, sometimes it introduces disease. Pluses and minuses to both approaches.> Yesterday I purchased a paired couple of red Firefish. They were placed in a bare-bottom QT with PVC pipes, air stone/pump, an external filter and a good cover on the tank and I just use ambient light. <Good, lots of PVC here helps a bunch.> I routinely do 10% daily water changes and monitor parameters. They will be fed a combination of frozen Cyclops-eeze, frozen Mysis soaked in Selcon and Formula One Flakes. <Good.> My questions are: Do I keep going with the quarantine tank or move them to the DT? <If you can get them to eat and they are not cowering in the corner of the tank I would go with the QT.> For the Firefish, is a 2 week quarantine too short or should I do a minimum of 4 weeks? (I routinely do a 6 week quarantine). I realize there is no right or wrong answer but I want to maximize the chances of survival for this couple. <Generally if they adapt well to the QT initially you will have few problems going farther. The quietness of a QT can be very beneficial to this passive fish, gives them a chance to beef up a bit before going into the DT.> A separate subject/question. I know that some people recommend adding garlic as an appetite stimulant. Do I just crush a small amount of a fresh garlic clove and soak the food with it? <Can, although probably easier to buy a prepared liquid mixture available on-line and in most fish shops.> Thank you in advance, Miguel Perales <Welcome> <Chris>

Methylene Blue - Is it safe for a QT tank?  9/27/08 Greetings WWM Crew, <Mike> After reading the articles and FAQs on Methylene blue (MB), I have a rather simple question: Is MB safe to use in a SW QT tank? <Very> I have read conflicting information. The CMA and this website only mention its use in a FW dip, but I have read accounts of is being used when shipping fish. Other on-line resources state that MB is to be used in FW only. <It's been a long time since I've seen Methylene Blue used in shipping marines... some folks, businesses do use it in freshwater applications... in both to reduce light penetration (calm the animals before being boxed) and improve DO> I have a 55g QT tank, I use PVC piping to provide a shelter for the fish, and use about 0.25" of regular "play sand" for a substrate (It is disposable after QT is finished) 10 - 25% water changes are done daily. I use a canister filter for water filtration\movement, and a sponge filter for biological (kept in the sump between uses.) I always give new acquisitions a FW dip with MB, followed by hypo-salinity (1.015 - 1.017) in the QT tank, slowly building it up to 1.025 near the end for the QT period. I would like to add MB to the QT tank at least during the first few days, Partially for its mild antiseptic\oxygen carrying properties, and secondly because I have noticed that new fish settle down and adapt better if the water is "darker". <Worth trying. I don't think there is much chance of any serious downside/s here> Thank You, Mike <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Power-outage problems with fish in QT...   9/19/08 Ok, so i bought a yellow tang and a potters angel 2 weeks ago and had them in a quarantine tank until yesterday. Our power went out on Sunday, and luckily i had about 20g of water ready. We had a generator running to keep the QT tank and DT tank going. Well AEP said our power wouldn't be back until this coming Sunday and i ran out of water 2 days ago(we have a well so no running water when the powers out). Yesterday the ammonia was near 1ppm so I had a problem... Let the fish suffer in a QT with no water changes for 4 more days or take a chance and add them to the DT. I chose so add them to the DT because i figured they would be better off. And they we both super healthy and eating everything i gave them. <I would have done the same> I added them yesterday and they seemed to be fine. They did spend a lot of time by the cleaner shrimp. Well the power came back on today and my yellow tang now has ick spots. He still eats like crazy and he doesn't seem to act funny.. should i let him go for a day or two to see if things get better? <Yes, I would... even if you have a protozoan infestation, your system itself is now resident...> I could see why there would be stress... high ammonia, temperature problems with brief power loss etc. Other than the 2 fish i added yesterday i have a pair of black ocellaris clowns and a pair for Banggai cardinals. If i do decide to QT all my fish and treat the ich, should i use copper (i have copper and a copper test kit) or hypo or what? I hear tangs and dwarf angels are iffy with both... <I would likely opt to try establishing some sort of status quo here instead of treating... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above... to the point where you understand the concept, rationale. Bob Fenner>

Acclimation after Quarantine 09/18/2008 Im sure I've overlooked this answer somewhere on the site. I am in the process of setting up a 55G reef that should be ready to go in about two months. My first tank was a 90G so this is a large downsizing for me. Anyway, I didn't utilize a quarantine tank for my last reef and was very lucky not to have to many problems. <<Very lucky indeed....heeee>> However, im no longer in an apartment and now have some extra space for a 10G quarantine/hospital tank. <<Superb>> The question I have is about acclimation from the quarantine into the main tank. Since I would be using water from the display tank to fill the quarantine is acclimation still necessary? If so, am I to just float the bag and be very careful not to allow any water from the bag to spill into the tank? <<Nope, no acclimatisation required, as you will of already acclimatised to the quarantine tank when you purchased the inhabitants. Once QT'd, simply net or tub the creature over to the display tank. Always best, as always, to keep the water from returning back to the display tank when the time arrives to move them>> <<Hope this helps, A Nixon>>

Quarantine or no Quarantine -- 09/12/08 I am purchasing a mystery wrasse, a trio of Resplendent Anthias, Pseudanthias pulcherrimus, and a Decorated Rabbitfish, Siganus puellus. I am purchasing them from live aquaria from their divers den selection. http://www.liveaquaria.com/general/general.cfm?general_pagesid=425 (if the link is no good you can get to the page by going to live aquaria, then divers den, then look at a particular fish or coral and the link is on the right side of the page.) Should I quarantine these fish if they have gone through this quarantine process already? <Mmm, not the Anthias IMO, the others I'd take a look at on arrival> How can I be sure their QT was effective? <IS a good company, good practices, but "things" can/do "get away" with the best...> They will eventually go to my 90 gallon display with 70 pounds of live rock <Do make some "cave" arrangement for the Siganid, others to get out of the light> a shallow sand bed and a 25 gallon sump/refugium with a miracle mud bed covered by sand and an AquaC EV 180 skimmer. I am removing a 260 watt pc light that is failing and I will be adding new lighting to the tank 2 250 watt Icecap HQI lights with 15000k XM bulbs. The current fish in the tank are 3 Ocellaris Clownfish, a Yellow Tang, a Sailfin Tang, <Mmm, do watch this fish for dominance issues, with growth...> Royal Gramma Basslet, a Sailfin/Algae Blenny (Salarias fasciatus) and a Mithrax Crab, and a variety of hermit crabs and snails. So Should I quarantine? <Your call... I would run the Labrid and Rabbitfish through a prophylactic dip/bath at least, enroute to the main display> My QT tank is a 20 gallon with 12 pounds of live rock a sand bed several corals and a skimmer Coralife Super Skimmer 65 and 130 watt pc light. The 20 gallon was getting set up to be a qt or grow tank for corals but I only have a few specimens in the tank. Should I set up a simpler QT with a ten gallon if this QT is not appropriate? <Mmm, maybe... Good to have an extra tank about... for this and that purposes> I though it may be a good to QT so I can make sure the Anthias are eating but I don't want to stress them out either. <Yes... these fish are best placed straight away... in the main display> I appreciate your opinions and advice. If you gave any other opinions, observations or recommendations for my success in taking care of my new fish, or current fish, please let me know? Also I have been looking for Sweetwater zooplankton and I can't find it anywhere. Could you point me in the right direction? <Keep that curious mind, and continue your lifelong researching (is what I have done). Bob Fenner>

Quarantine tank, more... reading  9/9/08 Dear crew, I have a 90 gallon reef tank which unfortunately got contaminated with marine velvet. We lost 2/3 of our fish, and we had to start a quarantine tank from scratch. Now it is finally approaching one month that the reef tank has been free of fish, and we are trying to get a game plan for restocking the tank this time. Our quarantine tank has never completely cycled, so we had to do 25-50% water changes every other day <Quite common situation... Usual practice> and we still have nitrites around 1 <Yikes! Deadly toxic> and nitrates around 10, but very little ammonia. We kept adding Seachem Prime and Stability, and we did 2 wks of copper. <Mmmm> Once we move the remaining fish to the reef tank, I was told that we should completely strip down our quarantine tank and start over. I was also told that we can cycle our quarantine tank quicker by increasing the temp to 85 degrees and not putting any fish in it. <Double Mmmmm> I was wondering if we need to do this so there is no chance for any remaining marine velvet <... you need to read re Amyloodinium... trtmt...> in the quarantine tank <? No> or if this would cycle the tank quicker. <The temp. yes... see WWM re cycling period...> We are anxious to put fish back into our reef tank, but I know we don't want to rush things. How long do you need to put a new healthy fish in a quarantine tank? <... posted...> and do you need to treat a healthy fish with copper or any other med? I also have one true percula clown left and we want to add another clownfish. Does it have to be another true percula or can it be a false percula and should it be bigger or smaller? Thanks again, <Please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM. Your answers and much more that is lacking in your present, needed consciousness is archived there. Bob Fenner>

Lack of quarantine, Retail  -09/02/08 Hello team <Emma> Please accept my apologies, but I feel I need the advice of people who are experts in the field of marine aquatics. I understand that this email is not the average email topic you would receive, but I adore your site, and love your no nonsense approach. <We are glad... we share!> I have worked for the past three months in a large pet store. We have started to sell marine life, which is all very exciting. However, when the new section of the store was built, the owners did not take into account that the livestock may become ill, so have not provided any means of quarantine. I find this absolutely appalling. Fish have been dying needlessly since the get-go. A beautiful French Angel, who has had a bacterial infection for the past week, is now dying needlessly as there is no where to treat it. My managers are not helpful, they seem content to net out their little bodies when they die. Myself and a colleague set of one tank a few weeks ago which we used as a hospital tank, but the manager flushed it through yesterday rendering it useless. <Mmmm> Please help me convince them that we need a quarantine bay. I understand you are very busy, but I hold this very close to my heart, and it is soul destroying watching these beautiful animals die. Do you have any thoughts on how I can best get my point across? I have problems expressing myself, and your advice would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you Emma <Please have these folks, the owners, managers contact me re this issue. In all my writings for the trade, presentations made for the industry touching on livestock, I have endeavoured to impress on folks the absolute need for such facilities, their appropriate use... NOT only for the sake of the livestock, but simply on economic principle. I would refer them to our archives in Aquatics Business: http://wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/Biz%20Index/Biz%20index.htm Bob Fenner> Re: Lack of quarantine, Ostraciids now  -09/02/08 Thanks you, Bob - I shall certainly do that! <Good> One more question if I may? We have 3 bays of 9 tanks (so 27 tanks in total). Each bay is centrally filtered. Last week, they bought 2 yellow boxfish, and placed them into their own little tank in the bay, next to a rather expensive Mimic Tang among other things. Would you say it is safe to keep the Boxfish in a bay sharing water with the other fish? I have nightmares about them dying and wiping out the whole lot! Thanks again Emma <Mmm, Boxfishes can be deadly toxic to most all fish life, in a surprisingly large volume of water... but if care is taken to not "shake them up" (in handling, being stocked with aggressive tankmates) or not fail to see them die, dissolve... they can be placed in with other fish species. Bob Fenner

A quick question..., Quarantine 8/4/08 Greetings: <Hello> I have a 100 gallon reef aquarium which is slowly being stocked. My question concerns quarantine practices. <Ok> The tank contains only a few fish and that is how it will remain. All have been quarantined for a 4 week period prior to their being added to the aquarium. <Good> Whenever I acquire a new invert, whether it be a coral, snail crab or clam it goes directly into the tank. How risky is this to the health of the fish? What are the chances of an invert harboring a fish specific parasite cyst? So far there have been no problems but I have to wonder. <There is definitely a chance to introduce certain parasites to the tank doing this. While I cannot give you a percentage number as to the risk, we definitely have gotten more than a few queries regarding Ich introduced by non-fish means. I recommend QTing anything wet for 4 weeks as well to try to limit this risk.> Thanks. <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: A quick question..., Quarantine 8/4/08 Hi Chris: <Hello> Your response brings up another question. The reef aquarium set-up is optimal. Lighting, filtration, circulation and water quality are all up to spec. My quarantine tank lacks most of these parameters. No metal halides, no skimmer. Although I can maintain the water quality in an invert quarantine tank, I cannot guarantee enough algae to feed a snail or enough light to keep clams and corals happy. Can these animals survive 4 weeks of less than optimal conditions? Thanks again. <For the most part if healthy coming in they can survive just fine in a QT. Snails and crabs can be fed algae wafers or shrimp pellets to supplement them. If you are planning on adding many coral specimens it may be worth investing in decent PC setup to help them along. Also supplemental feeding can help as well. It can be problematic as you say but with a little work it is doable and safer for your existing livestock.> <Chris>

Ich and inverts? 6/17/08 Morning Crew :D <Hello> This may sound like a strange question, but is it possible to introduce Ich (or any other parasite/disease) into a reef tank on invertebrates such as clams, shrimp or corals? <Oh yes.> Knowing how susceptible these are to copper I'm assuming a QT would be used here, in which case what would the procedure be, i.e. would the usual 4-5 week quarantine period be enough or too much? <Would be just about right, as long as you do not QT it with fish of course.> What signs would you need to look for? <Nothing you can see really, just time for the potential parasites to complete a lifecycle without fish.> Many thanks again for all your help and for such a great resource, Carolyn <Welcome> <Chris>

Ammonia in QT 05/10/2008 Hello WWM crew. <<Hello, Andrew this evening>> First, I would like to think you for all your great work. I have used your site extensively over the last three years however this is the first time I have written in. <<Thanks for the comments, and nice to hear from you>> I searched though your site and on the internet but I couldn't find the answer to my question. I recently set up a 10g QT system for my 29g reef. I have never done a QT before but you guys convinced me. Here is the QT setup: a pinguine biowheel HOB filter without the biowheel ( I think it is a 50g model but I'm not sure), A 50w stealth heater, two 14 watt 6500K CF bulbs screwed into the hood that comes with the tank, and a 4 inch PVC tee for cover. I left a sponge in my sump for about two weeks prior to setting up the system and put the sponge on the HOB intake. I used 1/2 tank water and 1/2 SSW to start with. I feed about 1/4 of a cube of cyclops each day and vacuum the bottom about an hour later. The system has been setup for 7 days. I originally had a 1 inch PJ cardinal. <<Sounds fine so far>> On the fourth day the QT was set up in my main tank, my 1.5 inch ocelaris clown decided my 7 inch Dersa clam would make a great host. <<These fish never cease to amaze me in what they choose as a host>> This hosting really bothered the clam and he kept shutting and his mantel wouldn't extend. I decided to put the clown into the QT to let the clam recover which he did immediately. I plan on selling the clam since he has grown much to large for my tank. In two years he grew from 2 to 7 inches! <<Very good growth indeed>> On the day I added the clown, I did a 50% water change using water from my main tank. I have been testing the ammonia with the API test kit and it has been very close to zero maybe around .07 until today, day 7. It is now between .0 and .25. I would guess the level is around .15. The two fish are acting normally and show no signs of disease. The PH is 8.2 and the temperature is 79 degrees. Today I added a few pieces of grape caulerpa hoping it would absorb some ammonia. <<Sounds fine to me>> These are my questions. 1) is this level of ammonia ok? I noticed you recommend water changes when levels near 1 but what about lower levels? <<Yes, its fine>> I found a study that said 48hr LD50 in Atlantic silversides was in the 1.5 range but I'm not keeping Atlantic silversides! 2) should I do water changes with new SSW or old tank water? I use RO/DI with a TDS of 0 and IO salt. <<New saltwater>> 3)what would be the maximum stocking density for a QT this size? <<What you currently have it at>> 4) Do I count 21 days from when I added the PJ or the clown? <<From when the cardinal was added>> It seems I don't need start the QT over if I added a healthy animal from my main tank. 5) Should I add LR from my main system and if the fish do get sick will I need to boil this rock? <<No, PVC pipework is more than adequate for the quarantine tank>> 6)Should I stop feeding the tank? <<Feeding every other day should suffice>> 7)On an unrelated note, could I keep a very small 1-2in yellow or blue tang if I take him back to the LFS when he gets 2+ inches and if now what could I keep in my tank that eats grape Caulerpa? (total water vol is 45 gallons with a 10g fuge). <<I would not, no, sorry to say>> Thank you so much in advance! <<Thanks for the questions, I hope this helps. A Nixon>> Anorexic Butterflies & QT process--Correction  4/7/08 Hello again, Realized the Second main paragraph might not make sense, It should have  read in part as follows: Sorry for the confusion. ...The QT is monitored for ammonia twice daily, and has registered .25 mg/l at 24 hours, .5 at 48 hours and .75 at 70 hours. <To degrees toxic at all concentrations> The QT is treated with a dose of Prime (according to label to bind ammonia of .6mg/l at 24 hours and 45 hours and a double dose at about 64 hours. <Mmm... okay> The fish are removed with as little extra water as possible (plastic clear container, no net) at under 72 hours... <Good technique. Will have to look for whoever responded previously (did they?)... but in reviewing your prev. email, this looks like a solid protocol/plan. BobF.> Hello, Thank you for your site, it has been a wealth of information for new saltwater fish hobbyists such as myself. I have two questions, one as relates to your comments on my quarantine process, and two as relates to non-eating butterfly fish. I purchased the following from Saltwaterfish.com. They arrived 7 days ago, and were drip acclimated over 2-3 hours and placed into a 17 gal quarantine tank made up of water transferred from my main tank: parameters 1.023, PH 8.15, Temp 78, Ammonia Zero, Nitrates between 0 and 2.5. The quarantine tank (QT) is bare bottomed, has a few colored hard plastic cups for hiding, dark construction paper on three sides and the bottom, and has a hang on filter with ammonia absorbing pad. The new arrivals include a 3.5 inch Pearlscale Butterfly, a 3 inch Punctato Butterfly, a 2.5 inch (was expecting it to be between 3 and 4 inches) Pakistani Butterfly, a 3 inch thin Dragon Goby <I'd summarily move this animal and get it solid, high-protein food-feeding ASAP> and a 1 inch Skunk Cleaner Shrimp. The QT was treated with 500 mg Chloroquine diphosphate fully dissolved before fish placement. The QT is monitored for ammonia twice daily, and has registered .25 mg/l at 24 hours, .5 at 48 hours and .75 at 36 hours. The QT is treated with a dose of Prime (according to label to bind ammonia of .6mg/l at 24 hours and 45 hours and a double dose at about 30 hours. The fish are removed with as little extra water as possible (plastic clear container, no net) at under 36 hours and transferred to a new QT with the same parameters from main tank (new dose of Chloroquine and all). Filter, tanks and reusable objects in the tank are treated in dilute bleach, then rinsed, then soaked in prime treated water and dried before reuse. Overhead light only on for short time before, during and after feeding attempts for observation and feeding. This new QT tank rotation has been repeated three times so far. My thinking on this was to remove with a high degree of confidence any Velvet, White Ich or Black Ich present on the fish before entrance to main tank. (This was used successfully with a pair of Heniochus Butterflies a few months previously, one of which arrived with two white dots on its fins about 0.5 mm size, which disappeared from the fish between day 3 and 5 of QT and has not showed back up after transfer to main tank.) Do you see any weak link in this plan? Second question involves the fish themselves. The Pearlscale arrived with many black dots on its side, as of day 7 in QT3, they are all gone, and it appears to be very healthy -- has been eating everything I offer including Formula Two pellets. It is mildly pushy with the Punctato, but appears to ignore the Pakistani. The Dragon Goby, which arrived thin but with no lesions noted so far, has filled out with good feeding and is doing great also. The Pakistani arrived with one 0.6 mm white dot on its rear fin and pectoral fin and two fuzzy 1 mm white lesions on lower fin edge. As of day 7, only the white fin edge lesions remain. The Pakistani has not been eating. It ate 2 Mysis offered 20 hours or so after arrival, and 2 live brine shrimp offered day 6 in the a.m (in QT2). and 2-3 more offered that p.m.(in QT3) The Punctato arrived with no lesions, is swimming just fine, but has only eaten 1-2 Mysis offered on that first day. I have tried the following so far over the last 7 days: Mysis offered at least every other day, Formula Two pellets, fresh clam on the half shell, fresh mussel in shell (diced up), diced squid, a seafood medley of shrimp/whitefish/Nori/clam all slenderized and lastly live brine shrimp. The Pearlscale and Goby are in heaven and will eat everything offered, but the Pakistani and Punctato are fasting. I have tried a few drops of fresh squeezed garlic water and also Entice by Seachem. (I have been unable to find Selcon, which I see recommended on your site, anywhere locally). The Punctato goes crazy swimming rapidly around the tank with the Entice, but does not eat. Neither Pakistani nor Punctato have any mouth lesions that I can see. The Pakistani frequently goes and sits with its sides near the Cleaner Shrimp, did stare at the clam shell put in the tank, has rubbed its gill/side area intermittently on a few shells added on day 7 and its gill rate is more rapid than the other fish, but does not appear in distress. Unless I see anything else problematic, my plan is to move the Pearlscale, Dragon Goby and Cleaner Shrimp to the main tank at day 9 since they appear healthy and their presence may be affecting the two anorexic ones; and move the Pakistani and Punctato into a new 10 Gal QT treated with 250 mg Metronidazole and not move them to main tank till eating and well. Do you have any other feeding or treatment suggestions? <Mmm, just to move all along expeditiously... through this process and to your main system in a minimum of time... with live rock et al. there> Am I right to think that if they are not eating in the QT, they are unlikely to eat in the main tank? <Mmm, no... much more likely to commence feeding in the main display> Thanks for comments on my QT process and suggestions on feeding anorexic Butterfly fish. Joe <The non-feeding... due to collection, handling stress, isolation in small, bare settings is par for this course... Finish the quarantine and move them. B>

Quarantine absolutely every thing! 3-24-08 Hi Bob <<Hi Jen, BobF is out for a few weeks so I'll be filling in for him on this query.>> I've been a silent fan/visitor of WetWebMedia for years and have learnt so much from you but I still make terrible mistakes from time to time. <<Eh...who doesn't?>> I have your book and counted myself a reasonable fish keeper but boy was I wrong! I had a yellow tang 7 years, a harlequin tusk 6 years and a blue face angel 4 1/2 years and I have just killed them all by my stupidity! I want to warn others that you just MUST quarantine EVERYTHING you want to put in your tank!! <<A good warning that I hope other hobbyists will take under serious consideration and I apologize that you had to learn the hard way, though I am glad you did learned it.>> I always quarantine fish and corals because of what I have learned from you but I made the fatal mistake of putting 2 pieces of live rock in my tank plus some plant life into my sump to lower nitrates. This alone has been enough to introduce disease into my tank. All 3 of my precious fish have succumbed to what I think is Cryptocaryon irritans (white spot) but might be Amyloodinium. <<Mmm'¦do see our FAQS/articles on WWM re disease on this, so that you get perform a proper diagnosis in the future.>> I'm not sure, does it matter as they are all dead now and buried together in my garden. I am having nightmares about these fish because I know I killed them when. You already warn to quarantine everything but success very often breeds contempt! <<Agreed.>> If this saves just one fish from this awful death then it will have been worthwhile. I know this might sound over the top but the longer you keep a fish alive the harder it is to lose it especially when it's your own fault! <<Again Jen, I am sorry you had to learn the lesson this way but I applaud you for your open mind and thank you for sharing this anecdote with us.>> Jen <<-Adam_J.>>

Disease Question'¦How Long To Hold In Quarantine 'After' Lymphocystis? -- 03/19/08 Hey guys and gals- <<Hey, Jay'¦Eric here this AM>> I hope all is well with the crew. <<Haven't heard otherwise, so will assume so'¦thanks>> I just have a quick question about cauliflower, (Lymphocystis). I adopted a Sailfin tang with cauliflower about 45 days ago from a pet store. <<I see>> She went straight into a Bio Cube aquarium for quarantine and has, (thanks to aggressive water changes and proper nutrition), made a complete recovery, (no more 'polyps'). <<Very good'¦and often all that is needed>> I have treated many fish before (Ich and what-not), but this is my first cauliflower case. <<You seem to have done well with it>> Everything that I have read says that treatment is quarantine, time and good water quality (that I knew already), but I can't find any info on how long she needs to be in a QT. <<Hmm'¦>> How long should she stay in quarantine -after the spots are gone- before I can put her into my main tank? <<A good question'¦ Considering this malady is thought to be only very slightly (if at all) infectious; and the root cause is environmental (poor water quality/diet), this fish could be removed from quarantine and added/returned to a healthy and properly fed display tank within a few days of 'clearing up''¦though you might want to consider giving it a week to 'just be sure' the fish's immune system has indeed recovered>> She has been clear for about 10 days now. <<Should be plenty of time, in my opinion>> Thanks! -Jay <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Chaetodontoplus personifer in quarantine, hlth.  02/27/2008 Hello WWM Crew, <<G'Morning, Andrew today>> Let me just say that I love your site and read over the new FAQs several times a week but this time I couldn't find anything similar to my situation. <<Lets cure your lust for knowledge>> The other day I walked into a LFS and spotted 2 very small (1" and 1.5") personifer angels for only $28! I asked them to hold the slightly larger one for me and went home and set up a 10 gallon quarantine tank. On the first day he seemed fine but mostly hid in a large plastic coral. On the second day he was swimming about normally and ate some frozen food. On the third morning I woke to discover him "breaching" at the top of the tank and swimming erratically. Soon after he just lay on the floor of the tank looking washed out and breathing heavily. I immediately performed a 30% water change and dosed the tank with triple-sulfur. 2 hours later he was fine, swimming normally and feeding again. 2 more days have passed and he is feeding well and behaving normally. I have been changing 10L of water each day, should I do anything more to help this little guy out? What would have caused his strange behaviour? I couldn't see any sign of external parasites. Could it have been Ammonia poisoning from the uncycled quarantine tank? <<Yikes.....Yes, certainly...A quarantine is basically just a miniature marine system, and as such, should always be cycled. The point that the fish changed for the better after the water change shows that the behaviour is due to this uncycled tank. For future, what you could do is keep the filter media from the QT filter in the main display tank as this will cycle the media and keep it in this state. So, you'll always end up with an instantly cycled quarantine tank. In your current situation, you need to closely monitor water parameters and keep the water changes flowing>> Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Yours Sincerely, Adam Harbeck <<Thanks for the questions, hope the above helps. A Nixon>>

Re: Chaetodontoplus personifer in quarantine 03/19/2008 Hello Andrew, <<Hello again Adam>> I submitted a question a few weeks ago about a tiny Chaetodontoplus personifer I purchased on the 22nd of Feb and now I have a follow up query. The fish has been in quarantine for 25 days now with a water temperature of 28C, is eating very well and has grown about 0.25cm. As suggested I have been performing frequent water changes (10l/day). <<sounds good>> The other day I noticed a small white spot on the back of his right pectoral fin. I kind of panicked and performed a pH adjusted freshwater bath on him and dosed the tank with triple sulphur. He took the bath very well, just lay on the floor breathing normally patiently waiting for his 5 minutes to be up, but the spot remains. I have encountered whitespot in the past but the fish looked like they had been dusted with white pepper, scratched incessantly, stopped eating and hid. The behaviour of this fish hasn't changed at all, his colours are still bright, i haven't seen him scratch once, still eats like a pig and spends his day displaying to himself in the glass or coming up to beg for a feed when I enter the room. I have not been adding more triple sulfur to the tank during changes because I am afraid of poisoning him, I have been told that angels are very sensitive to medications. <<indeed...Is this the only spot? Continue to monitor in the quarantine tank>> I think by now the concentration would be very low. Should I leave him be for a couple more weeks to see how he goes? Or should I give him another bath with some Methylene blue added and add him to the main tank? I have grown quite fond of the little guy and would hate to lose him now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. <<Continue to monitor the spot in the QT tank, if this is indeed white spot, then hypo would be the next step to eradicate the ich>> Yours Sincerely .. Adam Harbeck <<hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Re: Large Angelfish et. al... QT method...  -- 03/07/08 Thank you. One final question. I assume I should be QTing one fish per tank? I have a 37 gallon tank that I would like to QT a pair of Golden butterflies, but do not know if this is an acceptable practice. thanks Kirk <Temperament and physiology need to be taken into account... the Chaetodons are fine together here. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine a Magnificent Foxface?   2/17/08 Hello All, <Howdy Chip> I ordered a Magnificent Foxface (Siganus magnificus) from Diver's Den, and it will arrive tomorrow. I did a lot of research before deciding on this fish. The Rabbitfish article on WWM, says not to quarantine. <Often better not to with Siganids... a need to balance the probable good of such protocols with the damage...> I am worried about following that advice. All of the fish in my DT went through a 6+ week Hypo-salinity treatment. I have been burned by marine ich in the past, so I wanted to start 'right' with this tank. If I put this fish directly in the tank, wouldn't it be possible to introduce ich? <A possibility, yes> My QT tank is a 55 gallon with 2 bio-wheel filters (Emperor 400's, without the wheels). It also has several pieces of PVC for hiding places. I know that this tank is a little small, but this will be only fish in the tank (with a small possibility of one more small fish being put in this weekend). <This sounds, reads as a superb QT... I would go ahead and use it in this case> My DT is a 220 with 200+ lbs of LR. My stocking list is Yellow --Eye Kole tang, Hepatus Tang, pair Ocellaris, 7 Blue-Green Chromis, Randall's goby, misc crabs and snails. Should I quarantine? <Yes, I would, given your facility> Thanks for all of your help. Cheers, Chip <And you. Bob Fenner>

Should I keep treating? SW Quarantine...  2/29/08 Hi everyone, <Melissa> Thanks for the great work with the site. I spend hours reading each day. I have a question about a possible bacterial infection. About a week ago I purchased 5 blue-green Chromis and a Sixline Wrasse. After a freshwater and Methylene Blue dip they were placed in quarantine. The next day all fish were eating well, although I did notice one Chromis hanging out near the top away from the group. The next day a different Chromis had some red spots (I thought it may have been from netting and shipping). <Likely so> This developed into his tail rotting, discoloration, missing scales and cottony material in the area. I thought it might have been a fungal or bacterial infection and started to treat with Pimafix. <...> The next day he died and I noticed the Chromis that had been hanging out near the top had stopped eating and his tail was starting to rot and he also had red spots. I did some research on your site and after a 50% water change, decided to treat with Jungle Fungus Eliminator (at double dose). <Mmmmmm> The second Chromis died today. The remaining three have no visible spots, are swimming and eating well. The Sixline, however, stopped eating today (before medication was added). He doesn't show any other symptoms, but since this was the first the others displayed I am wondering if I should keep treating and for how long. <I would not use either one of the products you mention> Also, would you recommend daily water changes before adding the next dose and if so, what percentage? <I would monitor ammonia, nitrite... change if either becomes appreciable. See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm the files on Quarantine...> My last question is, after this is cleared up I would like to replace the two Chromis that have died. Would you recommend extending the stay for the three that are left and adding the new two to the quarantine with them or should I move the current three fish out, quarantine the new Chromis and add later (I wasn't sure if this would cause problems with bullying or acclimation to the group). <I would do the latter> Thanks for you help! Melissa <Welcome! And good that you isolated the new Chromis. Bob Fenner>

Re: Quarantine, methods    2/24/08 Hey Bob, Todd again Everything's going great now, thanks to your insight and WWM!!! I've learned a lot from you (fish stuff and English!! Haha!!) and with months of reading on your web site!!! I'm on it at least once a day!!! <Me too!> I have 2 clowns, blue tang, purple tang, copper band and 4 neon gobies in my 120 gallon, and everyone looks and are doing great!! I dip everyone in a freshwater/formalin dip for about 10 minutes (1 ounce 37% formalin to 5 gallons water), and then quarantine for 40 days, and then same dip before main display. Everything's been going great so far, I haven't seen any diseases in the quarantine tank or in the main display. But I'm sure eventually I will end up with something a some point in time that I will have to deal with!! <Let's try to avoid> So for the future, say I end up with itch or velvet in my quarantine and I need to treat with copper or formalin for 40 days. I know you don't recommend formalin for long periods of time, but for the copper sensitive fish what else is there that's guarantied to work? <Posted> In all that I have read when using copper or formalin is that they will kill the biofilter and all the nitrifying bacteria in the tank and that the protein skimmer (because it sucks up the meds) should be removed from the quarantine tank. So in that case should all filtration just be removed when using copper or formalin, because its not going to do anything anyways? <Mmm, no... is of some use> Is there anything else I can do to keep the ammonia down besides water changes, light feeding and vacuuming everything I see out of the tank, I have a 30 gallon quarantine and if a 6" fish becomes sick and I have to treat it say with copper, I'll probably have to do like 100% water changes once a day. What do you do in this situation and you have to treat with copper or formalin for a 40 day period? <Water changes...> You think it would make that big of a difference with keeping the ammonia in check if I had say a 100 gallon quarantine with just power heads and air stones and no filtration for treating with copper or formalin for 40 days? <Mmm, not much... better to have the 100 gallons in water for change outs...> I'm going to start adding some inverts soon and in your book you suggest using iodine for dipping corals before quarantine, is iodine ok for SPS, LPSs, soft corals, mushrooms, zoo's, polyps and Featherdusters? <Yes> Is there any other dip or anything that I can add to the 40 day fishless quarantine to help these guys get rid of the bad guys? <Slightly lowered (a thousandth perhaps) spg. to aid in absorption> Besides setting them off of the bottom and picking anything I see off of them or out of the aquarium. Also can I use the iodine on crabs, shrimp, stars and snails before quarantine? And besides iodine (if you even can) and 40 day fishless quarantine, is there any other dips or anything that I can add to the 40 day quarantine to help these cleaner crew guys out? Thanks again Bob for your time and insight!!!!!! You've been a great help!!!!! <Welcome. BobF>

Cycling Process/Quarantine - 01/21/06 ... not reading... suffering for it Dear Eric, <<Hello Akila>> I have done everything to start the aquarium again from scratch.  I have some questions I need your view on. <<Ok...shoot.>> After the cycling process should the first 2 or 3 fish you add to the aquarium be quarantine before adding? <<ALL the fish should go through quarantine my friend.>> If so, how do you do this easily? <<???...I think we've been here before...do please do some reading here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm >> Many articles say that when there is a healthy community in the tank the new fish should be quarantine but is there any importance in quarantining the first fish to the tank as there is no animal present in the aquarium and so no one will be harmed? <<Not true...adding an infected/infested fish to the new tank will ensure all subsequent fish also become afflicted.>> What is the easiest way to do the quarantine procedure? <<Please read at the link I have provided my friend...>> Is freshwater dipping a quarantine method that is easy and quicker to use? <<Dipping is not quarantine...but rather an adjunct to quarantine...useful for treating parasitic infections/or used as a prophylactic treatment re.>> When you establish a quarantine tank, do you use the water from the main tank or do you add new water? <<Can be a mixture of both for the benefit of adding nitrifying bacteria...unless your display tank is already infested of course.>> Also when there is a disease in the main tank what water do you use for the hospital/quarantine tank. <<Make new water.>> Like for example when you have white spot disease in the main tank do you use the same water in the hospital tank? <<Think about this Akila......no, you would not add infested water to the quarantine tank.  Please read up on quarantine procedures on our site...much good info to absorb my friend.  EricR>> Appreciate your response Thanks Best regards Akila Re: Cycling Process/Quarantine - 01/23/06 Dear Eric <<Akila>> Thanks for the advice. <<Welcome>> I knew that it was a stupid question to ask whether to use the water from the main tank if there is a disease in it but I asked it because when using a quarantine tank you set it up only when it's needed and break it down when is unnecessary, right? <<Correct my friend.  Some folks even go so far as to "sterilize" the QT after each use (usually with a mild bleach solution).>> So if there is a disease in the main tank and therefore you cannot use any water or filtration materials, how can you have bacteria that break down ammonia in the quarantine tank? <<Keep some filter media from the QT filter in your display tank's sump and you will have your bacteria ready at all times.  This was/is all explained in the links/articles I have provided you.>> Won't fish be stressed in new water when there is a rise in ammonia and nitrite?  What can you do about this? (I didn't read the article you sent me but found no logical answer to the above question) <<Mmm, why ask me for help if you aren't going to read/use the information/material I provide?  How would you quickly reduce ammonia/nitrite in your display tank?...provide frequent partial water changes...>> What will be a good size for a quarantine tank (Approximate)? <<Read the article...AND follow/read the links at the top of the page.>> After putting the new fish in a quarantine tank do you treat them with any kind of medicine even if they show no signs of disease? <<I prefer not to medicate unless absolutely necessary.>> Or do you just feed them and watch their behavior and only if you find something wrong you treat them? <<This can work.>> Also are Methylene Blue and Neutralize Flavine effective in saltwater aquariums when treating for diseases? <<The Methylene Blue is effective when used in conjunction with a "freshwater" dip: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm ... I'm not familiar with the other product but suspect it is something similar (a dye).>> My LFS has this Vitamin C treatment for fish (really expensive one) is this really effective for maintaining healthy fish? <<Vitamins are essential to us all, including your fish/inverts.  My recommendation for vitamin supplementation is the Boyd's product "Vita-Chem" which you can purchase off the NET.>> Appreciate your response. Thank for all your help. Best regards, Akila Suspected case of Hole in the head disease   1/18/06 Hi there, <Good morning> I have a Royal Gramma in my QT for about 6 weeks now.  Starting the second week, its head and right gill started to develop small white patches.  It looks like someone has peeled its scales.  A few days later, I noticed that its right gill has a hole.  It looks like someone has poked it. <Good description> However, it is the only one in the QT so there is no one bugging it.  As of today, the hole is still there but the fish is still eating great and swimming about.   By the way, this Royal Gramma takes only flakes.  It ignores all the Mysis shrimps. The QT is bare bottom where all parameters are good.  The fish is not scratching at all.  I am having a dilemma whether I should leave it in the QT longer or I should put it to the display tank.  What is your best advice? Thanks in advance, Aaron. <You ask the definitive question... whether to risk further necrosis from the stress, variance in quarantine, as opposed to the risks of moving this Gramma... There is no one but you who can decide... but I have moved many organisms before finishing quarantine out of the same concern. 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>

Quarantine Query   1/17/06 Hi Crew, <Hello there! Scott F. here today!> I'm hoping that you can clear up something for me that I'm unsure about? <I'll sure try!> I am just in the process of setting up a QT/Treatment tank. I already have a fully stocked 30 Gallon saltwater aquarium that I didn't use any quarantining procedures while setting up (I know, I've been very lucky from what I've read since!) <Yep- but you've "seen the light!" Good for you! My existing display tank has been up and running for approx 1year with plenty of live rock, several types of red/brown/green macro algae, 1 Royal Gramma, 2 Black clowns, 1 Cleaner Shrimp and a selection of crabs, hermits, snails, polychaetes, a few Mushrooms and a small colony of tube anemones (Yellow Zoanthids). They are all thriving and eating well, growing well, bright and active with no signs whatsoever of any disease, infections or parasites. I have never used any kind of therapeutic treatment inside or outside the tank. My question is - Does this mean that I (they) are in the clear with regard to my existing livestock? (the last fish was added several months ago). The reason I ask is that you recommend a minimum of 4 week quarantine with no visible signs of infection to break the life cycle of the pests. <Well, the four week idea is to allow symptoms to manifest themselves in a new fish and allow you to treat them outside the tank. You're mixing two thoughts here. The idea of using a separate tank to disrupt the life cycle of possible parasitic disease organisms is the reason we remove all fishes in a tank with disease to a "hospital tank" for treatment. The display will run "fallow", without host fishes to perpetuate the lifecycle of the causative organisms.> Sometimes people will qt more than one animal at a time in the same qt system, so I'm trying to establish if the same goes for my mixed setup having had no signs of problems since it began? Just in case I haven't been clear - Does the fact that there has never been any sign of infection in my tank over a year mean that any infection that does occur is likely to be from an external source (i.e. -adding another un-quarantined animal to the system) Thanks for your help, Leif <Well, Leif, there are no guarantees here, but I would tend to agree that your greatest threat for disease in a system such as yours would be from newly-introduced animals. This is precisely why quarantine is such a valid technique. A well-established, stable system is actually most vulnerable to this type of "external" threat! Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F.>

Quarantine Query   1/7/06 Hi Bob -   <Scott F. in today!> I have had a saltwater system set up for over a year now and have not been quarantining my new fish.  However, I just read the article by Scott Fellman called Quarantine of Marine Fishes and I am going to start doing this (doesn't seem too complicated). <It really isn't- and the benefits are phenomenal- trust me!> I do have one question however.  Once the 21 day quarantine period is up and your fish is ready to go into the main tank, do you have to acclimate it to the new tank (I am assuming not since you are using water from the main tank), do you just net the fish and put it in the new tank, or pour it along with some of the water from the quarantine tank into the main tank? <Good question; makes me think that I should have been more clear on this in my article! I just net the fish out and place it in the display tank. Since the water conditions are identical in the two systems, there should be little, if any stress to the fish.> Also, I've been reading about putting your new fish through a "dip" once you get them.  I understand the purpose of quarantine, but what does the "dip" do? <Dips are sort of a "bath" to more or less "clean" a newly received fish of external parasites, or to help "disinfect" a fish if it has suffered minor abrasions during transit. It's not a mandatory procedure, IMO, but it is a nice way to prepare a newly-received fish for the quarantine process.> Thanks! LaVonda <A pleasure, LaVonda! I think that you'll be really pleased at the results as you embrace the quarantine process! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> QT Help  12/13/05 Hi Bob and WWM Crew, <Jeremy> About two months ago I was battling a case of Crypt with my Blue Regal Tang.  I had her in my QT, treated with SeaCure Copper treatment, she recovered nicely.  I followed Bob's instructions and I added the other fish (2 Perc's, 2 blue-green Chromis) into the QT so the tank could go fallow for a month to finish the cycle.  Everything seemed great so I went ahead and added the angel into my main tank (55 gallon). <... what Angel?> I bought a small (2-3") juv. imperator angel. <This tank is too small for this species> He is doing great so far. I know it will be too small for him, but I am already saving for a 180 or 215 that I have seen in the stores recently, can't make up my mind on which one I want most :)   During these last few weeks, I have stripped my QT and let it dry out. <Often a wise precaution to lightly bleach/sterilize such gear between uses. Posted on WWM...> All water parameters on the 55 are good.  1.020 spg, <I would raise, keep this near 1.025> 8.2 ph, 0 amm, 0 nitrite, 15 nitrate running at a constant 78 F. Well, yesterday I noticed the ich is back on my tang so I immediately set up the 29 gallon QT up and running with freshly made saltwater.  I didn't see my question in the FAQ's so I thought it may be a good idea to write you guys.  Since the QT isn't cycled, it probably isn't safe for the any of the fish to go in yet is it?   <... will have to monitor, adjust, change water...> Should I go to the LFS in get some bacteria cultures or just import in a few gallons of water in the main tank? <Posted... on WWM> I am hesitant to import infected water, but I will need to act quick to help my fish. The other fish show no signs of distress or any white spots, but I know they all need to be out of the main system as well. <Yes... the system "has" the ich/crypt.> I kept an eye on "Blue," she has white spots but her breathing isn't labored, yet.  Just the usual scratching and darting around more than usual.  Still eats like a hog.  I noticed her behavior was a little off on Friday and I was hoping it wasn't a re-occurrence of Crypt. Would the copper be too harsh on the angel? <Yes... is to a degree harsh on all>   I bought some formalin the last time I was at the LFS because I read that it can be better for the angels than copper. <Can be>   Would Formalin be a better medicine or just go with the copper with the tang isolated in QT for two weeks and then add the other fish after the initial infection on the tank clears up and a few good water changes to dilute it?  Or just medicate them all together for two weeks and simply observe for the next 2-3 weeks in QT to see if the infection has cleared assuming everything goes ok?  I have everything needed for the QT except cycled water.   <Up to you> I would think letting the main tank run fallow for maybe 2 months may be a better idea since the last time it didn't go away.  I don't know where it came from, but it is there.  My guess it may be from the LR I put back in September to get the total up around 60 lbs or the long power outage from Hurricane Rita.  I have been reading as much as my time will allow.  I can read for a month on WWM and still not read everything... <Agreed>   I am glad I stumbled onto the site.  Hopefully one day I can pay you back for all of your help. <I do hope you join us one day> Any info you have is much appreciated. Thanks and regards, Jeremy Here is the last message for further recap and background. <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner>

Ironaquarist contest and the Cruelty of the Ignorant who Want to Stay that Way  12-06-05 I have always derived strength and direction from you guys and I hope you will not fail me this time. <I hope so too.> I am an avid surfer at WetWebMedia. I own the Fenner 'Conscientious Aquarist' (Bible) and probably treat it with more reverence. <I don't know if that is healthy... j/k> I cycled my tank with live rock, (1.5 pounds per gallon), used the AquaC remora skimmer because you guys recommended it, have 5 inches of live sand substrate. I added a filter just to help my skimmer out. I have 2 MaxiJet 1200 power heads and a smaller one aimed at dead spots. I got QT set up and acclimatized the live thingies using drips. It was like setting up my tank took forever, and I was the butt of several jokes among my friends and family ('Tank set up yet or you still fiddling around with it?').  Late last month, I finally introduced my first additions (one a week) -- clownfish, clown goby and conch. I also added my corals. I do 15-20% water changes weekly. I lost two fish and a pair of shrimp during QT. I cannot figure what I could have possibly done wrong. Water parameters were perfect, everything was cycled, fish were drip acclimatized, so I am assuming stressed/sick fish, but at the very least I tried my best to research. <It happens to the best of us. Some fish just do not travel well.>  While I was setting up my aquarium, my neighbor, over whom I have no influence saw the 'CA' and fell for all those pictures. I loaned it to her because I thought it was the best starting point for her if she wished to consider it as a hobby. She obviously did not read it, and only salivated over fishes. A week later, she said she had set up her aquarium. <Uh Oh> This is what she did. Went one Friday to the store. Bought salt water mix, a 29 gallon aquarium, a small powerhead, 30 pounds base rock, 10 pounds live rock, and a school of 5 blue Chromis. She mixed the water in the aquarium, added the rock and then scooped out the fish and added it to the tank. Then she remembered that she needed a heater. The next day, she picked up a heater and a skimmer called Coralife. The next Friday, she thought her tank was looking a bit empty. Only those 5 Chromis. It was pay day, so she went to the LFS just in time to catch their new arrivals and bought, and no I am not kidding. Blue mushrooms  Yellow leather  Candy Cane  Three different zoos  Chile coral  Painted fairy wrasse  6 peppermint shrimp  8 electric blue hermits  8 Trochus snails  False Percula  A red bar goby  A lawnmower Blenny  One Cherub Angelfish (Remember she already has those 5 blue Chromis!) And added them all without acclimatization. Her logic -- they don't need it. After all, they have been shipped from far away places and if they made it this far, they are hardy enough and acclimatization will just `spoil' them. <Sad that this scenario is actually more common than anyone would like to admit.> When told that her tank is way too overstocked, she says with aggressive skimming and weekly water changes, her tank can handle an even larger bioload! <Sounds like a typical local fish store employee's mentality.> And she does not do water changes every week.  I know for a fact because she spends her weekends smoking'¦ err'¦ smoking with another neighbor and goes'¦'oops I forgot, I'll do it next week'.  <Poor critters.> If I tell her to QT her fish, she tells me that I am not expert, after all I have lost fish and she hasn't. She has not lost one! And it has been two months. Her fish are healthy, active and vibrant. She won't listen to me, but in the interest of her fish, if I bring the matter to you, she will respect your authority. I am the anal fish killer, but you guys are the neutral fish experts. <She has been very lucky to not have lost any fish to this point. Odds are she got by with a small cycle and was lucky enough to have healthy fish to start with. Eventually all luck runs out. I personally would stop trying to give advice to her and stick to my own tank. Unfortunately some people need to learn things the hard way. We can only hope that she comes around a bit for the sake of her fish.> With aggressive skimming and 20% water changes, what is the maximum bioload a 29 gallon can hold? <Actually a very tough question that does not have a clear answer. This greatly depends on fish size and feeding requirements. It also needs to take into account the live rocks ability for biofiltration. The main thinking on reef tanks is the less bioload the better, as low to no nitrates is the key to success.> I know this depends on other bioload and type of fish, but in very broad averages. (I claim an average of 1 fish for every 10, she claims 2 fish for every 5.) <Numbers games really do not work. Do you really think 2 sharks could fit in a 10-20 gallon tank?>  A painted fairy wrasse needs a larger tank than her 29 gallon. I say yes, she says, it can live in a 20 gallon '¦.eeks because Marinedepotlive.com says so. <With a higher level of experience she may be right, but a novice should always lean toward the safe side not the border line.>  20% weekly water changes is okay? She claims I am being ridiculous. However I test twice weekly, and found that this is the amount that keeps my tank most stable especially in terms of nitrates and Calcium. She does maybe 20% a month, and never tests. <There are tanks that are 20 years old that have never had their water changed. DO I agree with that? Heck no, but some people can make it work for them.>  How often to test? I find 2 times a week works well for me. My tank is small and I can catch any mistakes before they get serious. She claims testing is not necessary if you do regular water changes! <You both have valid points on this one. A new tank should be tested often, at least until it stabilizes and you are in a comfortable routine Once you get used to your tank, you will be able to tell when your tank needs testing because, "something just does not look quite right".> I say QT is mandatory. A QT of 4-6 weeks. She says your first inhabitants in the tank makes your main tank like a qt tank anyway, and only subsequent additions need to be QT'ed and that too for a week. <Way off on that one. QT is necessary, NO MATTER WHAT, for 4-6 weeks. It is even a good idea to follow this rule with corals as they can bring some pretty nasty things in to your display with them. QT's are the only place you can medicate your animals, so the "first fish" rule does not apply.> Hopefully you will settle matters. And maybe even explain how such unconscientious aquarists like her have such great luck with fish while I, the epitome of conscientious aquarists do not. <I hope I cleared up some issues, but I will leave it to Judge Judy to settle disputes... Just understand that you are responsible to give your animals your personal best and that you can only hope that others do the same. As far as the look of the tanks go, just remember this is not a sprint. Reef tanks are designed for the long haul and truly do not mature for years. The most beautiful tanks I have seen looked pretty bare for their first few years, but once things took off they became amazing!!! Keep doing what you are doing and you will be much happier in the end. Travis> 

Quarantine Procedure, Fish Deaths, and More - 11/29/2005 Great site, full of fantastic info. <Thanks!> I've used it to solve a few problems for my system. This one problem is a complete mystery though and every single person I've talked to that knows how to care for fish systems are stumped at my problem. I figured I'd run it by you. <Alright....> I have a 90 Gallon Salt water tank. Bio Rocker Wet Dry system UV lights Coral life Super Skimmer Regular water changes I have also moved since the problem started occurring. At which time a full water change was done on the system. Inhabitants of the tank at this time are 1 Porcupine Puffer approx 6-7" 1 Fiji/ Blue Dot puffer These fish are fine and always seem to be in perfect health. The problem killed all the other previous tank inhabitants besides the puffers and arises when I try to add another fish. Before this problem began, I had 2 tangs, a dwarf lionfish, a flame hawk and a snowflake eel in the tank as well. All these fish died of the same symptoms which I've listed below explaining the new fish that keep dieing.  As far as new additions I've added, 12 fish have been lost at this point, none surviving the move to the tank. There have been Wrasses, Yellow Tang, Flame hawk, Blue Tang and a lionfish added to this tank and all died within a week of being added. These fish were acclimated correctly, put into a quarantine tank for 2 weeks, Medicated by Aquarium Products Quick Cure <Why?? Were they diseased? If so, why only two weeks' QT? If they were NOT diseased, please don't medicate - this can be more problem than help. Quick Cure is a toxin, like any antiparasitic drug.... Formalin and malachite green.... if there isn't a problem, don't subject your fish to medications.> and Melafix <Essentially useless, in my opinion.> and given fresh water dips prior to adding them into the main tank.  <I suggest a modification to your quarantine procedure: Four weeks' minimum quarantine, NO medications (unless you see symptoms of disease, then medicate accordingly), and I, personally, would omit the freshwater dip if the fish has been "clean" for four weeks. Many fish don't do well at all in a freshwater dip. If you DO dip, be absolutely CERTAIN that the temperature and pH of the dip are the same as the QT and main tank.> All these fish were in great condition after being in the quarantine tanks and fine for the first couple of days in the main tank. Without fail however, after 3-4 days in the main tank these fish all start showing signs of trauma. They start having jerky motions, swim backwards and forwards in short jerks, dash around the tank, it's like some nervous system tick and then they are dead before the week is out. The other "original" fish in the tank died this way as well. <These are signs of irritation.... either something in the water, or something on the fish.... Are pH, etc., the same in the main system as in the QT?> I've taken a couple of these fish out and put them back into the Quarantine tank where they seemed to recover perfectly. Then I put them back into the main tank and it happens all over again. It's even stranger when I've added 2 new fish to the tank. In both instances that I added 2 new fish, the fish developed the problems 1 at a time. The other fish didn't get sick until the other fish died. Once the other fish died then the second fish started exhibiting the same problems and died. Same with all the original fish in the tank that died. They all died one at a time, only showing symptoms one at a time. <Likely that some were more sensitive to this irritant than others.... or that it was a parasite or something that others were more resistant to....> I don't get how my 2 puffers can be fine while there is such a problem for other fish in this tank. I've been given many guesses from as to what the problem could be including: An electric current being in the water. <I would think that the puffers would be as sensitive to this as the others; but this can be tested for easily. Do a search on WWM for more on this.> The blue dot puffer releasing poison which kills the fish <Wait.... Are we talking a boxfish, here? Or a Canthigaster "sharpnose" puffer / toby?> The big porcupine puffer intimidating the new fish till they die of "stress" <Have you seen aggressive behaviour from the porcupine? If not, I would discount this.... it also doesn't explain the affected animals' reactions.> An untraceable bacteria is in the tank that the 2 puffers have become immune to but infects these new fish in my tank. <Bacteria, parasite.... possible.> None of these people giving me these explanations have been too sure of what it may be though. I am at my wits' end and am tired of adding fish over and over again only to see them croak.  <Understandable.> I've been trying to figure this problem out for a full year now! If you have any idea what I may be dealing with here I'd really appreciate the feedback. <Honestly, I would revisit your quarantine procedure, check the above things (stray voltage, pH between the two systems....), be testing your water parameters (ammonia and nitrite should be ZERO, nitrate as low as possible - preferably below 5ppm, salinity, pH, alk....) and see if you can find something amiss, here.> Happy Holidays and thanks for any feedback once again. Tom Havens <Happy holidays to you, as well! All the best, -Sabrina>

Proper Marine Quarantine method  11/30/05 I need advice on my 220g with 250lbs of live rock tank. <Okay.> This is my second time starting this tank. My last one was frustrating because of disease problems and fighting. This time I plan to keep more peaceful fish and quarantine all fish to insure no disease is introduced. <A disciplined quarantine is def. a must.> I'm also using a 30g sump with an ASM G4plus skimmer. <Very efficient.> My question has to deal with the fish I just recently introduced: 8 Banggai cardinals and 3 blue reef Chromis. I quarantined them in a previously cycled 30g tank for a little over two weeks. I know this not the recommended 4-6 weeks but I used a protocol I recently read about where fish are mandatory kept at a salinity of 1.008 and then slowly raised to normal levels. <Hypo-salinity is a method prescribed for some disease/parasite treatments such as crypt. But I have never heard it used as a quarantine method.> <<Now you have.  It is, and many hobbyists use it with good efficacy and results.  It is not normally used in large quarantine (commercial) systems holding many animals, though.  MH>> The reason I only kept them in there two weeks was because I moved them a week into the quarantine to a different 30g that contained only new water. <Yes but the specimens themselves can harbor ailments/parasites that are not expressed up to 28 days, for this reason alone I recommend the 4 week (min.) quarantine.> I was hoping to leave behind any parasites that fell off within the first week. Well once they were in the new tank the Chromis began fighting with each other. <Quite common.> At no point did I notice any spots that could be considered ich. However they did have a couple of abrasions or white fluffy spots that I guessed where bacterial or a fungus from cause by fighting. <Possibly, Chromis bruise quite easily though.> I figured that keeping them in the quarantine would make matters worse so a week ago I moved them all, after a 10 minute freshwater dip with Methylene blue. <Good practice but not to be substituted for QT.> They look happy and healthy now but I'm concerned I might have been a little hasty. I'm a self proclaimed expert at spotting ich. And I thought that diseases like brook or velvet would be comparably diagnosed. However, I'm currently quarantining a group of firefish and a couple fairy wrasses that recently went through a rapid fish kill. 8 seemingly healthy fish died within 48 hours. <Although it could be an illness in a 30 gallon tank I'm guessing ammonia, I would QT less fish each session.> I did not see this coming, and I'm sure this was some sort of protozoan because I was very diligent about water changes and ideal parameters. <Well that in mind, then yes some illness is to blame though its hard to say 'what-illness' without physically seeing them or more detail.> Now I fear that my 220g may contain a disease that went unnoticed and I won't realize it until I stock it with more susceptible specimens (Anthias, tangs, angel). I plan to keep a relatively large amount of smaller, peaceful fish. But I don't want to always be on the verge of a disease outbreak later down the road. I had plans of refugium in the future, but am now considering purchasing an adequately sized U.V sterilizer to put in its place.  <I would rather have refugium than a UV sterilizer any day of the week. As far as parasites making there <<their>> way into your display, if you notice them be prepared to remove current specimens (I know this will be difficult, have done it myself) and be prepared to allow the tank to run fishless for 4 to 6 weeks.>  Are my fears warranted?  <Possibly, hard to say.>  And should I purchase the U.V system?  <You can search WWM, there are highly variable opinions on UV usage.> Thanks, <Welcome.> Brandon <Adam J.>  Quarantining Crustaceans, Worms, Mollusks, etc.  11/29/05 Hello Bob et. al., <<Hello, Tage.>> Here's a question you don't receive every day... <<True dat.>> 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? <<I am actually not sure about that, so I shot an email to the fellow I used to work with at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. Assuming he still works there (still haven't received anything from the mailer-daemon), and he has time, he'll let us (all) know.>> Also what about larger crustaceans, mollusks and worms like Mysid shrimp, crabs, snails, bristleworms, etc. <<These are much easier to deal with, do have knowledge here. Should include echinoderms (this is where I learned the Spectrogram trick, too). These animals are quarantined using the same protocol - 30 days disease-free - in a separate marked system (marked so no one medicates improperly, all systems have logbooks, etc., too). A very few specimens confiscated by customs and other officials screening at LAX might be placed directly, this is a known risk and not taken lightly. All systems are on well-filtered, sterilized seawater as well - this makes a HUGE difference for many of these delicate animals in my opinion (especially after perusing the salt study!).>> Do they bother with quarantine procedures or do they just take a chance of importing unwanted parasites and the like? <<No, they almost never take the chance, and will do so ONLY with small systems (mitigates damage).>> 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 <<Just as one would do for vertebrate life (I'm speaking specifically in the case of macro-, not microfauna. Separate system, well-filtered, used for observation, recovery of shipping, fattening up if needed, acclimation to captivity. These systems should have plenty of cover, in the case of invertebrates I *would* use live rock, but not refugia. Water changing is the key here, of course.  As for the microfauna, if I get a response I will post on the dailies. Marina>>

Shortened Quarantine? - 11/27/05 Dear Crew, <<Good morning>> I bought a scooter dragonet yesterday and put him in my quarantine tank. There isn't a pod population in my quarantine tank to keep him full. <<Agreed...>> His belly is starting to shrink. <<A bad sign.>> I'm trying to transfer some over, but I'm not getting enough for him. <<And maybe not wholly appropriate/accepted (amphipods vs. copepods).>> Any suggestions? <<Move the dragonet to the display.>> I read that some people just freshwater dip their fish and put them in their display tanks. It sounds kind of risky. Does this usually work? <<Quarantine is a good idea, but if there are some exceptions, I think this specie of fish is one that benefits from an "abbreviated" quarantine. These fish are fairly disease resistant and less of a threat in general, and considering the difficulty in meeting their dietary requirements, I feel it is better to move them to the display quickly.>> Should I try it to get him into my display tank which has plenty of pods for him? <<Yes>> Thanks for your help. I don't want him to die in my quarantine tank of starvation because I'm trying to stop possible disease. <<Agreed...is in the best interest of the fish. EricR>>

Tang Compatibility and Odd Notions  11/20/05 Hello, I need expert advice on tang additions. I have a 135gal, 6 ft. reef, up for 1 year. I am ready to add tangs.  Current inhabitants are:  1 bluespotted Jawfish 2 false perc. clowns 1 firefish 1 Midas blenny 1 mandarin 2 Banggai cardinals 1 bar goby 1 flame angel various corals My favorite tangs are, in order Naso, Powder Blue, Purple, Yellow, Hippo. I'd like to add three (as I've heard odd numbers minimize aggression). My main concern is to make a wise decision not to regret later. My LFS is holding a healthy Naso for me.  <Keep in mind the Powder Blues are very difficult to keep and the Naso's not far behind them.>  They advise I add 3 at once.  <It helps>  My other question is, should I quarantine, since my LFS quarantines for 2 weeks?  <Two weeks is not enough time to be sure disease isn't present. More like 28 days.>  How do you quarantine 3?  <With a suitable size tank with dividers. Maybe your dealer has a large enough area he could devote to quarantine your tangs for you.>  I've read that PBT's and Purples should be the only tangs in a system.  <Where did you hear this from?>  Are there exceptions? and, thanks for answering all these questions! What should be the sizes of the 3 I add in relation to each other? Thanks so much.  <I recommend the three tangs selected not be the same color or type, as is two yellow tangs or two purple tangs. My choices based on hardiness would be the hippo, yellow or purple. Two hippos and another species of tang could be placed together in a system as large as yours. In my opinion/experience the hippos are the least aggressive. I would choose tangs about three inches in length. Do read tang FAQ's on compatibility. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangcompfaq2.htm  James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Quarantine and Copper Hi, Thanks for the reply. <You're welcome> I understand that copper does not treat the cyst or anything on the fish themselves. It treats the free swimming stage right? <Correct> My question was about the protocol for using copper, and how it is often recommended to be used for two weeks, followed by another couple weeks of monitoring the previously infected fish. What I don't understand is why would it not be ok, to obtain a fish, place it in quarantine for a couple weeks to gain its strength, and then manditorily treat certain species, with copper, that are more prone to ich (i.e. tangs) for two weeks. And with the copper levels still at therapeutic levels, immediately transfer the specimen into the main tank to insure that no free swimming parasites had a chance to attach themselves and go unnoticed? Wouldn't this insure that no parasites are transferred? <As I mentioned before, it takes 21-28 days of treatment to ensure the parasite is destroyed. The newly attached cysts are very difficult to see initially until they enlarge and are ready to burst. You really shouldn't treat any fish unless it has a known disease. Copper especially, can cause undo stress on the fish. We don't take medicine unless we are sick, correct?> Also could you or someone tell me where I can find a list livestock wholesalers on the east coast?  <I don't think there are any, at least that I know of on the east coast. It would add a considerable shipping charge from the collection point to the dealer. Bob may inject something here. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again, Brandon

Quarantine Tank Filter Media Question 10/30/05 Clear Day Hello, <A bit overcast, Hi there> I have just entered this amazing hobby and fortunately read your site for many hours seeking expert advice and opinions. <Ah, good> My first fish were three Green Chromis that I quarantined for 3 weeks and they are fine. I then bought a True Percula and QT'd him for a month. He is also fine. Yesterday I bought a Gramma that looked clean but following your advice I QT'd him and guess what? Today he is covered in Ich.  <... bunk!> My QT tank (10 gallon) has a small canister filter that contains bio-media (little ceramic cylinder thingies), charcoal, and a foam filter. From what I understand I should be using a copper medication. <Likely so... one approach> Do I need to remove any of the media from the filter? <Mmm, yes... chemical filtrants that might/will remove medicants> Once the QT period is over and I sterilize the tank do I need to get rid of whatever media I had in the filter? <A good idea to bleach it...> I am a bit concerned because I also want to add a few shrimp in the future that I will QT but I don't want to poison them. <Understood> Just so I have the info straight, I should take the Gramma out, give him a freshwater dip, <Mmm, not necessarily> put him back in, treat with copper (I also have a small Turbo-Twist UV sterilizer to hook up) and then hold him for at least two weeks after the treatment is done? <I would read a bit re medications and UV use...> Thanks for your time and all your help. Pete <A bit more study, then action. Bob Fenner> 

Marine Quarantine: High Nitrites/Copper Treatment 10/27/05 Hey guys, quick question for you.  <Okay lets see.>  I've searched the forums long and hard and was only able to find part of my answer regarding high ammonia and nitrite in QT.  <Really? We get lots of queries with those exact problems, short answer is daily or bi-daily water changes using water from an established display or age/aerated saltwater.>  I have a Pakistani b/f in a 20gal QT at this point in time. I'm treating with copper and so far so good.  <Assuming this is a new specimen what ailment did you notice that warranted the copper treatment. I understand some folks use copper as a preventative but I strongly disagree. Subjecting a fish to unnecessary treatments can cause very negative reactions. Copper poisons the fish along with any parasites you are fighting, if there are no parasites, you're just poisoning the fish.>  The only problem I'm having is that my ammonia and nitrite are almost at 1.0 (between .50 and 1.0). At this level (considering it's not nearly as high as it could be), is this what you consider to be fatally toxic to fish in a short period of time?  <<LBAOP treats almost all fishes prophylactically with copper, EXCEPT butterflies. MH>> <A short period? No Long term? Yes. I would correct as soon as possible.>  Can they withstand this amount for just the three week QT without damage?  <I would not risk nitrite exposure for that long.>  I currently have an airstone running and brisk circulation along with alternate water changes. No matter how many water changes I perform, the levels don't budge because of the copper killing the beneficial bacteria.  <You need to increase the water change volume/frequency. >  What should I do?  <See above.> Is this ok temporarily?  <I would not risk it.> Thanks again guys Jason <Welcome, Adam J.> 

Addendum to Quarantine query - Physical Damage to specimen 10/27/05 Hey guys, me again.  <And this is Adam again.>  Forgot to ask another question in my last email. My Pakistani b/f's mouth and lips are real bruised up, I think he banged into the glass one too many times. It seems like it's healing but it looks a little deformed with skin hanging off. I'm assuming it'll heal on it's on but is there anything I can put into the water to help speed up the process? I'm currently using "Zoe" and sometimes garlic. <Keep water conditions pristine, as well as continue with the varied diet you hinted at above. In time it will heal.> <<The continued use of the copper will delay this, may allow secondary infection to set in, or disallow the fish to feed normally or comfortably.  MH>> Thanks <Welcome, Adam J.>

Quarantine and Copper - PLEASE Stop Sending Emails in html!!!! 10/25/05 Hi, I have a two part question for you guys. The first is about quarantining using copper. I know that a quarantine tank is helpful to fish because it allows them to adjust to captivity in a controlled peaceful environment. It also allows them to treated for parasites separately from the main tank.  But what I don't understand is why you should not immediately place the previously infected fish in the main tank after two weeks of being in copper. It seems to me that this would be the only way to insure the fish is disease free if your copper levels were at therapeutic during the transition. And by leaving them in the quarantine tank after bringing down the copper would allow the fish to potentially be reinfected without notice.  Could you explain to me why this isn't recommended? <Brandon, it takes anywhere from 21 to 28 days (depending on temperature) to completely eradicate a parasitic disease. During this time copper levels must be maintained. A fish may appear to be cured, but there may/will be hundreds of cysts laying on the bottom waiting to hatch. The cysts are unaffected by copper until they hatch. At this time they will need to find a host quickly. It is at this stage that we want to destroy them. Once embedded in the skin of the fish the copper also has little or no effect.> The second question I have is do you know what the name of the marine livestock distributor is around Florida? I'm starting a store up and the only wholesalers I can find is on the west coast. If you're not sure of the name in Florida, could you direct me to a link that lists livestock distributors? Thanks, Brandon  <Bob/Marina, can you help here? James (Salty Dog)> <<These lists are not usually available to the public, and many shops won't share this information with competition.  Has Brandon tried asking the distributors on the left coast who they know on the right coast?  Justin may also know better, I believe he's a Florida guy.  MH>> <<<Look in the Miami Yellow Pages... can find in large public libraries... call Millie at All Seas there... BobF>>>

Quarantine tank  10/20/05 Well James (Salty Dog): <Hello Stan> Time to begin the next chapter.  My two tangs (purple and desjardini) are now history. <Sorry to hear> Both passed away this last week, while undergoing copper treatment in QT. <Quite possible fish were too far gone.  Imperative to begin treatment ASAP> So now its time to move on, but of course with some questions.   What do I need to do to get my QT tank back in order to be a QT tank for another try.  I'm replacing the sponge filter with another one that I have "seeding" in my main tanks sump.<OK>  I drained the QT tank of the copper laced water, and refilled it with fresh water with a touch of bleach.  The tank, heater, sponge filter tube and pvc decorations are not soaking in the bleach solution.  After letting those soak overnight, I plan on rinsing everything out really good and refilling with fresh water with a dechlorinator and letting it soak over night. <Be sure you cannot smell any trace of bleach before filling your QT.> Then rinsing again and refilling with water from my main tank and adding Amquel+ and Novaqua+ to the water along with the new sponge filter and starting to dose with Seachem Stability.  Other then that, do I need to do anything else before trying to reintroduce new fish to QT ? <I'd just stay with the Novaqua.> This time I plan on only going with one tang.  Not sure which one yet, but I think I'm leaning towards the desjardini.  But my question is this, what if it gets ick again, what do I do this time ?  What should I of done different ? <When placing this fish in quarantine, you need to keep him in QT 28-30 days.  If it contracts a disease, then treatment should be done ASAP. When the disease looks like it has cleared, add another 28-30 days in QT.  Keeping in mind as I mentioned before, copper levels must be maintained during the 28 day period being careful (by testing) not to exceed .20ppm of copper.> One last question (at least in this writing).  I have a royal Gramma in my main tank (150gal).  Am I asking for trouble if I try adding a black cap basslet ? <Members of the basslet family which includes the Royal Gramma can become very territorial.  In a tank as large as yours, if plenty of "caves/holes" are provided, you should be OK.  Remember, "should", no guarantee.  Keep in mind that the Black Cap Basslet is a deep water dweller and generally do better with subdued lighting.  I don't recall if you have a reef tank or not with strong lighting.  A better choice would be one of the colorful Dottybacks if you like the racing style type fish.  Stan you may want to read this again if you already haven't.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm   James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again. <You're welcome> -Stan

Quarantine Length, Marine Fish  10/19/05 Hello again, <Hello Andrew.> I thank you in advance again for your help. I hope that my questions will also help others. <I'm sure it will.> I saw on your site that clown gobies like Gobiodon rivulatus might be best to only QT for a few days.  Is this because they will/might starve in QT? <Partly.> If they are eating should they be kept in QT the normal amount of weeks? <Yes if they are alert and eating, showing no obvious signs of stress then I would go for the full 4 week quarantine to ensure any parasites or pathogens are non-existent.> I didn't see anything on QT for the chalk Basslets (Serranus tortugarum), and royal grammas (Gramma loreto). Should they be QTed for the full time? <Yes in my opinion you should shoot for at least 30 days if possible (with a few exceptions).> Thank you again, <You are welcome.> Andrew <Adam J.>

Marine Quarantine Procedure'¦.. 10/15/05 Hello Bob, <No, Adam J with you.> I purchased a Kole Tang 5 days ago and put him in the QT (10 gal), <Quite small for a tang, usually 20-30 gallons is suggested, I would do water changes at least 48 hours to compensate.> I have place a PVC pipe in it for the fish to hide, but every time I go near him to check if he's ok, he will rush up to the PVC and hide  <Normal behavior.> he's very very smart that he will just peek for a little while to see if anyone is still looking and hide back again. How long will he be doing this ?  <Until he becomes comfortable with his surroundings, which could take weeks.>  Do you think it's ok to remove the PVC ?  <I wouldn't he needs it for security.>  He eats good so far (when no one is around) doesn't like Nori  <I've noticed that tangs in the Ctenochaetus genus do tend to be picky at times, I have had success feeding them with Ocean Nutrition's frozen Spirulina and Formula 2, both of which are vegetable based.> I will try Mysis today, only eats flakes and pellets so far.  <Flakes and Pellets are okay as long as they are quality, check the ingredients. Mysis is nutritious as well but you don't want to much protein in a Tangs diet.> Another question is, this 10 gal QT comes with a filter (All Glass Aquarium), it is the one that you inserted with a carbon filling on it.  I've been reading your article about placing a foam in the sump from my main tank (72 reef) and place it in the QT filtration system, what kind of foam will this be ? and how big ?  <Usually those found on Sponge Filters, ask for one next time you are visiting your local dealer or you can use a small piece of foam built for an aqua clear filter and insert that in your current filtration system should room permit.>  I don't know if this will fit in the filtration system that comes with this tank.  <It's a filtration in itself.> Also I made a mistake on filling up the QT with a brand new ocean water, since I don't have a plan on buying a fish that day and it's already late at night when I got home ( fish in the big plastic bag inside the brown bag for 4 hrs).  <I would monitor the water chemistry closely and keep up on water changes.>  I just went with a friend of mine at this fish store and I can't resist buying this beautiful fish.  <Careful now impulse buys have lead to many a sad story, dragnets come to mind.> It's already been 5 days and I think he's doing good as he always finish all the foods I've been giving him. Pls advise if I still have to do more , I mean to correct all the mistakes I've done in QT'ing new arrivals or it's too late? <No not to late at all, just keep up on the water changes, I know I have mentioned that many times already but that's on purpose 'hint-hint.' Remember quarantine should last no less than 30 days, tangs are notorious for bring Cryptocaryon (marine ich) into a system.> Thanks in advance. <No trouble.> Again, Nemo1
<Adam J.>

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