To quarantine or not to quarantine. That is the question.

Discussion in 'Weekly Reef discussions' started by mnmuskyman2011, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. mnmuskyman2011

    mnmuskyman2011 Senior Member
    Staff Member BOD Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Messages:
    2,682
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Osseo, MN
    Fishies collected:
    13,027
    TCMAS Weekly Discussion

    We would like to get more reef related discussions going on the forum. We will post a weekly topic to get the discussion started then let you all take it from there. The rules are simple, keep on topic and keep it positive.

    This weeks topic: Do you quarantine? If so, please describe your quarantine system and practices. Feel free to ask or answer questions about quarantining here also.

    Also, feel free to post an idea for future topics as well.
     
  2. Omen

    Omen I contributed!
    Lifetime Member Event Committee

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,779
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Fishies collected:
    17,415
    Honestly I dont QT corals or fish I just acclimate to temp and salinity because I dont have the space for a QT setup.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. marty9876

    marty9876 Banned
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    195
    Location:
    TCMAS
    Fishies collected:
    14,811
    copy/paste from a PM of mine to another member

    First and foremost, need to be adaptive to what the fish needs. When things go sideways, need to adjust routines as the needs arise.

    Ideal qt run- 1 week observation no meds. Get eating. Sometimes this works, sometimes someone starts rubbing or ich shows up the it's med time. I always try and start with 100% new water in the qt, I let the system run when empty with wet/dry. On day 3 or so a shot of Amquel if I'm worried for nh3, I run the warning badge but don't trust it. I also don't test for nh3. Ideally get everyone eating before adding meds, I really like to get fish eating before meds hit the water.

    Run bare bottom, magnum 350 with micron element helps keep things clean. Water changes as needed to remove uneaten foods, using water changes for controlling nh3 won't really work.

    After eating, or when show signs of ich, 2 weeks of cooper or chloroquine phosphate. Don't use chloroquine on anthais, kills them quickly. My cooper routine I stole from SDGuy I think in RC, works well. 1 drop per gallon on day one, 1 drop per gallon on day 3, then either 1 drop or 1/2 drop (for sensitive fish) on day 5. The 14 day mark don't start till all the cu is in the water. I use a old Kent Aqua doses to drip the diluted cu and water in over a few hours on treatment days (IV drip like system). No chemical, protein skimmer, or uv/ozone. Water gets pretty yellow over that time, love to hear ideas how to clear that up.

    Chloro just follow directions, preventive dose if no apparent concerns or full dose as needed.

    If you do water changes add back the amount needed (e.g. 2.5 drops per gallon cu etc). I only use cupermine.

    After 14 days big water change, 20-50%. Run carbon in a active method (magnum 350 with brs large lignite) for ideally 72 hours.

    Pull the carbon, 2x doses of praziquantel 3 days apart. Careful with making sure you get all the drugs out of the water, I think I blinded a flame angel mixing cu and prazi, I think you can mix those but who knows.

    Things go bad you need antibiotics, generally I do that is separate smaller (20g) qt tanks to save on cost. I won't hesitate to do fresh water baths is needed, those seem out of vogue. For fluke they work well.

    Inverts I don't unless they are anemones (carpets) but no real luck with them yet. I've dipped corals and such, in theory there is a whole qt regime for them too but since I've not really gotten them going I haven't bothered much.

    It's hard going at least a month of qt but really it's all about conditioning the fish along with parasite removal. So far, I've had pretty good luck. Just don't screw up the Qt tanks
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. cheezybuda

    cheezybuda I contributed!
    Lifetime Member Event Committee

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    SE Minneapolis
    Fishies collected:
    12,259
    Great write up Marty! A robust QT has always been intimidating
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. ohuno

    ohuno Event Committee
    Event Committee

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    stillwater
    Fishies collected:
    0
    Like Omen, I dont QT corals or fish I just acclimate to temp and salinity because I dont have the space for a QT setup. Although I do turn on the UV for about a week.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. ddp2099

    ddp2099 Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Fridley
    Fishies collected:
    859
    I don't quarantine either, I just acclimate to temp and release with as little water as possible.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. ChristopherKriens

    ChristopherKriens Xenia lover
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    St. Louis Park
    Fishies collected:
    9,150
    I quarantine almost all of the time. There isn't a fish that I want bad enough that I would risk the health of the rest of them. That being said, it's not just about protecting what I have, but giving new fish the best chance for success.

    I posted my procedure here a couple years ago which very similar to Marty's, only like way better:
    Quarantine Procedure
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. Riley

    Riley I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Burnsville
    Fishies collected:
    5,641
    To me, not quarantining is throwing money down the toilet. My favorite excuse is "I bought a sensitive fish and I'm worried it won't make it through quarantine." If a fish won't make it through quarantine, how will it make it in your tank? I remember a large build thread on reefcentral where this guy is putting together a large expensive system, complete with Bill Wann skimmer and calcium reactor. Some of the fish in the system were also expensive. He decides to get a mandarin. Seeing it's delicate nature, he decides not to quarantine because he doesn't want to risk the fish. Bam, that fish carries something and wipes out most of his tank.

    I am currently quarantining some fish and will be doing so for everything that goes in my tank. I knew basically what I wanted to do, but it's been several years since I've kept boney fish. To double check I contacted Marty, because he is one of the very few people that does a strict quarantine. He wrote up that great procedure for me above.

    To those without space, I'm sure there is somewhere where you live that you can fit a 10" x 20" footprint of a ten gallon tank. You don't even need it out full time, just when quarantining new fish. I hope you all at least dip your corals.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Riley

    Riley I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Burnsville
    Fishies collected:
    5,641
    To all those that quarantine:

    What are you doing for inverts such as snails, crabs, and shrimp, before adding them to your tank?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. lynn52

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2015
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    blaine mn
    Fishies collected:
    93
    I quarantine all fish for at least 6 weeks. I usually like to do it in hypo conditions. I haven't had any issues with fish not eating so I haven't had to deal with getting them to eat. I lower the salinity over the course of 2 days to 1.009 then maintain that for 3 weeks. If there is any sign of ich the clock starts when all signs of disease are gone ( my powder brown spent over 2 months in QT). If everything is good I slowly raise the salinity over 2 weeks to match my DT. Then observe for a week. If all is good they move to the DT.

    I have never QTed snails or other non fish but maybe I should.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
    Lifetime Member Event Committee

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    16,788
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Brooklyn Center
    Fishies collected:
    67,181
    Quarantine to make sure the fish is eating well and observation, yes. Quarantine in hopes of keeping ich and other parasites out of the system, No.

    Quarantine in hopes of keeping parasites out is a hopeless cause for me becuase if you ever let a single fish in then its all out the window and future quaratine doesn't make a difference.

    Occasionally fish especially tangs will show signs of ich in the show tank but feeding well they can fight it. So a future fish is going to be subject to it anyways because it already exists. I don't add fish all that often so I'm fine with just making sure it's eating well and no obvious signs.
     
    #11 David Grigor, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  12. marty9876

    marty9876 Banned
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    195
    Location:
    TCMAS
    Fishies collected:
    14,811
    QT for me is primary about conditioning fish and preventing blowouts. Preventing 'ich' is about the 7th most important goal for me.

    Conditioning is all about getting the fish as healthy as possible before putting into the display. Typically, the display is an aggressive environment to some degree. Fish are pricks, almost everyone one will knife a newb in the back over looking at them sideways. Technically, all fish are defensive and protective of their little homes and I guess I can't blame them. Angie tries moving into my house I'll shoot her. Twice. Given the new fish the best change at success in the new environment is important to me especially when one is mixing things which typically ought not to be mixed (angels, tangs-o-ramma etc.)

    Blowouts is really preventing oodinium (marine velvet). Once you've seen how fast and how much that stuff kills changes you. Personally I've seen it wipe tanks in 48 hours in my house and see two friends loose the vast majority of their fish from oodinium outbreaks. Oodinium has a 80% kill rate if untreated and ~ 50% kill rate if treated, it's easy to read those numbers or the scientific journals on fish rearing but when you see first hand and can predict the loss rate with accurate precision it's scary thinking of wiping out all your existing fish - at least for me it is.

    All that said, put a fish in a crappy unstable tank (QT or display) and it's not going to end well. People often do QT really poorly and end up with poor results which is too bad. Meet the basic needs in a stable fashion and you'll have great success.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. OP
    mnmuskyman2011

    mnmuskyman2011 Senior Member
    Staff Member BOD Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Messages:
    2,682
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Osseo, MN
    Fishies collected:
    13,027
    Lots of good info here. Keep it coming.
     
  14. Fish4Me2

    Fish4Me2 I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Bloomington
    Fishies collected:
    0
    I quarantine all fish coming into the system. I have a dedicated QT set-up with a barebottom tank and a HOT Magnum canister filter. It's controlled by an aquacontroller, and I do water changes, sometimes daily, with water from the display tank.

    Every new fish goes in QT and I spend the first few days getting them to eat. I've occasionally lost fish in QT, but I've also gotten picky eaters to expand their diets, which would have been tough to do with the competition in the DT. That's one benefit of a QT to me.

    After they're eating well, like lynn52 mentioned, I lower the salinity to 1.009 and keep it there for 5 weeks. The clock resets if I see any signs of ich. So far I haven't had to medicate for any other illness, but I suspect the day will eventually arrive when that's a need. After 5 weeks, I take a week to raise the salinity up, and the fish goes in the DT.

    I've just added the first coral to the tank in the last 6 months, but as I start to add more, the QT is set up for them as well. Right now I use Bayer dip, but having had AEFW decimate my tank in the past, I intend to combine a dip and observe approach for several weeks before making additions to the tank.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. ArcKatana

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Mn
    Fishies collected:
    0
    I don't worry about any disease other than amyloodinium. I QT every fish for at least a month, and if something pops up then I start the clock back at zero and start treatment. With broodstock I can't take any risks, as even losing a pair of regular gobies is money being tossed down the drain.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    3,166
    Likes Received:
    363
    Location:
    New Richmond, WI
    Fishies collected:
    27,401
    I will admit that I do not quarantine my fish.
    With that said, I do adhere to a process that promotes a successful addition to my tanks.

    I'm pretty strict with myself when it comes to buying new fish. I always take into account if there will be any negative implications from adding the new fish. I believe that adding a new fish into an established environment must be done with careful consideration to the new fish and those that are established. I make sure the new fish will not be in direct competition with other fish for territory.
    Fish species, color, size, diet and behavior are all considered before purchasing a fish. I'm a bit of a fish geek, so I do a lot of research into fish species that I am interested in before I decide to make the purchase. Impulse buys are very rare!

    Another factor that goes into a fish purchase is the place of purchase.
    I make sure I buy fish from reputable sellers that have their own policies in place to ensure they sell healthy fish. I currently have 27 fish in my two systems; 21 of them were purchased through LA's Diver's Den. Since I have personally seen their facility, staff and procedures, I am confident with fish that I purchase from them. Most of the other fish were purchased after I was able to see the fish's health, see it eat frozen foods, knowing how long the fish was in the store and witnessed the condition of the other tanks in the store. If I see that any of the other tanks in the store have sick/dead fish or other issues, I will pass on buying anything. I only have two fish that I have added that bypassed this procedure; one fish was a donation from another member's healthy tank and one was a raffle winner.

    Another factor (at this time) for not having a quarantine system is that my collection of fish is very basic. There isn't a fish in the collection that cost me very much money. Not that this is an excuse not to quarantine, but for me it limits that "fear factor" of losing a fish that cost me a couple hundred dollars; or more.
    If I was to purchase that "special" fish, I would seriously consider having it quarantined to make sure of it's health; and make sure my system was also healthy.

    When it comes to adding the new fish to my tanks, I acclimate in a remote container so that no water from the fish bags gets close to my tanks. And when I add the fish, I transfer the fish with a net to the new tank.

    I know I'm playing with fire by not quarantining new fish, but I do so with extreme caution and care.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. deneed4spd

    deneed4spd Senior Member
    TCMAS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,738
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Medina
    Fishies collected:
    10,714
    I QT at least 4 wks. Treat using prazi, potentially run some copper if the fish is showing some spots. I had velvet wipe out 1/2 my fish in no time. I setup a 33l so its almost a display for me to watch the fish in QT and feed them a variety of food and get them nice and fat before heading into the wild wild display.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. rkolo750

    rkolo750 I contributed!
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Brainerd mn
    Fishies collected:
    682
    Ive only quarantined one fish in my whole life outside of interning at an aquarium.

    I had an elephant nose show ich....... so I pulled him out, put him in a 6 gallon tank, raised temp, did small water changes everyday for two weeks........ he cleared it..... my wife was happy, I was happy........ all happy.

    For reef tanks...... I've never kept very expensive fish or very finicky fish, with reason I stick to fish that are pretty hardy and try to give them a good once over at the store (sometimes Ill see them 2-3 times over the course of 2 weeks at the store before purchasing. I also have tended towards nano tanks, tanks smaller than 40 gallons, with a very small fish load.... less than 5 fish total, so, usually the display is the quarantine.

    For corals, I have dipped.......... but not nearly rigorously enough. Ive never had a serious outbreak of parasites...... that i know of ?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. eyeguy

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    Fishies collected:
    0
    How many people dip their corals? I've seen plenty of nasty parasites when dipping my corals that I'm soooo glad didn't make it into the tank, but I've also ticked off corals so bad with a dip that they died shortly thereafter in my tank. Do people have a preferred dip product/method for corals?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. cheezybuda

    cheezybuda I contributed!
    Lifetime Member Event Committee

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    SE Minneapolis
    Fishies collected:
    12,259
    I'm now a dip and quarantine when at all possible with my corals. Pests stress me the heck out. It's worth losing a frag here and there not to risk a tank full.
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page