Quarantining Your Fish

Oh no! Sick fish?! Come here and see if someone can help!
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Read this before posting!!

Since this board has been up, we have found there are several questions that routinely get asked in order to help diagnose problems. If you can have that information to begin with in your post, we'll be able to help right away (if we can!) without having to wait for you to post the info we need.

1) Your water parameters - pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrates and salinity (if appropriate). This is by far the most important information you can provide! Do not answer this with "Fine" "Perfect" "ok", that tells us nothing. We need hard numbers.

2) Tank size and a list of ALL inhabitants. Include algae eaters, plecos, everything. We need to know what you have and how big the tank is.

3) Feeding, water change schedule and a list of all products you are using or have added to the tank (examples: Cycle, Amquel, salt, etc)

4) What changes you've made in the tank in the last week or so. Sometimes its the little things that make all the difference.

5) How long the aquarium has been set up, and how did you cycle it? If you don't know what cycling is read this: Fishless Cycling Article and familiarize yourself with all the information. Yes. All of it.

We want to help, and providing this information will go a LONG way to getting a diagnosis and hopeful cure that much faster.

While you wait for assistance:
One of the easiest and best ways to help your fish feel better is clean water! If you are already on a regular water change schedule (50% weekly is recommended) a good step to making your fish more comfortable while waiting for diagnosis/suggestions is to do a large water change immediately. Feel free to repeat daily or as often as you can, clean water is always a good thing! Use of Amquel or Prime as a dechlor may help with any ammonia or nitrite issues, and is highly recommended.

Note - if you do not normally do large water changes, doing a sudden, large water change could shock your fish by suddenly changing their established water chemistry. Clean water is still your first goal, so in this case, do several smaller (10%) water changes over the next day or two before starting any large ones.
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by RTR »

More frequent largish water changes will definitely help, but they are far from the whole story of stunting and abnormal configuration. Swimming room (exercise) and current and visual complexity are also significant factors for fish. I am not as experienced with crays, but I would want them to have some substrate - that is their niche. Many inverts are more sensitive to pollution than are fish, but as with fish, it varies a lot.
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by losninos »

Couldn't find anything in theclownfishforum that looked appropriated. It may have been hijacked. Anyway, I was interested in the question about changing half of the water in the quarantine tank every other day when not in use. Is this correct? Frankly, I wouldn't dream of that much work and expense for something I might use once every few months. I'd just set up a small tank a couple of days before I plan to buy something. I'm misinterpreting this somehow. Right?
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by Myaj »

Hehe, well, most fishkeepers have learned that when your quarantine tank is not in use, its better to just tear it down and put it away in a closet.

Reasons:

1. If it has water in it, you just know you'll end up putting some livestock in it! And then, when you need a qtank, its not empty and available.

2. Usually you are quarantining for a reason, disease being the biggest worry. So its always a good idea to strip the tank down and disinfect it after a quarantine period, even if you didn't have any of the livestock die.

Don't worry about keeping it running for a cycle, because, without livestock, the bacteria is going to die anyways. Keep a few cheap sponge filters hidden in some of your other tanks (don't have to be running, just let them sit and fill up with good bacteria) and you always will have an instant cycled filter to start up your Q-tank immediately. And since its always a good idea to do daily water changes on a Q tank anyways (to keep fish's immune system up) any ammonia or nitrite traces will likely not be an issue.

Of course, if you do have to treat for any disease, its likely the medication will kill the biofilter anyways.. so generally with Qtanks we don't worry too much about the whole biofilter.

So long story short, there's no reason to do every other day water changes because there's no reason to keep water in it if you aren't using it! ;)
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by J-P »

I have also learned (by major error) that it should be free of any substrate,and decor to eliminate any variables.

having spare tanks can be a pain some times (good if you have one) but food grade bins that can be nested in an emergency can also be used.

ALWAYS have a spare filters and media on hand form a cycled tank.

I just went through my 2nd tank crash.. and there were hard learned lessons.

My major Q is: Suppose you have a contaminated filter and can swap it out, what do you do then with the old filter?
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by Brandon8521 »

I have allways just rinsed them in bleach and let them dry then rinse them again to get any bit of bleach that might be left then back under my stand they go to be reused. I use aquaclear filters though so its really easy to do this.
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by Myaj »

That's mainly why I use sponge filters or AC's with nothing more than a sponge for QTanks, sponges are cheap and AC's are easy to disinfect in a 10:1 water:bleach solution, well rinsed of course.
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by Terrance »

I got 2 south american puffers 2-3 weeks ago. Is it too late to quarantine them? They are in a tank with a few decor, no substrate, java ferns, moss balls, and java moss. Both are doing well right now.
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by RTR »

I keep a rack of QT tanks. all wet and operating 24/7/365.

When not in active use fro QT, they serve as grow-out tanks for fry, grow-out tanks for small plants and such common uses which do keep them functional, including snail breeding.

QT to me is to help me avoid disease perhaps more than to treat it. Nothing alive or previously in an operating tanks comes into my established tank without QT.

I have not been without some QT in over 30 years, and will likely not ever be without such. I have also not had a disease outbreak in an established tank in that over 30 year period.

I am compulsive and neurotic about QT. That too is unlikely to change. And I only rather rarely get new fish.
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by sevenyearnight »

Terrance wrote:I got 2 south american puffers 2-3 weeks ago. Is it too late to quarantine them? They are in a tank with a few decor, no substrate, java ferns, moss balls, and java moss. Both are doing well right now.
If they are in the tank with other fish, then the answer is yes. The point of quarantine is to not introduce disease to the tank via new arrivals. Obviously if they have been in the tank that long then that is more than enough time since many illnesses can manifest fairly quickly upon entrance. You missed your opportunity the moment they entered the tank.

If they have no tankmates, then the only reason I would quarantine is if necessary, medication would be harmful to the plants, or if the tank was very large requiring more medication.

But since it has been a couple of weeks, and you see no signs of illness, then consider yourself lucky :)
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by Terrance »

sevenyearnight wrote:But since it has been a couple of weeks, and you see no signs of illness, then consider yourself lucky :)

My fortune cookie was right!

There's only 2 SAP in my 29gal. Nothing else but plants.
So next time I will quarantine a lone puffer, then I will put in all of its decor (if new and not from another tank) and medicate as needed. Then wait a few weeks and add plants to the tank to turn it into a permanent home. Sounds simple enough!
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by spottedpee »

thanks for the good infor!!!
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by appypaddy »

What are the benefits of using a quarantine tank?
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by Pufferpunk »

Read this thread. ;)
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by skoram »

I know that this is pretty old thread, but the link to the guide in the original post is apparently dead. Is there another copy anywhere I can find?
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Re: Quarantining Your Fish

Post by Dadof4 »

I'll see if I can find the original article.
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