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    Posted: July 24 2013 at 4:55pm
I'm looking to set up a quarantine tank.  I have no idea where to start.  So far I have a tank and a bunch of large PVC fittings.  What do I need to run for filtration?  How about lighting? 

Is there a process for quarantining new fish other than just leave them in for <30, 45, 60?> days? 

My current goal is to avoid things like marine velvet, etc. However, I would like the setup to be able work as a hospital as well.  The tank I have is a 45 gallon that is divided in half.

Any help would be much appreciated.  I know some of you are quarantine experts(looking your way ReefdUp!Smile).  Thanks in advance for your help!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2013 at 5:13pm
You don't want to run live rock from what I've heard. An HOB filter (cleaned religiously) is what some have used. Running carbon will suck out any of the medicine and copper you put in so you shouldn't run that. Lighting is minimal if any at all other than to see your fish progress and health but it wouldn't hurt to run some to match your main tank's lighting period.  
 
Lots of people run copper (be sure its chelated) for ich and I think its called methylene blue? for bacteria and velvet. Someone correct me on that if i'm wrong.
 
Some fish may want the full 45 gallons (like large tangs) and places to hide.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Molli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2013 at 6:00pm
If you plan to set up the quarantine tank for a specific purpose and then take it down and set it up again if/when you need it, some people will keep a sponge in the sump of their display tank to put in their filter system in the quarantine tank to help get it going. I wouldn't put the sponge back in the display tank when you take the quarantine tank down; just put a new sponge again in your sump so it will be ready when you need it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2013 at 7:18pm
Did someone say my name?

There's a million ways to go with this...just depends on your ultimate goal. It sounds like you want to observe the fish for issues, but only treat if you see something, is that correct? Here we go...sorry for the length. I'm sure I'll think of more later.

If so, I'd use your tank, add a HOB filter or a sponge filter, and a reliable & properly sized heater. I'd slowly acclimate the fish down to about 74-76 degrees. Stay at the lower end of the temp spectrum since that helps decrease the speed at which the parasites reproduce. I don't add lighting usually - I use the room's ambient lighting to help the fish adjust. If you want to anyway, just use a cheapo fluorescent. Don't make it complicated...just make it easy to bleach everything between fish. PVC pipes are great hiding places...just one or two per fish...sized about 1-2" larger than it is. Feed a high quality food and siphon out whatever is uneaten within 2 minutes (unless you leave an algae clip in for grazers.) If you have wrasses that need to bury at night, we can talk about how to handle them...I've done it. Also, get some Amquel. It's an ammonia remover...which you'll need.

Also, there are two treatments I'd highly suggest you consider...if nothing else. First is a 5 minute freshwater dip with methylene blue before putting the fish into the QT. If it is properly done, it will nearly eliminate most marine velvet, uronema, external flukes, and other nasty parasites (NOT ich). Most cases of what people self-diagnose as ich is actually velvet...and copper doesn't work on velvet. The methylene blue can help the fish breathe a little better, especially if its gills were parasite-infected or if it was recently shipped (and may have some ammonia poisoning.) If you decide to try this, I can walk you through it. It's not bad after you get the hang of it. Just don't try a tang first...they play dead, and it always freaks everyone out.

Next is PraziPro in the water for 5-7 days. It's actually reef safe, so it's very safe to use. It can cause temporary anorexia in fish, but that goes away after treatment. Last I read, approximately 75-85% of all fish in the hobby have internal parasites, and PraziPro will treat that. This will help your fish process food more efficiently and not get that starved-look even though they eat all the time.

Notice I didn't mention any quick & easy fixes for ich...that's because there aren't any scientifically proven to work. The quickest treatment I've found lasts 12 days (tank transfer method.) Hyposalinity works, but it takes at least 21 days...30 on the safer side. Those are my favorite treatments because there are no chemicals, you can use rock/sand, and you can feed live brine shrimp for picky eaters.

Copper...well, I don't use it. It's hard to regulate (too much and the fish is dead. Too little and the parasite lives.) It doesn't play well with other medications. I usually run gram-negative antibiotics if the fish has any known parasites, which wouldn't work with copper. So, if you run copper to treat ich, then the fish still may die from a secondary infection. Other fish stop eating for weeks with it. Some fish lose reproductive capacity with it. It just doesn't bode well with me. Plus, it doesn't treat velvet...which is much nastier than ich.

Chloroquine disphosphate is a drug I've been playing around with (that doesn't sound too good...lol.) It appears to be safer than copper, but treats a wider variety of parasites. Not much to report yet.

I keep a ton of other meds on hand for a variety of issues, so we can go as deep as you'd like to go on this.

To recap...

Basic QT: tank, heater, filter, thermometer, food, PVC, Amquel, etc.

Basic Treatment: 5 minute freshwater dip with methylene blue. 5-7 days in-tank treatment with PraziPro

Ich Treatment: Tank Transfer or Hyposalinity (preferred) with Furan-2. Copper or Chloroquine disphosphate as other alternatives

Velvet Treatment: Freshwater dips (series over days) with Tank Transfer (preferred) and Furan-2 (antibiotic) or Formalin. Possibly chloroquine diphosphate as well.

Uronema: Freshwater dips (series over days) with Furan-2 and Kanaplex (just in case it's a misdiagnosis of Vibrio).

Black Worms (aka black ich): Freshwater dips (series over days) with Furan-2

Brook - formalin baths and hyposalinity

Vibrio: Hope and pray...and Furan-2 and Kanaplex...and did I mention hope and pray?

Internal Parasites (some external): PraziPro for 5-7 days

There are plenty others, but they're less common...

Hope all that helps!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2013 at 8:18pm
       

ReefdUp = the Queen of Quarrentine

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2013 at 8:28pm
BTW Bob - that purple tang is looking good! I treated him for ich, and he's all better. He had some scars on him that are starting to heal up too...I bet the blue tang was beating up on him before you got him. But, that makes me kind of glad...he's really docile...no aggression at all! In fact, my little sunburst anthias loves to boss him around. It's hilarious.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rize2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2013 at 10:45pm
I have some generic questions. I don't want to hi-jack thread though...is there a stickied thread you've done about all things quarantine? If not there should be.... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2013 at 8:15am
I have not done a thread about all things QT...simply b/c every thread I've replied in usually ends up with someone touting how there's no need for anything I suggest because garlic cures it all. Feel free to ask away though...in another thread or PM or whatever.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aceofspadeskb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2013 at 8:49am
Awesome! Thanks for all the tips! A couple follow-up questions:

* "Tank transfer method?"
* What do you use for a cartridge in a HOB filter?
* Does the HOB filter create enough flow or do I need a small powerhead/something else?

Thanks again! Here's to healthy fish friends!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2013 at 9:02am
I'm glad you asked!   

The tank transfer method is my favorite at this point. Basically (easiest way) is to have two tank systems. I use the cheapo 10g freshwater tank setups from the big box stores since they come with everything. I can usually find the entire setup for about $30 with a coupon. Anyway, you place the fish in one setup for 3 days...then you move it to the other setup for 3 days. Between the moves, you bleach the unused tank. You do this for 12 days (4 moves). With marine ich, the parasites have an off-the-fish stage, so by moving the fish, you're taking it out of where the parasites are (and bleaching the parasites.) No drugs...just moving the fish. You have to repeat this several times to get all of the parasites (they aren't all at the same point in their lifecycle.) I actually like to switch tanks every day the first few days if there's an obvious case of ich since it helps the fish recover faster. Also, you can dose PraziPro or antibiotics at the same time (but you'll need to redose in the new tank). Plus, you don't have to really worry about biological filtration. Since you're doing a 100% water change every few days, the ammonia is unlikely to build up (unless you have a huge fish eating a ton). I still dose Amquel, but with small fish you can get away without it. So...a whopping 12 days for a healthy parasite-free fish.

I don't use any cartridges in the HOB filters. I used to, but there's no point if you're treating for anything. Carbon will strip the meds. With other treatments (hyposalinity & TTM), the filter won't house enough bacteria to be of much use. I just run the HOB for water flow.

If you get a properly sized filter, it should be fine, but I usually run an airline as well. I don't like using powerheads because it's one more thing to bleach...and they're harder to bleach than airline.
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Originally posted by ReefdUp ReefdUp wrote:

I'm glad you asked!   

The tank transfer method is my favorite at this point. Basically (easiest way) is to have two tank systems. I use the cheapo 10g freshwater tank setups from the big box stores since they come with everything. I can usually find the entire setup for about $30 with a coupon. Anyway, you place the fish in one setup for 3 days...then you move it to the other setup for 3 days. Between the moves, you bleach the unused tank. You do this for 12 days (4 moves). With marine ich, the parasites have an off-the-fish stage, so by moving the fish, you're taking it out of where the parasites are (and bleaching the parasites.) No drugs...just moving the fish. You have to repeat this several times to get all of the parasites (they aren't all at the same point in their lifecycle.) I actually like to switch tanks every day the first few days if there's an obvious case of ich since it helps the fish recover faster. Also, you can dose PraziPro or antibiotics at the same time (but you'll need to redose in the new tank). Plus, you don't have to really worry about biological filtration. Since you're doing a 100% water change every few days, the ammonia is unlikely to build up (unless you have a huge fish eating a ton). I still dose Amquel, but with small fish you can get away without it. So...a whopping 12 days for a healthy parasite-free fish.

I don't use any cartridges in the HOB filters. I used to, but there's no point if you're treating for anything. Carbon will strip the meds. With other treatments (hyposalinity & TTM), the filter won't house enough bacteria to be of much use. I just run the HOB for water flow.

If you get a properly sized filter, it should be fine, but I usually run an airline as well. I don't like using powerheads because it's one more thing to bleach...and they're harder to bleach than airline.

Where do you get the water? Are you just mixing up new water and using that? or taking it from your display tank and adding the new water to that?


Edited by rize2 - July 25 2013 at 9:09am
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Originally posted by rize2 rize2 wrote:

Where do you get the water? Are you just mixing up new water and using that? or taking it from your display tank and adding the new water to that?


I mix up new water each time (let it aerate for 24 hours). I don't use water from an existing tank just in case I somehow messed up previously. If you're doing the TTM, you don't have to worry about the biological filter since you're not trying to process any waste. Plus, established tank water contains very little bacteria - most of it is on rock/sand. As long as the temp, salinity, and pH are the same, then the fish should adjust just fine.

Edited by ReefdUp - July 25 2013 at 9:14am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aceofspadeskb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2013 at 9:14am
Are the 10g setups large enough to treat any fish I can have in a 90 gallon tank? I don't plan on putting anything in there that LiveAquaria says needs over 100 gallons. It seems like a yellow tang might be pretty miserable in that small of a tank.

Thanks again!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2013 at 9:17am
Originally posted by aceofspadeskb aceofspadeskb wrote:

Are the 10g setups large enough to treat any fish I can have in a 90 gallon tank? I don't plan on putting anything in there that LiveAquaria says needs over 100 gallons. It seems like a yellow tang might be pretty miserable in that small of a tank.

Thanks again!


I understand your concern - I had the same concerns. I've treated two purple tangs and several large angels in 10g tanks with no problems. Since they're only in the tank for 12 days, they don't seem to get stressed. In fact, usually they just hide in the PVC. If you would like to go bigger, you could go with a 20g tank. If you used your 45g tank and a 20g tank, then the fish should be quite happy. That would only be 3 days in a 20g. Saying all that, the large fish should be the ONLY fish in the tank. If you add fish, then yes, there will be a problem (that's why they need a bigger tank). You'll also need to worry a bit more about ammonia. I dose Amquel daily for larger fish.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aceofspadeskb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2013 at 9:31am
Thanks!

One last question(at least for this moment...right now...okay I might have more): If I buy fish in pairs, a pair of clowns for example, do I quarantine them together so long as they are small?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2013 at 10:56am
Originally posted by aceofspadeskb aceofspadeskb wrote:

If I buy fish in pairs, a pair of clowns for example, do I quarantine them together so long as they are small?


I've managed to get several pairs of fish through together, but the risk is much more significant. You now have two fish creating waste, competing for dominance, and that each have their own parasites. Dividers don't help much. I prefer to treat them separately and have them rejoin in the main tank. The dominant fish should still be dominant after a QT period since there isn't enough time for significant growth or other fish to change the dynamic.

If you do two small fish in a 45g with a divider, you should be ok. If you have the option, I would treat separately.
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Nikki,
      Does the TTM work for Velvet as well or just for ich and parasites (if you medicate for them)?
 
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Originally posted by Krazie4Acans Krazie4Acans wrote:

Does the TTM work for Velvet as well or just for ich and parasites (if you medicate for them)?


Yes, the TTM works for velvet as well as ich and other parasites that have a reproductive cycle where it leaves the fish for a period of time. However, the life cycle of velvet can progress a bit faster than for ich (which is why it can be so devastating). If you do a freshwater dip, then that will remove a large amount of the velvet parasite, which will slow the reproductive rate. I also try to switch tanks every day for the first few days to remove as many as possible initially.

To recap...this is what I do to treat for ich/velvet/flukes:

Day 1: FW dip with methylene blue then into QT #1
Day 2: QT #2
Day 3: QT #1 with Furan-2
Day 4-6: QT #2 with Furan-2
Day 7-9: QT #1 with PraziPro
Day 9-12: QT #2 with PraziPro

   
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Disclaimer: Don't take anything I say too seriously. That keeps me out of trouble. Wink

Aloha,
This is the best and most compact discussion of QT that I can remember reading. It's being placed in the WMAS Reefkeeping Tips thread. Keep the questions coming.

Mahalo,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aceofspadeskb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2013 at 8:14am
Mark,

I can't believe you'd say such a thing!
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