Proper use of Quarantine facility

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Marco, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi everyone,

    Recently there has been some members ending up with sick fish after introducing new fish to their tanks. Most people know that new arrivals should be quarantined, but still lack in knowledge as to the proper procedure for quarantine. I decided to post this thread as a 'guide' for correct QT procedure.

    Firstly, a QT tank is no more than a bare bottom tank with a heater and sponge filter. I do not use any plants or decorations as these can form a playground for any of the nasties out there. Filtration is also purely academical as many filters harbour the things we are trying to get rid off.

    New arrivals should ideally be kept in QT for a minimum of 6 weeks. Thir allows enough time for all nasties to show up and also for you to do a proper clean-up on the fish.
    Fish should be put in QT and fed minimally for the first few days until they have settled. Once comfortable in their new home I always treat with Metrozinadole first for internal flagellates. This is done for a period of 3 days after which I do a 50% water change and feed them bloodworm only for at least a day. The roughage helps getting their intestines cleaned out. This is an important part especially with Discus and other cichlids who seem to suffer more from flagellates.
    Givd the fish a few days rest before moving to the parasite clean-up phase.

    For this part I was advised by Altum and its based on his experience with cleaning up imported fish. I use Jungle parasite clear tank buddies as a dip. 40 liters to one tablet in a large enough container, and the fish gets placed in there for a 30 to 40 minute bath. In that time I change 100% of the QT water with aged/prepared water, and also replace the sponge filter with a new seeded filter from a fishless water source. This is done in order to avoid re-introducing parasites etc to the clean tank.
    After the dip the fish return to the QT facility. Remember that as the filter came from a fishless source, its bacterial strength might be low, so watch for ammonia/nitrate and do regular W/C.

    Again the fish are given a few days rest and in this time there is normally a marked improvement in colour and vigour.

    Next I remove the filter as the final treatment phase destroys bacteria. I then add 2mg per liter crushed Dovaworm tablets to the tank. This gets rid of Roundworm. Important: as there is NO filtration beware of water conditions! I do 20% w/c daily, each time redosing the Dovaworm in the new water. This should be left for 3 days after which a 50% w/c is done and tank water filtered with a power filter containing activated carbon. After 24hrs I do another 20% w/c and return the sponge filter.

    After this you should have gotten rid of most parasites, worms and flukes. I then watch the fish for a week or two for noticeable niggles like heavy breathing, scratching, bloated abdomens etc. If present that phase of treatment is repeated.

    I then remove a cup of water from the tank in which these fish will be introduced and add this to the QT tank daily. This is done to see if your 'show tank' maybe has any nasties that can affect your new fish. It works great as should there be an outbreak, they are already in QT and can be treated there. This should be done daily for at least two weeks.

    The final phase entails removing one of the fish from your show tank and placing it in the QT facility. If there is a negative response to any of the fish, either the new one's or the newly introduced fish, again treatment can be administered in the QT tank. Only after another two weeks of 'all ok' can one safely introduce all the fish to the main tank.

    Its also important to note that QT tanks should have their own nets, syphons, tubing and filters, and these should NEVER be used on other tanks and fish unless properly sterilized.

    I know this sounds tedious and drawn out, especially if one has new arrivals which you want in that main tank a.s.a.p. Yet only one outbreak of a disease and all you hold dear can be lost in a matter of a few days.

    Sincerely hope this helps some members, and many fish!

    Rgds.
    Marco
     
    Ivan - ZenAquatics likes this.
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  3. Firefly

    Firefly Pleco

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    Nice thread there. Will help members a lot.
     
  4. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    That is an awesome post @Marco ! And can I be honest, you are only the 3rd person I have ever met that follows such a strict QT regime. Dolphin and Altum are the only other 2 people I know. LPS stores just do not have the time, nor the interest to do this... Which is disgusting if you think about it... but if you find a LPS that even does a 2 day Quarantine of their new fish you have found a gem of a store!

    (To date I have not found one single LPS that actually QT their fish for even one day!)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  5. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Good stuff Marco.

    Question:
    Do we QT between our own tanks - with MTS is is sometimes easy to move fish - I wonder how many people actually do a transfer QT.

    Later Ferdie
     
  6. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi Zoom,
    To be honest, I never used to! I learned the hard way that cutting corners can cost you dearly. Losing fish for most of us is more than the financial implications. I lost 6 amazing Discus and even if money can buy new ones, it doesnt replace the effort that went into your aquarium. Of course, with different species of fish come different QT protocol, mine is based on Discus and Dwarf cichlids. Many other species have different ailments to look out for.

    @f-fish,
    I try to make sure that all my tanks share the same 'environment'. To answer in short, Yes you would have to expose all tanks in the same manner. You wont have to go through the whole process, but adding water and subsequently fish from all tanks would sort that problem out.

    Rgds,

    Marco
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  7. mark d

    mark d

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    My LPS QT all their stock for 3 days.If you request they can QT it for longer.
     
  8. mc 1

    mc 1 mad about fish

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    Hey mark
    I will definetly try my best to do this when I get fish ...but is this the only method or are there shorter ones as I am at school and won't always have the time to do this and is it necessary to do this with all species of fish ,because let's say you get 10 neons I don't really want to spend hundreds of rands to get rid of the diseases if they have any .what I do is put them in a QT for about 2 weeks to see if they do develop anything .Obviously for discus ,Malawi's and other chiclids and the more sensative fish it is necessary .
    Thanks .mc 1
     
  9. TankMaster

    TankMaster Apistogramma Nerd

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    One of the most important articles in fish keeping. Informative as always :)
     
  10. Go-Big

    Go-Big

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    Mc1, you are still is school so you think you will have more time once out? income=full day 8-17:00 my friend. And then wife+kids= even less time!

    ---------- Post added at 16:01 ---------- Previous post was at 16:01 ----------

    Marco +1
     
  11. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi Mc

    To answer your question, one should keep in mind that QT is first and foremost to protect your existing livestock, and secondly to allow the new arrivals to show signs off illness. Now to use your neon example - if you were to say that "Ah, they only ten neons, I wont bother with extensive QT just for that" and they go to the main tank with some sort of bacterial issue...then soon the 10 neons could be the only fish you have left...

    Unfortunately I havent kept fish other than Discus, Angels and Rams for the past 15 years, so the best QT treatment for individual species would need to come from someone else. Although most fish are prone to very similar ailments.

    One problem which explains what I'm getting at is gill flukes. Though there are many types of gill flukes, some affect certain fish more than others. One type for instance thrive in a discus tank and affect Discus very negatively. They may however be carried, as a passenger of sort, on other fish which will show no sign of ill-effect. Introduce that fish to a discus tank without QT and 2 weeks later you have a BIG problem!

    I would at least follow the 'cup of water a day' and a fish from the show tank in the QT tank for two weeks procedure. At the least!

    Does that answer your question?
    Rgds
    Marco
     
  12. TankMaster

    TankMaster Apistogramma Nerd

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    If you maintain good quality water, there should be no reason to buy R100+ worth of medication unless it is necessary. .
     
  13. mc 1

    mc 1 mad about fish

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    Ok thanks for that I will do that .You have convinced me that it is important to do that and I will try to follow all the steps but if I don't have enough time I will as you say to the cup of water and the fish from the main tank for two weeks .Thanks for the help I really appreciate it .
     
  14. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi Mc

    Just a note on the finance thing. The medicine I have listed in the thread is very cheap. Tank buddies parasite clear sell for about R80 for twelve, and some shops even sell them loose for like R8. Dovaworm you will find at pigeon clubs for about R20 for 50. Metrozinadole is expensive in pet stores, but cheap if you can get it at a chemist. I pay about R20 for 10 x 400mg tabs.
     
  15. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi Mc

    Just a note on the finance thing. The medicine I have listed in the thread is very cheap. Tank buddies parasite clear sell for about R80 for twelve, and some shops even sell them loose for like R8. Dovaworm you will find at pigeon clubs for about R20 for 50. Metrozinadole is expensive in pet stores, but cheap if you can get it at a chemist. I pay about R20 for 10 x 400mg tabs.
     
  16. dragon8

    dragon8 shapeshifter

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    :bigsmile:hehehe we heard you the first time
     
  17. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    keeps doing that to me lately

    Keeps doing that to me lately

    Keeps doing that to me lately

    Hahaha
     
  18. mc 1

    mc 1 mad about fish

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    I don't know any pigeon clubs around ...is there anywhere else I could get my hands on some ???oh and you didn't specify how big the QT tank should be ..how big should it be would 40 litres be enough even if I buy a fully grown discus ??
     
  19. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi Mc

    I use a 3ft standard. It all depends on the fish really. You dont want to go big as that will make medication expensive, and too small will put you in trouble to maintain good water conditions. A good midway would be a std 2 foot. In that even a Large Discus can be done.

    If you ever need, pm me and I'll get you Dovaworm. We can then send it via post or something.

    Marco
     
  20. mc 1

    mc 1 mad about fish

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    Ok my QT is currently a 3f tank so I will carry on using that .Ya sounds good I will drop you a pm .thanks for the help
     
  21. freerider

    freerider

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    How do the seasoned pro's go about introducing new plants to the tank that have been bought at the LPS? I'm learning the hard way, and I assume they also need some sort of quarantine.
     

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