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Thread: Quarantine and why it is important

  1. #1
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    Quarantine and why it is important

    This was written by a friend of mine we all called him the QT police but he is very knowledgable on the subject please read in the first paragraph or two he pokes fun at some people read that if you want of skip but please read the information

    Many see me as the QT police and while I admit that I am fully committed to it and think it is one of the most important steps to longterm success......I realize that there are grown azz adults out there that wanna do things the way they wanna do things. If that is you then you can stop reading as this is not for you. Have a great week.

    For the rest:

    I thought it might be time to update the Quarantine (QT) thread since I have discovered more and better methods and I have refined others I already use.

    So I know there are people out there that will not even read the thread, let alone follow any of the advice. The real kicker is when they then post up questions on how to treat crypt or velvet in their full blown reef system.......or wonder how their fish came down with crypt because they ďlookedĒ so good and were eating. I want to be clear....YOU CANNOT TREAT NEARLY ANY FISH PARASITE IN A TANK WITH INVERTEBRATES OR CORALS. ďReef safeĒ treatments are a waste of your money and time. If your fish respond to them then they very likely would have responded without them too. I would also just like to first say that my advice does not come from an ivory tower as someone who thinks they are better than anyone else........I am just a hobbyist like everyone else.......But I do possess the ability and education to read the professionals literature on the matter and harness that information. My advice also comes from many years of experience and failures of my own and many lost fish along the way. I am merely hoping to turn my past failures into your future success. If you fail to QT Iíd like to be one of the first to say how much I hope you enjoy your 2-3 year average hobbyist experience as you leave because you just cannot take it anymore. Peace out. And, for those of you too stubborn and with enough money to keep buying and killing are a mean SOB. There is a special place in hell for folks like you.

    So why is QT important and why cannot I acclimate my fish and put them into the display tank (DT)? Isnít that less stressful? Well, first off, HELL NO it isnít less stressful......especially if there are fish already in the DT. Fish are not people. They have a social order that only a New Yorker could probably understand. They are rude and mean to one another.....even if you do not see it. One fish does not have to physically chase or bite another to stress it out. Fish do better....... even in a smaller aquarium with less live rock (LR) and lower water quality than they do being placed into an aquarium with fish that have already established territories and a pecking order. Secondly, MOST fish come thru the supply chain from 7-10 days typically.......and the chances that they have not picked up a parasite, bacteria, virus or fungus on their way thru all these nearly zero. Whatever the percentage of fish that do make it disease or parasite free it is a dismally low number. In fact, the number of fish that make it alive to a home aquarium is dismally low for the same reasons. I wonít quote the numbers because they are sad. But, the good news is that you can give your fish a fighting chance.

    The first step in fish purchase is to select the right specimen. There are some fish that take time to start feeding and waiting for them to feed at the LFS may never happen. I will admit that Iíve bought fish that were not eating and looked like they were not gonna eat anytime soon.........Iíve taken the chance and I have been able to get them to eat......not always the case though....some have just languished and slowly starved to death. Not fun to watch. BUT, I highly, highly, highly recommend picking a fish that is eating. Ask the LFS to feed the fish and show you that the fish is eating. Personally, I have found the the NUMBER ONE key to determining if a fish will make the switch from life in captivity or the alternative, OR if it will pull thru a parasite infestation or other ailment is whether or not it will eat. When fish quit eating.....they have started dying. It can be reversed but once a fish has ceased eating they are on the clock. Fish only do a few things and the majority of all of them is eat and eat and eat. So there you go. Fish no should no buy....... unless you really really think you have a shot and are willing to accept the loss of dinero without whining about it or blaming the seller for selling you a sick fish. The fish told you it was not doing well when it refused to eat.

    Next the QT tank. I have a 39 gallon bowfront now because it was a killer deal on the whole thing....tank, stand, the PetSmart where I live. But, if you are thinking of getting one and do not have one.....I recommend a 20 gallon long. I have QTíd fish as large as my then 7 9 inch.....annularis angel in a 20 long. Yes the fish looked ridiculous in a tank that small, but you know was happy in there. In fact, when it broke out with lymphocystis after a month in the DT..... it is a typically non lethal viral infection nearly always due to stress.....I put the fish back in the 20 long from the 250 and it cured quickly. My point there is, a fish in isolation in a smallish tank is better than in a huge tank with other fish that may be acting like azzholes. There are only a few fish that are gonna be too large for a 20 long. I have also used rubbermaid tubs as a QT and even a round 14 gallon tub/bucket........just needs to be large enough for the fish to have a little swimming room.

    For water circulation......lots of options......hob filters, just a powerhead (although I no longer like them as fish can try to sleep near them and get stuck to the intakes unless you have a strainer on them), you can use an air sponge filter or even just a HOB protein skimmer......that is what I use now. Found a used MCE 600 skimmer and that is all I have for water circulation.

    Use a heater to keep the water at 80-84F.

    Live Rock.....yes I use LR in my QT. It is dedicated to the QT so if it absorbs meds, I care not. I do not add copious amounts of LR....just enough to provide the biofiltration I need. Supplementing the QT with some large diameter PVC pipe cuttings is also a good idea......especially for the shier species of fish.

    I prophylactically treat ALL and EVERY SINGLE FISH I purchase with Cupramine by SeaChem. All my angels, achilles tang, moorish idol, wrasses, clowns and tusk......ALL got prophylactically treated. This practice is controversial in some circles and was not always my practice......but Iíve been burned not doing it so now I do. Cupramine is an aminated copper complex that is not chelated and is much more effective than chelated coppers and less toxic than regular ionic coppers. I used to use the Red Sea copper as it comes with the copper and test kit all in one. It is a good product it just does leach into LR more readily and it retards biofiltration more so than Cupramine. Most of my fish have been treated by Red Sea actually, but now Cupramine is my go to. Cupramine is so safe that even the centropyge angels I have used it on bore no ill effects.......they do with regular copper. They really can have issues once you get the copper in a therapeutic range with all but the Cupramine. For those who are so adverse to chemicals......even a naturally occurring element like copper.......and have a hard time releasing their grip from around the nearest tree......I understand. I would highly recommend to you that your QT consist of a solid month of observation in QT and treat only if necessary.

    FWIW, I would submit that treating with Cupramine is less harmful in todayís status of parasite management thru the custody chain then to not treating the fish. The number of fish that get crypt nowadays to me is sobering. I have rarely seen a seller without it in their system. Even the top notch places.

    I run my Cupramine level at 0.5-0.7 ppm for the 4 weeks. Use the SeaChem copper test NOT use the API copper test kit ever for is just not sensitive enough to the levels of copper that are prudent. There are also ammonia alert discs that can be used with Cupramine that just stick inside the tank and will tell you if there is any ammonia present. I highly recommend these as well. They last for 6 months and are not effected by the Cupramine. Some ammonia test kits will read false high with Cupramine because of the aminated portion of the molecular complex.

    Ideally, I think 4 weeks in the QT is the best route. I am able to really condition the fish in that time.....and really watch for anything to come up. There are no parasites or infectious processes that I know of that cannot be discovered in that timeframe.

    Do NOT keep hyposalinity in conjunction with this treatment. If you want to do hyposalinity, do it solely and do it for at least 8 weeks. I have gotten away with 6 weeks, but I have also been burned at 6 weeks. Also, with hyposalinity, I HIGHLY HGIHLY recommend bringing the fish back up to normal saline conditions for 4 weeks and watching them BEFORE they go into the DT so make sure that the fish are clean and so you do not ruin the fallow period you may have had going in the DT. But, even if not doing fallow in the DT, the extra 4 weeks is just the way to make sure the hyposalinity worked. It is effective most times, but sometimes it just doesnít work on the parasite. So keep that in mind. And of this treatment with a calibrated refractometer.....not a hydrometer. I kept my spg at 1.008-1.009 the whole time.

    Best wishes to you and your fishes.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2013
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    Interesting read thanks for posting

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