To Quarantine or Not to Quarantine?

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by SaltwaterNoob17, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    I have never set-up a quarantine tank because I was under the impression that a quarantine tank was only necessary if you had a sick/infected coral/fish that needed to be taken out of the main tank to be treated separately. But now I've been reading that you should always quarantine fish/corals for 3-4 weeks when you first buy them from the LFS just to make sure they are okay before you put them into the main tank. Do you all always quarantine your stuff before adding it to your aquarium? :question: If the fish/coral is healthy at the LFS why quarantine it?
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Apr 13, 2010
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  2. SaltwaterNoob17

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Even if the fish looks healthy, it can be carrying (and probably is carrying) parasites. Fish can carry parasites and not show any signs of it. If you have not quarantined fish prior to buying them, it is virtually certain that they have ich. Which is not a big deal to a lot of people -- ich is an opportunistic parasite and if the fish is healthy and water quality is good, they may never have an ich outbreak.

    But some people prefer to not even have the possiblity of ich in their tank, and they quarantine and treat all fish prior to adding them to the tank (I am not one of those people). There are good arguments on both sides of the issue, and it is true that it's better safe than sorry.

    If you already have fish in your tank that you didn't quarantine, it will be pointless to quarantine new additions. As soon as you put them in your tank with your previous fish, they will be re-infected with ich. If you want to eradicate ich from your tank, you will have to remove all the fish, and treat all of them. Whether they appear healthy or not.

    As for corals, they don't need to be quarantined, but they should be dipped to remove any pests. Depending on the coral, you can use either freshwater or iodine for a dip.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 13, 2010
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  3. SaltwaterNoob17

    OhNoNemo i love triggers

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    I always do.However ,i had an incident a few months back that almost turned into a nightmare.There are alot of very expierenced people here who do not.Its up to you.I could type till my fingers bled pointing at reason to do so,but its not going to make you decide,only you can do that.I will try and find some great articles that are floating arond here and link you to them.Then you can make up your own mind:D
     
    OhNoNemo, Apr 13, 2010
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  4. SaltwaterNoob17

    OhNoNemo i love triggers

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  5. SaltwaterNoob17

    Smitty

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    I've never quarantined before...my lfs keep their fish in copper in the store.
     
    Smitty, Apr 13, 2010
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  6. SaltwaterNoob17

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Same here.Plus since I help at the store in my free time,I can watch the fish for a while just to make sure its healthy.
     
    yote, Apr 13, 2010
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  7. SaltwaterNoob17

    twps

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    I'm in the middle of QT'ing my fish in copper after an ich outbreak. It's not going well at all, I QT'd 3 (2clowns, 1 damsel) after 48 hours lost a clown, 48 hours later second clown gone. Only the damsel left. It's been sad and frustrating.

    Honestly, after having ich in my DT and watching the fish go up and down with the ich cycle I will only QT going forward or buy from the LFS in my area that do treat their livestock.
     
    twps, Apr 14, 2010
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  8. SaltwaterNoob17

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    That's the reason why I don't quarantine my fish, twps. I have found that if the fish are in a healthy environment, 99% of the time they get over the ich by themselves. When I have tried to quarantine fish in the past, I think that moving them and putting them in a small tank has been even more stressful to them and made them worse, which killed them.

    I have never ever lost a fish to ich. Any time one of my fish has showed symptoms, it has gone away on its own in a couple days. When I tried to treat it, quarantine made things worse.

    Other people will disagree, but that's my experience.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 14, 2010
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  9. SaltwaterNoob17

    Cathic Fish Wrangler

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    I'd Check your copper levels, something doesn't sound right with your treatment. I've never lost a fish in QT, and I treat with copper. In fact I've never seen anything but improvements...
     
    Cathic, Apr 14, 2010
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  10. SaltwaterNoob17

    puttycat

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    +1 Catic , I like the hypo treatment for ich. Takes longer but I can keep levels of salinity easier than copper. I QT almost all the time. Depends where I get the fish from and type. I don't have much luck with getting Tangs without ich so they go into the Spa every time
     
    puttycat, Apr 14, 2010
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  11. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    Thanks for all of the input guys. I'm going to read the rest of OhNoNemo's articles and ponder the whole QT thing. I'm not planning on getting another fish/corals for probably a month anyway. I'm thinking that at this point it is pointless to start quarantining new fish (and I can check with my LFS to see if they use copper). However, I think I'll probably dip new corals and then QT them for a week or so to observe them for any pests...
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Apr 14, 2010
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  12. SaltwaterNoob17

    ReelNorth

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    great article!

    QT time is 4 weeks minimum, or not even worth doing
     
    ReelNorth, Apr 14, 2010
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  13. SaltwaterNoob17

    sen5241b

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    Dr Foster and Smith recommend you quarantine everything including corals. If you do not quarantine you are taking a chance that all your fish or corals will get wiped out. You have to assess the risk yourself. No matter how healthy your tank is you could get something very deadly. There are different species of ich --some more deadly than others. Your fish may or not be able to overcome ich. Marine velvet is very deadly and can wipe out a tank in a couple days. I do not quarantine --but I accept the risk.
     
    sen5241b, Apr 14, 2010
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  14. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    I don't see why it takes 4 weeks to figure out if the fish/coral is infected. If they are infected with ich/marine velvet/parasites/pests/etc. then I understand keeping them in QT for a month, but, after careful inspection in QT, if they show no signs of infection and appear to be perfectly healthy, why keep them in QT past a week or two?
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Apr 14, 2010
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  15. SaltwaterNoob17

    daugherty part time reefer

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    you do it for 4 weeks because the fish may have had ich than you put itinto a qt and the ich let is eggs go copper does not kill eggs but as soon as the hatch they are dead. also if the ich is under the skin of the fish there needs to be more time to allow for the copper to work. every one of my fish has been in copper at my LFS or by me and i have never had any problem ever. i so not want to have to tear my tank apart to get my fish out to treat them when i could have prevented it in the beggining with ease
     
    daugherty, Apr 14, 2010
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  16. SaltwaterNoob17

    twps

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    I think QT in the beginning is a good idea and lowers the risk, but it's hard to do at the same time. When I spend money on something I want it in my DT not in my QT that's hidden in the corner of my home office.

    Where I feel I went wronf with the QT was moving them from the DT to the QT. I truly believe this stressed the fish out drastically, as they didn't eat once moved and were healthy and eating prior to the move to QT. The single fish I have left (damsel) just started eating again this morning.

    I spoke with a guy at my LFS that lost $800 worth of fish twice due to ich and not QT'ing. Apparently, he left had ich wipe everything out, left the tan empty for six weeks, restocked and got hit again. Replaced everything, again and has been ich free.
     
    twps, Apr 14, 2010
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  17. SaltwaterNoob17

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Because you can't always SEE that the fish is infected. They may appear healthy, but there's still a 99% chance they are carrying ich. Ich can lay dormant for years and not show any outward signs.

    I know that every fish in my tank carries ich. I know this because the fish have had ich outbreaks here or there (usually when they are stressed by a new addition). Before I moved, I hadn't introduced a new fish in about 2 years. During this 2 year period, not one of my fish ever showed any signs of ich -- they were perfectly healthy, no spots, nothing. But they still carried it during that time.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 14, 2010
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  18. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    From Nemo's articles, it seemed like the QT process was just to observe the new addition for an outbreak, and then treat it if an outbreak occurred. If you can't see that the fish is infected, and, therefore, you don't treat it, the QT was useless. Does this mean you should always treat fish with copper or another treatment before adding them to the DT even if they aren't showing any symptoms?
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Apr 14, 2010
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  19. SaltwaterNoob17

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Yes. That's the idea. Lots of LFSs will do that too -- they keep their fish on a separate system from the inverts, with copper constantly in the fish system.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 14, 2010
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  20. SaltwaterNoob17

    OhNoNemo i love triggers

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    Every fish is going to be different.I went thru the whole process a few months back because i got ich(long story,it was a surprise fish that my wife put in DT).I set up a 75 gallon hospital and removed all my sick fish and treated with hypo.All survived the transfer and all ate the next day.The only loss was my tang who died in my DT before the move.He was completly covered in ich,as was my humu,but i just think ich has a way with affecting tangs alot worse than other fish.Needless to say my DT is thriving again.:D
     
    OhNoNemo, Apr 14, 2010
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