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Old 04-09-2006, 05:27 PM   #1
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How to setup a QT tank ?

Whilst my inverts are settling in, I've have been given a 50L tank and an Eheim 440L/H canister filter, to be filled with ceramic balls and that fluffy cloth filter material (sorry, don't know the word in English).

1. Could I use this as a QT tank (i.e Is it big enough?)
2. How many juvenile fish could I/should I put in it at once?
3. Given that they'll be no LR, how do I get rid of ammoniac/nitrates/nitrites? Charcoal?
4. Should I treat with copper preventively? If so, at what dosage? I'm hearing between 1.5 and 3.0ppm, which is 100% difference, is there a norm?

I'm planning on a non-aggresive collection, something like Royal Angel/Banggai Cardinal/Royal Dottyback/Yellowtail-blue damsel/decorated goby/fire goby/pallette surgeon/6-line wrasse. Nothing final there, just a general idea...
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Old 04-09-2006, 06:51 PM   #2
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The word is wet/dry sump.
1. Yes you can use it as a QT
2. One at a time is what I would recommend.
3. Best way to "start" a QT is to place a piece of filter media in your main in advance. When you are ready to add a fish to the QT just move the filter media over and it will seed your tank.
4. No What until you know what you are treating before adding anything. Copper is not a cure-all nor is the the best treatment for most parasites..
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:07 PM   #3
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Sorry, I didn't make myself clear. I have a wet-dry filter in my sump under my main. The filter I was given is an Eheim 2213 http://www.eheim.com/classic.htm which looks like this:

As you can see, it's typically filled with little ceramic balls on top of which you put filter tissue and optionally a bag of carbon.

My understanding is that this is (and only is) a mechanical filter, as opposed to the biological filter in my sump and LR.

The part I wasn't sure about is: Given that a QT has no LR, would the nitrifying bacteria I need thrive in this (more or less anaerobic) canister?
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:35 PM   #4
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The cannister filter cannot be used as a QT. A 50L tank can be used as QT. The cannister filter is where the biological filtration will take place (all the little ceramic balls). It takes time for that to happen though. You could place the filter material in the main tank for a week to allow it to get coated. You could also run your QT with the filter and do a fishless cycle there too. The last option is to set up the QT with the cannister filter and add 1 fish. Be prepared to do 20% water changes twice a day for up to a week if go that route. You will be using the fish to cycle the tank and it can foul the tank quickly.

You should only add 1 fish/month to the main so the same is true of the QT. As you transfer a fish to the main tank you add another one (or two) to the QT. Keep each specimen in QT for about 6 weeks to make sure there aren't any parasites or other problems with the fish. Also be sure to have some hiding places but no other substrate in the QT. PVC pieces are good for this.

HTH.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d
The cannister filter cannot be used as a QT.
I like your sense of humour, that conjured up an amusing image of a large clownfish looking at me angrily from inside the canister filter

So, it would appear that bacteria will develop in a canister filter, good.

To get the filter primed, would this not be the most efficient :
1. Fill the canister with clean filter materials
2. Put it next to my main sump and let it filter water from my main tank for a week or two (to populate it with bacteria).
3. Fill my QT with main water (that would be about 10% of the main)
4. Transfer the canister filter back to filtering the QT water
5. Top up the main with seawater made from RO

If so, how long should step 2 last?
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:22 AM   #6
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Your plan will work. Time for new filter media to build up bacteria is 2 weeks on a tank that is already cycled and up to 2 months with an nh3 source on a tank that isn’t cycled.

Using a cup or two of filter media from your main filter would allow you to QT instantly assuming you have a very light fish load in your qt tank and keep up with 20% PWC every other day.

Since it’s only a 50L (13 gal) tank I’d limit fish to a maximum of 4” total length and keep in QT for 6+ weeks before adding to main assuming it is healthy.

For fish larger then 4” I would get a larger tank.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:22 AM   #7
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That would work. As you said in #2, a week or two is perfect. Number 3 is not necessary. You could just as easily use freshly made (but aerated for 24 hours) SW in the QT. Adjust it to the same temp and SG as the main tank.

What is in the main tank now? Do you have some livestock that are creating waste product to feed the nitrogen cycle? Has the main tank finished cycling yet?

BTW, that fluffy material will collect waste and need to be cleaned every few days to a week. Cannister filters are very good at feeding the bacteria that break the ammonia down to nitrite and the nitrite down to nitrate. They do not continue the cycle of breaking down nitrate to nitrogen. You will probably need to keep the filter clean and do regular (weekly) PWC's of around 20% if you want to maintain low nitrate levels.
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:40 PM   #8
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What a splendid forum this is.

My main is 480L. I installed it early January, cycled it for a month and then added too many fish, too quickly. By early March I had lost all 11 fish to ich, but learnt a lot. I did a 100% water change, added another 20Kg of live rock and cleaned carefully taking care not to disturb my sump filter.

ATM it has 15 star snails, 2 hermits, a small starfish, a small fire-shrimp and 3 baby pacific cleaner shrimps. I have a little diatom that the snails and hermits are working on, otherwise all looks better now.
Needless to say, I'm not planning on adding anything else until the 8 week ich-quarantine is over, thus my careful planning for a QT tank.

Now, suppose if I plan on having a dozen fish in the end, and I quarantine them one at a time for 6 weeks. The LFS won't necessarily have the 'next' fish for the QT at the moment I move one out of the QT, so I'm looking at 18+ months before my tank is full.

I've learnt the lesson of impatience, but that is a rather long time. Indeed the fish I'll be buying will be 3-4"; apparently 50L is too small if I want to quarantine, say, 3 fish at a time. Would 120L sound reasonable?

My wife already says the dining room looks like a chinese restaurant with the main tank, if I install another one anywhere as big in the basement it's going to be a hard sell
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:10 PM   #9
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I understand spouse issues My qt tank is in my computer room which is no where near the main A 120L (30 gal) tank would be ok for two to three small 3”-4” fish at a time assuming you had adequate bio-filtration on the qt tank and still did PWC as needed to keep the levels in check.

If paid for the lfs will not hold the fish for a couple of weeks? Personally even when I do buy fish I put it on hold for at least a week to observe for sickness, eating habits and to setup the QT before taking home.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecwzrd
If paid for the lfs will not hold the fish for a couple of weeks? Personally even when I do buy fish I put it on hold for at least a week to observe for sickness, eating habits and to setup the QT before taking home.
I've already asked him the question. His reasoning goes thus:
1. If you pay for it in advance then it's yours. If it dies in my custody, we have a problem.
2. If you don't pay in advance, I'll hold it for you but after a month the fish will be 3 times the price, as I have to assume the risk.
3. You might as well take it home and assume the risk yourself.

Thus my plan for a QT tank. After what the first round cost me, a 120L tank will be a drop in the ocean, if you'll forgive the pun.

Me too, the QT tank is slated out of the way in the basement but it's going to have to be in the laundry room, next to a basin where my RO filter can discharge. The next problem will be, having made 120L of RO for a water change, how am I going to get it back up to the ground floor to do my water change?

Somewhat a hobby for masochists, is it not

Thanks again for all the good advice, rest assured it'll be followed
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