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Old 02-16-2008, 01:03 AM   #1
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Hospital Tank Setup


I'm new to the site and would like some advice.

How would you recommend setting up a hospital tank? I've read about using a 10g bare tank w/ filter (sponge?) and heater with some PVC for hiding.
Water from the main tank?
Anything else?

29g saltwater Eclipse (FOWLR) 7 weeks old, 2 ocellaris, 1 diamond goby, 2 troncus, 1 hermit, 30 lbs lr, 20 lbs sand bed

0 Ammonia
0 Nitrite
20-40 Nitrate
8.4 ph
1.023 sg
79 degrees


Tank has been cycled for 3 weeks. Added 1 clown 3 weeks ago. Added goby and another clown 2 weeks ago. Added royal gramma 1 week ago. Did not quarantine (I know-learn the hard way). One day after adding the RG, I noticed it had what seemed to be white parasites (did not look like ich)around its head (was flashing as well). Took it back to the lfs. Today, I noticed one of the clowns flashing. No sign of outward infection on any of the fish. All are eating fine.

Tomorrow I guess I'll be shopping for a 10g starter set up in order to treat the fish. Will buy one for quarantine anyway. Without the fish showing other symptoms, what should I do for flashing? Wait? Hospitalize?

Thanks in advance

Last Comment: A great hobby (seriously). Had fw for years and never learned as much (mostly through trial and error) as I have in the past few months. I believe my wife is getting jealous, though.

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Old 02-16-2008, 10:55 AM   #2
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Set up the starter 10g. Water from the main doesn't really contain much. It is helpfull in that it is the correct temp, pH, alk, etc. as the main tank. You need to get the new QT tank cycled. I keep the biowheel from my QT hob filter in the sump of my main. Do you have anything in your main that you bring over to kickstart the QT?

If not you will have to rely on 2x-3x daily water changes (1-3 gallons) to keep the water parameters high while the tank cycles.

You need to determine what is wrong with the fish so you know how to treat it.

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Old 02-16-2008, 11:09 AM   #3
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I keep a biowheel on my main as well. I figured when I need to I take the 10gal tank put the biowheel from the main on it add some live rock rubble some Main display water with small heater and small powerhead and I have a cycled QT. That way I don't have to worry about keeping a QT tank up and running unless I need it. I would assume the bacteria from the Biowheel and the live rock rubble should be enough to get it cycled and keep it cycled???

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Old 02-16-2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I have some small peices of LR that I could move into the QT.
Maybe sand?

Do you think I'll need sand for the Diamond Goby since he is a sand sifter? Although, he's been eating brine shrimp.

By the way, water is RO/DI from my LFS.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:52 PM   #5
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No substrate in the QT. Keep the LR in the main tank. You won't be able to use it again if you have to treat the QT tank. Just get a few pieces of pvc in various sizes for hiding space. I also have a fake anemone on a fake rock.

How is the clown acting? Any signs of fin damage or loss of scales or anything out of the ordinary?
When was your last PWC?
You may want to try daily 10% pwc's for now to see if that helps. Pristine water does wonders in allowing fish to recuperate and fight off disease.

Keep a close eye on all the fish for signs of a parasite or any infections.

Feeding with GarlicXtreme/Garlic Guard, etc may be beneficial too as would adding some Zelcon or Zoe to their food.
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Old 02-16-2008, 04:11 PM   #6
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Do you think adding the fake anemone/rock or any artificial coral for this matter, helps with the bio filter because of more surface area? I have a hospital tank set-up now and I'm struggling with Nitrite .25-.50. I know my bio-load is way too much for my 10-gallon hospital (3" hippo tang and 2x 1" clowns) and that is why I'm struggling, but im wondering if its also because I only have PVC/heater in the tank and thats not much surface area for nitrifying bacteria. Of course, I have the "bio-pad" in my hang on filter too. Luckily I have been able to keep the fish healthy with lots of pwc and amquel+ for the past 6-weeks. I really want to start bringing the SG up this weekend, but I think I'm going to hold off until next weekend and then take 1-week to bring it back to 1.025 from 1.009, and then the main tank will be fallow for a total of 8-weeks. I really hope this took care of my Ick problem, if not it would be very discouraging.
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Old 02-16-2008, 05:28 PM   #7
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An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: A Quarantine Tank for Everything by Steven Pro - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:01 PM   #8
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The fake stuff is really minimal in helping the bioload. There's not a lot of surface area. The filter will house almost all the beneficial bacteria and pwc's will remove nitrates. Oh, and read the Steven Pro article that Mike linked to. I consider that the bible on QT.

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