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Old 10-06-2010, 08:30 PM   #1
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New Tank + New QT....how???

Hi all,

I am in the process of getting a 75-gal FOWLR set up. I want to do the right thing and QT all new arrivals. I have the QT and materials. The thing is....I keep hearing to use filter materials from my show tank to seed the QT. My main tank is not cycled. How do I go from two uncycled tanks to one cycled main tank and a cycled QT?

I am hoping that if I put in about 10 lbs of live rock, on top of 60 lbs of base rock, that I can cycle my show tank. I don't want to introduce disease to my tanks---but how can I cycle a QT to prepare it for fish....to prepare the fish for my main tank...without possibly introducing disease through "cycling" fishes in either????

Also, I've seen a number of dissenting opinions.....some saying a QT should always run meds pre-emptively, others saying to only medicate when illness is apparent. Thoughts?

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Old 10-06-2010, 09:56 PM   #2
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I'd also vote to only medicate when you need to. Try the raw shirmp method with some rock in both. I'd use 20 lbs or so of the base with the shrimp to cycle the QT if it were me. Say they get done at the same time. Just put a small cleanup crew in the main whilst you ensure water quality in the main while you QT your new fish.


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Old 10-06-2010, 10:30 PM   #3
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Let us get some of the mythinformation out of the way first. A Quarantine (QT) is used to medicate animals. Any and all animals taken from the wild or not properly quarantined previously should be expected to have some sort of disease/parasite. Those who do not medicate risk losing their fish to a various assortment of ailments and several commoners that can kill in less than 24hrs. Most people believe that if their fish is "healthy" and has a sufficient slime coat (inaccurate) that they will not get a disease and their bodies could fight one off to begin with. This is incorrect. Parasites feed from healthy tissue and will leave the host before death follows in hopes of a new victim so you can understand why healthy fish does not mean immunity...it just means a healthy fish will be able to stave off the disease for a longer period, but it will not be rid of it completely.

Now, as for a QT all you'll need is the tank (at least 20g), a heater, a sponge filter, and decor such as pvc, fake plants, etc. I personally see greater benefits from having the back and sides painted black and the bottom a dark blue so you can see uneaten food on the bottom while keeping the tank dark. The dimness will keep fish more calm while not allowing medications to break down as easily as a directly lit aquarium. As for cycling, it is not necessary because you should be performing 50% water changes daily and most medications will interfere with the bacteria anyways.

A standard QT will last at least 30 days so you can medicate without combination interference. For example, you wouldn't want formalin/malachite green to overlap with a copper dosage. As for actually medicating, Hyposalinity is commonly used to eradicate Cryptocaryon irritans (Marine Ich), but it does not affect Amyloodinium ocellatum (Marine velvet), Brooklynella, etc. Also, Hyposalinity has been reported to cause kidney damage if used long term.

I will make a brief mention of Chloroquine as being considered one of the best medications since it can be used on a variety of sensitive fish and kills Amyloodinium, Cryptocaryon, and Turbellarians; however, it is expensive.

Most popular meds. are Copper (sulfate or Cupramine), Formalin/Malachite Green, Praziquantel, Fenbendazole (Panacur), and Nitrofurazone.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:27 AM   #4
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When I set up my tank, I cycled my quarantine (or whatever you want to call it) tank first, using a cocktail shrimp as described in our articles section here.

Cycle your salt tank

Once the quarantine was cycled (4 weeks or so), then I shopped for a fish and started working on my main tank - filling it up with water, buying the live rock, etc. So in theory, by the time the fish was out of the quarantine tank, the main tank would be cycled and ready. If it wasn't, no big deal... the fish could just stay in the quarantine tank a little longer.

In reality, it didn't work that way, since my first fish died before it made it out of quarantine. The main tank was ready long before there was a fish ready for it.

You can use live rock in your quarantine, but I'd recommend just using a hang-on-back filter like an AquaClear or a BioWheel - something that can house bacteria. Less of an issue if you have to medicate or do hyposalinity - then you don't have to worry about any die off from critters on the rock.

I also have the sides/back/bottom of my QT painted black - just the front is clear. Not only does it limit outside "distractions" to the fish, it makes it easier to really get a good look at the fish and watch it. Also makes it easy to keep the bottom vacuumed clean of leftover food and waste.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:31 AM   #5
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Good advice all around.....I like the shrimp idea.

Regarding medications, I see why medicating would be a smart idea. What would you recommend during the 30-day qt period for your own fish? Could you describe your process in detail? Would it be ok to use on a porcupine puffer?
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