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Old 01-26-2006, 12:13 AM   #1
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QT Tank Set up (For new fish)

I have asked this before, but didnt really get an answer. Im thinking of buying 1 fish at a time and setting up a 30 QT tank. In the past I have seeded my QT tank with a spounge from my main. But I have had serious Ammonia and trite issues even with doing this and taking water from my main as well. So my questions are these.
1) what all do you use for your QT. (I use 2 HOB filters, PVC, heater and small PH for circulation).
2) on your filteration, do you use the actual biowheel that comes with the HOB filters? Do you use any sort of media inside the HOB. Reason I ask is I have heard this is where the good bacteria grows. Do you rinse the media or biowheels during water changes?
3) when setting up a QT, is it enough to use the seeded spounge and or biowheel to say your tank is cycled?
4) do you use prime or polyfilter during the QT process?
5) where does the good bacteria grow? In the water or on objects?
6) how often do you do water changes? How much % wise?

My last QT experience was a nightmare but I did have 4 small fish in a 30 gallon but 1 regal that was developing HLLE so I had to feed nori soaked in vitamins to keep it at bay as much as possible. This was during a treatment for ick in my main. I did hypo and have done copper. I think copper went easier..
Please any and all suggestions as I really want to add new fish but the whole QT thing is a killer.
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:36 AM   #2
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I make up QT the same way a hospital tank is set up. Bare bottom, air pump driven sponge filter, heater, thermometer and a hide out for the fish. Frequent small water changes throughout the time the fish are in there to keep ammonia from building and of course bio additives to help. Depending on the amount of fish in the QT, 5% to 10% water change every other day. Qt is only to see if the fish become sick before being introduced, so they are only in there temporarily. I find no reason to make a mini version of the main system because if the fish do become sick, they'll need to be medicate so helps to have a tank like that set up for hospitalization when needed. The idea here is to have as clean of a tank as possible so any bad bacterial or fungal infections and parasitic infestations do not become an issue with substrate and easier to treat because there's really nothing in the tank for these things to hang onto and hide.

Makes a QT a lot easier to deal with and it's always new water, so any off scale parameters from the main tank don't become an issue with the QT.
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:47 AM   #3
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Well I just dont have good luck with QT tanks. I was under the impression once you seeded a spounge from the main and used main tank water to set up the QT, it was cycled..My last go around I was fighting ammonia for 8 weeks and was doing 2 major water changes per day...one in the morning and one at night. I even thought maybe the spounge that had been in there was collecting stuff and making the levels rise so I rinsed it. Was using poly filters too as well as prime. Just wish I knew what to do on a QT Tank to make it flow better this time. I dont have time for 2 water changes a day.
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:51 AM   #4
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I use a whisper filter on my QT. I keep the filter media in the sump of my main while just before the fish arrive. I also use some seeded base/throw away rock in the QT for the fish (I just can't do only PVC). If there was an outbreak in QT the rock would get boiled.

I do my water changes from my main as that water is the water they're going to eventually and the water is 0-0-0.
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Old 01-26-2006, 11:14 AM   #5
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So once you do a water change from your main into your QT, its ready to go as you have also seeded some rock as well as filter.
So my question is do you ever rinse or replace the media during QT? Mine gets filthy during that period of time.
ALso if you have time look at my initial post. I would be grateful for your thoughts..
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Old 01-26-2006, 11:19 AM   #6
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You may want to keep a spare media in the sump and change it out weekly.
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:15 PM   #7
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For my 20 gal QT I have one bio-wheel running on my main (Magnum 350) and one running on my QT at all times (Mag 250). When I get a new fish I simply switch them out and have instant bio-filtration. I haven’t had to medicate any fish yet though but have back up bio-wheels in case I do so I don’t have to put it back on the main tank. For me it’s the easiest way to do it and I have never had nh3/no2 problems doing it this way.

Also checkout this thread on QT if you haven't seen it yet.
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:58 PM   #8
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Ok so I should be able to do a water change from my main to the QT, and mix with some new SW. In the week or 2 before you get the fish, seed a biowheel or 2 and then when the QT water is being set up, add the biowheel and your ready??
I think I will buy 3-4 biowheels and have them in waiting. How long to seed one? A week or 2 I assume?
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:09 PM   #9
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It could take as long as 4-6 weeks since the bio-wheel also has to fully develop the bacteria in order to support the nitrogen cycle. That’s why I leave mine on the main at all times so it’s constantly being fed nh3 from the fish. I only transfer the wheel itself and not the whole unit but conceivably you could move the whole filter over to the QT assuming you have enough lr to support the removal of it.

If it’s your only source of bio-filtration then you wouldn’t want to do that.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:23 PM   #10
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Well what I thought about doing is just putting the biowheel in my sump and letting it sit there for x days/weeks.
Yes I have 175 lbs of LR in my tank...
Also in thinking about this, I think biowheels would be a better source of bacteria than a spunge would be. A spunge collects debris and filth...a biowheel wouldnt.
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