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Old 07-20-2004, 12:42 PM   #1
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Quarantine tank questions

I'm slo-o-o-wly getting my salt tank together and need to start thinking about the quarantine tank. There's a few things I don't quite get, though . . .

How do I start the tank? I'm planning on keeping it VERY simple: a 10-gallon with sponge filter and airstone and some hiding places. Oh, and a heater! Will 2-3 pounds of live rock be enough to cycle the tank? If so, how long will the tank stay cycled without fish? I'm figuring I should set the tank up about 3 weeks before I plan to add fish...?

After I finally get all the livestock in the display tank, I'll want to break down the quarantine tank. Can I just keep the sponge from the filter in the sump--and then if I need to set the tank up again I fill it with display tank water and put the sponge in and it will be fine?

How long do you keep your fish in quarantine? I've read everything from 1 to 4 weeks . . . or two weeks with no signs of illness.

Finally, do you quarantine the cleaner crews?

Sorry to bombard with questions! Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-20-2004, 01:18 PM   #2
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I just went through this and heres my advice..If you CAN, go with a 20 gallon for starters....makes it a lot easier as far as water stability and you will be thankful you did down the line. I bought a bunch of PVC fittings at Home depot and threw them in the tank. I have a biowheel filter and an airstone....dont necessarily have to have this...just me. I have a 100 W heater as well.
Also on starting the tank...if you have a main system that has been established for a few months and cycled, then use the water from the main. If not then either get some LR and put in there to cycle. However, dont make the mistake I made. I left the LR in there along with the fish for 2 weeks. Then the fish showed up with ick so I yanked all of the LR out and put it in my main. Little did I think that this will really screw with the levels as you no longer have the LR as filteration. I ran my QT tank 2-3 weeks before adding fish.
Make sure if you add a spounge back from the QT tank that you have not run any meds through it. If it were me, anything from the QT I would either dispose of (spounge) or clean really well if you break it down...I keep 2 spounges in my main sump in the event I need one for the QT now or later.
I have read 4-6 weeks QT and I think most people on here say the same...It took mine 2 weeks before they showed any signs of ick...Cleaner crews I have never QT and dont know why you would need to.
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Old 07-20-2004, 01:26 PM   #3
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1. A 10 gallon tank with a sponge filter and airstone will work fine, but go with a 20 gallon if you can. Do not use live rock or any substrate in your QT. Use a couple of PVC fittings and or pipe for the fish to hide. When you are ready to QT a fish just fill it with 10 gallons of water from your display tank(make sure your water parameters are ok) and then add new salt water to your display tank. A QT will not need to cycle if you do it this way. You can put the sponge filter in your sump for a day or 2 prior to putting it in your QT. (do not put it back in your sump after QT)

2. Once the livestock is in the display tank, just empty out the QT and clean it. I rinse out my sponge filter with RO/) and then store it in a ziploc bag in the fridge until I am ready to QT something again. Do not put your sponge back in the display tank after QT without rinsing it to clean any disease/medications from it.

3. I QT my fish for 4 weeks regardless. I have introduced them sooner and have had bad results.

4. I did not QT my cleaner crew as they were added with my live rock, but if I add more to my tank I probably would.
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Old 07-20-2004, 01:31 PM   #4
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Thanks, fishman--that makes total sense about not reusing the sponge. Easy enough to throw a new one in the sump. I hear you about the 20 gallon part . . . will a few (less than 5) pounds of LR be enough to cycle? I know it won't provide much in the way of biological filtration--I just want to get the thing started, though.
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Old 07-20-2004, 01:38 PM   #5
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Tmcpeek, thanks for the advice. It sounds like 4 weeks for the fish is minimum! My display tank won't be cycled, though (I'll probably start both at the same time unless I learn otherwise) so I'll need something to start the quarantine tank and I was thinking (hoping) that a small amount of LR would make a quick cycle.
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75-gallon SW tank with 29-gallon sump
Euroreef ES5-3
2x Maxijet powerheads
Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
10-gallon tropical
29-gallon with two goldies, Carrot and Orangehead
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Old 07-20-2004, 05:30 PM   #6
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Do you have your main tank up and running and if so how long? Like TMCPeek said you can use water from your main if it has been up and running for some time. That way you dont have to cycle anything....make sense? But if you DO have to use new SW and need to cycle it, the more LR you use to cycle it the better...However keep in mind that once it has cycled, and you put the fish in, IF you take the LR out it will throw all of your levels off as you have a bioload on the tank and no good bacteria from the LR that you once had....therefore it will go through another mini cycle....once the LR is removed it will have to produce enough bacteria (that the LR once provided) to catch up to the fish load.
I think the larger tank (20 gallon) will solve a lot of your problems you might incur on down the line....Im having fits with my 20 gallon and cant imagine what it would be like with a 10!!
Are you wanting to start your main as well as the QT? If so, then I see what you are saying....And if this is the case, then yes use LR to start the cycle or shrimp from like Walmart or Kroger....just get the raw unseasoned shrimp...Hope this helps!
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Old 07-20-2004, 05:38 PM   #7
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http://www.reef-aquarium.net/resourc...uarantine.html
http://www.reef-aquarium.net/resources/disease/qt.html


Two articles that should be helpful. The first deals more with the benefits of setting up a q/t. The 2nd is on how to set one up.

Squishy

Edit: that 2nd one isnt working because of the abbreviation "qt." This site is set up to show the meaning if you hover your mouse over the abbreviation. Its messing up the link I think. You should be able to copy/paste it.
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:02 PM   #8
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Great links, Squishy! Thanks. I think I've got it now: go for the 20 gallon, set it up with the basics, cycle it with shrimp or frozen food. Keep fish in for a month. So--if I got this running tomorrow, I'd probably be a minimum of 8 weeks from putting a fish in my (as yet non-existent) main tank. One last question: once the tank cycles, how long can it sit empty? If it cycles fast or something I might not be ready to add a fish and I wouldn't want the tank to crash and start a new cycle when I did get little guy in there.

You all are so helpful! This is a great resource.
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Rebecca
75-gallon SW tank with 29-gallon sump
Euroreef ES5-3
2x Maxijet powerheads
Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
10-gallon tropical
29-gallon with two goldies, Carrot and Orangehead
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:26 PM   #9
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There's a simple solution to that.. if it turns out that you aren't ready to purchase your fish and the QT has cycled then you can just "feed the tank". A couple flakes of fish food will sustain the bacterial colonies for up to a week. Just remember to do a water change before adding the fish if any of the levels are high.
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