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Old 08-04-2006, 02:38 AM   #1
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Setting up 40L quarantine

Hello,

I have a huge problem with a sneaky mantis. It's taken out one clown, one red blenny and my awesome coral beauty angel!

I've decided that I am going to take steps to get rid of it!

I want to set up my small quarantine 40-50L tank to hold my last clown and damsel whilst I starve out the mantis into a home made trap.

My idea was to just each week take the water needed from my main tank as the replacement water in the smaller one. I was also going to add a few rocks from the main tank which are definately seeded with bacteria to help keep the system in balance from that point of view.

Is there anything I need to be mindful of creating these small tanks? I am thinking of keeping these two remaining fish in the smaller one for one to two months if needed.

I'm concerned about pH, KH, amonia, nitrites and nitrates. Calcium I'm less worried about at this stage. Will likely keep it monitored and buffered though.

I know about keeping larger tanks in check but smaller ones I am new to.
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:45 AM   #2
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Why not just put your clown and damsel in a smaller QT tank which you could easily do regular water changes from your matured display tank?

Just a thought.
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:33 AM   #3
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A 10 gal (40L) tank should be sufficient for a clown and damsel for a couple of weeks. Since the tank isn’t cycled it’s best to use a sponge or filter from the main that has bacteria built up on it in the QT tank to help establish a bacterial base for it to continue to process nh3. The article on this site goes into more detail.

It shouldn’t take more then a couple of days to starve out the Mantis so he goes for the trap but I’d still keep a close watch on your QT tank for any spikes in nh3 and have 10 gallons of pre-mixed SW matching ph/sg of the QT ready in case you do have any spikes.

Feeding the QT tank lightly for the first week will help keep nh3 down until the bacterial base can build up to handle the bio-load. I’d also keep the sg slightly lower (1.020) in the QT and drip acclimate the fish for an hour or two to reduce stress during the transition.
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:13 PM   #4
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Hi,

Thanks for those tips. Sorry I meant to point out that I would be filling the QT with water from the main tank and doing water changes using water from the main tank.

The main tank is almost three years old so it's really well established.

My question was around what differences in terms of level changes could I expect in the QT. I know my main tank really well, but not sure how the smaller one will work.

So you think it'll be a few days to starve him out? I think he's living off my coral beauty at the minute which has been going for about a week now. I cannot see anything in the tank but who knows what crevises he's got bits stashed away in.

I would hope that I could catch the little bugger in a week. That would be ideal.
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:21 AM   #5
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If you have a spare HOB filter to use it would be best to use that along with some of your bio-balls from your main tank in it to continue bacterial filtration.

The 40 liter tank is 1/4th the size of your main but the 2 fish assuming the clown isn’t full size shouldn’t increase the levels much more then your main had with the higher stock load. (before the Mantis took them out)

As I said previously I’d have 40 liters of premixed SW ready (separate from your main tank) just incase you do experience any nh3 spikes during the first couple of days until your bacterial base can catch up in the QT. Your no3 levels should not elevate too quickly as long as you feed sparsely and you shouldn’t have to worry about nh3/no2 spikes if you can use existing bio-balls from the main in a HOB.

How large was the Coral Beauty? Have you seen how large the Mantis is yet? The fish will decompose within a week or two even if the Mantis hasn’t eaten it all. I would search the tank to make sure there aren’t any large pieces left though. I’d also QT any mobile inverts if you have any left.
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Old 08-07-2006, 07:20 PM   #6
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Hi,

Thanks for the bioballs idea. That's a good one and I'll use that. I actually have 50L+ of "real" ocean water ready. I've only ever used the "real stuff". I only ever feed every two to three days so the feeding aspect I feel should be OK.

The Coral Beauty was what I thought was a full sized dwarf adult. It was a good sized fish so it makes me wonder if either the mantis is large, or just a really good aim (for the head)! I haven't seen it yet because it's so elusive, but have heard it sounding away in three successive clicks.

I do have some mobile inverts so they'll be QT'd as well.


Cheers and thanks for the suggestions. Do you know how long it will take to starve out the mantis enough to lure him into a modified coke bottle trap? Some have said a few days.
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:52 AM   #7
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OK, slight correction. The QT is 20L and not 40L as I thought originally.

What I've done so far is:
1. Took 20L water from main tank and put that into QT. Refilled main tank as per regular water change procedure.

2. Filled the lower layer of the QT filter bay with bioballs from the main tank. Put a layer of filter pad media on top of the bio-balls. The water falls onto the filter media.

3. Added a few well established rocks from the main tank into the QT - hiding and bacteria.

4. Measurements of QT: ammonia: 0, nitrite: 0, nitrate: 0, ph: 8.3, kh: 170, ca: 380, sg: 1.030. Buffered kh and ca to appropriate levels (will retest later). Will have to bring that sg down to 1.020.

5. Running QT overnight to see how it goes.

Will be using this stuff called Stability which in my experience is awesome for turbo charging your bio cycle.



If you see any problems please let me know.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:27 PM   #8
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With 20L (About 4 gal) you still should be ok as long as your clown isn’t fully grown. If it is you still probably won’t experience any nh3/no2 spikes with the cultured lr and bio-balls to keep it under control. Only thing you should have to look out for is no3 and the QT can get as high as 20 ppm with fish/mobile inverts but I’d still try to keep it under 10 ppm personally.

As far as how long it takes to catch the Mantis that really is going to depend on how large it is and how much of that angel is left. The fish had to be around 4” and if the Mantis has stored it within the lr for later it could feed it for a week or two at most.

Since you will be removing all other food sources it will eventually have to go for the trap. I’d soak the trap food in Garlic Xtreme to help encourage it to go for the food in the trap versus anything that might be left in the tank.

Lastly don’t forget to keep your QT heated although I’m sure you know. Filter setup sounds fine and the lr is good as well since you are not using the QT for illness treatment. Also I assume this is a new QT tank and one that hasn’t had copper treatments in the past. If it has been medicated with copper treatments you will have to keep your inverts in a separate copper free container.
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:13 PM   #9
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Hi,

Thanks for that. So far the QT seems to be humming along fine. I'll keep a close eye on the vitals of the tank. The pH has always measured fine so I'm going to keep that KH up to avoid fluctuations.

Other than that I think I'm sitting sweet even if it's just for a month or at the most two.

That garlic suggestion is a good one. No this tank was previously an exclusively freshwater tank for goldfish and neon tetras. It's been out of action for some months, cleaned and sitting dry in the room doing nothing.

Hopefully I catch it soon enough. This is a good lesson for me though as I've been meaning to set up a QT for newly added fish, which incidently I'll be having once I nab the mantis.

As a funny side note, my wife doesn't know how to describe the mantis to her friends, so she just calls it a "punching prawn". Cute, somewhat hilarious in my mind.
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