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Old 01-16-2004, 04:55 PM   #1
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QT question

Hi All,
I want to set up a QT and keep it running continuously. I have read the article on setting one up and I plan to follow those intructions. However, since it will be running continuously and will be in a prominent place in my home I want it to look good and remain stable. The suggestions in the article say that a substrate is not necessary. Purely for aesthetic reasons I would like to include a substrate and I was wondering if that would be a problem ? My main tank has live sand as a substrate - should I take the same approach for the QT ? Can I just use gravel instead ? As far as I can tell, the purpose of running the sponge filter in the main tank for a week is to populate it with bacteria to maintain the nitrogen cycle - is that correct ? What will happen if there are no fish in the tank for a prolonged period ? Should I keep one fish in the tank on a permanent basis to keep the cycle going ? If so, will that be dangerous for that fish since periodically I may need to put in a sick fish and treat it. Is there any particular species that can deal with that situation without risking its health ?

Thanks in advance for your advice and putting up with what may well be very dumb questions

BrendanH
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Old 01-16-2004, 07:15 PM   #2
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Purely for aesthetic reasons I would like to include a substrate and I was wondering if that would be a problem
I would look into some inert substrate...I hesitate to suggest it, but I have seen many SW aquariums with painted gravel. The calcerous substrates will take up any meds (like copper) tat were used in the system and then leach them out later.

Quote:
As far as I can tell, the purpose of running the sponge filter in the main tank for a week is to populate it with bacteria to maintain the nitrogen cycle - is that correct ?
Yes, if you were to have it "up and running" all the time, then you would want to properly cycle it first and I would probably invest in a better filter.

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What will happen if there are no fish in the tank for a prolonged period ?
It really depends, you can maintain the biological filtration simply by adding food to the tank on a regular basis for the bacteria to feed on, same prinicple as using a raw shrimp to cycle the tank

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Thanks in advance for your advice and putting up with what may well be very dumb questions
Your welcome and IMO there is no such thing as a dumb question, it's the ones that go unasked that cause the majority of the problems.
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Old 01-17-2004, 08:36 PM   #3
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What size is the QT? If its not an enormous tank I would just get yourself a skilter HOB filter rated for the correct size. I run a skilter on my QT and works very well.
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:13 PM   #4
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It's a 10-gallon tank. Thanks for the suggestions. If I chose not to have it running permanently is there a fast method to set one up if a fish were to suddenly become ill ? My main reasoning for keeping it running would be to have it ready for sudden problems.
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Old 01-18-2004, 12:18 AM   #5
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Clean some of your filter media into a small container taking care to keep any bacteria material harvested in tact (preferably in clumps) and place that material in the filter media in the QT. Also take a couple lbs of your sandbed and mingle it with the substrate in the QT. The bacteria tranfered will thrive in the new environment and should multiply rapidly under stable temperature, PH, and salinity. Cycle the tank with a raw never frozen shrimp placed in a full submerged bottle. Your time should be dramatically reduced. Give the bateria culture a few days to establish before you add the shrimp. Keep in mind that medicine is not always the best treatment with a QT. I prefer to fight ich and brook with salinity, dips, etc. I recommend you research common disease in your planned livestock and the treatments to better understand the strategy for your QT. I just fought off a brook infection in two clowns by QTing them and raising the SG to 1.030 from 1.025 over the course of a week. They were not happy with those conditions but hardy enough to handle it. The brook was cured and they were easily acclimated back to the display. Copper based meds could have easily killed them.
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-105G SPS Reef with 30G Sump/Fuge Combo
-30G LTAnemonarium with mated porcelain crabs, 10 sexy shrimp, and 2 pink skunks all tied into the other 135G in my system.
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Old 01-19-2004, 02:39 PM   #6
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Thanks Brisc0 - more research to be done here
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