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Old 06-26-2007, 12:05 PM   #1
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Quarantine Tank Cycling/Procedures

I'm considering getting a 10 gallon for my quarantine tank. What are the procedures for setting it up? How do I cycle it? Can I just take some live rock from my main tank and put it in there? With all the filter choices which would be best for quarantine tank?
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:10 PM   #2
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From my Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank post:

Quarantine tank / Acclimation
The use of a QT tank while not mandatory is highly recommended as well.

Drip acclimation is only needed in a QT for invertebrates preferably for 2+ hours. With fish, you need to get them out of the transport bag as quickly as possible. Test the transport water for temp, salinity, pH and so on. Then manipulate the QT parameters to match. Once done, the acclimation timeframe can be greatly reduced. Temp, pH and salinity being the main concerns. Bring the QT sg/ph/temp up to the main tank over the 6+ weeks kept in QT and increase the sg/ph slowly and every 3+ days to avoid stress.

See Help setting up a QT tank & Equipment for drip acclimation.
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:15 PM   #3
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http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/20...ture/index.php

Here is also a good article about a QT
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:19 PM   #4
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Re: Quarantine Tank Cycling/Procedures

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhorse
I'm considering getting a 10 gallon for my quarantine tank. What are the procedures for setting it up? How do I cycle it? Can I just take some live rock from my main tank and put it in there? With all the filter choices which would be best for quarantine tank?
The articles posted already are a good start. Just cycle it like you would your normal tank, but only use a 1/2 of a cocktail shrimp, or some fish food.

I wouldn't use live rock from your main - although that would seriously decrease your cycle... assuming you'd cycle at all. Reason for not using it is if you ever have to add anything medication wise to your QT, you're not going to want that rock back in your main. Also, it's usually a good idea to keep cross-contamination between your QT and main to an absolute minimum, or at least "one-way", from your main to the QT. Usually... it's just the fish that's being transferred between the two. Also... many medications will be limited to their effectiveness if you have any rock or substrate in the QT.

If you don't need the rock back in your main, then it'd probably be OK to put it in your QT... but just don't plan on putting it back into your main, and plan on taking it out if you have to run any meds.

I've got a 10g QT, and run a Marineland BioWheel 100 on it. I've also got a BioWheel 100 on my main. If the QT is stored, and I need it back up and running, I can just put the seeded BioWheel from the main onto the QT and away I go. Once you're done with the QT, you can either leave it running or break it down and sterilize the BioWheel and put it back on your main.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:00 PM   #5
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Re: Quarantine Tank Cycling/Procedures

[quote="Kurt_Nelson"]
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhorse
Once you're done with the QT, you can either leave it running or break it down and sterilize the BioWheel and put it back on your main.
How do you go about sterilizing the Biowheel? Also, if I go this route. (add a Marineland Biowheel 100 to my main tank). Should I keep running my cannister filter? I also have two Hydor Korlia powerheads and protein skimmer (Aqua C Remora).
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:01 PM   #6
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Re: Quarantine Tank Cycling/Procedures

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How do you go about sterilizing the Biowheel?
I've just soaked the biowheel itself in a 1:5 bleach/water solution for a couple hours, then rinsed and rinsed and rinsed it out. Then I soaked it in DI water that's been mixed with a dechlorinator for about a day. Then let it dry out completely. If there's still an chlorine smell, then it's back for more rinsing and dechlorinator. That's basically the same routine Marineland advices for the diatom filter that comes with the Magnum HOBs. The rest of the plastic stuff I just washed out really good and let air dry. Can't say that these instructions came from anywhere authoritative... just transferred info from other stuff to this application.

Quote:
Also, if I go this route. (add a Marineland Biowheel 100 to my main tank). Should I keep running my cannister filter? I also have two Hydor Korlia powerheads and protein skimmer (Aqua C Remora).
I use the Biowheel on my main strictly for quick QT filtration, and a little surface agitation (100gph). While I do run the blue pad on it, it's primarily so food bits/gunk doesn't build up on the biowheel itself... the piddly amount of carbon it there doesn't do anything, in my opinion. I also run a Magnum250 HOB for chemical filtration - currently two bags of Purigen. My feeling is I get way better "wetting" of the chemical media in the HOB versus the little Biowheel. I've run a packet of Purigen in the Biowheel on my QT (inserted between the blue pad and the biowheel itself), but it seemed like there was a lot of bypass. Even so, the Purigen was turning dark, so it wasn't being completely bypassed.

So I guess my answer is that if you're using your cannister to run chemical media, I'd keep it. I'm also guessing that it's contributing to your overall flow, so that's another reason to keep it. If you have anything in it other than chemical media (like filter pads, etc) make sure you rinse it out every couple weeks in your old PWC water to get all the gunk out that will want to turn in to nitrates.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:26 PM   #7
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So would it be beneficial for me to add the Biowheel to my tank and keep the canister filter going? I guess my goal is to find some way to easily cycle the QT tank and it sounds like your method is pretty simple. I need a filter anyways for my QT tank so an extra $20 for the same on my main tank would not be a big deal. Or can I just take some of the media thats already in my cannister filter and incorporate it into the QT tank?

Thanks for all the answers. You guys here are pros when it comes to this stuff. Seems like the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. It's kind of good that the cycle takes so long...gives me time to learn alot. 8)
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
So would it be beneficial for me to add the Biowheel to my tank and keep the canister filter going?
With just starting out a new tank, I'm not really sure. With no real bioload in your main, just how "seeded" that BioWheel would get is anyone's guess. I don't have the experience yet to really know how well that thing would get covered in bacteria. I'm guessing not much. If you were talking a Biowheel hanging for 3-4 months in a tank with several fish, then I'd say you'd be safe to figure it's seeded.

Whichever way you go - even if you seed your QT with media from your canister filter - I think I'd still throw something (a tiny piece of shrimp, or some fish food) in the QT before you add fish to confirm that you're either cycled, OR you need to cycle. If you detect ammonia and/or nitrites, then you'd need to cycle the QT. If you never detect ammonia/nitrites, but do detect an increase in nitrates, then you have enough bacteria and are good to go.

Quote:
It's kind of good that the cycle takes so long...gives me time to learn alot.
It take 4-6 weeks for a good reason!
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:32 AM   #9
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IME a bio-wheel in a new tank will take as long as a regular tank to cycle and build up bacteria (4-6 weeks). If you put a bio-wheel on an already cycled tank with stock then it will seed in about 2 weeks.

I also soak my bio-wheel in bleach if I use medication (not copper) and soak in prime for a couple of days when done. Or if I use any copper medication I just throw it out and buy a new one (about $5-$6).
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