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Old 05-10-2005, 01:50 PM   #1
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Setting up Quarantine and not sure about water set up

I read the AA article on setting up a quarantine tank but still need advise on getting the water quality right. I put a deposit on a fish I really want and it will be available in 2 weeks. LFS owner says that's not enough time to get the QT established. AA article seems to say it is enough time. I filled the tank with water taken from my display tank, but took the sponge out of my qt filter and put it in my sump for it to accumulate good bacteria.

How often should I test the water over the next few weeks?

Should I be working towards a spike in ammonia then nitrites then nitrates as if I had a brand new tank?

I do not have a shrimp handy to create ammonia, could I just add a cube of mysis shrimp that I feed my fish?

It's confusing to me that I started off using water from my main tank that is stable - why wouldn't that same water be stable and ready to accept the new fish?

Anyone willing to share their $.02? I'm all ears!
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:55 PM   #2
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why wouldn't that same water be stable and ready to accept the new fish
Because it is the glass, substrate, filter media (and in your main the rock) that hold the beneficial bacteria responsible for the cycle.

What kind of fish and what size QT? You can always stage an offensive with daily water changes until the bio filter catches up. You could create an overflow into a garbage can so that you have enough water to displace the ammonia.

Hopefully your seeded sponge taken from your main will be enough to carry the load of the fish that you're getting. Otherwise no matter how "stable" your QT when you add the fish you're going to have to react with water changes to keep the water quality on target.

Works for me. Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2005, 03:02 PM   #3
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What happens when the QT period is over? Do you return that filter media back into your main/sump? Or do you continually keep material in your sump for QT purposes? I have an old emperor 280 that I could use for a filter... does it matter that the cartridges have carbon? Could I somehow use this so I don't have to buy another filter?

I ask because what if you have to treat the fish for ich or something? I would imagine that you wouldn't want that filter media back in your main tank after treatment 8O


......no hijack intended.......
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:03 PM   #4
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I just keep a sponge in my sump. When I want to set up a qt, use the water from the main and the seeded sponge and the qt is ready within 24 hrs.
No need for a full cycle if you do this. You can control any water quality issues with water changes.
I just discard the sponge after I am done and place a new one in the sump. Make sure they are aquarium safe sponges, not one from the grocery store. 8O
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:16 PM   #5
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quarryshark - I have a sponge that is in the sump that is a "prefilter" on the maxijet pump. It has been in there for about two months. If I understand your post correctly, I could use that sponge in the qt and the water I have in there now and I'm good to go - no cycle needed - just concientious water maintenance?


to answer the other post - I have an 18 gal and have a deposit on a blue tang (gotta love Dory!)
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:32 PM   #6
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oops - I just remembered I rinsed that filter on the Maxijet pump on Sunday, maybe that makes it too "clean"?
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
If I understand your post correctly, I could use that sponge in the qt and the water I have in there now and I'm good to go - no cycle needed - just concientious water maintenance?
Yes, that is correct.
Quote:
I just remembered I rinsed that filter on the Maxijet pump on Sunday, maybe that makes it too "clean"?
Depending on how good you rinsed it, I would give it a few days.
Also, that 75 gallon is going to be a bit cramped with 2 tangs. Do you plan on a future upgrade?
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:09 PM   #8
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Looks like I need to update my tank contents! We took the yellow tang back to lfs. He had some problems and they offered to exchange him. I wanted to make sure we had our own qt set up before bringing home the next fish. Bicolor angel was also a casualty of him so we have lots of tank space. Thanks for being thorough in your answers though - I appreciate it!
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:49 PM   #9
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what if i dont have a sump, will i be able to place a sponge in my Protein skimmer, before the water flows back into the Main? Are you talking about a sponge filter? Should i run it or just let it sit in the water?

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Old 05-10-2005, 11:30 PM   #10
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I put 2 filter sponges in my sump this morning and I am putting in a scotch-bright pad in now. How long will it be before they are colonized enough to transfer them to my qt and get a fish or two?
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Old 05-11-2005, 04:51 PM   #11
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ACK! If that scotch brite pad wasn't purchased for aquarium use please read the label thoroughly. Look for any signs that it is not aquarium safe. I would be worried about soap/antibacterial, etc... in a "meant for kitchen use" sponge. Filter floss would be a better alternative.

If you haven't done that yet... I wouldn't. But that's just me.
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Old 05-20-2005, 02:26 PM   #12
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Okay, looks like I need a little more guidance if you all don't mind. QT has been up almost two weeks now. I added a little food here and there. Now today I'm getting these test results: PH8 Ammon 1.5 Nitrate about 30 (less than 50) Nitrites are either .3 or 0 depending on how I hold the container.

I'm reading the Concientious Marine Aquarist but I value the opinions here.

What should I do now? Wait for Nitrites to spike then water change? How much should I change out (18 Gal QT). I used a well seeded sponge but I had rinsed two weeks ago, it sat in the sump one more week then the QT about 5 days.

The fish I have on hold will be ready in a few days, I'm wondering if I should let them sell it and wait for the next one to come along?
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Old 05-20-2005, 05:18 PM   #13
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I would change out all of the water with fresh water the morning the fish is coming home. Use either well aged S/W or water from your main (if no well mixed SW is available). Have enough water prepared on hand to change the QT tank at least 2 times over (36g), though you'll never change it all at once you may need to do daily water changes to keep parameters stable and you'll want plenty at the ready.

What problems did the YT have? It didn't have ich, right? Were there any parasites introduced to your main with the YT? If not I'd go ahead with the new fish purchase and put him in QT. How big is he? I added a 30g garbage can to my QT environment with an overflow and that really stablized my QT.
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Old 05-20-2005, 07:02 PM   #14
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The YT had some sort of parasite. I thought it was ich, lfs thought it was something else. He's been gone for about a month now in qt at lfs and he's recovered. My angelfish died during the first night he was in qt at lfs. lfs said he was exhausted from the tang chasing him around. I'd noticed he was exhausted in my tank too, trying to sleep in between the wavemaker and rock at night since he lost his territory to the tang. We even turned it off one night just so he wouldn't be pushed around in the water all night. There's a chance he caught something from the tang but he was definately exhausted.My other fish are doing great though. It just seems so empty having only three little fish in that big tank. They only stay in one corner too unless it's feeding time. I'm ready for a new fish. Are you of the opinion that I should wait? I want to do this right, trying to set the qt and all. I've had a deposit on this new fish for two weeks and it would be uncomfortable for me to withdraw it from the local guy BUT I would consider it if you think I'm rushing.
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Old 05-21-2005, 06:11 PM   #15
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I can't picture how you have the garbage can involved with the qt - care to elaborate?

After we get this tang through its and the qt is empty, what type of maintenance schedule will the qt tank need? Do I need to run the heater for months on end or can I use it only when I'm getting it ready for a fish? Basement is usually the first room to get cold so the heater would kick on more often than an upstairs tank. Our heating costs are astronomical in our home.
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