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Old 09-21-2006, 12:42 PM   #1
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Advice on setting up a QT

Ok, I really need to do this. I have plenty more fish to add to my 55g and it would just be really stupid to introduce fish in a month only to ruin what I have going right now. (Not to mention after adding the GBRs last night I'm all paranoid...) I already had one ick outbreak a couple months ago likely due to new fish.

So what's the best way to do this? Do I want a substrate free tank? Just a HOB, heater, & water? I see no need to put lights on it. How large should it be? With a 55g I tend to add 6 fish at most when I'm doing tetras. Less when I'm doing something else. Is 10 gallons big enough? How do you deal with the cycle when the tank sits empty for long periods of time?
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Old 09-21-2006, 12:47 PM   #2
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10G should be good assuming the fish are small.
To cycle it you can either run the second filter on the main tank or transfer media (gravel, filter material) from the 55G into the 10G. This way you don't need to have the QT up and running all the time, but only as needed (it will help that you wont be looking at an empty tank and be tempted to turn it into a full blown additional tank).
Bottomless is best since you would also be using it as a hospital tank if needed.
Filter and heater is all you need, if you get one of those 10G kits with the stock lighting then you can use the lights also, since new fish would be in there 2 - 3 wks it makes sense that they get light.
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:01 PM   #3
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What if I use it for cave fish...

I'll look around...the angels are the only large fish I intend to go in there and if I ever added new ones it would be because these died. So I'd add small ones. So I guess that should work. My concern is the filter...wouldn't I not want to ever run that on the main tank? If anything I could see buying 2 small corner filters and running one in the main tank and then when I need to set up the QT, transfer the media over to the QT filter and put new media in the main tank to get it ready for the next time.

I don't intend to leave it up full time. Not really because of temptation (if I wanted a 10g in my room I'd just set that up...this would probably just be under my 55g in the living room ) but once my tank is running and stocked, the only reason I'd have to keep it running would be for a hospital tank.
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:06 PM   #4
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Actually, could you just stuff extra filter floss into the 55G's filter and transfer that as needed (rather than adding the corner filter). You won't have an instant cycle in any event but you won't have to wait long for the cycle to complete; you would just need to watch the parameters on the QT and do PWCs as needed.

LOL on the cave fish.

You wouldn't want to transfer any media from the QT to the main tank, but the other way around is fine. Personally I'd just stuff extra filter floss into the main tank. I have an extra piece of filter material in my 29G that I take out (and replace) as needed for the QT. It works out quite well.
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:30 PM   #5
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Its such a pain to open up the canister just to transfer the media around I'll have to look at the filters and weigh my options.
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:45 PM   #6
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I have a 10 gallon QT with my 75 gallon tank, but it all depends on how many new fish you want to get at once. I suggest sticking to a low bioload, as the bioload in the QT will fluxuate enough that the biofilter will never reach the peak capacity in your main tank. You may consider the beinifits of multiple QTs over one larger QT, as you can have two diffrent batches of new fish on diffrent timers, or treat a sick fish in one and QT new fish in the other. I have a 5 gallon bucket as my emergency secondary QT.

The easiest way to do it is substrate free, no decorations, no plants, with a sponge or HOB filter. Lighting needs to be sufficient for observation, but nothing more than that.

Optionally you could add some PVC sections for reclusive fish to hide in. Optionally you could use other easy to wash or disposeable decorations. If you have some spare floating plant trimmings, it will make some species more comfortable.

Between loads of fish, make sure to continue feeding the tank at least weekly, and clean at the same time as your normal tank. I keep snails in the QT to process the food and make sure I'm remembering to feed enough. (Snail population over time will reflect the food supply.) I use old tank water from my main to refill the QT, so thier water parameters will always be similar. (The sizable amount of driftwood and plants makes the chemistry of the main slightly diffrent than tap.)
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codefox
Its such a pain to open up the canister just to transfer the media around I'll have to look at the filters and weigh my options.
You can always use a temporary filter based off of main tank gravel. Put punch small holes in the side of a large disposable cup, put an airstone at the bottom, fill with gravel from a cycled tank. Volla, instant biological filter! Improve design with a lift tube going to the bottom of the cup instead of holes.

Of course, if you use eco-complete or another light substrate, this may not work so well.
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:30 AM   #8
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I go with a substrate-free tank with heater, sponge filter, and PVC elbows for hidey places. I never really worry about cycling the thing because it gets broke down and sterilized after use; I just do water changes to keep the ammonia down.
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