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Old 09-21-2006, 11:32 AM   #1
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New Fish in QT: Medicate or not?

I recently bought 5 small Corydoras metae and put them in my 20g QT. Since they seemed to be in very good condition at the LFS, I didn't feel the need to use any meds. I just wanted to park them in there for a week or so before moving them to their permanent home. Well, one by one they have died off for no apparent reason. There was one left as of this morning and he looked okay. Even so, it wouldn't surprise me if he died too. They were fairly active and seemed to eating very well. There were no apparent symptoms. They pretty much keeled over and died. And they are such cute little fish.....babies that were no bigger than .75" long.

The tank has been cycled for some time now and the water parameters are perfect (0ppm/0ppm/10-20ppm). I'm using an AC30 with 1 sponge whenever the tank is empty and move over a 2nd sponge from one of my running tanks whenever I put fish in there. I've always kept the bacteria fed when there are no fish in there. I just housed some Red Zebras in there a couple of weeks ago with no problems. This is the first time that I've lost fish this way and it has me puzzled since the fish looked heathy when I bought them.

I keep thinking that maybe I should've medicated the tank as a precaution, in case the fish were infected when I brought them home. I have both Melafix and Pimafix. I think from now on I'll just medicate the QT as a precaution, in case the fish come in sick even though they looked to be very healthy.

Is that a normal practice?

What do you guys do.....medicate your QT or not?
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Old 09-21-2006, 11:54 AM   #2
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I think I'd avoid medicating the QT if at all possible. The downside to medicating is you'll kill the tank's beneficial bacteria in the process so if you're treating a non-illness you'll have to deal with ammonia instead.

The death of the fish is pretty bizarre I think. Maybe try this? http://www.aquariumpros.com/p-KOR39444,KOR.html
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Old 09-21-2006, 12:28 PM   #3
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I had the same question a couple of months ago. Everyone's advice was to not try and treat a disease that may not even exist. What I've done twice however (despite everyones advice) is treating with Aquarisol, which is very mild. BUT - it didn't help ! I got ick in the main after I moved the new fish (there were in QT with Aquarisol for a week). I think QT is a very good idea, but you need to watch the parameters of your QT tank since the relative increase in bioload may result in ammonia or nitrite spikes. I've taken to doing daily water changes on the QT tank which seems to help some.
In your case I would say you got a bad batch of fish - ie: they may have been infected at the store or were otherwise weak.
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:03 PM   #4
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To properly QT, I've been told it's best to leave the fish in there for at least 2 weeks. Of course that doesn't help you with the dead cories -- how sad! Did you purchase them from the same place you usually get fish? How did you acclimate them?

I do not medicate my fish when they are in QT because I don't want to kill my biological filter. I take down the QT tank when it's not in use, and when I have to set it up, I just grab the extra HOB filter that I have running on my 55 gallon tank.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:06 PM   #5
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I agree, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Putting new fish in a QT tank is supposed to be for observational purposes so that you do not infect all the fish in your display tank.

After you observed 2 of them die, then I would have considered medication. 1 death could have been a sensitive fish that didn't like the acclimation.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:17 PM   #6
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It was a store I bought fish from for the first time. I also have 2 syno cats from the same store in QT (different tank) and they're doing fine. There was a substantial differnce in pH from their tanks to mine. The cories went from 6.4 to 7.2 and the synos went from 6.4 to 8.2. I took about 1 hour to acclimate them all. Like I said, I have never lost fish in this fashion. The only fish I seemed to lose with any regularity were GBR's and a couple of Otos.

I'm pretty sure I got a bad batch of fish, but I'm wondering if there's anything I could have done to prevent their passing. I was thinking that the Pimafix and Melafix could've helped without destroying the bacteria colony.

As far as water parameters are concerned, I tested the water every day and the params were perfect throughout.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:29 PM   #7
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if its just a qt bacteria isnt really that important, especially over a fish, i mean who has ever said, i was gonna save a fishes life, but then again, i didnt want to hurt the bacteria.

beneficial bacteria are easy to grow, treat the cory
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:59 PM   #8
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Pimafix/Melafix is primarily used to treat fungal infections, open sores, tail rot, cloudy eyes, popeye and cottony growth. If you didnt see this on your fish then there is something else wrong. If they had internal bacterial infections, theres no way you could have seen this. QT tanks for new fish are basicaly observation tanks, when and if you spot something, treat accordingly.
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:26 PM   #9
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Pimafix is for internal and external bacterial infections. Melafix works for the stuff that you can actually see (open wounds, fin rot, etc.).
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:53 PM   #10
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Yep, your right, internal bacterial infections.
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Old 09-22-2006, 02:22 PM   #11
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Well, the last of the little guys passed away today...

I'm going back to one of my regular shops to pick up more fish this time. The metaes were really cute. They pretty much look like pandas but with slightly different markings. I'll try to hunt down some more 3-4 small cories (False Julii, pandas,etc.) for my betta tank.
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