How do you guys set up and maintain your quarantine tank?

poorguy

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HI all - so after a neon tetrageddon incident which nearly wiped out my whole tank I decided I need a quarantine tank.

It seems straightforward - but is it? Does it mean every time I need to quarantine fish I need to set up that tank and cycle it all over again just to qurantine fish? I can't exactly have any permanent inhabitants either as they will then potentially just be exposed to diseases all the time?

I'm guessing I should just get something small enough that can basically accommodate a heater and do an almost 100% water change everyday. I'll obviously have to do this for the entire quarantine period so if this is the case then I'll prob just get a 1 Gallon tank or smaller.

I feel there's a better way to set up and maintain a quarantine tank? What am I missing?
 

mattgirl

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Run extra media in your main tank. Pull it out when you need to set up a QT. That is the beauty of having a fully cycled tank. With a bit of pre-planning one can instantly cycle another tank with seeded media.
 
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poorguy

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mattgirl said:
Run extra media in your main tank. Pull it out when you need to set up a QT. That is the beauty of having a fully cycled tank. With a bit of pre-planning one can instantly cycle another tank with seeded media.
makes sense but I'm a bit paranoid now :D If I set up the extra media in my tank it means that the media is now distributed between my primary media and secondary media. So if I remove the secondary media then all of a sudden my main tank will have less bacteria correct? Wont that mean my main tank now goes through a minI cycle for the bacteria population to catch up? I really don't want that to happen
 

Deku-Cory

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My quarantine is a 10 gallon that I keep dry and stored away between usage. My secret? (Ok, it's hardly a secret, a lot of people do it.) I have a sponge filter in my 75 gallon that can be quickly and easily moved to the quarantine tank whenever I need it. Boom, instantly cycled quarantine. Sponge filter goes back in the main tank when everything is finished. I can't say for sure if this causes any issues in my main tank when I take out the sponge filter, if it has it was so minor that neither me nor the fish noticed. But I suppose the volume of the tank and the size of the filter will impact that.

If you need something on the cheap, a plastic bin from Walmart will work as a quarantine tank. The disadvantage is that you can't see your fish as well to check for illnesses, so you'll have to weigh the pros and cons.

You'll also probably want some places for your fish to hide and feel secure. A completely empty space will stress them out. Cheap plastic plants, pieces of PVC tube from the hardware store, or terracotta pots are some inexpensive options.
 

mattgirl

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poorguy said:
makes sense but I'm a bit paranoid now :D If I set up the extra media in my tank it means that the media is now distributed between my primary media and secondary media. So if I remove the secondary media then all of a sudden my main tank will have less bacteria correct? Wont that mean my main tank now goes through a minI cycle for the bacteria population to catch up? I really don't want that to happen
I have never experience that and have often removed seeded media to start another tank. The bacteria grows on everything in our tanks so removing some extra media shouldn't remove enough to cause any problems. Bacteria replicates quick enough to get back where it was within a few hours.
 

CHJ

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I do it the bad way.
1. Something goes wrong.
2. I decide I need a quarantine tank in the future.
3. Setup tank and age it in.
4. Nothing goes wrong.
5. See a new and amazing fish at the fish shop but have no place to put it... well I do have that empty tank at home..
6. GOTO 1

Plastic tub + live foam seems like a better idea than that.
I have a quarantine tank right now that is getting used but I know eventually #5 will happen to me again.
 

BlackOsprey

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poorguy said:
makes sense but I'm a bit paranoid now :D If I set up the extra media in my tank it means that the media is now distributed between my primary media and secondary media. So if I remove the secondary media then all of a sudden my main tank will have less bacteria correct? Wont that mean my main tank now goes through a minI cycle for the bacteria population to catch up? I really don't want that to happen
It won't matter as long as the primary filter in your main tank can keep the tank easily cycled on its own.
 
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poorguy

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In that case I saw a 1.5 gallon tank with a filter on sale. It's a quarantine tank so I guess it will do as I have a spare heater now.

Too small? My main tank is a 20 gallon so all my fishes are small anyways. Maximum time spent there would be a week or so I guess
 

mattgirl

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poorguy said:
In that case I saw a 1.5 gallon tank with a filter on sale. It's a quarantine tank so I guess it will do as I have a spare heater now.

Too small? My main tank is a 20 gallon so all my fishes are small anyways. Maximum time spent there would be a week or so I guess
It would work but personally I would want to go with something bigger. Lots of times fish get ill from stress. A tank this small could potentiality cause stress. I guess the size would depend on what and how many fish need to be quarantined in there.
 

Islandvic

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Add a sponge filter to your main tank.

Buy a dedicated 5 gallon bucket and a small 50 watt adjustable heater. Dont get the preset type.

When you need to quarantine a fish or set up a hospital tank, set the 5 gallon bucket up with dechlorinated water and heater, then throw the sponge filter in it.

You now have an instantly cycled quarantine/hospital tank.

I've done this and it works well
 

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Something about a quarantine tank - make sure you know the diseases the fish are at risk for! Some have short incubation periods, but there are others that may very well take months to show signs. I saw someone else on here who keeps fish in quarantine for 1-3 months for that very reason.
 

86 ssinit

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Well there’s 2 types of tanks. There’s a qt tank for new fish. These I leave for a month. Than there’s a hospital tank. This is to remove sick fish from a main tank and try to heal them. For the qt tank the best way is as said already remove media from the tank you plan to put them in. Add this to a new tank filter. I also like to fill qt with water from main tank. Same for a hospital tank. Only difference is that media I will throw away. You can clean it with a mix of 1 part bleach to 4 parts water and let it soak in that for an hour than let it dry (best in the sun). Than put it away till the next time you remove media from the main tank.
Yes as said when done using put it away!!! Otherwise it just becomes another tank! Mts is sneaky this way:).
 
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poorguy

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thanks all for your input. I must confess the QT tank started me thinking if I could have some permanent members in that I could temporarily shift out ;) - I shall resist!
 

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I have a 15 gallon clear tote in basement with a 3 watt pump in an old water bottle with some foam in it. I throw my trimmed mosses in it and some culls, since it is above my computer and security system its very warm and it ended up being a huge producer of shrimp, figures the tank you do nothing with and pay little attention to it turns out better.
 

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Islandvic said:
Add a sponge filter to your main tank.

Buy a dedicated 5 gallon bucket and a small 50 watt adjustable heater. Dont get the preset type.

When you need to quarantine a fish or set up a hospital tank, set the 5 gallon bucket up with dechlorinated water and heater, then throw the sponge filter in it.

You now have an instantly cycled quarantine/hospital tank.

I've done this and it works well
I definitely want to have a QT tank for any future fish I buy. The only question I still have, is, in keeping a small sponge filter running in my main tank, after using it in the QT tank, won't it have cooties on it? Should it be cleaned first before putting it back in the main tank? If so, how? Thanks.
 

Islandvic

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If you quarantine fish and they appear not to be sick after 2 weeks and the fish are put into the main tank, it will be the same as putting the sponge filter back in there as well.

If the fish you quarantined had to be treated for illness and after treatment they were healthy enough to place into the main tank, you can thoroughly rinse the sponge filter under hot water until clean and then laid out to fully dry out. After a few days of being completely dry, I don't think parasite/virus would still be alive.

You can also dip the sponge into boiling water. Use a metal coat hanger to lower it into the boiling water. that way it will not touch the side of the pot, which might be hotter and damage the foam sponge.

Also, soaking it in a very diluted bleach solution followed by a thorough rinsing will kill off anything as well. Let the sponge dry out again, then give it another rinse followed by a soak in water dosed with extra decholrinator. The dechlorinator will eliminate any residual bleach.
 

Mizzom

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Islandvic said:
If you quarantine fish and they appear not to be sick after 2 weeks and the fish are put into the main tank, it will be the same as putting the sponge filter back in there as well.

If the fish you quarantined had to be treated for illness and after treatment they were healthy enough to place into the main tank, you can thoroughly rinse the sponge filter under hot water until clean and then laid out to fully dry out. After a few days of being completely dry, I don't think parasite/virus would still be alive.

You can also dip the sponge into boiling water. Use a metal coat hanger to lower it into the boiling water. that way it will not touch the side of the pot, which might be hotter and damage the foam sponge.

Also, soaking it in a very diluted bleach solution followed by a thorough rinsing will kill off anything as well. Let the sponge dry out again, then give it another rinse followed by a soak in water dosed with extra decholrinator. The dechlorinator will eliminate any residual bleach.
Thanks so much! That makes me feel better - It was always a concern of mine, but I never really asked until now. I appreciate your answer. :happy:
 

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I keep a "throwdown tank" slash quarantine tank. It's actually my oldest most established tank. I always keep it stocked with fish, some mine, some my sons. Left over decorations, least amount of attention, and oddly, I love to sit and watch this tank. The standby media works as well, but I would just get an extra tank. You should have at least two anyways in case of an emergency like your tank breaks or springs a leak. It happens believe it or not lol. Good luck
 

peddidle

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What if putting "seeded" media into a QT doesn't work? (My recent experience with trying to cycle a tank using seeded media has made me concerned this would likely be the outcome in my case.) Would it be better to move the fish to the tank that is supposed to be their permanent home and possibly expose the current fish to illness? Or would it be better to essentially end up doing a fish-in cycle in a QT in case the fish are sick?
 

Virgo

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peddidle said:
What if putting "seeded" media into a QT doesn't work? (My recent experience with trying to cycle a tank using seeded media has made me concerned this would likely be the outcome in my case.) Would it be better to move the fish to the tank that is supposed to be their permanent home and possibly expose the current fish to illness? Or would it be better to essentially end up doing a fish-in cycle in a QT in case the fish are sick?
I suppose moving the seeded media to the QT tank is better. I will not want my existing fish in the main tank to get infected.

Here’s what I did yesterday to set up my QT tank in the morning and 8 rummy noses in the afternoon for QT:

In my main fully cycled tank I have 2 Gex Rokaboy S running all the time, each with 2 pieces of filter media in it seeded. Every time I change filter media I will only change 1 piece at a time. My main tank also contains substrates about 2cm.

For my QT tank I set up 2 new Gex Rokaboy S. Then transfer 1 piece of filter media in each Rokaboy in the main tank to the new Rokaboys in the QT. Then replace the 4 filter media in my 4 Rokaboys with new ones (2 from main and 2 from QT). For the substrate I also transfer a bit of substrate from the main tank to the Rokaboys as there is a compartment for such.

Once done I did a water change for my main tank and drain 1/2 of it to the QT. Then fill up completely both tanks with aged water added with Prime prior.

Now I have my QT ready with just bare bottom with some ceramic rings and Biohome Ultimate that I also transferred from the main tank. I always have some of those spare in the main tank.

Tested all parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrates and PH) for the QT and all are similar to the main tank. Added 8 rummy noses to it and so far they are adapting well. Their noses getting redder each day meaning water parameters are a-ok for them.
 

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