How Many Of You Actually Quarantine?

Do you quarantine?


  • Total voters
    89

Quiche

Member
I'm curious as to the percentage of people that actually quarantine?

It depends, but usually no, because I get fish from reputable LFS- however, this (risky) practice has infected my tank with camallanus worms and ich before...
 

PonzLL

Member
I don't

It's burned me

but for some reason my idiot self still doesn't quarantine. lol
 

HORNET1

Member
I seldom purchase new fish, but when I do...
I buy from one trusted source and I do not quarantine.
My source quarantines and medicates all new stock before placing them for sale to the public.
I've never experienced a problem.
 

coralbandit

Member
All my new fish get their own tank for at least a month so I guess I quarantine . They usually stay separated completely for me so I am not necessarily quarantining on purpose..
For my 180 and 120 marine fish go right in them , rare as it is .
 

Goldiemom

Member
IMO, ich is about the only thing that will show up quickly in a new fish in QT. Most other diseases take 4 or 5 weeks to show up sometimes and a true QT would have to be for at least that long. I QT for about 5 days for ich and then they go in main tank with fingers crossed.
 

wrs2

Member
I'm dumb. I don't QT. I know I should but every tank that I have had left over for QT has some how ended up with fish in them. And I agree with Goldiemom & I have zero patience to wait that long. Plus what if we don't do a preventative QT, then what is the point? The disease can still come out once the fish is in the tank. I don't like the idea of medicating fish that don't show signs of sickness.
 

Repolie

Member
I always quarantine because there are other things to look out for besides diseases or parasites. I also make sure the fish can adjust to the diet I feed and that they are eating and I look out for other physical problems that might arise.
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
Absoflippinlootly......... It's a word....Kinda......
 

DillonPhoenix

Member
Heck no, ain't nobody got time for that!

Although it does help that I only keep male Bettas who each have their own tank
 

goldface

Member
Nah, hahaha ops: Just being real.
 

_IceFyre_

Member
I never have; I know I should but I don’t have the patience or resources to have a proper QT running all the time. Also, I’d be worried that the stress of QT might cause more problems than it’s worth.
I’ve been lucky so far, even with Petsmart fish.
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
Actually I have to be clear. Yes. I have far too much money invested in our livestock to risk it to being impatient.
 

Goldiemom

Member
For those that do QT, do you do the full 4 weeks or more?
 

oOBlueOo

Member
I quarantine unless it comes from a trusted source. I once got some unknown guppies and qt'd them in a 10g. Luckily so, because at 75*F, they started showing signs of aggressive columnaris. They died the next day, and the whole tank plus equipment was tossed.

I also qt bait minnows and wild caught fish for at least a month. In that time frame, they get dewormed right away. If I saw any cotton spores on any of the bait minnows in the holding tank, the new ones also get treated for that right away. Symptoms or not.

I'm overly cautious when it comes to diseases.
 

Daiz

Member
I've had pretty good experince not quarantining my fish. I do have medicine for almost anything just in case. I use Herbtana for both parasites and fungus. I also have some medicine for callamanus worms. It's weird, but the ick will usually leave on its own.
Honestly, I would like to try it tho.
 

toeknee

Member
I'm surprised at the results so far! If I kept expensive fish I would QT more. But otherwise I typically don't, and have had good luck. I have a fish medicine cabinet stocked up for any potential issues. I only get new fish once or so a year if that. When I add fish to my tank everyone gets a round of paraguard as a preventative.
 

Dave125g

Member
I do. No matter how good a source you have. They can all sell a sick fish. I have over 1000 dollars worth of fish in my 125 and I'm not taking that risk. I can wait.
 

AquaBaby

Member
My first fish and snails, they went into my cycled 10 gal while my 55 gal was cycling. They stayed in the 10 for 1 month. After that, all my fish, snails, amano shrimp and plants all have gone into QT for a minimum of 1 month, but usually 6 - 8 wks, unless they show some symptom, then longer as required. The only thing I haven't QT'd were the RCS I got. They went into a breeder net for 2 weeks in the 55 then released.

My male betta went into his own tank. It did have snails in it at the time, but no other fish. Actual QT on him? Technically no, I guess.

Actually, I have plants in my QT tank right now - marimo moss balls and minI rose moss. I do have an assassin snail in there with them, part of my plant QT process.

My QT saved me from a bad school of neon tetras. I was never more thankful I QT new arrivals. In all honesty, though, they've been the only fish that I ever had an issue with. And, the plant QT has kept me from getting MTS in my main tank.
 
  • Moderator

smee82

Moderator
Member
I QT all fish and inverts before adding them. Its not worth the hassle of having to medicate a planted tank let alone the costs.
 

Tsin21

Member
Quarantining helped me dodge a bullet before when I unknowingly bought a school of cardinal tetras infected with a virulent strain of columnaris.
 

bitseriously

Member
So many opinions! All good ones too, and highly rational. I think it's a classic case of "there is no wrong answer".
For myself, I try to avoid quarantine, so I'm careful about what I buy and where from. I walked away empty-handed from a store just last night, even though they had a few of exactly what I've been looking for, and at a reasonable price. The fish I wanted appeared healthy, but overall there were too many danger signs. I'd say about 20% of the tanks had dead fish in them, lots with more than one. And lots of flashing. "Something's not right" says I.
Also, I had a bad quarantine experience the first time I tried it, where 4/7 rummies and 8/8 sterbaI died within a month. I'll never know for sure, but I think it was my q tank that did them in, not anything they brought in with them. So in my mind, I see quarantine as a stressful environment, for the fish. Almost like it's asking for problems. Actually, I guess it sort of is. LOL.
But as I understand fish health, they basically live in the presence of all their normal pathogens all the time, but if they are healthy, and the water is clean/good, they stay ahead of the diseases. Take a (mildly) sick fish, put it in a well established pristine tank, and it gets better. But put it in a new quarantine tank, hastily cobbled together due to unplanned fish purchase, and they're goners, whether they were sick to start with or not. But obviously, you don't know when you buy if it is healthy, has curable disease, or incurable.

So I'm curious, for those that do practice quarantine, would you say there is a learning curve to getting it right?
And for those that don't, is part of the reason for not quarantining based on prior failures, like me?
Thx!
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
Goldiemom said:
For those that do QT, do you do the full 4 weeks or more?
Yes.
 

stella1979

Member
ALWAYS!!! Yes, I quarantine anything and everything that's alive, be it fish, plants, inverts, corals, etc. QT lasts at least 5 weeks, because yes, some things can take that long or even longer to show up.

Indeed, QT can be stressful on fish, and stress is harmful of course. I disease that the fish is handling well may rear its ugly head due to stress, but there's no proof that the same danger won't occur in the DT, simply because a move, even to a very nice and well-established tank can still be stressful... because, well, moving is stressful on all living things. I too have invested far too much in display tanks to let this happen. It's sad, but fish must run the gauntlet of QT to be offered admittance into my tanks. As ill-advised as it may be, I do what I can to make the QT tank comfortable in hopes of reducing stress.

For the salty QT, that means I have sand and PVC hides in there. Sand is generally a no-no in QT, but I'd rather replace it if necessary and will remove it if I had to use something like copper, which needs to be maintained at a precise therapeutic level, yet sand and other porous things can absorb copper, making maintaining precision difficult or impossible.

In the fresh QT, I keep sand as well a little Wisteria forest. Yep, medication and plants don't mix either, but Wisteria grows like a weed for me, so if I lose what's in QT, I can replace it with some from a DT. Also, this fresh quarantine tank was set up during the process of losing more than 30 fish in what was supposed to be my son's new community tank. Only one survived, but I couldn't be sure he wasn't still a carrier, so many, many months went by where that dwarf gouramI had the planted 20 gallon all to himself. After nearly a year with us, he did end up getting sick and dying, with death occurring less than a week from the first symptom. I'm not sure what got him, probably DGIV, but when he died it was very sad and the tank itself, though lovely, had become rather depressing. I couldn't subject another fish to that tank without complete sterilization, which took time and work, and meant that it had to be cycled yet again. After that experience, with more than a year of stress with that tank, I resolved never to put an unquarantined fish into a display tank ever again.

I too have lost fish in quarantine, but no freshies since I planted that QT. Salty fish are another story entirely, at least, in my own experience. I live in the land of fish stores and am not too far from some of the biggest importers and fish farms in the country. Whether they're salty or fresh, I do my best to buy the healthiest fish I can find. Sadly, every salty fish I have ever brought home had something or another going on. Sadly, it took a few tries to get a watchman goby who could survive QT, but that time taught me some things, and I'm darn glad I didn't let the, (sorry to say it), weak guys into my reef tank. Treating illness when corals are a concern is a whole 'nother ballgame, and I'll do what it takes to avoid that.

Edit: To answer your questions bitseriously , yes, QT takes at least a month, and yes, there certainly was a learning curve for me.
 

PonzLL

Member
I need to make friends who someone with good QT habits, then I'll just let them QT my fish for me lol
 

coralbandit

Member
Many think they are merely protecting their existing fish from a new issue with proper QT practice .Not the whole story IMO .
The last step of proper QT is to add one of your existing fish from your tank to the QT to see if it infects the others …This should be the last week or two out of a good 6 week process.
Fish do not always come infected but they do often come very stressed out ….
There are unfortunately many fish issues that can be 'harbored' on a 'cured ' fish.
They are called sub clinical carriers and often never show issue again after "cure" until they die , but can and do certainly infect a lot of newcomers to the tank.
 

Cherie G

Member
I do not, the LFS owner that I deal with quarantines her fish before she puts them in her store tanks. Fortunately I have not had a problem, not to say that it could not happen. Also I don't have a place to put a quarantine tank, if I did I would probably do it just as a double safe guard.
 

stella1979

Member
coralbandit said:
Many think they are merely protecting their existing fish from a new issue with proper QT practice .Not the whole story IMO .
The last step of proper QT is to add one of your existing fish from your tank to the QT to see if it infects the others …This should be the last week or two out of a good 6 week process.
Fish do not always come infected but they do often come very stressed out ….
There are unfortunately many fish issues that can be 'harbored' on a 'cured ' fish.
They are called sub clinical carriers and often never show issue again after "cure" until they die , but can and do certainly infect a lot of newcomers to the tank.
Good info! Thanks for sharing and getting my mind ticking once again about the best QT protocol I can enact. Not to be defensive, but I just wanted to say that I not only think that I am protecting existing fish but the large investment I have in the tanks in their entirety. Going fallow is no fun, stressful on already sick fish, and possibly stressful on other life in the tank... (I'm thinking about maintaining a cycle in a fishless tank without also bringing nutrients higher than I'd like... ugh, stressful for me that is.<-- yes, I know that's Spock, but sadly, we don't have a Yoda ) Also, it's tough to be absolutely sure that a DT is completely disease free even after a 3-month fallow period. Indeed, we take chances left and right with most actions in this hobby, and I will continue to take my chances with QT to protect the DT's, but I will take your advice to heart and look closely at my own process.
 

coralbandit

Member
I am lucky to just have enough tanks that my fish do get QT'd basically.
If and when I add fish to my marine or 180 I am beyond diligent.
Going fallow is brutal but marine issues are far more complex then freshwater and unfortunately it is the price you pay if you finally heed advice.
With 60+ tanks in my fish room you bet I am beyond scrutinizing every fish no matter where they go.
Letting anything into the fish room is a guarded process that even goes as far as considering the fish that are housed near the newbs .
Air stones can introduce pathogens into the air thus possibly infecting a completely separate tank next to it.
You are not really paranoid if you really understand most businesses are just that, businesses.
I go in fish stores back rooms. I have the type of relationship that gets me in with most . If they really QT they either have as many or more tanks in the back or one half of their display tanks are not for sale...Can't work any other way .I want to see it !
People believe what they want...
Most fish are stressed to say the least , along with under nourished and over exposed to poor water quality IMO [what do I know ?].
 

oldsalt777

Member
Quiche said:
I'm curious as to the percentage of people that actually quarantine?

It depends, but usually no, because I get fish from reputable LFS- however, this (risky) practice has infected my tank with camallanus worms and ich before...
Hello Q...

Good question. I've never quarantined new fish. I've found if you do a good job of selecting the fish and take them home to a tank with good water conditions and healthy fish, the chances of any pathogen or parasite infection is very unlikely.

Old
 

Culprit

Member
YES always. I've been burnt too many times and lost too many fish and too much money due to not quarantining. Having to break down and sterilize tanks, and leave them fallow just because I didn't want to take a little bit of time to quarantine is terrible. So now I always QT everything.

Some people have mentioned diseases taking longer to show up. That's why I QT for at least a month, and I prophylactically treat now. Yes its stressful, mabye even harmful, but I want to be 100% sure nothing comes into my tank. For freshwater delicate fish like tetras, its Paraguard, then PrazI Pro and/or metro afterwards. Saltwater gets 30 day copper and metro treatment, and Prazi-Pro. I know with copper, metro, and prazI nothing will be getting in.

My 20 long planted tank has been fishless for over a year. But when you have to have QT full for 76 days, and then QTing other fish for 30+ days, and then keeping and treating others, it builds up quick. Also I'm a bit lazy with stocking, I don't constnalty run fish through QT. So I'm about to start running batches through, but sitll.

QT is as comfortable and stress free as I can make it. 50% water changes every week, in saltwater I run chaeto to keep nitrates down, PVC, plastic plants, ect.

stella1979 said:
Good info! Thanks for sharing and getting my mind ticking once again about the best QT protocol I can enact. Not to be defensive, but I just wanted to say that I not only think that I am protecting existing fish but the large investment I have in the tanks in their entirety. Going fallow is no fun, stressful on already sick fish, and possibly stressful on other life in the tank... (I'm thinking about maintaining a cycle in a fishless tank without also bringing nutrients higher than I'd like... ugh, stressful for me that is.<-- yes, I know that's Spock, but sadly, we don't have a Yoda ) Also, it's tough to be absolutely sure that a DT is completely disease free even after a 3-month fallow period. Indeed, we take chances left and right with most actions in this hobby, and I will continue to take my chances with QT to protect the DT's, but I will take your advice to heart and look closely at my own process.
Something that works very well that I've heard is take a freshwater mollie and put it in saltwater. It will be stressed by the transfer, and will not have an immunity or any possiblilty of any saltwater diseases. If there is any disease it will quickly become infected. Then you know its not safe. I've been debating keeping a mollie in my Freshwater tank, and transfer it to QT for a few days to check after the end of QT period, then move it back.
 

jmaldo

Member
QT!
Yes, Yes and Yes. If not you'll be doing this.

I guess I was very "Lucky" when I first started. "QT" what is that, you mean I have to buy another tank and everything, no way but...
As mentioned I have read countless posts of my fish caught this or that and it usually happens due to poor QT practices. I was part of a discussion on another forum which went into "Great Detail" on the the reasons to QT, the proper practices and different methods members use.It was eye opening to say the least. I have not purchased any new inhabitants for a while. But when I do they get a minimum of 4-6 weeks, some say not long enough but...
@coralbandit
I might give your method a go next time (adding an existing fish from the their eventual new home tank to the QT during the last 2 weeks or so.) That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing.
 

CanadianFishFan

Member
Bettas are easy so I quarantine them before dividing tanks. But last time I quarantined Petsmart guppys... RIP 7 guppys. Ive had better luck just putting them in the tank. This time I'm planning to try quarantine with my loachs & guppys again.
 

PonzLL

Member
My wife knows **** well that if I set up a QT tank, it'll just turn into a 5th tank and I'll still need a QT tank.
 

IHaveADogToo

Member
Several things go into my decision on if to quarantine and for how long. Where I got the fish is one of those things. If the fish came from a chain pet store, you better believe they’re getting a full month of quarantine and getting preventative meds no matter if they’re showing symptoms or not. Same with any kind of puffer or kuhlI loaches or any other likely wild caught fish.

Another thing worth considering is if there’s any fish already in the tank, and what and how many there are. If I’ve only got a few neon tetras, for example, in the tank to begin with, then there’s not a whole lot of risk, compared to if I’m adding my centerpiece fish to a fully stocked aquarium or female bettas to a sorority, where a quarantine period would be mandatory.
 

Lacey D

Member
I quarantined once...and in the 10 gallon tank, 5 endlers turned into 30 in the space of the month they were in quarantine. I now have more "quarantine" tanks than I do display tanks, because the females never made it out of quarantine, and keep popping out babies like crazy. Everytime I think I have a lull and can get something else, more babies.

So now, my "quarantine" is exposing new critters (a female betta, snails and shrimp so far) to my endlers for a month or more. If no one dies or exhibits obvious disease, then I can start shuffling fish until I get some of the new guys in my display tank. I just don't have the room right now for anyone to be on their own for long :/ Because if I have space...it ends up full of endler.
 

PonzLL

Member
I'm at a point now where I'm happy with my tanks, and don't want to add any new fish because I don't want to risk anything, so they're possibly a bit understocked, and that's ok as long as I don't have a QT.
 

aced it

Member
I don't qt inverts, and I've never had an issue with any of the fish bought from my favorite LFS. That being said, even if every fish in the store is healthy and beautiful, and there's not a single floater in any if the tanks, I'm still going to quarantine. If their immune systems are less effective due to stress, they could get sick in my tank and infect all the other fish. I don't have expensive fish or plants, but my tank wasn't cheap and I've put a ton of time and energy into it. Having to tear it down and start again would be devastating. I'd rather wait a few months to be safe than infect my display tank.

There's also definitely a learning curve with quarentining. Trying to keep 9 zebra danios in a 10 gallon tank for two months was not the best decision I've made.
 

Goldiemom

Member
coralbandit said:
I am lucky to just have enough tanks that my fish do get QT'd basically.
If and when I add fish to my marine or 180 I am beyond diligent.
Going fallow is brutal but marine issues are far more complex then freshwater and unfortunately it is the price you pay if you finally heed advice.
With 60+ tanks in my fish room you bet I am beyond scrutinizing every fish no matter where they go.
Letting anything into the fish room is a guarded process that even goes as far as considering the fish that are housed near the newbs .
Air stones can introduce pathogens into the air thus possibly infecting a completely separate tank next to it.
You are not really paranoid if you really understand most businesses are just that, businesses.
I go in fish stores back rooms. I have the type of relationship that gets me in with most . If they really QT they either have as many or more tanks in the back or one half of their display tanks are not for sale...Can't work any other way .I want to see it !
People believe what they want...
Most fish are stressed to say the least , along with under nourished and over exposed to poor water quality IMO [what do I know ?].
Good info. People that say their LFS quarantines hopefully ask how long they quarantine. I would want to see their QT procedures and tanks, not just take their word for it.
 

Lacey D

Member
Goldiemom said:
Good info. People that say their LFS quarantines hopefully ask how long they quarantine. I would want to see their QT procedures and tanks, not just take their word for it.
Mine is Aquarium Co-Op, so they're very open about their quarantine--1 month, often medicated, in their own room. And if a single fish passes or exhibits disease on their sales floor they black out the entire tank until they can assess what happened and treat or release the rest of the fish. Sometimes they shuffle them all back into quarantine for treating in a bare setup if the problem is helped by that.

I haven't bought fish other than the endler from them yet, just plants and supplies. I still quarantined the endler...as much good as that did. And I plan on quarantining the clown pleco and the loaches when I get those.
 

techfool

Member
My LFS quarantines for two weeks - I've been out back and seen the tanks. I know two weeks is not enough but the chain pet store has them in the tanks straightaway. I don't buy fish that are skinny or too young or too small or surrounded by the dead / dying.
All my fish are hardy - barbs, danios and cories. I feel that tetras are more likely to get sick.
I don't quarantine but I know I should!
 

Dave125g

Member
stella1979 said:
Good info! Thanks for sharing and getting my mind ticking once again about the best QT protocol I can enact. Not to be defensive, but I just wanted to say that I not only think that I am protecting existing fish but the large investment I have in the tanks in their entirety. Going fallow is no fun, stressful on already sick fish, and possibly stressful on other life in the tank... (I'm thinking about maintaining a cycle in a fishless tank without also bringing nutrients higher than I'd like... ugh, stressful for me that is.<-- yes, I know that's Spock, but sadly, we don't have a Yoda ) Also, it's tough to be absolutely sure that a DT is completely disease free even after a 3-month fallow period. Indeed, we take chances left and right with most actions in this hobby, and I will continue to take my chances with QT to protect the DT's, but I will take your advice to heart and look closely at my own process.
Well said. To expand on the last part of your post..... We all need to continuously reevaluate are prosseses in this hobby. Weather it be with quarantining new fish, breeding our fish, raising our fish or whatever. That's the only way we can learn.
Ps. I just noticed your a mod now. Congrats.
 

Dave125g

Member
techfool said:
My LFS quarantines for two weeks - I've been out back and seen the tanks. I know two weeks is not enough but the chain pet store has them in the tanks straightaway. I don't buy fish that are skinny or too young or too small or surrounded by the dead / dying.
All my fish are hardy - barbs, danios and cories. I feel that tetras are more likely to get sick.
I don't quarantine but I know I should!
Black skirt tetras are the hardiest fish I know of. I use them to cycle tanks. The 4 I have are my test pilots. Lol neon tetras yes very week for the most part.
 

stella1979

Member
Lacey D said:
Mine is Aquarium Co-Op, so they're very open about their quarantine--1 month, often medicated, in their own room. And if a single fish passes or exhibits disease on their sales floor they black out the entire tank until they can assess what happened and treat or release the rest of the fish. Sometimes they shuffle them all back into quarantine for treating in a bare setup if the problem is helped by that.

I haven't bought fish other than the endler from them yet, just plants and supplies. I still quarantined the endler...as much good as that did. And I plan on quarantining the clown pleco and the loaches when I get those.
You lucky duck! Congrats on having such a reputable fish store nearby. I dream of visiting Washington someday and would love a quick stop at Aquarium Co-op if at all possible.

Dave125g said:
Well said. To expand on the last part of your post..... We all need to continuously reevaluate are prosseses in this hobby. Weather it be with quarantining new fish, breeding our fish, raising our fish or whatever. That's the only way we can learn.
Ps. I just noticed your a mod now. Congrats.
Well said yourself Dave.
PS: Thank you!
 

RSababady

Member
Goldiemom said:
For those that do QT, do you do the full 4 weeks or more?
week to ten days - mainly for ick.
But I also add med to the QT tank - for ich and for strengthening immune system (herbal product from Microbe-Lift)
 

HelvisGoldies

Member
Honestly... I qt my goldfish for 2 months or so. I have too much money and love invested in them. I don't however, quarantine my tropicals, I know it's not good
 

86 ssinit

Member
I recently bought 4 bubble rams. I rarely buy fish. Once tank is established with fish it’s just plants. Rinse and in for them.
When getting fish my stores are good and I’ll spend about a half hour looking at the fish. If I’m happy I’ll take it and acclimate it to the tank scoop it out with a net and that’s it. If I see ick in the store I don’t buy. Dead fish in stores happen stress kill more fish than diseases.
Got to be interesting fish for me to buy. Got the rams introduced them all was well for a week than one buy one they died off. One left and it looks fine.
Nothing else died seems the stress of going through the motions of getting to the pet stores than getting to me was to much. But there fragile fish and I knew the risk.
 

Sanderguy777

Member
I don't. I've had fish die, but never any that were already in the tank. So either really lucky or whatever.
I don't because I only have one tank.
 

Lacey D

Member
... OK, I just did the dumb and bought five kuhlI loaches yesterday, and straight into the display they went. My reasoning was 1) I bought them from a place that quarantines, 2) I saw first hand that freakynoodles are impossible to catch, so if I put them in my current sand-bottomed, planted quarantine tank, I would NEVER get them out, and 3) my quarantine tank was having some filter issues yesterday when I got home with them. Also, all I have in my display tank are endler livebearers (10 out of the hundreds I currently have), and a PetSmart female betta who I adore but who is more likely to be the vector of an illness than victI'm of one.

I weighed everything and decided that introducing them to the display tank was the best for now. I won't be getting any new fish or transferring fish out of the display for at least a month, so I'm treating it like THIS is my new quarantine.
 

Dave125g

Member
Here is the way I see it. If you can live with losing every living thing in your display tank, then don't quarantine. If you don't want to replace your entire stock then quarantine.
I have yet to see any good reason not to quarantine new fish.
 

JLeeM

Member
I've quarantined all new fish for at least 4-5 weeks since I had so many problems with my panda corys. Since then, almost all of my fish have come from good sources. That being said, I haven't had to treat for anything for the most part. Most of the quarantine is to make sure I can get them eating again. The one fish I did have to treat was from PetSmart and didn't make it, so I'm glad I didn't expose all my others to him.
 

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