Qt Sponge Filter - What To Do With It Post-quarantine?

  1. elizthm Initiate Member

    Complete newbie here with a question about the sponge filter being used in a quarantine tank. I have a 29 gallon tank cycled by using Angels Plus active sponge filters. I purchased two. For the QT, I set up a very economical one, following a post I found here on fishlore, using a sterilite container and equipment that a I inherited, and placing one of the active sponge filters from the 29 gallon tank in it. My question is, after the quarantine period, assuming the quarantined fish is disease free and is placed in the community tank, can I safely put the sponge filter back in the community tank, or should it be discarded? I apologize if this question has been answered elsewhere. I searched the forum, but didn't see it.
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    I would put it in the main tank if the fish in quarantine were fine. Then if you need to start the qt again in future you'll have a filter ready to go!

  3. OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    I would transfer the fish. If no sign of trouble move the filter in a few days. Even if the filter was exposed to disease there would be no need to discard it. Just soak it in some bleach water solution, rinse in hot water, and let it completely dry for a few days. Drop it back in the tank and recycle it like it was a new filter.
  4. AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    Don't put your qt filter in your big tank. That defeats the whole purpose of keeping everything separate in the first place.

    You can keep it in your qt if you didn't have any illness at all, but can you really be 100% sure? If you did a full 4 weeks of qt without illness I may reuse it with the next set of qt fish. Otherwise just toss it. They are cheap.

    You could clean it like @OnTheFly suggested also. I just never have.

    I keep sponge filters in my big tank. I rotate them into my qt. So I take the one from the big tank, place in QT. Then put new sponge in big tank. Once qt is over, (4weeks) then I throw the qt sponge away. And your next sponge (in the big tank) is seeded with bacteria and is ready to be put into the qt when needed.

  5. elizthm Initiate Member

    Thanks for your reply. This made sense to me, but wanted a more experienced opinion.

    Thanks for your reply! This also sounds like a sound idea!
  6. OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    @AllieSten and I don't always completely agree and that's OK :) To be 100% safe we would need to throw filters, gravel, nets, siphon hoses and aquariums in the trash fairly frequently. All of those things have just as much chance of being dirty as a filter. And never put the new fish in the community tank. Once the fish are transferred from community you just lost the separation. You made a bet that the new fish are clean. I have over ten tanks so I disinfect a lot of stuff from time to time.
  7. elizthm Initiate Member

    @OnTheFly and @AllieSten , thank you for your replies!

  8. AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    You make a good point about the gravel etc. I actually did change my gravel between qt's the first time, but not the second. Neither set had obvious signs of illness, and I did prophylactically treat with Prazipro. I figured since there was no illness it was work I didn't need to do. I did replace the sponge filter though.

    I have only done 3 sets of qt fish.The last set of fish had obvious illnesses. Once they were cured and in the main tank, I broke down my qt and sterilized everything. I didn't want to risk spreading any illness at all. And now it houses a single betta. New sand, decorations and sponge filters. I probably over did it, but I didn't want to expose a healthy fish to any sort of illnesses.
  9. OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    You only have to get burned once to be become extra cautious for a long while. When my QT tanks are empty I generally dose them one time prophylactically. With no live hosts present this seems to be very effective. I usually one time dose my new fish in QT as well. The lessor of evils in my mind because it beats dosing a community tank for a week where you might have fish that don't like Meds, or heat and make effective treatment difficult. Maybe someday this method will fail me, but for now I no longer deal with the common issues I used to get with new fish. We can't make this risk free unless you QT for months, but it seems easy to put the odds much more in our favor.