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Qt Tank Or Mts? 10 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Quarantine' started by FishMommer, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. FishMommerValued MemberMember

    So we have a 16g and a 20 long. Recently, unknowing, I bought a sick fish. Thankfully we had an old 2.5g from a Beta a few years back. As we move on stocking the 20 long, I thought maybe we move ahead with more of a QT setup vs. the rush 2.5 bit. My son calls it the Dragon's Curse Tank. (Fish are doomed in it - a Dragon Scale Beta died years ago in it.)

    Here is my thinking. If a fish gets sick I can still throw it in the 2.5 and medicate etc. as needed? Serve as just a Hospital tank. It has a heater, filter, and light all suited to it. I could through a hiding spot in too as needed. Saw that somewhere. Nice idea.

    Then, maybe I put together a 10g for fish when either they first arrive or if at any point there could be breeding happening? Never tried the breeding before, but it appears we do have a pair of Honey G's that might make that a possibility down the road? No idea on how that would go yet.

    I guess I am wondering also, then do I set up this tank to run all the time or just have it ready on standby? I think my hubby would be a bit miffed if he saw another tank so soon. ;P Plus while I could find room, not sure I want to right now. However, either way we would need to prep it for new stock anyway. What would be the best fasted way to get it cycled? Use water from tank they will go in and filter media from it also? How long do you think it would take? I am thinking I would add some TSS+ as well. Do I need anything else in there? I was considering buying a 10g kit so I am done with one purchase. And upgrade the filter matter.

    If I did decide to keep it up an running. What is involved/recommended there? Can I do just plants and a snail or something? Gravel or no gravel? I do have some old gravel from the 2.5 maybe I could clean and us as at least something? And would it be better to skip plants initially? I don't have extra now anyway. ;) Plus I wouldn't invest in lighting beyond whatever came with the kit.
  2. jjohnwmWell Known MemberMember

    Congratulations! If more people thought ahead this way, we would have far fewer "Help! Emergency!!!" threads on this site.

    If you set up a quarantine tank with the expectation of keeping it running all the time so that it is available at a moment's notice when needed, you will need to keep some fish in it to maintain a population of beneficial bacteria in the filter. Even then, you can't come home with a bag full of 10 fish from the LFS and expect the tank to accommodate them if it has been running with 2 small guppies in it. The population of bacteria in the filter will be adequate to handle the bioload of whatever lives in the tank, and this will determine how many more fish you can add without causing a temporary ammonia spike.

    If you maintain the quarantine tank with a healthy population of fish, it's all too easy to simply begin thinking of it as a regular fishtank rather than a quarantine tank. The fish in it become pets, the tank starts getting decorated and planted, maybe the fish breed or you buy a few more, and one day you wake up to realize that you no longer have a ready-to-use quarantine tank...you just have another tank full of fish! :)

    The method that I like is to keep an extra sponge filter operating all the time in one or more of your regular tanks, so that the sponge is mature and supports a stable population of bacteria. The tank you have designated as your QT sits empty, maybe half full of water and an airstone. and heated to the proper temperature. When you decide to buy some fish, it takes minutes to top the QT up with water drawn from one of your regular tanks, and to drop that extra sponge filter into it. Presto! You have a tank all set to go, with a mature sponge filter ready to process ammonia. You still need to be aware of ammonia levels, especially if you add a lot of new fish to it at one time, but a filter that has been "pre-started" like this will increase its bacterial colony to the size required within a couple of days...far faster than if you started from scratch.

    You don't need gravel and the tank is easier to maintain without it. A few rocks or decorations to provide cover are a good idea. I will usually drop in a handful of Hornwort or other floating plant when I add the fish as well; helps with water quality, provides cover and generally reduces that sterile look. The whole idea is extremely simple, and the benefits of quarantining new fish are considerable.
  3. FishMommerValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the scoop!

    Yes, understood. But I thought maybe I have seen posted sometimes people do have a snaill/s plant/s? I would not be bringing in 10 fish only 5 small ones max.?

    Yes. That is what I am concerned about not doing. ;) Although secretly I want an excuse to have another. Shhhh... So maybe I skip the notion of a snail and plants? I will need to set up on regardless to stock the new tank (that is what I will tell Dad! - we don't want another sick pet problem endangering others), but I guess after that I can just break it down. Then if needed at least I have all the equipment, and maybe I just steal some sponge material from an HOB on an existing tank. I am not familiar with the sponge filter and think it might be easier for me to do it that way I think.

    And then I can just keep the 2.5 for hospital measures.

    So just to be clear. In setting up the 10g without fish, as I have only ever done fish-in. Back when, I don't think we ever did it any other way. If I get it set up and then steal some filter sponge. And put in some TSS+ I should be good to go then yes? I don't need to add any food or anything to the tank? Right? Check my parameters and if all looks good we are set?
  4. FishMommerValued MemberMember

    So I pick up an 10g and then of course we had to get at least some decorations to make them feel welcome in there right? ;)