The old subject returns...Quarantine.

chickadee
  • #1
I know that you all probably get very tired of me harping on this subject, but right now with the iridovirus and heaven knows what else, we are not sure that is all that is going on, we need to talk about quarantine again.

While the iridovirus so far has only seemed to affect Labyrinth organ type fishes, there is no saying that other fish who are kept in tanks with the Labyrinth organ type fishes in the LFS cannot contract the virus as carriers and bring it into the tanks they are brought home to. So please do not feel that just because the fish you are bringing home and plopping into your tank is not one of the ones that is on the list to be infected with the virus, that you and your fish are safe to introduce them directly from the store to the community tank you have worked so hard to cultivate and grow. If they happen to carry the virus with them, and you have a healthy (so far) fish who is susceptible to the virus in your tank, you may be unleashing a horrible problem in your tank. Where if you put them in a quarantine tank for 30 days and they do not find a host to infect the virus is likely to die off and not hurt the other fish when they are introduced into the community.

This is no guarantee but at least you have given your fish a much better chance. Viruses are very hardy and very hard to understand but the fact is that during that 30 days you will have done several water changes and that fish will have a very good chance of losing its status as a carrier of the virus as the virus will have found no other fish to transfer to to propigate. This is the best possible way to try at least short of not purchasing any new fish to insure that you are not introducing any disease process to your tank. The only other way is to put one fish per tank in all the tanks you own and never let any of them come in contact with each other in any way but that is sometimes just not practical.

As it is in the hospitals, and after 27 years of being a nurse I know a little about this, the best way to keep from spreading virus infections is still good hygiene between tanks. Handwashing and sterilization and cleanliness and not cross contamination by using the same tools or products between tanks without cleaning them in a disinfectant first. Or better yet having a totally different set for each tank and never crossing from one tank to another. I have gone to using disposable cups to dip water out for each water change instead of the syphon and tossing each one at the end of each change and not using it on another tank. I also use disposable gloves and throw them away between tanks and wash my hands between each tank.

Some of these processes take a bit longer to do but it is worth it in the long run as these fish are my friends and I have learned by personal experience that it is a painful thing to lose my friends. If it takes more time or even a little more expense, I guess my friends are worth it.

If you are not able to afford or do not have a quarantine tank or do not have room for one, a new plastic bucket with a heater and clean water can be used even if you do not filter it and do a 50% water change daily. I have done this. Just do not use one that has been used for any other purpose. I got a piece of plastic craft canvas to use for a lid so the fish cannot hop out and use an airstone to add oxygenation to the water and a heater and put a couple plastic plants and perhaps a small cave and I am set. They do quite well without light and just using daylight for the duration but I do have a small light I can use if needed that will attach to the bucket side with a clamp. I do not use gravel as it is easier to keep clean. The heater will not melt your bucket with the suction cups holding it away from the surface of the bucket. Believe me it works I have tried it. With a container of this size the water changes are not great and hard to do. There is not any excuse for not doing this and if you cannot afford to do it then you cannot afford to be buying more fish and adding them to your tank. It is simply too dangerous to your present fish.

Right now this is more important than it has ever been and it has always been important but this is vital now.

Rose
 
sirdarksol
  • #2
Thank you, Chickadee.

As you say, there is no guarantee, but unless the fish in question are true carriers (meaning they can be infected but do not suffer for it) 30 days will kill nearly any virus that is just tagging along in their water. Viruses need live hosts to survive. If I understand what I read right, the iridovirus can live for about a week outside of a host cell.

Along with the potential parasites and bacteria, it's just a huge risk to dump your fish directly into the tank. This isn't just a matter of money and losing stock, but also of the harm that can be done to living beings. As we have taken it upon ourselves to keep these creatures as our pets, we owe it to them to offer the best conditions that we can.

Edit: Also, do not trust any new purchases just because your LFS claims that they quarantine all of their fish. All they have to do is make one mistake, dip one net from the Q-tank to one of the normal tanks, or forget to quarantine a single fish, and every single tank in the store can be exposed to an illness.
 
Allie
  • #3
I am going to quarantine all my fish from now on. Just b/c your set up has been up for awhile doesn't mean it can't get affected by illness. Good luck doesn't last forever.
I find illness travels faster in small tank...makes sense.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #4
I'd recommend that everyone keep some extra filter sponges in the filters of every tank. This makes it easier to get a quarantine tank setup and cycled.
 
Lucy
  • #5
We can never be reminded enough about the benefits of quarantining.

Going a little off topic here, but it shows the importance of quarantining any new inhabitants.

I recently bought an ADF and have been doing a lot of reading about them. There's a deadly fungus effecting them called Chytrid fungus It's been recommended to quarantine ADF's for 2 months. It's not known to be transmitted to fish
 
leafgirl115
  • #6
With my fish that are coming from Thiland I am going to be quarantining them. For a full month. But Probably 2 weeks... (I know I'm bad.... ) They will be breeding. But they will not go in with my other fish till after a month. Also with quarantining with me it depends who I'm getting the fish from. If I'm getting fish from a LFS then they will be quarantined. But I sometimes get fish from friends as we trade fish sometimes and then they go right into the tanks. I know we do not trade when there may be a problem in our tanks.
 
sirdarksol
  • #7
Lucy, that Chytrid fungus is really, really nasty stuff. Scientists are going to great lengths to sterilize their clothing/skin/equipment before going places that have isolated amphibian populations because it is threatening the existence of some species of frog/toad/salamander/newt.

You bring up a really good point. We're not just talking about fish here. We're talking about plants, inverts, and semi-aquatic animals as well. Rocks and driftwood, if they're coming from another aquatic source, should either be dried out or soaked in bleach and then dechlorinated before being introduced, as well.
 
Lucy
  • #8
I started a thread in the Amphibians portion of the forum. I'm hoping future and present amphibian parents will read it and take this seriously.
 
leafgirl115
  • #9
This topic should be pined.
 
Blub
  • #10
Great info here - and I can tell you as of the past few months all new arrivals have been QTed in some form or another.
 
sirdarksol
  • #11
There's already a stickied quarantine thread from about six months ago. I'll talk to Chickadee about trading them out, though, as this has some slightly updated info.
 
Lonely Angel
  • #12
Another idea, in addition to the bucket as Chickadee suggested, is to quarantine in a rubbermaid container. I have one that's about 4 gallons and the straight sides allow for a HOB filter to be attached, as well as having clear plastic which allows you to watch your fish better than a solid-colored bucket. Just an idea if you don't want to or can't afford to get another tank to use for quarantine.
 
chickadee
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Yes I have used Rubbermaid but it is much more expensive and I did want to keep it as inexpensive as possible for those who cannot afford to do much. The bucket will also handle a HOB filter if you have one that will accomodate it and if you have sponge filters bubbling in your cycled tanks as I do at all times one of those will go into either container and make it cycled instantly also. You can also use a sponge off of a sponge filter in a HOB filter to run it instead of the regular media and it will work to make a cycled filter. I have also cut the sponge in half and put it in the media section of a biowheel filter to seed it in a hurry. Sponge filters bubbling away in the backs of tanks are a godsend to those who need them in a hurry and when you need to replace the sponges most of them come with a spare sponge in the box when you order them. They are also very cheap.

Rose
 
sirdarksol
  • #14
One of the few good things about Walmart is that you can often find some sort of Rubbermaid-like container for really cheap. I've seen 10 gallon things for less than I paid for my 5 gallon water-change bucket.
 
Fishies-for-me
  • #15
I never again will add a fish to a community tank without qt ....I have learned the hard way ( as a lot of us do). I have a 36 gallon bowfront tank. I added 4 angels to it a week and 1/2 ago . They promptly got ich and gave it to the rest of the tank. It didn't respond to quick cure and I changed over to coppersafe , which seems to be working...but I have lost 3 of the 4 angels and it dosn't look good for the 3 cherry barbs. The glowlight tetras are spotty but getting better and the cory cats are totaly unaffected by it all. The ich seems to be turning into fin rot . Sooo the moral of this story is to be safe and quarantine , quarantine ...and then quarantine!!!!
 
Angelika
  • #16
ok... QT is now my next project as by reading this I see how important it is, and I will not be adding any fish to tank before they have gone through the QT tank... if I buy a few fish at the same time, can they go in the same QT?
 
chickadee
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I would say that they could but you run the risk of having the whole bunch get sick and die if one happens to be sick. I would probably only buy a very few at a time and only one type so they have all been in the tank together at the store. If a fish were not together with the others at the store I do not think I would put them in quarantine together as you do have a risk of losing some of them. Generally what is separate should remain so. But if you have to then you do.

I would not do it but it can be done. But I only buy one fish at a time generally unless it is a group of otos or something and in that case they were in the same tank at the store anyway.

I know this stretches out the purchases but you can cycle several sponge filters and then buy new plastic containers and use the sponge filters in them to run multiple quarantine tanks or even new buckets will make a quarantine tank. (I buy white ones as they generally do not have lights so it keeps things as light as possible)

Rose
 

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