What's your personal QT method?

ChrissFishes01

Title says it. Do you quarantine? If so, how long do you QT for? Do you prophylactically treat with any medications and/or salt? Which medications do you use when you actually see a disease? Do you tend to keep a really clean QT, or do you let it get a little gross? Barebottom, or substrate?

My personal method is pretty much KISS. I find that "sterile" aquariums (even if they are technically cycled) are usually not amazing for fish. Having biofilm, algae, and other little organisms in the tank is important, IMO. So I usually keep my QT tanks cycled and running 24/7/365. I only clean the front glass - every other pane is covered in algae. I do a barebottom tank, but usually leave a lot of mulm and detritus for the fish to dig through. I'll siphon out chunks of food, if there are any, but that's it. My current freshwater QT is an exception - it was more of an emergency "Oh , gotta put these guys somewhere" and I threw the tank together, since the 10 gallon I normally use is too small for all the fish I needed to hold. My saltwater QT is more normal - algae, mulm on the bottom, a HOB, a heater, a cheap light, a tank divider, and two glazed (with polyurethane) pots.

I QT all my fish that I'm going to be mixing with fish I already have. I've gotten bitten in the butt too many times not to, especially in my saltwater tanks. I don't QT bettas, since it's super unlikely they have a contagious disease, and any fish that are kept alone are put straight into their display. No point in QT'ing, then - they can't infect any other fish. Species-only tanks that I'm unlikely to add new specimens to usually get added straight into, as well - the tank serves as its' own QT. I don't QT invertebrates, typically. I have been known to QT corals, but I've kinda gotten out of the reef side of things for a while. Plants go straight into the DT's as well.

I QT my freshwater fish for two weeks. I find that's usually sufficient in most cases. My saltwater fish get QT'd for at least 30 days, since treating saltwater display tanks is a lot more difficult/sometimes impossible to do, and I really don't want to take too many chances.

The only medications I treat prophylactically with are salt in my FW tanks (usually a 1 tbsp per 2 gallons unless sensitive fish are involved) and PraziPro/Metronidazole or General Cure in my saltwater tanks. In freshwater, the salt will usually knock back/eradicate most parasites and infections long enough for the fish to build it's immune system back up. For the saltwater tanks, I've found it to be VERY rare that I get a fish that doesn't have flukes and/or internal worms. Captive-bred clowns are sometimes clean, but even then, I find that they tend to get contaminated in stores.

I didn't always QT, though, and I totally understand that no one really wants to. It takes up room (and tanks that could be used for other things!), and it's a little... underwhelming to get a new fish and then put it into this (usually) ugly QT tank. But it's really, really worth it IMO. I've gotten myself into situations where I've lost dozens of fish, and in some cases, hundreds of dollars worth of fish. Especially in saltwater fish - I find that there's a much higher chance that a fish has something contagious than not, unfortunately. So, I QT.

I haven't actually gone back and QT'd all of my old fish properly, yet. My 55 gallon is a great example - there's 2 Clarkii Clownfish and some damsels in there. There's definitely ich in the tank, since I've seen them get a couple spots before after stress events. I really should break the tank down and treat them all... but then I have to leave the display without fish for 76 days. No fun!

Anyways, I was just curious. I don't see a ton of people mentioning or advocating for/against it here, so I'm not quite sure where everyone stands.

Here's a quick pic of my saltwater QT:


Pearl Gourami.JPG
 

Marlene327

I have NOT quarantined yet, although twice I wish I had. I do have a 10 gallon tank now available and plan to use it when I get something new. I shopped and bought what he recommended for the QT tank. It's 3 medications that cover about anything. I can't tell you what they are right now, they're in the fishroom and lights are out. But wow, I learned a couple lessons the hard way.
I'm having a knee replacement the 22nd, trying to consolidate what I can, may take a few fish to my LFS I swore I'd never go back to, or Pet Smart or Petco. When I'm on my feet again I'd love to get a nice group of neon tetras, otherwise no plans for now... but whatever I get from now on will stay in QT for a month!
 
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ChrissFishes01

I have NOT quarantined yet, although twice I wish I had. I do have a 10 gallon tank now available and plan to use it when I get something new. I shopped and bought what he recommended for the QT tank. It's 3 medications that cover about anything. I can't tell you what they are right now, they're in the fishroom and lights are out. But wow, I learned a couple lessons the hard way.
I'm having a knee replacement the 22nd, trying to consolidate what I can, may take a few fish to my LFS I swore I'd never go back to, or Pet Smart or Petco. When I'm on my feet again I'd love to get a nice group of neon tetras, otherwise no plans for now... but whatever I get from now on will stay in QT for a month!
Sorry to hear about your knee replacement! I hope it goes well!

Yeah, the "Quarantine Trio" is a good thing to have on hand. The Maracyn is basically Erythromycin, an antibiotic. Salt will cover that in high enough dosages, but I do keep erythromycin around just in case. Paracleanse is praziquantel and metronidazole - some stuff that's in General Cure and PraziPro/Metroplex. Ich-X treats fungal and some external parasites - which, again, salt will do most of the time at the right dosages.

Not all fish handle salt well, and sometimes salt-tolerant strains of parasites and bacteria do appear. So having several options around to treat with is always good!
 
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ChrissFishes01

Was watching my SW QT and was reminded of the reason why I like my QT's so dirty.

I saw what looked somewhat like snail marks in the algae on the glass.


Algae Marks.JPG

There are no snails in this tank - the Tailspot Blenny that I have in here has been munching on the algae and all the little bugs (pods and others, I'm sure) that live in that algae. He's got a super round belly from it, too. That, and all the crazy amounts of baby brine.


Blenny.JPG

Finally, a pic of the firefish that's also in the tank. Just because they're a beautiful fish.


Firefish.JPG
 
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LowConductivity

I generally QT for 4-8 weeks. Will run a course of Praziquantel for externals, and a course of Flubendazole for internals. Keep potassium permanganate and salt on hand to treat external bacterial issues.
 
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