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Advice needed on setting up a quarantine tank

Robbie X

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20 Mar 2014
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391
Location
South Wales
Hello all.
While I wait for my new tank to grow in and cycle, I would like to set up a quarantine tank in preparation for future fish introductions.
I will be keeping all nano size fish in a 186L heavily planted tank.
I plan to add 20 Green Neons directly to the main tank as the first occupants then gradually add the rest of the fish using the quarantine tank.
The largest load on the quarantine tank will be 10 Chili Rasbora that will be added a few weeks after the Neons.
The rest of the occupants will be added as groups of three or singly.
Some questions if I may.
Would a 10 Gallon tank be a sufficient size?
What sort of filter should be used?
What are the most common disease or illnesses encountered when purchasing new fish?
What treatments should I purchase in advance?
What do you dose the quarantine tank with even if the fish looks healthy?
Any feedback and tips are most welcome 🙏
Edit: There is a basic setup 54L tank on Amazon for £75. Would this be suitable do you think?
Amazon product
 
Last edited:

Geoffrey Rea

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It’s a personal choice to run quarantine tanks @Robbie X

Personal experience is you can cause more stress with them and preemptive medicating only adds to this. Placing them into a healthy, well maintained planted tank tilts the odds in your favour but this is opposite of what you are likely to do in a quarantine tank.

It is sometimes worth getting friendly with the store you intend to buy your stock from. You can then ask questions about the process the wholesaler uses, as well as the procedure for the store.

There are however certain wild caught species that are notorious for carrying pests, so there’s always the exception.
 

Robbie X

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Thread starter
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20 Mar 2014
Messages
391
Location
South Wales
It’s a personal choice to run quarantine tanks @Robbie X

Personal experience is you can cause more stress with them and preemptive medicating only adds to this. Placing them into a healthy, well maintained planted tank tilts the odds in your favour but this is opposite of what you are likely to do in a quarantine tank.

It is sometimes worth getting friendly with the store you intend to buy your stock from. You can then ask questions about the process the wholesaler uses, as well as the procedure for the store.

There are however certain wild caught species that are notorious for carrying pests, so there’s always the exception.
Many thanks.
Ah, I had not considered this. I was under the impression it was commonly used safe practice.
But maybe I should still go ahead and purchase it. It could be useful if I ever need to isolate a fish in the future?
I was intending to run it constantly so the filtration is always ticking over and ready when and if it is needed.
Cheers
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Ah, I had not considered this. I was under the impression it was commonly used safe practice.

Most stores can’t afford quarantine tanks for the entire stock. They therefore treat with antibacterial and antifungal treatment as a given on arrival for the whole section. Wholesalers sometimes ship in medicated water too. There’s then a waiting period before they’re available for sale to ensure no new conditions turn up. It certainly made me question why I would continue this process with products like Melafix and Pimafix on top of this rather than get the stock into a suitable environment for them to live.

I was intending to run it constantly so the filtration is always ticking over and ready when and if it is needed.

You can equally get wild caught species that can treat your whole tank to worms. If you know you may want risky stock in the future that come with a high potential for pests, it’s a nice thing to have at your disposal.
 

Jack B

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3 Jan 2020
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London
I'm far less experienced than Geoffrey but will humbly chip in.

One thing to bear in mind - I'm told - is that the more fish you have in your tank the greater the likelihood of disease being introduced (simple maths) so large tanks with loads of nano fish are trickier to set up without diseases causing issues. I know one LFS worker who gave up on large tanks of nano fish at home for this reason.

That said I managed to set one up successfully - presumably with a dose of luck given that I'm a relative newcomer. I began without a quarantine tank, then started using one of 40L, well cycled and with plant trimmings from the main tank. Used a deworming treatment too. Lost an occasional fish in the quarantine tank, but also when fish were added direct to the main tank, so figured it was better for such issues to happen in a quarantine tank. Careful acclimation improved my survival rates. I've just kept the QT going with a few shrimp, ready to be used as you say.
 

castle

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19 Dec 2015
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norfolk
Quarantine, plant it with guppy grass, medicate if you like, I pretty much deworm all fish I buy. I run a “60l moss box” for this purpose.
 

John q

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6 Jan 2021
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Location
Lancashire
I was under the impression it was commonly used safe practice.
To some people it is, a lot depends on your circumstances. You may want to protect a collection of fish that you've painstakingly built up over the years and fear adding a new fish, of unknown origin, is a risk not worth taking. On the other hand if you're happy the fish you buy are coming from a good source you might think you've edged your bets and roll the dice.

There isn't a one solution fits all approach to this, Geoffrey is right to suggest putting fish in sterile quarantine tanks can sometimes cause more stress and lead to more illness. Darrel also hits the nail on the head with his comments.

If you are planning to home a fish prior to it going in the main tank then try to make it a pleasant home, it will cause a lot less stress and in turn will help it reach its forever home 😁
 

tam

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5 May 2011
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1,232
Same here (although recently broke it down after a leak) - a planted tank that is basically empty. I have duplicate sponges for the filter kept in my main tanks filter. If I want to quarantine anything then I instantly have a mature tank with actively growing plants and a cycled sponge filter. I would shop around a little if you are going to run one like that as you are basically running a second tank so worth picking something that works well rather than just the cheapest - e.g. aquael do some basic setups the same sort of price but slightly bigger volumes or have a look second hand. Just go for whatever you can fit in the space.

I don't routinely treat, just observe and then treat if anything comes up. It's stopped me introducing whitespot, for example, to my main tank before.

I know some school of thoughts are bare tank for ease of disinfecting, but I agree not as good for minimising stress. My thought is at the point I'm happy to move fish to my main tank then I don't need to worry about disinfecting. If I ever had anything catastrophic I'd have the option to discard the contents, or just leave it empty for six months if I wanted.
 
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