Why do you need to quarantine the fish tank? A quarantine tank (QT) is a very important accessory for any responsible aquarist. The whole point of quarantine is to prevent problems in the main tank and protect your investment. Why take the chance of introducing pest or diseases into an healthy tank or why should we let a sick fish contaminate the others.
Quarantine for new live stock
Before to introduce any newly acquired fishes in your main tank, it is wise to assume they might carry something you don’t want. It is much easier to fix problems in smaller tanks and, if anything goes wrong, all you risk is what’s in the quarantine tank, not the entire system.
So it’s simple; you get new live stock, you quarantine and then, after a couple of weeks, you introduce it into your tank.
When a fish is sick or injured, it is wise to remove it from the tank and move it to a quarantine tank. This way, there is less chance the whole community get affected by the illness.
Using a quarantine tank to treat sick fish will also make you save money, as medication for a small tank is less costly than it is for a large tank.
Also, invertebrates and many micro-organisms may be in may be harmed by some medication, so that’s the other reason to not use the medication in the main tank.
Finally, being sick in the main tank can be stress full for the fish. It has to fight against the fish disease and deal with all other fish at the same time. A stress-free environment will help it recover.
Quarantine Tank setup
Equipment required for a quarantine tank:
- 10-gallon tank (larger if needed) with cover and light. See a 10 gallon tank here.
- Hiding place for the fish. Many people simply use a few pieces of 6″ long PVC
- heater and thermometer
- air pump with airline and air stone
- biologically active sponge filter
- ammonia test kit -> Get one here!
- nitrite test kit
- antibacterial and anti-parasitic medicated food
- NO SUBSTRATE
Setting up quarantine tank the same way you’d set up any tank but don’t use a substrate. At this point, the tank should be empty with only the heater and air stone in it. Next, fill it with water from your already established aquarium, add the PVC pipe pieces, insert the heater, and set up the filter and air pump.
That’s it! You have a quarantine tank.
Always have some extra saltwater ready in case an emergency water change is needed. Never use freshly mixed water to a tank!
1) Setup your quarantine tank.
2) Catch your fish and acclimatize it to the quarantine tank.
3) Use recommended medication for the disease. During that process, monitor your main tank and look for signs of disease on other fish.
4) Once your fish look healthy again, you should always wait for a good week before to move it back to the main tank (just to make sure).