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Hospital/Quarantine Tank


Wilioli

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I am hoping to convert my 10g tank thats lying around into a hospital/quarantine tank. Also, I was considering adding some more live rock to my existing tank with livestock -- and thought it would be a lot better if I let that rock go through its potential for a cycle in the developing hosp/quarantine tank -- and then transfer it into my display.

 

Then I started thinking why not have a hospital/quarantine tank with live rock -- and not with pvc piping. If a situation came up where the quarantined fish needed to be medicated by something that would be absorbed by the rock/bacteria on the rock, I could always remove the rock for the duration of the treatment.

 

So. To my point: Should I add sand as a substrate because live rock will be there? or do the two not go together -- ie. it just doesn't matter/personal preference. I was thinking of putting a cup of sand from my display just to help cycle the tank and have similar/same conditions as my display. but should i have an actual sand bed? 1-3"?

 

And a bonus question: I need to reseal this 10g tank (i think there might be a leak). I have no idea if I can use any silicone or if there's a specific kind I need or avoid. Thanks in advance.

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most people(that i have seen) just leave it empty. just throw in some of your WC water and PVC pipe and should be good. i think this way you can use copper(if needed). if you have sand or LR in there you wont be able to use those things again. (if using copper)

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Yep. Keep it bare bottom not only because you would have to toss any sand after medication, but also because bare bottom is much easier to clean/siphon to keep nitrates down if you have a fish in QT.

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how do i maintain 'perfect' water conditions with no biological filtration? Id like to keep this tank running always -- and not just set it up when needed. Is chemical media (when not in use) enough?

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how do i maintain 'perfect' water conditions with no biological filtration? Id like to keep this tank running always -- and not just set it up when needed. Is chemical media (when not in use) enough?

 

Edit for clarity: If I keep mine going after I am done with it then I am going to keep some rough filter padding in there for bio-growth area. Easy to add and remove. To answer your question about chemical media....yeah. I assume if you ran carbon and something broad spectrum like Purigen at concentrations that were double or triple normal for the water volume then I would think it would go really far to keeping things clean. I think something else to remember is that if there is nothing contributing to bio load then the bio filter weakens. So I would think you either need to keep some things alive in there, or add a pinch of fish food once in a while.

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wilioli,

 

Glad you're considering doing this. IMO our livestock would have a much better survival rate if we QT'd our new animals or corals.

 

For a quarantine tank only (a tank used for observing new additions before adding them to the display tank) you can have sand, LR, and whatever else you want. You just need to keep it going all the time. I've also used a QT for fish that may need some time away from the others due to aggression or whatever. I QTd my male clown for a week or so to recover after a few days of severe aggression from the female.

 

For a hospital/combination quarantine tank it really should be bare bottomed. This is for ease of cleaning and won't provide a hospitable environment for potential pathogens. In this case PVC is usually used as "shelter" for fish etc. The filtration is usually taken care of by a HOB powerfilter. I like the small aquaclear personally. Just run it in your display tank in the sump or run it full time in the hospital tank and it will provide all the filtration you need. The only modification is if you use a filter with the self-contained pads you should take out the carbon if you treat with any medications.

 

So first I would decide what your true objectives are for this tank and then decide whether you want a QT tank only (more freedom with how you set it up, but can't medicate), or if you want a hospital/QT combo tank that should be relatively sterile, but you can treat animals there.

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sponge? so then that would assume that my display had a sponge in the filter.. and from there i add the sponge to the quarantine tank... and before i replace the sponge in the quarantine tank i need to make sure there was another sponge in the display tanks filtration that i can bring back to the quarantine tank... right? just seems like a lot of extra work ....

 

wouldn't live rock just be better? take out the rock before dosing copper... put the rock back in after dosing copper? never have to replace rock... but then i guess the issue is residual copper in the water?

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Where is the rock going when it is not in the QT? Seems like more of a hassle than sponges/pads if you ask me ;)

 

Just my 2 cents.

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Where is the rock going when it is not in the QT? Seems like more of a hassle than sponges/pads if you ask me ;)

 

Just my 2 cents.

rock submerged in a bucket of saltwater. im not trying to argue. i just stopped using sponges as filtration b/c i felt they were doing more bad then good -- harboring more than just 'good bacteria'. I needed to do weekly 'rinsing' of the sponge, or time the addition of a new sponge next to the old sponge to make sure it gets its good bacteria, bla bla bla.. lol.. unless im missing something here... <-- and i truly mean that.. i mean it seems like 98% of ppl with QT's do NOT have live rock . just trying to understand this thats all

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. i mean it seems like 98% of ppl with QT's do NOT have live rock . just trying to understand this thats all

 

Seems about right. The more you add to the tank, the more complicated it gets.

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OClownsandNanos

When I set up my QT as a QT/hospital tank (though never used it as a hospital tank), I just used my old filter floss which I'd change out regularly in the main tank anyway. Worked fine and I had that QT up and running for my clownfish, my blenny, and my chromis, at least a good three months of QT. They all did fine in it, never had problems with ammo or nitrites, did not lose one fish during the process. Fact is the QT/hospital tank is never meant to have a large bioload anyway, so there's no need for something as expensive and cumbersome as live rock in it.

 

Most people set up the QT very simply so they can take it down once they are done with it. It's not supposed to be crazy maintenance like a main tank, it's simply a "vacation spa" for the fish or corals or what have you so you can monitor them and "fatten them up" before adding to your display and not bring any parasites or pests into your main tank. The less in it, the easier you can see problems. The more you stick in there, the greater the chance you're gonna miss something.

 

E.g., if there are flatworms that come in on a piece of coral and all you have is a frag rack and maybe some PVC you'll see them in that QT long before you would in a tank where you've got live rock where they can potentially hide. OR if your fish are pooping strangely because they've got internal parasites, you'll see it a lot more easily when you've got a bare-bottomed tank with no LR.

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Fact is the QT/hospital tank is never meant to have a large bioload anyway, so there's no need for something as expensive and cumbersome as live rock in it.

I guess this is where im having problems understanding. I figured even just 1 fish in a tank with no live rock would create quite a bioload in the -- lets say 3 weeks --- that it'll stay in the QT. Doing regular water changes then becomes something more than what you would do in your display right? Even with that you're not eliminating the ammonia being produced by this fish. you're just decreasing it.

 

Sorry if im not being clear -- im learnign as I post and as you all post.. lol.. So then with this sponge filter -- is that whats enough to keep ammonia/nitrites/at 0 and nitrates close to it because there's only minimal bioload -- the 1 fish?

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+1 keep it simple.

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...st&id=76504 Here's my QT Tank...

 

I've since added some more LR (mostly for storage since I took it out of my display tank, but that's temporary.

 

Don't worry too much about the filtration. All you want is a simple HOB powerfilter. Yo u have the potential for dosing more than just copper. What happens when you dose an antibiotic? The potential die-off from cured LR could spell disaster. You never want to have too much in there.

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Don't worry too much about the filtration.

could you elaborate. why not worry about filtration? thanks for the link, i see how bare bones it should be..

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Here is a cut and paste post from my thread when I set mine up...

 

QT tank I set up. Here it is....

10G Tank - 10 bucks.

Cheap filter with nothing in it for now - 20 bucks. It will have carbon and maybe some Purigen when it is time to get rid of the meds in the water. Filter will stay full of chemical filtration for the remaining 6-8 weeks after the meds are done being dosed.

Cheap heater - 20 bucks. Auto set to 78 degrees. No need to ever change the temp.

Three plastic thingies for them to hide in from the dollar store - 1 dollar.

Koralia Nano for a little more flow - already had.

Hardest part was catching all the fish.

IMG_4409.jpg

 

Doing regular water changes then becomes something more than what you would do in your display right? Even with that you're not eliminating the ammonia being produced by this fish. you're just decreasing it.

 

So then with this sponge filter -- is that whats enough to keep ammonia/nitrites/at 0 and nitrates close to it because there's only minimal bioload -- the 1 fish?

 

I do a 50% water change about twice a week on my QT. Since I am now not medicating for the time being, I run carbon and therefore get lazy and sometimes have let it go a week before the 50% water change. So I think you are right in assuming that no rock means more frequent water changes.

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sqseft.jpg

2cf48qa.jpg

 

I use an Eclipse system 5 corner tank with a biowheel (can't beat biowheel for wet dry biological filtration)

Small, so easy to move around, rinse out, use less medication, etc.

Full cover hood, so no carpet surfing fish

No substrate, No Rock (nothing to trap detritus or cover parasites... easy to siphon clean)

I use a small 50 watt stealth heater

I keep a Tetra Whisper air stone going with a small Rena micro bubble airstone (keeps water oxygenated and ready for medicating... some medications can reduce the oxygen content in the water)

 

The first time I fill it, I use water from the display tank. Water changes there after are fresh saltwater.

Separate siphons, nets, and buckets (orange buckets for quarantine, white buckets for main tank)

Fish are quarantined for 1 month before going in the main tank.

If a fish is introduced any time while another fish is in quarantine, the clock is reset for the original fish.

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I forgot to mention...

 

Added a few pounds of lace rock (super cheap) to the QT tank after a week or 2 of it being up since it was cheap and easy. Good place for some sort of bio-filter to grow if it wants to and a place for the fish to hide that is more natural looking. If it gets full of meds......then I guess any future fish will get medicated. I can't imaging it holding enough of a med level to even impact anything at all. I might just throw it away when I am done.... So if you want rock.....get some lace rock from the freshwater section of the LFS for like 2 bucks a pound.

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OClownsandNanos
I guess this is where im having problems understanding. I figured even just 1 fish in a tank with no live rock would create quite a bioload in the -- lets say 3 weeks --- that it'll stay in the QT. Doing regular water changes then becomes something more than what you would do in your display right? Even with that you're not eliminating the ammonia being produced by this fish. you're just decreasing it.

 

Sorry if im not being clear -- im learnign as I post and as you all post.. lol.. So then with this sponge filter -- is that whats enough to keep ammonia/nitrites/at 0 and nitrates close to it because there's only minimal bioload -- the 1 fish?

 

Sorry I forgot to mention I also added a small clump of chaeto from my DT (stuff I'd have thrown out anyway) when I set up my QT. (I used a T5 fixture I had from my freshwater tank also.) Macroalgae doesn't just take up nitrates, it also takes up ammonia from the water column. So I used that in conjunction with my seeded filter floss to help keep my parameters in check. You can take a look at my tank thread to see how my QT was set up. In addition, I tried to siphon out any poop in the tank pretty regularly as well as any uneaten food with a turkey baster. I would say I probably did larger water changes relative to volume in the tank (I probably had about 12-15 gallons in there, since I filled my 20 gal up 3/4 way, and changed out about 5 gal per week) , but I still was able to do only weekly changes without my parameters getting out of hand (I checked my ammo and nitrites pretty religiously the first several weeks) as a result.

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Here is a cut and paste post from my thread when I set mine up...

 

I do a 50% water change about twice a week on my QT. Since I am now not medicating for the time being, I run carbon and therefore get lazy and sometimes have let it go a week before the 50% water change. So I think you are right in assuming that no rock means more frequent water changes.

thank you, thats what I was wondering -- with that said -- I don't think its worth me having a QT running fulltime -- which is what I wanted to do. Maintenance then becomes 'useless' if its not in use.

 

The first time I fill it, I use water from the display tank. Water changes there after are fresh saltwater.

Separate siphons, nets, and buckets (orange buckets for quarantine, white buckets for main tank)

Fish are quarantined for 1 month before going in the main tank.

If a fish is introduced any time while another fish is in quarantine, the clock is reset for the original fish.

thanks -- I see that most ppl just set it up when needed -- and not keep it running.. i think this may have been my confusion..? I'm going to look more into a permanent QT if that exists -- minus the maintenance mentioned above

 

So if you want rock.....get some lace rock from the freshwater section of the LFS for like 2 bucks a pound.

good to know.. thanks again

 

I would say I probably did larger water changes relative to volume in the tank (I probably had about 12-15 gallons in there, since I filled my 20 gal up 3/4 way, and changed out about 5 gal per week) , but I still was able to do only weekly changes without my parameters getting out of hand (I checked my ammo and nitrites pretty religiously the first several weeks) as a result.

excellent -- i almost forgot about the chaeto in my display. I could mod the filter I have for the QT, put some chaeto in there -- and have that help keep things in 'check'.

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