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When Would I Need To Get A Quarantine Tank?

Author Topic: When would I need to get a quarantine tank?  (Read 651 times)

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Offline pollydoodle

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When would I need to get a quarantine tank?
« on: August 19, 2018, 10:14:52 AM »
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As some of you know, I got my tank, 170ltr, in May and my first fish, (5 and one died over night!) 30th June.  Since then I have been slowly adding to my collection.  At what point would I need to have a quarantine  tank to protect my other fish.  I only plan to have another 10 - 15 which will take me up to 60 - 70% capacity, using the site guide.  I usually buy 5 at a time and give them all time to settle

I believe I read somewhere, as its not yet an established tank, this is not necessary at the moment.

Offline Fishbeard

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Re: When would I need to get a quarantine tank?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2018, 02:35:35 PM »
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It's all up to how cautious you are.

The tank's maturity has nothing to do with the condition of the fish you buy from a pet shop. It doesn't matter if your tank's been up and running for a month or a decade, if you add some new fish carrying a disease, there's good odds it will infect the other fish too.

Sometimes fish look fit and healthy in the shop and it's only after a little time that they show signs of whitespot or other infectious diseases. Having them in quarantine for a period gives you a chance to spot these things before you introduce the new fish to the rest of your tank.

Some people will tell you to get one now, because it's the safe option. You can add an infected fish at any point and it could potentially wipe out all the fish in your tank... Some people have a lot of luck with being from the same shop(s) where the fish are well-looked after and quarantined - I buy from two shops only and (touch wood) have never had any problems from either. Fish I've bought elsewhere haven't brough disease with them, but haven't survived, so I stick to the places I've had success with.

It's up to you, but if you have cause for concern, and can afford to set up and run a small QT, then I'd say go for it. Peace of mind's worth every penny, in my book.

Offline Sue

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Re: When would I need to get a quarantine tank?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2018, 02:39:29 PM »
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Strictly speaking, you should have quarantined the second batch of fish. It doesn't matter how long the tank has been running, there is a danger that any new batch of fish could bring a disease with them. The only time you don't need to quarantine is with the very first batch of fish because there are no fish already in the tank that could become infected.


A few years ago I bought a pair of fish that were carrying the nasty form of whitespot. They never came down with it but just about every other fish in the tank did. And being the nasty form it was impossible to get rid of it. Over two thirds of the fish died. In the end, I put down the few fish I had left, and let the tank runn while adding ammonia and fish food for 2 months, then restocked. Because I knew the shop, they let me get all my new fish in one go - the tank was mature and still cycled - so this time I did not need to quarantine any fish.

Offline fcmf

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Re: When would I need to get a quarantine tank?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 02:44:35 PM »
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Quarantining fish is always useful, to protect the fish in the established tank from any illnesses/pathogens being harboured by new fish introduced to the tank (and which might take several weeks to manifest). Therefore, while the first batch of fish can be added to the main tank straight away rather than needing to be quarantined, it would be wise to quarantine future fish for several weeks.

How many fish do you currently have in the main fishtank and when were the most recent ones added? It's usually possible to safely move up to 1/3 of established filter media into a quarantine tank's filter, if say that filter media had been supporting a set number of fish for at least a month. Depending on numbers in your main tank, it might be that 1/3 of the media would happily support all 10-15 newbies at once in a quarantine tank - but probably only if you've currently got about 30 fish in your current tank and the filter media has been supporting that number of fish for at least a month. Hope this makes sense but, if not, let us know the answer to the question above and we can advise better.

What you would then do, on transfer of fish from the quarantine tank to the main tank, is also transfer the QT's filter media (+/- its filter) so that the established tank has all the filter media and thus beneficial bacteria required to support all your fish in there.


Offline pollydoodle

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Re: When would I need to get a quarantine tank?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2018, 04:48:32 PM »
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I keep looking on ebay/Gumtree for second hand tanks, but really I don't have the space for a quarantine tank  One lot of fish I bought from a supposedly reputable dealer, had white spot, which I was able to treat and only lost one thank goodness. As I'm only planning on another 10 - 15, not all at once, I shall just have to hope for the best I think.


I did say when I joined the group I ask lots of questions, not necessarily sensible ones either  :rotfl:

Offline Sue

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Re: When would I need to get a quarantine tank?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2018, 05:05:21 PM »
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It doesn't have to be large, 25 litres is fine for fish up to a couple of inches. You would also need a heater and a filter - one that you can add some of your main tank's filter to. A couple of plastic plants to make them feel secure and a very cheap hollow ornament for a cave - I use sections of plastic drainpipe! Once the fish are in the main tank, put the filter media back in the main tank's filter and find a corner in a shed/garage to store the tank till next time. It also doubles as a hospital tank. Sick fish can be treated separately, which avoids unnecessarily treating all the fish for a sickness they don't have, and a smaller volume means less medication to dose. Of course there are some infections like whitespot where if one fish has it they all do, so you have to treat the whole tank but there are other infections that affect just one or two fish.

Offline fcmf

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Re: When would I need to get a quarantine tank?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2018, 05:40:28 PM »
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Just to add to the helpful advice already given by Sue, what I found helpful was to use a plastic tank (usually marketed as a children's/first tank) rather than a glass tank as the quarantine/hospital tank. I used to use an old glass tank but it was troublesome for it to be lifted down from the top area of a cupboard where it was stored when not in use, but much easier once replaced by a plastic one - and the spare heater/filter/silk plants/cave are all kept inside it when not in use rather than in the usual fishtank cupboard.

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