It is simple small tank setup usually used to isolate new fish or plants before the introduction to the main tank, or to treat a diseased fish or plant. Others may use it to keep newly born fishes to avoid their loss. Establishing Quarantine Tank is not a necessity, but it is a good practice for aquarium hobbyist.
Advantages to setting up a Quarantine / Hospital Tank
- 1. Monitoring new fish for any signs of disease.
2. Acclimating new fish to your water condition
3. Protecting healthy fish from disease outbreak
4. Treating diseased fish
5. Protecting healthy fish from stress caused by medications
6. Less amount of medications used which results in money saving
Period of Isolation?
There are different recommendations on the period of time. It ranges from two to six weeks of isolation. Though, two weeks seems to be common recommendation. If a fish is treated for a disease, it is best to keep it another two weeks after the disappearance of symptoms.
- 1. Small tank of 10 Gallons or equivalent is suitable for most tropical fish. However for large Cichlids, a minimum of 30 Gallons is advisable.
2. Mechanical and Biological filtration. Due to the confined Quarantine tank space and large bio-load, a circulation of 20 times the tank size is optimal.
5. Examination Light
6. Aquarium lid
7. Air pump may be used if water disturbance is not enough
8. Plastic plants may be used to provide comfort of being exposed, but not live plants as they will be affected by medications when introduced.
9. Ornament to provide shelter is not usually recommended since it blocks owner from clearly monitoring the fish. Some species that have tendency to hide may need shelter to decrease stress.
10. Gravel or substrate are not recommended for easier tank cleaning
- The tank can be running all the time or set when needed. Therefore, three methods can be used:
1. Run sponge from your quarantine biological filtration in the main aquarium filter to maintain growth of beneficial bacteria. Transfer sponge to quarantine biological filtration when needed.
2. Cycle Quarantine tank with your mechanical and biological filter. After cycling the tank, introduce few hardy fish such as Zebra Danios to maintain the biological filtration.
3. The use of Ammonia Remover and Zeolites are controversial. Some recommend them as a form of removing Ammonia and others don't. The above two options might be safer to go with.
- 1. Frequent but small water change of 20% to 30%. Daily small water change might be best if you are treating a disease. If you are treating a disease with medications, please follow the manufacture's recommendation since it may have a more specific water change.
2. Keep temperature in the range of 80 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit as it will promote early manifestation of disease symptoms.
3. Perform frequent water tests for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH.
4. For HOB filters, rinse sponge weekly with tank water if treating a disease.
5. After the use of Quarantine tank, filter media and tank must be disinfected. A good disinfecting agent is Potassium Permanganate. Hot water also could be used to soak and kill organisms in filter media.
- 1. Swimming activity
2. Fish appetite and feeding
3. Fish coloration
4. Any signs of skin irritation "Flicking against gravel or objects in the tank"
5. Signs of fungal, bacterial or parasitical diseases.