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Is It Really Necessary To Use A Quarantine Tank?

By November 23, 2013

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Some aquarists believe a QT is a waste of time and money, thinking that fish can stave off disease, parasites or infections on their own. Most experienced aquarists would disagree, having seen entire aquarium systems wiped out by the introduction of a new critter which brought a disease with it. You can decide for yourself if a QT is worth it.

More: Cheap, Easy DIY Quarantine Tanks. QT's don't need to be fancy or cost a lot of money, they just need to work.

More: DIY Aquariums are terrific Quarantine Tanks. Inexpensive, easy to build and they can be designed to any size you want.


August 16, 2006 at 7:59 am
(1) BJ Kerns says:

Yes, i feel it is good to have a quarintine tank. Suppose you bring home a fish with a disease and you introduce it to your main tank? What an expense mistake. My rule is 7-10 days and I watch the newbies several times a day. I have had a few die with in that peiord of time.Ich or some type of flesh eating disease has shown up and I was thankful that I did use a QT. It could have cost me dearly.

August 16, 2006 at 8:05 am
(2) BJ says:

I have had an anenome get caught in my return tubes or powerheads a few times. Usually I loase them after extracting them from certain death then leaving them in the main tank. Other fish will pick on them and tear them apart. The last two times this happend I used a razor blade to carefully cut away the damaged areas of the anenome and placed it in a QT where now other fish can bother it. Two weeks later it was still alive and healed! Since then if any fish gets injured or pick on I put it in the QT for a couple weeks give it a healthy diet that it doesnt’t have to share, then once it is better I move it back to the main tank. This has been very successful for me.

January 17, 2007 at 5:10 pm
(3) Jamey says:

One third option to QT is to find a LFS like Marine Dreams in FL. They already QT’s their sale fish.

October 29, 2008 at 9:17 am
(4) Tina says:

I have one and would not ever go without it! I leave my new fish in for at least 3-4 weeks, if your new fish gets sick it’s much easier to catch for a freshwater dip and you can also treat the tank if it comes very necessary. I’ve had several fish come up with a parasite that there was no possible cure for, unbelievable fast killing, also once a crustation parasite, if they would have gotten in the main tank my buddies would have surely died! Another thing I would suggest is after summer has gone I have found that you should turn up your heater a few degrees. The past 2 falls I have had an outbreak of ick for no apparent reason other than temp. Now that I have an electronic thermometer I can see that it goes down substancially in the fall. With all my fish sick I’ve had to pull all my live rock and treat my whole display tank, it takes months to get it back to normal, so this is one lesson I’ve learned well.

August 3, 2009 at 7:05 pm
(5) Terry says:

I don’t have one and won’t bother. One of my tangs recently had a fungus, which looked terrible. It was a hole right in his side. I added a little more variety to the diet by putting in seaweed for a week or so and voila the fungus is gone and there is barely a mark on him. I am not saying that this will always be the case although I would have to practically empty my tank to try to get the bugger out. Way to may hiding spots and he is quick. I did ask my LFS if I should worry and he is the one who suggested the diet change because the seaweed apparently has vitamins, which build their immune systems. Just my experience.

December 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm
(6) Benny says:

VERY VERY important from my experience !!!


September 21, 2011 at 10:36 am
(7) ED says:

Always quarantine new arrivals is the mantra. And I always have for three years. However the QT by its nature is never the quality of the main tank. It does not have the good bacteria from the rocks and sand, needs restarting after every new arrival ( i.e. its never a “mature” tank), parameters are not as stable due to its size etc. Which is great for fish – a little stress will weed out the weak ones. But for sensitive arrivals such as anemones, its a killer. So the rule should be “selectively quarantine”. You’ll get better results.

September 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm
(8) Justin Dancing Hawk says:

I agree with Ed! “Discretion is the better part of Valor” & the war against diseases & parasites requires no ONE set formula. A careful / trained eye & a mind tuned to THAT particular situation is required. Quarantining can just as easily & quickly KILL that newbie! The best practice, IMHO is to buy your stock from reliable sources to begin with, and establish a relationship with them. I’ve actually lost more fish to trying to quarantine, than I’ve had problems with putting newbies right into my main tank. I’ve been lucky, I know. But I’ve also been very diligent & careful! I watch a specimen in the store’s tanks for a while. If it’s still there when I have the money & it’s looking good, I get it. I have to remember that THAT fish is NOT the last of it’s kind in the world! Though disappointing, they’ll be others, or I can order them! I don’t believe in ONE tried & true method. I like the idea of a HOSPITAL TANK where an injured critter can heal unharassed by others .
I’ve had a few times when I thought something MIGHT be breaking out in my tank because a fish scratches itself on the rocks. I feed a very good diet – frequently! I use Cyclops-eze, pellet foods, Nori , Instant Ocean Marine Diet pouch packs and Phyto Plex / Zoo Plex , which seems to make a huge difference! My fish & corals are honestly more colorful than I see in either store tanks, or the tanks of other aquarists I visit. My filtration methods are highly successful for me! I use the Jaubert Plenum method & don’t see how anyone can honestly refute it! Toss those nutrient thieving protein SKAMMERS & set up a simple plenum! Also, I have about 2 lbs of Live rock per gallon in my 54 g corner tank right now & it’s working fantastic !

May 23, 2012 at 10:36 am
(9) Robert says:

Totally agree with JDH. My LFS dates their tanks, and advises customers to give new arrivals at least a week. I know not all LFS do this, but this is why I am their customer. Employees are all very knowledgeable. If this is not your experience, change stores

May 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm
(10) Earl T says:

I would never put a fish in my display tank without quarantine first. I quarantine for 6 weeks and monitor on a daily basis. I have never had a problem with my fish transmitting disease and don’t intend to start now. It’s not 100% foolproof but it is as close as I can get.

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