1. Home

Quarantine Tank

Is It Really Necessary To Use A Quarantine Tank?

By

To better evaluate whether or not it is necessary to use a quarantine tank (QT), first you need to know what one is and what it is used for. This is a tank that is set up independently from an established or main saltwater aquarium, and as the word implies, it is used to "quarantine" any new fish an aquarist has acquired, before introducing them into the main aquarium. The number one reason for quarantining new arrivals for a two to three week period in a QT is to help to prevent the spread of any potential disease a fish may be carrying.

There are those that feel a QT is a waste of time and money, the reason being that as long you have good water quality and a well maintained aquarium, fish can stave off disease, parasites or infections on their own. In many cases, like with bacterial infections, this can be true, but after all the expense and time you have put into your aquarium community, why assume a problem won't spread? Consider this. When dealing with a disease such as saltwater ich, which is commonly associated with stress, that can quickly and easily spread and potentially wipe out a whole fish community in a very short period of time if not treated properly, why take the risk of possibly introducing something like this when it could be avoided by quarantining?

Aside from preventing the spread of potential diseases, QTs have many other benefits.

  • A QT is also used as a place to put and treat sick, diseased, harassed or weak fish that need to be removed from the main aquarium.
  • If a fish does come down with a disease, it is much easier to control the effectiveness of medications in a QT than it is to treat it in the main aquarium.
  • Since many medications can be harmful to live rock, corals or inverts, you won't be able to treat a fish while it is in your main aquarium anyway.
  • Some medications can disrupt the biological filter of an aquarium, or even destroy it all together. You can treat in a QT without harming your established aquarium's biological filter base.
  • New fish are under the stresses of being transported, which can bring on disease and illness. By placing fish in a QT, this gives them time to recover from any stress, as well as acclimate and adjust to their new surroundings.
  • Fish already established in the main aquarium may pick on a new arrival. It's hard enough for new fish to make the adjustments to a new home, and if fish are weakened by the stresses of transport or shipping, it is that much harder for them to fend off aggressors. By placing fish in a QT, they can regain strength and better defend themselves when introduced into your aquarium community.
  • Placing fish in a QT gives you the chance to observe them to insure they are healthy and eating properly, and you can learn more about their individual characteristics during the quarantine period at the same time.
Next Page > How To Set Up A QT

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.