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FishLore.com's Freshwater Aquarium Book


HOW TO SET UP A FISH QUARANTINE TANK
Do I Need A Quarantine Tank?
Ahhh, yes, the often dismissed but very necessary part of the tropical fish hobby, the infamous
quarantine tank. Do you really need one to be successful in this hobby?
For freshwater fish you may be able to get by without having a quarantine tank. Freshwater fish
are generally more suited to captivity because they are usually tank raised and don't seem to
break out in disease as readily as their saltwater counterparts. However, if newly acquired fish
do come down with something such as ich (ick) or velvet, you will surely wish that you had one
ready to go. One newly bought fish that is introduced to your main tank can easily wipe out
the entire tank population. Better safe than sorry, right?
For saltwater aquarium keepers, I would say that you definitely need a quarantine tank
(sometimes called a hospital tank). Marine specimens are mostly wild caught and not used to
being kept in captivity. Their journey to a dealer’s tank is usually much longer and much more
stressful for them. Stressed out fish will usually come down with some kind of disease if they
don't simply die from the whole ordeal. Saltwater fish keepers will usually have other things in
the main display tank such as invertebrates and live rock that they don't want to expose to the
harsh medicines necessary to treat one or two fish. Some medicines can wipe out all of the
invertebrates in a tank, so be sure to research any medicine before using it in your tank.
Quarantine Tank Setup
You don't need to go all out here. A simple tank size of 10 - 20 gallons will suffice for most
people. If you have larger fish, then obviously you want to get a bigger quarantine tank. All you
really need is a bare bones setup with the following equipment:
? Some type of filtration (a hang on the back of the tank power filter will work, just use filter
floss without the carbon since carbon will remove medication from the water, being
counterproductive)
? Heater
? A powerhead and/or an air stone for increased surface agitation
? Aquarium test kits for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate
? Fish Net - don't use the same net for your main tank
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