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Setting Up a Quarantine Tank for Saltwater Tropical Fish Featured

Every saltwater fish hobbyist needs to set-up a quarantine tank for their saltwater fish. Here we list the supplies you need and the reason for having a quarantine tank ready so you will have healthy fish.

Clownfish in a quarantine tank

If you have saltwater tropical fish, it is virtually essential that you have a quarantine tank for them. Why? This is because most saltwater tropical fish are mostly wild and are not used to captivity when they are caught. As a result, they are more susceptible to diseases than their freshwater counterparts. Therefore, a quarantine tank will be quite helpful for treating sick saltwater tropical fish, as just one diseased fish in an aquarium tank full of fish can wipe out the entire fish population in that tank.

In addition to a quarantine tank being more convenient for saltwater fish keepers to treat their diseased tropical fish, most saltwater fish keepers will also have invertebrates and live rock in their tanks that they will not want to cover with the harsh medicines that will be needed to treat their diseased tropical fish. Some harsh medicines can even wipe out all invertebrates in an aquarium tank, so it is especially vital to have a quarantine tank ready for your saltwater tropical fish when they contract a disease or infection.

It is relatively simple to set up a quarantine tank. A tank size of 10-20 gallons will be sufficient for most people, though if you have larger fish, you can turn a larger tank into a quarantine tank as well. The main items you will need for your quarantine tank are the following items:

  • Some type of filtration.
  • A heater.
  • A powerhead and/or airstone to increase surface agitation.
  • Aquarium test kits to test for nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and pH levels.
  • A fish net, as you should use a different net for your quarantine tank than you do for your main tank.
You should first fill the quarantine tank with water from your main tank and then turn on your quarantine tank.

When you place newly acquired saltwater fish in a quarantine tank, you should monitor them closely for a period of two to three weeks. Monitor the water conditions with your test kits and see if there are any bacterial infections or parasites present.

If your newly acquired saltwater fish do contract something, youíll need to treat them with the appropriate medication and keep them in the quarantine tank for an additional two weeks to ensure that you have eradicated the infection or parasite. If no problems are present after those two weeks, then you can acclimate them to the main tank and introduce them to the other fish.

If your saltwater tropical fish develop an infection or disease while in the main tank, net them and place them into the quarantine tank. This is why it's important to use water from your main tank in the quarantine tank, you don't have to acclimate them to the quarantine tank. Diagnose the infection or disease, treat them accordingly, then hold the fish in the quarantine tank an extra week to ensure that the fish have been completely treated before introducing them back into the main tank.

To help keep your tanks clean and risk of infection low, use the EcoBio-Block line of products in your tanks. EcoBio-Blocks are available in different sizes to keep your home aquariums clean and healthy for your fish. Be careful not to put these blocks in your quarantine tank, however; as the beneficial bacteria in the Blocks may not survive any medication necessary for treating your fish.

It's important for owners of saltwater tropical fish to have a ready supply of saltwater on hand in case of an emergency. You don't want to have to mix up a batch of saltwater in the middle of an emergency. Additionally, freshly mixed saltwater can be quite toxic to many saltwater tropical fish, as well as be very difficult to get accurate readings of the water with your hydrometer. Therefore, you should always have a supply of extra saltwater on hand just in case.

As you can see, having saltwater tropical fish virtually necessitates having a quarantine tank for treating your fish when they contract a disease or infection. Failure to act in removing them from the fish population could wipe out your entire population. Additionally, the treatments used to treat these diseases and infections could have adverse effects on invertebrates and/or live rocks you have in your tank.  It's relatively easy to create a quarantine tank to help treat your fish when they become ill.  Having an additional supply of saltwater on hand is also good to deal with emergencies when they occur. By following the information here, you can increase the chances that your saltwater tropical fish will live long, healthy lives.

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