When one of your fish falls ill it may only be a matter of time before the disease spreads to your other tank inhabitants. For this reason it is extremely important for you to keep an eye out for the early symptoms of disease. If you catch the disease early enough you will be able to quarantine the sick fish in a hospital tank to ensure a speedy recovery and to prevent your other fish from falling ill. A hospital tank, or quarantine tank, is a fairly basic set-up and it is generally easy to maintain.
Setting Up the Tank
Because you will usually keep just one fish in the hospital tank at a time it does not need to be large – 10 gallons is a sufficient size. The bottom of the tank should be kept bare of gravel or other substrate to facilitate easy cleaning and to prevent the build-up of disease-harboring bacteria. Do not over-decorate the tank – simply provide a few plants or an overturned terra cotta pot to give your fish places to hide. Hospital tanks have very few requirements other than clean water and adequate filtration but you need to choose wisely when selecting a filter for your tank. Power filters that have a low setting are generally recommended for hospital tanks because they provide both chemical and mechanical filtration without creating a current powerful enough to disturb your sick fish.
Using a Hospital Tank
When you notice the symptoms of disease beginning to manifest in your tank, set up your hospital tank as quickly as possible. Use as much water from the original tank as you can when filling the hospital tank in order to decrease the amount of stress your fish experience in switching tanks. Use an in-tank thermometer to monitor and control the water temperature in the tank and administer whatever medications your fish require on a regular basis.
Other Tips for Hospital Tanks
If you have a large tank with many fish, it may be wise to set up a permanent hospital tank. By doing this you can rest assured that if one of your fish happens to fall ill you will not be putting the rest of your fish at risk by delaying the removal of the sick fish from the tank. A hospital tank can also be used as a quarantine tank when you bring new fish home from the pet store. To prevent the spread of disease you should always quarantine new fish for at least seven days. This will ensure that the new fish do not pass an existing illness on to your other fish.
A quick and easy way to ensure that the water in your hospital tank stays clean and clear is to use an EcoBio-Stone. EcoBio-Stones are made from porous volcanic rock and cement block and they are infused with nutrients and beneficial bacteria designed to keep your tank healthy. Once introduced into your tank, these beneficial bacteria will multiply and work to speed up the nitrogen cycle, keeping your tank water clean and clear. Not only do EcoBi0-Block products help keep your tank healthy, they also reduce the amount of routine maintenance required.
No matter how careful you are in caring for your aquarium fish, the chances are good that you will eventually experience the outbreak of some kind of disease. By acting quickly in setting up and utilizing a hospital tank, however, you can effectively curtail the spread of this disease. Learning how to set up a hospital tank, and then putting that knowledge to use, is a simple way to ensure that your sick fish recover quickly and your other fish do not fall ill.