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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1.5 month old tank and it does not seem like I can win as of late.

I came home tonight and noticed one of my two clownfish (the only two fish I have) has about 6 small sand sized white dots on it. I assume this is ich at this point from what I know so far. Water tests come back well within the acceptable range on all fronts.

The problem that I am having is I was told by the LFS that Ich is in every tank and that I should feed garlic and put a UV sterilizer on it and get the one clown fishes immune system back up and the Ich will pass. They said that Ich is always in a tank and it only comes up on a fish when the immune system is low.

This makes sense to me and I am guessing that is a true statement BUT the other side of the fence that I am reading is to pull the fish and put them in a QT tank and let the Ich pass on the fish thru time or time and meds, and leave the DT empty for 5 to 6 weeks and wait for the Ich to be completely gone. Then add your fish back in and blamo you do not have any ich ever as long as you QT all new fish.

The question is, I am guessing both of these sound like they would work but what is the "right" or "best" answer and which should I do? I do not want to lose a fish and want to hit this as quickly as possible.

Thanks everyone!
 

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I too have heard both. However, it is a parasite and needs a host to survive, it is possible if you remove all fish for 6-8 weeks, then treat/quaranteen your fish to remove it. If you don't have a quaranteen tank, I have ad good results with Kick-Ich, although the results have not been proven. For ich treatments, use the search feature and you'll see lots of threads, or go to the fish disease/treatment forum and you'll find threads about it.
 

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The problem that I am having is I was told by the LFS that Ich is in every tank and that I should feed garlic and put a UV sterilizer on it and get the one clown fishes immune system back up and the Ich will pass. They said that Ich is always in a tank and it only comes up on a fish when the immune system is low.
Thanks everyone!
Ich is not in every tank but in a pet store it likely is. Often pet stores treat there systems with copper to kill the ich but this can be stressful to fish which will make them susceptible to getting ich if the cooper doesn't kill them all which because of the ichs life cycle it often can live through a copper treatment. Ich is a parasite and not a naturally accruing disease. The parasite has to be introduced then it needs a host to procreate. Without fish the Ich will die out naturally. Ich is most often introduced into the aquarium by adding new fish or even plants and algae (Ich is not air borne).
Tomites which have only recently attached themselves to the host will not be readily visible. It is good aquarium keeping practice to isolate any new fish for at least four days under close observation set at 80 or 81 degrees. Check carefully for the presence of any tell-tale white spots (Tomites) appearing on the skin of the fish. If no white spots are observed within four days at this temperature, they can be moved from isolation. Fish maintained at cooler water temperatures will require longer isolation times.
The visible stages of Ich are carried out within the host fishes' skin and under the gills. The first stages are called trophozoites and are highly resistant to drug therapy and cooper treatment. Trophozoites mature into trophonts and leave the host, falling to the bottom of the aquarium. These mature trophonts release hundreds of tomtits. These tomites move about looking for a host, which they must find within 2 to 3 days or they will die. Cooler temperatures will lengthen this time. IT IS THIS FREE SWIMMING STAGE that is most vulnerable to treatment but since there are usually at different stages when introduced its why treatments often fail and then people see ich return after after a few weeks. During these intermediate stages Ich tomites may also attach themselves to plants and algae so I recommend for the quarantine to be bare bottom with just a piece of rock for filtration and shelter to reduce stress. Once the tomite attaches to the host, it matures and the cycle begins anew.
The parasite forms a nodule under the skin or gill epithelium of the fish. It constantly turns and moves under the skin, feeding on destroyed cells and body fluids. It continues to feed on the cells until it matures, causing damage to the skin tissue. to ensure that you have completely removed ich from the aquarium the only real way IMO is to raise the temp and let the system go without fish for 6 weeks until they run the cycle and die out without a host.

Fish with strong immune systems often can ward off ich. UV light is known to kill it that is free floating in the water column that goes through the light. The ich has to pass through the light for that to work and since its not likely to all to pass through a UV sterilizer I don't suggest getting a UV sterilizer to cure fish of ich. They do work for preventative steps when adding new fish to a system IMO. Because of the short bulb life and cost to replace I only run my UV light when I add new stock. People have there own opinions on Ich and using UV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you a ton for the awesome reply it was incredibly informative!

So I am going to pull the two clowns from my display tank and put them in the new hospital tank tonight. I will treat them there for 6 weeks until Ich is gone from my display tank. Then moving on everything is going to be quarantined from here on out. I didnt the clowns because they are my first two fish. The reason I am pulling the clowns is because I have snails and 3 emerald green crabs in the display tank.

1. Do you think that I should use copper in the hospital tank or do the hypo salinity method?

2. Moving forward do you recommend I quarantine everything I buy including snails, corals, shrimp or just fish?

3. How long should the quarantine period be for each to keep the possibility of Ich out of my tank.

4. So now I can almost quarantee that Ich is in every single tank at the LFS and I have seen fish put in with the coral frags they sell as well. Is ich in every tank in a LFS normal and it is just something we have to quarantine out?

5. I did not like the recommendation to just put up with ich because it is in every tank, isnt the idea to keep the parasite Ich out of your tank altogether and not have it contanty trying to find a slightly less immune fish?
 

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Hey Soverjas,
Thanks for the posting about the ich lifecycle. It's nice to see a response like this to a question as important as disease. I understand the theoretical possibility of completely eradicating ich from an individual aquarium, and also understand the reality of operating a fish store with many aquariums where new fish are being brought in several times a week, where every new shipment has fish that have been stressed from transport and vulnerable to disease. This is why we dedicate to quarantining as many of the fish as possible to improve the fishes immunity, eliminate parasites etc. My question for you, based an observation I've had multiple times over the years, is how do you explain the situation that occurs when an established reef tank which has had no additions of new fish, rock, coral etc - literally nothing living added for 6+ months, and then something stressful happens, a temperature drop, power outage... take your pick, and then what follows is a full blown ich infestation.
While we've experienced successful treatment of ich many times using an assortment of methods from UV, copper, dips, etc, it's been our opinion based on the above observation of these ich outbreaks after no additions well past the 6-8 week life cycle that while it may be theoretically possible to eliminate ich from an aquarium, that this is often not the case, and it would be very difficult to ascertain whether a system has absolutely zero ich present in it. Surely there's external symptoms to watch for and a big difference between the presence of the tiniest amount of ich compared to an infestation, but when we look together at a tank that hasn't shown any symptoms of ich in months and months, how do we know for sure that it's erradicated? Given that one single trophont produces hundreds of tomites, many of which fail attach to fish with healthy immunity, or are zapped by the uv etc, but perhaps one does succeed, lodges in the gills etc. This one successful attachment continues the lifecycle.
I don't mean for this to come off the wrong way, I find this particular topic as with many in marine aquaria fascinating. I also remember back to the early days of Michigan Reefers when there were frequent exhilarating conversations about a variety of topics. Conversations with substantial information and informed arguments handled with courtesy and respect of both sides. (most of the time anyway :) ) Anyway, thanks again for your post, and I look forward to hearing your perspective on the above observation about ich outbreaks in tanks that haven't seen new additions in long periods of time.

Steve
 

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Amanda, see below for some answers to your questions.

1. Do you think that I should use copper in the hospital tank or do the hypo salinity method?
The balance here is looking at what you're treating for, and what stress factor the medication itself has. Various types of copper are often used for external parasites, but they do little for the potential bacterial infections from the injuries from the parasites. There's even great debate amongst the preference of one type of copper over another. The overall idea with most medications is that we're putting the fish and parasite through something that the fish can survive and recover, but that the parasite cannot. Sometimes a 'quarantine' tank is more of an 'observation' or 'acclimation' tank. During which the fish is observed for signs of stress, given plenty of opportunities to feed on a variety of foods, etc. Once the fish is eating aggressively and shows no signs of disease etc, some folks consider that a successful quarantine perhaps in as short of time as a few days of a week. Depending on the pest you're focusing on however, as mentioned in the life cycle of ich mentioned previously, a full quarantine for ich could be as long as 6 weeks. Just with our own health, a holistic approach is often used that focuses on prevention, treatment, immunity etc. Hyposalinity is an option as well as many other ich treatments, however the bulk of my experience is from using some or all of the following dips, copper, UV, good water chemistry and quality food soaked in garlic (although we also soak our foods in lipid and vitamin supplements as well) One thing you'll find as I'm sure you've seen some already is that the aquarium hobby is full of a diversity of opinions and it can be an interesting sea to navigate to know what actions to take yourself. I find some of the same struggle each year with my journey with organic vegetable gardening with all the different opinions for preparing the soil, controlling pests etc.

2. Moving forward do you recommend I quarantine everything I buy including snails, corals, shrimp or just fish?

Surely quarantine is one of the most if not the most valuable tool to prevent and treat disease. Sadly most aquarists do not quarantine anything and everything simply goes right into the tank. With the decision to quarantine something you'll want to consider a couple things. First, what would a functional quarantine tank for the organism look like? Second, what problems/pests could the organism be bringing in? For example a quarantine tank for corals would need adequate lighting, water flow etc. A quarantine tank for external parasites on fish using hyposalinity or copper would be lethal to the coral, so there's not an overlap there. Another consideration is utilizing something that might be better referred to as a 'observation' or 'acclimation' tank. This would be a smaller version of the main display, where some new acquisitions go and are observed and allowed to recover from the stresses of shipping etc before going into the main display. The more diverse the inhabitants in the "quarantine/observation/acclimation" tank though the more limited the treatment options are, so this is important to consider. Once concern more and more with many corals being aquacultured is that often the parasites that prey upon these corals are being cultivated as well. While some parasites such as acropora red bugs can be eradicated fairly easily, others that lay eggs that are resistant to the treatments can be much more difficult to eradicate such as montipora or zoanthid eating nudibranchs. There's a lot of information there, but in a nutshell, the most needed items to consider quarantining would be fish and corals. The likelihood of 'importing a problem' with snails, crabs or shrimp would be very unlikely.
Finally, consider the background of a fish/coral etc before you get it. Was it shipped overnight and bagged up for 24+ hours, or for just an 1.5 drive home from the LFS? Was it eating when purchased? How long since it was shipped previously? Many stores simply offer fish up for sale the day they arrive. In this situation the fish hasn't recovered from that shipping stress and is about to endure another. Surely not a strategy doomed to failure, but also a stress unwise to ignore.

3. How long should the quarantine period be for each to keep the possibility of Ich out of my tank.

It depends on the type of treatment being used, but a full and complete quarantine ich specifically could be as long as six weeks as your waiting for all of the trophonts to hatch, then fail to find the host fish. With warmer temps this can be shortened to 2 weeks or so, but the tolerance of the specific fish to the higher temp should be considered. For some freshwater fish treatments such as with cardinal tetras, we'll keep the temps at 86 for the first couple weeks they are at the store for an example.

4. So now I can almost quarantee that Ich is in every single tank at the LFS and I have seen fish put in with the coral frags they sell as well. Is ich in every tank in a LFS normal and it is just something we have to quarantine out?

This gets back to that core argument of whether a tiny bit of ich is present in most systems with any fish population. If you're on the theory on maintaining a tank completely devoid of ich, then theoretically yes you would quarantine anything that came out of any tank that had a fish in it anytime in the last 6 weeks or had anything put in it within that last 6 weeks that came from a tank that had a fish in it in the last 6 weeks as one of those trophonts could be stuck to the base of that coral, on some live rock, on some sand, on the shell of a snail, etc and then move to your tank hatching up to 6 weeks later and releasing the tomites etc. Hence part of our argument that a little bit of ich is in almost every saltwater tank everywhere that has any fish in it or has had anything added to it from another tank that has had any fish in it. At the same time, ich is very seldom lethal, and in our experience, a fish that is eating aggressively whose only symptom is a couple spots will quickly recover and show no further symptoms. Now if the fish is all cloudy eyed, respiring heavily etc, that's a different story. The practicality of the above approach seems questionable though IMO.
Having treated these mild symptoms of ich (the few spots) many of times successfully in reef aquariums with corals/inverts etc, our approach is focusing on promoting a healthy immune system through quality food, and the use of UV on the main display. With this approach we generally see tanks with little to no fish loss, and little to no visible symptoms of disease running for years on end. Having the fish in under 'quarantine' or 'observation' before putting them in the main display makes success even easier.

5. I did not like the recommendation to just put up with ich because it is in every tank, isnt the idea to keep the parasite Ich out of your tank altogether and not have it contanty trying to find a slightly less immune fish?

I don't like the idea either, nor the idea that there's germs and other harmful organisms that I'll encounter today as I go to the grocery store, grab a shopping cart that others put their hands on, flush a toilet handle, etc. The practices however of these items being cleaned periodically, and my washing my hands helps keep me relatively safe. That's the same perspective we take on many fish diseases. It's not that they get ignored, in fact we focus heavily on it with 3 full time staff members whose primary responsibility is ascertaining the health of our fish, and implementing treatments. At the LFS level, we focus on buying fish from the best suppliers, hand picking when possible, and isolating, observing and treating our fish upon arrival to get them as healthy as possible before leaving the store to go to your aquarium. Next time you're in, feel free to have us show you some of the information we can share about the background of the fish. For example, we can let you know the date the fish arrived at the store, feed them for you so you see them eating etc. We're happy to do all of the above to ensure that you take home only the healthiest fish. At the hobbyist level, the focus could include and additional quarantine or observation period at home, treatment/prevention in the tank itself etc. The combination of the two sets up a ripe environment for long term success with fish health.

Here's also a link to something I wrote, geez, 4 years ago, I'm getting old... :) that describes how we handle fish. I'm going to consider adding an addendum to it that guides to the benefits of home quarantine as well, and some examples of how to set up simple and relatively inexpensive quarantine tanks for corals, fish etc.

http://www.michiganreefers.com/forums/preuss-pets/67957-preuss-pets-commitment-fish-health.html

Steve
 

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I 100% believe that quarantining a fish is the best way to try to eliminate disease from entering your system.

Though if you don't quarantine, I think moving the fish to a new tank yada yada is much more stressful, just leave them in your tank.

Don't raise or lower temps, or salinity, once again, stability is the key for a healthy system.

You might still lose a fish or 2, but you probably would of lost them anyways, and trying to battle ammonia in an unestablished QT tank is really hard, trust me, I did it and I know. I will never ever ever move my fish over to a QT if I get ich again, because my fish died from the ammonia in the QT not from ich.

Also, I do think there is something that researchers are missing about ich, because as preuss said, there are people who have not added one single thing for months on end, and then some sort of issue happens with their tank and then they get a full blown infestation. I think there is ich in most everyone's tank, and keeping parameters stable will keep it from ever getting out of control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you Steve for all if your great input as usual! :)

I love the fact that there is such a great community of people on this forum and everyone is so helpful.

I think I need to settle for the fact that there are so many different ways of doing the same thing and that there are not just one answer for things sometimes especially in this hobby. :3195:
 

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Hey Soverjas,
My question for you, based an observation I've had multiple times over the years, is how do you explain the situation that occurs when an established reef tank which has had no additions of new fish, rock, coral etc - literally nothing living added for 6+ months, and then something stressful happens, a temperature drop, power outage... take your pick, and then what follows is a full blown ich infestation.

Steve
I appreciate the positive feed back and for providing us with more information. I guess what I should of added is that in Ich is so common that many of us have it and for years without knowing it. As you stated the fishes immune system can usually fight it off and have no parasites visible to the eye and populations are often kept in check. We know from tests the life cycle that in a aquarium with fish with strong immune systems the parasite numbers and size can be kept in check for years but still be present. It usually isn't until the fish immune system drops that ich has a chance to grow larger and have its population grow in our aquariums. Its usually stress or poor diet that causes the fishes immune system to drop. Often seen is one fish in a system infected why others are not. Does this mean the other fish are not infected? No, they are also carrying the parasite just not to the level where health is affected or is visible to the eye due to a stronger immune system. Its the same way in humans. our body's can naturally fight off some parasites or keep them in check where they don't irritate us even know we carry them. Like in fish, human parasites are organisms that, being unable to live on their own, depend on their host for survival. These organisms can damage the body through their feeding and life cycle, excreting toxic waste products or causing an allergic reaction. They can be very small (even microscopic, in the case of amoebas or other single-celled parasites) or can grow to be several inches long (in the case of flatworms). Parasites can live in almost any part of the body, including the digestive tract, on the skin (or under it) and in the liver. Parasites can enter the body through a number of routes, including accidental ingestion, infection via the skin or sometimes via feces. Although our bodies are able to fight these infections, in some cases other treatments are necessary to cure parasites. Parasitic infections can range from no noticeable symptoms to mildly annoying to debilitating and potentially fatal.

Since the only fish doctors I know are not really doctors (pun intended) we have to rely treatments and diet to fight the parasite while boosting the immune system of the fish to where it can fight it off on its own. The same as if we got a parasite ourselves.

Once Ich is in the system its likely there to stay as long as hosts are present. moving a host fish clearly infected into quarantine is usually the best practice. I will use the example of working in the office. Someone gets sick and it usually makes a round infecting most people in the office and sometimes everyone as the germs increase in population those with lower immune systems likely catch the bug. remove the sick person from the office while the person is highly contagious of in this case a fish covered in ich and the rest will fair better in not catching the same bug.

I stayed at a holiday inn last night.

My statement above was not to knock pet stores. I love you guys and I know from a few conversations I have had with Steve from Preuss that he has a passion for this hobby and is a premium place to buy healthy live stock because he legitimately cares about the health of the fish and happiness of his customers.
 

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Amanda, see below for some answers to your questions.

1. Do you think that I should use copper in the hospital tank or do the hypo salinity method?
The balance here is looking at what you're treating for, and what stress factor the medication itself has. Various types of copper are often used for external parasites, but they do little for the potential bacterial infections from the injuries from the parasites. There's even great debate amongst the preference of one type of copper over another. The overall idea with most medications is that we're putting the fish and parasite through something that the fish can survive and recover, but that the parasite cannot. Sometimes a 'quarantine' tank is more of an 'observation' or 'acclimation' tank. During which the fish is observed for signs of stress, given plenty of opportunities to feed on a variety of foods, etc. Once the fish is eating aggressively and shows no signs of disease etc, some folks consider that a successful quarantine perhaps in as short of time as a few days of a week. Depending on the pest you're focusing on however, as mentioned in the life cycle of ich mentioned previously, a full quarantine for ich could be as long as 6 weeks. Just with our own health, a holistic approach is often used that focuses on prevention, treatment, immunity etc. Hyposalinity is an option as well as many other ich treatments, however the bulk of my experience is from using some or all of the following dips, copper, UV, good water chemistry and quality food soaked in garlic (although we also soak our foods in lipid and vitamin supplements as well) One thing you'll find as I'm sure you've seen some already is that the aquarium hobby is full of a diversity of opinions and it can be an interesting sea to navigate to know what actions to take yourself. I find some of the same struggle each year with my journey with organic vegetable gardening with all the different opinions for preparing the soil, controlling pests etc.

2. Moving forward do you recommend I quarantine everything I buy including snails, corals, shrimp or just fish?

Surely quarantine is one of the most if not the most valuable tool to prevent and treat disease. Sadly most aquarists do not quarantine anything and everything simply goes right into the tank. With the decision to quarantine something you'll want to consider a couple things. First, what would a functional quarantine tank for the organism look like? Second, what problems/pests could the organism be bringing in? For example a quarantine tank for corals would need adequate lighting, water flow etc. A quarantine tank for external parasites on fish using hyposalinity or copper would be lethal to the coral, so there's not an overlap there. Another consideration is utilizing something that might be better referred to as a 'observation' or 'acclimation' tank. This would be a smaller version of the main display, where some new acquisitions go and are observed and allowed to recover from the stresses of shipping etc before going into the main display. The more diverse the inhabitants in the "quarantine/observation/acclimation" tank though the more limited the treatment options are, so this is important to consider. Once concern more and more with many corals being aquacultured is that often the parasites that prey upon these corals are being cultivated as well. While some parasites such as acropora red bugs can be eradicated fairly easily, others that lay eggs that are resistant to the treatments can be much more difficult to eradicate such as montipora or zoanthid eating nudibranchs. There's a lot of information there, but in a nutshell, the most needed items to consider quarantining would be fish and corals. The likelihood of 'importing a problem' with snails, crabs or shrimp would be very unlikely.
Finally, consider the background of a fish/coral etc before you get it. Was it shipped overnight and bagged up for 24+ hours, or for just an 1.5 drive home from the LFS? Was it eating when purchased? How long since it was shipped previously? Many stores simply offer fish up for sale the day they arrive. In this situation the fish hasn't recovered from that shipping stress and is about to endure another. Surely not a strategy doomed to failure, but also a stress unwise to ignore.

3. How long should the quarantine period be for each to keep the possibility of Ich out of my tank.

It depends on the type of treatment being used, but a full and complete quarantine ich specifically could be as long as six weeks as your waiting for all of the trophonts to hatch, then fail to find the host fish. With warmer temps this can be shortened to 2 weeks or so, but the tolerance of the specific fish to the higher temp should be considered. For some freshwater fish treatments such as with cardinal tetras, we'll keep the temps at 86 for the first couple weeks they are at the store for an example.

4. So now I can almost quarantee that Ich is in every single tank at the LFS and I have seen fish put in with the coral frags they sell as well. Is ich in every tank in a LFS normal and it is just something we have to quarantine out?

This gets back to that core argument of whether a tiny bit of ich is present in most systems with any fish population. If you're on the theory on maintaining a tank completely devoid of ich, then theoretically yes you would quarantine anything that came out of any tank that had a fish in it anytime in the last 6 weeks or had anything put in it within that last 6 weeks that came from a tank that had a fish in it in the last 6 weeks as one of those trophonts could be stuck to the base of that coral, on some live rock, on some sand, on the shell of a snail, etc and then move to your tank hatching up to 6 weeks later and releasing the tomites etc. Hence part of our argument that a little bit of ich is in almost every saltwater tank everywhere that has any fish in it or has had anything added to it from another tank that has had any fish in it. At the same time, ich is very seldom lethal, and in our experience, a fish that is eating aggressively whose only symptom is a couple spots will quickly recover and show no further symptoms. Now if the fish is all cloudy eyed, respiring heavily etc, that's a different story. The practicality of the above approach seems questionable though IMO.
Having treated these mild symptoms of ich (the few spots) many of times successfully in reef aquariums with corals/inverts etc, our approach is focusing on promoting a healthy immune system through quality food, and the use of UV on the main display. With this approach we generally see tanks with little to no fish loss, and little to no visible symptoms of disease running for years on end. Having the fish in under 'quarantine' or 'observation' before putting them in the main display makes success even easier.

5. I did not like the recommendation to just put up with ich because it is in every tank, isnt the idea to keep the parasite Ich out of your tank altogether and not have it contanty trying to find a slightly less immune fish?

I don't like the idea either, nor the idea that there's germs and other harmful organisms that I'll encounter today as I go to the grocery store, grab a shopping cart that others put their hands on, flush a toilet handle, etc. The practices however of these items being cleaned periodically, and my washing my hands helps keep me relatively safe. That's the same perspective we take on many fish diseases. It's not that they get ignored, in fact we focus heavily on it with 3 full time staff members whose primary responsibility is ascertaining the health of our fish, and implementing treatments. At the LFS level, we focus on buying fish from the best suppliers, hand picking when possible, and isolating, observing and treating our fish upon arrival to get them as healthy as possible before leaving the store to go to your aquarium. Next time you're in, feel free to have us show you some of the information we can share about the background of the fish. For example, we can let you know the date the fish arrived at the store, feed them for you so you see them eating etc. We're happy to do all of the above to ensure that you take home only the healthiest fish. At the hobbyist level, the focus could include and additional quarantine or observation period at home, treatment/prevention in the tank itself etc. The combination of the two sets up a ripe environment for long term success with fish health.

Here's also a link to something I wrote, geez, 4 years ago, I'm getting old... :) that describes how we handle fish. I'm going to consider adding an addendum to it that guides to the benefits of home quarantine as well, and some examples of how to set up simple and relatively inexpensive quarantine tanks for corals, fish etc.

http://www.michiganreefers.com/forums/preuss-pets/67957-preuss-pets-commitment-fish-health.html

Steve
Should be a sticky
 

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katymunoz - I'm sorry to hear about the issues you had within an unestablished quarantine tank. This is however a really good experience for those reading this thread now and in the future to hear about. Too often we hear about this same experience where what gets set up is more of a morgue than a hospital in the quarantine. We have to battle this on a weekly basis especially with our freshwater fish where we sanitize the tank, filtration etc in between each batch of fish which come through as fast as every 1-2+ weeks. Since we're sanitizing the environment with bleach and scalding water, we would start out with no biofiltration if we weren't careful. We've learned over the years however to maintain a supply of cultured sponge filters which are in a fishless tank fed regularly with ammonia. These cultured sponge filters come ready to go and start each quarantine tank off right. When we test both ammonia and nitrite through the 1-2+ weeks the fish are in that tank, we get zeros for both. As a bonus, we also now offer the cultured sponge filters for sale, so when someone has an emergency like this, we can get them a new sponge filter, we take the new dry one and throw it in the back to be cultured, and give them one we've been culturing for often times as long as a month.
Another way around this that some people do is they maintain a quarantine tank with say a pair of clowns of a damsel in it. Maybe even with a divider. This way the tank is an established tank all the time, and new fish or fish from the tank could be treated in it.
Surely disease outbreaks in the main tank should be a very rare occurrence that most aquarists don't need to deal with, but hopefully the above info is helpful in some ways to pull off an on the spot quarantine tank in an emergency.

Soverjas - I really appreciate your response. We were discussing the perpetual ich vs eradication idea amongst some of the senior staff this week, and that was pretty much where we were as well. The idea that there's a few levels. 1) there is no ich 2) there is some ich, but it's not enough to be visible. 3) there's enough to be visible but it gets missed by the observer 4) there's enough to be visible frequently and it's seen, - i.e. frequent spots on a hippo tang and then phases more up to a full infestation with fish that haven't eaten in a week, are cloudy eyed, respiring heavily.. - fish that are likely far too advanced in their disease to be brought back.
No worries about the post being interpreted as a knock to stores. I've developed a thick skin over the years and it takes quite a bit to faze me now. :) The thing I like though is that now readers of this thread have some real information to chew into, consider and come to their own conclusions instead of something more like a news headline that gets repeated without maybe substantial information behind it.

AmandaK - thank you! I'm in after 2pm today and all day tomorrow, if you have more questions, feel free to give me a call.

Thanks!

Steve
 
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