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  1. #1
    Supporting Member Diesel's Avatar
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    !*!*!*!*! Quarantine and more Quarantine !*!*!*!*!

    !?!?What?!?!

    You want me to quarantine my fish AND my corals and inverts?
    In a word, Yes.
    As I was last week at a LFS and a customer told me how important quarantine was for fish but when he bought some corals and told me where he was going to put them in his DT I told him in my turn what the risk was he took, his eyes rolled a little but I just hoped that he took the info serious as his QT procedure for fish was solid.
    That said we all already quarantine our fish for at least 76 days or longer if you see symptoms of something that ain't right......... right??
    Yet, you were so careful to treat carefully and follow all the rules only to end up with ich or velvet in your display anyway?
    The reason this happens is most usually because there was a tomont on the hard surface of the coral, frag plug, or even the shell of a crab or shrimp!
    A tomontis the cyst stage of ick and velvet where the parasite multiplies before breaking free of the cyst to search out a new host to feed on.
    Pretty much any system that has fish in it can produce a coral carrying parasites.
    Unless the coral or invert comes from a fishless tank, that has been that way for 76 days or more, youíll have to assume it can bring ick or velvet into your tank.
    Fish parasites arenít the only thing to worry about when adding corals to your display.
    Most of us already know how to dip our corals in a coral dip to rid them of any coral pests.
    What they donít know is that these dips wonít touch the tomont stage of parasites like ich.
    Running your corals through quarantine is also handy to do to be sure none of those coral pests made it through the dip.
    Some, like montipora eating nudibranchs lay eggs and those eggs can be difficult to remove with just a coral dip.
    Multiple dips may be required for some of these pests so having the corals in the coral QT will keep them out of your display until you are confident you have the pests eliminated.
    Letís talk about what a coral/invert QT needs to be.
    First and foremost, it needs to be completely on it's own at all times.
    It can be as simple as a 20 gallon tank, cheap T-5 lighting, small powerhead, HOB filter and a heater.
    Small frag racks made of egg grate or the fancy racks you buy at the LFS.
    Youíll need to be sure you have some biological filtration like Matrix by Seachem in the filter.
    Running a skimmer or reactors or even dosing pumps shouldnít be necessary for a simple QT like this, but thatís entirely up to you and what all you will be keeping in the tank.
    76 days shouldnít be long enough, especially with regular water changes, to need all those things.
    If you not having a QT frag tank running all the time than you need to cycle your frag tank when you set up for at least a week or two maybe longer.
    Having inverts always in there will help with any algae that might pop up, especially at first during the ďuglyĒ faze.
    I tend to keep a group of snails and hermits going through the frag tank, so as I introduce one group to my display there is another group going into the frag tank.
    Also I keep a small group of springerii damsels and or just one six line wrasse in there as they are masters of picking the pest if you have any of your corals.
    Feeding the fish and inverts and corals in the QT may be necessary to keep nutrients up.
    I will tie a bit of nori or a small silver side to a frag square for the snails to eat on occasionally and just regular Mysis for the fish but not too much as they need to inspect your corals so keeping them some what hungry is a key factor.
    The good news here is that you donít have to introduce the corals and inverts in batches.
    Each individual coral needs to be in the QT for 76 days. Adding another coral later doesnít restart the clock for the first coral. I like to add them in small groups (mostly because they are like potato chips, how do you just buy one?) and keep a list of which corals or inverts went in the QT on what date.
    It helps keep track of which ones can be added to the display so I donít accidentally add one that hasnít been in quarantine for the full 76 days.
    Operating a coral and invert QT can lifesaving, reef saving and money saving in the long run.
    Going through the trouble to quarantine your fish and be sure there are no diseases in your tank is great but can still result in disaster without also running the rest of your livestock through QT as well.
    You should always dip any new corals anyway, but pests will still slip by that and a QT will help keep these out of your tank even when they slip by.
    I hope this article helps you understand just how important this is and how to implement a coral QT.
    I don't regret the things I did wrong............ I regret the good things I did for the wrong people.

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  3. #2
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    I like what you are saying except for introducing another coral to the qt tank noylt restarting the clock. It most certainly should. It is contaminated again when a new one is added, however small the chance. Good writeup tho

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Corey Ingram
    M.A.R.S.H. - BoD
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

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  5. #3
    Supporting Member Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reefling View Post
    I like what you are saying except for introducing another coral to the qt tank noylt restarting the clock. It most certainly should. It is contaminated again when a new one is added, however small the chance. Good writeup tho

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    If you put Coral A in on Feb 1st then put Coral B in two weeks later, the clock for Coral A hasn't been reset. You are simply waiting for any tomonts to hatch and release their parasites so the coral is clear of them. You would want to transfer as little water as possible over of course and a quick rinse after acclimation is advisable.
    I don't regret the things I did wrong............ I regret the good things I did for the wrong people.

  6. #4
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    Great write-up Diesel. I do agree with reefling on that one point though, you indeed reset the clock on Coral A when introducing Coral B. From a fish disease perspective and from a coral pest perspective, you have reset the clock.

    For fish disease, the new frag could have brought an ich cyst in. Say Coral A was QT'ed for 75 days, at which point you add an infested Coral B to the same QT tank, the cyst breaks open and tons of ich theronts release into the water, then you place Coral A into your tank the next day because it hit 76 days, you have a high likelihood that you introduced ich into your tank at that point. So for fish disease, any new frag added will restart the clock, so batches work best if possible.

    For coral pests, same scenario. Coral A sits in your QT for 75 days and then that same day, you add an infested Coral B crawling with AEFW. At that point, the clock is reset because if you put Coral A into the display the next day, you have a chance of introducing AEFW to your tank.

    Also, if you do setup a coral QT, I'd almost suggest to keep no fish in it. Having fish always stocked in your QT can allow ich or other disease to infect the fish so that it resides in the QT system as long as the fish is still there, allowing your QT to basically be a source for fish disease for any frag you keep in it, no matter how long they are kept in quarantine, because the source is right there in the tank as well.

    Great thoughts on the QT setups and for educating your fellow reefers on the importance of QTing not only your fish, but your frags too. I can tell you first hand on that as I lost 3/4 of my fish stock on a frag I acquired 2 months ago. No new fish or CUC has been added to my system for the past 9-12 months, so I can easily trace it to the frag that brought it in sadly.

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  8. #5
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    I agree. I QT all fish, coral, live rock, and even macro algae. People laugh but Ben is right, something so innocent can easily contaminate your system. Great point to bring up.

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  10. #6
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    !*!*!*!*! Quarantine and more Quarantine !*!*!*!*!

    This makes me want to do a write up on live rock lol.

    When i moved down here in June 2012 from Colorado I setup my 150 as a semi-reef. Jan 2013 I bought my current home and moved the tank this way and in the process acquired some more live rock that I got from a lfs that came from another reefer which broke his tank down (cuts down the cycle time I figured ). A couple months later I'm noticing I'm replacing my cleaning crew like crazy. $30.00 every month and I got a graveyard of shells. Didn't think much of it at first, bad batches maybe? Feeding the wrasses? angelfish? Then on a dark and dreary night, as I flash-lighted my tank (do ya'll do this too?) at 1am in Mar 2016 I see this hermit on his back and this blob wrapping around it......wth??!!???? So I reach in there and try and grab the crab and whatever the heck it was slimmed its way away..... At first glance it reminded me of creep show the movie, the final act, when that blob in the water was picking off those kids on the raft until the one dude was left making a dash for it onto the beach and he was swallowed up. This thing had no distinct shape, its was camo colored (I'm colorblind so it's crazy in this reefing game for me), and that joker was fast!!!

    So I'm baffled at this point and I'm flying through the web looking for slugs, grubs, hum bugs, and worms....and Finally...Polyclad flatworm. eats snails, clams, and apparently hermits (maybe it just wanted his shell and got confused?). I'm thinking yeah, flat worm exit that dude....nope!! all threads note it doesn't kill them. Best recommendation was to fish it out. So a trip to walmart to get some clam chunks and another 1am date with my fishnet and turkey baster I went night fishing. So after bating and waiting 15 minutes I hit the tank with the light and BAM, not 1, not 2, but 3 of these jokers are going golden coral!!!! It was noted not to tear them, 16 hearts, hermaphroditic, these things can make babies fast!! So I suck them out and get sidetracked in the aww of their characteristics....I caught 12 of them that night alone until i got tired...no wonder I've been paying $30.00 a month on snails and crabs.

    I did this ritual for about 3 months straight every weekend when I could stay up and do my late night fishing trips until I finally caught no more. Or so I thought.......Come late July 2016 and paranoid, I thought just for good measure I would see if anything comes out and went on another fishing trip in the tank....sure as shhhhhh caught 3 more. Tired of fighting the battle I decided the best course of action at this point was to wipe it and start from scratch. Corals, rocks, sand, all went through the ringer with fresh water bathes lasting a month. After that I left everything out to dry in the hot August sun for a month in black trash bags to ensure I had some well cooked critters. Then pressure washed the entire lot of rocks and threw them in trash cans to start re-cycling them back. I bought a 65 to house the fish temporary while I restarted the 150.

    In the process, I negotiated with the wife to let me buy a 110 as a fish only and transferred the 65 group into there with the intention of doing the 150 as a reef. I got the 150 back up and running in late December 16' and cycled that out until March 17'. Lesson learned from all this....I personally will probably never buy live rock again lol. I don't know about quarantining it, but if I did I would more than likely run it through the ringer as noted above at this point.

    As far as my QT of corals I agree with the OP. I had my adventures before with MEN as well as with red bugs on the acs, so dip and qt procedures are necessary. I think the restart on the clock though would depend on the corals, montis I would definitely restart the clock, the life-cycles are vicious with the MEN.
    Last edited by MrPorter; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:11 AM.

  11. #7
    MARSH Sponsor PSXerholic's Avatar
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    I have spent quite some time to dig out the secret ingredients and process of QT for corals from example JF.
    Really not like the person, but fully respect his methods when it comes to QT of corals.

    It is not just only the "de-parasiting" (is that even a word???), that we will be able to manage with some efforts as described by you guys.
    One item of concern as the system becomes more valuable and expensive in Livestock is the fact of bringing bacterial coral diseases into the tank :-(

    A no-exception process of
    Dipping
    QT phase
    Then an Anti parasite dip
    Transfer after dip into another QT tank
    QT Phase
    Iodine dip
    Transfer after dip into another QT tank

    and repeat the iodine dip steps :-(

    That's the way you may can achieve no diseases getting into the tank.
    In my case it's too late since I never had a full sterile system, so UV is a must in my opinion.
    And no high temperatures.

    -Andre

  12. #8
    Supporting Member RR-MAN's Avatar
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    I think if we quarantine in batches it's best regardless of how tempting it is to buy new frags and screw the 'QT cycle.

    I'm definitely quarantining fish and corals separately.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RR-MAN View Post
    I think if we quarantine in batches it's best regardless of how tempting it is to buy new frags and screw the 'QT cycle.

    I'm definitely quarantining fish and corals separately.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    It is ideal but I bet you less than 10% of hobbyist do this. Its going to be my regiment from now on. I guess it becomes more important to some reefers as there coral and fish populations start increasing in value.

  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PSXerholic View Post
    I have spent quite some time to dig out the secret ingredients and process of QT for corals from example JF.
    Really not like the person, but fully respect his methods when it comes to QT of corals.

    It is not just only the "de-parasiting" (is that even a word???), that we will be able to manage with some efforts as described by you guys.
    One item of concern as the system becomes more valuable and expensive in Livestock is the fact of bringing bacterial coral diseases into the tank :-(

    A no-exception process of
    Dipping
    QT phase
    Then an Anti parasite dip
    Transfer after dip into another QT tank
    QT Phase
    Iodine dip
    Transfer after dip into another QT tank

    and repeat the iodine dip steps :-(

    That's the way you may can achieve no diseases getting into the tank.
    In my case it's too late since I never had a full sterile system, so UV is a must in my opinion.
    And no high temperatures.

    -Andre
    I can understand the concern but I think it's a minimal risk honestly. Some studies have even shown that the vibrio bacteria is inherently on the corals themselves and only becomes an issue when the health of the coral or a stressor comes into play and weakens the coral, thereby allowing the vibrio bacteria to grow out of hand and cause rapid tissue necrosis. So basically, healthy coral would cause you to never really be concerned about bacteria. Also I understand that higher temperatures can cause quicker metabolisms and growth rates in bacterial population size but at the range that we keep our tanks, it doesn't make much of a difference from 78 degrees to 81 degrees. My tank runs constantly at 81 degrees and my tank isn't overrun with dead and dying corals from bacteria. You can say it's because of my giant UV sterilizer but honestly the unit can only kill what goes through it and vibrio bacteria is attacking the coral on its flesh, not floating around in the water column. So that UV sterilizer may keep it from spreading as quickly if it releases into the water column but if it's on all the corals anyways naturally what difference does a UV sterilizer really make?Just my thoughts.

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