Flower Planting 101: Simplifying Your Planting Maps

Flower Planting 101: Simplifying Your Planting Maps

Bringing Home A New Acquisition For Your Tropical Tank? Make Sure You Use A Quarantine Tank First

Juanita Douglas

Bringing home a new fish for your tropical tank can be a thrilling experience—but that can soon turn into a tragedy if you wake up a few days later to find most of your fish dead or dying because the new fish was carrying some hidden disease that spread to the others. That's why having a quarantine tank is a critical part of tropical fish ownership—but many new owners (and some long-term ones) don't even know that they need one! This is what you should know.

Why are quarantine tanks important for tropical fish?

The majority of the non-tropical fish that you see in fish stores are bred in captivity. Tropical fish, however, are harder to breed in captivity and many of the most beautiful ones have to be caught in the wild (which helps explain the difference in cost as well). 

It's easy to miss the early signs of white spot disease (ichthyophthiriasis multifiliis, or "ich") on your new fish, and that could wipe out your entire tank in a very short time. Velvet disease (also called "gold dust" disease) is another parasitical problem that's especially common for tropical fish, and it can lead to a painful, lingering death for your pets as they eventually become unable to breathe due to the breakdown of their gill tissue.

Your quarantine tank also serves as a hospital tank—if you do have a sick fish on your hands, you may try to treat it, but the medications can damage other things that you're keeping in your main tank, like invertebrates and live rock. Your snails and coral, for example, might be harmed by the copper sulfate medication used to treat many parasites like velvet.

What do you need to set up a quarantine tank?

While there are plenty of people who swear that a 10-gallon tank will do, other experts suggest that you should go with a 29-gallon tank as a minimum size. While the 29-gallon tanks are significantly more expensive than their smaller counterparts, they have some distinct advantages:

  • There's more room for your fish, which can reduce the shock and anxiety of being moved from its previous tank.
  • You are less likely to run into issues with the tank being too small if you decide to acquire a larger specimen. 
  • A small tank can be unnecessarily stressful for a fish that has to stay quarantined for at least 3 weeks (though longer is better, especially if you're worried about something like ich, which can take a while to show).
  • Small tanks are notoriously harder to regulate when it comes to temperature, lighting, chemistry, and water quality. Since small tanks are generally not for serious hobbyists and are used primarily for display cases and the occasional goldfish, most of the necessary accessories that you need to keep your new fish healthy are designed with larger tanks in mind.

Beyond the size of the tank, you should set your quarantine tank up as similarly as possible to your regular tank—including the substrate, lighting, and any decorative material. This helps reduce stress on your pet once you are able to transition him or her into the regular tank.

For more information or advice, contact a fish store like Neptune's Tropical Fish in your area.


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About Me
Flower Planting 101: Simplifying Your Planting Maps

One of the things that I always loved about spring as a kid was watching all of the flowers my mother planted suddenly come up from the ground and then bloom into vibrant, beautiful colors. When I bought my own house, one of the first things I wanted to do was plant flowers. What I didn't realize was how hard it could be to figure out what to plant where. From the sun demand to the companion planting guides, it was complicated. I created this site to help others just like me create the flower gardens they always wanted without the struggles that I faced.