Quarantine, quarantine, quarantine – this word get a lot of lip service in the saltwater aquarium hobby but too few of us really practice this important procedure, let alone undertake it properly. Even many of the fish stores we’ve visited have ‘quarantine systems’ that deserve a healthy dose of skepticism and it’s not for lack of trying.
The old adage ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure‘ couldn’t be any more true than when it comes to making sure our aquarium fish are clean and healthy before they go into a permanent aquarium home. As part of a successful reef aquarium studio we’ve been quarantining more fish in the last few months than we have in almost our entire reef aquarium career.
We’ve been getting a variety of fish from nearly all seas and oceans of the globe so needless to say we’re preemptively isolating all of our fish before distributing any of them to any other fish or coral system in the Studio. Most people consider quarantine aquarium to be a pain, difficult or an otherwise undesirable chore but we view them quite differently.
A quarantine tank doesn’t have to be a sentence for the aquarist, but instead it can function both as an aquaristic exercise, and great place for you to get to know your new fish. The QT is an environment where your new reef pets can settle in, get accustomed to their new life in an aquarium, and especially where they can build up their strength and get into a healthy condition where they will be able to thrive in their future bustling reef aquarium home.
For the aquarist, the practice of setting up and maintaining a QT is an exercise in keeping your knowledge of saltwater aquarium fundamentals fresh in mind. Not only is the a QT a great place to condition your fish and hone your SW aquarium skills, it also gives the aquarist a chance to get in tune with the behavior, needs and preferences before they have to compete in the primary display.
We hope that this video tutorial answers many of the questions about quarantining saltwater fish as we get a lot of questions about it. If done right a quarantine tank is not only ensuring a better chance of a successful, disease free aquarium display, but it can also be something fun and in some cases, even beautiful mini display while it’s in operation.