The Quarantine System
At one time or another, every hobbyist will have problems with disease and measures must be taken to reslove the problem.It is important to remember that prevention is the best cure for disease. The more stable a system, the less chance for problems. Strive for the most stable and most heavily filtered system possible.

Should problems arise, however, the sooner the problem is treated the better. Become familiar with your fishs' normal behavior and appearance as changes in either or both of these can be an early symptom of a brewing problem. Early detection and treatment of disease will greatly improve your livestocks’ chances for survival.

A small investment in a quarantine tank will quickly pay for itself. Treatment of sick fish in a quarantine tank will require smaller doses of medications and make water changes easier. Also, by isolating fish for treatment, more delicate species are not at risk from exposure to inappropriate medications and the biological filter in the main tank remains intact. Further, quarantine tanks do not limit the types of medications that can be used.

The ideal quarantine tank should consist of a 10-30 gallon aquarium with a glass canopy and no light. Lights are best left off during treatment but can be used for periodic viewing of fish if needed.
Filtration should be provided with a
Lustar Hydro Sponge, an internal filter. This filter can be run in the main aquarium then easily transferred to the quarantine tank for an immediate biological and mechanical filter system.

In addition, a small
air pump should be used with an airstone. On more heavily loaded systems or when more than one fish is being treated, this small pump will power an internal box filter or sponge filter. An internal box filter is perfect for using seeded Matrix or other biological media that is seeded with bacteria from the main aquarium. This unit can be packed with floss for mechanical filtration, as well. A good heater is also a must in the quarantine tank.

Water in the quarantine tank should be treated with
AquaLife Complete by Aquarium Life Support Systems. This will help protect injured or stressed fish.

Vitamins and appetite stimulants added to the water are also important during quarantine and treatment. These additives help prevent nutritional deficiencies that often occur in sick species that are not eating properly.

Oxygen demand is at its highest during treatment due to medication, stress, and disease, thus it is crucial to have good water circulation. Use
airstones and Methylene Blue to help make oxygen more available to the bloodstream of fish. Methylene Blue should not be used in the display tank.

Remember, always test ammonia and nitrite levels during treatment. If ammonia and nitrite levels increase, as is often the case when antibiotic medications are used, do water changes every other day to reduce their levels and re-medicate.
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