Gang, Please Quarantine New Fish!

Essjay

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The bacteria don't live floating in the water in our tanks, they live in the biofilm which is tightly bound to surfaces. So when we do a water change we remove hardly any bacteria, just the odd few that have become dislodged. We use dechlorinator to remove the chlorine/chloramine from the new water so it can't kill the bacteria already in the tank. And it is why we should clean filter media in water we've taken out of the tank rather than in tap water as the chlorine/chloramine in tap water will kill the bacteria in the filter media.


Chlorine/chloramine does not kill every single bacteria in tap water, a very tiny number do manage to survive. Once we remove the chlorine/chloramine by using a dechlorinator, they can now start to multiply. It's because there are so few of them that it takes so long to grow enough for a tankful of fish.

Bottled bacteria can speed up a cycle. But they don't work if the bottle has been allowed to get too hot or too cold at any point since it left the factory.
 
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FishGuest5123

FishGuest5123

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Here's a great tip if you don't want a quarantine tank: Potassium permanganate. Use an extra tank ( or bin) and put the new fish in a strong bath of the stuff for a short time. It turns the water purple. Its to kill parasites and any fungus the fish have...then after a bath of that for a short time..the fish can go into the main tank. Its an alternative to weeks in a q-tank and I'm not saying as good a method.
Go to youtube and Viktor who has a DIY Public Aquarium Fish Rescue and Recovery channel. Ask him how long he dips those fish in it.
It won’t take care of bacterial infections that can wipe out a tank and not a good idea to do to already stressed fish. :(
 

Stan510

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Its an option /alternative. Some people are always going for straight into the show tank. Its not better than quarantining...but might help lower risks. I could see buying the fish and letting it sit in treated water for an hour or two,and then in they go...
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Oooooh no is this true??
I have been using bottled bacteria in all my water changes and tank because I thought it was nessassary.

So is it not needed at all or do you only need it to speed up the cycle when setting up a new tank?

Also where does the bacteric come from because tap water has added chlorine so wouldn't that remove all the bacteria??

Sorry if this is the wrong thread for this.

I'm really annoyed now all that bacteria was a SCAM. ) :
You don't need it at all, but some people swear it helped them start or speed up a cycle. I can't personally attest to that since I've never used it (I've been lucky to always have an established tank I could use to jump start the cycle on a new tank), but you most definitely do not need it once your tank is cycled.

When you water change, you don't need to use bottled bacteria. The BB grows on the filter media, on the substrate, on tank walls, decor and plants -it's not living free floating in the water column, so doing even large water changes doesn't affect your BB colonies, you don't need to add more bacteria back in.

I couldn't tell you how the bacteria are first introduced to a cycling tank when the water was chlorinated, I'd bet @Essjay knows. Perhaps just enough survive the clorination to get it started. But so far as your tank goes now, if you're reading zero for ammmonia and nitrites, and getting a reading for nitrates that is above any nitrate reading from your source water (some tap water has nitrate levels already, so worth checking yours), then your tank is already cycled, and you don't need to add any bottled bacteria.

Just ensure that you don't clean your filter media under the tap or in water that hasn't been declorinated, since that is very likely to kill off a good portion of your BB and send the tank into a mini-cycle while the BB colones regrow to handle the current bioload. You may also experience a mini-cycle if you switch out the substrate, since that would remove a good chunk of BB too.

But nope, no need to keep buying bottles of BB now, no matter what the manufacturers tell to sell you ;)
 

Stan510

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I remember when the owner of the local Aquarium store,Moon Yee.would give me gravel out of his tanks and some water to start a new tank. I was really a newbie them. At 16,I was newbie to life!
 
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Spyro

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You don't need it at all, but some people swear it helped them start or speed up a cycle. I can't personally attest to that since I've never used it (I've been lucky to always have an established tank I could use to jump start the cycle on a new tank), but you most definitely do not need it once your tank is cycled.

When you water change, you don't need to use bottled bacteria. The BB grows on the filter media, on the substrate, on tank walls, decor and plants -it's not living free floating in the water column, so doing even large water changes doesn't affect your BB colonies, you don't need to add more bacteria back in.

I couldn't tell you how the bacteria are first introduced to a cycling tank when the water was chlorinated, I'd bet @Essjay knows. Perhaps just enough survive the clorination to get it started. But so far as your tank goes now, if you're reading zero for ammmonia and nitrites, and getting a reading for nitrates that is above any nitrate reading from your source water (some tap water has nitrate levels already, so worth checking yours), then your tank is already cycled, and you don't need to add any bottled bacteria.

Just ensure that you don't clean your filter media under the tap or in water that hasn't been declorinated, since that is very likely to kill off a good portion of your BB and send the tank into a mini-cycle while the BB colones regrow to handle the current bioload. You may also experience a mini-cycle if you switch out the substrate, since that would remove a good chunk of BB too.

But nope, no need to keep buying bottles of BB now, no matter what the manufacturers tell to sell you ;)
N bacteria is everywhere: water, soil, air. It will get introduced into new aquarium by air or contamination. (chlorinated water shouldn't have any n bacteria unless contaminated between chlorination facility and aquarium)
 

CarnivorousPlant

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The bacteria don't live floating in the water in our tanks, they live in the biofilm which is tightly bound to surfaces. So when we do a water change we remove hardly any bacteria, just the odd few that have become dislodged. We use dechlorinator to remove the chlorine/chloramine from the new water so it can't kill the bacteria already in the tank. And it is why we should clean filter media in water we've taken out of the tank rather than in tap water as the chlorine/chloramine in tap water will kill the bacteria in the filter media.


Chlorine/chloramine does not kill every single bacteria in tap water, a very tiny number do manage to survive. Once we remove the chlorine/chloramine by using a dechlorinator, they can now start to multiply. It's because there are so few of them that it takes so long to grow enough for a tankful of fish.

Bottled bacteria can speed up a cycle. But they don't work if the bottle has been allowed to get too hot or too cold at any point since it left the factory.

You don't need it at all, but some people swear it helped them start or speed up a cycle. I can't personally attest to that since I've never used it (I've been lucky to always have an established tank I could use to jump start the cycle on a new tank), but you most definitely do not need it once your tank is cycled.

When you water change, you don't need to use bottled bacteria. The BB grows on the filter media, on the substrate, on tank walls, decor and plants -it's not living free floating in the water column, so doing even large water changes doesn't affect your BB colonies, you don't need to add more bacteria back in.

I couldn't tell you how the bacteria are first introduced to a cycling tank when the water was chlorinated, I'd bet @Essjay knows. Perhaps just enough survive the clorination to get it started. But so far as your tank goes now, if you're reading zero for ammmonia and nitrites, and getting a reading for nitrates that is above any nitrate reading from your source water (some tap water has nitrate levels already, so worth checking yours), then your tank is already cycled, and you don't need to add any bottled bacteria.

Just ensure that you don't clean your filter media under the tap or in water that hasn't been declorinated, since that is very likely to kill off a good portion of your BB and send the tank into a mini-cycle while the BB colones regrow to handle the current bioload. You may also experience a mini-cycle if you switch out the substrate, since that would remove a good chunk of BB too.

But nope, no need to keep buying bottles of BB now, no matter what the manufacturers tell to sell you ;)
Thanks guys,
I guess I'll stop using it unless I set up a new tank. I thought I was done with newbie mistakes but I guess not.

My tank is already cycled, its been running for two years with no ammonia problems and I always clean the filter with tank water and only clean one of the two sponges inside each time I do it so that I don't mess up the cycle.

I do clean the substrate (gravel vacuum) every time I do water changes as I have fancy goldfish (just to clarify I keep them properly, in a large tank with regular water changes I know a lot of people who say they have goldfish and they mean something like 5 unhealthy comets in a 20 litre tank which they clean once a year so I'm saying this) and they poo a lot but as there is still bacteria in the filter and I don't manage to clean all the gravel every time I don't think this would be a problem.

Sorry I've kind of hijacked the quarentine thread with something else hopefully it can go back to the proper discussion. ( :

- CarnivorousPlant
 

itiwhetu

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Thanks guys,
I guess I'll stop using it unless I set up a new tank. I thought I was done with newbie mistakes but I guess not.

My tank is already cycled, its been running for two years with no ammonia problems and I always clean the filter with tank water and only clean one of the two sponges inside each time I do it so that I don't mess up the cycle.

I do clean the substrate (gravel vacuum) every time I do water changes as I have fancy goldfish (just to clarify I keep them properly, in a large tank with regular water changes I know a lot of people who say they have goldfish and they mean something like 5 unhealthy comets in a 20 litre tank which they clean once a year so I'm saying this) and they poo a lot but as there is still bacteria in the filter and I don't manage to clean all the gravel every time I don't think this would be a problem.

Sorry I've kind of hijacked the quarentine thread with something else hopefully it can go back to the proper discussion. ( :

- CarnivorousPlant
Do have carnivorous plants? I'm keen on them as well as my fish.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Thanks guys,
I guess I'll stop using it unless I set up a new tank. I thought I was done with newbie mistakes but I guess not.

My tank is already cycled, its been running for two years with no ammonia problems and I always clean the filter with tank water and only clean one of the two sponges inside each time I do it so that I don't mess up the cycle.

I do clean the substrate (gravel vacuum) every time I do water changes as I have fancy goldfish (just to clarify I keep them properly, in a large tank with regular water changes I know a lot of people who say they have goldfish and they mean something like 5 unhealthy comets in a 20 litre tank which they clean once a year so I'm saying this) and they poo a lot but as there is still bacteria in the filter and I don't manage to clean all the gravel every time I don't think this would be a problem.

Sorry I've kind of hijacked the quarentine thread with something else hopefully it can go back to the proper discussion. ( :

- CarnivorousPlant
The beneficial bacteria living on the substrate are fine even with a pretty thorough gravel vac-ing ;) Sounds as though you're doing a great job maintaining the tank. It's good to clean the substrate with every water change, especially with fish that have a high bioload like goldies. You won't remove many of the bacteria by gravel vac-ing, they form a pretty tough, protective shell around them, so they aren't easily sucked up by a syphon, don't worry :)

If you set up a new tank, you can do what's called a seeded cycle, since you already have a tank. You can steal some of the filter media from the established tank and transfer it to the new filter, or you can get it get good and gunky, then squeeze out the sponges over the new filter, to help transfer some of those BB. Can also transfer some of the substrate to the new tank, even if just in a net for a few weeks before moving it back. That way you know you have both types of the bacteria needed, from a healthy, established tank (hopefully!) and it's just a case then of growing the numbers of those bacteria to handle the bioload of the new tank. It's not an instant cycle, but it's much quicker than cycling from scratch, and more reliable than bottled bacteria, given that the bottled bacteria might be long dead if the bottle wasn't stored correctly.
 

CarnivorousPlant

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Do have carnivorous plants? I'm keen on them as well as my fish.
I do have some. Do you? This is probably a conversation for another thread, there is an old one in the plants and gardening section of other hobbies we could revive it or start another one.

The beneficial bacteria living on the substrate are fine even with a pretty thorough gravel vac-ing ;) Sounds as though you're doing a great job maintaining the tank. It's good to clean the substrate with every water change, especially with fish that have a high bioload like goldies. You won't remove many of the bacteria by gravel vac-ing, they form a pretty tough, protective shell around them, so they aren't easily sucked up by a syphon, don't worry :)

If you set up a new tank, you can do what's called a seeded cycle, since you already have a tank. You can steal some of the filter media from the established tank and transfer it to the new filter, or you can get it get good and gunky, then squeeze out the sponges over the new filter, to help transfer some of those BB. Can also transfer some of the substrate to the new tank, even if just in a net for a few weeks before moving it back. That way you know you have both types of the bacteria needed, from a healthy, established tank (hopefully!) and it's just a case then of growing the numbers of those bacteria to handle the bioload of the new tank. It's not an instant cycle, but it's much quicker than cycling from scratch, and more reliable than bottled bacteria, given that the bottled bacteria might be long dead if the bottle wasn't stored correctly.
Thank you!! If I set up a new tank I'll do that. It figures that bottled bacteria is sometimes dead, I've always wondered how they survive so long sitting on the shelf, especially as there is nothing for them to eat in the bottle.
 

Spyro

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I do have some. Do you? This is probably a conversation for another thread, there is an old one in the plants and gardening section of other hobbies we could revive it or start another one.


Thank you!! If I set up a new tank I'll do that. It figures that bottled bacteria is sometimes dead, I've always wondered how they survive so long sitting on the shelf, especially as there is nothing for them to eat in the bottle.
The bacteria undergoes changes and dies with no access to food.
It's dead for all intents and purposes as it sheds parts that make it alive and develops hardened membrane around. What used to be living cell becomes an empty shell of sorts.

But even after years of being 'dead' and in harsh environment compared to it's living environment:
With introduction of food, water and conditions it needs, it will come back to life; rebuilding it's apparatus that makes it alive and starting to produce Oxygen, converting Nitrogen or whatever it does. It takes it about 48 hrs to go from dead to functioning normally. Very strange indeed.
In it's spore form some bacteria can survive for decades, depending on the type. Nobody knows exactly how long.

However:
The nitrification bacteria will truly die if temperature drops bellow 0 or over 42 degrees Celsius. As far as known varieties go (or known to me anyway)
So yeah, if bottle was on truck in middle of winter on -10c or in tin roof warehouse on hot summer day = it's probably dead and no zombie bacteria from bottle.

Hope that helps
 

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First time I've been trying QT. Nothing eventful happened several batches in until the very last one (after this my stocking is considered complete) where I had hatchets break out with ich the very next day after bringing them home.

If it weren't for quarantine I would've been dealing with the headache of trying to treat a massive 125 gallon system with 50+ fish on top of sensitive snails and live plants. Bullet well and truly dodged.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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If it weren't for quarantine I would've been dealing with the headache of trying to treat a massive 125 gallon system with 50+ fish on top of sensitive snails and live plants. Bullet well and truly dodged.
For sure!
Had I known how often livebearers are carrying worms when I first got them, I'd have wormed them in quarantine, and made sure to use specific equipment (syphon, net, buckets etc) on the QT and the QT tank only. By the time I found out, I'd been sharing equipment between all four tanks, and all had to be treated.

It's so much cheaper to medicate a 10 gallon quarantine tank, than the 100 plus gallons I had to treat! Meds ain't cheap, and the hassle of treating all tanks if you have MTS is a nightmare, and far worse if you have delicate species like shrimp and scaleless fish.
 

WiccaFish

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I just recently had a disaster with new fish. All 6 died within hours of putting them in the quarantine tank. I thought I did everything right and it might have just been bad luck, I'll never know but I do have a question.
I took apart, cleaned, and set up the quarantine tank again. I have some ceramic balls and media floss from my canister filter and a live plant in the tank. I'm planning on ordering more fish (probably from a different on line shop) but I was wondering if my quarantine tank will continue to have the good bacteria in it without any fish? Is the plant and media enough to produce and keep the tank cycled for several weeks until I get new fish?
 

663

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I've never used this method but I understand that it's possible to maintain BB by adding carefully metered amounts of our friend Ammonia to the tank.
 

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