What's all the fuss about a quarantine tank, you ask yourself? Do I really need one? These are some of the questions I hear often from many beginner hobbyists. The simple answer is yes, and here are a few reasons:
2. Quarantine saves you money! What could be a better reason than this? Many hobbyist are in a constant cycle of replacing aquarium inhabitants due to not quarantining the previously introduced animals. Thus, when disease breaks out, many die, and then are replaced. This constant replacement of animals continues the cycle and keeps you spending your hard earned cash, and is very unethical to boot.
3. Easier to medicate sick fish. When you have a sick fish it is easier to medicate a smaller closed system aquarium than your larger display aquarium. Even some medication when exposed to other inhabitants can actually harm them. Thus, separating the sick fish from others helps protect your other fish and allows for faster rehabilitation for the sick one. While more of a hospital tank than a quarantine tank, the principle is the same.
4. Great for Emergencies! So you research and quarantined that specific species of clownfish for two weeks and then introduce it into your aquarium to find that it does not belong at all. What do you do with it until you can sell it? Easy: put it in the quarantine aquarium. Many hobbyist will find that the particular fish they want just does not fit in their system. So, instead of slowly letting it cause havoc in your main aquarium, stressing and bothering your favorite fish, put it in the quarantine aquarium.
5. Keep it hidden. A quarantine tank doesn't have to be set up all of the time! Instead, keep an air powered sponge filter in the sump, so that it stays colonized with nitrifying bacteria. When it's time to treat a sick fish or quarantine a new one, just plop the sponge filter, heater, and an inert hiding place into a cheap ten gallon tank, and you're good to go!
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