Home Quarantine

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Do you like to play Russian roulette?

That's what you are doing with your tank every time that you put a wild coral or fish directly into your tank after you buy it. Sure your might not have any problems the first or second or even third time. But I can guarantee you that eventually you will not be so lucky.

If you havent been burned by this mistake, you will! That is unless you are the smartest man or woman in the world.

I think nearly everyone in the past who has had a reef tank has made the mistake of not quarantining something . The problem with not quarantining is this: not only the new fish or coral dies, but your other healthy corals or fish can get sick also and die.

There's nothing more heartbreaking than putting a new coral or fish into an established tank, and watching not only the NEW arrival die, but seeing your favorite HEALTHY corals or fish also get infected and slowly die. Once you have made this mistake, you will wish you had listened to all of us who made this mistake in the past.

There are plenty of horror stories from hobbyists about having a beautiful, established tank, and them buying just ONE MORE coral or fish, and that new arrival infecting the tank. And they loose ALL of their fish, or ALL of their corals.

What are some of the most common parasites in aquariums?

There are some incredibly nasty pathogens in the wild and many are not easily seen by your eye. But if you do spot them in the petstore, dont buy a coral with them on it!

aiptisia

The most common pests are probably Aptasia anemones (pictured at left), which sting and kill nearly everything nearby. Another common "plague" is the bubble algae (Valonia sp.), a pearl looking type of algae which is packed with spores and spreads rapidly when they are burst. SPS have a red bug that seems to kill all of the Acroporas, and now there is a nudibranch that eats zoanthids.

In nature for every coral or fish, there is something that eats it. Thats how nature keeps its balance. In the ocean everything has something else that feeds upon it. But in our reef aquariums, predators and prey are not balanced. So things can grow unchecked.

Checkout a sample of some of the most common pests and pathogens at our coral farm website.

So you often cannot tell if a coral or fish is infected when you buy it. It may appear to be healthy, and eating well, but a parasite or bacterial infection may be lurking in your new purchase, and waiting to spread in your tank. Nature is very aggressive about spreading its organisms around.

Ultraviolet Sterilization

Ideally, you should setup a healthy, separate tank, with an ultraviolet sterilizer on it. This will kill any water born pathogens as the water circulates through it and exposes it to UV radiation. The corals or fish should be held in this separate system for several weeks or even a month, and observed daily. If medication is required, then only the quarantine system will be exposed to it. NEVER add medicine to your main coral tank. It can cause residual problems months or years later.

Some Good News

There is one way to avoid the cost and time of setting up a quarantine system yourself. Buy all of your corals and fish only from a good reputable coral or fish farm. Because there, they have lived their entire life in quarantine. Its not 100% guaranteed, because some of the fish can still carry bacterial or fungal diseases, and spores can lurk. But in general the risk is greatly reduced because they would show up under the watchful eye of the coral farmer while his corals are growing. And the corals that are infected will be noticed at the farm, since they live their life in quarantine, and removed or cured.

So if you arent going to take the time to setup a quarantine system, as least buy captive breds to minimize your risks!

But of course you wont, until, like me, you learn the hard way!!!!!!

Dont say I didnt tell you!


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 20:55
 
 

Random Image of Our Corals We Farmed