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Featured Add your quarantine approach here:

Discussion in 'Fish Health' started by Crypto, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. Crypto

    Crypto Registered

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    Re: My Quarantine Approach

    Yes Paul will contact you soon.
     
  2. Crypto

    Crypto Registered

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    Re: My Quarantine Approach

    Pictures of FW dips added.
     
  3. Naythan

    Naythan Registered

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    Re: My Quarantine Approach

    Thank you for the pics of the FW dip. They certainly have put a newbie mind to rest :biggrin:.

    On to my next problem. I just realised that my D-D refractometer only measure to 1.20 SG. What do people use to measure 1.09 SG accurately?

    On side note, does anyone know how to stop the icon showing up when I say thanks?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  4. FmJames

    FmJames Fish Health Advisor

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    Re: My Quarantine Approach

    @ Naythan

    You want a TMC V2 Refractometer, its scale is more precise. I suggest that you buy some standard saline solution and calibrate the refractometer when it arrives, although most should be well calibrated.

    let me know if you have any other quesions:)
     
  5. RichardT

    RichardT Registered

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    Re: My Quarantine Approach

    Just a quick question, with prophylactic coppering and deworming, does it make a difference which order you do it in ?
     
  6. Crypto

    Crypto Registered

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    Re: My Quarantine Approach

    Not at all Richard.
     
  7. RichardT

    RichardT Registered

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    Re: My Quarantine Approach

    Thanks, I've 3 in my QT midway through a copper cycle and wanted to worm them as they are all wild caught direct imports.
     
  8. Naythan

    Naythan Registered

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    Re: My Quarantine Approach

    @FmJames

    Great, I will do that. Looks like it is back to eBay for the D-D one :)

    Thanks.
     
  9. nphsmith

    nphsmith Registered

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    Re: My Quarantine Approach

    Aaron, can I ask at what concentrations you dose Tremazol in your 6 hour dip? The instructions recommend 1ml/15 or 20 litres depending on whether treating for gillflukes or skin flukes/tapeworms etc. Like you, I am treating prophylactically so neither quite apply. I will be treating in a 10-litre bucket, so currently intending to do 0.65 ml - but would welcome more concrete suggestions.
     
  10. Crypto

    Crypto Registered

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    Re: My Quarantine Approach

    I use the maximum concentration dose. I think its the one which applies to tapeworms.

    Just to give it that extra kick I up the concentration by 0.25-0.5 (25-50%). But I can't advise that to the average hobbyist.

    Best approach is maximum dose.....lots of observation.

    P.S - airstone is must!

    I've you've never used it before you will notice lethargy with tremazol to the point were you can stroke the fish without them swimming away.
     
  11. Crypto

    Crypto Registered

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    Thread changed into a sticky for people to add their own approaches.

    :smile:
     
  12. rico

    rico Registered

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    maybe a silly question here, but how do you transfer fish into and out of qt and into display without contamination ?

    or do you work on the basis that once you are catching the fish, that it is totally clear of anything, so it doesnt matter if you catch the fish in the net out of QT and place said net into display to release caught fish
     
  13. Crypto

    Crypto Registered

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    Its a very good question as you don't want to introduce water borne parasites.

    I have worked on your first idea for a while.....after 8 weeks it should be significant 'clean' of parasites.

    But now...

    Add further protection by introducing copper the day before, which should kill most free swimming parasites. The amount of copper added to the display is incredibly small.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  14. nphsmith

    nphsmith Registered

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    My approach, written up last year:


    Why so thorough?

    I have had puzzled discussions with work colleagues, other reefers, and LFSes who are frankly confused as to why I am taking so long over quarantining fish and treating them in what is, for all intents and purposes, poison. I think my position is this:

    1) As soon as I take excited hold of the brown paper bag from LFS, I am from that moment responsible for the creature's welfare. That means both before and after it hits my main tank.
    2) The responsible LFSes that I shop at take the welfare of their stock very seriously - both before they reach the shop and during their stay there.
    3) However, no matter how careful they are, the sheer volume of fish that pass through - from TMC, from other providers, from the owner's own tanks, from returned stock, means that there is a risk of pathogens slipping through their procedures.
    4) The more quarantine/medicine use I practice, the better equipped I will be in a crisis.
    5) The thought of trying to QT a tank full of fish who want to hide behind and in LR, during a Whitespot outbreak, fills me with what are medically described as "The shuddering heebie-jeebies".
    6) A 71 day quarantine period gives a 95% probability of being Whitespot free. Taking that to 84 days is going to give me as close as I am likely to get to 100% security.

    The actual quarantine
    On the 5th July, I bought and put in my chill-out tank my Purple Firefish. I did this first fish in the wrong order - it was entirely possible he might have dropped Cryptocaryon thomonts into the substrate in this tank. It would have been much better to put him in to the hospital tank first, but I hadn't actually bought it until something like 15th August, when I went on holiday. This tank is very basic - it has a heater, a light, some plastic tubing for fish to hide in, and power-filter which I put in the sump of the main tank to get some bacteria on it while I was on hols. I also plugged it in to the 4-way that hangs on the back of the DT. Remember this, it is important.

    On the 2nd September, after 8 trouble-free weeks showing off in front of the camera, we took Firefish out (With some struggle - had to remove all his LR hidey-holes), and put him in a bucket with 3 litres of RO in it. Fortunately, I was advised that I needed to get the temperature and PH balanced before I did this.

    The idea behind the Fresh Water dip was that it is likely to burst any external organisms on him (the reverse of the reason why we acclimate snails etc so carefully - osmosis enables Redwoods to get water to their tops from their roots - it's powerful stuff). I put in .5ml of Myzaxin to the ROP as well. This is double the manufacturer's recommendation; given that it contains Formaldehyde as well as malachite Green and other stuff, I was a little concerned: but the FW dip was only for 5 minutes, so it felt safe. The Myzaxin is meant to deal with fungus and bacteria.

    Firefish, have to say, did not like this dip, and floated on his side at top of bucket for most of the 5 minutes - we covered it with a towel because of worries about him trying to jump (And to destress in the dark). This seems to be normal behaviour for FW dip, not to worry.

    It was then pretty simple to get him into the hospital tank...just poured all the water through a net, put net in tank. Within 30 seconds he was swimming normally. Slightly distressingly (and it became a point of contention in the office as the guys thought I was being cruel), he spent almost all his time in the Hospital Tank hidden away as far as he could, where before he was out and about a lot.

    On Monday 5th September, I was due to start coppering, but turned out my tester was out of date. Literature fairly firmly stated that copper needed to be maintained between 0.2 and 0.3 parts per million to be both effective and not poisonous.

    On the 8th September, to be on the safe side, I did an ammonia test, and discovered that I was having a surge. Remember I plugged in the power filter to a dangling plug splitter? When I took it out, turned out the plug was only just hanging in there...and obviously hadn't been running. Daily water changes got me through this. I have now bought a Seachem Ammo alert disc, which lives in the Hospital Tank.

    So, finally, on 12th September, I started dosing Copper. Cuprazin (My medicine of choice) , effectively says 3.5ml for my 50 litre tank. It says you should dose on days 1 2 3 4 6 8 10. Others say you should get it between 0.2 and 0.3 and keep it there for 10 days. So I started it with 2ml, and used the now within date Salifert Copper test, which told me...that it was a faint blue.

    I put some more Cuprazin in on days 2 and 3, and tested again to discover it was...a slightly different blue, which in no way matched up to the possibilities on the test card. Now, I am rubbish with color, so I got (female) colleague to look, and she couldn't match it up. Got fishie mate to look, and he made a guess. Took test to 2 competent LFS guys, and got completely different answers from them.

    By 19th September I had completely given up on reading my test kit, so just went with the Cuprazin course recommendations- though I have to admit I didn't dare give him the 10th day dose. The instructions do say "Stop dosing when symptoms dissapear", which suggests the higher doses might have issues, and it scared me.

    I can get digital testers -
    Hanna Instruments Ltd
    Hanna Instruments Ltd
    But these start at £199 without reagents...


    During this period, I was struggling to get hold of Sera Tremazol; this has Praziquantel for de-worming to make up the third part of my prophylactic regime.

    First LFS said "You can't get it without prescription".
    Second LFS said "Sure, we can order it for you". Except it turned out they couldn't - which they told me only after I had gone back to see if it had arrived yet.
    Third attempt, at on-line seller, looked better. "Yes, sir, we have it in stock. Yes, sir, it is within it's sell-by date. Yes, sir, we'll have it with you tomorrow". Except they didn't. Five days later it finally showed up.

    This was on day 11 of Copper treatment, so I took 10 litres of water out of Hospital Tank, put it in bucket with heater and a pipe for Firefish to hide under, airstone for aeration, and put fish in with Tremazol, for 6 hours.

    I put a towel over the bucket, to stop him leaping and for destress again. One thing you should know, is that if you a towel over a bucket with air-stone in, the water will be bubbling. And hitting the towel. And then seeping down over the floor....

    At the end of 6 hours, I did another FW dip with Myxazin, and put Firefish, finally, into Display Tank. He looked pretty knackered, and tried to dig a hole in the sand. As I left for the night, a couple of the cleaner shrimps were hovering near him - not sure whether they wanted to clean him or see if he was going to die.

    Next morning, couldn't see him, then finally found him poking his eye out of cave-hole in bottom of rock. Didn't come out that day, but did the next and has been out since. Damson (Our Lemon Damsel, otherwise known as Chromi Sheepdog) has had a few goes at him to make Firefish aware that this is his tank, but no actual biting, and Firefish doesn't seem that concerned - he's not hiding away.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  15. Crypto

    Crypto Registered

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    Thanks for this nphsmith.

    Have added a link to the front page so people can read through your approach.

    It seems like a good, robust QT procedure! Fantastic!
     
  16. nphsmith

    nphsmith Registered

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    Pleasure. Thanks for the linking.
     
  17. nphsmith

    nphsmith Registered

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    I have updated my regime - partly because I thought it could be better written, partly because I have switched from using Copper to Chloroquine. Aaron, if you wanted to delete my previous, or repoint the front page URL to here, please feel free.
     
  18. nphsmith

    nphsmith Registered

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    Re: My Quarantine Approach

    Nick's Prophylactic Quarantine Regime

    Basic Questions
    What is Prophylaxis?
    Like most of the big words, it comes from Greek, and literally means forward(pro) guarding (phylaxis). I would like to pretend my Ancient Greek is good enough to know that, but of course I actually looked that up.
    In our context, it means treating fish as though they are ill before they show any symptoms - pre-treating.
    Why would you do that then?
    Because I am paranoid, essentially. I believe that marine fish diseases are out to get my tank. I have spent plenty of time reading the various fish health forums to know I am probably right. Go have a look now, and I can guarantee there will be a good few active threads regarding common, probably avoidable diseases.
    Quarantine itself - putting fish in a tank for 12 weeks and leaving them there - is a pretty good tool. In the hands of experts, who will be able to identify and treat any disease that does show up, it is probably an adequate tool.
    But I am a well-meaning but essentially ignorant hobbyist, and I have huge doubts about my ability to identify the difference between cryptocaryon and protozoans, or any other -oans that might kill my fish.
    I also run a reef tank, and the though of trying to get out anthias, gobies, and chromis from it in order to treat them if I find disease in there gives me what is scientifically described as the heebie-jeebies.
    So: I assume all fish have all common diseases, and treat them in advance. That way, when they go in the tank, I am as sure as I reasonably can be that they are not bringing disease in.
    I do not think it safe to assume that just because LFS fish have been quarantined by a wholesaler that they are still safe when the brown bag reaches my hands - people return fish to LFSes like crazy, and they are almost never quarantined.
    Are there any other advantages?
    Because I have got myself in the habit of doing this treatment, I think I am much better equipped to deal with any outbreak of disease - I have all the medicines, I know what the dosage levels should be for my tank, and I am confident in my knowledge.
    If I hadn't done this I would panic when I saw disease, and pretty much randomly grab the first medicine I could get my hands on, and probably overdose.
    Finally, I feel able in most cases to reduce the amount of time I QT for.
    How should I set up my QT tank?
    There is already an an excellent Whitespot(Otherwise known as Ich or Cryptocaryon Irritans), Marine Velvet(Otherwise known as Amyloodinium), Brookynella, internal parasites, and other external parasites.
    Anything I should know about the medicines?
    Some of the medicines I use are poisonous, carcinogenic, and/or irritants. Care should be taken with storing them and using them. In particular, if you have pets or small children, you must keep marine medicines in an inaccessible storage area. If you spill on yourself, rinse long and hard under running tap. If you are pregnant, you are best not going anywhere near these marine medicines. If you somehow manage to drink these, seek medical advice immediately (A&E, not a GP in 3 days time).
    One of the medicines I use, Avloclor, is designed for human consumption (It combats malaria), not marine fish. Any decision you take to use this medicine (And indeed others) should take into account that you need to be very careful, and if it all goes horribly wrong, I'm afraid there is noone to sue (Including me)!
    Avloclor is a prescription medicine, and therefore in the UK should be prescribed. I would highly advise getting your local fish-friendly vet to prescribe it, because this is legal.
    I could not in any way recommend going to any particular site, and it is merely of passing interest, and for fuller information, that I mention that Avloclor is effective against the sort of Malaria you get in the Dominican Republic.

    Actual Regime
    A summary of the regime is:
    • Allow fish to settle - 1-2 weeks
    • First FW dip
    • Chloroquine Treatment - 3 weeks
    • Second FW dip
    • Praziquantel bath - 6 hours
    • Into DT or QT for further observation
    Let fish settle
    The period when they are on their way to your QT is probably the most stressful thing a fish can go through. If they have come from the reef, they have travelled thousands of miles, if from a mate down the road, they still have been chased around a tank, caught, shoved in a small bag, had temperature swings in a car, and, in my case, been subjected to either Test Match Special or Ke$ha on the way back.
    They deserve a break. I acclimate quickly, 15 minutes of temperature regulation (bag in QT), and then immediate release.
    I then leave them largely alone for a couple of weeks, until I am comfortable that they are feeding OK and have settled in fully. I observe them, but my QT is in a room that is not much used, so they are not disturbed much.
    This also allows me to keep an eye on ammonia in case my biological filter can't handle it.
    First freshwater dip
    The purpose of this is 2-fold. Firstly, by putting the fish in freshwater, osmotic pressure is likely to literally burst parasites that are on the surface of the fish (NB Not likely to work with Ich that burrows under the skin). Secondly, a dose of Waterlife Myzaxin is included. This contains Malachite Green, Formaldehyde, and Acriflavine - which are effective against various diseases, including Brook as well as fungal conditions.
    I make up a small bowl of RO water, match it's temperature to that of the quarnatine tank, and use Up and Down PH conditioners (Easily got from any tropical store) to adjust PH as closely as I can. I highly recommend having a digital PH device for help with this - doing chemical tests would be an almighty pain.
    To this I add 0.5ml of Myxazin for 3 litres of RO, stir it in. This is calculated at roughly double the manufacturer's recommendation because it is such a short dip.
    I then net the fish and put them in the bowl of water. They will only be in for 5 minutes so there is no need to worry about air and/or heating. While fish handle osmotic changes better than parasites, they do not enjoy these dips at all, and will typically lie on their sides motionless after an initial flurry. I cover with a towel to help de-stress them (and prevent them jumping). I always stay in the room during this dip - I do not want to be distracted by a phone call/child/UR article - 5 minutes should be no longer than 5 minutes.
    For ease, I pour the water from the bowl out through a net and the fish come with it, then go straight back into QT. I find they act 'stunned'and tend not to move for about 15 minutes. I used to do this just before going into DT, but feel that it is not wise for them to arrive in DT potentially too stunned to stand up to any aggressors, so don't do that any more.
    Avloclor/Chloroquine Treatment
    I will usually give the fish a few days to recover from dip before staring Avloclor treatment. When I first started this regime, I used Copper, but found it very hard to maintain the appropriate dose.
    There is some debate about Avloclor treatment dosages. I follow Noga's suggestion, which is to dose 4 times at between 5 and 10 mg/litre. Because this is the most critical part of the regime (Needing to kill both Trophonts and Theronts), I tend to the high end.
    The 250Mg Avloclor tablets I have contain 155mg Chloroquine, which means 1 tablet is good for about 15 litres of water. My QT is 50 Litres, so I put in 3 tablets. I crush them with a teaspoon on a plate, then scrape into a cup of RO. I stir that until the powder disappears entirely (not long), then pour into the QT.
    This is day 1 of treatment, I repeat the dose on days 6, 11, and 16. I do not do water changes during this period, but obviously do not run any chemicals (Carbon, rowaphos eg) nor other additives (Ozone, UV) during this period (In fact I don't run these at all in my QT, but definitely not during treatment).
    On day 21 I put Poly Filter into the QT to remove remaining medicine (light breaks down Avloclor anyway, hence the re-dosing), and do some water changes (To help with tank hygiene as much as anything).
    At this point I can be reasonably confident that I have dealt with Ich. However, nothing is 100%, and particularly with more ich-prone fishes (EG Tangs), I would not assume that without another 6 weeks or so of observation.
    Second FW dip
    At some point in the process I will typically give a second FW dip. There is no reason one shouldn't do several dips - and in case of actually seeing parasites I would do so - but getting the RO water PH-ready is a bit of a faff, and it is stressful for the fish, so I don't typically do more than 2.
    Praziquantel Bath
    I use Sera Tremazol to help a fish fight off any flatworms (Either tape-worms or gill infections). These are not easy to see until a fish has starved.
    I avoid feeding the fish the morning of the treatment, so as to minimize fish-poo (And thence ammonia) in my treatment bucket.
    I syphon a bucket-worth (11 litres) of water out of the QT and put the fish in. To this I add a heater, visible thermometer, and air-stone with pump. I usually put a single pipe in there as well for the fish to hide under. I put the bucket on a towel on the floor, and then put another towel over the bucket (The air-bubbles will cause water to soak in to the towel and then on to the floor, hence the second towel). To this I add 1ml of Sera Tremazol. I then leave the fish in there for 6 hours.
    This is much less stressful than the FW dips, and the fish are fine afterwards. I will typically use this opportunity to take the covered bucket up to my DT, and net the fish out before going straight into DT. For proper bio-security, the fish should go back into QT for another few weeks, but for me that depends on the fish - if it were a tang, then I would want to do another 6 weeks observation, for most fish I personally don't.
    This water should be thrown away.
    Conclusion
    By following this regime, I feel more confident in the health of fish I put in the tank, I am better equipped to deal with visible disease, and I feel comfortable reducing the length of quarantine. While the above is quite a big wall of words, I would emphasize that these treatments, while a little nerve-wracking initially, are really not difficult or complex. In particular, I would urge people to consider the entirely straightforward Chloroquine/Avloclor treatment. If you are quarantining in any case (and you should), then adding a few ground up pills of Avloclor is really easy and straightforward, and is likely to greatly bolster the health of your fish.
     
  19. nigelk

    nigelk Registered

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    ok after my FW and total fish wipe out as mentioned in other threads, I have a tank in the garage which is 1200l x 350d x about 600 h should I
    treat it as 2, 3 or 4 separate tanks with a solid compartment between so I can split it in to individual tanks. I don't really want a big volume on the go all the time when i don't need too as a cost thing really.maybe not full height so I can fill if need be using the dividers as a weir ???????
     
  20. PaulTys

    PaulTys Registered

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    Sounds like a great idea, no point having man massive tank if you don't need it as the teatments you may use will cost more.
     
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