Rough QT Guidelines, What Has Worked For Me.
QT Setups - Rough Guideline, I adjust as needed.
I use 50 breeders currently, these tanks run all the time with HOB filters to maintain the biologicial filtration. If there is a period of time with no fish in them, then the tanks get fed lightly every couple days to keep the bacteria alive.
Tanks are barebottom with PVC
and clay pots to hide in.
Salinity is kept around 1.016 and temp 78. I adjust this as needed but start here. This temperature is assuming it is our normal fish species, colder species obviously would not be QT'ed this high of temp.
If the fish comes in healthy, no meds are added right away, if any concern I do 1/2 dose Cupramine copper and then a full dose if anything pops up. Once the fish is eating well I start Prazipro. I use to do two 7day prazipro treatments, now I am going to do 3. No reason for this other then to be extra careful.
I feed multiple times a day once the fish is eating to get it in tip top condition. I feed what it likes, I do not worry about a huge varied diet at first, this comes later. I siphon off the bottom of the tank daily for uneaten food and detritous.
Other things I have on hand if problems arise: metronidazole, nitrofurazone, erythromycin for antibiotics. I also utilize freshwater dips and formalin baths as needed. I typically use the nitro first if bacterial issues pop up and if this does not work then go to something else.
All QT tanks are monitored very closely for Ammonia
levels. This is the main reason people struggle with QT'ing fish. High Ammonia
levels are combated with water changes, sometimes 50-100 percent daily. Meds are redosed according to water removed. All water that is used for changes is new saltwater, nothing out of my main tank or established systems.
No lights are on the QT tanks but are in my fish room so ambient light is more then sufficient.
If I have any concerns the fish might be carrying anything I do 3-4 weeks of hyposalinity (1.009). I also have used hyposalinity if I have a fish come in that is not eating and starting to loose weight. It does not stimulate appetite but the fish's body does not have to work as hard in hyposalinity to maintain a proper salt concentration in the body.
After the QT period, fish are put into a conditioning tank. This is a tank that is plumbed into the main system and they sit there until they are good and fat and ready to go into the display. Currently this is a 40long but will be a 150 gallon shortly. Fish are not added into the main display until they are eating everything I feed aggressively and are in very good body condition score. No underweight fish are added to the main display.
Like I said these are rough guidelines. I adjust as needed based on the needs of the fish in QT. Like a lot of things, practice and close monitoring is needed. My fish in QT are checked many times a day, any sign of change is address quickly. I tend to be more active with my QT and don't wait for things to get better or worse before trying something.
I have QTed numerous fish ranging from near bullet proof species (Zebrasoma tangs, Holocanthus angels) to more sensitive species (Paracentropyge and Pygoplites angels).