Jestersix

Coral Quarantine Tank Setup?

kinetic

Supporting Member
As I'm planning my new tank, I'm wondering if I should get another 40G breeder (petco has them for $55 right now) and use it as a QT.

Also, how would you setup a QT? Do you need it to be fully cycled or anything?

In the past I always chopped off the frag plug and dipped in iodine and some other random dips I got at the frag swaps etc. In one of my previous tanks, even doing that lead to red bugs and flatworms. Since then I only purchased big mini colonies from established tanks that I knew well, still dipping, but nothing more.

I want to do it right, and actually setup a tank just for this, but realized I'm not sure what goes into a QT. I did a search but all searches dislike the use of "qt" and then "quarantine" just gives me covid related stuff right now.

I'm planning:

1. 40G breeder
2. Fiji breeder AIO kit
3. Nero 3 (x2, just because I'll have extras)
4. ReeFi Uno (I love these little lights... do I even need a light?)
5. Marinepure block that'll be cycled
6. Eggcrate and new frag plugs
7. I'll run carbon in the AIO area and a UV sterilizer (just in case there's like strands of dinos or something)
8. ATO (reef breeders)

No fish, no inverts, just the marinepure, eggcrate, and the other equipment.

Depending on how long I QT for, I'll just do weekly water changes.

I'll need to research what to dose in the tank, but probably interceptor? Anything else other than dipping before?

(also, I'll mostly be getting SPS)
 

Qwiv

Supporting Member
I have a 10gal AIO that I cycled media in the DT sump. Placed in AIO, added lights and flow and she is on autopilot. No feeding, barely a WC and the tank looks better then the DT. Better to have more small tanks for QT then a big one as you reset the time clock when you add any corals. If you fill a 40, that is a frag tank, not a QT tank. Keep it small so you can inspect corals in detail.

My qT tank is linked below. Will need to update as it is full of coral now.
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
I have a 10gal AIO that I cycled media in the DT sump. Placed in AIO, added lights and flow and she is on autopilot. No feeding, barely a WC and the tank looks better then the DT. Better to have more small tanks for QT then a big one as you reset the time clock when you add any corals. If you fill a 40, that is a frag tank, not a QT tank. Keep it small so you can inspect corals in detail.

My qT tank is linked below. Will need to update as it is full of coral now.

Oh interesting. OK so you're just maintaining a constant 10 gallon tank and just doing water changes sometimes? What if you have nothing to QT, you just leave it running?

Also, do you have inverts in there? Wouldn't some medications kill them?
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
Have you considered a salt-water-exchange QT setup.
It can be permanent or temporary. (I have a permanent one)

The idea is that you pump:
Clean salt water => main display tank => QT tank => drain.

In this case, you want a tiny QT tank, so the water exchange percentage is high.

Advantages:
You do not really need any filtering at all in QT. Water exchange alone is fine at high percentages.
You can leave it running permanently for no cost. (Turn off lights/powerheads in QT)
Salt water exchange is always a good thing for DT.
Zero acclamation needed after QT, since QT water matches exactly.
Tank water is more stable, and possibly less "harsh" than freshly made salt water.
No extra testing of QT water parameters. They match DT.
 

popper

Supporting Member
Get the 20g IM posted on BST.

I use an IM14g AIO similar like @rygh mentioned. Use dt water and pump it into qt water. Heater, ato, return.

Don't need a big tank.
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
Have you considered a salt-water-exchange QT setup.
It can be permanent or temporary. (I have a permanent one)

The idea is that you pump:
Clean salt water => main display tank => QT tank => drain.

In this case, you want a tiny QT tank, so the water exchange percentage is high.

Advantages:
You do not really need any filtering at all in QT. Water exchange alone is fine at high percentages.
You can leave it running permanently for no cost. (Turn off lights/powerheads in QT)
Salt water exchange is always a good thing for DT.
Zero acclamation needed after QT, since QT water matches exactly.
Tank water is more stable, and possibly less "harsh" than freshly made salt water.
No extra testing of QT water parameters. They match DT.

That sounds like a dream. But I don't think I'll be able to have my QT tank close to the display tank. I used to have an automatic water changing system, but it was too wildly inconsistent and my salinity was always messing up. I'm sure there's better ways, but it's just too brittle in my opinion (at least the way I had it setup). I'll keep it in mind, but I'll probably be running the QT tank in a different room or even the garage (temperature issues might be a problem in the garage though).
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
That sounds like a dream. But I don't think I'll be able to have my QT tank close to the display tank. I used to have an automatic water changing system, but it was too wildly inconsistent and my salinity was always messing up. I'm sure there's better ways, but it's just too brittle in my opinion (at least the way I had it setup). I'll keep it in mind, but I'll probably be running the QT tank in a different room or even the garage (temperature issues might be a problem in the garage though).
The trick is to use two nearly matched good quality peristaltic pumps. Then tweak timing to make them match exactly.
If you do that:
There is no drift, no float switches, etc.
QT can be anywhere, because all you need is a 1/4 pipe, and you can run it a long ways.
My salt water mixing system is in an outside shed, far from my tank.
Garage temps are definitely a problem. My QT is in the garage, and I pretty much avoid using it in the summer.
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
The trick is to use two nearly matched good quality peristaltic pumps. Then tweak timing to make them match exactly.
If you do that:
There is no drift, no float switches, etc.
QT can be anywhere, because all you need is a 1/4 pipe, and you can run it a long ways.
My salt water mixing system is in an outside shed, far from my tank.
Garage temps are definitely a problem. My QT is in the garage, and I pretty much avoid using it in the summer.

Yeah, not a horrible idea. I guess if I get a 10G, it might be small enough to stash in a closet/cabinet somewhere closer. Anyway, that's a good option.

Maybe because I'm so worried about the pumps, I might just stick with an independent QT that stays cycled.
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
In terms of the process:

1. Remove frag plug etc
2. Add to a bucket with powerhead and add Coral RX and Seachem Complex Iodine for 15 minutes
3. Rinse in clean saltwater and repeat for another 15 minutes
4. Add to QT tank
5. Observe for 16 days and dip every 4 days (is this a good regimen? I think 16 for any ich hitchhikers on inverts/corals). or maybe a full 76 days in QT?
6. Rinse with clean saltwater
7. Dip again with Coral RX and Iodine
8. Rinse
9. Put into tank (coral putty + ibgel it into the rockwork)

QT Tank:
1. Add PraziPro -- I know this is for fish, but should I add this just in case even for corals?
2. Flatworm Exit -- I'll keep dosing this to kill any AEFW that made it through initial dip (like hatching from eggs)
3. Flatworm Stop -- This will probably help with AEFW as well from attaching
4. Interceptor -- I'll add some interceptor to the tank as well as a preventative measure in case there are red bugs I can't see.

I'm not sure what to dose the tank with, but that's what I came up with. I think if I'm just QT'ing inverts, I probably can't dose all of that stuff.
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
That looks like a great list .... possibly too good. :confused:

If you are a normal person, I know what will happen:
You will do that once.
Next time, or maybe the time after, you will remember the big hassle, not bother, do a quick dip and just dump your coral in the DT.
It is tough to balance a realistic procedure with a thorough procedure.
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
That looks like a great list .... possibly too good. :confused:

If you are a normal person, I know what will happen:
You will do that once.
Next time, or maybe the time after, you will remember the big hassle, not bother, do a quick dip and just dump your coral in the DT.
It is tough to balance a realistic procedure with a thorough procedure.

I wouldn't say I'm normal, but if I spend time making this QT tank really awesome and easy, then I think it'll happen. Crossing fingers.
 
In terms of the process:

1. Remove frag plug etc
2. Add to a bucket with powerhead and add Coral RX and Seachem Complex Iodine for 15 minutes
3. Rinse in clean saltwater and repeat for another 15 minutes
4. Add to QT tank
5. Observe for 16 days and dip every 4 days (is this a good regimen? I think 16 for any ich hitchhikers on inverts/corals). or maybe a full 76 days in QT?
6. Rinse with clean saltwater
7. Dip again with Coral RX and Iodine
8. Rinse
9. Put into tank (coral putty + ibgel it into the rockwork)

QT Tank:
1. Add PraziPro -- I know this is for fish, but should I add this just in case even for corals?
2. Flatworm Exit -- I'll keep dosing this to kill any AEFW that made it through initial dip (like hatching from eggs)
3. Flatworm Stop -- This will probably help with AEFW as well from attaching
4. Interceptor -- I'll add some interceptor to the tank as well as a preventative measure in case there are red bugs I can't see.

I'm not sure what to dose the tank with, but that's what I came up with. I think if I'm just QT'ing inverts, I probably can't dose all of that stuff.
the main process for QT tank is to observe and dip when needed. you dont have to dip every 4 days. you can dip every 12 - 16 days to limit the stress of the sps and you probably need to at least dip 3 times. you can do the bayer dip method. nothing i know kills the eggs, its mainly knocking off the adults before they can lay more eggs. there are good reads online about aefw eggs hatching times and so forth. ill ping @NanoCrazed as well since he has been experimenting with these boogers in the past.

aefw battle plan - BAR

as for qt tank, i believe its pointless to dose both salifert flatworm exit and kz flatworm stop in your qt system. salifert fw exit is meant for larger flatworms aka planaria, i dont believe it will affect aefw. kz fw stop is an additive to prevent aefw by coating the skin of the corals with slime so the aefw wont attach/eat it. this additive takes time and not an overnight miracle worker. It is also said works better in conjunction with kz coral booster (you're suppose to dose these two products daily on alternative days - i tried these two products for a year and stopped - saw no difference and didnt make sense for me to continue).

adding interceptor is a last resort and is very harsh for sps. you can get some wrasse to pick at the pests. yellow coris works wonderfully.

i've heard you can get a bunch of peppermint shrimps and they will clean up aefw as well.
 
Last edited:

Qwiv

Supporting Member
Oh interesting. OK so you're just maintaining a constant 10 gallon tank and just doing water changes sometimes? What if you have nothing to QT, you just leave it running?

Also, do you have inverts in there? Wouldn't some medications kill them?
I have snails in there. No medications. NO FISH. As I am stocking corals, it is always running. Can't imagine a day it would not be running as we are always adding corals. It is also a "frag tank" as well, but that is a secondary use. Since I have one tank, I have been procuring corals in a batch, letting them sit and moving them to the DT in a batch - planning where they go. Takes a while, but I enjoy the frags in the QT tank almost more than in the DT as you can see them up close. They are also growing the entire time.

I run the tank on the Hot end to speed up critter life cycles. Heater is set to 80.6 -81.1. I don't use any meds unless I see something and treat accordingly. I dip everything going in and out of the tank and as something comes up. I am looking for 100% clean on the exit dip and can put it back into QT if needed. Everything is in there a minimum of 45 days as that is the life cycle for ich at 80.6 degrees. Pretty sure ick is a low concern, but given I have QTd every fish, I might as well. If you are putting in the effort, yo might as well do it right. Mostly I am giving the coral and invert time before getting in my DT, looking for something to show up in a QT tank vs a larger DT. It takes time for that to happen. Treating Aiptasia and Algae as I see it. Treat anything that pops up period. All inverts like snails and crabs cycled through as well. That required some Planning.

I can tell you that I have dipped everything going in with Bayer/CoralRX and still the critters show up. I have had to address a few issues on some frags already and I am way more confident I took care of the issue then just dip and put in tank. The issue survived the original dip into QT so it would be in the DT. If an issue pops up, you can treat until you are confident you got it or became inpatient and risk it. You have the option.

You are not going to catch everything, but if you can catch the plague things or ID a pest so you stock the predator before plague proportions are reached you can. You also have the option of trashing the frag and doing a QT restart if something bad pops up. Resetting a 10 gal takes no effort. You just have options to do anything really and if everything goes perfect, you can get a frag off the coral before putting it into the tank or take your time getting the frag onto a better looking grow surface.


Useful thread.
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
the main process for QT tank is to observe and dip when needed. you dont have to dip every 4 days. you can dip every 12 - 16 days to limit the stress of the sps and you probably need to at least dip 3 times. you can do the bayer dip method. nothing i know kills the eggs, its mainly knocking off the adults before they can lay more eggs. there are good reads online about aefw eggs hatching times and so forth. ill ping @NanoCrazed as well since he has been experimenting with these boogers in the past.

aefw battle plan - BAR

as for qt tank, i believe its pointless to dose both salifert flatworm exit and kz flatworm stop in your qt system. salifert fw exit is meant for larger flatworms aka planaria, i dont believe it will affect aefw. kz fw stop is an additive to prevent aefw by coating the skin of the corals with slime so the aefw wont attach/eat it. this additive takes time and not an overnight miracle worker. It is also said works better in conjunction with kz coral booster (you're suppose to dose these two products daily on alternative days - i tried these two products for a year and stopped - saw no difference and didnt make sense for me to continue).

adding interceptor is a last resort and is very harsh for sps. you can get some wrasse to pick at the pests. yellow coris works wonderfully.

i've heard you can get a bunch of peppermint shrimps and they will clean up aefw as well.
Thank you!

So the idea is to just keep dipping until it's gone, rather than dosing the tank I gather?

Also, if things keep showing up, should i just restart the QT tank if the offenders are somewhere other thank the corals?

Restarting as in:
1. Putting inverts/corals in a temp bucket
2. Clearing all water etc from the tank
3. Maybe running the equipment in citric acid for a bit
4. Replacing everything and probably adding new marinepure spheres that I hopefully have ready from DT?
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
I have snails in there. No medications. NO FISH. As I am stocking corals, it is always running. Can't imagine a day it would not be running as we are always adding corals. It is also a "frag tank" as well, but that is a secondary use. Since I have one tank, I have been procuring corals in a batch, letting them sit and moving them to the DT in a batch - planning where they go. Takes a while, but I enjoy the frags in the QT tank almost more than in the DT as you can see them up close. They are also growing the entire time.

I run the tank on the Hot end to speed up critter life cycles. Heater is set to 80.6 -81.1. I don't use any meds unless I see something and treat accordingly. I dip everything going in and out of the tank and as something comes up. I am looking for 100% clean on the exit dip and can put it back into QT if needed. Everything is in there a minimum of 45 days as that is the life cycle for ich at 80.6 degrees. Pretty sure ick is a low concern, but given I have QTd every fish, I might as well. If you are putting in the effort, yo might as well do it right. Mostly I am giving the coral and invert time before getting in my DT, looking for something to show up in a QT tank vs a larger DT. It takes time for that to happen. Treating Aiptasia and Algae as I see it. Treat anything that pops up period. All inverts like snails and crabs cycled through as well. That required some Planning.

I can tell you that I have dipped everything going in with Bayer/CoralRX and still the critters show up. I have had to address a few issues on some frags already and I am way more confident I took care of the issue then just dip and put in tank. The issue survived the original dip into QT so it would be in the DT. If an issue pops up, you can treat until you are confident you got it or became inpatient and risk it. You have the option.

You are not going to catch everything, but if you can catch the plague things or ID a pest so you stock the predator before plague proportions are reached you can. You also have the option of trashing the frag and doing a QT restart if something bad pops up. Resetting a 10 gal takes no effort. You just have options to do anything really and if everything goes perfect, you can get a frag off the coral before putting it into the tank or take your time getting the frag onto a better looking grow surface.


Useful thread.

Yup, i actually saw humblefish's thread as well. That's how I got some of my initial ideas. It seems like going 76 days is the way to go. I wonder if I'm going to have to dose Ca/Alk in that time or just depend on big water changes.

Also: you're right I'm determined to do it right. I've been so careful in the past and just had one lazy moment and ruined everything. I've learned my lesson.
 

NanoCrazed

Supporting Member
@kinetic Flatworm Exit won't do anything for AEFW. And nothing works on eggs.

But, what does work is a dip using melafix. Great for knocking off bugs and other things too.

The coral QT setup I've envisioned but yet to get time to do is a 20 long with a drain at bottom... keep the tank cycled with marinepure, and dose melafix every two weeks, open drain to flush and refill with tank water.

Instead of active dosing, i would put in sealabs no 28 blocks.
 

Qwiv

Supporting Member
I haven’t needed to dose anything, corals are fine and growing. You don’t need them to grow fast in QT and a water change is all you need. It’s only small frags, not a full reef. Big water change when you batch the corals out if you need to and you get a 1 gal water + change every time you set up a dip, acclimation, etc. i don’t skimp on water in dip for that reason. I also take water from the DT to add to the QT are acclimation and dip water was pulled out and just dump a gallon in the DT. No temp swing worries at all with the water change that way.

Works fine. Keep it simple. Heater, pump, fan, light all run of an old reef keeper. Independent ATO. Done.
 

kinetic

Supporting Member
Based off of all the feedback (thank you all!) I think this is the front-runner:

1. Tiny water change from the DT (1 gallon) and save the water for dipping
2. Remove frag plug from the corals and scrub any inverts I'm bringing in
2. Put coral into a bucket with water from DT with powerhead and add Melafix, Coral RX and Seachem Complex Iodine for 15 minutes
3. Rinse with more DT water
4. Add to QT tank (mount on a new frag plug)
5. Observe and dip every 14 days for 76 days to be safe. Also change water every 14 days.
6. Rinse with clean saltwater
7. Dip one last time, observe a clean pest-free last dip otherwise continue qt
8. Rinse with more DT water
9. Put into tank (coral putty + ibgel it into the rockwork)

QT Tank:
 

richiev

Supporting Member
One thing to also keep in mind is if you're doing all that fishless, there's no nutrient source unless you ghost feed/dose/move water frequently enough that you're adding them. Over 72 days just something to watch for.
 
Top