Mike and Ashley's 150g reef tank (our first)

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by WCKDVPR, May 31, 2017.


    WCKDVPR Supporting Member

    Thanks everyone,

    I appreciate all the valuable input and it was fun meeting a number of you at the event!

    Best regards,
  2. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster

    oh that music.. ug!

    WCKDVPR Supporting Member

    Hi All,

    Another question. Setting up a quarantine tank (we have an old 29g tank, heater, pump, etc.).

    As for quarantining coral and fish, what does the club generally do? I have found so many varying opinions on the web forums - medicate everything, don't medicate anything unless signs of disease are seen, 2 weeks quarantine up to 9 or more weeks quarantine, no need to quarantine corals - only fish.

    Help please. Getting the QT started next week so it will be a few weeks ahead of the DT on cycling. If quarantining corals, do I need a "real" light above the tank (this tank can be placed to have sunlight if desirable)?

  4. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    There is no right answer unfortunately. Everyone on this forum will probably have a different process and response. The decision really is up to you what you deem is an acceptable risk. Research what people do, make an informed decision based on legit facts and data about what each method can and cannot do. And then decide what your risk tolerance is towards the potential of pests.

    If your goal is to have a miniscule amount of chance you get ich in your tank, you should QT anything wet for at least 72 days (coral, inverts, algae, rock, etc.) and do TTM for fish. For other pests, you could also use prazipro and formalin dips for fish in conjunction with TTM to help with other pests.

    It is, however, time consuming and IMO reduces the enjoyment factor of owning a reef tank (at least for me). And some will argue that TTM is stressful enough by itself to cause more bad than good.

    Now. What do I do? I have a high tolerance for risk. I do not QT inverts or coral. Coral gets a Bayer dip and examination under loupes. No foreign rock or frag plug enters my tank when at all possible (eggs and cysts tend to attach to rock and plugs vs coral). This is not a full proof method, I have personally seen on numerous occasions bristle stars and other small inverts survive a 10 min Bayer dip.

    For fish, I don't QT or TTM or treat with medication. I'm one of those that don't mind the risk. They do get a freshwater dips. (Some will argue if this is bad or not or if it really helps or is just a stressor, but it does sometimes help indicate if flatworms are present.)

    Your mileage may vary and I may be very lucky, but for the past year of my reefing experience and having gone through about 15-20 fish, I have yet had an outbreak of ich, flatworms or any other fish disease in my tank. I have lost fish to jumping and one ramming itself into a power head. Lost a couple that didn't acclimate well to my tank (death cause unknown). As well as lost a couple fish that I tried to TTM.

    So long reply and possibly of no help in figuring out your QT process, but to sum it up: Understand your options and your risk tolerance, then just go with it and enjoy the tank!
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
    Gablami likes this.
  5. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Oh and to answer your question about the light. Yes, you'll need one if QT'ing photosynthetic coral or calms for more than 3 days.
  6. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit Vice President

    So, I agree with Randy regarding anything that gets wet should be QTd for 72+ days.

    However, I have a low tolerance for risk so I do TTM for fish and have had great success even with fish that were heavily infected with Ich. For this process, I use either 10g or 20g tanks (I have two of each that setup for QTing fish. Before I put fish through TTM, I make sure they are eating well.

    For corals, I have a fishless coral frag tank where all my corals and other inverts go for 3 months. I dip with Bayer prior to putting them in the frag tank and then again before I put them into my 300g display.

    Part of the reason for low tolerance to risk is that I have been burned with Ich in the past and I had to break down my whole tank to catch the multitude of fish I had. I will not do that again.

    WCKDVPR Supporting Member


    Will/others - can you put multiple corals or fish in the QT tank at one time or only one? If only one item at a time, that means only one new item into the tank every 3 months. If only one item per 3 months, I should have started this hobby at a younger age :) Thinking of what to get going for/in the QT tank while the DT is cycling.............If I go the TT Method, I may just go get (2) 5 or 10 gallon tanks (instead of my 29g) to save on the water. Looks like no filters or powerheads or anything other than heaters and a light. That isn't so bad.

    Though in thinking about it, seems like 3 small tanks would be the way to go, that way when the fish are in the watching period (post 12 days TTM), you can start another round of TTM while watching for other parasites.............. or use the third tank for corals/invertebrates, though in that case the corals tank would need filtration, a real light, a powerhead, and need to be fully cycled.

    Each question seems to generate more questions, and I thought my original list of questions was long :) Too funny.
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    You can put multiples in tanks no problem, it's just every time you put something new in you "reset the clock" (whatever time period you're trying to do) for everything in the tank.

    But yeah, what you should do and what people do do are two separate things. I would say at the very least, if you have the capability to do a short term quarantine to see if there are any problems before going in your main tank. If anything for fish you make sure they are in an environment where they don't get picked on by those who "rule the tank" so you can get some food into them and get them ready for the main tank.

    Unless you have an extensive setup asking the average hobbyist to quarantine something for 2 months is asking a lot.
  9. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    You "Should" QT everything for 2 months, yes.

    For me:
    Corals: I remove frag plug, scrub bottom, acclimate < 1 hour, dip in Bayer, and then into the tank.
    Fish: I do Bucket-TTM every day for a week, then it depends on source.
    For fish from any store: QT for 3 more weeks.
    For fish from people that I know: Into the tank.
    I never use meds unless the problem is really obvious.

    PS: The honest way it usually works:
    Your first few fish you QT very carefully.
    Then you gradually get sloppy over time and do less and less.
    Then you get ich, which kills half your tank.
    Then you figure out what is reasonable for you, and generally stick to it.
    L/B Block likes this.
  10. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    In addition to heater and light, you need to have surface agitation to allow for gas exchange otherwise your livestock will die. Most people use an air pump and cheap airstones (don't reuse airstones).

    Using a power head or HOB filter is doable, but anything wet should be bleached or air dried for at least 48 hours before reusing. Disposable airline tubing and airstones is much easier and is cheap.
  11. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit Vice President

    Actually for corals, if you think about it, the clock doesn't reset for that particular coral. Once you hit the magic number of days, all the cysts have hatched. So that particular coral or rock or invert is safe. However, if you have added other things in that tank since that time, there may be theronts (the free swimming stage) from cysts from the new additions. Theronts only live 24-48h. So, you have to make sure you rinse it well so that you don't carry over any of the water when you add it to your display.

    Btw, cysts don't attach to live corals. But, theoretically they could attach to the underside of something such as a Monti cap.
  12. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    My process (I'm not advocating anyone to follow this, just me being lazy)

    I know I already have ich in my system so I don't bother with TTM any more. I QT fish for 2 weeks to make sure they are eating ok. I am using a canister filter with seeded media from my DT for this 10g.

    If it come from a tank I think have better care than mine, it goes straight in after temperature acclimation. If it come from less known source (frag swap), then I dip and examine.
  13. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    For my qt the fish are usually in there for a few weeks. If all goes well they get introduced to the main tank. I have a 40G qt tank with sand ( mostly for the wrasses ). For corals I dip and re dip but do not qt them.

    WCKDVPR Supporting Member


    I can so see Rygh's "honest way" being the case. I think we'll start down that path with 2 small QT tanks. So, knowing we definitely want a pair of clowns and an anemone (at some point) and some shrimp (pretty ones, like fire shrimp) and a goby (also pretty one(s), like a mandarin or a pair?), and (easier) corals and other compatible fish, what should we put in the QT/DTtank first? I have a generous offer for some free for beer/wine RBTA splits.

    Best regards,
  15. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit Vice President

    Anemones don't need to be QTd. and they don't need to be dipped. I would temp acclimate then and rinse with new tank water and put them straight into the display.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  16. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    Yup my quarantine tank is cycled and running. I have two 20L tank for ttm once they finish ttm they go in the quarantine tank before going in the main tank.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  17. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    well if you are going to be very pedantic with quarantine procedures there is no such thing as "don't need to be..." with anything that is wet that goes into your tank. It would be very similar to just grabbing a cup of water from one tank and pouring it into another, there can be things in the water column that do hitch rides even if that "thing" is in no way a parasite of what you're moving.
  18. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit Vice President

    Agree. And maybe should have clarified. A nem still has to be rinsed well. My understanding is that a nem doesn't tolerate dips well (not an expert with men's and i could be wrong though). In practice, I usually QT nem for about a week and then rinse well to make sure that QT water doesn't come into contact with the display.
  19. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    I have "accidentally" dipped a H. malu nem in Bayer for 7-8 min and didn't have any adverse effects.
  20. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    A nem is mostly water though, so are you squeezing them dry before moving them too?? :D

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