Posted by: nyaquatic | January 20, 2010

Quarantine Tanks

So, you’ve made the correct decision to set up a quarantine tank.

Now what.

Here are some keys to succesful QTing:

  1. QT size-A good rule of thumb is 25% of your display tank size.  This usually works out so that the fish that are appropriate for your size tank will fit in your QT tank
  2. Substrate-bare bottom is best
  3. Filtration-This is a MUST!  You cannot run a quarantine tank with just a heater and an airstone!  PERIOD!  You need biological filtration to keep the water safe for your new arrivals.  Just trying to do water changes instead keeps the tank constantly cycling, and will lead to stressed and dead new arrivals.  A hang on back filter really works best.  One where you can easily add or remove carbon is ideal.
  4. Live Rock-not recommended.  A few pieces of PVC to hide in is best.
  5. Medication-only as needed.  Not automatically.
  6. Plan on leaving new arrivals in QT a minimum of 4 weeks.  This should allow plenty of time for you to assess the healthfulness of the fish, and for the fish to adapt to captivity and develop good eating habits.
  7. Once you add 1 or more fish to your QT tank, do not add any more until the first ones are removed.  Adding new fish is a slow process.  Rush at your own peril.

Michael Stern



  1. What would it take to have an octopus in my 125 gal swim tank. As I understand they are escape artist.

    Also type that would be easy to start with and not get to big.

    • Octopi really do best in a small (12-24 gal) tank to themselves.
      Otherwise, they tend to either be food, or eat other inhabitants.

  2. Hi..i didnt know where to put this post.. but i have a friend that lovesss fish.. and i have recently decided that i want to have my own saltwater fish santuary in my bedroom.. i know nothing about saltwater fish so i will need help getting started.. right now im looking and trying to decide on a aquarium to get.. i dont want anything large.. maybe 30-90 gal tank.. if someone would like to help me i would def appreciate any info that you may have.. thanks.

    • Welcome aboard.
      It’s a wonderful hobby.
      The best advise I can give is to read a TON, before you start buying equipment, and more importantly, fish.
      There’s definitely a big learning curve, and it’s best to learn as much as possible before buying the wrong equipment, and buying fish doomed to die due to lack of experience.

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