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Unread 02/14/2014, 10:07 AM   #1
Sk8r
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An uncycled qt and emergencies: perfectly safe and works if...

...you keep the filter clean and test daily or twice daily.
An uncycled qt should be totally bare of everything but water and maybe a pvc elbow to let the fish feel there's cover. It's just saltwater. In fact, because you test them daily and possibly more often, they're safer than a cycled qt that's gotten a little toward the edge. You need a floss filter you can check daily for stain of any kind, and just keep that filter scrupulously clean and don't overfeed---what you're doing is making sure that tank DOESN"T cycle. You must not run carbon while using copper or antibiotics, but it's a good thing to run if just in for observation.

An uncycled qt can be an old salt bucket you can bring to spot on water conditions and hold there. An uncycled qt can be packed in the closet stuffed with spare laundry until needed, and set up with 10 minutes if you have water to use---use NEW water, not tank water---and it's as warm as the tank. It doesn't MATTER that it's not ro/di: you can use tap water and some from the hot water tap as a basis for the salt water to get a jump on the heating situation: just use water conditioner [I use Prime] to get rid of the chlorine ---but make sure the salt mixes thoroughly (use a strong mixing pump until that water is crystal clear)---unmixed salt can burn your fish's gills terribly.

An ATO on that tank is a Very Good Idea. That keeps the salinity spot-on 24/7: absolutely critical with meds to know that evaporation isn't concentrating them above safety, or that adding water isn't diluting them: you can lose a fish on that issue.

A jump shield is a must.
A heater is. A thermometer is.
A light is optional.
Dirt is the enemy in this set-up: no rock, no sand, no 'used sponge', and no stain on the floss---if it stains, toss it and install new clean floss, nothing remotely resembling it.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.

Last edited by Sk8r; 02/14/2014 at 10:20 AM.
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Unread 02/14/2014, 10:14 AM   #2
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Making an emergency 'pot' filter:
A small container, like they sell CDs in bulk in.
Floss. [Carbon too if you're only observing, not treating!]
a weight of some kind. A piece of rubble or even a piece of glassware from the kitchen.
A pump, at least a Maxijet 400.
piece of screen or eggcrate grid
Hose.
Put the pump in the bottom of the 'pot', put a screen or eggcrate atop it, put floss atop that, maybe another piece of eggcrate screen and weight the top to be sure your floss stays in the bucket, and run the outlet hose from the pump up to the surface, where it can become a very controlled little fountain pouring back into the tank from a slight height and help aerate. [Adding an airpump bubbler is not a bad idea. Aeration failure kills fish. You need a real solid aeration.]
Change that floss every time it stains and feed SPARSELY---the fish in qt is not doing athletics. Loose decaying food is dangerous to him.

YOur object is to PREVENT a cycle. Do not let bio-activity start. Got it?


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 02/14/2014, 10:22 AM   #3
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For cheap floss? Pillow-stuffing [poly] from the fabric store works real well. Use, toss, get new, use, toss. Wrap it around a teaspoon of carbon if not treating---works like a charm.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 02/14/2014, 10:55 AM   #4
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I use to run an air stone in my QT but gave up because the bubbles popping at the surface spray salt EVERYWHERE.

Any good fix for that? I do like running an air stone I just hate wiping salt off of everything around the tank.


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Unread 02/14/2014, 11:41 AM   #5
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What are ways to prevent a cycle besides water changes?? I'm guessing u get signs of ammonia water change because I've tried ammonia removers and the reduce my oxygen not good


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Unread 02/14/2014, 11:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HWDylan View Post
I use to run an air stone in my QT but gave up because the bubbles popping at the surface spray salt EVERYWHERE.

Any good fix for that? I do like running an air stone I just hate wiping salt off of everything around the tank.
Yeah. Buy an inexpensive, "nano" propeller pump like the Hydor Koralia 240. Place it in the tank or other container so that it's close to the surface, and pointed at the surface so that it agitates it. Folks don't always realize this, but gas exchange with the atmosphere at fish-tank temperatures is extremely rapid if the container is only mildly agitated. Equalization/saturation with oxygen occurs within 10-20 seconds at most in a 10 gallon tank.

An alternative that fulfills both the requirement to agitate the surface to provide gas exchange and to filter uneaten food is a Hagen Aquaclear 20. They're about $25. They are easily the best mechanical filter ever designed, but it's not as satisfying as making your own as sK8r suggests.


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Unread 02/14/2014, 11:57 AM   #7
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For an airstone, just put a little piece of glass or a flat piece of ceramic of some sort on that end of the tank and confine the airstone behind a small screen of eggcrate. It'll still pop bubbles, but it'll all drip back into the tank. Don't glass the whole top. The Koralia is a better idea but pricier.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 02/14/2014, 12:02 PM   #8
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The principle behind all this is very simple: fish can live quite happily in warm clean saltwater. Your mission is to keep it warm and clean and stably-salty. And aerated!


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Sk8r

Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 02/14/2014, 04:26 PM   #9
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Can you take water change water and dt live rock and have an instant qttank for new arrivals and dt fish for copper treatment? Sounds fairly simple and easy


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Unread 02/14/2014, 04:31 PM   #10
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Yes. That's what I did. Just make sure to not put the live rock back in the DT. If any disease you are transferring to your DT.


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Unread 02/15/2014, 10:45 AM   #11
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Bare tank. No used water, no rock. Pvc elbow. If you use water that's from your tank, you're importing bacteria which are actually a problem that can bring on a cycle...which is what you don't want.

Now, if you WANT a cycled qt, that's cool, but be careful trying to put a fish in it until you're sure it's stable, and that takes planning. You risk exposure to ammonia if the thing is not balanced and running like a mature tank---if it gets too much biomass in its craw and starts to cycle on you, that's a problem. What I'm talking about in this thread is an uncycled, clean-water, no-rock tank.

Some fish (dragonets/mandys) are best NOT quarantined unless you can supply pods: happily they almost never have parasites, having a very, very thick slime coat. If healthy, they're that way. You take your risk putting them on in; or you set up a dragonet qt so they have a mass of pod-laden cheato and you prepare to spend money to supply them with pods if they eat everything up. Their appetites are epic. You analyze your risk---and do what makes sense to you.


Some fish (angels) that are rock-feeders ARE extremely ich-prone and need qt. In those cases, use a cycled qt so they can have their rock and stay healthy.

Hope that helps clear up the confusion.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 02/17/2014, 11:28 AM   #12
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An uncycled qt and emergencies: perfectly safe and works if...

Quote:
Originally Posted by degibson84 View Post
Yes. That's what I did. Just make sure to not put the live rock back in the DT. If any disease you are transferring to your DT.

So what do I do with LR after QT is taken down??


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Unread 02/17/2014, 11:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8r View Post
Bare tank. No used water, no rock. Pvc elbow. If you use water that's from your tank, you're importing bacteria which are actually a problem that can bring on a cycle...which is what you don't want.

Now, if you WANT a cycled qt, that's cool, but be careful trying to put a fish in it until you're sure it's stable, and that takes planning. You risk exposure to ammonia if the thing is not balanced and running like a mature tank---if it gets too much biomass in its craw and starts to cycle on you, that's a problem. What I'm talking about in this thread is an uncycled, clean-water, no-rock tank.

Some fish (dragonets/mandys) are best NOT quarantined unless you can supply pods: happily they almost never have parasites, having a very, very thick slime coat. If healthy, they're that way. You take your risk putting them on in; or you set up a dragonet qt so they have a mass of pod-laden cheato and you prepare to spend money to supply them with pods if they eat everything up. Their appetites are epic. You analyze your risk---and do what makes sense to you.


Some fish (angels) that are rock-feeders ARE extremely ich-prone and need qt. In those cases, use a cycled qt so they can have their rock and stay healthy.

Hope that helps clear up the confusion.

Sorry I'm a newB but how exactly do I keep my QT from cycling??

From Sk8r: YOU CLEAN YOUR FILTER: CHANGE THE FLOSS EVERY TIME YOU SEE IT STAIN: the stain is bacteria. Without bacteria there is no cycle.


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Unread 02/17/2014, 11:33 AM   #14
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Don't put live rock or sand into a qt. It becomes a host for ich if ich is present. If you have to treat, it's ruined for use and you have to throw it out or put it through an elaborate and somewhat expensive recovery process involving Polyfilter.

If you are qt'ing an angel or rock-grazer that WILL not eat other food, you will have to risk some rock.

Otherwise, just don't put anything in that qt tank. Bare glass. One pvc elbow.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 02/17/2014, 01:41 PM   #15
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Great information in this thread, please sticky or incorporate into front page of established QT sticky.


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Unread 03/04/2014, 07:08 PM   #16
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An uncycled qt and emergencies: perfectly safe and works if...

So in this case with one fish in a 10 gal QT how long should it take for ammonia to rise, and I'm guessing just do a water change when It begins to show


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Unread 03/04/2014, 08:55 PM   #17
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First thanks for this thread, it makes much more sense now.

I have the same question as Jon above and I will add one: what percent water needs to be changed once you can detect ammonia?

And one more: is an uncycled QT also the way to go for observing new fish?



Last edited by shermanator; 03/04/2014 at 09:04 PM.
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Unread 03/04/2014, 10:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8r View Post
Don't put live rock or sand into a qt. It becomes a host for ich if ich is present. If you have to treat, it's ruined for use and you have to throw it out or put it through an elaborate and somewhat expensive recovery process involving Polyfilter.

If you are qt'ing an angel or rock-grazer that WILL not eat other food, you will have to risk some rock.

Otherwise, just don't put anything in that qt tank. Bare glass. One pvc elbow.
Sk8r,

I've been following your incredibly informative posts for what seems like years on here..I sadly admit I've never had a QT tank before :/ I picked up a 10g and will be QTing my next fish as I feel very comfortable setting one up properly..

I was wondering if you could possibly add your insight with the actual quarantine process you follow (or advise us to follow) now that you be outlined the setup piece of it. Some kind of time frame, when to start prazi, cup, etc. Kind of like a regimen for us new to this to follow. I feel like I could set up a tank no problem, but I don't really know what meds to buy to have on hand just in case, when or of I should medicate everything, or just observe then treat if necessary, etc. What's a good process to follow??


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29g mixed reef lps, sps, and softies, 10g sump/fuge, cadlights pls-100 skimmer, LifeReef overflow with Mag 7 return pump, Tunze ATO, 2 Koralias, 4x24w T5HO ATIs w/ moonlight LEDs

Current Tank Info: Green Chromis, Yellow Clown Goby, Green Mandarin, Diamond Goby, Percula Clown, and CUC
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Unread 03/07/2014, 11:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8r View Post
Don't put live rock or sand into a qt. It becomes a host for ich if ich is present. If you have to treat, it's ruined for use and you have to throw it out or put it through an elaborate and somewhat expensive recovery process involving Polyfilter.

If you are qt'ing an angel or rock-grazer that WILL not eat other food, you will have to risk some rock.

Otherwise, just don't put anything in that qt tank. Bare glass. One pvc elbow.
Anything on this?


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29g mixed reef lps, sps, and softies, 10g sump/fuge, cadlights pls-100 skimmer, LifeReef overflow with Mag 7 return pump, Tunze ATO, 2 Koralias, 4x24w T5HO ATIs w/ moonlight LEDs

Current Tank Info: Green Chromis, Yellow Clown Goby, Green Mandarin, Diamond Goby, Percula Clown, and CUC
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Unread 03/07/2014, 11:46 PM   #20
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I don't believe in meds until and if you know the fish has a problem, and what problem it has: not all meds are benign: copper isn't; and if you guess wrong, you've got to back the fish off one treatment and start another that isn't compatible with the last one...

So what I advise is pure water for 4 weeks gradually bringing salinity up to the dt level (if it was hypo to start)---and giving the CUC those 4 weeks to bring the newly-cycled sandbed up to snuff, simply by eating and poo'ing and living. If that tank won't support snails, you surely don't want to put a fish into it. The qt should be a comfy r&r for the fish in which all changes are slow and he can eat without being challenged or pushed.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 03/08/2014, 07:56 PM   #21
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I have a Coral Beauty that has what appears to be a bacterial disease. I've had him for about a week and he just started showing obvious symptoms yesterday morning. The infection has visibly reduced since yesterday with no treatment but he has been acting strange. Breathing rapidly, he has been swimming fairly still, mostly just kind of swimming in place but still swimming, and has not been picking at my live rocks at all today.

I am wondering
1st should I proceed with medicating?
Yesterday I bought a medication with Tetracycline Hydrochloride as the active ingredient. Will this be suitable?

Also, what do you recommend as a minimum tank size to QT him in?
I have a 5 gallon bucket I usually pre-mix water in with two powerheads in it or, if that isn't large enough, a 20 Long tank not currently in use.
Lastly, do I need to put live rock in for him so he has the option to graze when/if he improves?

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!


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Unread 03/08/2014, 07:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8r View Post
I don't believe in meds until and if you know the fish has a problem, and what problem it has: not all meds are benign: copper isn't; and if you guess wrong, you've got to back the fish off one treatment and start another that isn't compatible with the last one...

So what I advise is pure water for 4 weeks gradually bringing salinity up to the dt level (if it was hypo to start)---and giving the CUC those 4 weeks to bring the newly-cycled sandbed up to snuff, simply by eating and poo'ing and living. If that tank won't support snails, you surely don't want to put a fish into it. The qt should be a comfy r&r for the fish in which all changes are slow and he can eat without being challenged or pushed.
Awesome..thanks so much Sk8r! I feel the same way as far as medicating goes..if and when I get a QT setup for my next fish..I don't believe I'll be medicating everything as a preventative measure..rather just if a disease appears to be present.


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29g mixed reef lps, sps, and softies, 10g sump/fuge, cadlights pls-100 skimmer, LifeReef overflow with Mag 7 return pump, Tunze ATO, 2 Koralias, 4x24w T5HO ATIs w/ moonlight LEDs

Current Tank Info: Green Chromis, Yellow Clown Goby, Green Mandarin, Diamond Goby, Percula Clown, and CUC
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Unread 03/08/2014, 11:53 PM   #23
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The bucket is ok, but doesn't let you observe him, and angels are a high-oxygen fish: providing sufficient oxygenation is going to be a problem. I'd say at least a 10 gallon tank if at all possible, with a strong pump for agitation and an ATO to prevent dosage from spiking. That's one of the worst hazards in attempting to treat: evaporation concentrates the meds dangerously. An autotopoff for your hospital is a real help.b


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 05/29/2014, 11:08 PM   #24
Sand.man
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I have a question regarding this type of setup.

How would one go about medicating with this setup? considering that the tank is not cycled, I would assume that one would have to perform daily water changes to keep the ammonia at 0.

Most medications require a 5-7 day treatment (such as prazi-pro), so whats the best method of medicating with this setup?

Would it simply be performing water changes with medicated water? Isn't it easy to over/under medicate that way?

Or, would it be better to use something like prime/amquel instead? Or a combination of both?

Which would be the best course of action? or is there another method that I'm not thinking of?

Just a bit confused about how a fish might live for 7 days in medicated water without a biological filter.

Also, if one is medicating for 7 days, but also topping up the evaporated water with freshwater, the medication acts like salt, as in it doesn't get evaporated right? It's not like the top-up freshwater might end up diluting the medication because it evaporated?

Thanks!


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Unread 05/30/2014, 08:36 AM   #25
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As long as the water addition is because of evaporation---the med doesn't evaporate. The topoff keeps the solution the same by keeping the water level even.
What you change (often) is the filter medium. I usually use a bit of pillow floss with NO carbon inside for a medicated tank. (carbon removes some meds). I change that floss every time it shows the least stain, which is biological activity, because it is too little to handle the ammonia. I use an ammonia badge. If I DO a water change, I treat the replacement water at the same rate I treated the whole tank: one advantage of the uncycled tank is that you can change out ALL the water if you need to. Just do the math for dosage and keep the fish in a small bucket while you change out water.
Ammonia comes from ammonium in the fish's respiration and excretion processes: the faster and more efficiently you can remove fish poo and uneaten food, the better; and of course---don't overfeed. count every flake that fish eats and be sure where it went.
HEre's one of Randy's articles on ammonia that, while technical, will also give you some down-to-earth info. http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-02/rhf/#6


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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