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Preventing ich and disease in new fish

Posted 02/22/2017 at 09:45 AM by Sk8r

The importance of water quality IN QT as an ich preventative.
I'm personally not a fan of medicating in qt in the absence of visible symptoms. The species I keep (smaller species like gobies, blennies, and damsels, basslets, etc) influences this decision: no thin-skinned critters like angels and tangs. So your mileage may vary. Take that into account. Angels, tangs and rabbits are very vulnerable.

However, I am fanatic about water quality 24/7 for new fish. Keeping alk around 8.3 helps preserve their slime coat, a barrier against disease and parasites. Keeping the salinity at 1.024 to 1.025 and the calcium at 420 and magnesium at 1350 (same as for stony reef) provides a reasonable standard that will not upset fishy bodies, destroy their slime coat, or otherwise upset them.

And quite honestly, I have had only ONE fish (a rabbit) manifest ich at all in the last eleven years, covering 2 tanks; one with lymphocysitis. No other problem. Period. I have gotten fish from online, and from lfs. And to my knowledge the ONLY likely difference in what I'm doing from your typical novice set-up, is rigid, ATO-maintained water quality on arrival, with no on-the-fly adjustments with fish in the tank. I can't say throw caution to the winds---quite the opposite---you NEED to be careful. But while you're taking extravagant precautions against the introduction of a parasite to your tank, take this very simple precaution from the start. Buy your test kits before you buy a fish. Use them, and guarantee that that qt tank has 1.024 salinity varying only to 1.025 24/7 at 78 to 80 degrees; that you're using ro/di water and a good marine salt; that your calcium is 420 and your magnesium is 1350; and most of all that your alkalinity is 8.3. Yes, variations are possible, but I'm telling you exactly what I do, in the hope that fewer fish losses will give you an easier start. If you can keep a qt tank in these conditions, you can also keep your dt in these conditions, and you will have a lot less trouble.
If you do want some sort of treatment for a fragile species, my recommendation would be tank transfer with two tanks with absolutely identical water. Keep your source water proper and spot on and you won't have any problem providing that.
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  1. New Comment
    Great advice! Thanks!
    Posted 04/14/2017 at 09:03 AM by Espiritujedi Espiritujedi is offline

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