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How to prevent disease outbreak in your marine fish tank

How to prevent disease outbreak in your marine fish tank

Throughout the years of setting up a marine tank, many of the emergencies of a diseases outbreak that we face in our tanks can actually be prevented. For many who didn’t know, diseases in the main tank can almost be 100% preventable by simply setting up a Quarantine tank and quarantine all your newly bought fish before introducing it into your main display tank. Most of the time we run into problems because we tried to take a shorter route or simply pour in the fish which look healthy. However, it is the responsibility of a fish keeper and not the LFS ( Local Fish Store) or the seller for such diseases outbreak.

powder tang die of ich
powder tang die of ich

Parasites are something that are common in our tanks and there are mainly two forms; internal and external. The two most common external parasites found in the hobby are Ich and Flukes. Internal parasites are very common in wild-caught fish, especially marine fishes since they are mostly wild-caught. Prevention of all of these in the main tank is not as difficult as what people might think.  All that is required is a quarantine tank or a hospital tank.

A simple quarantine tank with chiller
A simple quarantine tank with chiller

Quarantine or hospital tanks do not need to be a full-scale large tank as they are the only temporary place to house the fish for a short period of time. Usually, a ten-gallon tank would suffice for almost all types of small marine fishes, however, for a larger marine fish, you may need a larger Quarantine tank .

All newly-bought fish should be introduced to the quarantine tank and observed for four to six weeks before releasing into the display tank. During that time, water changes should be done every couple of days unless you are medicating the tank. Treatment of parasite in the smaller quarantine tank is much more cost-effective and much less stressful on the other fish. Temperature is also important to be monitored to ensure that it does not go beyond the level that can be adopted by the fish.

Another advantages of having a Quarantine or Hospital tank setup, if ever any of your fishes are being affected with parasites then they are also better off to be treated in a separate Quarantine / Hospital tank then risk infecting the rest of the fish in your main system.

Whenever something goes wrong in our tank, it always points down to the fish owner/keeper. What is the action we took as a responsible fish keeper? Have we done proper water changes and check? Have you properly maintained your filter? The one thing that every fish keeper should do every day (besides feeding the fish) is observed all the fish for changes in their eating habits or any signs of diseases on their body, this would be the quickest and easiest prevention anyone can perform.

Larry Ng

Larry Ng

Larry Ng - Blogger, chef editor of SRC, and experience reef keeper, with over twenty years in the marine aquarium hobby. His love and crazy for marine life and fish keeping since a young age has turned his passion into a lifelong hobby. His personal 1000 gallon tank, and setup has been featured on the magazine and video.

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