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Re: The Great Quarantine Debate of 2002

Dear Erika,

>I've speculated that if every aquarist began practicing quarantine measures,
>we could bring a halt to every communicable aquarium disease within two

Well, one could go as far as specialist guppy breeders I know, whose latest
thing is to sterilise everything with potassium permangenate, including
tanks with fish in them every two weeks or so, and to bleach everything once
a month.......  And they very rarely add in fish from outside sources, too
much risk of disease.

My concern is, no matter what tank you have, unless you take these sorts of
extreme measures, develops its own group of diseases that just "sit there",
waiting for a weak or stressed fish to come along, and every time you add a
fish to the tank, that list just got longer, even if it seems perfectly
healthy and has passed the quarantine test.  And what about those fish that
you are using to keep the tank cycled..... they have to go somewhere, don't
they, while you are using it for new fish, back they come to the new set of
diseases from the new fish, and back to their temporary home the next time
you are quarantining, and oh dear, just added that set to the list in that
tank too.......

I think its too hard to try to keep all the bugs out, all you can do is
acclimatise new fish to the bugs in the tank that they are going to be in,
to see how they handle it, and the best way to do that is probably to keep a
spare filter going in the main tank that can be put into a bare quarantine
tank as needed. Then sterilise that filter before putting it back into the
main tank to develop its cycling bacteria again.  And I suppose you could
always give all new fish the potassium pernangenate treatment......just to
be sure.

Do I do any of this?  Well,,,,,, did have a quarantine tank when I had more
fish, now I'm down to two tanks, am contemplating getting some red dwarf
gouramies at some stage, when I can find a pair - will I quarantine them?
Not sure........

Kind regards,

Susi Barber