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DandelionBlue

Quarantining New Fish

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Hi everyone, I am hoping for some input.

Almost a year ago one of my goldfish sadly passed away, after we moved house. Since then the other goldfish has been lonely without a buddy.

It took me a long time to get over the loss (I don't think I am yet). But I think it isn't fair to keep my goldfish alone without a friend. So I am thinking of getting him a buddy.

But it's been a very long time since I got a fish and I am feeling very nervous. I don't want any losses.

I am setting up a quarantine tank but can't decide whether to seed the filter or not. The advantage of course is not exposing the new fish to rising ammonia.  But the disadvantage is that the new stressed fish could get exposed to flukes / bacteria that exist in my main tank.

The other question is how long do I need to quarantine the new fish for. Are 4 weeks enough?

Also, do I start treatments immediately or wait and observe first? If I treat, against what and with what (I live in the UK).

Finally Jaffa is a pretty big fish by now (about 20cm / 8 inches). How small / big a fish do I need to get to ensure that they get along?

 

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I usually do seed a quarantine filter, unless I’m sure I will need to treat for more than flukes. Congratulations on deciding on some new fish, I know it can be hard after losses.

Geberally the longer the quarantine, the better. I like 6-8 weeks in nice, warm water (74-76 degrees F) to let anything hatch out if possible, there have been some rather resistant parasites out there. Unfortunately that doesn’t guarantee no losses, especially when you don’t know what viruses or bacteria the fish might be harboring in their systems that stress could bring forward. But a long quarantine gives you your very best shot :)

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Thank you.  I'll give the filter of my main tank a clean and then use some of the material to seed the QT tank in that case.

I assume I should still do daily water tests and changes at the start until things have balanced themselves out? 

I have hooked up a hang-on filter to the QT tank. But this means I can't close the lid. So I was wondering if there was a way to seed a sponge filter. This would allow me to close the lid and give the new fish some privacy and would also be gentler in terms of waterflow

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Our new waterbaby has arrived!!!

He / She keeps swimming behind the heater. I don't know whether to take the heater out so he / she doesn't get stuck and burn herself. But then the temperature will drop.

I must admit the fish is a little smaller than I expected. I hope Jaffa and him / her willhet along

20200923_142449.jpg

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On 9/22/2020 at 4:15 AM, DandelionBlue said:

Thank you.  I'll give the filter of my main tank a clean and then use some of the material to seed the QT tank in that case.

I assume I should still do daily water tests and changes at the start until things have balanced themselves out? 

I have hooked up a hang-on filter to the QT tank. But this means I can't close the lid. So I was wondering if there was a way to seed a sponge filter. This would allow me to close the lid and give the new fish some privacy and would also be gentler in terms of waterflow

Honestly the lid probably doesn’t matter and unless the sponge filter is already running in a tank they can’t be seeded. Just use the HOB and don’t sweat it. Also current isn’t your enemy unless the fish is sick or very, very small. More is generally better, actually :)

And no, you can just check it weekly before your water changes to make sure you didn’t get any random spikes, but with a mature filter pad I wouldn’t expect much, just don’t over feed the first two weeks.

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52 minutes ago, DandelionBlue said:

Our new waterbaby has arrived!!!

He / She keeps swimming behind the heater. I don't know whether to take the heater out so he / she doesn't get stuck and burn herself. But then the temperature will drop.

I must admit the fish is a little smaller than I expected. I hope Jaffa and him / her willhet along

20200923_142449.jpg

Very beautiful! I’m sure he will grow in no time!

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1 hour ago, DandelionBlue said:

Our new waterbaby has arrived!!!

He / She keeps swimming behind the heater. I don't know whether to take the heater out so he / she doesn't get stuck and burn herself. But then the temperature will drop.

I must admit the fish is a little smaller than I expected. I hope Jaffa and him / her willhet along

20200923_142449.jpg

Pretty baby!  I gave up using suction cups on my heaters years ago.  I had discus that would or could wedge itself perfectly between heater and glass, so no suction cups.  It just dangles vertically.  That may be a problem if you have boisterous fish that will play and ram the heaters though.  My heaters were either the thicker glass like Eheim's or thermoplastic like Aqueon Pros, I might be hesitant with letting Visitherm heaters dangle.

 

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Pretty baby!  I gave up using suction cups on my heaters years ago.  I had discus that would or could wedge itself perfectly between heater and glass, so no suction cups.  It just dangles vertically.  That may be a problem if you have boisterous fish that will play and ram the heaters though.  My heaters were either the thicker glass like Eheim's or thermoplastic like Aqueon Pros, I might be hesitant with letting Visitherm heaters dangle.

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Thank you @Arctic Mama @dahling8and @FishyMandy

He is a Bristol Shubunkin . We are thinking if calling him / her Cinders but are still working on the name.

I switched off the heater because it just didn't feel safe and dangling it without suction cups doesn't work. The temperature this morning is at 20C/68F. But we had a very cold day yesterday.

I tested the water a few hours after I put him in and had ammonia at 0 but a bit of nitrite (barely at 0.25). I tested again in the evening and both ammonia and nitrite were 0.

I have been dosing with seachem stability too. Not sure it will help but it can't harm right?

I did order a small canister filter before I saw your post @Arctic Mama. It's rated at 400l/h.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B01N4BC1R5?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

The QT tank is 40l litres/ 10 gallon. At the moment I am running the seeded HOB on the tank. Should I move the media into the new canister filter? 

I was thinking I could then put the small canister filter on my main tank once I move the new fish. To help the main tank cope with the new bioload.

Oh. Any advice on sexing our new waterbaby?

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Why would the heater not be safe dangling...? Just use fishing line and tie the cord to a little stone to weight it down if it’s floating, it will be fine. They can certainly handle cooler temps but it means a longer quarantine, basically.

I don’t really care what you do with the filtration; it’s your choice. If the canister doesn’t produce any bubbles with a spray bar do add an air stone for better gas exchange though :) Really, six of one, half dozen of the other.

Cant help you with sexing, I have literally never bothered in two plus decades of goldfish keeping. There are YouTube videos but until breeding behavior or external markers emerge it’s not 100% certain.

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Oh. That's a good idea. It's just that the heater is made of glass. So i didn't  want it being bashed about. But ill try it with the stone.

I already have an airstone in there.

The sexing isn't really important. I was just curious. Although I am worried about the size difference and Cinders getting bashed about by Jaffa during any potential mating

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Yeah, tie the stone to the cord and not the glass only because I worry the fishing line might melt if it’s against the heater :)

Smaller fish tend to be faster as well. But if you see any real drama beyond some chasing just use a little plastic colander to float one of them in the fishy penalty box and give them a break.

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So a couple of complications.

The filter doesn't seem to be fully cycled. I tested the water 3 days ago and got a reading of 0.5 nitrite and 0.5 ammonia. I did two 80% water changes. 

I tested again today. And got 0 nitrites. But 0.5 ammonia. So I took out some more media from my main filter and added it to the QT tank filter. Then did two 80% waterchanges on the qt tank

However I noticed that my little fish has a pink patch on his cheek. And I can't remember it being there. So I am wondering if it's an ammonia burn.

The other issue is that I found out that my dad has passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly. So we need to travel to the UK for his funeral on Saturday. My husband will be returning after five days. But I will be there for an unknown length of time sorting paperwork. Both ranks will be without us for 5 days.

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So that’s really common! Especially if it’s not a large amount of transferred media, sometimes the waste bump up with an actual fish is higher and it takes time for the bacterial colony to adjust to that volume. No biggie, just keep changing the water as needed. While you’re gone just make sure not to feed and the fish should be fine. The waste processing will be minimal and they can totally handle a fast for five days. Better that than feeding, having the water quality decline, and then dealing with the ammonia spikes from that for sure! I’m so sorry about your dad :(

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So update:

Sushi (our new fish) is now in the main tank.

The QT tank must have cycled in time / the additional media from the main filter cycled it. He was absolutely fine when my husband came back after 5 days. And my husband kept testing the water and changed it when the nitrates got too high. So proud of my hubbie by the way. Because the fish tanks are normally 100% mine.

Sushi us doing well in the main tank. He enjoys the space to explore. Jaffa sadly only sees him as a mild inconvenience. But there isn't any real bullying going on. Sushi spent the first few days cuddling up to Jaffa. Then started nipping him a few times. But now they both just do there own thing. Which is a shame because I hoped they would be friends

20201209_134336.jpg

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Honestly that’s as good as you can hope for, goldfish don’t really become ‘friendly’ or attached to one another beyond basic social bonds and mating behavior. Swimming around enjoying the tank and not nipping is the goal :)

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