Bucket Method Quarantine

Discussion in 'Quarantine Tanks, sick fish, QT corals' started by RiaanP, 29 Sep 2011.

  1. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Whitespot, oh whitespot, many a reefers downfall.

    This is my solution, do not say its the best. It does have its issues. But this is the only solution I found for WS.

    First, know your enemy
    [​IMG]

    Secondly, on the fish, nothing helps.
    As a cyst, only hypo helps a bit, but some cyst still develops. Cysts cement themselves to the substrate or shells.
    As free swimming pests, very short time period to be effective with any medicines. Same for time period it falls off to the substrate.

    Thirdly, keeping the fish in a QT tank for a month, do not guarantee you that they have no whitespot. I lost fish on day 28 with enormous outbreak of WS.


    OK my solution.
    I use the "BUCKET" method. But my version of it. Basically you move the fish to another container every other day. For more days than WS can be on the fish.

    But by moving fish every day to another container does have its own problems
    Stress, water parameter changes, stress, temperature changes, stress, salinity differences, stress.

    This is where my variation comes into play.

    I move the fish every second day. Well, big deal you say. But that still does not solve the water parameter and salinity differences. something I learned the hard way with a coral beauty RIP

    I use about 50L water in big enough plastic tubes. Plastic is better, do not break that easy, keep on reading.

    And, before I continue, this method is a schlep. A mayor Schlep. Lot of work.

    OK, moving fish from one container to another.

    Firstly, I siphon 50% of the water via a 1micron cannister filter to the next container. looking at the chart above, and you will see the smallest stage for WSis 25 to 60 micron. So they stay behind in the filter. Just ensure you let the water flow into the right direction.
    [​IMG]


    The siphon action. Do not siphon the bottom. The pipe inside should be half way down. Just leave it until it sucks air.
    [​IMG]

    You MUST have double set of heater, small 300L/h pump and airstone with short airline tubing. Here I hang it up on the washing line to spend the next two days in the sun. The set in the background is the set I just took out. Heaters must be the same and set to the same setting. And dry the QT net in the sun as well.
    [​IMG]


    here is the fish currently in this programme. Navarchus angel, Sailfin tang, Cleaner wrasse and Scopa tang. Interesting, the tangs do not fight. Was very worried about that.
    [​IMG]

    I drain 25L out of my main display. Do a small water change basically every second day. I use a drum with tap fitted. Put the drum on top of the container on small wooden supports and open the tap ONLY A BIT. The water must drain for longer than an hour. The longer the better. Get a beer and relax. Doing it slowly will sort any salinity and parameter issues.
    [​IMG]

    When eventually done, I cover the one half of the tub with a towel, and the other side with a transparent lid.

    Notes. 30 minutes before the water change, you must feed them. The next day feed them just enough. This system does not have any filtration capabilities. Solely reliant on 50% water changes every second day.

    First batch water is obviously 50L from my display.

    Throw the last 50% water left behind in old tub away, rinse in tap water. Boil the kettle and throw that in old tub. Plus put the net in the hot water for the fun of it. Empty it again, and leave the tub in the sun for the next two days.

    From here the fish go into my real quarantine tank for 30 days. Only thereafter do the upgrade to the display tank.

    The Navarhus is a new fish. I did not do this process with it. As stated, this is a schlep and I was not in the mood to do it properly. It stayed in the quarantine / peppermint shrimp tank for 3 weeks and then moved to the 220L. I moved the Sailfin and Scopa from my main tank to my 220L. Within week and a half, they all had WS. From where, most likely the Navarchus. Other tank is disease free for more than 18 months.

    Now, what is the reasoning behind this method?
    If you cannot do anything to WS while on the fish. and you struggle to siphon the bottom clean due to them cementing or glueing to the substrate or tank bottom. Why not take the tank away from the fish.

    If you cannot treat the fish in the current environment, why not take the environment away from the fish.
     
    Last edited: 29 Sep 2011
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  3. Achilles

    Achilles

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    I have used this method with very good success for many years!, it is part of the transfer method and i really believe in it the only thing is it will not cure a tank from whitespot but it will make sure the fish is free of whitespot if done correctly- So while your aquarium may have already a whitespot population it can prevent other diseases like oodinium and new varieties of whitespot entering the aquarium :thumbup:

    If one is starting a new aquarium it is the best way to add new fish and keep it whitespot free though Also bear in mind anything wet can introduce whitespot including corals , algae, rock and even your wet hands!

    If one suspects other diseases like brook or flukes then it is also good to use a broad spectrum medicine in the bucket as well for every day but do 100% water changes so 10 days of transfer would mean 500 l of water if you use a 50 litre bucket , you literally wash the fish clean! and interrupt many parasite lifecycles, The idea is to keep the container dark and feed only a little so the fish's metabolism slows down , and so does stress , It's like keeping the fish in a sedation state for the majority of the Quarantine process, any uneaten food added must be removed - keeping the water as pure as possible before the next big change.

    Drying the buckets is a good sterilization method it is essential you have good quality water for this method though.

    IT is best to be used for 1 or very small fish only, doing it in large numbers is expensive( alot of water and time) and many many buckets!
     
    Last edited: 30 Sep 2011
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  4. williet

    williet Look at the shiny LEDs!!!

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    +1 from my side. I have done the bucket method with far less admin. Just used water from my tank for every bucket. Before every move make sure salinity and temp + ph is the same and move them. 100% water change in effect. No mess no fuss.. Up to now i have introduced 9 fish like this and i am happy to say no ich in the tank!!!
     
  5. rakabos

    rakabos

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    Good write up, thx RiaanP
     
  6. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    I have WS (don't we all), never lost a fish to it, immune system is the way to go, but love the info Riaan, great write up!:thumbup:
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    thanks

    Other things to think about.
    Can use a ice cream tub, with two holes cut into the sides, to act as a mini cave for the fish to hide in. But you need two ice cream tubs. Can also use short PVC pipes and bends as caves. But then again, each set must dry out properly before next use.

    I did do the 100% change once. Its more risky as we are humans and impatient with the change overs. Lost the Coral Beauty due to the parameters changing too fast.

    With one or two small fish, you can extent the cycle to do the change over every third day. But you must be vary of the amount of food you give. And on 3 day cycles the parameters are even more out. But obviously you can use smaller tubs for smaller volumes of water. Rather stay with every second day.

    I got another set of bins, that in my opinion is a bit better, but they are 42L containers. In this case too small for the size and number of fish I needed to quarantine. They are semi transparent, like Tupperware. The fish can at least see you walking up to the tank and do not get that big fright when you suddenly hover over the tub. And you can at least see the movement inside. But then the tub must be in a place with least amount of human movement past the tank. If you got no other place to do this, rather use the darker tubs.

    @Yuri
    I know you do a similar exercise. Any comments to add?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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  8. Yuri

    Yuri

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    I like to put paraguard , amguard and a multi vitamin in the water and I do a 100% water change daily
    The water for the change is from my quarantine tank

    After the bucket process in my quarantine tank I use praziquantel for flukes then I monitor the fish For a month
     
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  9. Boegie

    Boegie

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    Great thread, thanks.
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    @Yuri, what multi vitamin do you use?
     
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  11. Yuri

    Yuri

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    I use brightwell vitamarin m
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  12. blackghostknife

    blackghostknife

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    Thank you Riaan for this fascinating read, learned a lot again.

    :thumbup:
     
  13. colbar

    colbar

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    Riaan that is a very interesting read indeed. Thank you for sharing it with us and the pics. I thought a QT was all one needed but can see the merit in doing it your way.
     
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    The result.

    Happy whitespot free fish

    Navarchus / Majestic angel
    [​IMG]

    Sailfin
    [​IMG]

    Scopa Tang and Cleaner Wrasse
    [​IMG]

    They done the 10 days with the bucket method. Now, another 30 days in the quarantine tank, actually my peppermint shrimp tank.
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    Last thing, were very worried that the Scopa and Sailfin would fight in the bucket / tub. They did not.
    30 minutes after I put them in the quarantine tank with shrimps and liverock, they took each other on.

    Just proof that if there is no liverock, there is no territory to be claimed.
     
  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    The end.
    Moving them back, small tank floating in sump to acclimatize them.
    [​IMG]


    Back in display, Nacarchus
    [​IMG]


    Scopa
    [​IMG]

    Sailfin
    [​IMG]

    But, sadly, this process is not bulletproof.
    The Sailfin, although being acclimatize with the other 2, started to stress. And eventually died. On releasing him, he was fine, swim around. But soon thereafter started going sideways, lying on the substrate. And he was a big boy already. Other 2 big fish is happy. Even the cleaner wrasse did OK with the bucket method and the quarantine tank thereafter.
     
  17. blackghostknife

    blackghostknife

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    Sorry to hear about your Sailfin bud!
     
  18. Nico Kortenbout

    Nico Kortenbout

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    Hi RiaanP, sorry about the sailfin :(.

    This sounds like an excellent method for removing WS infection. I have been thinking about the stresses the fish endure during this process. It seems the biggest threat is the constant change in parameters and temperature. If one uses a bucket or tub, then catching them is very quick and is over in a very short amount of time, however the process of acclimistising is longer and more stressful. So here is my idea, and I realise it may be easier for those of us living on the coast who do not have large daily temperature fluctuations.

    I was thinking of adding and extra bucket or tub to the mix. The process would be:
    1) remove the fish from the DT when it is in full outbreak (parasitic stage/Trophonts)
    2) Place in bucket/tub with water from the DT (so no acclimatisation required)
    3) The next day prepare a second bucket/tub with NSW/ASW, Let this sit next to the one with the fish and gain the same temperature
    4) move the fish to the new container after 2 days. This first move will require an acclimatisation
    5) clean and dry the old bucket/tub as per normal method.
    6) after 1 day prepare a third bucket/tub with NSW/ASW FROM THE SAME SOURCE. Let it stand and aquire the same temp as the bucket/tub with the fish. (you could let it stand and aquire room temp or make use of 2 heaters)
    7) after 1 more day move the fish to the new bucket. As the water come from the SAME SOURCE, surely one could move the fish without too much worry about different parameters as the 2 buckets/tubs are exposed to the same conditions.

    One could continue this for 10 days to make sure that there are no more WS on the fish, then move to QT for 30 days.

    I may be wrong about using water from the same source to eliminate the stress of acclimatising the fish to new water. I would like to use this method to move my fish from the holding tank to my new DT.

    Anyways this is my 2c worth :p
     
  19. RiaanP

    RiaanP Thread Starter Moderator

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    True, first move, no acclimatization required

    unless you got no heaters, then temp will slightly differ. As well as the food and poo will affect parameters in tub where the fish are in. Plus evaporation.

    That is the idea. Either before hand make enough salt water for this process or collect enough NSW for the process. With NSW, ensure that the water on standby have a heater and powerhead to prevent bacteria dying on you. In fact, rather do not use NSW at all. Salinity will change over the 10 days. As you loose very roughly about 10% of your total water volume per week.

    So to ensure the new water and old water to be the same, very difficult.
    to use 50% old water, siphoned from top half of container with 50% new water, better.

    Ensuring that you add the new water VERY VERY SLOWLY, so that changes are the same as it would be when acclimatizing the fish. That is the secret.

    That is why...
     
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  20. Nico Kortenbout

    Nico Kortenbout

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    Ah, that makes sence. I figuered the change over time with food and pooh would not be that great over 2 days... but it makes sence what you say about using 50% old water and 50% new water. Thanks :)
     
  21. richardmatlock

    richardmatlock

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    Of course one of the spin-off's of doing extended collecting trips (the longest trip that I've made to the Kei lasted for 23 days, with fish being caught on each day) is that this cycle is also disrupted heavily while the fish are in holding buckets after being caught. I do 2x 90% water changes each day on fish in holding (evening and morning) and in the process the encystment phase is taken out of the cycle (I always remove the fish from their container which is drained to remove any detritus, before being rinsed and replaced with fresh NSW). Subsequently I've almost never had issues with fish that have spent a long time in holding developing WS when I get back to civilization.

    I've also through MUCH experience found that heaters in buckets and/or air pumps are a VERY bad idea. Heaters are NEVER going to maintain a stable temp in a small volume of water and are prone to cooking buckets of fish. Air pumps also radically affect the temperature in the bucket as during the day they pump warm/hot ambient air through the bucket and at night the cold air can be fatal to a small bucket of fish. Generally I use cooler boxes as "holding cells" whilst away and use a small powerhead/set of powerheads to regulate oxygenate the water. As long as the micro-powerhead is "on its back" as the bottom of the coolerbox and breaking the surface of the water, enouth oxygen is being absorbed into the cooler-box. This allows me to close the cooler boxes at night and maintain a stable temp over the collecting period. The regular water changes are also crucial in this regime and the fish can be fed an hour before a change, so that un-eaten food and leavings can be removed with the immanent water change.
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2011
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