My 1ft - 50L QT system, fully automated and DIY

Discussion in 'Quarantine Tanks, sick fish, QT corals' started by dallasg, 13 May 2011.

  1. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    oki so i have been thinking of how best to QT new fish at the least cost, hastle and space.
    So the goal is to have your new fish live in a sterile environment for 2 weeks until he is eating and healthy. so my goal was to make a system that would be self sustaining and yet viable and work without jeopardising the health of the fish.

    So as tradition has it, one sets up a tank with a heater, skimmer and small airdriven bio-filter, then one medicates the fish and does a WC every second day. Now due to the small filter etc one would have to feed sparingly etc.

    so i thought of this idea, which re-uses the salt-water, stays running, and makes it easier to QT fish.

    the 1ft tank has a heater, hangon skimmer and air driven filterfloss filter with some bio-balls in it, i then have 2 x 25L drums positioned one above the tank and one below, with the tank having a single overflow going into the bottom drum. i then fill the top bucket with ASW and start dripping it at about 1ml per minute, the tank then overflows and drains into the bottom bucket over a period of a day or so, once finished, i then swap buckets around.

    now this performs a constant waterchange keeping NH4 and NO2 minimal and fish less stressed, i then take the water from the bottom and treat it with seachem prime, carbon, and every other chemical that i think will clear the water and aerate and keep the water moving. i keep repeating the cycle until fish is in DT.

    now when the QT is not being used i add a small pump to the bottom drum and pump to the top drum with the valve open completely so the water just cycles. there is also a ATU to keep water at 1024


    any commets or suggestions
     
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  3. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i suggest pictures :lol:
     
  4. David Vaughan

    David Vaughan

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    Hi dallasg

    That is inventive! I like the way you think. Is this design for holding first for two weeks before transfer to a treatment tank for a quarantine period?

    Regards

    David
     
  5. Slagter

    Slagter MASA Contributor

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    Fantastic idea Dallas! Do you think we might be able to incorporate this idea into the little setup that I am contemplating for my QT/Frag tank?

    I seriously need to get to your side of the world to talk about this. How about Wednesday, after voting?
     
  6. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    You think it will be cheaper than just to make new salt water? Not only is it the cost of all the chemicals, but also the fact that you are not really removing water borne diseases / parasites. If you just loop this water you keep it in the tank. But heck, if its an experiment then go for it.
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    So a one way system, until you get home and swap the buckets.

    so how is the ATU going to work?

    Water drain all day long from top drum. Bottom drum is empty in the morning, full when you return. So where will the ATU censors be?
    If it was looping, while not in use as you said, then I can understand an ATU working. But not in the two weeks (or more) while you are quarantining anything.
     
  8. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    It will be for QT new fish and treating fish if I need too. Also might rent out the services if needed :)
     
  9. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Sure we could, gimme a shout
     
  10. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I see what u mean, but I got the stuff as I use most of it already, and the salt I use is 3 parts, 2 bottles of additives etc and I use normal sodium chloride, so my salt cost is like 60c a litre, its a new thing from USA. And I forgot to mention I filter through milk socks which can remove ich etc from water
     
  11. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Yes, but buckets last more than a day, so plenty of time
    My atu is a hospital drip kit, so I drip 1L of RO through out the say to compensate, I have 2L or 3L bags as well if needed, and the fish room temp is regulated. I then make water 1024 when I swap drums
     
  12. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    That's fine, BUT... if you want to get the full benefit of quarantining then you would have to keep it up for at least one month, as many disease organisms can take that long before becoming "visible".

    Perhaps David Vaughan can comment, but in my experience one's chance of being successful with keeping out the nasties increases with the time that the fish, corals, etc are kept in quarantine. I would say that you reduce the risk of infecting your display tank by roughly 70% if Q'ed for 2 weeks, 85% if Q'ed for 3 weeks, and 95% if Q'ed for 4 weeks.
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2011
  13. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    yip agree, longer QT period is needed. I lost fish in quarantine on 28 days due to whitespot. Now, I use another quarantine method - bucket method for 12 days, than quarantine tank for a month.
     
  14. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Amalick got me in the habit of his 6 week rule where all live stock get's QT for 6 weeks to be really sure it's safe & if it needs treatment it stays longer. I use a little 40L with the filter at the back which has a little reef octopus nano skimmer & live rock.
     
    Last edited: 16 May 2011
  15. David Vaughan

    David Vaughan

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    Hello everyone

    Yes I was wondering whether the two weeks was the actual quarantine period or just a holding period prior to a full quarantine time. 30 days should be a minimum time for quarantine. Two weeks will be too short.

    Regarding Cryptocaryon irritans and 28 days. Be cautious here too. This little beastie responds to its captive ecology so the 28 days is never fixed. This too is complicated by the fact that there are different strains of C. irritans which respond differently to different environmental factors such as temperature. Always keep this in mind. I have known some C. irritans to remain dormant for 72 days before releasing theronts! The 30 days quarantine period is designed to prevent the introduction of these parasites into your main tank by reducing as much of the risk as possible but do remember that no quarantine period is fool proof, rather the management of the potential risk.

    have a super week ahead.

    Regards

    David
     
  16. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i will aim for 4 weeks, this time will be used to get fish eating etc..
    what i will do is rethink the setup, or set it up as automated as possible.
     
  17. David Vaughan

    David Vaughan

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    Good luck. We are always here to help so just shout if you need anything.

    Regards

    David
     
  18. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    maybe i need to create a holding tank for new inmates that has all the filterting etc, maybe a nano, then have a treatment system as well.

    i think that sounds like a better idea
     
  19. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    @dallasg, can you please update... Im also in the process to design a Q-Tank, please share with us... :whistling:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  20. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Howdy, well it worked but i moved and will set things up in the new year
     
  21. Henkie

    Henkie

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    Did you set this system up after the move @dallasg? I think some pics will be cool
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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