Discus Quarantine Process
Discus fish care should be taken seriously. For this reason therefore, there are different scenarios that will require a quarantine period.
Discus Quarantine Process – Scenario #1- Purchase of New Discus Fish
Whenever you get new discus fish you should quarantine them before putting them in your main discus tank. The purpose of this is to observe the new fish to ensure that they are not sick and prevent them from getting your healthy discus sick. This quarantine process is fairly simple. You set up a small fish tank filling it up using water from your main aquarium. You will need to make sure that the quarantine tank has proper filtration and heat. You need to replicate your main tank as far as water temperature and water quality. When you new fish arrives acclimate them in the quarantine tank. It is highly recommended that you keep them in the quarantine tank for at least 3 weeks. Make sure that you keep the quarantine tank clean and perform regaular water changes just like you do on your main tank. Keep close observation. Make sure they are eating and acting normal. After 3 weeks simply scoop them up in a net and place them in your main tank.
Discus Quarantine Process – Scenario #2- Treating Sick Fish
Another cause cause for a quarantine is usually an infection whether disease or bacteria on the discus fish. The exercise is usually carried out to prevent further spread to the other discus fish and hence prevent further damage. Therefore when carrying out the exercise, it’s important to understand and follow standard quarantine procedures. The reason we quarantine discus fish because they are living creatures. All living creatures have the ability to carry pathogens like bacteria or protozoan of one sort or another. Bacteria are frequently carried externally on discus.
When new discus fish are introduced into the same fish tank which already has other discus, the bacteria mixes and one or more of the discus may become sick as a result. Apart from that, when two independently healthy discus are mixed together, one may become sick in the process. Oftentimes discus will have a resistance to the bacteria they carry in small amounts and it may not make them sick unless they become stressed. At such a scenario, they may be overcome with the bacteria they carry.
It is recommended that when carrying out quarantine to first of all have their own tank, nets and hoses, filling devices, airlines, filters and buckets for a minimum time of 5 weeks. New discus should be kept in a separate room if possible from all your existing tanks. You have to remember even 1 drop of water from your old tank to the QT tank is cross contamination and vice versa. So it is very important to remember this when feeding and doing water changes. You should clean the quarantine tank either first or last and ensure you wash your hands and arms between the process of cleaning the quarantine tank and your other existing tanks.
There are several methods you can adopt for the discus quarantine process. One of the effective one is as follows:-
1. Isolate the fish for a minimum of six weeks. All equipment should be dedicated to the quarantine setup.
2. When you first receive the fish they should be dipped in methylene blue and placed in a tank that has salt at concentration of 1 – 2 tablespoons /10 gallons. This helps them deal with stress.
3. If there are any signs of bacteria or fungus, they get an increase in the salt to 1 tablespoon/1 gallon water plus Furan 2 until the problem clears.
4. Deworm with a tape worm specific medicine (Praziquantel)
Once the discus start eating:
1. Feed them with medicated gel food containing ‘panacur’ for a period of one week or longer in case you suspect presence of worms.
2. Feed them with medicated food with Metronidazole to deal with internal protozoans
3. External parasites are dealt with using formalin, Fluke tabs, Clout, or potassium permanganate.
You should be careful also as some medications may be harmful as they don’t mix well with discus. Ensure you do at least a 30% water change daily in all your tanks or even more. This should however be only when no treatment recommends otherwise. This particular method of quarantine is one in which you anticipate for likely problems and try to deal with them before they spread into all your tanks.