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First week going Fallow


John Vinson
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We had a velvet outbreak right after the new year and we lost half our fish (mandarin goby, neon dottyback, bi-color blenny and a flame angel), but we managed to save the yellow tang, 6 line wrasse and 2 clowns.  They've been in a QT tank with copper since the 6th and seem to be doing fine.  I know I need to keep the display tank fallow for 72 days (so through 19 March), but I'm still a little clueless on how to manage the fish in the QT.  Do I still do water changes to deal with any ammonia?  If so, how do I keep the copper levels up to therapeutic levels - just continue to test/add copper as necessary?  I thought you only need them in copper for 30 days, so would I do a water change and not worry about adding copper after 30 days?  I know copper reduces their appetite, so I'm thinking it might be best to do a good water change after 30 days without adding copper, and let them settle down and see if it helps get them eating better again.  Thoughts!?  Thanks in advance for your help...this has been a rough one!

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Go to R2R.. there is a wealth of information and all your questions can be answered.  Ammonia can be dealt with by dosing bacteria or prime to lock the ammonia up.  HOWEVER, you can only dose prime with certain types of copper and I can't remember which one .. I believe its the chelated copper.  Copper power?  

 

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1 hour ago, Savo said:

How did you get the outbreak? Did you add more fish recently?

It wasn't too recent, but I added the 6 line wrasse a couple months ago (QT'ed it for 2 weeks, etc).  It and the dottyback didn't get along and I think it overstressed the dottyback to the point that his immune system crashed (he was the first to show signs of velvet).  He went from nothing to this overnight, and that's when we pulled all the fish and put them in QT.  I'm not sure what I could have done differently, as I pretreated the QT with copper prior to the initial 2 week quarantine.  I did have the carbon in the filter though, so maybe it pulled out enough of the copper that some of the velvet survived.  Or maybe I need to increase the initial quarantine to 30 days instead of 2 weeks?

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I've recently spent a lot of time on this topic due to similar circumstances. I was trying to follow the "Paul B" approach, but I lost everything to a disease outbreak last year - it really bummed me out. Now I'm squarely in the "Copper QT every time" camp. Here are my suggestions:

- "QT" means Copper Safe or Copper Power at 2.50 ppm for 30 days, followed by two doses of Prazipro. Do not use ammonia lockers with copper; apparently it creates toxic byproducts. Instead you must monitor ammonia carefully and manage the excess through water changes.

- Read through Jay Hemdal's Quarantine Protocol on R2R: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/current-quarantine-protocol.825055/ It might look intense, but it's really not. It boils down to a few straightforward steps and a modest equipment investment. Jay lays it out pretty clearly. The biggest commitment is your diligence.

- Get yourself a Hanna Copper checker. $50 is a pittance in this hobby, and you'll save money and sanity in the long run.

- You might get away with a 45-day fallow period in your DT. Read through the article on that topic here: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/45-day-fallow-periods.805213/ It involves running your tank at 81°F, which is not for everyone.

- There's also some good advice on https://humble.fish

Good luck!

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2 hours ago, sherb said:

Do not use ammonia lockers with copper; apparently it creates toxic byproducts. 

All good information except prime is safe with coopersafe and copper power.  It only forms toxic products if used with cupramine. 

Prime lasts for 48 hours.  So you have yo keep adding every 48 hours. 

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Question though / why are y’all needing ammonia lockers or more water changes for the ammonia? I stocked my qt with a ton of bio filtration (old school bio balls) and it’s set. That stuff doesn’t suck up copper like rocks, and it keeps things just fine. 
 

In theory you should always disinfect your qt, which would destroy your bio filtration. But if you’re running copper for 30+ days then I’ve never understood the need to disinfect. You are putting the fish into your dt regardless. So I’ve always just ran my same bio filter on the qt. 
 

I also go back to back on fish in the qt though. I suppose If you aren’t keeping a steady supply of fish in there then your bio filtration will lapse. 

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