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Cycling a QT tank


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You don’t,


the QT system needs to be drained and cleaned after every use.

Use a Tupperware container and put in some sand and rock, keep it in the sump. When you use the QT tank put the container in the QT tank.  When you are done with QT, bleach the sand and rock, amquel the heck outta it and put it back in the sump for next time you need to QT.

this way you have some beneficial bacteria and it lessens the ammonia spike from new fish.  

you still need to do daily water changes, and it’s imperative the container doesn’t go back into your system until you nuke it!

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I don't use biological filtration in my QT's.  In fact, I use no filtration.   I simply do 100% water changes every 3-5 days depending on ammonia levels and keep my fish count low.  A lot less guess work involved.  I like to employ methods I can verify working and test for.   

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Another approach is to put a sponge in your sump to get colonized with bacteria.  The sponge can be for a hang-on-back filter, sponge filter, or both.  The advantage here is that you don't need to worry about rock or substrate absorbing medications and you can toss the sponges and start with new ones each time.  Water changes are still important though...

The Humble Fish quarantine page is a "must read"


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