If you’re interested in keeping an aquarium in your home, then you need to know the basic rules and regulations of fish keeping. Don’t just get too excited after setting up your nano reef tank. To make sure that marine life stays healthy, you need to consider quarantining the fish.

In this article, we’ll be talking about how to quarantine saltwater fish and the significance of doing so. But before we dive into it, you need to know what a quarantine tank is and how is it used.

It is a separate tank, unlike the saltwater aquarium, which is used to quarantine any fish before putting them in the main aquarium. Quarantining is a process in which the new fishes are isolated to prevent them from spreading any potential diseases.

Why You Should Quarantine Your Fish Before Adding to The Display Tank

Quarantine Saltwater Fish

Now many of us might think quarantining fish is a waste of money and time because as long as you have a clean aquarium and good water, the fishes can fight off the parasites or infections by themselves.

However, this is not the case. For instance, fishes that you have chosen from online or a fish store have passed through many different routes to get to you.

You probably get the idea that if the fish is wild-caught, then it is among the top 25% of marine life in the supply chain to have survived. Usually, plenty of fishes get sick or die during their capture.

Quarantining the fish will allow it to de-stress, and you can adjust it to your parameters and food. It will also provide a safe space for the fish to thrive.

However, if you choose not to quarantine the fish, it is quite likely that the fishes will be dealing with diseases like the saltwater ich. This disease is usually linked to stress.


If not treated properly, it can spread very quickly and possibly wipe out the entire marine life in a short period. So, isn’t it better to quarantine the fishes rather than risk the exposure of a deadly disease?

Benefits of Quarantining

Other than minimizing the spread of potential infectious diseases, quarantine tanks have many benefits.

A quarantine tank can be used to put and treat diseased, sick, weak, or harassed fishes that have to be taken away from the main aquarium. So, the tank also doubles up as a treatment tank for the fishes.

Another advantage is if by chance, a fish gets affected by a disease, it makes much more sense to put it in the quarantine tank because you can control the potency of medications in the tank than treating it in the main aquarium.

Several medications are known for disrupting the biological filter of the main aquarium and even damaging it all together. However, in the quarantine tank, you can treat the fish without harming the biological filter base of an aquarium.

Most of the time, new fishes are stressed because of their capture and transportation, and this can bring on illness and disease. The quarantine tank allows the fish to de-stress and recover as well as adjust and acclimate to the new surroundings.

Fishes that are already in the main aquarium might make it hard for the new fishes to adjust. It’s already tough enough for the new ones to get used to a new environment.

Moreover, if the pressure of shipping or transport weakens fish, it’ll be much more difficult for them to get rid of aggressors. So, by keeping the fish in the quarantine tank, it’ll regain its strength and be able to defend themselves properly.

Lastly, you can monitor the fish placed in the quarantine tank and ensure that they’re well-fed and healthy. Also, you can learn about their attributes during the quarantine process.

How to Setup A Quarantine Tank

There are different methods for you to set up a quarantine tank. One thing to keep in mind is that if you buy one or two fish at a time, then having 10-20 gallon-sized quarantine tanks is an optimal choice. The following are some of the methods to set it up.

First Method:

You can set up the quarantine tank just like you would set up a standard aquarium and purchase the excellent quality, full aquarium setup. In this way, if you decide to buy another one in the future, you’ll already have all the materials that you need to convert it to a quarantine tank.

But, with this method, the filter media, substrate, and rocks make it difficult to maintain the desired levels of medication while you treat the diseased fish.

Second Method:

Another way is setting up an empty bottom tank with optimal filtration and aeration. You can complete the setup by using a wet/dry power filter or a small hang on tank canister to accommodate the mechanical filtration.

Along with this, you need to add a thermometer, heater, single bulb luminous light hood for moderate lighting as well as PVC pipe cuttings big enough for fishes to get in and out of them.

This method is foolproof, among others, because it is elementary to set it up and maintain. Also, it is effortless to clean and regulate medications more accurately.

-In this method, you can buy a small aquarium system that is integrated with a complete three-stage filtration procedure in a small unit. This unit is perfectly applicable as a quarantine tank.

Steps to Follow While Quarantining

An important thing to consider is that setting up a quarantine tank is similar to setting a new marine aquarium. Here are a few tips to consider while quarantining.

When you’re treating sick fish, you’ve to be careful not to subject them to additional stress, which includes noticeable changes in the water quality. It is essential to regularly keep track of nitrite, ammonia, pH levels, and nitrate.

This is vital when you’re treating the tank with medications because different types will depress and ultimately destroy the biological filter. So, you need to monitor the whole process accurately.

You can also use any ammonia destroyer and some extra saltwater because these will quickly reduce the amount of ammonia in problematic situations.

Final Words

The process of using a quarantine tank is not mandatory, and choosing whether to use it or not is up to you. But after taking a peek at all the benefits of using a quarantine tank, it seems that it would no doubt save you a lot of stress and headaches in the long term.

We hope our article on how to quarantine saltwater fish was informative, and you feel comfortable applying the techniques yourself!

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