New Tank Shopping List - Fish Quarantine
You'll want to get a basic 10 - 40 gallon glass or acrylic aquarium to use as a dedicated quarantine tank so that you can treat your fish separate from your display tank. The size you choose should be based on the size and quantity of fish you plan on quaranting, but be mindful that the maintenance required during QT does increase respectively with the size of the tank.
2. Essential Equipment
Prepare your QT tank with a heater, thermometer, and an amonia alert sensor to keep water parameters in check. You'll also need an air pump and air stone to keep the water oxygenated throughout treatment. Lastly, you'll want to provide your fish with PVC hides, plastic plants, or some other structure they can hide under to reduce stress and facilitate the healing process. Because you'll be making frequent large water changes, you don't need to worry about adding a biological filter, but you can use plastic bioballs from your main tank if you wish.
During the QT process, you'll be performing frequent 100% water changes, so make sure you have a bucket and siphon handy. Since you'll be changing all of the water at once, you'll also need a net and a large acclimation box, specimen container, or bucket to temporarily house your fish. Lastly, you'll want a working RO/DI system, a large container (20+ gallons), and an additional heater for mixing and storing fresh saltwater.
It's important to choose a salt mix for your QT tank that doesn't contain excessive micro and macro nutrients. Although these additives are desirable in a reef tank, they don't play nicely with medication and should therefore be avoided during quarantine. For this reason, we recommend the Instant Ocean purple sea salt mix at a concentration of 35 ppt for QT tanks. Make sure you are consistent with maintaining salinity and temperature during water changes to minimize additional stress to your fish.
The medication you choose will be specific to the issues you're trying to address. Keep in mind that mixing most medications can be dangerous, so only use one at a time. When using copper, don't neglect to use an accurate Copper Test Kit such as the Hanna Copper Checker because incorrect concentrations can be dangerous. Here are some common medications used to quarantine saltwater fish: