What is Quarantine?
Quarantining new fish is common practice in the aquarium hobby. Whenever you bring home a new fish, you house it in a tank away from any other fish for several weeks. During this time you should be careful not to share nets or other equipment that has been in the quarantine tank in order to minimize the risk of contaminating a healthy tank with communicable diseases.
Do I Have to Quarintine my Fish?
By not quarantining your new fish you put your existing fish at very high risk for parasites and disease. Many new fish harbor at least one or several dangers that could infect your main tank. You should always assume that the new fish is infected with something communicable. *Remember, this isn’t something we’re making up to make things difficult for you. All experienced fish keepers quarantine their new arrivals regardless of if they have two fish or two thousand.
How Long Should I Quarantine my fish?
Four weeks is usually enough time for any formerly unseen problems to appear. Look for signs of illness like parasites attached to your fish, lack of appetite, lethargy, redness, swelling, soars, internal parasites [sunken stomach or white or clear feces], fin rot, etc. If you notice a problem with your new fish then medicate accordingly and repeat the four-week quarantine period from the beginning after your fish has fully healed. Fish keeping is a constant exercise in patience. Regardless of how excited you may be to see your new fish interact together there are few reasons urgent enough to warrant putting your entire tank at risk.