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Most people do not understand exactly what a quarantine tank is and how and when it should be used. A quarantine tank is not a tank you would set up when a fish gets sick, rather it is a tank that is always up and running. A quarantine tank can be used to acclimate new fish or separate a sick fish from the rest of the aquatic population.

What are the down sides of a quarantine tank?

If you are skilled or an expert in aquariums, you probably will not need to consider a quarantine tank. These people can spot diseases in fish early enough to treat it before the entire tank is wiped out. The rest of us are not as likely to detect these diseases before the damage is already done. A quarantine tank is not cheap. However, the cost of renewing your tank with all new fish will definitely cost more.

Why quarantine a new fish?

The transport from the pet store to your tank causes a great deal of stress in a fish. This is one reason to quarantine; the fish needs time to adjust to its new home before it is introduced to other fish. The quarantine will also allow you to monitor the new fish for any diseases that may pose a threat to the other fish. Most people recommend a quarantine period of about two to three weeks. If you notice any abnormalities, keep them separated longer.

Why quarantine a sick fish?

With your existing fish you want to watch signs of sickness such as sluggishness or lack of appetite. Color change is also a sign of illness. Getting to know your fish could really help you in noticing symptoms of sickness in your fish. Catching a diseased fish early and quarantining it could stop the spread of the disease to other fish in your tank. While in the quarantine tank the sick fish can get better without stress or harassment from other fish.