All new arrivals should be placed in a quarantine tank for minimum of 21 days. This allows you to observe your new pet and check for any signs of disease, such as velvet or white spot. If marine fish get these diseases, and they are in a reef or invertebrate tank, it will be most difficult to treat them.

The quarantine tank can be a temporary aquarium of 10 to 25 gallons, depending on the number and size of the fish you purchase. The quarantine tank MUST have perfect water quality. Your new fish are the most stressed they will ever be. Now is the time to take care of them.


I have used the following procedure for years and find it highly efficient and cost effective.

1.  Place your quarantine tank away from a traffic area. Allow your new pets time to adjust to your home and their next tank, your display aquarium. Include a rock or two in the quarantine tank so your new pets can hide if they wish and feel secure.

1 DROP™ Copper sulfate has proven to be the most effective cure for C. irritants / white spot and Oodonium / velvet for marine fish. Each drop brings a treatment or hospital tank to .15 ppm. This is the proper therapeutic dose. Maintain this level for 21 days. DO NOT use carbon or resins. They will remove copper from solution.

Check the level of copper every 48 hours with a high quality test kit. LaMotte #AG-CLR (7367) is a very good copper test kit. 1 DROP™ is NOT CHELATED. It can be removed easily or allowed to dissipate naturally.

AVOID CHELATED COPPER. Chelated copper is formulated to stay in aquariums for weeks. It is difficult to remove. Special test kits are required to monitor high treatment levels or test for residual amounts left in solution.

2.  I use two submersible pumps in the quarantine tank. One is for circulation within the tank. The other pumps water from the tank up to an over the tank bucket with a PVC fitting in the bottom. This fitting or drain allows water back into the tank. This an above-the-tank trickle filter.

3.  Water is pumped from the quarantine tank to the top of a clean, open bucket (usually a 5 gallon bucket). The tank water is pumped over a drip plate. This plate can be made from a piece of a cut down bucket top or made from scrap plastic. The drip plate has dozens of 1/8″ holes in it, and should fit snugly and level inside the upper part of the bucket. This allows water to drip or trickle into the bucket and over a filter medium. If you have a rotating spray bar, so much the better.

4.  The bucket is filled with the highest efficiency bio-ball. I use Super BI OX® because it is the most effective. One gallon of Super BI OX® will maintain 45 gallons of salt water Vs. 10 gallons of water with inferior balls. That means your small quarantine tank will benefit from an over saturation of dissolved oxygen by using BI 0X®. Over saturation dramatically reduces effects of toxic ammonia in all tanks.

5.  Tank water is pumped from the tank into the over the tank bucket. Water drips or trickles through the drip plate and rains down (slowly) over the BI OX®. Water leaves the bucket via the fitting at the bottom and drains directly back into the tank.

6.  No other filters are required. No sand or gravel is used in this quarantine or hospital tank. An exception is if you are quarantining a sand borrowing fish like a wrasse.

7.  Use the highest quality marine salt. Avoid salts that are out of balance with natural seawater. Using low grade marine salts in quarantine and/or your display aquariums simply adds undue stress to captive marine life. Check the S-15™ Report™ for salt info.

8.  If your new fish starts to scratch or develops white spot or velvet, change 50% of the water. Keep the temperature at 78ºF. Maintain a specific gravity of 1.021 and a pH of 8.1-8.4. Turn the aquarium lights off.Add 1 DROP™ copper sulfate at a strength of .15 ppm for 21 days.

DO NOT allow any diseased water to touch or contaminate other aquariums or equipment. Clean your hands, buckets, nets, hydrometers, etc. BEFORE using them with other marine tanks you may have. A trace of contaminated water will spread disease. Check the level of copper sulfate every 48 hours. Add more 1 DROP™ if necessary. Copper sulfate cannot be used in reef or invert tanks.

Quarantine all fish BEFORE adding to your display aquarium.