Re: NANFA-- General House (tank) Keeping Question

Mark (
Mon, 20 Jan 2003 12:58:17 -0500

At 10:36 AM -0600 1/20/03, Ty Hall wrote:
>I'd like to get a concensus on something from all of you. As I have
>stated I am now the owner of a small pet store. As part of this I have
>18 tanks set up for freshwater fish, containing a basic selection of
>common tropicals. Additionally, each tank has it's own filtration
>system. I have run close to this many tanks at home, but am experiencing
>problems with ICK, in the store...

I have about 70 tanks. I rarely have problems with diseases spreading. In
my experience, I see disease outbreaks with new fish. This results (in my
opinion) from the fishes being stressed by handling, shipping, adapting to
a new tank, and crowding. So, the solution has to be:

Try to buy fishes that have been well treated, I mean handled well, before
you get them.

Try to make the transition to your tanks as easy on them as possible. Avoid
temperature and pH shock. Avoid crowding. Avoid attacks by existing tank
residents. Clean the tank(s) prior to the arrival of new fish. This is to
reduce the pathogen and waste load in the system. Pathogens are
opportunistic. Stressed fish are more suseptible to pathogens that may be
lying in wait and not effecting the healthy fish you already have. Waste
reduces water quality and contributes to stress. Do water changes in the
days following the arrival of the new fish to maintain water quality as
high as possible. All of this is a lot of work. But, I don't think there
are any magic tonics you can buy to replace it. I still lose fish.
Shipping in quantity is very stressful because there is not enough water in
the bags to dilute the fish wastes. The longer they are in the boxes, the
closer they will be to death.

I try to use nets once, then throw them into a tub. I treat them with hot
tap water, then put them back into use. Nets are very cheap. You can
afford to have extras around. They are much cheaper than live fish.

Also, my tanks are all individual. There is no water shared between them.
I think my ideal system would be a flow through -- Each tank has a
continuous supply of fresh, clean, chlorine-free, tempered water. The
water drains from an overflow out of each tank and goes to waste. Or, if
you are into horticulture, it goes to your hydroponic or other irrigation
system. Why waste all that nitrogen? Or at least you have a water
treatment wetland/marsh out back so your effluent is cleaner than your tap
water supply!

If you have to recirculate, design a filter that can remove the smallest
pathogen before the water goes back to the tanks.

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