ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Pets and Animals»
  • Tropical Fish & Aquariums»
  • Aquariums & Fishbowls

Aquarium Basics - Utilizing a Hospital Tank

Updated on April 19, 2011
Discus are sensitive fish that benefit from a quarantine period in a hospital tank.
Discus are sensitive fish that benefit from a quarantine period in a hospital tank. | Source

The utilization of a hospital tank is a vital aspect towards proper aquarium health. Hospital tanks are also referred to as quarantine tanks and can serve multiple purposes. In general, most new aquarium hobbyists do not utilize a hospital tank because they are unaware of basic aquarium diseases and/or they simply feel they don't need a hospital tank. In the following article I will discuss the practical uses and purposes of a hospital/quarantine tank as well as the basic setup for hospital tanks.

A hospital or quarantine tank is an aquarium separate from that of a display aquarium. The main purpose of a hospital tank is to prevent the addition of any diseases into a display aquarium. When new fish are acquired from any source they should be quarantined in the hospital tank to monitor for any potential diseases and for overall general health of the new species. The quarantine time period can range anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks depending on the preferences of the hobbyist, but in my experiences a 4 week quarantine is ideal. When aquarium fish are purchased in local fish stores they may appear healthy but this can be deceiving as many diseases can be present without exhibiting any visible symptoms.

As previously stated, hospital tanks are often under-utilized by new hobbyists as it can be perceived as an extra cost and extra work. Any experienced aquarist will advocate for the use a hospital tank though as the introduction of a disease to a display tank can cause significant amounts of stress and possible death to fish that are already established in the tank. The initial cost of setting up a hospital tank will offset itself in the future as less money will be put towards medications and replacing dead fish. Another benefit of a hospital tank is that new specimens can be introduced into a low stress environment with little to no competition. This will help the hobbyist get the specific species accommodated to the particular water conditions and make sure that it is eating adequately. This is especially important for species that are shy, sensitive, or picky eaters.

For hobbyists that maintain aggressive species such as cichlids, hospital tanks are all the more important because of injuries during aggression outbreaks. If a new fish or even well established fish is being significantly picked on in a display aquarium it can be removed and isolated in the hospital tank. This not only allows the injured and stressed fish a chance to recuperate but it also gives the hobbyist time to decide if a certain fish will have to be permanently removed from the display tank due to its aggression. In addition, if a fish is being picked on it is susceptible to secondary infections. Furthermore, local aquarium stores will be much more willing to take a fish as a trade-in that has been rehabilitated back to health in a hospital tank versus a stressed out fish with fin and body damage.

Hospital tanks should be smaller than the hobbyist's main display tank so potential medications can be utilized as efficiently and effectively as possible. Hospital tanks typically are in the range of 5 to 20 gallons depending on how large the hobbyist's display tank is and how large the species being maintained in the display tank will be. Of course there are circumstances in which a larger tank would have to be used if the hobbyist is maintaining very large specimens. Accessories for a hospital tank include a dark background and a basic filter. Both sponge filters and hang on the back power filters can be utilized with my preference being power filters. Remember to remove the carbon if you are medicating a hospital tank as running a power filter with carbon will filter out the medication from the water. I generally use a bare bottom approach in my hospital tanks, but I have used thin layers of substrate in the past with no negative results. Just make sure if you are using substrate in a hospital tank you are only covering the bottom of the tank as a thick layer of substrate will lead to a higher possibility of built up impurities in a smaller aquarium.

Of course you want to emulate the parameters of your display tank as closely as possible in your hospital tank so make sure that the temperature, Ph, and other parameters are the same. Make sure to provide some hiding places and security in your hospital tank along the lines of PVC piping, clay or plastic pots, and artificial plants. Some of the more hardy live plant species could be incorporated into a freshwater hospital tank but the plants may not respond well to the introduction of certain medications. For a saltwater hospital tank the hobbyist can add a few pieces of live rock as a means of additional natural filtration but these should not be prized pieces of rock as certain medications used in the tank may negatively impact the live rock. Important products to have on hand for your hospital tank are a quality water conditioner, aquarium salt for stress reduction, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-parasite, and ich medications.

As you can tell by now hospital tanks serve multiple purposes including monitoring new species for disease, giving sensitive species adequate time to adapt to new conditions, making sure new specimens have a healthy appetite, isolating specimens that acquire a disease in the display tank, and separating fish that are getting picked on. In the end, many hobbyists who do not utilize a hospital tank wish they had after experiencing a problem and those who abide by the use of a hospital tank are thankful for all the headaches it saved them. Any questions are welcome, happy fish keeping!


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)