Quarantine Tank: Should I Have One for My Aquarium?

Quarantine Tank with Flame Wrasse


I am usually asked about a quarantine tank within a couple weeks of a new aquarium owner getting started. Other than that, I’m usually asked about them after something happened in their tank and their fish got sick, or worse.

Quarantine tanks can be uncomfortable to talk about, at first, because they go into the dark, sad topic of fish dying. And not many people want to think about that when selling or buying an aquarium.

However, once a quarantine tank does its job, aquarium owners are usually pretty happy they have one.


What is a Quarantine Tank?

A quarantine tank is essentially a mini-aquarium. It uses a 10 or 20-gallon tank, a small filter, an air pump with an air stone, a small heater, and a couple water treatments and medicine. Fish go into this tank for at least 14 days, where they are treated and observed. Once they have 14 days of issue-free living in the quarantine tank, they can be acclimated into the main aquarium.


Why do I need a Quarantine Tank?

Good Case Scenario

Quite often, when a new fish is being added to an aquarium, it has been through a pretty stressful time during the days or weeks leading up to being put in. A quarantine tank gives it a couple weeks to calm down and regain its strength. It gets a chance to get healthy with a steady diet and a planned treatment regimen to eradicate disease and parasites. In my experience, the fish which have gone through a good quarantine treatment do very well in their new homes.

Bad Case Scenario

A customer had an aquarium with a lively and healthy community of fish. One day, a close friend with their own aquarium asked if she would take their fish into her tank, since they were going to be moving. Being the good friend she is, she readily accepted, and five fish were put in.

What neither of them knew was that another fish in her friend’s tank was getting sick, and within a couple weeks, her fish started getting sick and she began suffering losses, losing nearly every expensive fish in her aquarium.

With a quarantine tank, the disease could have had time to show itself and be treated (if it hadn’t eradicated with the standard treatments). She could have seen on day 12 that the fish still wasn’t well and that the clock really needed to be reset to another 14 days.

Or if the worst happened, and the fish actually died, it would have been better for it to be that one fish in the quarantine tank than a community in her main display.


To Answer the Question: We Advise “Yes, if You Can.”

A quarantine tank setup can be gotten for well below $100.00. Especially in the saltwater world, it is a small investment to protect what can be a much larger investment. Quarantine one fish at a time, and keep an eye on them. You’ll usually get a healthier and stronger fish for your aquarium.

If you are unable to get a quarantine tank setup, contact us. We may be able to help point you in the right direction.

Share This!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *