23 August 2016

into the QT

I gave up trying to cycle the QT. I did everything I could think of to give it an 'instant cycle'- I swapped sponges off the little filters, sterilizing the QT one (which had only been in there half a day) and moving over the one from the main tank, which should have plenty of bacteria in it. I siphoned a handful of gravel out of the main tank, tied it into a piece of pantyhose and put that in the QT near the filter. Dropped in a few snails and a food wafer (the snails congregated on it, so they're feeling fine). Checked on the water quality a few times each day. Did another water change to see how that alters parameters. Ammonia is still worrisome- it's 0.5, when I do a water change that brings it down to 0.25 but it goes back up again.
However I felt I had to do something- Oliver was looking lethargic, his face getting pale in splotches and his eyes cloudy. (Picture of him in the salt bath the day before yesterday- not a very clear image but I really like how the lens of his eyes are visible here if you look close.) This could be because I took his heater out and all of a sudden it got cooler at night- so his tank temp dropped to 76ยบ.  It was a mistake to not just go buy a second heater. But I still wanted to treat him in QT- not sure exactly what this thing is on his side; if it doesn't respond to the fluke meds and I need to try something different that could kill plants or snails, I don't want to do that in his home tank.
So. The best results I've had using QT in the past is when I did frequent small wc anyway. I moved Oliver over this morning. Tried to get a few closeup photos of him in the cup, but he didn't like being in there so I quit trying to take pictures and moved him into a plastic baggie to float. Acclimated him for half an hour, now he is cruising around the tank inspecting stuff. Doesn't look stressed. I dosed the tank with a half teaspoon of PraziPro. I'm going to do 25% water changes twice a day, which will turn over 50% of the water each day while he's in there, to keep ammonia in check and the water really clean. I'll re-dose the estimated amount of meds that get removed with each water change- so for every two and a half gallons replaced, dose 1/8 tsp or a dash.
I do think it's the nicest-looking QT I've ever set up. Hopefully all those silk plants I added will start harboring some of the good bacteria (if the fish is in here for a week or more) and make him feel sheltered enough to be relatively comfortable.

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