Quarantine procedure for Marine Fish offered in the Divers Den

DFS

.Registered Member
As of late we have had numerous questions pertaining to the quarantine protocol that we follow for all the fish offered in the Divers Den section of the LiveAquaria.com web site. All aquatic life that is offered in the Divers Den are housed and maintained in our state of the art Aquaculture Coral and Marine Life Facility located in Rhinelander Wisconsin.

The quality of the aquatic life we offer is second to none, and the fish are no exception. We go to great lengths to provide the healthiest fish available anywhere. These fish are all quarantined and acclimated to captive conditions based on strict protocols that are followed regardless of the species. This goes for every single fish in our care here in Rhinelander weather it be a $10.00 damsels or a $3500.00 gem tang.

Without going into extensive detail, and disclosing some proprietary techniques, all fish are acclimated, quarantined, and then housed in the following manner.

Proper acclimation is the first step in ensuring quality fish for our customers while reducing stress during this difficult time directly after transport. We utilize a custom built acclimation table with drip valves for new water and drains built into this table so the waste water can be discarded. All acclimation takes place in a separate room so that the lighting and ambient temperature can be controlled for inbound fish. The fish are cut open from the bags and placed directly in their acclimation tubs that have slide in dividers so we may separate the fish during this time. Water is then dripped over the fish for an extended period of time to slowly adjust them to the water chemistry of our quarantine fish system.

After acclimation new fish are housed and maintained in a special quarantine system that is run off of its own independent filtration system. Our quarantine system utilizes biological filtration, UV sterilization, ozone, and a large foam fractionator (skimmer). This system is not just glass aquariums, but rather acrylic cubes and tanks so that the fish can be segregated to reduce aggression and stress.

Directly after acclimation the fish are housed in little to no light for 12-24 hours depending on the species, origin, and transit time from overseas or from a distributor in the US. This is accomplished by covering the cubes and tanks where the new fish are housed with black covers. Once the fish exhibit normal breathing and normal behavior (ie. swimming properly) we uncover the tanks and cubes and thoroughly inspect each fish. Fish such as clownfish that suffer from common parasitic ailments like Brooklynella hostilis are give repeated Freshwater baths that contain other anti-parasitic medications. Clownfish are quarantined for a minimum of four weeks at our facility before we offer them for sale. Other fish such as Angelfish, tangs, certain genus of wrasse and several other specific species of fish are bathed in saltwater baths for varying time periods containing Praziquantel or other medications that eliminate flukes, parasites and protozoan that are commonly found on these wild harvested fish. Extended baths to combat more common bacterial infections such as Vibrio are also administered when needed by using a variety of antibiotics such as Kanamycin, Nitrofurazone, Neomycin and a few other more common antibiotics. Open wounds on fish are treated and healed with a special topical treatment. Along with the baths all fish in quarantine are treated with copper sulfate and a 37% formaldehyde solution (Formalin) to combat Amyloodinium ocellatum and Cryptocaryon irritans.

All new fish that enter our facility, are de-wormed once they start feeding, by the use of frozen food soaked in Praziquantel, Metronidazole, and Piperazine. After the de-worming process we offer a variety of vitamin enriched foods to all of the fish. These foods consist of frozen mysis shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, live ghost shrimp, frozen krill, silversides, roe, dried seaweed, cockle, and even pellet foods.

We do not maintain any new arrival in a hypo salinity state so that we have the flexibility to bring in shipments from suppliers anywhere in the world and on any day of the week. Overseas supplier and export stations ship livestock in natural seawater with a salinity of around 35ppt depending on the locale. In my personal opinion, it is less stressful to house new fish immediately after arrival to salinity close to what they have been accustomed to in the wild.

The length of time for each fish in quarantine varies from a minimum of two weeks, to several months or more delicate species. During the QT period all of the fish are monitored closely, and special attention is paid to their breathing rate, swimming behavior and overall appearance and demeanor. Once the fish have passed a thorough inspection, they are ready to be acclimated and moved into our main fish system.

Our main fish system is over 3000 gallons and utilizes a giant fluidized sand bed, 12’ tall by 24” in diameter foam fractionator (skimmer), 1000 mg ozone generator, 960 watts of UV sterilization, and three dedicated pumps to facilitate the operation of the system. The fish are housed in separate fish boxes for smaller gobies, divided cubicles sections that vary in size, as well as 24” and 48” acrylic aquariums for larger species. We have the ability to place show size fish in 48” x 48” holding vats for adequate space. The fish are acclimated from quarantine system into the main fish system by using the drip method to reduce stress. Once the fish have settled into their new surroundings in the main fish system, they are then photographed and loaded into the Divers Den section of the LiveAquaria.com web site, and offered for sale.

I hope that I have addressed everyone’s specific questions pertaining to how we quarantine our livestock here in Wisconsin. All of the staff here at Drs. Foster and Smith’s Aquaculture Coral and Marine Life Facility work diligently and abide by strict protocols to ensure that the fish you purchase on the Divers Den section of the LiveAquaria.com web site are the healthiest marine fish that can be obtained anywhere.

Happy Reefing!
Kevin Kohen
Director of LiveAquaria
Drs. Foster and Smith
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
All of that is wonderful. It is also why I feel that buying fish from you is in my best interest rather than looking for cheap fish elsewhere. As you know, a cheap fish is just that. As I tend to fancy some of the more expensive animals, it is essential to me that they arrive at my house in superb health. I don't want to buy an animal more than once because I saved a dollar on its initial acquisition cost. In a similar manner, I would rather attempt to provide the best environments in my tanks so that the fish will live for approximately their natural lifespan. Sorry if this sounds like a rant against trying to find the cheapest animals online or at LFS.
 

DFS

.Registered Member
Steve,
All of us here at Drs. Foster and Smith/LiveAquaria appreciate your patronage and support, and applaud your efforts on the approach and understanding you have of the animals in your care. I think we both agree that each and every one of us that participate in this wonderful hobby has a responsibility to provide the best possible care for the marine life we are so fortunate to come in contact with.

Cheers,
Kevin Kohen
Director of LiveAquaria
Drs. Foster and Smith
 

SDguy

Fish heads unite!
Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9846536#post9846536 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by snorvich
All of that is wonderful. It is also why I feel that buying fish from you is in my best interest rather than looking for cheap fish elsewhere. As you know, a cheap fish is just that. As I tend to fancy some of the more expensive animals, it is essential to me that they arrive at my house in superb health. I don't want to buy an animal more than once because I saved a dollar on its initial acquisition cost. In a similar manner, I would rather attempt to provide the best environments in my tanks so that the fish will live for approximately their natural lifespan. Sorry if this sounds like a rant against trying to find the cheapest animals online or at LFS.

I have to agree. I really don't think people realize the risks and work involved with buying that "fresh from the wholesaler" fish for a discount and providing proper treatment/quarantine. Thanks Kevin for the background :)
 

jnc914

New member
Liveaquaria is absolutely heads above other on-line suppliers when it comes to quality of fish. I was even more impressed by the detailed quarantine methods mentioned above. Keep up the impressive supply of healthy specimens.
 
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