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Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Default quarantine tank on a budget

    4 Not allowed!
    Here's my solution for a quarantine tank on a low budget which also takes up very little space when not in use. It can be up and running in 20 minutes when needed. I've used parts from European brands. Suggestions for American alternatives are more than welcome. This size is appropriate for fish upto a cardinal tetra or "plecs" upto 4 inches. 2013-09-21.jpg

    Ikea Samla storage box 45 liter - $5
    Superfish Nano Heater 50 Watt - 12 euros
    Superfish Aqua-Flow 50 filter - 8 euros

    Rinse out the box (doesn't need to be ikea but look for something similar preferably with a lid to keep evaporation under control, fish in and other things out) well with water with a dash of conditioner. Leave standing around filled for 24 hours to ensure it's water tight. Put the filter in to ensure it's working properly and you know to stick it in in a hurry and how to tune the flow.
    Stick in the heater and let it sit for 3 hours. Get your thermometer out and calibrate the heater so that you know the deviation of the one you bought and how to set it to an appropriate temp for your most common stock (probably around 24c)
    The next day unplug the heater, let it cool down and store it. Take apart the filter and store the sponge somewhere. If you got a few spare pebbles or something then rinse well and store in a bag next to the box.

    How I use it

    When not in use the box sits under a similar one which I use for aquarium supplies. The sponge of the filter lives in my external but if you don't have an external filter you can store it out of sight in an area of the tank with good flow, it will still grow some bacteria.

    When it's needed I fill it with tank water so acclimatisation is not needed. I decorate as needed, usually just a few pebbles and some left over plants. The gravel in this picture was because I kept some young ancistrus in there.

    If it's been used because of a disease the container can be rinsed out with brine or even a mild bleach solution and left out to dry for a week. The sponge can be boiled or thrown out, they're not expensive. The stones can be boiled as well and the plants are also thrown out.

    Still needed
    A simple and affordable filter available on the American market. Something that's easy to clean and allows you to take out the sponge easily.
    Perhaps is a good alternative to Americans?
    A 50 watt heater that's affordable and comes with a heater guard if possible.
    Last edited by talldutchie; 11-11-2014 at 02:38 PM.

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Yeah that is a pretty good idea. I mean you don't need a full glass aquarium for a QT tank. Although it helps in observing the fish. Other than looking down, how well can you see the fish through it? There are quite a few good internal filters that would work. Fluval U series are good though I can't remember how cheap they may or may not be. Personally I'd just run a good sponge filter.
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  3. #3


    2 Not allowed!
    You can see reasonably well trough this thing, well enough to see how the fish are doing. One of the purposes of sharing this is to encourage people who don't have a spare tank to keep something on hand.

    An U1 would be an option I suppose but a bit pricey maybe? A sponge filter is certainly an option especially for people who have a spare air pump

  4. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    Thanks for posting this. As a beginner with a new aquarium I was dreading the cost of a quarantine tank.. Wasn't really planning on having one available till I needed one. With this in mind I can easily have it ready to go :)


  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Southwest Missouri

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    0 Not allowed!
    Great post. Thank you, talldutchie!

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    What a smart idea, I now have some empty storage containers and an extra heater, just need a filter maybe a big plastic plant and some gravel and I am set. I can keep some foam in my canister.

    I think I want to quarantine the next set of rainbows I get, I have never quarantined fish before, but the rainbows are too expensive to risk!

  7. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    I don't recommend any substrate for quarantine tanks, considering it is a temporary thing. This will make cleaning QT easier. You just need hiding spaces like artificial plants or caves.

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Even better!

  9. #9


    1 Not allowed!
    What a great idea! I was just starting to worry about not having a QT, so this was very timely!

    If you don't already have an air pump, perhaps good options for internal filters could be Tetra whisper 10i, the Aqueon quietflow 10, the Penn Plax cascade 170, or the API superclean 10 all at around $10 or less. In some of these (such as the tetra) you can take out all their filter media and fill the filter with biological media from your main tank's filter for an instant cycle. These are rated for 10 gallons which is less than the storage box capacity, but the box will not be filled to the brim anyway so it could work. I don't know anything about these, so perhaps others with experiences with these specific filters could chime in regarding which might be better (or perhaps if any of these are not recommended)?

    For a heater you could use the tetra 50 watt submersible heater, also about $10.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksor View Post
    I don't recommend any substrate for quarantine tanks, considering it is a temporary thing. This will make cleaning QT easier. You just need hiding spaces like artificial plants or caves.
    I did state that it was in there because I was raising some ancistrus. But indeed not necessary when used as a QT.

    @ wgoldfarb: Thans for that. Yes that whisper is probably a good idea.

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