Preventing Problems with Saltwater Fish

If you follow these rules, you can have fish in a minireef with low risk of having to remove them for treatment:

• Remember that if one fish has symptoms, all the fish in the aquarium require treatment. For example, Amyloodinium and Cryptocaryon both possess a free-swimming stage that spreads the infestation. Since it takes a few days for symptoms to appear, you cannot know if asymptomatic fish are infected. For this reason, a separate quarantine tank is indispensable. See chapter 3, "Making Your Aquarium Look Real," for additional information about quarantine tanks.

• Limit your fish to a few carefully selected individuals.

• Make sure the minireef has matured for several weeks before the fish arrive.

• Quarantine fish for two weeks after they are brought home from the dealer before introducing them into the minireef. New arrivals are always most at risk for problems. Already weakened from the no doubt traumatic experience of capture and shipment, a new fish may quickly be invaded by pathogenic organisms. Once the parasite succeeds in infesting the disadvantaged new arrival, trouble can easily spread to the other inhabitants of the tank. Quarantining new fish avoids this scenario, and allows for treatment of the problem without affecting conditions in the display tank.

• Maintain good water quality and provide an appropriate diet.

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