Quarantine means something different to everyone. At Marine Collectors, we operate with a *14 day clean protocol*. Meaning, all fish, to be able to ship, must be visibly clean and symptom-free for a consecutive 14 days (while being prophylactically treated). If a fish develops symptoms, along the way in quarantine, the 14 day clock will restart and we will keep the fish until they meet this requirement. When you order fish, it will typically take 2-4 weeks to receive them once the order is placed!
Our base quarantine protocol has changed and been fine-tuned over the years. Over 90% of the fish we sell will be prophylactically treated with this protocol! It treats for the big 5! Ich, Velvet, Flukes, Brooklynella, and Uronema! Our current protocol has the fish coming in to be acclimated to 1.025 salinity. They sit on the acclimation table typically for a day in methylene blue. This followed by a bath in formalin for 35 minutes to an hour at 1ml/gal dosage. The fish are then put directly into one of our 7 main quarantine systems. All of these systems are run with chelated copper sulfate (copper power) at 2.65ppm along with nitrofurazone. Every system gets scrubbed and given a 100% water changes twice a week. Every water change is done with premedicated water to ensure therapeutic levels never fluctuate. The night before any system gets a water change, we do a system dose of formalin at 1ml/10gallon. While this does have some therapeutic affect, it is mainly to keep our systems clean for anything that could potentially get by (that isn’t treated by copper). For additional protection, the fish also get bi-weekly formalin baths at the same dosage as the initial batch post-acclimation. Most vendors will opt to do freshwater dip, but over the years we have learned that formalin is exponentially more effective. The reason why almost no one does, it is because of exactly that reason. it is formalin; which is incredibly toxic for humans to be exposed to. This needs to be done properly by experienced professionals with the proper safety gear. At the end of this protocol, every fish should be free of external parasites, and be as clean as they could possibly get!
Since we are a quarantine service, we do cater to a lot of special requests, and this is where a different quarantine protocol for the other 10% of fish we sell comes into play. For these fish, we cater a specialized quarantine protocol specifically for that type of fish. Typically this is done by utilizing methods based around tank transfer, hydrogen, peroxide, chloroquine phosphate, or even strong antibiotics. For example, our wartskin frogfish are quarantined via the tank transfer method. Every 12 hours they are moved from tank to tank, with water medicated with chloroquine phosphate at .06g/gal for 14 days. During this period we are also feeding them live black freshwater mollies gut loaded with TDO pellets. It is not only our protocols you are getting from us, its also the decades of experience to know fish need what kind of protocol!