For those who are new to the aquarium hobby, a quarantine tank is a smaller tank that maintains new fish and invertebrates for several weeks to be sure all is well before introduction to the main saltwater tank. If you utilize a quarantine tank you are going to dramatically increase your success rate as a hobbyist. A basic quarantine aquarium system offers a hang on the back filter, heater, and an aquarium.
Saltwater Quarantine Tank Build
I started the project by building the saltwater quarantine fish stand, exactly like i did with my low boy frag tank display. As well, in the past i used the same type of stand for my R/O and saltwater mixing station.
As well, i wanted to quarantine different types of saltwater fish, with out the use of just one aquarium with dividers, so i used three 10 gallon aquariums and lined them up vertical next to each other. This also gives me the ability to isolate one of the aquariums from the rest of the system, with a hang on canister if needed.
I drilled holes at the end of each aquarium and installed 3/4 bulkheads. Inside of the aquariums i used 3/4 piping and attached drains, so that fish could not possibly get sucked down into the sump or get lodged in the PVC.
From the back side of the bulkheads, i increased from 3/4 to 1" PVC to drain back to the sump below. I used a 30 gallon tank that already had been set up with baffles for the sump and used a old pump that i had laying around. I used 3/4 PVC and ball valves to connect each tank to the pump. I also used a check valve and union connections in case i need to change out the pump. As well, it also makes it easy to remove the pump for maintenance.
Union connections and ball valves are a must, for all my tank builds. Ball valves are great to control water flow and union connections make it easy to plug and play different parts of the tank set up.
In this case, if one of the 10 gallon tanks starts to leak and needs to be replaced. I could close the ball valve off and drain the water out of the one 10 gallon tank, loosen the union connection in the back of the display and slide the individual tank out and replace it with a new 10 gallon aquarium. This can be very helpful and can all be done with out shutting down the rest of the quarantine system.
In my case, after i cut and dry fitting the PVC to the quarantine display, i grabbed the tank by union connection and lifted the tank. It was enough to crack the thin glass and i really did not notice it until i did the water test. That is when i noticed, water leaking under the bulkhead. I did not notice it before because the paint was hiding the crack in the aquarium.
This is another thing i like to do when building my displays, is to paint the bottom and back of the tank in black, to hide the piping and wiring. This gives a cleaner look to the aquarium display in my opinion.
I used a cheap LED for lighting, a filter sock and No substrate will be used. As well, i will add a heater to maintain a stable temp and use a auto top off for water evaporation.
Also i will use a cheap digital thermometer to keep track of water temp and of some sort of lid, even if it is just a piece of plastic (eggcrate works well for this). I will use a variety of PVC pipes/fittings to give the fish hiding area and to reduce the stress of the fish.