Fish Disease is a Big Problem.

There's no getting around it. We treat every fish as a potential threat to all of our facilities and yours.

Does Sanctuary Aquatics (SA) Quarantine Fish?

Yes! We quarantine all of our saltwater fish, and some of our freshwater fish.

How does SA define Quarantine?

We define quarantine as secluding all potentially "sick" fish in a separate, and biologically secure area of our facility while treating prophylactically with medication, to be followed by observation.

How long does Prophylactic Treatment last?

Depending on the medication, treatment can last anywhere from 10-14 days.

How long does Observation last?

14 days. If the animal(s) presents no sign of disease in a 20 gal sterile tank with no Medication, UV, O3, or other disease limiting tools, the fish is considered free of disease, and there are no chances of "masking" or the animal being an asymptomatic carrier.

What kind of Medications does SA use?

Chelated Copper

Our treatment of choice for nearly all of our saltwater fish is Chelated Copper at a therapeutic dosage of 2.5ppm. This concentration is achieved by slowly increasing the amount within the quarantine tank by 15% per day over the course of 6 days. "Treatment" now begins, to ensure that the animal was exposed to therapeutic medication levels for 14 days to ensure that the full life cycle for the free swimming stages of Marine Velvet and Ich have been targeted.

Chloroquine Phosphate

For diseases that copper has no effect on, like Uronema and Brookynella, we use Chloroquine Phosphate. Treatment lasts for 10 days at therapeutic level.

None of our Blue-Green Chromis enter our sales floor without going through a full 10-day treatment of CP followed by 14 days of observation.

Tank Transfer Method

There are some fish that are just too weak or too sensitive to medications to survive prophylactic treatment. For these special fish, we simply observe them in a sterile environment and move them to a new, sterile tank every 71 hours to "outrun" the lifecycle of pathogens and disease. 

Molly Method

A few rare fish are very sensitive to all of the above. In this case, we convert a freshwater black molly to saltwater and they act as a "buddy" to the potentially sick fish. Both fish are placed in the in the same tank and observed for 14 days. Because the Molly has no natural immunity to saltwater disease, they will immediately become ill if the saltwater fish is a carrier. At this point we can identify the disease and provide treatment. For their good work, converted Mollies can live out their days in our 10k gal lagoon!

  • Marine Velvet

    Marine Velvet

    Fast killing parasite capable of wiping out most of your fish in just a matter of days. Sometimes there are survivors, sometimes not.

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  • Marine Ich

    Fish parasite which is sometimes masked by utilizing a UV Sterilizer, Ozone, Diatom Filter, Oxydator, herbal remedies, enhanced nutrition, etc.

    More Info... 
  • Brookynella

    This is most often seen with clownfish, but it can afflict other fish (usually in the gills) as well. When a clownfish has Brook, the skin will appear to be peeling or sloughing off. Which is actually excess white mucous coming off the fish.

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  • Uronema

    These are the red sores most often seen on chromis damsels; however it can afflict any fish.

    More Info... 
  • Parasites-Worms-Flagellates

    White stringy feces, pinched stomach, fish has faded coloration, fish eats voraciously but still seems to be losing weight. Flagellates are more virulent than worms, and thus can kill faster.

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What about Deworming?

Yes during treatment, every fish is fed two 3-day cycles of Praziquantel / Metronidazole soaked food to remove internal parasites and worms.

How does SA maintain Biological Security?

Marine Velvet can travel through the air like the flu or common cold. Because of this, we employ stringent bio-security measures to mitigate this potential threat.

  • No fish enters the sales floor until quarantine is complete.
  • We use uniquely assigned netting and equipment for each system we operate.
  • All equipment and netting is sterilized daily.
  • All surfaces are disinfected several times a day.
  • Food is curated per system to ensure no cross contamination.
  • All sales floor systems employ HEAVY UV/O3 sterilization
  • Employees must wash hands before handling multiple systems

Does SA Quarantine Invertebrates?

Yes! All invertebrates reside in a fishless system for 14 days before going on the sales floor.