Hi, I wanted to share with you guys how we quarantine our livestock! We truly believe that the livestock that we carry is healthier than that of any local fish store. All our fish/invertebrates are fully quarantined and we make sure they are completely healthy before we ship them out. I can proudly say 95% + of our livestock make it alive through shipment. To give a reference, that's better than livestock ordered with overnight trans-shipments that come into the united states perfectly packaged in well-insulated boxes, oxygenated bags, and overnight shipping. I believe it is because our quarantine process and use of breather bags. Here are the steps we take to ensure that we carry the highest quality in fish and shrimp.
1.Quick Trans-shipment of livestock
Instead of having the livestock being exchanged multiple times between dealers, which will stress the fish out, we import most of our livestock straight from the breeding farms. The quicker fish can be introduced into a stable environment the higher chance for survival.
A few hours after the fish arrive at the airport, we have them drip acclimating to their new homes. We'll make a more detailed post on how we drip acclimate soon!
Solid filtration is a huge part of our quarantine process. Aquarium fish and shrimp are most susceptible to sickness and disease during the first few days after shipment. Any fluctuation of ammonia or nitrites quickly increases the chances for sickness and disease. In addition to external canister filters such as the Eheim 2217 we also use AquaClear hang-on-back filters which hold a bag of rechargeable Purigen for further ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate control.
Here's an article on what proper filtration is and what it should accomplish.
Purigen product description: http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Purigen.html
3. Planted Aquarium
One reason why fish don't survive when first introduced to a new aquarium is due to excess nitrates. While fish can tolerate certain levels of nitrates, higher nitrate levels cause fish to be more susceptible to sickness and disease. We constantly monitor the nitrate levels in our aquariums, especially the days prior to receiving a new shipment of livestock. Because all of our tanks are equipped with at least one bag of purigen, our nitrate levels are consistently low (between 0-5ppm). Having plants in our aquariums further reduces nitrate levels. Here's an article on how aquatic plants help fish and invertebrates thrive in aquariums.
Plants also provide great relief for stressed fish by providing cover and places to hide. In addition to having a negative effect on growth, reproduction, and digestion, chronic stress will also lower the ability of the immune system to respond effectively and fully. This lowered immune response is what allows parasites, bacteria, and fungi to infect a stressed fish and cause disease and death. Shy fish like the celestial pearl danio definitely do better in planted tanks.
The key to quarantining fish is definitely consistent feeding. Sure, fish can be alive and healthy if placed into a solid quarantine system like the one mentioned above, but good feeding patterns push the fish over the top. Well-fed fish are not only more active but also exhibit nicer colors. Check out these pictures of our Cardinals and Roselines!
These were taken less than two weeks after we received them from overseas. The Cardinals are already showing their deep blood red underbellies and the Roselines are showing their emerald heads. I'll make a more detailed blog post on feeding later on as well.
In the event that our fish do get sick, we have a special type of medication that we've been using for years. We actually discovered this special medication on accident while trying to solve a different problem. I'll also make a post on this medication on our next post! You'll definitely want to read about it, its a good one!
Because the survival rate of our livestock is so high, we are able to provide our customers with the most affordable and competitive prices on the market. That is why we guarantee 30% off from local fish store prices on all of our livestock! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions about our livestock and or anything in general. Thanks for reading! Cheers!