The Hospital Tank
A hospital tank is a topic for many aquarists to ignore, until of course they have a serious emergency. When the treatment of an individual is required, you truly need to isolate it so it cannot spread its problem through the rest of the community. While it may seem to be expensive to set up a segregated quarantine tank, it often saves endless hours of work and saves lots of dollars as well.
Tropicalfishsite.com, in their blog entitled Why would you need isolation or hospital tanks? identifies the main reasons:
Should we be unfortunate enough for any of these signs of disease happen then it is important to act fast and the first thing to do would be to put the fish in to a hospital tank. There are a few reasons why we should do this. The first thing to consider is contamination, if the fish is unwell and the disease they are carrying turns out to be contagious then we want to be sure that this disease does not spread to other fish which are in good shape.
Although a hospital tank is seen to be useful only in an emergency, it can be used to quarantine new fish that have just been bought from a pet store. Experienced aquarists will always recommend that a hospital tank be used in this case. The isolation allows any sick fish to show in the separated container and if the community is saved just once, often that is worth the cost of a small tank, filter and heater. In most cases just a simple cover will suffice, the fish doesn’t need a lot of light usually.
A Hospital Tank has Other Purposes
While isolation of a sick fish is the main role for a hospital tank, it is also important as an isolation method for new fish as mentioned above. The last main purpose for a smaller aquarium available to the hobbyist is to use it for a grow out tank for breeding and raising fry. Of course, once you start breeding fish, a single hospital tank may find itself in constant use – allowing spawning and grow-out on a constant basis. Often, it is seen that once a hospital tank is purchased, it rarely remains empty for very long. New fish and growing babies are the more pleasant purposes for the hospital tank, and hopefully the only ones you ever need to use it for.