My Barra have been going okay, not growing as quickly as I would've liked, but I put that down to one of two things, either the pellets I'm using are crap or the fact they're indoors. Norm's barra were out of the same batch as mine but his are bigger... because they're outdoors I believe, they must benefit from sunlight, suicidal bugs etc.
Anyhow, my water has been fine, normally NH3/4 = 0.0, N02 = 0.0, N03 = 0.0... Occasionally I would get a "trace" of N03. But recently one of my Barra has developed "furry" fungal patches. I salted the water to 3ppm, it helped for a while (furry didn't disappear completely), but as I diluted down the salt in the FT water with regular water top-ups (ie: each week when I siphon out the poop I replace about 60-80Ltrs with fresh "aged" water), the furry came back.
I don't want to keep salting the FT, it's hammering the plants. So I've built a hospital tank using a 300Ltr aquarium I haven't been using for a couple of years. It has an Eheim pump/filter, as well as a second pump sitting in a sump that sits under a home made bio-filter.
I placed a 50Ltr tub on top of a 30Ltr tub. The top tub contains 3/4 bag of exp clay, the water trickles through the clay and through holes in the bottom of this tub into the 30Ltr sump tub below, which contains a pump that pumps the water back to the FT via a spray bar for aeration. Can all be seen in pics below.
The system has been running for a week and I "seeded" with water from another aquarium and I'm ready to treat the fish. I've salt bathed fish before over the years when my Murray cod were smaller and with Black bream, but I would like to get this right first time, in the shortest, most stress free way... so I have a few questions that I would like to find out the general consensus on:
I was thinking of salting the hospital tank to 6ppt, but the Barra can handle much higher... should I go higher?
Should I salt the hosp' tank first, then add the fish for that instant "shock" effect... or should I add the fish to the hosp' tank then salt?
Should I just put the furry fella in the hosp' tank, or should I treat them all?... just a bit concerned about unnecessary stress, I think that may be what caused this fungal attack... a few weeks ago I transferred them into another tank while I emptied theirs to move it.
How long should I keep them in the hosp' tank? (the healthy ones)