People are often unclear about why and how koi are quarantined. Hopefully, this will clear up some misconceptions and give suggestions for a proper and effective quarantine.
Water parameters are as follows; no ammonia, no nitrites, low/no nitrates and a stable pH.
The KH will be maintained so that the parameters continue to be good. That can be anywhere from 80-200ppm but should never get below 80. The water temp should be warm enough that any treatments can be done which is no less than 60 degrees. There should be good aeration. A good cover is very important as koi tend to jump/breach the first 24 hours of their arrival to a new location. This is the way they clean their gills and it also is a way of exhibiting discomfort as they acclimate to new water parameters. An uncovered qt risks you finding them on the ground instead of safely in your tank during this process.
A good quarantine set up will have adequate filtration and size to deal with new arrivals so they can be safely introduced to your pond. As with a pond, know the number of gallons so any treatments can be done safely and effectively.
Though each dealer has their own procedures that koi go through on arrival, the goal is to send out koi to their customers as healthy as is possible. That means they have been treated for parasites, bacterial conditions and anything else that may have shown up since their arrival to the dealer’s location.
That does not mean the stress of shipping may not weaken a koi so that it is susceptible to a recurrence of these things but a quarantine tank allows you to deal with them without jeopardizing a customer’s existing pond koi. Also, a quarantine tank is smaller than a customer’s pond so the cost of treating will be greatly reduced.
Koi sometimes will arrive and show redness and stress. That is not uncommon. Watch out for unusual amounts of stress, isolating, reluctance to feed, etc. The day after arrival, you can begin to lightly feed. Never feed enough to compromise good water quality. Make sure you have one of your existing koi in there as this exposes your new koi to your existing koi but in a safe way, away from ALL of your koi.
Things to have on hand:
Solar salt (99% pure salt), enough to dose and maintain the tank to 0.8 Proform-C or equivalent (this treats numerous parasites) Fenbendazole or Praziquantel (fluke treatment)
A sedation product. MS-222 is what is used by PSKoi but some people use clove oil. Chloramine-T which is a treatment for bacterial gill disease
Observations to make:
Is the koi isolating? Is it eating? Is it sitting on the bottom and/or clamping? Is the koi gasping at the surface? Gasping would need intervention immediately, the others may not.
It’s okay to wait a day or two for a new arrival to acclimate but don’t let a situation get ahead of you. That is why it is important to have the afore mentioned products ready.
Emergency aid for sick fish and sick ponds.
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