How to Introduce a New Koi Fish into your Pond
Introducing a new koi fish into your pond can be a super exciting time, especially if they are your first koi fish, but there are a few very crucial steps you need to take in order to make sure your koi will be happy and healthy in their new home. When you are introducing your koi to your pond it is important to consider these three things - health, pH levels, and temperature.
The most important thing for every koi parent is the health of their koi, and when a new koi is set to join the pond that is the first thing to consider. Most koi owners protect their fish from harm by quarantining them before they introduce the new koi into their ponds, and it is a great practice. Quarantining is done by keeping your new koi in a tank or small pool where you can easily observe and treat your koi for a few weeks to a month before introducing them into your pond. By quarantining your new koi you can make sure they are healthy before entering your pond this keeps them from infecting any fish already in your pond and ensures any future fish will be introduced into a healthy pond. If you can't stand to wait or don't have a quarantine tank you can purchase your koi from a breeder which quarantines their fish before they are put up for sale which works almost as well.
No matter where you obtained your new scaly friend they will surely arrive in a bag filled with water and oxygen for the journey, and that water will likely have a different pH level than your pool or quarantine tank. While koi fish can thrive in a variety of pH levels a sudden change can cause huge amounts of stress on the fish which is probably already stressed from the travel and stress can really harm your koi. While you are transferring your new koi into your pond you should test your pond water and the bags water to see how close the pH levels are to one another. If the pH levels are within 0.2 of one another you can safely move your koi into the pond, but if the pH levels are not close enough you can add some pond water to the bag and wait a few minutes before re-testing. Once your pH levels are acceptable you need to make sure the fish adjust to the temperature of their new home.
A sudden change in temperature can shock a koi fish which will cause stress and weaken their immune system, so when you introduce a new koi fish into your pond the first thing you need to do is float the bag in your pond or tank to equalize the temperature of the water in the bag with the water in your pond. The bag and koi fish will usually float for fifteen to thirty minutes in the water before the temperatures are the same, but you can measure the temperature of the bag water to have a better idea. If the bag is in the sun you may need to find some shade or cover it with a towel to ensure the bag doesn't gather to much heat and never equalize with the pond. Once the temperature in the bag and pond are the same (or nearly the same) you can safely move your koi into it's new home.
Once you are sure your koi fish is healthy, the pH levels of the bag water and your ponds water are acceptable, and the temperature of the bag and pond water are the same it is time to introduce your new koi fish into your pond. You should use both hands to slowly lift the fish out of the bag and place it into the water. While lifting the koi out of the bag keep it as low as possible so if it wriggles away from you it will land in the water. After moving your koi into it's new home sit back and enjoy the view.
Are you introducing your first koi to your pond? If not what is the craziest story you have about introducing a koi to your pond? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below!