The Essential Koi Quarantine Tank
Adding a new koi to your pond is an exciting experience for any koi keeper, beginner or seasoned. However, when bringing a new koi home to the pond, many koi keepers make one fatal mistake – failure to quarantine. By skipping this essential step, an owner risks the health and wellbeing of the entire pond population. Read ahead to see why a koi quarantine tank is an essential in your koi keeping!
A quarantine tank is the stepping stone for a new koi in your pond. It is a chance for you to examine the health of your new koi and for them to ease into their new environments. The typical quarantine tank holds anywhere from 50 to 265 gallons and needs to have all of its own equipment, such as handling nets, to avoid cross-contamination with the pond. A quarantine tank will also need a primed, used-in filter with good bacteria built up, a heater, and a thermostat.
When bringing the new koi home, remember that the fish will be stressed out. Transportation and new spaces can set a koi on edge, which can lower their ability to fight off disease. To make the transition as comfortable as possible, make sure that the water in the koi quarantine tank is the same temperature as the water the new fish is transported in. This will prevent a temperature change shock in the koi.
If the koi is transported in a plastic bag, float it on the surface of the quarantine tank for 15 minutes to equalize water temperatures. If your koi fish is gasping for air at the surface, open the top of the bag while it floats in the quarantine. If the koi is sluggish, add some of the quarantine tank’s water to the bag. Let it float and adjust as normal, but only for 5 minutes.
After a 15-minute floatation period, double check the pH levels of the bag water and the tank water. If they differ by more than .2, add tank water to the koi’s bag and test again. Once the pH levels are safe, pick up the koi with clean, wet hands and release it into the tank. Place a netting over the tank to keep it from flopping out and let it adjust to its new environment.
Over the next three weeks, keep a close watch on the quarantined koi. Make sure it is active, eating, and healthy. Under close inspection, your koi will become happily adjusted. Watch for signs of disease and treat anything you find during this period. Everyday, perform a 20 percent water change, and make sure to keep the water at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal temperature for a koi’s immune system.
By creating this safe environment for your pond’s new addition, you can calm the nerves of your stressed-out koi! The koi quarantine tank will provide a safe haven for a short time and allow you to spot signs of illness, treat them, and finally introduce these new fish with confidence to the pond.
How do you use your koi quarantine tank? Let us know! Leave a comment or write to us via the contact form!