It is always an exciting time when you are about to introduce a new fish to your pond. Whether you are a very experienced keeper, or are just starting out on your adventure, the arrival of a new fish is a significant occasion. But before you get carried away, remember that you should quarantine your new specimen if you don't want to put the well-being of your entire stock at risk. Therefore a quarantine tank is an essential investment!
Before placing for koi into the quarantine tank, ensure that the water temperature is similar to that of the bag or container which your fish has arrived in. Otherwise your new specimen may suffer a temperature shock. The quarantine tank then provides a valuable stepping stone for your new koi before they are introduced to your pond.
The quarantine tank gives you the opportunity to monitor the health of the fish whilst they acclimatise themselves to their new environment. The tank should hold between 50 and 250 gallons of water and must have its own equipment including handling nets if you are to avoid the potential for cross-contamination. The tank will require a primed filter with a good build-up of bacteria, a heater and a thermostat.
Your new fish may be feeling stressed and this can lower its resistance to disease. You can make their transition a more relaxing affair by creating the right temperature in the tank. If your fish was transported in a plastic bag, float this on the surface of the water for a few minutes to equalise the temperatures. If it begins gasping for air, then open the bag. If the fish is lethargic, add some of the tank's water to the bag and let the koi float for 5 minutes.
When the flotation period is complete, check the pH levels of the bag water and the tank water as they should not differ by more than 0. 2. If they do, add more tank water to the bag until the levels match. You can then release the koi into the tank. Place netting over the tank to prevent the koi from popping out and leave your fish to acclimatise to its new home.
Over a period of three weeks, keep a close eye on your new fish. Make sure that it is active and eating well. Look out for signs of disease and treat any conditions that you discover. Change 20% of the water every day and keep the water temperature at the ideal level for your koi's immune system which is 72 degrees.
Stress Free Introduction
The quarantine tank is a safe and stress free place for your fish to get used to its new circumstances. It gives you the time you need to assess the health of your koi before releasing it into your pond. When it is time for your fish to join the pond you will be able to release it with confidence.