There are various risks to consider, which can cause problems in the pond. Under certain circumstances, it may be useful to have a quarantine period. For example, when new fish have been purchased that may contribute to parasites or bacteria. While a quarantine period is helpful, it may not always be the best solution.
When is a quarantine for koi advisable?
A quarantine period for koi can be extremely useful, but can also have the opposite effect. It is not always good to put a koi in quarantine, that depends entirely on the problem. For the following situations, it can be useful to place the koi in quarantine.
- Introducing a new koi to the pond, which may be carrying parasites or bacteria.
- Spots on the koi that need to be treated, for example, due to negative bacterial pressure.
- A koi that should be regularly injected with antibiotics, so that the fish does not always have to be caught from the pond.
- Koi that have just arrived from Japan, or have had a long journey.
Quarantine newly arrived koi from Japan
When koi arrive from Japan, it is important that a quarantine period is used. The koi have had a long journey, the fish are packed in plastic bags by the breeders in Japan and then moved to the airport where they follow the road to the country of destination.
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Then again on transport to the local dealer, which the dealer often arranges himself with a bus or truck. All in all, the fish are on the road for at least 24 to 48 hours before they arrive at the dealer.
Koi tolerate a lot of stress during transport. The conditions during transport are also not optimal, including the water quality. The acidity (pH value) is slightly lowered during transport so that the ammonium released by the fish cannot be converted into ammonia. During transport,
the pH value is about 6.5. Water in our ponds in the Netherlands has a pH of about 7 to 7.8. Koi have to get used to this increased value, which should preferably be done as gradually as possible. A good quarantine period is essential for this. A better dealer normally takes care of the quarantine period for his koi before they are sold. The total quarantine period must be at least four weeks.
How to ensure a good quarantine for koi
Water quality is crucial for a good and successful quarantine period. This can be achieved by ensuring proper filter tuning. The amount of food should be minimal, but sufficient for the fish to build up resistance and thus get into a good condition. If the filter has not yet been screwed in, small amounts of food are recommended.
Keep in mind that quarantine is stress-inducing for the fish. They have to be caught, moved, and come to a new environment with often deviating water quality. It is therefore preferable not to use a quarantine period, only for emergencies and real problem cases.
What temperature to use during quarantine?
For the shelter of koi in quarantine, you should preferably use a minimum of 20 degrees Celsius as the water temperature. This greatly promotes the recovery and production of new mucus and tissue. An installed heating element and a well-insulated quarantine tank can be experienced. If you do not insulate, it is difficult to keep the temperature high.
Housing the quarantine tank
The safest place for a quarantine tank is a dark place, preferably where there is no direct bright light above the tank. The chance of being startled is high, especially when the lamp is switched on or off. Light also ensures that your silhouette and its movements can be seen throughout the quarantine tank, which causes shock effects. As a result,
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the fish swim against the sides of the tank, often with clearly audible tapping or thumping. This causes small bumps on and around the nose. Especially in monocolored fish, these are clearly visible as brown spots. Fortunately, under good conditions, these disappear again within a few weeks.
Always cover a quarantine container
Koi sometimes want to jump in quarantine. This is partly because they live in a different environment and suffer from differences in water values. This mainly happens when the pH value differs, especially when fish are collected from Japan. Another reason could be parasites, probably the reason why you quarantined your koi. Therefore, always use a fine net to prevent a koi from jumping next to the box.
Provide a sufficiently spacious quarantine room
Sufficient space and liters of water are essential for a good and healthy quarantine period. It is preferable to use no more than 40 to 50 cm in total length of koi per 1000 liters of water for optimal results. Many hobbyists have a quarantine tank that is too small, which is often not sufficient and does not promote the results.
Don’t use a quarantine tank for no reason
Keep in mind that a quarantine period does not have to immediately lead to improvements. The best environment for a fish to recover in its own environment. Quarantine tanks should only be used for emergencies when the fish cannot recover properly in its own environment.
When housing new fish, the quarantine period is in principle superfluous. A good dealer takes care of the quarantine period. This allows the fish to enter the pond directly, provided it is a reliable and high-quality dealer. The quarantine can only be considered at great distances where the fish has been exposed to stress for a long time.