Koi are a great fish species and can make a great addition to any pond or water feature. However, introducing new koi fish to your pond is not without risk. Just like other animals, koi fish do get sick, and adding new fish to a pond without proper quarantine is risking the wellbeing of your entire collection. Koi fish can harbor parasites, bacteria, and viruses without even showing any symptoms, and placing un-quarantined koi fish in your pond can have disastrous effects. That’s why quarantining new koi fish is advisable to prevent outbreaks from occurring in your pond.
Why quarantine new koi fish?
There are several reasons to quarantine new koi fish. First, placing new koi fish in quarantine is an effective way to prevent outbreaks from occurring in your pond. Koi fish are susceptible to parasite attack and diseases, so you don’t want to expose the rest of the fish to the pathogens should there be an outbreak. The quarantine period allows you to ensure the new koi fish are in good shape before introducing them to your pond. In the event that the new koi fish becomes infected with disease or parasites, it will be much easier and less expensive to deal with the situation in quarantine tanks rather than the entire koi pond.
Secondly, quarantining new koi fish allows then to rest and recover from the stress of handling and transport. The radically different water quality and the journey from the fish farm or breeder can be extremely stressful and can result in a weakened immune system. Therefore, quarantining new arrivals is necessary to restore their tip-top immune system. Healthy koi fish can easily fend off diseases and parasites without human intervention.
Thirdly, quarantining new koi fish allows the new arrivals to become accustomed to the new water so that they can fit seamlessly into your pond. It’s also an effective way to control which breeding pairs you want to match up.
How to properly quarantine new koi fish
The quarantine tank for new koi fish should be smaller than a pond, but large enough to give the fish enough room to swim comfortably. Ideally, it should be 100 to 500 gallons in size. A 100-gallon tank can accommodate four koi of 10 inches size. The quarantine setup should include the following equipment—filter, air pump, heater, new tank, and cover. The minimum quarantine period should be 30 days, and the water temperature should be kept around 72 -74°F. Depending on your location, you may need a heater to achieve this temperature. It’s also important to cover the tank with a net to protect the koi fish and reduce the likelihood of jumping.
Start by floating the fish in the bag for 15-20 minutes to allow the fish to acclimate with the new temperatures. Gently introduce the fish to the quarantine tank and watch them closely for any diseases or parasites. Do not feed the koi fish for a few days until they become accustomed to the new water. After 30 days, you can introduce your koi fish into your pond if they are in good shape.