Quarantine and New Arrivials

Quarantine and New Arrivials

When you receive new koi it can be exciting and you may be anxious to see them swimming in your pond.  But it is ALWAYS necessary to quarantine new koi before adding them to your koi pond.  The reason is to protect not only your existing koi collection but also your new koi.   Many experienced koi keepers will have a permanent quarantine set up and display it as a second pond.

Steps to Quarantine your New Koi.

1) Set up the quarantine several days before the koi arrives.  Most koi will require 150 to 300 gallons but very small koi, under 6", can be held in an aquarium during the quarantine process.  You will need a small submersible pump, apx 500-600 gph and a small filter, preferably with cycled biomaterial.  (Without a cycled bio-filter you will need to do more frequent water changes, perhaps daily.)  An air pump w/ a stone would also be a good investment, but not required unless water temps are above 75 degrees.  You should also net or cover the quarantine, as koi tend to jump when put into new places.
2) Add 2 pounds of non-iodized salt per 100 gallons to achieve .24% saline.  (Salt available at Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc in 40 lb bags, look for bags that say 99.5% pure salt)
3) Before removing the koi from the bag, float the koi in the quarantine for at least 30 min.  This will match the temperatures.  Koi do not like dramatic changes in temperature.
4) Remove the koi from the bag and release into the tank.  It is VERY important that if the koi has been in the bag for more then a few hours that none of the bag water is allowed into the tank.  The water in the bag has very high ammonia content and a very low pH.  Luckily at that lower pH the ammonia is not toxic to the koi.  However once you introduce the higher pH water from the QT, all that ammonia instantly becomes very toxic.  For this reason you also do not want to mix any of the QT water into the bag!  Mixing bag water and quarantine water can be deadly for your koi!!!
5) Test the water frequently.  Ideally there will be 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites and low nitrates.  If your tests show any ammonia, do a partial water change.  It might be necessary to add some type of ammonia binder like Amquel or
Chloram-X.  Also check your pH and kH.  You want a to have a high kH as this will stabilize the pH.  If your kH is low (below 80 ppm) add a couple tablespoons of Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) then try testing again after a couple hours.  1 pound of baking soda per 1000 gallons will increase the kH by 70ppm.
6) Leave the koi in the quarantine for AT LEAST two weeks.  Four to six weeks is even better.  If no problems arise then it is safe to transport the koi into the pond.   

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