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A quarantine system is an important part of the stocking process, for both pond and aquarium fish. It is a good way of preventing disease transfer from your new fish to your old fish, and allows you to become accustomed to how your new fish behaves. The quarantine system should include a tank with water from the fish’s original conditions; this can slowly be replaced by water from the fish’s destination to allow for the fish to acclimatise to its changing environment.

General Advice

You should ensure that the quarantine system is a suitable size, it should not be too small. Additionally, the quarantine tank should be heated (if possible), and should have adequate filtration and aeration. As mentioned above, ideally you should match the water conditions exactly to those the fish came from to prevent shocking the fish, and you should then slowly add water over the next few days from the fish’s destination to allow it to acclimatise to its new environment.

Quarantining New Fish

Once you have selected a fish from the stock at your local fish shop, and you’ve followed the advice laid out in our Knowledge Hub article “What should I consider when buying koi?”, you can transport your fish home and place it into the quarantine system.

When transporting fish, be sure to use Koi Care - Chlor-Go or Pond - Tap Water Chlorine Remover to help prevent the fish becoming stressed. You should also add your chosen product to the quarantine system to help calm fish during their initial introduction. Additionally, you should ensure that the filter is prepared to cope with a fish. Use Koi Care - Filter Bugs or Pond - Live Filter Bacteria to help establish and strengthen the filter bacteria and allow them to cope with the increased concentrations of ammonia and nitrite. Feel free to feed your fish whilst it is in this quarantine setup, but do not be tempted to overfeed. You should feed them a high-quality food, such as Medikoi - Health, to help maintain the fish’s immune system and prevent infections as it prepares to move to its final destination.

After 3 days, you should begin to think about moving the fish to the main pond. By this time, the water chemistry should almost match that of the pond, so you should have no problem transferring the fish across. Be sure to use Koi Care - Chlor-Go or Pond - Tap Water Chlorine Remover to help prevent stress, and your fish should settle well into its new environment.

Quarantining Sick Fish from an Existing Pond

When treating an ill or injured fish, it is always best to leave them in their pond to prevent further stress. As well as this, any illness may not have shown symptoms in the other fish, but the bacteria or other pathogens are likely to have infected the pond rather than one individual. If the fish has been seriously injured, it may be best to move them to a quarantine system to allow them to recover without being bullied by other fish in your pond.

The quarantine system should have water conditions equal to those of the pond the fish has come from. Ensure there is adequate filtration in place, adding Koi Care - Filter Bugs or Pond - Live Filter Bacteria as necessary to prevent ammonia and nitrite spikes.

If the symptoms dictate a dip treatment is necessary, follow the instructions in our Knowledge Hub article “Dip Treatments for Koi”. You should ensure your diagnosis is correct before adding any medicinal treatments. Feel free to feed your fish during this quarantine period, but reduce the quantity and frequency: interest in food should be taken as a positive step toward recovery. Do not feed if the fish is not interested, as this will just cause water quality issues as this breaks down.

Be sure to observe the quarantined fish for any signs of discomfort or distress, and be sure to take immediate action if a problem arises. If you need any help or advice, call NT Labs Technical Support on 0844 692 0043.

Quarantine the fish for as long as necessary. Do not be tempted to rush the fish back into the main pond or you may inadvertently cause the other fish to become infected if they are not already. When you are satisfied that the fish is ready to be returned to the pond, treat the pond with Koi Care - Chlor-Go or Pond - Tap Water Chlorine Remover and slowly reintroduce the fish. Be sure to feed your fish Medikoi - Health or Medikoi - Probiotic to help them recover as quickly as possible and help keep the other fish in your pond healthy.

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