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Thread: Quarantine Process?

  1. #1
    Tosai
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    Quarantine Process?

    Hello, I'm relatively new to koi keeping, and ordered a 7 in butterfly koi over the internet for the first time, which I expect tomorrow. I'm wondering what to do about quarantine. I've read about so many conflicting approaches, and I just feel overwhealmed by the ammount of differing information. Does anyone here have any recommendations? I have a medium-sized pond that is pretty deep (around 5 feet deep) with several koi I've had ranging from 4 years to a few months, and several good-sized comet and shubunkin goldfish. I've always quarantined any new fish in the past, putting them inside, into about a 40+ gal tank with a simple filter and a little pond salt, for 2-3 weeks, adding more and more pond water as the time goes by. Is this helpful or harmful? I'm particularly concerned about the temperature change from inside, to a deep outside pond...I've never ordered a koi online before (my others came from local dealers and friends) and so I'm nervous and anxious about giving my new addition the best acclaimation possible. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

  2. #2
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    Everyone has their own idea of QT. Since you're ordering online, I'd take an even greater cautious approach, especially if you ordered from eBay.

    My QT is quite lengthy but I'm anal about my collection.

    I just received 3 new koi about 3 weeks ago. They went into QT, covered tightly, and will stay there till next Spring. They will go through our hot Louisiana summer and then winter and Spring in QT. I'm relatively certain they are KHV free but one can't take too many chances.

    In another month or so, I'll add a fish from my pond to stay with them till Spring. All ponds have different bugs that the inhabitants are "immune" to so mixing in one of your fish with the new ones, in QT, will help everyone adjust and let you know if there are any problems with the new fish.

    2-3 weeks is not enough time to tell you anything. Most people usually do about 3 months of QT. They also have a short summer so the fish can go through a heat/cool cycle within that time. Our summer starts in March and ends in December.
    The views expressed above are my own personal views and, as such, do not necessarily reflect the views of the AKCA or the KHA program.
    SANDY

  3. #3
    Tosai
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    Your process makes a lot of sense, but I wonder if it would need to be altered to account for my location. I live in far northern Wisconsin, where summers are short (this one especially) and winter lasts forever. I take my fish out of my pond and put them in a filtered cattle trough over the winter in a heated (around 50 degree f) garage, which seems to work well (no losses so far!). In my case, would it be better to leave the fish separate or to integrate it into the pond before fall sets in? I'm worried about over-wintering it if it hasn't gotten enough time to eat and school with the other fish. Is this something I should take into account?

  4. #4
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elinore View Post
    Hello, I'm relatively new to koi keeping, and ordered a 7 in butterfly koi over the internet for the first time, which I expect tomorrow. I'm wondering what to do about quarantine. I've read about so many conflicting approaches, and I just feel overwhealmed by the ammount of differing information. Does anyone here have any recommendations? I have a medium-sized pond that is pretty deep (around 5 feet deep) with several koi I've had ranging from 4 years to a few months, and several good-sized comet and shubunkin goldfish. I've always quarantined any new fish in the past, putting them inside, into about a 40+ gal tank with a simple filter and a little pond salt, for 2-3 weeks, adding more and more pond water as the time goes by. Is this helpful or harmful? I'm particularly concerned about the temperature change from inside, to a deep outside pond...I've never ordered a koi online before (my others came from local dealers and friends) and so I'm nervous and anxious about giving my new addition the best acclaimation possible. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!
    I am not anal and have never quarantined a Koi in over 30 years of Koi keeping! Did I mention that I still have one of the first three Koi we bought 31 years ago?
    Why? Because I am basically lazy and I know that more Koi probably die in inadequate quarantine tanks than from some disease they got from some new fish.
    But it would be very irresponsible, especially with KHV, to not encourage others to ALWAYS QUARANTINE NEW FISH BEFORE PUTTING THEM IN YOUR POND.
    Yes, I have had some disease problems over the years, but I doubt that a quarantine tank would have help. I also have had two ponds for most of the 31 years I have kept Koi so I do have a way of separating fish if needed.
    For example; this year I bought 4 small "grow out" Koi from three different dealers (I trust). I put all four Koi in my main pond. I also bought a Koi at the SoCal ZNA auction. I "quarantined" this Koi by putting it in my smaller 1200 gallon pond, just in case it was harboring KHV.
    Okay, we all agree that quarantining new Koi is a good idea, but thinking out loud, if you were to order a new Koi online from a responsible well known dealer... I would be more concerned with the health of this new Koi (and the long fin Koi) than the goldfish you have now (not taking into consideration any attachment you have towards these pond fish). So, if it was me, I would throw any new Koi purchased online from a well known dealer into your established pond.

  5. #5
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elinore View Post
    Your process makes a lot of sense, but I wonder if it would need to be altered to account for my location. I live in far northern Wisconsin, where summers are short (this one especially) and winter lasts forever. I take my fish out of my pond and put them in a filtered cattle trough over the winter in a heated (around 50 degree f) garage, which seems to work well (no losses so far!). In my case, would it be better to leave the fish separate or to integrate it into the pond before fall sets in? I'm worried about over-wintering it if it hasn't gotten enough time to eat and school with the other fish. Is this something I should take into account?
    If you have a filtered cattle trough, that changes everything!
    Put any new Koi into the filtered cattle trough and put them out into your pond in the Spring.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    I would NEVER recommend not QT'ing new fish. A lot of serious keepers even QT their own fish when they come back from a show.

    Koi are schooling fish and do not do well alone. If you only have 1 fish coming, put one of your established fish, even a goldie will do, in with the new fish.

    The main idea is to heat/cool cycle the new fish. If they have KHV or have been exposed, this is the best way to bring it out. Not always 100% but neither is testing. You'll have the fish during your hot months so once your summer is over and the fish/water cools down, I would put it in the pond with your fish for the winter.

    My original fish is 21 years old and still going strong. I bought fish from eBay many years ago, twice, and both times the fish arrived with ulcers. Thankfully, they were QT and they didn't infect my pond where it would be very hard and expensive to treat.

  7. #7
    Tosai
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    That's basically what's going through my head now...I'm wondering if quarantining my new fish will just hurt the new one, rather than protect the others I have. The new fish is, indeed, from ebay (I'm a college student on a limited budget, so I thought I'd try a less expensive mail-order koi before I buy some nice ones in the future) from a dealer called "americankoionline," which seems to be a very popular dealer. Perhaps this is just "wishful logic," but I'm kind of thinking, if they sell so many fish to so many people, wouldn't one of them have noticed if there were any major disease problems? I hate to rely on "maybes" but I'm really worried about killing or hurting my new koi by improperly or inadequately quarantining it. I haven't done a long quarantine period for any of my other koi, since they all came from a local dealer in my small town who I trust and from a pond I see every day at a greenhouse where I work. It seems that even quarantining for a week stresses the fish out...they don't eat, and just don't look happy or right (if that makes any sense).

  8. #8
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    If you are QT'ing the fish alone, that's why they're not eating and stressed.

    I started lightly feeding my 3 new arrivals the next morning after I got them. They haven't stopped begging for food since. They hear/feel my footsteps and they're sucking air at the top of the water before I get to the side of the pond. They look for food constantly.

    QT should have pristine water. If you just set it up, be sure to check the water for ammonia, NitrItes and NitrAtes for the first 4-5 weeks. Use an Ammonia Binder like Amquel Plus if the filtration is new. Add salt to .3% till the NitrIte levels fall. If the filtration is established, just add .3% salt for the first week and be sure to cover tightly. Not even a small hole in the cover because the fish will find it. Also, be sure to do water changes.

  9. #9
    Tosai
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    How do you heat/cool cycle?

  10. #10
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    LOL, we keep cross posting.

    Just let the water warm up with the summer and then cool down when the temps begin falling for winter. The theory is that if the fish are infected with KHV, the changing temps will bring it out. You don't need to do anything other than let the seasons heat and cool the water.

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