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Finally- My Own Quarantine Tank

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  • Finally- My Own Quarantine Tank

    Last year, a koi I entered in a koi show died a month after the show. It won best of its category, Hikarimoyo, it being a ginrin yamarbuki. They joy of winning my first award was overshadowed by the passing of a gosai. At 75 cm, it still had years of growth left and I wasn't able to rear it to its potential. It mattered little that it was a no-name yamabuki, bought for five dollars from a dealer used to selling koi of lesser quality. I was then new to the hobby, and didn't know any better. As luck would have it, it grew and developed beyond my expectations. To have such fortune and to lose it so quickly, I felt helpless then as I knew that was the risk of joining koi shows. I downplayed the risks involved, and got caught on the wrong end of it.

    This year, I was told by Mike Hernandez that I could just buy a cheap portable swimming pool and set it up as as a quarantine tank for koi coming back from a koi show. He told me to get a couple of drums and put some old jap mats and I'll be good to go. No need for mechanical filters. The koi won't be eating anyway.

    So, I gave it some thought, and since I was afraid that what happened last year might happen again, I turned that thought into action. I got an Intex pool 8' diameter x 30" that would hold roughly 2400 liters, 2 200-liter plastic drums, some used jap mats I luckily did not dispose of after converting my biofilter to anozic, my backup 60w diaphragrm aerator, two 1" airlift compression chambers I had made before that I never got to use, and 1" pvc pipe and fittings. After some drilling, cutting, and assembling, I got myself a quarantine tank with a biofilter flowing at roughly 1,000 liters/hour:

    Attached Files
  • #2

    Needs a suitable cover too.


    • #3

      Added a net, and an additional airlift to the drum at right.

      Since the flow rate from the 3 1" airlifts weren't give me enough biofiltration (I have jap mat and an anoxic basket to each drum, the basket on right is planted, the basket on left barrel has no plants), I had the 100w Resun SP-9500S sump pump assist by pumping 3500 liters/hr into the right barrel. This worked out well as my ammonia came down to 0 from 0.25.

      For the right barrel: At no-sump pump mode, two airlifts were pumping water out the drum to the quarantine tank, while the 1" qt (quarantine tank) side hole is serving as the outlet to the inlet of the drum. At sump pump mode, the two airlifts were pumping more water, even as the 1" side hole of the qt turns into an inlet from the water in the drum. In short, with sump pump turned on, the sump pump draws water into the drum, and the 2 airlifts and 1" side hole of qt serves as water outlet from the drum.

      If this setup is further refined such that it could provide adequate biofiltration, it would be easy to use the Intex pools for koi shows. It's BYOT, with T for tank. I think that if you had anoxic bcb baskets in your pond already, you could bring your own biofilter easily into a koi show, for your own tank. The koi need not suffer having high ammonia water throughout the koi show. If say, something like this is agreed upon and owned and set up by each show participant, it would be much easier to organize koi shows. You just need more outlets and power strips.

      p.s. Only had jap mats shown, but underneath there is an anoxic basket or bcb.
      Attached Files


      • #4

        For decades the mantra has been repeated... quarantine all new koi. But, to do it right, the hobbyist needs to have a dedicated quarantine operating with established bio-filtration. Otherwise, the new fish gets put through 'new pond syndrome' or the quarantine period is so short that it is almost worthless. Peter Waddington was subjected to a lot of barbs when he wrote in Koi2Kichi that it was better for most hobbyists to skip quarantining because they did not have a proper quarantine set-up. But, he was speaking to the reality of what occurs.

        Good to see you doing it the right way, Yerrag.


        • #5

          Thanks Mike. I still have to run tests on ammonia and nitrite every now and then. One can never be too sure, especially for a new setup.

          Feeling sorry for my koi, I threw a few morsels of pineapple and some slices of orange. I was sure I could siphon off its waste, but they ended up clogging the sump pump and I was glad I found out. The water appeared somewhat off to me, with surface bubbles forming, and sure enough, a test of nitrite came out pretty high at 1 ppm. The pump didn't pump as much due to the clog, and that probably caused the nitrite to go high.

          The jap mats I used were old jap mats that were lying around. I had pressure-washed them, and put them on the pond's main filter for a week to grow some nitrifiers (I know- too short, but that was the time I had). The jap mats still had plenty of gunk as I was using them here, so I had to clean the drum of debri. These debri may also be increasing the ammonia load.

          Many gotcha's. One can never be too sure. A lot of monitoring needed to be sure nothing slips through the cracks.


          • #6

            I put two nisai that I was going to give my neighbor in this quarantine tank, so that I won't have to catch it from the main pond. But one spawned. Guess I'll have to put them back into the main pond now.

            Made me realize this tank is also what I need to de-egg koi. Rather than have to fast them, I can use this tank to de-egg any egg-bound koi.

            The koi that de-egged, well, she is so happy. What a load off her belly! Or is it because she lost a lot of weight?

            Cleanup duty beckons.


            • #7

              LOL.... Can't get them to spawn when you want, but they do when you don't want.


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