Koi Health is a big one! .... we will cover subjects such as: care, diseases and general problems.
So many Koi Keepers get problems and don't know what to do. Sometimes getting the wrong advice can be even a bigger problem than they originally had. So in this section we would like to give you simple solutions without getting too scientific. Information on this page comes from myself and other reputable Koi Keepers. If anyone has any helpful information that they think should be shared with other Koi Keepers on this page, please email us.
The number (1) thing to have for healthy Koi is a healthy environment. That being total care, a pond with good filtration, clean healthy water and feeding quality food.To understand filtration more, read our Filter Information page which will even help you to build your own Biological Filter.
This can be checked with a pH test kit or a pH meter. Best time to check your pH in your pond is around 12.00 pm midday.
Earlier and later in the day the pond water pH is a little more acid. Panic time is when the water is below 7.0 and above 8.0
The optimum pH is 7.6 Neutral is 7.0 Acid is below 7.0 Alkaline is over 7.0
To send the pH up you can use Sodium Bicarbonate. To send the pH down you can use white Vinegar.
Adjust slowly, recheck and add more if required.
Only purchase Koi from a reputable dealer / breeder and always quarantine all Koi. When some Koi are transported to their new home they can stress. Stress is the start of many diseases. Parasites and nasty bacterias can also travel with your new Koi and they seem to take a liking to a new location, (possibly your pond).
What else can happen? Your pond can have some bad bacteria in it that your Koi have already built up an immunity too. So when you introduce a new Koi to your pond it then can become a new host to the bacteria. Remembering, that the new Koi could be stressed and has not had time to build up immunity to any bad bacteria in your pond. This then could lead to all sorts of problems if you don't decide to quarantine your Koi.
If you are going to spend the money to build a Koi pond it is best to build an extra one for a quarantine pond. Because sooner or later you will need it. It only needs to be a smaller pond but must have an adequate filter. As a commercial breeder we have several quarantine ponds available. You never know when you need one. Some I have in storage but the ones operating I keep a few small koi in them to keep the filter going with good bacteria.
Some Koi keepers just set up a small pond for quarantining pond and add pool salt @ 5kg per 1000 litres. The salt lowers the stress level in your Koi plus the salt acts as a mild medication as well. The salt is left in the pond for several weeks then the water is changed to see how the Koi adapts to the pond water without salt.
How long do you quarantine new Koi for?
I have heard for years Koi keepers saying 3 Months. Well I believe this is wrong. Some Parasites and nasty bacterias become active when the water warms up. (Spring & Summer) Other Parasites become active when the water cools down. (Autumn to Winter)
A lot of people don't want to hear this one. But in most cases you need to keep your new Koi in quarantine much longer than 3 Months. At least keep them through a change of season at the minimum. In the 60's & 70's we never had to deal with problems like this. But now it is a new ball game. We now have these nasties that can kill our Koi and it is not getting easier as these little monster are immune to many medications.
To be continued ............