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     Koi or Plants
 Choosing Koi or Plants for Your Pond

Quarantine Against KHV

In dealing with KHV, you will want to be able to raise and manipulate the temperature in the quarantine tank. Raising the temperature to 75F for three weeks will either bring out the virus or prove the fish to be negative, according to recent studies. What must be impressed on hobbyists is that this virus must be treated like HIV in humans. Use universal precautions. Treat every koi as though it is infected. Gone are the days of floating the bag on the pond and then releasing it 20-30 minutes later, to watch the new fish explore its new home. Gone are the days of seeing several owners’ fish in one tank at a koi show. Until there is a cure, and unless another disease arises, quarantine is the only way to go!

Now, the tools of quarantine regimen are as follows:

  • Holding tank

  • Netting or cover to prevent fish from jumping out

  • Small bio-filter, preferably pre-colonized with nitrifying bacteria

  • Small pump with protective screen over intake, hose and all parts that can harm fish

  • Dedicated fish net and bowl for quarantine tank only

  • Dechlorinator

  • Test kits

  • Pond salt (Non-Iodized salt)

  • Microbe-Lift/TheraP

The 21-day quarantine regimen is as follows: [Note: The following dosages assume a 100 gallon tank. Adjust for your tank capacity accordingly.] This program originally designed by Water’s Edge has been modified and presented anew that many fish deaths can be prevented.

Day 1: After thorough cleaning of tank, refill with dechlorinated water and set up filter with pre-colonized filter media. Add 6 oz. of Microbe-Lift/TheraP, mix 1.5 cup of pond salt with water from the tank, then distribute throughout the tank. Add fish. (Note: Koi do not fare well unless there are two of them together.)

Day 2: Repeat above.

Day 3: Repeat above. Use salt level test kit to check the salt levels. Our goal is to have a 0.3% solution by Day 3.

Days 4, 5, & 6: Monitor with water tests.

Day 7: Add 2 oz. Microbe-Lift/TheraP, check water levels.

Day 8: Add another 1.5 cup pond salt. Salt level should now be 0.4%

Days 9 through 21: Dose weekly with 2 oz. TheraP

Examine fish daily.

Watch for odd behavior: flashing, rubbing listing to one side, rapid breathing, or closed gills.

Look for signs of bacterial/fungal infections: white or discolored spots, fuzzy growth on fins, tail or mouth, discoloration around gills.

Check ammonia and nitrite levels every other day. If these levels are high, or if the water becomes cloudy, perform a 30-50% water change, as needed. Refill the tank with water from your pond. (This will dilute your salt level, so add more salt. The total salt amount after Day 8 = 6 cups or 0.4%. If you perform a 30% water change, add 2 cups back. If you perform a 50% water change, add 3 cups.

Feed sparingly (every other day) only as much as your new fish will consume in 5-10 minutes and remove any uneaten food. Remember, they do not have stomachs. DO NOT USE TANK WATER IN ANY OTHER PONDS!

**Maintain water temperature in tank at 75F for THREE WEEKS to bring out KHV in the event fish have been infected.**

According to Dr. Julius Tepper of the Long Island Fish Hospital, some, but not necessarily all of the following may suggest a KHV infected fish:

- Sudden death - Loss of appetite - Rapid "gilling" - Lethargy and slow swimming - Body sores - Areas of "dry" skin (feels like sandpaper) - Other areas with excessive slime production - Whitish dead areas on the gills

If any of the above signs are seen, contact a fish vet to arrange for KHV testing. A simple blood test can determine whether or not your fish has been exposed.

Now the day comes and the fish have passed all their tests. It is time to put them in the pond. Take a fresh bucket with fresh pond water, put fish in the bucket, carry to the pond, and gently release the fish into their new home!

 

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