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 75ºF 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:
Netting or cover to prevent fish from jumping out
Small bio-filter, preferably pre-colonized with
Small pump with protective screen over intake, hose and
all parts that can harm fish
Dedicated fish net and bowl for quarantine tank only
Pond salt (Non-Iodized salt)
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 75ºF 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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