Plants and Parasites
One of the most frustrating things that can
happen to a pond owner is just to start to lose fish, just when
your everything is finally going great.
I've seen it many times, and also had it happen
You spend all season planting, feeding, and
caring for your pond and then all of a sudden, your fish
mysteriously start dying off.
For many people, the cause will always be a mystery.
Your water levels test fine, you haven't added any new fish
lately, and there are no outward signs of stress or infection.
So what's the likely culprit?
Not all pond owners know this, but you can just as easily
introduce unwanted bacteria and parasites into your pond by
adding new plants, and when adding new fish.
Think about it, the plants usually come from rivers and
streams from all over the place, and are then placed in holding
tanks at the plant distributor's location for resale. And
often, they are placed in the same water that is circulating
through any fish holding tanks they may have, for the fish they
So, there are two potential places for the plants to pick up
water born bacteria and parasites, and since the plants are
shipped wet to keep them alive, these parasites and bacteria
will also make the journey.
By adding new plants into your pond without treating them for
parasites, is just like adding the new fish you just bought down
at the local pet mart, without quarantining him.
How do you treat the plants?
One way is to dip them in a mixture of heavily salted water
for 5 minutes. The difference in salinity will often kill
any parasites and bacteria on the plants. This is by far
the easiest way.
Another way is to soak them in a mixture of water and
Potassium Permangenate for 5-10 minutes. This is harder to
find, but is valuable to have on hand for this, especially if
you are having trouble with parasites every year.
By taking this precaution, you will be ensuring that your
goldfish and KOI are protected against the majority of parasites
that could come into your pond this way.
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