Losing My Favorite
Koi - Page 2 of 2
(And Lessons Learned From It)
by Elmer Epistola
Posted: October 28, 2004
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4) Transferring koi to a new environment,
even if only temporarily, stresses them to the point of wanting to get out of
the water. Thus, when
transferring koi to another pond, try to replicate the old pond's conditions as
much as possible and acclimatize the koi to the new pond properly,
e.g., float thier container bags in the pond for 20 minutes before releasing
them. Also, take extra precautions to prevent them from jumping out of the
water whenever they are transferred to a new pond.
Figure 2. High pond walls will
prevent koi from
jumping out of the water
My final example of how I lost a favorite
koi involved another pioneer of mine, one of the three Sanke koi I bought when I
was starting out. At that time I bought some local (but good-looking) koi
from Cartimar, for the simple reason that I was excited to come across local koi
that are indistinguishable from Japan-born ones. Unfortunately, I hadn't
noticed that these koi had fish lice (so beware when buying local koi in
I had the good sense of quarantining these
local koi for two weeks before mixing them in with the rest in the main pond.
What I failed to do was to eradicate the fish lice while the fish were under
quarantine. Soon enough, most of the koi in my main pond had lice on their head
and skin. I netted out the infested ones and put them in my quarantine
pond for treatment.
The treatment went well for the next seven
days. Unfortunately, one fateful night, the lone pump of my quarantine
pond conked out. Without any form of aeration, the koi in the
quarantine pond were dead the next morning.
Never buy koi that are sick or infested by parasites.
Of course, to be able to succeed at this, you need to be familiar with
what to look for when inspecting fish you're planning to buy. Thus, be diligent
enough to learn what symptoms to avoid. For starters, please check out
Koi Diseases. Also, try to choose the koi stores
you're buying fish from. Never buy from poorly maintained stores,
especially when there are emaciated and sick-looking koi swimming with your
Quarantine your newly purchased fish for 3
weeks before releasing them into your main pond.
Koi experts have always given this advice -
to quarantine new koi to ensure that they're not bringing any unknown disease
into your pond. Unfortunately, it is not easy to comply with. You
need a second pond, albeit a smaller one, to keep the new koi in for three
weeks. This second pond will need its own filtration system as well.
Even the excitement of letting your new acquisitions swim beside your original
koi is difficult to contain. But this is a 'must-do' in order to protect
your original koi from diseases that they are not immune to. Contaminating
your main pond will be a much bigger headache in the long run.
Figure 3. Quarantine tanks prevent
new fish from
contaminating your main pond
Always use a fool-proof and redundant
Things break down, and pumps are no
exception. If they do, and the pond is left with no aeration, then
catastrophe is not far behind. Under such a situation, the bigger (and
therefore more expensive) fish are most vulnerable to lack of oxygen.
Thus, it is better to have two smaller pumps running your filters than just
having a large one. If one of the pumps breaks down, then the koi
have a chance of surviving till morning when you can correct the problem.
Include aerators and bubblers in your pond system to ensure adequate oxygenation
of the water.
Figure 4. Adding air pumps to
your pond can help your
koi survive during times of emergency
It wasn't easy documenting how I've lost my
favorite koi, but I felt it had to be done for others to learn from these
personal experiences. It also helps to be reminded once in a while of the
serious attention the koi keeping hobby warrants. Although losing a koi
happens even to the best of us, due diligence is needed to minimize the losses.
So it's true. We only lose our
favorite koi. The best way not to lose them, therefore, is not to lose
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